Olmste(a)d DNA Surname Project at FTDNA
The Olmstead/Olmsted/Omsted surname Study group began in April 2003, in anticipation of the August 2003 Olmste(a)d Family Association Reunion in Fredericton, New Brunswick, as part of the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) worldwide study. The initial goal of the project was to determine if the Jabez Olmsted (c./1690, Ware, MA) line is related to the Olmste(a)ds who arrived at Boston in 1632 aboard the Lyon. The project has been expanded to help all Olmste(a)ds determine their relationship to a specific line.
As of February 2023, there are 104 individuals that have joined the project, representing six separate groups as defined by their unique 12 marker strings. Participants are being encouraged to step up their tests to the 37 marker level to further define family relationships. Of the 58 with Y-DNA tests in the study, 45 have tested to the 37 market level or higher. Occasionally FTDNA offers special pricing for stepping up to a higher level; participants receive email notifications directly from FTDNA.
Currently, there are 18 members of the 1632 James and Richard lines.
One of the surprises from the DNA project is that two Jabez groups have emerged, one with 17 members and the other with 6. All 23 members all believed they were descendants of Jabez of Ware. The explanation maybe a “casual adoption” where a woman with young children marries an Olmsted who “adopts” the children and they loose the name that belongs to the biological father. A more complete discussion will be found on our Jabez Olmsted page.
The Stephen Olmstead line of Pennsylvania has three members, all with known lineage. They are quite distant genetically from any of the New England Olmsteads (James, Richard, or Jabez lines); likewise the are apparently not related to any of the Umste(a)d lines from southern Pennsylvania.
Two additional groups are the descendants of two Amstultz brothers who immigrated from Switzerland to Tuscarawas County, Ohio in 1845 and families from Scandinavian countries, who are primarily in Wisconsin and Minnesota, whose names were changed because of phonic similarities to Olmstead.
There are others who have joined the Olmste(a)d DNA group who do not fit into one of the above groups and they do not match each other.
You can view the project test results page at FTDNA Olmste(a)d Y-DNA chart
The administrator of the Olmste(a)d DNA Surname Project is Walt Steesy; co-administrators are Bob Olmstead and Sue Omsted.
To learn more about the worldwide DNA surname project by Family Tree DNA of Houston, TX, check out their site where you can access more than 11,500 surname projects correlating the results of over two million samples submitted, representing over 538,000 specific surnames, since its inception in 2000. In the past twenty-two years DNA testing for genealogical purposes has grown from “almost unknown” to today when it is a fast growing, widely accepted tool for genealogists. Family Tree DNA is a very reputable firm with staff scientists and strong academic links. They have the largest comparative Y-DNA database which allows privacy protection for participants but allowing them to elect to share their email address with others that have a close degree of matching with 12, 25, 37, or more markers.
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