Jerome DNA Genealogy Project

The goal of the Jerome DNA Genealogy Project is to add to what we already know about our ancestors from genealogy research by using the technology of DNA testing. Most American Jeromes have paper trails leading back to Timothy Jerome who settled in Connecticut around 1710 and married Abigail Rich. Timothy is said to have come from the Isle of Wight, but his parents have not been identified. We hope that DNA testing will help us find Timothy's relatives on the Isle of Wight or elsewhere in Europe, and perhaps identify his direct ancestors.

Background material

The Y Chromosome passes virtually unchanged, from father ... to son ... to grandson ... to great-grandson, etc. That is why it is of interest to genealogists. A male has exactly the same Y DNA as his father ... grandfather ... great-grandfather, etc (or close to the same when counting in mutations - random changes that rarely occur). The DNA tests of men with the same surname can be compared to see if they had a common ancestor or not. If two Jerome males share the same DNA test results, they share a common ancestor somewhere back in time. If the DNA test results are different, the two men can rule out being related.

DNA testing is useful in several circumstances. If a Jerome ancestor from many generations ago had two or more sons, then DNA tests of descendants of each of these sons would help to confirm genealogy research showing that these people are part of the same family and not a different person who happened to have the same last name. If two or more people with the same last name lived in the same place at the same time but there are no records that show if they are the same family, DNA tests of their descendants can be compared to see if they are related or not. Genealogists also face difficulties in proving that people who moved from one location to another or that people with variant spellings of the same surname are related or not. Matching, or mismatching, DNA test results from their descendants may be able to provide the answer.

Since markers on the Y-chromosome are analyzed to determine the DNA test results, the person taking the DNA test must be a male with direct paternal Jerome lineage. Males have one Y chromosome from their father and one X Chromosome from their mother. Females have two X chromosomes - one from their father and one from their mother. Since females do not have Y-DNA, they are unable to be tested themselves; however they may be able to find a father, brother, uncle, or male cousin to take the test on their behalf, someone who is a direct patrilineal descendant of the Jerome ancestor.

Tests for the Jerome Genealogy Project are done for us through a company called Family Tree DNA, one of the leading companies in the field of genetic genealogy. The test is simple, painless, done at home, and does not require blood to be drawn. After receiving the test kit in the mail, the participant swabs cells from the inside of his cheek with a small brush and mails the test tubes and release form back to Family Tree DNA in Houston, Texas. The tests are processed by a lab at the University of Arizona. Family Tree DNA sends results to the participant and also will inform him in the future when someone else has a matching DNA test. The Jerome DNA Genealogy Project will organize matching results into groups of related individuals and post that information in the results table of this web page along with genealogy information submitted by the participants about their ancestors and the places their ancestors lived.

The Jerome DNA project is run by volunteers who are Jerome descendants and interested in genealogy. We do not make any money from the DNA tests or the project but are interested in providing a forum where Jeromes doing DNA testing can compare results to further their genealogy research. If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Harris - the coordinator of the Jerome DNA Genealogy Project at the address listed below.

E-mail List

You may also want to subscribe to the JEROME e-mail list:

Submit a DNA Sample

To order a test kit as part of the Jerome surname group, go to, click on surname projects, find the Jerome surname, and click on the link there, or go directly to the Jerome submission page.

Check the Family Tree DNA site for the complete schedule of tests available and their prices.

Payment can be made either on line or by mailing a check with your invoice. Some families choose to have several family members chip in to cover the cost of the test.

Family Tree DNA also maintains a general fund to help pay for testing. You can earmark your contribution for the JEROME project at this site.

Testing more markers helps in narrowing down the time frame to the most recent common ancestor (see the FAQ at FamilyTreeDNA). The two participants so far have ordered the 67 marker test, and we recommend that if you can afford it. However, if you would prefer to start with 25 or 37 markers and upgrade later, you can do so.

After ordering a test kit, you also need to send a list of your ancestors and the locations where your ancestors lived (not including current generations and living people). To ask questions and to submit data about your ancestors, contact Elizabeth Harris - the coordinator of the Jerome DNA group - at:

Current Status

As of July 29, 2012, three samples have been submitted. The results are summarized on the results page