The fastest way to join the Pike project is to go to this webpage at Family Tree DNA where you can scroll down a little bit and then select a test to order.
Alternatively, you can order a Y-DNA test through the Guild of One-Name Studies in England, which often provides a discounted price for the 37-marker Y-DNA test.
We recommend the 37 marker Y-DNA test as a good starting point.
Note, however, that it is better to test 111 or more markers - the more markers that are tested, the more informative and definitive the results will be. Best of all would be the "Big Y" test, which includes approximately 700 STR markers (including all those of the 111 marker test) and also analyses roughly ten million nucleotides to detect the presence of SNP mutations.
If you need or want some assistance with the process of ordering a test then get in touch with the volunteer administrators (David and Stuart) for the Pike project (click here to email us). Included in the kit that is then mailed to you will from Family Tree DNA will be two or three felt-like swabs to collect some cheek cells from inside a person's mouth (note that the collection process is painless and does not involve blood or needles). Still, before ordering a kit, please take a moment to read the information below.
The Pike DNA Project primarily relies upon tests performed on the Y-chromosomes of Pike males. Since the Y-chromosome is passed only from father to son, those who get tested ought to have direct Pike paternity (i.e., their father's father's ... father's father should have been a Pike) and/or carry the Pike name themselves. If you are not a male Pike, you are still welcome to join the project, especially if you can arrange for a male Pike relative to provide a DNA sample for analysis.
Beyond the Y-chromosome, Family Tree DNA also has a test that looks at autosomal DNA (each parent passes 50% of his/her autosomal DNA to each child, although which 50% is random). If you have Pike ancestry and have done the autosomal "Family Finder" test, then you are welcome to join the Pike project as well.
We also welcome family and friends to subscribe to our blog.
Some Background Information:
Without getting into too many scientific details, Family Tree DNA (the company doing the DNA testing for us) hones in on 12, 37 or 111 particular locations on the Y-chromosome (the number depends on which test you choose to have done), determines their genetic encoding, and assigns a numerical value to each of them. These genetic markers are what make up the genetic signatures that we are using. Since 12 markers are not always enough to distinguish unrelated family lines, at least 37 markers are therefore recommended. Even better would be 111. That said, please note that you can begin with a 37 marker test and subsequently upgrade to additional markers without having to submit additional DNA samples (this approach can be useful if the cost of testing many markers all at once is an issue).
To help with using DNA to reconstruct family trees, there is also the "Big Y" test that hones in on about ten million SNPs on the Y chromosome (SNPs are a different kind of marker than the traditional 111 markers mentioned above).
Our project would not be possible without the services of a company like Family Tree DNA to perform the genetic analysis for us, but this also means that there are costs involved in having the DNA tests performed. The prices charged by Family Tree DNA are shown on this webpage at Family Tree DNA. Please be aware that we (David and Stuart) voluntarily coordinate this project and receive no payment or incentive from Family Tree DNA for recommending them.
Newcomers to our project should note that we have a Sponsorship Fund that contains donations which can be used to help offset the costs of some DNA tests. More details about this are found below, on the bottom half of this webpage.
Okay, having now reviewed the various things to consider, you can join our project by ordering a test kit from Family Tree DNA's office in Houston by going to this webpage at Family Tree DNA or, alternatively, send David and Stuart an email message if you have any questions or want some assistance with the process.
Once you've joined, it would be good to send an email message to David and Stuart anyway so that we can confirm that everything worked and that you have been properly registered in the project.
To have your test results displayed on our project's website along with information about your family line, please download and complete this Consent Form. If you do not submit a consent form, then your test results will only be displayed in association with your anonymous test kit number (which is to say that your name, e-mail address, and other personal information will remain confidential). If you have trouble downloading the release form, let David or Stuart know so that a copy can be sent to you as an email attachment. When you submit the form, please also provide your Pike lineage details if you want them posted on the project's website.
Project participants (as well as anybody else who is interested in the project) are encouraged to subscribe to the blog that has been set up for the project. There is also an online discussion board that anybody can read, although the Family Tree DNA website only permits project members to post to it.
Our project has a Sponsorship Fund which contains donations that are used to encourage newcomers to join our project, especially those who may need some enticement or assistance to pay for their initial DNA tests. Donations (which can be made by clicking here and then selecting "P" and "Pike") are always welcome.
When funding permits, the sponsorships listed below are available for Y-DNA tests:
|(1)  ||Sponsorship of $75 for anybody with a Pike/Pyke lineage that has been reliably traced back at least 8 generations, and without any indication that the lineage ties in with one of those already represented in our project.|
|(2)  ||Sponsorship of $75 for anybody with a Pike/Pyke lineage that has been reliably traced back at least 4 generations to the British Isles or mainland Europe, and without any indication that the lineage ties in with one of those already represented in our project.|
|(3)  ||Sponsorship of $50 for any Pike/Pyke not residing in Canada or the USA.|
Sometimes donors ask to have their contributions directed toward particular Pike families, rather than to be used for the three general sponsorship categories listed above. As a result of donations with particular preferences on their use, we have available the following sponsorships:
In exchange for receiving one of the sponsorships described above, recipients must agree to have their pedigree information published on the project's website. The general idea here is that if the project is helping to pay for a test, then the project should benefit in the form of being able to associate the DNA results with a pedigree.
Because funding is limited, support from our Sponsorship Fund is available on a first-come first-served basis. Please contact David and/or Stuart at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about seeking support from the fund.
Anybody receiving support from the Sponsorship Fund should elect to be sent an invoice with their test kit when they join the project (because the automated payment options do not take into account the support that the Sponsorship Fund would provide).
As a special message to those receiving support, it would be greatly appreciated if at some time in the future you are in a position to do so, please consider making a contribution so that others in need might also be able to avail of support as you once did.
The following are gratefully acknowledged for having made contributions to our project's Sponsorship Fund:
To contribute to our Sponsorship Fund, go to this webpage at Family Tree DNA, select the letter "P" from the first list, and then select "Pike" from the second list. Please also send an email message to David and/or Stuart at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to describe how you want your donation to be applied. In particular, if you want to restrict your donation in some way (such as to a particular person, or to descendants of particular Pikes, or to people with Pike ancestry from a certain location, etc.) then you will have to tell us about it; otherwise we will assume that your contribution is to be put towards the three general criteria listed earlier.
As for reasons why people might want to contribute to the Sponsorship Fund, the most basic reason is to encourage more people to join the Pike DNA Project. Sometimes people are interested in comparing their own test results with those from certain Pike lines that they suspect they might share kinship with, but these other Pike lines are not yet represented in our project. Sometimes it's because somebody belongs to a particular line but they cannot provide a DNA sample on their own (as is the case when their connection to the line might involve a female ancestor) and they might be having difficulty locating a male Pike relative to provide a DNA sample for analysis. Also, without support from the Sponsorship Fund, some Pike lines might remain untested, meaning that potential matches with genealogical importance would go undetected.
As a disclaimer, note that cash in our Sponsorship Fund is held in trust by Family Tree DNA. David and Stuart generally do not actually handle the money itself, although it is our role to tell Family Tree DNA which tests are to receive support from our Sponsorship Fund.