What's in a name? Applying patrilineal surnames to forensics, population history and genetic epidemiology

This Wellcome Trust funded project commenced in December 2007, following on from an earlier Prize Studentship, 'Surnames and genetic structure: a molecular analysis using Y-chromosomal DNA polymorphisms'. The project supports Dr Turi King as a post-doc.

In this project we plan to exploit the power of the link we have previously shown between surnames and Y-chromosomal DNA (both of which are passed from father to son):


  • Foster, E.A. et al. (1998) Nature 396, 27-28. Jefferson fathered slave's last child.
  • Jobling, M.A. (2001) Trends Genet. 17, 353-357. In the name of the father: surnames and genetics. Download this review article.
  • King, T.E. et al. (2006) Curr. Biol. 16, 384-388. Genetic signatures of coancestry within surnames. You can download the final pre-publication version of the article here, and obtain the published pdf from the Current Biology website.
  • King, T.E. et al. (2007) Eur. J. Hum. Genet. 15, 288-293. Africans in Yorkshire? - the deepest-rooting clade of the Y phylogeny within an English genealogy. Article available as Open Access from journal website.
  • King, T.E. et al. (2007) Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 132, 584-589. Thomas Jefferson's Y chromosome belongs to a rare European lineage.
  • Bowden, G.R. et al. (2008) Mol. Biol. Evol. 25, 301-309. Excavating past population structures by surname-based sampling: the genetic legacy of the Vikings in northwest England. Article available as Open Access.
  • King, T.E. and Jobling, M.A. (2009) Mol. Biol. Evol. 26, 1093-1102. Founders, drift and infidelity: the relationship between Y chromosome diversity and patrilineal surnames. Article available as Open Access.


    This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

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    Last updated: 14th April, 2009
    Mark Jobling
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