It goes without saying that most (serious) family historians only want to hand down “the truth”, about their ancestral origins, to their descendants, instead of using a collection of handed-down family “lore”, interesting assumptions, circumstantial evidence from public records, and the like. And’s that’s, exactly, where “y-DNA” testing comes into the picture, as it allows the researcher to “go that extra, critical step” (beyond sole reliance upon “paper records”), and utilize “modern science” (in the form of actual “DNA analysis”), to help determine the actual relatedness (or not), between any two males, having the same surname (regardless of its “spelling”).
So, what, exactly, is a “y-DNA” test anyway? Well, although the web is full of sites that detail and provide background information regarding such tests, in general, a “y-DNA” testing kit, provides a prospective test participant a means with which to provide and transmit a DNA sample (via a saliva sample or cheek swab) to a DNA testing company, whereupon a subsequent analysis of only a very small segment of said sample - namely, the very limited, “male”, or “y-DNA” portion, found in only one, of the male’s 46 chromosomes, inherited from his parents - is ultimately analyzed. And, from such an analysis, the male test participant’s “haplotype” (or “y-DNA signature, if you will), can then be determined, and subsequently compared to the “y-DNA” signatures of other test participants, already in the testing company’s (ever-building) worldwide, database. The bottom line? The more “y-DNA” marker “matches” the two men share, the more “genetically” related they are, with those having an exact match having a "scientifically-confirmed", common ancestor within the last several generations (typically within the last couple of 100 years),which the testing company's own data can help one "statistically" narrow or refine said time back to the most recent common ancestor (i.e., TMRCA), for the two participants having the same "y-DNA" signature. That’s about the gist of it.
With that said, I'm now seeking any "male" descendant of our direct ancestor, JOHN BOWEN (bc 1740s, VA or NC; dc 1826; then-Botetourt Co., VA / present-day Craig Co., VA), who also happens to have the surname of "BOWEN" (or any surname spelling variant thereof), themselves, to participate in any y-DNA testing project of their choice, so as to help scientifically determine (i.e., via "y-DNA" evidence), their true "paternal" ancestral line - something a mere "paper" trail, research, simply, cannot do.