Join the St*rling DNA Project

From Clan Stirling Wiki
A letter from Rick Stirling - Sterling DNA Project Coordinator

Some of you may be aware of a project underway to genetically analyze the distribution of families with names that sound like "Sterling". So far 100 participants have now been tested. We have identified the "genetic signature" of the 9 distinct Starling/Sterling/Stirling/Stallings families to date.

We now know that William Sterling of Haverhill, Mass & Old Lyme is closely related to James Stirling of Cornwall, CT tying these two large families together. This family probably represent the American branch of the Scottish Stirlings (Cadder, Keir, Glorat, etc)

The purposes of this effort are several
The written records for many of our lines go back only a few hundred years, but our Y-chromosomes are useful in tracking backwards for thousands of years. Though we may never know the details of how we are related, through Y-DNA testing we should be able to prove that some of our surname groups are--indelibly--family.
Developing genetic signatures for various lines may show proximity, and help researchers determine where a group originated. Perhaps someone named Sterling in Australia has no idea where his forebears came from--but by having his DNA tested, he may find that his "genetic signature" matches the Stirlings of Scotland, the Starlings of North Carolina or even find he is a blood line MacGregor. Such a boost can be of enormous help in genealogical research, as most of you probably recognize.
It's interesting and groundbreaking. This is a revolutionary new approach to genealogy, and it's exciting just to be part of it.
It places your genealogy research in the context of the development of the family of man. Given ongoing research in haplotypes and other genetic markers, we may be able to track the migration of our sperm-line back thousands of years. Was the first St*rling a Celt? A Goth? When did they arrive in Britain? As more and more people are tested, researchers are able to attach a probability to these things, and they become knowable. In the Accomac Starling/Sterling research, we've found that our "genetic signature" is extremely distinctive and has a fairly rare structure. While there are no closely related lines in the publicly accessible European or North American databases, we do find distant relatives (dozens if not hundreds of generations' separation) located in Eastern Austria.
The restrictions are two-fold
Only men can submit genetic material to the project, since only men carry a Y-chromosome. There is a test women can take, the mtDNA or "mitochondrial DNA", but it tracks descent along the egg-line, not the sperm-line, so it is not useful for surname tracking. Our interest at this time is surname tracking.
Because we're part of a surname project, we get a significant discount. Because I've been asked before, I'll tell you that none of that fees goes to me or anyone else in the project. It is the fee charged by the lab, FamilyTreeDNA, and it is the lowest-priced alternative we were able to locate.

Find the latest DNA test results here ... St*rling DNA Project

You can submit a request to join the project here: Join the project

Please consider joining! The more participants, the better the results.

Rick Stirling Montpelier, ID, USA

Edited - 27 Mar, 2011