“Y” Project Members
This is a male specific test. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the paternal line. It includes a balanced panel of twelve Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat, STR, markers. Additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related. It is used to affirm or disprove a genealogical connection on the direct paternal line. FtDna
Excerpt from Genetic Genealogy on Wikipedia
The investigation of surnames in genetics can be said to go back to George Darwin, a son of Charles Darwin. In 1875, George Darwin used surnames to estimate the frequency of first-cousin marriages and calculated the expected incidence of marriage between people of the same surname (isonymy). He arrived at a figure between 2.25% and 4.5% for cousin-marriage in the population of Great Britain, with the upper classes being on the high end and the general rural population on the low end. (His parents, Charles Darwin and Emma Wedgwood, were first cousins.) This simple study was innovative for its era. The next stimulus toward using genetics to study family history had to wait until the 1990s, when certain locations on the Y chromosome were identified as being useful for tracing male-to-male inheritance…
…In April of 2000, Family Tree DNA began offering the first genetic genealogy tests to the public. This offering marked the first time that a personal theory on the Y chromosome could be tested outside of an academic study. Additionally, Sykes’ concept of a surname study, which by this time had been adopted by several other academic researchers outside of Oxford, was expanded into online Surname Projects (an early form of social network) and the effort helped spread knowledge gained through testing to interested genealogists worldwide.