A DNA testing project for MARSH families has been initiated under the auspices of the Family Tree DNA organization. This project will provide a means to determine if and how various MARSH families are connected. I have signed on for the project and my results can be viewed at: My Results From there I shall be linking to additional pages of results as I complete them.
Bill Marsh, October 2003. Revision in progress September 2005.

Persons interested in participating in this project should contact John Marsh, the project administrator, at :

John has opened up a Web site which can be accessed at:
This site contains a lot of Marsh information of general interest to all Marsh researchers and is well worth a visit, even if you are not interested in DNA testing.

Please note that other Marsh DNA projects may exist or be initiated within other organizations such as Relative Genetics.

Project Objectives

The Y chromosome is passed from father to son unchanged, except for a mutation about every 500 generations. However, mutations can occur at any time and there may be more than one or none at all within any given 500-year period.  Testing the Y chromosome provides a genetic fingerprint (haplotype) consisting of values for 12 or more markers (or loci).  By comparing this fingerprint to that of other males with a given surname, it can be determined if the persons are related - the greater the number of markers analysed, the greater the accuracy. The results of a surname project make it possible to:


Persons wishing to commit to this project should contact the project administrator, John Marsh. They will then be linked to the project and will be instructed about ordering their testing kits and how results will be returned.

A participant can opt for a test based on 12 or more markers. Generally, 12 markers are sufficient to determine whether two people are related or not.

The value of a test using more markers occurs when two participants are related based on the 12-marker test.  When participants match in the 12-marker test, the test can be upgraded to additional markers for an additional fee.  The objective of the upgrade is to reduce the time frame of the common ancestor between the matching participants.  The common ancestor is also referred to as the Most Recent Common Ancestor, or MRCA.  Two individuals are considered related for the 12-marker test if they match 12 of 12 markers or 11 of 12 markers, and sometimes with 10 of 12 markers.  In the first two situations, an upgrade is recommended.

While participants may initially opt for the 12-marker test, from my observations and experiences it is advisable to opt for the most markers one can afford . In addition to the more detailed results obtainable it is the most economical route.

Cost of Participation

 As a Family Tree DNA Surname Project participant special pricing is applicable.  Credit cards are accepted with a Verisign secure on-line order system. As interest in DNA testing increases, competion between different organizations increases and prices are subject to change; you should check out what each DNA Analysis organization has to offer and the costs. Some organizations that provide DNA testing are:

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)

Relative Genetics

Oxford Ancestors

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF)

Cost a Problem?

My suggestion is that a number of persons (male or female) contribute so that one male family member with the surname MARSH can participate. All will benefit from the results.

SMGF do not charge for an analysis. However, they do not advise participants of their results. They do post the results to their database with a partial pedigree as provided by the donor - the pedigree does not include living persons. From this pedigree it is possible to learn one's results.


Each organization has strict privacy regulations. Your name will not be passed on to any other person without your permission.

What Happens to your Results?

When a facility finalizes the results, usually takes a few weeks, the donor is notified and may be provided with a certificate. The results are then entered into a database. In the case of FTDNA, if the donor results are matched with any others in the database the donor is notified.

Once you receive your results you can then enter them to search for matches in a number of databases. Some databases available are as follows:

SMGF database -

Y-Base hosted by HeritageDNA -

Y-Search hosted by Family Tree DNA -

Y-STR Database hosted by Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin - http:///

Information Sources

Further reading is recommended. Information about DNA as applied to family research can be found at the Web sites of all organizations offering DNA analysis; listed below are the e-mail addresses for Frequently Asked Questions of some organizations. (Family Tree DNA- FAQs)   (DNA Heritage- FAQs)   (Dr Mark Jopling, Leicester University)

Additional information can been found at the following and many other Web sites.

Do You Need Help with Your Family Research in Kent?

A recommended researcher who works for reasonable fees is:

Mr Vincent Marsh
4 Fenton Court,
Kent CT14 9WE