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  • Female participation in DNA Surname Projects

    Should DNA Surname Project group administrators accept membership of females doing mtDNA tests? If a female has taken an mtDNA test, what possible benefit might she get from joining and getting listed in the GAP of a surname project?

  • #2
    It's up to each administrator, but as a female myself, I personally see no benefit in joining a surname project, at least as far as my own mtDNA. I guess if I was interested in receiving project updates for a particular surname that I'm interested in, even if I don't have a representative male family member in the project, then I might consider joining, but it wouldn't have anything to do with my own mtDNA results.

    Elise

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    • #3
      It's a win win deal

      I think a better question would be why wouldn't a group administrator let a woman into a surname project.

      I have several women in my surname projects. Some are there because they started out ordering a Y-DNA kit for a male relative with that surname. Some have joined because that surname is their maiden name.

      Granted, a surname doesn't have the genetic meaning for a woman that it has for a man but what do you want them to do? If they place their HVR1 order through a group they save $30. They shouldn't join a Haplogroup project until they have been tested because they don't know their Haplogroup.

      If I won't let a woman join I don't gain anything but I can miss out on a lot. If I do let her join and later she finds a male relative from her paternal line maybe she'll try to get him to join. Maybe she'll help recruit other members. Maybe she'll donate to the general fund. To me it's a win win deal.

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      • #4
        Jim
        That's a very open-minded way of thinking Thanks! I don't understand
        how closing the door on someone without knowing if they have "anything
        to bring to the party" so to speak is productive?? At the risk of sounding
        liking a spoiled child, that thought process is lame.

        Trish~HapGroup B

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        • #5
          It's my experience that women are the active ones when it comes to mapping out family trees. My own surname project admin is a woman because it's her maiden name, and she oversees a number of other projects, too. She is active in ISOGG, the Guild of One Name Studies and local historical societies.

          She is well versed on the technology and has given me an extraordinary amount of help and guidance.

          Shutting out women from surname projects would not only be sexist but damn stupid as well.
          Last edited by gtc; 29 October 2009, 09:14 PM.

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          • #6
            Women in Surname Projects....

            I'm not a misogynist. (I also have a problem with having men in surname projects if they have only had an mtDNA test.) My problem with having women in a surname project is that it makes the project look bigger and better, but just doesn't contribute anything toward the project's database or toward meeting the project's objectives. If the Blfksplk Surname Project project has 50 men and 50 women, and the Clfksprk Surname Project has 100 men and no women, which one of the two surname projects is more likely attract new members and find matches? Wouldn't it make more sense to just put all the females in one big 'surname' project?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wolong View Post
              I'm not a misogynist. (I also have a problem with having men in surname projects if they have only had an mtDNA test.) My problem with having women in a surname project is that it makes the project look bigger and better, but just doesn't contribute anything toward the project's database or toward meeting the project's objectives. If the Blfksplk Surname Project project has 50 men and 50 women, and the Clfksprk Surname Project has 100 men and no women, which one of the two surname projects is more likely attract new members and find matches? Wouldn't it make more sense to just put all the females in one big 'surname' project?
              I don't understand your point here because when you say Blfksplk and Clfksprk you seem to be talking about two different surname projects.

              I am familiar with the issue of too many surname projects associated with a given surname, usually resulting in one with the majority of members and the others with a smattering of members -- often with the membership of the smaller ones also being members of the large one -- but I don't see how that situation necessarily is the fault of female members.

              When it comes to numbers, the project admin who works hardest in recruiting members, keeping members apprised of what's happening, and who answers emails, will usually get the most members. Oftentimes, the smaller projects are commenced on a whim and the owner doesn't even keep the email address current.

              Again, in my experience, the womenfolk are the ones who have the abiding interest in their family genealogy and they urge the otherwise uninterested men to get tested and ultimately with these things that's what matters if we are to get significant numbers of samples recorded in the surname databases.

              It shouldn't matter a fig if the person who creates a Smith record is a female or a male, as long as the Y haplotype is faithfully recorded.

              Putting all women in one big surname project doesn't make any sense to me. After all, obviously, a surname project is named for the surname in question.

              Edit: unless you mean, say, 2 projects for Smith: Smith-Male and Smith-Female? If so, I'm not sure how that would work either.

              A far bigger issue for me is the bogus/guessed-at origins stated in the haplotype records of all projects.
              Last edited by gtc; 30 October 2009, 08:21 AM.

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              • #8
                Agreed!

                I think your statement "It shouldn't matter a fig if the person who creates a Smith record is a female or a male, as long as the Y haplotype is faithfully recorded" makes my point! Each member of a surname project should contribute an associated Y-haplotype to the project.

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                • #9
                  I edited my reply, possibly at the same time as you were responding.

                  Are you perhaps suggesting that there be two different projects for each given surname, as per my edit?

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                  • #10
                    Clarification

                    I was just trying to illustrate how having mtDNA haplotypes in a surname project database contributes little if anything to the project. If you consider two surname projects of equal size, with one mostly or all female (mtDNA tests) and the other all male (Y-DNA), the Y-DNA project is more likely to achieve the typical objectives of a surname project. I have no problem with a female being the contact person, but the person being sampled should be a male. Agree?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wolong View Post
                      I was just trying to illustrate how having mtDNA haplotypes in a surname project database contributes little if anything to the project. If you consider two surname projects of equal size, with one mostly or all female (mtDNA tests) and the other all male (Y-DNA), the Y-DNA project is more likely to achieve the typical objectives of a surname project. I have no problem with a female being the contact person, but the person being sampled should be a male. Agree?
                      Of course, if it's a surname project, as Y DNA is required for patrilineal research.

                      I have not come across a surname project where mtDNA and Y DNA are in the same database or, rather, Excel table, as they are mutually exclusive data sets.

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                      • #12
                        There are a lot of surname projects with surnames that are in my family tree. My experience is that they (men) don't want females in their project. Example: I by chance came across someone online who was trying to track down and trace people with his surname while I was trying to find more info on my ancestor whose maiden name was his surname. His known family history was dead-ended in Tennessee and post-Civil War. I told him I was interested in that line too, that I also have the name in my tree. He was happy to tell me about his project. But I got total silence once he knew I was female. I think his line was a newer branch from my older line. Mine was from North Carolina and about a hundred years before his (pre-Civil War). And I later found out that my female ancestor of that surname (I didn't know who her parents were) was the daughter of cousins and found tons more information. Both of her parents had lots of male siblings with the same surname as that man at a dead -end in Tennessee.
                        Last edited by rainbow; 30 October 2009, 03:51 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with Jim.
                          I have a few women with mtDNA results join the Y DNA surname projects I admin, presumably because they had that surname in their mt line, but some are not.
                          I let them join, explain that as a yDNA project their mtDNA results will not have any major bearing on the project results. Their paper trail on that line may be of help to someone in the group though. I suggest also joining a geographical and haplogroup project that will be beneficial to them.

                          I also encourage them that if they have a male relative of the surname project line, we would be very happy to have them in the yDNA project.

                          Of course if two family lines are descended from the same female and want to confirm that by mtDNA then I cant see why they shouldnt be in the project, if the mt ancestor had the surname of the project.

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                          • #14
                            If you have women wanting to join your projects and you don't want them please send them to me. I'll be happy to help them.

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