What use is the Y-STR test for family history?
The Y-STR test identifies the number of repeated sequences at key spots in the DNA on the Y chromosome. These areas can be compared between different men and it is possible to estimate whether they shared an ancestor two, five, eleven or more generations back. Such a test can suggest how closely related two men with the same surname may be.
It is therefore a useful test in one-name studies that make use of genetics such as the Sykes study. If you are just starting out in family history, it is probably not worth having a test. In the future, as more DNA samples and sequences are added to databases, it might become possible to join a one-name study and, just through your DNA test results, be able to find out which branch of that particular family tree you fit into.
This is not possible for most surnames yet, but some are moving rapidly towards it.
Find out more about genetic surname studies by following these links:
The Sykes surname genetic study
The Williams surname genetic study
The Harris surname genetic study
The Lewis surname project
The Ball surname project (Y-chromosome testing)
A Smith surname genetic study (one of several)
Another Smith project
The Johnson surname genetic study
The Jones surname genetic study
The Brown surname genetic study
The Davies surname genetic study
Note that some of these sites are allied to companies who charge for DNA testing.