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The Frearson DNA Project

The FREARSON / FREASON DNA PROJECT has been set up as part of the Frearson One-Name Study.  Family Tree DNA has been selected as the testing organisation.  The Project hopes to reconstruct the genealogical ancestry of the many Frearson / Frearson family groups that originated in the British Isles, and their descendants who dispersed across the globe particularly to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Progress Update - STOP PRESS NEWS !! Further test in progress as of November 2018

Frearson D0 - Families from Ockbrook, Derbyshire and the Australian Branch show confirmed DNA match

Results of the first two DNA tests are now available.  These have confirmed that the UK and the Australian lines show the same genetic make up and  provide a control profile for the D0 - Derbyshire line and allow this family tree to be validated back to the late 1600s. This also confirms the link to the Australian line which was previously "validated" by the acknowledgement of an illegitimate son in the father's Will. 

A further test on a member of a Leicestershire L1, Ratcliffe on the Wreake, Frearson family now in USA has been undertaken.  The results do not show a strong match.    Further Leicestershire tests will be needed to determine whether some - or all - Leicestershire Frearsons are from a different source, or whether there was a non-paternity event. 

A further test on an Leics 15 Leicestershire family is now in progress [November 2018].

Hopefully, other parts of the Frearson story can be established soon.  Further potential participants from other Frearson lines are being approached and the project is being publicised - some interest has been expressed by further potential participants.

Background to the Frearson DNA Project

The FREARSON / FREASON DNA PROJECT is open to all who are interested in working together to find any common heritage through the sharing of information and DNA testing.  Hopefully it will be possible to prove a connection between the large number of descendant families that can be tracked back to the 1600s to late 1700s in the Derbyshire and Leicestershire areas. 

It is accepted that this may be a long term project owing to the number of family groups that need to be tested.   

It is also hoped that it will be possible to check any links with the Freer and Freerstone and similarly named families that are common in the Leicestershire / Derbyshire areas - and the [possibly mis-transcribed] Frierson families in USA, and some Frearsons in the USA with ancestors in the West Indies. 

Those with possible variant of surnames such as FRIERSON, FREER, FREESTONE etc are welcome to join the Project to determine if there is a shared ancestry with the FREARSON and similarly named families.  If any Surname variant is missing, there is no reason why it cannot be included.

Information on the Frearson DNA Project

Family Tree DNA [FTDNA] offer discounted test prices for the project's participants.   They send kits out internationally on a daily basis; with a $6 international shipping fee.  All of the results and tools are available to the Administrator on-line to help run the project.  Currently there are over 5,566 projects underway at Family Tree DNA.  

With over 100,000 visitors a month to their web site, there is an increased chance for individuals with relevant family names becoming aware of the Frearson [and variants] Project and joining in.  Apart from the test fee, there are no project set-up fees, and there is free analysis of the results and provision of comparative tools for calculating genetic distance.

Family Tree DNA is backed by the Molecular Lab for Science and Evolution at the University of Arizona, one of the 5 leading Y-chromosome universities in the world.  They are the only Genetic Genealogy company supported by one of these major Y-chromosome labs.  They also preserve the DNA for 25 years as the technology is in its infancy and if the DNA is not preserved you can't refine or retest a sample, especially if the key donor has died.   

They also provide haplogroup information for each person which locates them on the phylogenic tree of Homo Sapiens.

 The following background information is based on the FTDNA notes:

1. The project objectives  

The Y-chromosome is passed from father to son unchanged, except for the occasional mutation. Testing the Y-chromosome will provide a genetic finger print consisting of 12, 25, 37, or 67 numbers.  By comparing this finger print to others with the surname, it cab be determined whether they are related.  

The main objective of the FREARSON project is to establish how the various FREARSON family groups are related.

At present, normal Family History techniques have been able to combine many FREARSON groups and reduce some 100 or more partial family trees down to just over 70.  These family groups are from the following UK counties [but many now have members overseas]:  Derbyshire 14; Leicestershire 31; Nottinghamshire [generally later in date, so possibly still able to be linked] 7; Warwickshire 2; Yorkshire 1; and a possibly completely separate group of 13 [possibly 10 with on-going research] families in Lancashire.

In some of these families there are no known males still living, removing the chance to test, indeed the programme was spurred on by the death of a last known Warwickshire Male Frearson last year, prior to testing.  There are, of course, still a considerable number of unplaced historic individuals and small family groups, where there is no possibility of testing, and conventional searching for links will continue.

The study should also be helpful to:

Identify others who are related - Prove or disprove theories regarding ancestors - Solve brick walls in research - Determine locations for further research - Validate existing research. 

A Surname Project can have multiple objectives, and these may change over the life of the project.  Most Surname Projects start with the objective of identifying others who are related, and throughout the project the other objectives are achieved simply as a result of the project.  

2. Selection of 12, 25, 37 or 67 markers  

The Surname Project has to decide whether to test 12, 25, 37 or 67 markers for any participant.  

12 markers are sufficient to determine whether or not two people are genetically related.  In addition, the 12-marker project price of $99 is more affordable for participants, enabling recruitment of more participants.  

The value of the 25, 37 or 67 marker test occurs when two participants are likely to be related based on the 12-marker test.  When participants match with the 12-marker test, the test can be upgraded to 25, 37 or 67 markers.  

The objective of upgrading to additional markers is to further reduce the time frame of the common ancestor between the matching participants.  The common ancestor is also referred to as the Most Recent Common Ancestor, or MRCA. Typically, participants are interested in upgrading their 12 marker test when a match occurs.  

Two individuals are considered related for the 12 marker test if they match 12/12, 11/12, and sometimes with 10/12.  In the first two situations, an upgrade is recommended.  

3. Participants  

Participants must be direct male descendents, since the Y-chromosome is passed from father to son.  The first participant [the Project Coordinator] has already ordered a 37 marker test, hopefully to establish a FREARSON identifier [but this has yet to be confirmed by other tests].  A further “Derby 0 Frearson tree” participant is to become involved shortly.  

Once testing is established on the “Derby 0” Frearson line, a list of potential participants is being compiled.  Those having been in contact with the Project Coordinator in the past regarding their family history research will be approached initially.  

As a registered surname project at Family Tree DNA, the project will receive advantageous project pricing, a set of tools for the Group Administrator, plus automatic matching notifications.   Current prices can be obtained from Family Tree DNA.      *Archival storage of DNA samples for 25 years is included with all of these tests.  

Further Information is available from: and the Project coordinator, John Frearson.

New Contacts & family information are always very welcome. For further information; or if you would like to assist in financing the Project or take part, write or email the Project Coordinator at the address below.

Project Coordinator - Contact details

For further information, contact:

John P H Frearson

7 Curie Close, RUGBY, Warwickshire  CV21 3PE UNITED KINGDOM