Okay, so this gig doesn’t pay much. In fact, if you’re looking for cash, you’ll be sadly disappointed. However, if the satisfaction of helping to sort out the origins of the Staats family in America floats your boat, you’re in luck. Colleague and potential cousin Dottie Staats Kerns has done a fabulous job getting a large number of Staats males from the West Virginia families to test. Purchasing the kits with her own money, she has gotten enough samples from each of the early WV branches that you can start to see the patterns– which line is more closely related to which. You can also see that they are all related to each other, although the exact relationship can’t be determined from the test. None of this replaces the paper trail and traditional research techniques; it’s just another tool in the toolbox. I don’t view these tests as an “answer,” but rather as a way to help guide us towards more evidence that will help guide us to evidence with which to draw a strong conclusion.
All of the WV DNA samples closely match the samples submitted by descendants of Jan Pieterszen Van Huysen family of Gowanus, (the patriarch of the Gowanus Staats family). So far, only one person from the Albany branch has tested. That test did not match the Gowanus branch tests even remotely. However, one test for comparison is simply not enough to draw any theories or conclusions. I won’t get into the details of how yDNA testing works, but at its most basic level, yDNA is passed from father-to-son, essentially unchanged. Ultimately, after analyzing certain “markers” along the DNA strand and how many times a pattern at that point is repeated, it’s statistics. By comparing data between tests, you can estimate 1) whether or not two males are related, and if so, 2) The number of generations within which they likely share a common ancestor.
No one from my branch, the Delaware branch, has tested at all. I don’t think anyone from the New Jersey branch has tested, either, but I could be wrong about that. I would love to get someone from my same DE line to test to help get a better idea where I fit in, but I am ultimately interested in helping build a database of ALL of the Staats families as a tool to help sort out the origins of each. I am especially interested in the Delaware branch, and have reached out to descendants of those families individually. However, I can’t write to everyone, and posting here is my way of hoping to cast the net a little wider.
What’s the catch? There really isn’t one. I have two testing kits at the ready. If you are a Staats male from any of these families and willing to help, I will send you the kits and instructions (it’s just a cheek swab that you rub around, stick in a plastic container, and mail it back to the company in the provided envelope. There’s no charge to you, and you can test anonymously. If you have any other question, please feel free to ask me.