SGS has completed its first DNA Test Project. Its objective was to help us understand the relationship between Robert Seeley (1602-1667) and Obadiah Seeley of Stamford, CT who died in 1657.
This project has two main goals. The first is to clearly establish the 37-marker Y-chromosome DNA profiles for the various Seeley immigrants (all spellings, but for convenience I’ll use Seeley here), including Robert/Nathaniel, Obadiah, and the others, for example the Isle of Shoals Seeley/Cilley family.
The second goal of the project is to help researchers to either establish their connection to one of the immigrants or to confirm their conventional genealogical research using DNA data. Many researchers do not have their Seeley lineages confirmed back to the immigrant. For those people, DNA can clearly show if they are descended from either Nathaniel or Obadiah. All but one of the Seeleys tested to date have been found to be descendants of Obadiah or Nathaniel.
When we have obtained enough DNA data from individuals with known lineages, we may be able to use the DNA data to identify the first several generations down from an immigrant using a person’s DNA profile. Mutations (random changes in the DNA profile between generations), happen rarely, but often enough to be found during the number of generations between the immigrants and the living generations. These changes are passed down from father to son. When enough data is collected, it should be possible to say something like “you are most likely on the Obadiah-Jonas line because you have a score of 16 at DYS456” (just a hypothetical example, not clearly shown yet).
How you can help (or be helped)
We now have the 37-marker “Nathaniel Profile” and “Obadiah Profile” clearly established. We still need to test additional Seeley-surnamed males to help establish the DNA profile for lines descended from immigrants other than Nathaniel or Obadiah.
If you fall into any of these categories, please consider participating in the DNA project:
- Have a well documented lineage back to Nathaniel or Obadiah
- Have a well documented lineage back to any other Seeley immigrant
- Want to confirm your research using DNA
- Don’t know the identity of your Seeley immigrant ancestor
To be tested, you need to either be a Seeley-surnamed male, or find a living Seeley-surnamed male on your line to test. At the present, participants will need to pay for the cost of their own testing. In the near future, some funding may be available from the Society to help with the cost of testing.
The identity of the test subjects will be kept strictly confidential. Participants will only be identified by the first few generations of their Seeley lineage. Participants who are close matches with other participants can be put in contact with each other to share genealogical information if both parties agree to it.