Revolutionizing the Integration of Genealogy and Y-DNA

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

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

Terms & Acronyms

  • Terminal Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (Terminal SNP) – an alphanumeric also called Haplogroup that specifies the last SNP of a Y-DNA tester’s Haplotree. This Haplogroup is found in the FTDNA Group Project matrix at each tester’s row under the Haplogroup column. The entire Haplotree can be seen at under the SNP Tab when the testers Haplogroup is entered in the search field. Each SNP in a Haplotree elucidates the probable birth day (BD) and range of possible BDs the actual Clay ancestor identified by the people holding each SNP descend from. When CCA-G matches Terminal SNP that Terminal SNP identifies an actual Clay ancestor by name.
  • TNG – The Next Generation is the CFS’s genealogy database (DB) found at and contains trees or pedigrees provided by CFS members based on their traditional genealogy and atDNA research – like that found at
  • Tree – A collection of independent sub-Trees (called Branches) stored in TNG and organized by the geographic region where each sub-Tree’s EKCA is 1st recorded
  • Branch – An independent sub-Tree within a Tree or geographical region in TNG and defined by its EKCA
  • EKCA – Earliest Known Clay Ancestor – based on genealogy research and found at the apogee (top) of each Branch or sub-Tree
  • FTDNAFamilyTreeDNA refers to that company’s website at where our surname Clay Y-DNA Group Project test results are displayed in a matrix organized by terminal SNP Subgroups 
  • Southern Clays Tree – The CFS’s TNG Tree containing Branches (sub-Trees) defined by brick wall EKCA’s 1st recorded in the colonies or United States below NJ, PA and OH
  • New England Clays Tree – The CFS’s TNG Tree containing Branches (sub-Trees) defined by brick wall EKCA’s 1st recorded in the colonies or United States above WV, MD and DE
  • England Clays Tree – The CFS’s TNG Tree containing Branches (sub-Trees) defined by brick wall EKCA’s 1st recorded in England or the UK
  • Germany Clay Trees – The CFS’s TNG Tree containing Branches (sub-Trees) defined by brick wall EKCA’s 1st recorded in Germany
  • CCA-TNG – a Common Clay Ancestor of Genealogy (Found in TNG DB) sometimes called the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) in genealogy. The 1st common or shared ancestor between any two or more people.
  • CCA-Y-DNA – a Common Clay Ancestor in Y-DNA that is NOT a Terminal SNP or Haplogroup the most recent common (shared) Haplotree SNP that two or more testers share somewhere between their Adam SNP and their Terminal SNP. This last common SNP is also expressed by the probable birthday (BD) of their distant ancestor and his possible range of BDs. This date and range can be very distant in history and not very meaningful for testing levels less than Big-Y. To find your CCA-Y with another tester enter your and their terminal SNP into the SNPTracker found at under the SNP Tab. Then compare the two Haplotrees to see where commonality of the SNPs change. The last  or most recent common SNP defines the CCA-Y. 

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 John Clay(e) is 1st recorded in Virginia and Virginia is below NJ, MD & DE. Again, each Tree may include many Branches or sub-Trees and each Branch may include many CFS member pedigrees, of which some may include a CCA-G. Note 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 enter member pedigrees (trees) provided during Registration into TNG.
  2. Action – Tree managers communicate with CFS members who have not provided their pedigree to obtain one and enter it in the appropriate TNG Tree and Branch (or create a new Branch if a new EKCA is discovered).
  3. Action – Members register for a TNG account and submit new content for their Branch directly into TNG for the appropriate Tree manager’s review, approve and addition (if the content is true and properly sourced).
  4. Action – Tree managers curate the Trees to ensure clean Branches with source citations.

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

Objective – Members understand that each row in the surname Clay GP matrix represents a terminal SNP of the Haplogroup tree of the tester, where Paternal Adam is at the top of this Haplotree, the tester is the youngest son at the bottom, and his EKCA, CCA-G and CCA-Y ancestor are somewhere between those two. The gap between the tester’s CCA-G and his CCA-Y is the work remaining with Y-DNA upgrades, genealogy and atDNA to close that gap and merge the two (as shown in the below diagram Subgroup 1.1. for John Clay(e).

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-Ys with a probable birthday and range of possible birthdays ever more recent in time, closer in time to CCA-Gs and 
  3. A point is reached where a new CCA-Ys terminal SNP birthday and range in conjunction with traditional genealogy and atDNA analysis define a real ancestor with CCA-G equal to the CCA-Y and leads to the merging Branches or sub-Trees.
  1. Action – CFS Clay GP Administrators (GP Admins) label FTDNA Y-DNA matrix Subgroups using the format:
    • Subgroup # followed by
    • TNG Tree Name (if known) 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 EKCA Unknown followed by
    • – CCA-G Location if known followed by
    • – CCA-G Name if known (d. birth – d. death)
    • – Level of Y-DNA tested (i.e. Big-Y, Y-111, Y-67, Y-37, Not Big-Y followed by
    • – Comments.
    • Example: 1.1b. Southern Clays – Virginia – EKCA John Clay(e) – CCA-G Mitchell Clay (1735-1811) – Big-Ys – CCA-Y BD 1580 (1400-1720) & Terminal SP BD of 1730 in range (1510-1880) – Son of 1.1 & 1.1a.
  2. Action – Clay 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, join the CFS and to join the FTDNA Clay GP.
  4. Action – Board members encourage all CFS Members to have their autosomal DNA (atDNA) tested with, expand their Clay line and submit new content in TNG.

Goal – All FTDNA Y-DNA test kits lower than Big-Y with strategic value are upgraded to Big-Y.

Objective – Clay GP Admins communicates with Y-DNA testers of strategic value and encourage them to upgrade their Y-DNA test to Big-Y to further 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 and how 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 no strategic value to the furtherance of Clay research
  4. Action – GP Admins assist those Y-DNA testers who communicate, have strategic value and are willing to upgrade to Big-Y
  5. Action – GP Admins analyze Big-Y test results and the tester’s EKCA along with TNG Branches to identify new EKCAs
  6. Action – When a new EKCA is identified the relevant TNG manager adds the new TNG Tree Branch and the relevant GP Admin adds or updates the appropriate Clay GP Subgroup label  accordingly.

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