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Project Goals

This page is about the goals of Taylor Family Genes and the project's progress in achieving them.

 

The Goals

Our goals include:

  1. To aid Taylor families in linking together through DNA results;
  2. To remove questions causing brick walls and information blocks in family histories;
  3. To discover, through DNA, the global origins and evolution of the Taylor surname and Taylor families;
  4. To survey -- provide a resource and reference for -- Taylor DNA; and
  5. To provide future generations with documented backgrounds of their genetic heritage.

 

Linking

To aid Taylor families in linking together through DNA results

Linking is more commonly called "matching and grouping" in project administration. It consists of determining which project members share a common paternal ancestor and grouping them together into Taylor genetic families.

This activity is limited to Y-DNA because it is most closely associated with the surname. We've been able to match up slightly more than half of all members with Y-DNA results.

An advanced aspect of linking is to determine branches of genetic families. See our triangulation page. For a variety of reasons, we've been less successful at this.

Brick Walls

To remove questions causing brick walls and information blocks in family histories; they include:

Migrations

Our ancestors did not always stay put, often moving several times in a generation. Often, they left few clues as to their origins.

Connecting with other of their descendants can provide valuable clues to complete a family history. We have been able to match up about half of project members with genetic cousins.

NPE

One surprisingly common reason for many genealogical brick walls (i.e., dead ends) is "NPE", for "not the parent expected". We define NPE as a "surname discontinuity"; the child does not bear the same surname as the biological father.

This  can happen for many reasons, including adoption and name change. Up to 40% of families have an NPE somewhere in their family trees. (See our NPE page for more.)

These events are often poorly, if at all, documented and seldom discussed. They are often discovered only through DNA testing.

They present an issue which is sometimes sensitive. We have helped many project members find their ways past these brick walls.

Origins and Evolution

To discover, through DNA, the global origins and evolution of the Taylor surname and Taylor families

There is not, and never has been, a single founding patriarch for the Taylor surname. We estimate that there were no less than 200 and likely as many as 2,500 founding Taylor families; they were overwhelmingly English, though a minority of Taylor families originated in Scotland and Ireland..

Origins

The name's source is occupational. Taylor comes from the Old French "le tailleur", a cutter of cloth. More is on this page.

Our results support the finding of multiple origins for the Taylor name; that is, many unrelated families adopted the name when surnames became universal, probably prior to 1400 AD. Y-DNA results fall into the haplogroups common in England and in approximately the same distribution.

Some clues as to the origins can be gleaned from Y-DNA haplogroup statistics:

Evolution

Taylor is the 5th most frequent surname in the United Kingdom, where it is borne by more than 0.5% of the population. It is 13th in the US, with about 0.3%. The name is ubiquitous throughout the British Isles, with these distinctions:

More statistics can be obtained from worldnames.org

The name spread to the New World with emigration from the British Isles where, in English-speaking countries, it maintained a position among the most frequent names in the local populations. The name had also been adopted by some families whose ancient ancestry lies outside the British Isles; they are no less Taylors.

Survey

To survey -- provide a resource and reference for -- Taylor DNA

We are close to attaining a sample size (AKA, "penetration rate") sufficient to start drawing some conclusions about Taylor Y-DNA in the United States.

We are beginning to see which Taylor genetic families are more closely related, and which more distantly. It is a difficult task because (1) of the wide variety in the DNA and (2) we are -- mostly -- looking beyond genealogical time. Fortunately, the FTDNA TiP (Time Predictor) tool allows us to measure the similarity and dissimilarity of any pair of project members.

We have, for example, found a cluster of genetic families near the center of the DNA space in R1b and another cluster of families sharing Irish heritage. More information on the survey can be found on each genetic family's group page.

We still have an inadequate penetration in England to draw any conclusions. We are aggressively addressing this issue.

Documented Backgrounds

pedigree chart

To provide future generations with documented backgrounds of their genetic heritage

This website provides facilities for project members to publish their Taylor family trees in an abbreviated form (focusing on Taylors). About a third of members have done so and their trees can be searched.

We encourage you to submit your Taylor lineage. E-mail it to a project admin team member. We will publish it for you.

We also encourage uploading a complete GEDCOM file to the FTDNA database; about 16% have done so. Log onto your My FTDNA pages with your kit number and password, then click "Manage personal information" under "Profile" and select the "Genealogy" tab.


Revised: 11 Mar 2016