Revolutionizing the Integration of Genealogy and Y-DNA

Vision – Y-DNA helps validates Clay genealogies, expand Trees and merge Branches.

Values – The Clay Family Society (CFS) is sensitive to personal information and uses genetic proof standards.

Terms & Acronyms

  • TNG – The Next Generation is the CFS’s genealogy database at
  • Tree – A collection of independent sub-Trees (called Branches) in TNG database
  • Branch – Aa independent sub-Tree defined by an Earliest Known Clay Ancestor
  • EKCA – Earliest Known Clay Ancestor – found at the apogee (top) of each Branch in a Tree
  • FTDNAFamilyTreeDNA refers to their company website at https://familytreedna.con where our surname Clay Project Y-DNA test results are displayed in a matrix of Haplogroup Subgroups
  • Southern Clays TreeThe CFS’s TNG Tree with Branches defined by brick wall EKCA’s who were 1st recorded below NJ, PA and OH
  • New England Clays Tree – The CFS’s TNG Tree with Branches defined by brick wall EKCA’s who were 1st recorded above WV, MD and DE
  • England Clays Tree – The CFS’s TNG tree with Branches defined by brick wall EKCA’s who were 1st recorded in England or the UK
  • CCA-TNGCommon Clay Ancestor in TNG is a descendent of an EKCA with two or more pedigrees that meet earlier in time then the EKCA
  • CCA-Y-DNACommon Clay Ancestor in FTDNA surname Clay Group Project is a known or unknown shared ancestor defined by a Haplogroup and expressed by the probable birthday and predicted range of possible birthdays. This date and range can be very distant in time and not very meaningful for tests at levels less than Big-Y. To find your CCA-Y-DNA enter your Haplogroup into the SNPTracker found at under the SNP Tab scroll to the bottom of the page and see it next to your Haplogroup.

Goal – All CFS members are included in the appropriate TNG Tree and Branch

Objective – TNG Branches are labeled with the location (State, Province, Shire, Unknown, etc.) where the EKCA is first recorded. That is followed by a dash “-“ then the EKCA’s Name (year of birth – year deceased – using c. if the exact year isn’t known) Example: Virginia – John Clay(e) (c.1595 – c. 1655). This example Branch would be entered in the Southern Clays Tree because Virginia is below NJ, MD & DE. Again, each Tree may include many Branches and each Branch may include many CFS member pedigrees, of which some may include a CCA. Note in the below graphic that the CCA of CFS-Mbr-3 and CFS-Mbr-4 is Clay2.1.

Objective – TNG Trees and Branches are meaningful to CFS members

  1. Action – Tree managers communicate with CFS members who have not included their pedigree in their Profile to obtain one and enter it in the appropriate Tree and Branch or create a new Branch if a new EKCA is warranted.
  2. Action – Members submit new content directly into TNG and the Tree manager will review, approve and add properly sourced content to the appropriate Branch.
  3. Action – Tree managers curate the Trees to ensure clean Branches with sourced citations.

Goal – All  CFS male members with the surname Clay have tested their Y-DNA with FamilyTreeDNA, joined the surname Clay Group Project (Clay GP) and see their results in a FTDNA Y-DNA results matrix like the one shown below.

Objective – Members understand that each row in the surname Clay GP matrix represents a Haplogroup tree of the tester, where Paternal Adam is at the top of this tree, the tester is the youngest son at the bottom, and his EKCA and/or CCA-Y-DNA ancestor are between the two. The gap between the tester’s EKCA and his CCA-Y-DNA is the work remaining with genealogy and/or atDNA to find a new EKCA and possible merge Branches.

Objective – TNG CFS Branches merge over time as more Y-DNA tests are added and upgraded to Big-Y. As shown in the below surname Clay GP matrix, as Big-Y tests accumulate, three things happen:

  1. The Haplogroup Tree grows new children Haplogroups closer in time to the modern era (hopefully within genealogy and atDNA timeframes)
  2. These new Haplogroups define new CCA-Y-DNA’s with a probable birthday and range of possible birthdays ever more recent in time and 
  3. A point is reached where a new Haplogroup’s CCA birthday and range in conjunction with traditional genealogy and atDNA analysis define a new EKCA.
  1. Action – CFS Clay GP Administrators (GP Admins) label FTDNA Y-DNA matrix Subgroups using the format:
    • Subgroup # followed by TNG 
    • Tree Name followed by
    • – EKCA Location (where he is known or suspected of being 1st recorded) followed by
    • – EKCA Name (d. birth – d. death) if known OR Unknown CCA (year-year) of the Haplogroup’s probable birthday range (year – year) if EKCA is unknown and followed by
    • – Level of Y-DNA tested followed by 
    • – Comments.
    • Example: 1.1 Southern Clays – Virginia – John Clay(e) (c1595 – c.1655) – Big-Ys – an EKCA and Father Haplogroup with probable CCA birthday of 1580 in range of (1400 – 1720).
  2. Action – GP Admins add new Kits and Kit upgrades to the appropriate Subgroup and curate the Matrix Subgroups.
  3. Action – Board members encourage all male surname Clays (CFS Members or not) to have their Y-DNA tested with FTDNA and join the surname Clay GP.
  4. Action – Board members encourage all CFS Members to have their autosomal DNA (atDNA) tested with and then uploaded to FTDNA.

Goal – All FTDNA Y-DNA lower level Kits with strategic value are upgraded to Big-Y.

Objective – CFS communicates with surname Clay GP Y-DNA testers of strategic value to encourage their kit upgrade to Big-Y and furthering the knowledge of Clay.

  1. Action – GP Admins send emails requesting upgrades to Big-Y
  2. Action – GP Admins send emails to those with no strategic value and explain why they might want to remove themselves from the surname Clay GP
  3. Action – GP Admins remove Clay GP Kits of owners who will not communicate via email and have not strategic value
  4. Action – GP Admins assist those who communicate, have strategic value and are willing to upgrade to Big-Y
  5. Action – GP Admins analyze Big-Y test results and TNG Branches to identify new EKCAs
  6. Action – When a new EKCA is identified TNG managers update Tree Branches and GP Admins update Clay GP Subgroups accordingly.

Note – Goals should rarely change, Objectives should be completed within 5 years and Actions should be completed within 1 to 2 years.

Author: ashipmate