DNA (or deoxyribonucleic acid) is inherited from both, paternal and maternal sides of the family. Y chromosome DNA is only passed from father to son. It is not present in females as the Y chromosome is what makes males male. Mothers pass their X chromosome to both their sons and daughters but that can only be used to follow the female line, which in turn makes it less useful useful in following families linked by surname.

This site is interested in trying to connect the various WRIGHT families of East Anglia to see which, and how many are related. They will fall into many subclades are divisions of haplogroups. Haplogroups are the various designations that characterise genetic differences that humankind has acquired since first originating in Africa (it is believed) before spreading across the globe. As these populations expanded and moved, genetic differences began to establish themselves, and though not everything is clear, it has been possible to establish the likely origins of many of the haplogroups. now found. Essentially though, this explains why Y-DNA is the important factor in determining relationships between family surname groups and hence this website being based on surname.

DNA is measured in STRs (Short Tandem Repeat) or SNPs (single nucleotide-polymorphism) which track mutations, which is how relatedness can be measured. The fewer the differences between people sharing these mutations, the closer their relatedness. STRs are able to measure the relatedness within the genealogical timeframe (approximately since the beginning of parish registers). SNPs measure a connection deeper in the past and are used for determining the exact haplogroup someone is from.

There is also autosomal DNA.This is inherited from all ancestors but that from any particular ancestor diminishes as it is passed down through the generations. It is useful for trying to find cousins of either sex who may share DNA but is generally only useful to a distance of about 5 to 6 generations, as the earlier ancestors have had their DNA too diluted (by around 50%) with each succeeding generation. It may prove to be useful in establishing relationships between some WRIGHT families but it is outside the scope of this site. Autosomal testing can be done by people of either sex.

As this is a complex subject (and I am by no means an expert!) rather than detail more beyond this I have put links to sites that can explain more about this topic, in general and in particular.

Finally, as fixed surnames arose only relatively recently, the WRIGHTs of East Anglia will come from many haplogroups and subcladesand so not all will be related to others except several thousand years back. It is hoped to demonstrate though, that many are related.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to undertake testing or discuss it in general, please get in touch via the "Contact Us" link on the home page.


The testing process is simple and painless. A kit is sent to your address. This consists of two vials containing a preservative liquid, and two spatulas. The spatulas are shaped like small toothbrushes. There is one for each cheek. Being careful not to contaminate the serrated end of the "brush", it is rubbed on the inside of a cheek for a short time. Once used, the end of the brush is pressed off the stem and into a vial, and the top then screwed onto the vial. The second brush is utilised in the same way, but on the other cheek.The two vials are then placed in the envelope to be posted back to the laboratory in the U.S.A. Postage has to be paid if outside of the States. Full instructions are provided with each kit.

The testing process can take several weeks, but notification takes place at each stage; when the package is sent out, and when it is received. On receipt it is batched and an estimated time given for results to come through. This date is only a rough guide. Sometimes it takes longer to produce the results but other times it can be completed earlier. My experience jhas been that it is as often early as late.


International Society for Genetic Genealogy

FTDNA East Anglia Group


Harvard Magazine


David Faux about subclade U152

Electric Scotland

History Files


Family Tree DNA

The Big Tree


The WRIGHT DNA Project