As you very well know, the Stepp/Stapp/Steppe research has hit the "brick wall" of a lifetime in trying to figure the origins of our colonial ancestors, Abraham and Joshua (or even others for that matter) Really in the past 10 years, not much new evidence has surfaced to give a clue about these two (possible) brothers' origins.
Because of advances in technology, we can now focus on DNA testing. We have no proof of Abraham or Joshua's father, thought to have been John Stapp of Buckinghamshire. But we will be able to proove whether or not John was our ancestor if we can match the American Stepp/Stapp/Steppe DNA with the UK family's!
A database will be set up to hold the results; and will allow for comparisons. Many families already have used this technology and have their own websites. Some of the better ones that I've seen are here:
I am personally going to get this project started with the Stepp/Stapp/Stapp surnames, but by no means do I think that I can do it by myself! I am calling on anyone who would like to volunteer to take the DNA test, or help in this matter.
I have done some research on how the tests are done, prices, etc...and the best company that I have found and have been referred to is FamilyTreeDNA ( http://www.familytreedna.com )
There are 3 different types of tests (which can be upgraded at a later date, without recharging you all over):
12 marker Y-DNA test $99 + postage
12 to 25 Marker Upgrade $90
12 to 37 Marker Upgrade $149
25 marker Y-DNA test $169 + postage
37 marker Y-DNA test $229 + postage
25 to 37 Marker Upgrade $59
The way to understand how close you would be related to another Stapp/Stepp/Steppe is fairly simple. For the individual markers, you compare the numbers for both tests. Say if you match up perfectly, number for number, on the 12 marker test, than you have a 95% chance that you shared a common ancestor no further than 72 generations back. But if you take the 37 marker test, and match perfectly, then you have 95% chance that you shared a common ancestor no further than 21 generations back. So as you can see, the 37 marker test will give you better results in that it is more detailed.
You can see a chart that has these results here: http://www.familytreedna.com/faq2.html#table1
They also have a good explanation of how close you would be related by comparing the results of the different tests. You can see each here:
12 marker: http://www.familytreedna.com/GDRules_12.html
25 marker: http://www.familytreedna.com/GDRules_25.html
37 marker: http://www.familytreedna.com/GDRules_37.html
Also, the FamilyTreeDNA site has a DNA 101 tutorial page which explains everything about how DNA works here: http://www.familytreedna.com/dna101.html
I believe that this tool is the best thing to come along for our family's research, and with the help of physical history that has been found, we should ultimately find where we come from!!! At least we'll know WHERE to start looking...
Please, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please let me know. I have started to build ties with some of the most intellegent of the Stepp/Stapp/Steppe family researchers, and have not heard any disapprovements on this matter...
David Alan Stapp
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