Dear Finchers,

We are at a brick wall in our Fincher Family Tree research. We can go back no farther than 1812 in our line, and I think a good many of you are having the same problem. It is generally thought that most Finchers in America are related but the proof is either lost, destroyed or just plain never existed.

Recently, we found out about a new tool to determine whether or not we are related. Genealogy by genetics (DNA) is being used by many family organizations to determine kinship. It is now possible to determine how far back you have to go in order to find your most recent common ancestor.

Armed with this knowledge, we have established a Fincher family DNA project with Family Tree DNA. A company that specializes in the use of DNA for genealogical research. The purpose of this project is to connect the different Fincher lines. We hope to break through the brick walls and establish the connection between the various branches of the Fincher family. Since there is documentation to connect certain lines to the original immigrant, Francis Fincher, we hope that DNA will connect other lines to him as well.

The test is simple and painless. Your genetic test kit consists of a cheek scraper and a collection tube. In about five minutes, you will be able to read the instructions and perform a painless cheek scraping. The effect of using the scraper is about the same as brushing your cheek with a soft bristle toothbrush. A backup scraper and tube is included to insure that a good sample is obtained by the lab. They intend that you use them both!

There are two requirements to participate in the DNA project: (1) you have to be male (because only men carry and pass along the Y-Chromosome) and (2) you have to have the Fincher last name from your father not your mother.

Only one male needs to be tested from each Fincher line. Thanks to Ann Fincher's book, FINCHER 300 YEARS IN THE USA, there is now a published genealogy of most of the Fincher branches. In order to save money, you may wish to check with your kin to make sure that two men from the same line are not being tested.

Family Tree DNA offers two possible tests, a 12 marker test for $99.00 and a 25 marker test for $169.00. The company suggests starting with the 12 marker test to establish kinship and later upgrading to the 25 marker test to find the most recent common ancestor. Since we suspect that most Finchers are kin, unlike Smiths or Joneses, it is probably more cost effective to order the 25 marker test to begin with. Since it cost $90.00 to upgrade the 12 marker test to the 25 marker test, there is a $20.00 savings to order the 25 marker test initially.

If you're already convinced you can order your kit at http://www.familytreedna.com/surname_join.asp?code=S79430&special=True.

If you have questions you can find answers at http://www.familytreedna.com/. or by contacting Joy Fincher Atkinson at joydurell(at)bellsouth.net .

Looking forward to working with you,

Hugh M. Fincher, III and Joy Fincher Atkinson