The Atcherley Surname DNA Project has launched!

Atcherley has been described as a “good old Shropshire name”, and the earliest known bearers of this surname, who lived around the 1300s, certainly hailed from the northern part of that English county. But were they natives of Shropshire, or were they perhaps from elsewhere – might they have been descendants of Norman invaders for example. This is a question which might be answered by analysis of the DNA of Atcherley men living today, who have genetic information on their Y chromosomes which has been passed down from their paternal ancestors.

Another question which could be answered in this way is whether the Atcherleys of northern Shropshire were from the same stock as the Atchleys from the south of the county, or the Ackerleys of Cheshire. DNA testing may even throw up surprises which haven’t been considered!

I myself am the son of a female Atcherley, so my own Y chromosomes will tell me nothing about my Atcherley ancestors. So I have launched the Atcherley Surname DNA Project at Family Tree DNA, and now hope to find Atcherley men who would be happy to take part in the project by providing a sample of genetic material (by way of a cheek swab) for analysis.

On paper at least, participants should be able to trace their Atcherley ancestry back by a continuous line of male Atcherleys to those who were alive in the early 1600s. However I would also welcome the participation of Atcherley men who are descended from Samuel Atcherley of Moortown in Shropshire (1764–1847), including those who are not direct male line descendants – i.e., descendants of Samuel’s grandson Henry Atcherley (1822–1886).

Without participants, the project will not achieve anything, so if you are a male Atcherley please consider taking part. There are three ways to join in:

1) If you are an Atcherley who has already tested with Family Tree DNA, go to the Group Join Request Login page at Family Tree DNA and enter your Kit Number or Username, and your password.

2) If you are a male Atcherley and you are happy to pay for your own Family Tree DNA test kit, go to the Group Join Request Login page at Family Tree DNA and under Option B, click on the link to Purchase A Test Kit To Join This Project. You will need to purchase one of the Male Line Testing (Y-DNA) kits, the most basic of which (the Y-DNA12 kit) currently costs $59.00.

3) If you are a male Atcherley who would like to take part but you do not wish to purchase a test kit, then please get in touch with me via the Atcherley Surname DNA Project site at Family Tree DNA. I have a limited number of kits already purchased to kick-start the project and I would be happy to send one to you.

If you know a male Atcherley who might be interested in this project, please send them a link to this page using the email button below. Thank you!