Frequently Asked Questions

Harden.Hardin.Harding Surname yDNA project

1. Can a female contribute a yDNA sample?
No. Only males have the Y chromosome.

2. How can a female participate in the project?
Find a male cousin with the Hardin surname who is willing to contribute his yDNA.

3. Is blood drawn for the sample? Are there risks of infection? Is it painful?
The sample is obtained by rubbing the inside of the mouth with a cotton swab. No pain. No blood. No risk.

4. Can this yDNA sample be used to track down a felon, deny insurance, establish paternity, or steal my identity?
No. There are laws that provide protect from such misuse. The lab that conducts the test only has a kit number and doesn’t know who you are. Family Tree DNA takes many safeguards to protect you from such abuse. The markers that are measured are not predictors of medical problems. Your yDNA is the same as your fathers, and his fathers, etc., but it is also the same as your father’s brother and your paternal grandfather’s brother – so exact paternity cannot be established.

5. How do you know that the pedigree charts that you post are correct?
I don’t. As a matter of fact, I am certain that at least some of the lineage that has been submitted is in error. The participant who submitted the yDNA sample also submitted their pedigree chart. If you have questions about the chart or would like to share research, contact that participant directly.

6. How much money do you and/or the Harden.Hardin.Harding Family Association make from this project?
Nothing. I am a volunteer. I provide the labor, web site, and web hosting at my own expense. The Harden.Hardin.Harding Family Association charges dues for membership in that organization, but participation in the yDNA project does not require membership in HFA. The company, “Family Tree DNA” is a “for profit” company and charges for processing the kit and maintaining and distributing the results of the analysis.

7. How can I contact a participant?
The web site has email links for the participants. Just click on their name. Physical addresses and telephone numbers are restricted to other participants on a password protected page. Most participants welcome your contact and will be happy to SHARE research with you.

8. The participants are grouped together using color to define the groups. What does that signify?
People who have the same (or almost the same) yDNA share a recent common male ancestor. It could be their father, grandfather, great grandfather, .. anyone along their direct male ancestry path. yDNA can only be used to predict statistical data – not exact numbers of generations to the common ancestor. Perfect matches would indicate a recent common ancestor, but that common ancestor could have actually live hundreds of years ago. A mismatch of two markers would indicate that the common ancestor live many generations ago, but it can also occur in first cousins.

9. You list mtDNA results also. How do I interpret that data?
mtDNA is passed from mother to child. It never comes from the father. Some of our participants elected to have their mtDNA measured as well as their yDNA. I post it for you to research. I know very little about mtDNA

10. Which testing company should I use, and why?
Use "Family Tree DNA". There are several companies that offer DNA testing. "Family Tree DNA" has more than a 90% market share, and for good reason. The key benefit to yDNA testing is to compare your markers to those of other participants. "Family Tree DNA" has the largest database in the world and it continues to grow at a rate significantly higher that their competitors. Each company has selected different markers to measure, which makes comparisons between databases difficult. Additionally, "Family Tree DNA" has superior quality control, more analysis tools, better security, longer archive time, superior panel of markers, best sample retention policy, the best upgrade policies, and a friendly and helpful staff. Some competitors are new to the game and are not likely to survive. Some competitors use questionable advertising methods that can best be described as deceptive. Some of these competitive companies have selected names that make it seem that they are part of old line genealogical companies, when in fact they are not - simply paying the name brand company to use the name. Refer to kit number 84214 ( which was tested by "Family Tree DNA" and also by "GENEBASE". Note that "GENEBASE" got 4 common markers wrong and even assigned the participant to the wrong haplogroup.

11. Which test should I order?
The “Y-DNA37 - - Male 37 marker paternal test” or the “Y-DNA67 - - Male 67 marker paternal test”. The 25 marker test offers demonstrably less discrimination than you need. The 12 marker test is totally inadequate. You will have to read the Family Tree DNA web site to determine the use and value of the other tests that they offer.

12. How much does a kit cost?
Family Tree DNA establishes these prices and they vary over time. See this web site for current prices and ordering information: I am of the opinion that yDNA testing is a bargain, especially when compared to the cost of traditional research.