Rather than linking all Jarmans (and variants) back to a single common ancestor, our surname appears to have multiple origins. Although we share the same surname we do not seem to all share the same common ancestor. Modern surname distribution studies reveal that no single concentration of Jarman, and variants, can be found in Great Britain; the name is well represented across England and in Wales. Add to this the migrations of our ancestors both within Britain and across the seas. In colonial America, no less than five disconnected Jarman families are found in Maryland and Virginia. More are found in Pennsylvania. It is little wonder most of us have lost or will soon lose the traditional paper trail that we need to lead us to our roots.
Happily, we have within each of us a biological record that scientists are learning to read - our own DNA. Genetic genealogy can already verify relationships between individuals. For example, if two men sharing the same last name believe that they are related (i.e. they have a common ancestor from whom they inherited their last name), but no written record proves this relationship, we can verify this possibility by collecting a sample of DNA from both and looking for common markers on the Y-chromosome. Fathers pass their Y-chromosomes, or “DNA fingerprints,” down to their sons with little—if any—variation, from generation to generation. And so, men with identical, or near identical DNA fingerprints (some minor variation can occur), are genetically proven to descend from a common male ancestor.
Therefore, men with the Jarman surname, or one of its several variants, are invited to participate in our own DNA testing project. If you are female, perhaps you have a father, a brother, a brother of the father, or a male first cousin from the father's brother, who will provide his DNA. Three of our samples are sponsered by ladies who have enlisted the cooperation of a male relative. Ideally, by collecting the DNA of a large sample of Jarmans, Germans, etc. we will discover several of these fingerprints and also an introduction to cousins and clues to lead us back to the paper trails we've lost. Better explanations of the science of Y-Chromosome DNA testing as well as links to other surname studies are available at "Chris Pomeroy's DNA Portal". The most recent updates for our Jarman / German DNA Project are available on our results page.
The objective of the Jarman / German DNA Project is to match up individuals or families who share a common male ancestor of the Jarman, or variant, spelling, in North America, Australia, England, Wales, and elsewhere. But since Jarman has multiple origins, the proving of the negative can also be beneficial as it helps us isolate and identify the DNA fingerprints of our particular ancestor, and it directs us away from paths that will only waste our resources. In 1996, I believed I had some very promising clues connecting my ancestors to a family that lived near Exeter so I paid an English researcher several £ to pursue what proved a false lead. This DNA project has confirmed that outcome. I would not have spent my money on that fruitless research if only our DNA evidence had been available nine years ago!
Y-chromosome testing involves the painless use of a swab to collect a small amount of cells containing DNA from inside a person's cheek. No needles! The testing laboratory will be FamilyTreeDNA.com of Houston, Texas. They will analyze 12 or 25 or 37 different markers on our Y-chromosome. There is a risk DNA testing can expose "non paternity" events such as adoptions and infidelity, therefore multiple control samples are run on each gel, by computer and manually, to assure that the system is functioning properly.
The price for this service from Family Tree DNA is:
$103 (US) per sample - 12 marker test
$128 (US) per sample - 25 marker test
$153 (US) per sample - 37 marker test
$252 (US) per sample - 67 marker test.
[prices include FTDNA postage charges]
To participate, please send a request form (which can be downloaded from this site) and a descendant chart to the Jarman / German DNA Project co-ordinator. The descendant chart should begin with your oldest known Jarman / German ancestor and include his name, date and place of birth, first known residence, and date and place of death. Repeat this information for each generation from him down to you. Please use estimated birth dates when actual dates are unknown. The place information is extremely important; if known, please do not leave this information off your descendant chart.
After receiving your request form and descendant chart, a specimen collection kit will be mailed to you with instructions on how to collect your DNA sample. Included in the specimen kit is a Privacy and Confidentiality Statement, Legal Issues and a Release Form. The Release Form must be signed and dated so the testing lab will have the authority to release your results to other interested participants who have also submitted a sample and signed and dated a Release Form. Otherwise, no one but you can obtain your results and you won't know if there is another Jarman, German, etc. who might match your DNA. A privacy control number will be assigned to each participant so that we can anonymously share results on this web site. Specimens will be tested for the Y-chromosome only, and will never be used for any purpose other than our Jarman / German DNA Project. The approximate turnaround time is 6-7 weeks.
In additon to anonymous display on the Jarman / German DNA Results page, a database of results will be maintained by FamilyTreeDNA.com for automatic comparison with future Jarman, German, etc. test subjects. Our goal is to have available a growing database of Jarman / German DNA supported lineages to aid in genealogical research for years to come.
John L. German, Project Co-ordinator
John L. German,
2631 Kitley Road
Wanamaker, IN 46239, USA