Registration is completely free, and no commitment of time or effort is required...though we do hope you choose to contribute to the effort by sharing your family tree, historical information, family stories, or unique assets like photographs, audio recordings, scanned Bible records, or other items not readily available on the Internet.
We know the length of this questionnaire is daunting. But only four entry fields are actually required. If you don't know or don't want to enter any of the optional information right now, that's fine. You can always come back and use this same form to add to or modify the content of your Study profile.
Accounts are created manually, so it may take a day or two to receive the emails confirming your registration and providing you with your password. Any automated online registration process is susceptible to spammers and Internet 'bots that complete registrations in an attempt to either advertise products and services or, worse, to harvest personal information. Each registration application is manually reviewed, and the stated interest in the one-name study evaluated before an account is created. The only exception to this is the Threlkeld Forum, our message board, where people can register and participate in the conversation without joining the Study. Individually reviewing each application for registration lets us be assured that every Study member is a real person with a real interest in growing this effort as a global resource for family researchers.
As with all things genealogy, the more information the better. For the purposes of the Threlkeld One-Name Study, we need to have some idea of how you fit into the overall family tree of Threlkelds and variant surnames. Of greater personal relevance, however, is that adequate information helps others researching your own branch of the family find and identify you. Your contact information is never displayed on the website, but we provide mechanisms for contact via the Threlkeld Forum, a link to your tree at Ancestry.com, and a link to your profile at WikiTree where your can receive a private message through their internal system.
We have standardized on WikiTree as the collaborative repository of record for family trees and pedigrees. It's uniquely positioned for the purpose, and as the various branches of our families converge and meet at older ancestors, it allows multiple interested researchers to work together to deepen their collective understanding of earlier generations.
WikiTree also provides us with unique tools that let us embed in your Study profile live versions of your four-generation tree, plus a three-generation tree showing DNA connections that might be possible based on tests you have taken. Interested researchers can click on anyone in those abbreviated trees and go straight to the WikiTree profile for that person. Here is an example Study profile page. If you don't use WikiTree, please consider it.
Speaking of DNA, it has become a powerful and indispensable tool for genealogists. Our Threlkeld DNA Project at Family Tree DNA focuses on the Y-chromosome, which traces the patrilineal line; does not recombine at conception like autosomal DNA; mutates slowly; and can effectively verify MRCAs many generations ago. This makes yDNA vitally important for researching paternal-tradition surnames.
However, the number of autosomal DNA (atDNA) tests sold in just the past few years dwarfs the total number of yDNA tests ever taken. Too, since women have no Y-chromosome to test, this is the only avenue in which they, personally, can contribute.
Autosomal DNA is also a critical genealogy tool. While it can't reliably be used to verify MRCAs beyond 3g-grandparents, its strength lies in the vast number of living cousins it can identify, and allow those without a Y-chromosome to match with a male cousin who has taken a yDNA test, thus effectively giving all involved the benefit of the multi-generational Y-chromosome chain.
There really is no template for using atDNA in a surname project, and in fact Family Tree DNA does not even offer surname project administrators any tools for display or matching of atDNA results. We feel the Study profiles we've created here will do an adequate job of bringing atDNA into the one-name study. We do not—and don't want to—directly store any DNA results or matching databases. There are for-purpose, free sites like the recommended GEDmatch.com that do an excellent job of that. What we're endeavoring to do is provide a frame of reference about individual lineages, and links where DNA matching information can be found.
Our sincere thanks for your interest in helping improve understanding of these ancient family lines.