FAQ

Maternal Ancestry

What do I receive with the MatriLine service?

  • Details of your mitochondrial DNA sequence
  • A full explanation of the scientific procedures that we used.
  • A premium quality “World Clans” certificate, identifying where your ancestral mother fits into the Maternal Clans of the World.
  • A "Golden Thread" certificate showing the evolutionary relations of your clan to others across the world.
  • If you are descended from one of the “Seven Daughters of Eve”, you will receive an additional certificate showing your detailed position within the clan.
  • A copy of MatriMap in full colour.
  • Information about your ancestral clan mother and an insight into her life and times.
  • Free access to our on-line MatriLine database with unlimited searches.

What is MatriMap?

MatriMap is a high-quality, full-colour, A4-sized map of the world illustrating the routes by which the matrilineal clans migrated out of Africa and colonised Eurasia, Oceania and the Americas. 

What is matrilineal inheritance.

Matrilineal inheritance, which is the basis for our MatriLine service, follows the special mother-child line through the genealogy. It is traced by mitochondrial DNA (mDNA for short) which both males and females inherit, although only females pass on to their children. Thus we all get our mDNA from our mother, who got it from her mother, who got it from hers and so on back into the deep past. 

What is MatriLine?

Our MatriLine service traces the link between you and your clan mother. If your matrilineal roots are in Europe, then there is a 97% chance that you will be related to one of the seven clan mothers described in Professor Sykes’ book The Seven Daughters of Eve. If your roots lie elsewhere, we identify your clan mother from your DNA profile. There are currently thirty-six identified and named clan mothers who, between them, cover the whole of humanity. Not only will we establish your ancient mother and her clan, we will also provide you with information about how and when the founder of your clan, your clan mother, lived.

Paternal Ancestry

What is Y-Clan?

Our Y-Clan service analyses your Y-chromosome DNA (yDNA) to establish the link between you and your ancient paternal clan. There are currently eighteen identified and named clans that cover the whole of humanity. Our analysis is performed using twenty-six carefully selected independent genetic markers along the Y-chromosome, more than enough for any genealogical project.

We assign your Y-chromosome to one of the paternal clans. Research, originally from Professor Sykes’ laboratory but now replicated by many others, has shown that these Y-Clan signatures are often co-inherited with surnames. This means, for instance, that your Y-Clan signature can be used to define the different branches in a family tree adding previously inaccessible genetic information to a genealogical research project. It can also quickly confirm (or refute) a common origin to men with the same surname.

What do I receive with the Y-Clan service?

  • A 26-digit Y-Clan signature of your Y-chromosome.
  • A full explanation of the scientific procedures that we used.
  • A premium quality “Paternal Clans” certificate, identifying your ancient paternal clan.
  • Information about your ancient paternal clan and its distribution around the world.
  • Detailed instructions regarding the use of your Y-Clan signature for genealogical research.
  • Free access to our on-line Y-Clan database with unlimited searches.
  • A free copy of PatriMap

What is patrilineal inheritance?

Patrilineal inheritance follows the line in a genealogy from father to son. It is traced by the Y-chromosome which, except in rare circumstances, is only present in men. Because in many societies this line also follows the inheritance of surnames, it is a favourite of genealogists.

Non-paternity and non maternity

Non-paternity describes the circumstance when a person's biological and genealogical father differ.The discordance can be for a number of reasons including adoption, name changes or illegitimacy. In  a study of Yorkshire families Prof Sykes found a historical rate of non-paternity of around 1.5% though rates are very variable..

Non-maternity is much rarer. After all, a mother must be present at the birth of her child. Most instances of non-maternity are thought to be due to accidental or deliberate substitution.

Tribes of Britain

What is the ‘Tribes of Britain’ analysis ?

If your patrilineal ancestors came from the England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland then, by using your Y-Clan signature, we can determine to which of the ancient peoples your ancestor most likely belonged. Was your ancestor one of the original Celtic inhabitants or was he an Anglo-Saxon or a Viking invader who conquered and settled in these islands? To discover this we compare your Y-chromosome signature to research results from 10,000 volunteers from all over Britain and Ireland. This study forms the basis for Professor Sykes’ 2006 book Blood of the Isles (published in the US as Saxons, Vikings & Celts.

This service works from your Y-Clan results so you must have this analysis. 

General

How do I order an analysis ?

Simply complete the online checkout as indicated and pay by credit or debit card. This is by far the best way to order. We do still accept cheques posted to Oxford Ancestors Ltd, PO Box 841, Oxford OX1 9LJ, UK accompanied by an Order Form which you can download and print from here.

Can I order for a friend?

Our tests make popular gifts and you may order any of our DNA services for someone else. We will either ship the sampling kit to you or to another address you indicate on your order. Please be sure to complete separate orders for each sample donor.

How is the DNA sample taken?

When payment for your order has been processed, you will be sent a DNA sampling kit. This contains two sterile swabs with which you take the sample for analysis. It is completely painless and is done by rubbing the swab gently ten times on the cheek inside your mouth. You return the swab in the packet, seal it and return it to us in the addressed envelope. At the same time you complete and sign a donor consent form the return the sample to our laboratory.

Where is the DNA analysis performed?

All our DNA analyses are carried out at our laboratory in Oxford.

How long does the analysis take?

Generally we expect to ship your results to you 4-6 weeks after your DNA sample arrives at the lab. 

Will my results be confidential?

We have always regarded DNA as special and worthy of great respect. It is one of your most intimate possessions and has been on a very a long journey to get here. Your DNA results are completely confidential to you until you decide otherwise.

We do operate anonymous research customer and databases to expand our knowledge but they hold no identifying fields other than the sample number.

Is the DNA stored?

No. It is destroyed as soon as the analysis is complete.

Order Form

Mail Order (Ordering offline by post)

Please click here to download the order form, complete and return to us, thank you.