Finch Surname DNA Project

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Member Count: 63
Our goal is to discover, identify and connect all Finch families anywhere in the world.

Please visit our main website at:

In America the geographic or ethnic/cultural origins of the Finch surname is usually associated with England and Ireland and is found anywhere in the world people of those origins ventured.

The Dictionary of American Surnames offers the following information about the Finch surname:

English: nickname from Middle English finch ‘finch’ (Old English finc). In the Middle Ages this bird had a reputation for stupidity. It may perhaps also in part represent a metonymic occupational name for someone who caught finches and sold them as songsters or for the cooking pot. The surname is found in all parts of Britain but is most common in Lancashire.

The same onomastic dictionary suggests looking at the surname Fink which says Fink is German, Slovenian, English, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for a lively and cheerful person, or, in the case of the Jewish name, an ornamental name, from a Germanic word meaning ‘finch’ (see Finch). As a Slovenian surname, it may also be a translation into German of the Slovenian surname Šinkovec (from an old spelling of šcinkovec or šcinkavec ‘finch’).

The Dictionary above gives no information about the meaning or origins of the surname Fincher. It does have a note about the ending, -er which it indicates it likely is an occupation ending. So, a Fincher probably had something to do with Finches as indicated in the Finch surname definition above.

The Internet website says the Finch surname is ethnically 98.66% English or unknown as well as .35% Irish, .07 Scottish, .16% Welsh and .05% Jewish. Likewise it states the surname Fincher is as entrenched in the British Isles as is Finch. compares the geographical distribution of the Finch surname internationally as:
Total Rate/Million of GB
Great Britain 13502 or n/a
N. Ireland 64.23 or 18.40% of GB
Republic Ireland 2.85% or .80% of GB
Austrailia 259.26 or 74.30% of GB
New Zealand 170.71 or 48.90% of GB
United States 211.45 or 60.60% of GB
Canada 151.41 or 43.40% of GB

Using electoral polls in Great Britain and telephone directories in the US British Surnames found the most Finches listed in 1881 in Colchester and in 1998 in Wigan. In Austrailia the most populous area was the Northern territory, in New Zealand, Otago, and in the United States, North Carolina.

To view the British Surnames website and for a map showing the distribution in the British Isles in 1881 and 1998 go to

Please visit our Home website at:

Our project is based on the Y-Chromosome men inherit from their biological father. Therefore we extend an invitation to any and all males born with the hereditary surname Finch to join our group.

We also welcome women and anyone not born with the name Finch who wish to participate as sponsors of their male relatives be they their father, brother, 1st cousin or distant cousin.

As members of the group are found to match one another it will become more apparent from where these groups originate and how they relate or do not relate to others from other locations or within a geographic area.

We hope to get as many Finch males as possible in our group.

Our webmaster, Mic Barnette can be contacted at: at

Please visit our main website at:

Our Finch Surname DNA Project is off to a great start. We have a number of new members including several women in our Mita Chondrial project.

We are appreciative to Family Tree DNA, our testing company, for providing this free website.

Any suggestions, corrections or additions are welcome. Please send them to either our Administratoor, Carol Hennington whose email address is at the top of this page or to our webmaster, Mic Barnette at
Please visit our Home website at:

The following article concerning genetic distance comes from the Family Tree DNA website.

Some Family Tree DNA customers will have Y DNA 12 Marker Exact matches with other surnames, and on a rare occasion, a 25 Marker Exact match with another surname. Most likely these people are not related in a genealogical time frame.

To understand how this situation occurs, we start by looking at the population before the origin of Surnames. Before the adoption of Surnames, there existed various Y DNA 12 Marker and 25 Marker results in the male population. The quantity of persons with any particular Y DNA result varied, based on their success of having male children, the survival of the male children, and how many of the male children procreated more male children. There was also migrations throughout the world. In addition, during this time, Markers continued to mutate, just as they do today.

Surnames began to be introduced and adopted at different rates in different countries, typically with the upper classes adopting surnames initially.

Different persons through out a region of the world population would have had the same 12 Marker result at the time of the introduction of surnames. This situation would have occurred due to some of the people being related and the others as a result of Convergence.

For more information on Convergence, see the Facts and Genes Vol. 1, Issue 5, the article titled "Haplotypes: Convergence".

As the adoption of surnames occurred, different persons with the same 12 Marker result most likely adopted different surnames. For example, perhaps there was a person in London who adopted the surname Barker and another person existed in Scotland with the same 12 Marker result, and they adopted the surname MacGregor. Assuming that there were no mutations, the descendants today would have a 12 Marker exact match, but they are not related in a genealogical time frame.

The key element in evaluating 12/12 Matches and 25/25 matches is the time frame. We are all related at one point in time. For our family history research, we are most likely only interested in a genealogical time frame. The genealogical time frame most likely does not start before the adoption of surnames, so the first requirement to determine relatedness is the surname.

The Marker mutation rate does not care about surnames, or whether the person even had a surname. Markers mutated before surnames and after the adoption of surnames. By utilizing the criteria of surnames, you are establishing the time frame for evaluating relatedness.

If two people match 12/12 or 25/25 and the surname matches or is a variant, then they are probably related since the time of the adoption of the surname. If two people match 12/12 or 25/25, and the surname does not match, they are most likely related before the adoption of surnames. (This statement excludes adoption, and extra marital events.) Being related before the adoption of surnames is probably not relevant to those doing family history research, so matches with others of different surnames are ignored. When two people match and share the same surname, they would be related since the time of the adoption of the surname.

Scientifically, the probability that two people are related is the same on a 12 Marker match and a 25 Marker match, 99% probability that they are related. The question then becomes WHEN the relatedness occurred. A 25 Marker match has a smaller window of 1200 years, while the 12 Marker match has a much larger window of 2500 years.

The surname effects the time frame for when they are related. When the surname matches, the time frame is shortened, so the two people are related since the adoption of the surname. From a genealogical perspective, determining the first recorded instance of the surname would put a time frame for the adoption of the surname, even though it could have been used prior to that even, but not recorded or the documents lost or destroyed.

Matches with other surnames can occur for anyone, with any 12 Marker or 25 Marker result, who belong to any Haplogroup. We happen to observe this situation occurring more frequently with those who belong to Haplogroup R1b, since this Haplogroup comprises a large percentage of the European population and their descendents.

Most matches with other surnames are not worth investigating. 12 Marker results, called Haplotypes, began evolving and mutating with the first Humans. The time frame for relatedness is a relevant factor, and surnames establish a time frame.

To better understand the genetic distances related to our members above, go to the following links on the FTDNA website:

For 12 Marker results

For 25 Marker results-

For 37 Marker results-

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