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The goal of this project is to compare and collate Y-DNA results from individuals with the surname GARDNER or variants. The original focus was on the R-U106/S21 sub-clade of R-M269 but has been expanded to include all haplogroups of interest.

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • Analyze results from the FamilyTreeDNA Gardner Surname Project.
  • Identify and differentiate Gardner/Garner/Gardiner lines between haplogroups and match to individual WikiTree profiles.
  • Encourage more testing and search for other data sources and analyses.
  • Improve family trees with source documentation and match potential cousins with autosomal DNA testing.

Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

This is an attempt to summarize some of the Y-DNA genetic tests performed by individuals with the Gardner surname and it's variations and to tie them to individuals with profiles in WikiTree. The goal is to match the different Gardner lines with their "founder" haplogroup and subclade. Tree development and testing individual's Y-DNA are ongoing processes so anyone with interest in Gardner families and genetic genealogy are welcome to expand or contribute to this page.

FamilyTreeDNA is a major DNA testing company and supports user groups called "projects" for those who share a surname or haplogroup. The Gardner Surname Project has 547 contributions as of January 2022. Initially FamilyTree offered a 12-STR Y-DNA test to get people started. Unfortunately, this didn't provide enough genetic information to be useful. Today the minimum is the 37-STR test ($119) but many are forking out the $449 for the "Big-Y" test that provides a complete profile. It is possible to take the 37-STR test which may identify probable terminal SNiPs that can be tested at a lower cost currently $40 per SNP or $119 for SNP "Packs."

For those considering getting a DNA test, a good start would be the Y-DNA 37-STR test and the Family Finder autosomal-DNA test, then join the surname project and look for matches. If you've already taken the autosomal test with Ancestry or 23-and-me, you can skip that. Look for sales during family holidays such as Mother's Day and Thanksgiving.

A good explanation of how STR and SNP testing work together can be found in the ISOGG Wiki for the R1b haplogroup but applies to all haplogroups:

The Gardner Surname Project results are provided in a table with individual results grouped together by the administrators using matching STRs. Many of the tests have too few STRs to be useful or lack information about the earliest known ancestor and are, thus, "ungrouped." As more people get tested and existing tests get upgraded more data will become available.

Clustering analysis was performed to help visualize the relationships of the many individual testers. Check the images for dendograms and other charts created from the Gardner Surname Project data.

Below are the results of analyzing surname project tests with at least 37 STRs. Eliminating those with non-Gardner ancestor surnames or missing surnames results in 172 individual tests. Haplogroup percentages are based on this total.

Note: Links are to "potential" ancestors within a haplogroup and are based on current testers who have a paper trail or other knowledge about their earliest known ancestor or based on close matches to current WikiTree profiles. Ancestor info provided by members of FTDNA Gardner Surname Project in results table.


Haplogroup R-M269 (R1b1a1a2) (7%-ungrouped)

Note: This is the umbrella haplogroup that most "R" testers fall into and includes the majority of Y-DNA testers with Western Europe origins particularly Great Britain. These testers require further STR/SNP testing to move further down the phylogenetic tree. Shown here are some of the ancestors for these tests that didn't fall into a lower subhaplogroup.
Gardner/Gaertner, Michael
Gardner, George, 1795-
Garner, Edward, 1793-1862
Gardner/Garner, Joseph, 1728-1786, Toland, Connecticut
Garner, Robert G. L., 1818- , Tennessee
Garner, Parish, 1722-
Gardner, James A.
Gardner, William J.
Gardner, Samuel, 1810-1862, New Jersey, Indiana

Haplogroup R-U106 (35%)

Sub-clade -- Ancestor
U198; DF94
Gardner, John - 1780-1850, North Carolina; Big Y-DNA test by Robert Gardner (Terminal SNP: BY73447)
Gardner, James Calder - 1782, Gloucestershire, England
L48; Z9; BY3322
Gardner, Thomas J., 1816-1865
Gardner, William F., 1863, London, England
L48; Z331
Gardiner, Alexander, 1735, Fermanagh, Ireland
L48; Z331; BY20701
Garner, James S.
Garner, Parish, 1770-1825, North Carolina & Mississippi
Garner, Thomas, 1750-1792, South Carolina
Garner, Thomas W., 1866-1901
Garner, Vincent, 1809
L48; Z331; BY20701; FT239958 (Terminal SNP)
Garner, Green, 1780
Garner, John, 1585-1628
Garner, John, 1725-
Garner, James, 1727-1832, Virginia
Garner, Thomas, 1750-1792, South Carolina
Garner, John, 1633-1702, Virginia Colony Garner-Keene Line (likely terminal SNPs based on clustering--see images: BY20701->FT239958)
Garner, John, 1817, Union, South Carolina
Garner, James, 1727-1832, Virginia
Garner, George W., 1830-1903, Casey, Kentucky
Gardner, Thomas J., 1816-1865
L48; L46
Gardner, Luke, 1776
L48; Z30
Gardner, John, 1671-1748, Calvert, Maryland; Y-DNA test by Larry Gardner (Haplogroup R-Z6)
Gardiner, George, 1599-1677, Greenford Magna, England
Gardner, Horace C., 1799-1878, Connecticut (Terminal SNP: BY88844)
Gardiner, George, 1612-1677, Narragansett, Rhode Island; Y-DNA test by Randall Gardner (Haplogroup R-Z1 -> BY88844 most likely terminal SNP based on dendogram clustering--see images)
Gardner, James, 1750-1801(BY88844)
Gardner, Rhodes, 1770-1849 (BY88844)
Gardiner, Joseph, 1671-1727, Rhode Island; Reynolds, Daniel, 1773 -1866, New York, Y-DNA test by Howard Reynolds (Haplogroup R-Z1->FTC16092)
Gardner, George, 1599
L48; L44
Gardiner, Thomas, 1695
Gardner, Thomas, 1787-1857, Yancey, North Carolina
Gardner, James, 1790-1832, Pennsylvania
Z18; ZP121
Garton, William, 1640-

Haplogroup R-P312 (24%)

Sub-clade -- Ancestor
L21; DF23
Gardner, John
Gardiner, William, 1797, Antrim, Ireland
Gardner, Percy Willis, 1894-1974
Garner, James Madison, 1854, Conecuh, Alabama
L21; DF13
Gardiner, James Mather, 1868-1942, Edinburgh, Scotland; Y-DNA test by John Gardiner (Terminal SNP: BY45127)
Gardner, John, 1624-1668 (SNP A664)
Gardiner, Henry, Orcop, Hereford
L21; DF19
Gardner, John "Daniel", Sr., 1748-1796, Kershaw, S. Carolina
Gardner, Andrew, 1793-1862, Dromore, County Down, N. Ireland, (Terminal SNP: S23999)
L21; DF27
Gardner, Matthew, 1775, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Gardner, Thomas, 1810
Garner, Walter E., 1860-1947
Gardner, James A.
Garner, Jacob, 1740, Virginia
Garner, Wiley B. 1807, Georgia
Gardner, John, 1624-1682, Isle of Wight, Virginia (Terminal SNP: FT4814)
Gardner, William, 1791, Sutton, Surrey, England
Gardner, Samuel, 1810-1862, New Jersey
U152; Z49
Gardiner, Isaac, 1677-1730
Gardiner, Daniel, 1736-1823

Other Haplogroups with Gardner Ancestors

Haplogroup E-M35 (4%)

Gardiner, David, 1778-1850

Haplogroup G-M201 (2%)

Gardner, George, 1810-1848
Gardner, Abram, 1810-1888
Desjardins, Claude, 1636-1704

Haplogroup I1 (M253) (8%)

Sub-clade -- Ancestor
DF29; L22
Gardiner, Lion, 1599-1663 (Terminal SNP: BY98617)
Gardner, George, 1599-1677
Gardner, Jacob, 1729-1812
Gardner, Robert, 1740-1799
Gardner, Samuel, 1787-1864

Haplogroup I2 (M438) (5%)

Sub-clade -- Ancestor
Gardner, Cleophas, 1852-1928, Ohio
Gardner, David Richard, 1813, Carlisle, Penn.
M223; M284; L126
Gardner, John, 1820, County Galway, Ireland
M223; M284; L126; Y4751
Gardner, Johannes, 1692-1768, Ireland; Y-DNA test by Fr. Martin Gardner (BY60810)

Haplogroup J2 (M172) (6%)

Sub-clade -- Ancestor
M102; M205
Gardner, Thomas, 1591-1674 , Dorsetshire, England (Terminal SNP: Y66507)
Garner, William, 1745-1823, Northampton, NC
Gardner, William, 1745-1800
Gardner, Richard, 1800- (Y66507)
Gardner, William Willis, -1883, KY (Y66507)

Haplogroup N1c (L729) (1%)

Sub-clade -- Ancestor
Y145710 (Terminal SNP)
Gardiner/Gardner, Isaac, 1795, Ireland - 1832, Baltimore, Maryland; Y-DNA test by Rick Gardiner
Gardner, James, 1779, Ireland -1858, Pennsylvania

Haplogroup R1a (M420) (3%)

Sub-clade -- Ancestor
Gardner, Robert, 1692-1736
Gardner, Alexander, 1672-
Garner, Sydney G.
Garner, George W., 1823-1908, Franklin, Georgia
Gardener, William, 1750

Haplogroup T-M70 (<1%)

Gardner, William C., 1839-1907, Tennessee

Some Useful DNA Terminology

From: International Society of Genetic Genealogy. Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree 2019-20, Version: 15.73, Date:11 July 2020, [Accessed 22 January 2022].

Y-DNA: The DNA in the Y chromosome that can be passed by a male only to his sons. This DNA can be tested to determine both haplotype and haplogroup of the individual.

Genetic Genealogy: The tracing of human lineage within the time frame of historical records through DNA testing and comparison of haplotypes.

Genealogical Time Frame: A time frame within the last 500 up to 1000 years since the adoption of surnames and written family records. An individual's haplotype is useful within this time frame and is compared to others to help identify branches within a family.

Haplogroup: A population descended from a common ancestor, as evidenced by specific SNP mutations. Haplogroups are not cultural groups, although a haplogroup can be strongly represented by a cultural population such as American Indians. The Y Chromosome Consortium (YCC) has assigned hierarchical alphanumeric labels, which can be presented graphically in the form of a phylogenetic or haplogroup tree (see below).

Haplogroup Tree: A diagram showing evolutionary lineages of organisms. See also Phylogenetic Tree. (Examples: ; )

Haplotype: Broadly, the complete set of results obtained from multiple markers located on a single chromosome. For the Y chromosome, the term is restricted by convention to allele values (number of repeats) obtained from microsatellite (STR) markers, as described by the Y Chromosome Consortium (YCC).

Non-paternity event (NPE): is a term used in genetic genealogy to describe any event which has caused a break in the link between an hereditary surname and the Y-chromosome resulting in a son using a different surname from that of his biological father. The definition excludes minor changes in the spelling of the surname, and is implicitly limited to events after the relevant branch of the surname became hereditary.

Short Tandem Repeats (STR - pronounced ess-tee-are): Patterns in the DNA sequence which repeat over and over again in tandem, i.e., right after each other. Typically the repeat motif is less than six (6) base pairs long. By counting the repeats, one gets an allele value which is given in an individual's haplotype. They are also called microsatellites and Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs).

Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP which is pronounced 'snip'): Variation in the nucleotide allele at a certain nucleotide position in the human genome. When the change occurs it is called a polymorphism, and polymorphisms accumulate over time. A polymorphism can be very common (found in a significant fraction of global or localized populations) or very rare (found in a single individual). Common variations are used to track the evolution of the human genome over time (population genetics) and can be graphically represented in a haplogroup or phylogenetic tree.

Clade: From the Greek word klados, meaning branch. A clade on the Y chromosome tree is also called a haplogroup.

Subclade: A term to describe the relationship between two clades with the subclade being downstream. See also Sub-branch.


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Robert, I will help all I can. It would be good to connect some descendants across the pond also to try to confirm the ancestry of George. You can see on my profile page that I've tested on ftdna already. I'm not great on Y-dna. Still learning.
posted by Randall Gardner
That's great, hopefully a few people will be interested. On FTDNA your test in the Gardner Surname project was "Ungrouped". I noticed that there were a few adjacent tests with the Gardiner surname so I ran the clustering program with 37-STR or higher and yours is right in the middle of the George Gardiners. Check the new dendogram I just uploaded. Your test is highlighted in red. Based on neighbors who've done SNP testing, your haplotree path would be R-M269 -> U106 -> Z381 -> S499(Z301) -> L48 -> Z9 -> Z30 -> Z1... to terminal. Your FTDNA account may have a suggested SNP test upgrade or you can try joining the U106 project to get a recommendation. Your profile and family research is great. Unfortunately we're not related except for a common ancestor around 4,000 years ago(Z301)!
posted by Robert Gardner