Brough Family Organization

International Brough DNA Genealogy Project

In 2008, the BFO began the International Brough DNA Genealogy Project. The BFO did so because it was felt that this DNA project could further cement Brough family genealogies and provide another research tool for people who wondered if they belonged to or were connected to the Broughs of northern Staffordshire, England. It was also felt that DNA testing could possibly help the BFO narrow down research requests from different parts of the world by allowing the comparison of DNA's from BFO members to those of other people requesting BFO assistance with their research. Today, people can obtain DNA tests and analysis from several different companies--such as Ancestry DNA.

Understanding Molecular Genealogy and Brough DNA Relationships

Compiled by the RBFO Research Committee from information published by the
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, Ancestry DNA, and other reliable sources.

Molecular Genealogy: Analyzing DNA can allow people to find their cousins who may be connected across generations and around the world. This endeavor is sometimes called Molecular Genealogy. Here is some basic information about Molecular Genealogy:

Cells, Chromosomes and DNA: DNA is found in every cell in your body except red blood cells. In the center of each cell is a membrane called a nucleus. A nucleus contains chromosomes, and chromosomes are made up of long strands of DNA which contain all the body's genes. (Genes are the functional units of DNA.) Humans have a total of 46 chromosomes, which are grouped into pairs. Each of the 23 pair consists of one chromosome from our mother and one from our father. In females the 23rd chromosome pair consists of two X-chromosomes. Males, however, have an X-chromosome and a Y-chromosome. Therefore, it is the Y-chromosome that determines male gender.

Y-DNA: The male Y-chromosome is one of the most useful chromosomes in genealogical studies, because it has the unique property of being passed virtually unchanged from generation to generation. This means that a man and all his sons will have the same (or similar) Y-chromosome, and that males with a common paternal ancestor have similar Y-DNA.

mtDNA: DNA can also be found in the mitochondria of the cell, which is responsible for producing energy to perform all cellular functions. The mitochondrial DNA-called mtDNA--follows the direct maternal line. Women pass their mtDNA to all of their children, but then only their daughters will pass it on to the next generation. This makes mtDNA useful for tracing one's direct maternal line.

Markers: Y-chromosome contains 59 million bits of information, each of which is encoded by a "base pair." Looking at all of these base pairs is impractical, so geneticists have identified a number of specific chromosome locations that can be used for analysis and comparison. These unique locations are called "markers". In some ways, DNA marker values are like telephone numbers, and because telephone numbers may appear in different cities but belong to unrelated people, it is advantageous for scientists to test many different DNA markers to avoid possible ambiguity. Generally, the more markers tested, the easier it is to distinguish individuals and family tree branches. Currently, some scientists believe that 36 markers are a sufficient number of Y-chromosome markers to be tested for most molecular genealogical research purposes. Also, it has been found that individuals who share exact genetic DNA marker values also share a common ancestor, and the closer the match in marker values the more recently one's common ancestor may have lived. However, because of the extrapolative and statistical nature of molecular genealogy, it is sometimes difficult to predict how far in the past common ancestors may have lived without the genealogical information found in reliable pedigree charts.

Non-Relatedness: DNA tests sometimes suggest that people who once thought they were related are not so related. Such an unexpected finding of "non-relatedness" may reflect an adoption, an altered or assumed surname, an illegitimate birth, or maternal infidelity somewhere in the ancestral line. In addition, one must keep in mind that the science of molecular genealogy is relatively young, and there is still much that scientists are learning about human ancestry and its migrations over time, unusual DNA anomalies, and the extrapolation of specific ancestral relationships through DNA.

What If Your DNA Test Does Not Support Your Genealogical Assumptions? Suggestion: Always remember that "Family is family, whether it is by blood, adoption or inheritance." If DNA testing does not support your genealogical assumptions, do not distance yourself from those who have supported and loved you during your life. Regardless of how you received or acquired your surname--whether it was by blood, adoption or inheritance--stay close to those who know and love you, and invest in strengthening family ties that connect you to those you call and know as "family".

"Brough" related DNA test results by, 2008-2012

For additional information on the genealogical relationship between
Ronald Peter Brough and Robert Clayton Brough, please click here.

"Brough" related DNA test results by, 2013-2015's "new DNA testing service"
In 2013-2015, introduced and advertised a "new DNA testing service" that utilized some of the latest DNA technology to predict genetic ethnicity and help individual find new family connections.'s advertising publication entitled The Science, the Technology and AncestryDNA (which was published in 2013) was freely distributed at RootsTech in February 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and stated the following:
     Back to Basics - What is DNA?
     "Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a long, complex molecule that's found in nearly every living cell in our body and serves as the unique blueprint for each of us. DNA consists of two long chains of molecules joined together in a double helix, or spiral structure, by other small molecules called "nucleotide bases," which are represented by the letters A, G, C and T. The smaller molecules form pairs - a bonds with T and G bonds with C. These bonds and the order in which they are arranged, are what store the information in DNA and etermine personal traits such as eye color or height. We look for single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, which are variations in the DNA sequence that we use to build a person's genetic profile."
     How does DNA help with family history?
The DNA is every human being is 99.9% identical, meaning that only 0.1% of it determines what makes you unique. It's these subtle variations that help us analyze your DNA, predict your ethnicity and find your DNA matches. Each parent gives each of their children exactly half of their DNA. But the assortment or genes or markers is unique to each child, except for identical twins. That's why most siblings look and act differently."
     Using DNA to find relatives
By comparing certain sections of your DNA with those of other people, we can see how much you have in common and determine how closely you are related. The more DNA you share and where you share it helps predict your relationship. This is the basis of our DNA matching."
     Using DNA to product ethnicity
When our ancestors moved around the world, they took their DNA with them. By looking at the DNA of thousands of people from around the world, we can find the genetic signature of the regions they come from historically. When you take a DNA test, we look for those signatures in your DNA, which help us predict where your ancestors since lived. New genetic signatures are being discovered all the time."
     What is AncestryDNA?
     "AncestryDNA is a new DNA testing service that utilizes some of the latest DNA technology to predict your genetic ethnicity and help you find new family connections. Unlike a Y-chromosome or mitrochondrial DNA test, AncestryDNA surveys a person's entire genome at over 700,000 locations. It is an autosomal DNA test that covers both the maternal and paternal sides of the family tree, so it covers all lineages."
     Ethnicity Discovery
     "Reveal your ethnic roots and explore your ancestor's birth locations on a modern day map. Your results may be updated with new scientific findings as they are discovered. The AncestryDNA genetic ethnicity map currently covers 20 regions around the world including British Isles, West African, Native American and more. We look at a massive amount of your DNA and compare it to others in our reference database, which is currently one of the most comprehensive collections of DNA samples from around the world. Open entirely new avenues of research as you discover new regions that your ancestors called home 500 to 2,000 years ago."
     DNA Matching
"Your DNA is matched to other family history enthusiasts through AncestryDNA, with currently over 100,000 and counting. Find new cousins to grow your family tree. With your DNA results you'll receive a list of people who you may be matched to, that's continually updated in real time. We determine matches based on the amount of common DNA two people share with one another. To do this, we measure over 700,000 markers in the DNA to analyze the number and length of continuous segments that align: 1) DNA matching can find relationships from immediate family to 4th cousins and beyond. 2) A 4th cousin shares an ancestor with you from 5 generations back or about 150 years ago."
     The Complete Experience
AncestryDNA is even more powerful when combined with the vast collection of records, family trees and community on Connect with other family history enthusiasts for the richest family history experience available."

BFO Analysis of the effectiveness and limitations of's new DNA tests
     To determine the effectiveness and limitations of this new DNA testing service, two closely-related Brough cousins took Ancestry's new DNA test: R. Clayton Brough and Aaron R. Brough.
     R. Clayton Brough and Aaron R. Brough are documented "2nd cousins once removed"--whose common male ancestor is Samuel Richard Brough (1857-1947). In March 2015,'s new DNA test correctly indicated that they were genetically related “cousins”.
     However,’s stated that the "possible range" of relatedness between Clayton Brough and Aaron Brough was that of being "4th" to "6th cousins“ (as shown above). Interestingly, also stated the following caution about this “possible range”: "Our analysis of your [Clayton Brough] DNA predicts that this person [Aaron Brough] you match with is probably your fourth cousin. The exact relationship however could vary. It could be a third cousin once removed, or perhaps a fifth or sixth cousin. For relationships this distant from you, there is greater statistical variation in our prediction. It’s most likely to be a fourth cousin type of relationship (which are separated by ten degrees or ten people), but the relationship could range from six to twelve degrees of separation. It’s interesting to note that (at this degree of separation) we are accurately able to predict only about 85% of the possible relatives that are out there—in other words there is a 15% chance that our DNA analysis can NOT recognize an actual relative of yours. One way to be more certain that the DNA testing captures as many relatives as possible is to have multiple members of your immediate family tested.“
     Therefore, while this new DNA test by correctly identified Clayton Brough and Aaron Brough as being genetically related "cousins" , their specific (or calculated) "cousin" relationship was not as precise as their known genealogical kinship.

BFO International Headquarters
115 East 800 North, Bountiful, Utah, 84010, USA.