Much as we would love Braunds and Braund descendants to take DNA tests, we do recommend that you read the terms and conditions of your chosen company, including the information about how your sample might be used and make an informed decision about whether you want to go ahead. Please remember that the results might not be what you expect. You may find that your ancestors are not who you thought they were, or that you have a previously unknown very close relative. You might like to read this short article, prepared by Michelle Patient, on what to consider before taking a test, or encouraging someone else to do so.
Our Braund DNA project is administered at FamilyTreeDNA. Please can we ask any Braund or Braund descendant who has taken a DNA test at Ancestry, MyHeritage or 23&Me to transfer their results to FamilyTreeDNA (it is free). Your results remain at the original testing company, this is just a way of increasing your matches. When you have done that, you can request to join the Braund project. This means that we can compare your results to other Braunds and Braund descendants, which is really helpful in deciding which branches are more closely related. The details of how to transfer are here. Once you have done that, you can sign in and go to the Group Projects tab, then Join a Project from the dropdown menu. You can search for Braund and click to join. Thank you.
YDNA passes directly from father to son so, in many parts of the world, is normally inherited with the surname. To understand how the different branches of the Braund family might link together, we have been comparing the YDNA results of male Braunds since 2007. The test looks at a number of different points on the YDNA, known as markers. Braunds have taken tests that give results for either 37, 67 or 111 markers. Tests that include more markers are usually the most useful. The results consist of a list of 37, 67 or 111 numbers. Sets of results are then compared. Results that are identical have a genetic distance of zero and it is likely that the individuals share a Braund ancestor within a few generations. Results that have just one figure that is different (eg a 12 instead of a 13 somewhere in the sequence of numbers) have a genetic distance of one. A genetic distance of two may mean that two markers differ by one (eg two 12s instead of two 13s) or that one marker differs by two (eg a 12 instead of a 14). YDNA mutates over time so, in general, the smaller the genetic distance, the fewer generations you need to go back to find a common ancestor.
Results so far support the belief that all Braunds are related. Some branches of the family are likely to be more closely related to each other than others and to link more recently. We also have results from people who are not called Braund but whose results match Braunds. These are marked SS and Howe on the diagram below. This suggests that they have a Braund somewhere in their direct male line, or that the common ancestor is so far back that it was before surnames were established. In these particular cases, we believe that the connection is more recent.
We have one or more results from members of the following branches of the family:- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, 18 and 22 and these are all similar enough to suggest that they share a common ancestor in the direct male line. This could be within a few generations, or several hundred years ago. An exact match has been found between members of Braund branches 2 and 5, both of which originate in West Putford, Devon. Branches 15 and 18 are very close to each other and also to branches 1, 2, 5 and 6. Branches 3, 6, 9, 11, 12 and 22 are also closely linked to each other, as are branches 1, 4 and 7. For a full explanation of the Braund branches see here.
We have looked at all the results and created an 'average' Braund DNA profile. The diagram below attempts to show how close the different branch results are to the average and to each other. Each dash represents a genetic distance of one. We have had three results that do not match. This is either because they descend through a female Braund or because a Mr Braund was not the father of a Mrs Braund's child at some point. IR and 1H are both from branch 1 but their result are not a similar as we would expect. More branch 1 results might help to explain this.
How you can help
Firstly by adding your results to our project at FamilyTreeDNA, in the way described above. We need more YDNA results. These tests can only be taken by men and for our purposes, the men need to bear the Braund surname and have no suggestion of descent through a female Braund. These tests are only provided by the company Family Tree DNA. We do not have the funds to pay for tests but in certain cases, we may be able to find a sponsor for a test, if you belong to a certain branch. In particular, we need tests from members of the following branches: 14, 17, 21 and 24, although additional tests from other branches are welcome, notably branches 1 and 4, which are producing some unexpected results. Please get in touch if you plan to test as, if you do so through the Braund DNA project, there may be a slight discount.
We cannot use YDNA tests from branch 23, as they descend from a female Braund. We think it is unlikely that there are any direct male line descendants from branches 13, 16, 19, 20 or 25 but we would love to be proved wrong. Do contact us if you can help, or if you are willing to sponsor a test for someone else, perhaps because you are ineligible to test yourself. Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page for details of offers on the price of DNA kits.
Autosomal 'Family Finder' DNA
Some Braunds and Braund descendant have taken autosomal DNA tests at Ancestry, or with one of the other testing companies. If you have tested with Ancestry, please let us know your user name and who you match on your Braund line. We are compiling a list of who has been tested from each branch and their Braund related matches.
Some Braunds have taken Mitochondrial DNA tests. We do have access to some of these results but in general, they are less useful for the purposes of Braund family history.
A Word about Living DNA
Living DNA is one of the smaller DNA companies. Particularly if you have British ancestry, it is know for its detailed analysis of your likely geographical origins, Some Braunds and Braund descendants have tested here. Not surprisingly, Devon and Cornwall feature heavily in their background.