Why DNA

The Stiles Family of America (SFA) voted at the annual meeting in July 2007 to formally establish a DNA project to better enable members of the family to better follow their “roots”. The SFA has decided to use Family Tree DNA as our main testing facility. We do have a public profile page hosted by FTDNA.  It is the Stiles Surname Project. Results of this project are available in

Currently, the SFA has over 313,000 names in our database and many more in our hard copy files. Our records have around 700 people named William Stiles alone. There are equal numbers named John, Robert, Samuel and James as well. As a consequence, in order to better assist both you and the SFA, we do need to ask questions. We ask that participants in the DNA project be able to provide an unbroken line of at least 4 generations (or more is always welcomed!) so that we can try to identify you in our records or add that information to our records. The SFA does have a formal Privacy Policy in place to help protect you.

The SFA has established The Virginia Mitchell Barry and Jackson Barry DNA Research Fund (Seed money for this fund has been donated by them). This fund will be used to assist funding DNA research for those named Stiles/Styles who are members of the SFA. Additionally, FTDNA has been known to offer “sales” on their testing which will reduce the price of the test for a short time.

SFA has selected people representing the main family groups (forming a base-line for the project) for testing – some from the established Massachusetts Family, some from the Connecticut Family, one from the Virginia family, and several from main Missing Link Families. Currently, we have about 13 distinct groups, and several others who at present do not have a match to their DNA with other Stiles/Styles participants. The most defined group is from the Massachusetts Family – and their history is found in the book by Mary Stiles Paul Guild (1892). The second “established” group is from the Connecticut family – and their history is in the book by Henry Reed Stiles (1895). So far the DNA results have shown that some Missing Link families do have a connection to one of the main families. The results have also shown that there have been several previously unknown “non-paternal” events – including some in our main families.

Obtaining a kit:
You can get a kit from more than one company.  Most companies now test the same sites.  However as the comparison we use is in Family Tree DNA,  You can go to their webpage and sign up for the Y-DNA37 test and select a surname project to reduce the cost by $20.  Our DNA chair will be notified of all aspects of your testing and will answer your question before and after your test.  Or you could contact the DNA Chair and have that person order and then send to you; it would take longer!  For information contact <in progress should be solved by mid Feb.>

Complete instructions, an invoice and a waiver (this delineates FTDNA and The Family only have access to data collected) are provided in the kit. Test results are not supplied to any outside agency (federal or local authorities). Your test is given a numerical ID number. The waiver allows The SFA and FTDNA to utilize the information for genealogy tracing only. FTDNA – and all major study groups – recommend that, for best results – a one name study have an unbroken 4 generation male line (great grandfather, grandfather, father, son/uncle/male cousin/uncle). DNA Research at this point in time has been focused primarily on the male line. The DNA markers used are located on the Y-chromosome, which females do not have, thus, the reason for male line testing. Females can participate in mitochondrial DNA testing, but the information gathered is different as it follows the female line. More information is available on Family Tree DNA. A newer test looking for cousins not in the direct line is discussed in <>

Tests description: This test requires NO BLOOD! These tests simply requires that one swab the inside of his/her cheek for the sample following test instructions in the kit provided by FTDNA. The male tests available can utilize as few as 12 markers and as many as 67 markers. Yes, the 12 marker test is least expensive but too basic to furnish the more helpful connections. We therefore have selected the 37 marker test for cost effectiveness as it is not as expensive as the 67 marker test. It will furnish the best information for the Family. Several participants have started with the 37 marker test and then decided to upgrade to the 67 marker test once they have seen some of the close matches they received with the 37 marker test.

This project is not limited to Stiles in America. Any male Stiles can and should participate, including families from the United Kingdom, Australia and other parts of the world – regardless of knowing your male Stiles heritage for 4 generations or not.