Clan Kincaid

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Finding DNA Roots

By Susan Liedtke

Kincaids are like a thicket of trees with branches so interwoven it is hard to determine to which trunk a limb is attached. Science can help untangle the branches. With more than 200 members from North America, the British Isles, Australia and Holland, the Kincaid DNA Project has identified five distinct trees with more than one member and over a dozen seedlings waiting for growth. Since the majority of participants are from the U.S or Canada a certain bias may have helped the largest family in the project obtain dominance. As additional Kincaids are tested the picture will become clearer. Over half the present participants can be placed in 1 of 6 identifiable subfamilies descended from a single, ancient, unknown male. About 20% of participants descend from another, unrelated, unknown male. In some localities, genetically unrelated Kincaids lived side by side. The only way to tell which tree they branch from is through a Y-DNA test.

The test is easy. A simple swab on the inside of the cheek can link a Kincaid descendent to his DNA roots. The Kincaid DNA project uses the Family Tree DNA lab which tests up to 111 spots on the Y-chromosome of Kincaid males. In the last few years it has also added the autosomal Family Finder test available to both males and females. This test looks at the X and the other 22 chromosomes. FTDNA can transfer results from other autosomal tests such as 23 & Me and Ancestry to its data base.

A chart is maintained with every Kincaid Y-DNA project member's results grouped to show those who are most closely related. Another chart with many of the Family Finder participants is similarly grouped. The charts also show the earliest Kincaid ancestor known to each participant.

An introduction to DNA, information about the Kincaid DNA project, suggested research sites and the charts can be found at

The Kincaid surname e-mail list is sponsor of the DNA project. The list is devoted to discussion of Kincaid roots and includes discussions of project results. Instructions on joining the list and access to the list archives are at

More information on DNA testing, the current costs and how to order tests can be found at other autosomal tests such as 23 & Me and Ancestry to its data base.