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Due to the interest of several members of the Bush Family Association (BFA) of Westfield, MA in a DNA project focused on the Bush surname, such a project has been initiated. However, participation is not limited to BFA members or to residents of the USA; any person with a Bush lineage (or some variant of this name, such as Busch) from anywhere in the world is welcome and encouraged to participate. Given here is a brief description of the project, as well as the procedures you should follow if you wish to participate. Further information about the DNA techniques as they apply to the current study can be found on Page 2.

Since markers on the Y-chromosome are being analyzed in this study, the DNA sample donor must be a male with a direct male Bush lineage. Only males have the Y-chromosome and it is passed directly, virtually unchanged, from father to son, never to or from females. Thus, females interested in obtaining information about their Bush lineage would need to recruit a male relative (father, brother, uncle, a male cousin, etc., from their direct Bush line) to actually supply the sample for analysis. Sample collection is painless; it merely involves rubbing the inside of the cheek with a foam swab.

Initially, one of the goals of the project will be to define how many different Bush lines there are and which ones can be traced to a common ancestor. Finding relationships among various Bush lines is another of the main goals of this project. For example, is there any relationship between the early Bush immigrants to New England and those to Virginia? More specifically, several of us are interested in determining whether several Bush families that appeared in early New England are related or not. There is the possibility that they are all derived from early immigrant Reynold Bush but up to now proof has been lacking. The DNA results should help to clarify this point. Eventually it is hoped that the early New England and Virginia lines can be linked to Bush lines in other parts of the world.

The company that is doing the DNA analyses in this study is Family Tree DNA. As a member of our Bush surname group, the usual cost for a 12 marker Y-chromosomal DNA test (Y-DNA12) by FTDNA is $99, for a 25 marker test (Y-DNA25) is $124, for a 37 marker test (Y-DNA37) is $149 and for a 67 marker test (Y-DNA67) is $248. In addition, there is a postage charge (larger for foreign addresses). If you initially obtain results for 12, 25 or 37 markers, you can (for a fee) upgrade to more markers at a later date without sending a new test sample since the company stores your original sample for several years. It is strongly recommended that participants in our DNA project choose at least the 37 marker test (Y-DNA37) because the 12 and 25 marker tests are frequently not definitive enough to make distinctions among different lines. However, if cost is not too much of a concern the 67 marker test (Y-DNA67) would be even better.

Each participant is given a personal page on the FTDNA web site where the participant’s test results, and comparisons of the results with others in the FTDNA database, can be viewed when the results become available (typically 4 to 6 weeks after FTDNA receives the test kits back in their facility). Most communication with participants is by email but FTDNA also eventually sends each participant a written report and certificate with that person’s results. From time to time a summary of the results obtained by all members of the group will be posted at this web site. Names of sample donors will not be used in the web reports; the results will be linked only to the earliest known Bush ancestor of each participant. In this way the results become useful since it is by comparing the results of each participant with those of others that meaningful genealogical conclusions can be drawn. That is the reason that we request ancestor information when participants join the project. Results that have already been obtained in the project are given on the DNA Results page and its linked table.

Contact Person and Procedures for Participants to Follow

All communication concerning this DNA project should be directed to Gordon Hamilton who has volunteered to be the project coordinator and to oversee all aspects of the study. He can be reached by email (preferable method), by regular mail at 806 McCormick Ave, State College, PA 16801-6527, or by telephone at 814-238-5695. To initiate the process each potential participant should contact the coordinator to indicate his interest. The coordinator will then send a link so that the the participant can order a test directly as a member of the Bush DNA project and pay for the test by credit card. After the order is placed, within a few days, you should receive from FTDNA a test kit and instructions on how to collect the DNA sample. After collecting the DNA sample you should return the test kit directly to FTDNA.

Eventually each participant should also send to the coordinator a list (or a pedigree chart or Gedcom file) of your direct Bush line back to your earliest known Bush ancestor. This information is needed when the results are posted to the web summary. As indicated in the current results compilation, you will not be identified in web reports, only your earliest known Bush ancestors will be associated with the results.

If you have any questions concerning the project that are not covered above do not hesitate to contact the coordinator.

Last updated July 2016