Our project employs DNA analysis to better understand Bryson family history. Testing has already taken us well beyond the limits of conventional genealogy. Our first two Bryson participants from the United Kingdom have learned they are not genetically connected, yet each of them has identified previously unknown genetic cousins in North America.

After just a dozen tests we've discovered there is no single Bryson family, rather there are at least five genetically distinct groups who share the name Bryson. Actually, that should not come as a surprise, if we recognize that several of the explanations concerning the origin of the Bryson surname may be true. We've also discovered that some Brysons are genetically Hoopers, probably the result of adoption.

We seek to determine just how many unique Bryson families there are, and unlock the mystery of who they are and where they came from. We seek to expand the project to include related surnames such as: Brice, Bryce, Bryceson, Brison, and Brisson. They will be welcomed as full and equal partners as we discover if there are any genetic connections among us.

We invite you to share in this exciting discovery. Read our Freqently Asked Questions to learn more, and follow the links below to see our results and learn more about DNA.

Basic Facts About the Test

    1.There are no needles or blood involved.  One rubs a swab on the inside of the cheek to collect a sample.  You perform the test yourself and send it to the testing service, Family Tree DNA, per post.

    2. Family Tree DNA then sends your sample to the University of Arizona for testing. The universtiy lab never learns your identity - the lab is only given a code number, no names.

    3. You will not be tested for diseases or defects. The test simply identifies markers on the Y chromosome. These markers identify a common male ancestor.

    4. This test is not a DNA fingerprint, it is more like a bio-chemical surname. For example, if a Bryson male had ten sons and each of them had ten sons, it is probable that the Y chromosome markers of these 100 Brysons would be identical. The test simply indicates a common recent ancestor.

    5. Results will be available around 4 to 6 weeks after submitting the test kit.

    6. A basic Y-Chromosome test costs $99.

    7. This basic test will allow you to discover how you are genetically connected to the other Bryson participants, and reveals to which pre-historic group of humans your Bryson ancestors likely belonged. So far most appear to have been Celtic, except of one line which appears to be Viking in origin.


Take Part

Watch an Online Video

DNA 101


Our Surname Project Forum

Links to conventional Bryson genealogy sites:

Marty Grant's Bryson Pages

Clan Bryson Homepage

The Brysons of Canada

Shawna Hall's Site

Bryson Surname Forum

Bryson Families and History