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DNA Project

Holland Society Genetic Genealogy Project

Be sure to check out the resources from the 2010 Texas Branch Conference on Genetic Genealogy!


The purpose of the Holland Society DNA project is to help people discover their ancestral roots as it pertains to the Dutch Colony of New Netherland. We are building a collection of this data to help members and friends better understand their ancestral origins and to help those, trying to discover their New Netherland roots, fill in the gaps in their genealogies. This goes for both men and women despite the fact that the current membership requires a proven, direct male lineage.

Why would I want to get tested?

  • You will gain insights into the origins of your paternal and/or maternal line and possibly discover new relatives.
  • If you suspect that you have ancestral roots in New Netherland, but have reached a brick wall in your genealogy, this may be a great opportunity for you. Most Holland Society members have a verifiable, documented lineage to an ancestor in New Netherland. Some members have already tested their DNA and more are being tested as the weeks go by as we are encouraging our members to submit tests. If you share a surname with, and genetically match, a member who has tested, you may be able to use the DNA matching to fill in any gaps in your genealogy to achieve membership into the Society.

What kinds of DNA tests are there?

Currently, there are 2 types of tests: a Y-chromosome DNA test that traces a direct, male line and a mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) test that traces a direct, female line.

  • Y-Chromosome:
    • The Y chromosome is DNA that is passed, uninfluenced by the mother, from a father to each of his sons. Therefore, this test traces your direct, male lineage. Imagine yourself holding your dad's hand, who holds his dad's hand, who holds his dad's hand, and so on. That is the lineage being tested. This test can only be submitted by a man; however, if you are a woman interested in tracing your father's line, you can ask a male relative, such as a brother or uncle or cousin on your father's side to submit a test on your behalf.
  • mtDNA:
    • The mitochondrial DNA is DNA that is passed, uninfluenced by the father, from a mother to ALL of her children. Therfore, this test traces your direct, female lineage. Imagine yourself holding your mom's hand, who holds her mom's hand, who holds her mom's hand, and so on. That is the lineage being tested. Both men and women can submit this test.

How do I get tested?

The Holland Society of New York strongly encourages everyone to purchase a test from Family Tree DNA. Please visit the HollandSociety FTDNA group project page and read the description and requirements. Please place your order from that page so you will receive a discount and be automatically joined the the HollandSociety project. If you are a male, then please purchase, at a minimum, the Y-DNA37 test. Many choose the highest-resolution Y-DNA67 test for more comprehensive and accurate matching. If you are interested in testing your maternal line in addition to your paternal line, there are combination packages called the Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus and the Y-DNA67+mtDNAPlus that you may want to consider. If you are a female, you'll want to consider purchasing the mtDNAPlus test at a miniumum; however, the highest-resolution mtFullSequence test will provide the most comprehensive test for matching. Also, if you are a female and would like to test your paternal line, you may purchase a Y-DNA test kit and have your father, brother, or any other male relative from the same direct-paternal line as your father, submit the test on your behalf.

What does the test tell me?

Both the Y-chromosome and mtDNA tests will give you 2 main pieces of valuable information - your genealogical DNA "fingerprint" and your deep ancestral origin.

  • DNA "Fingerprint":
    • This is useful for genealogical studies that apply to a recent timeframe that is between a few hundred years ago and the present.
      • Y-chromosome:
        • Your Y-chromosome "fingerprint" is determined by testing certain sections of the DNA and establishing a Short Terminal Repeat(STR) count for each section. This information can then be used to compare your genetic "fingerprint" with the genetic "fingerprint" of other men to determine if your STR counts match closely enough to establish whether or not you share a common, male ancestor. If your STR counts are very similar to the STR counts of another man, then you know you share a common male ancestor along your direct, paternal lines. This will help you establish the most-recent-common-male ancestor with another man.
      • mtDNA:
        • Your mtDNA "fingerprint" is determined by testing 2 sections of your mitochondrial DNA and comparing those with the Cambridge Reference Sequence(CRS). You can compare the differences between your results and the CRS to help you determine if you share a common female ancestor with another individual(male or female.) If you and the other individual share enough of the same differences with the CRS, then you know you share a common female ancestor along your direct, maternal lines. This will help you establish the most-recent-common-male ancestor with another person.
  • Deep Ancestral Origin:
    • This is useful for genealogical studies that apply to a timeframe in terms of thousands of years ago. By deep, ancestral origin, we are talking about the geographic location where your DNA originated as a unique branch of the human race. This unique branch is called a haplogroup. The Y-DNA test will reveal your Y-chromosome haplogroup while the mtDNA test will reveal your mitochondrial haplogroup. Your deep, ancestral origin is determined by testing Single Nucleotide-Polymorphisms(SNP) of the DNA. For the Y chromosome, it can also be predicted by comparing the STR count from your "Fingerprint" test to the STR counts of other men, whom you match fairly closely, who have tested their SNPs to determine their ancestral origin. This information will help you more quickly identify people to whom you are related. In either case of the Y chromosome or the mtDNA, if you and another person are not of the same haplogroup, then you know you are not related to them within the last several thousand years. That way you can avoid taking the time of comparing either Y-chromosome STRs or mtDNA CSR differences.

Surnames of members and names of their New Netherland ancestors*

Member Surname Ancestor Name Ancestor Origin Immigration Date/Details
Staats Abraham Staats(Staes) Amsterdam, Holland 1642
Staats Jan Pieterszen Van Husum (a.k.a. Van Huysen) Husum, Denmark (now Germany) Arrived by 1638
Ten Eyck Coenraet Ten Eyck Amsterdam, Holland 1650 - on De Bonte Coe
Van Pelt Teunis Jansen Laenen van Pelt Overpelt, Limburg, Belgium 1663 - on the Roseboom

*This list is not complete and will be periodically updated. Please check back often.
The Holland Society of New York
20 West 44th Street, 5th Floor    New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 758-1675    Fax: (212) 758-2232