About the Project


We encourage participation in this project from everyone with ancestors who lived in the original Orangeburgh District in South Carolina. The area includes the modern counties of Orangeburg, Lexington, Calhoun, Barnwell, Bamberg and parts of Aiken and Allendale. The old Orangeburgh District first experienced significant European settlement in the mid-1730's with the establishment of a series of inland townships. Settlers included substantial numbers of Swiss and later German immigrants as well as traders and other settlers from existing coastal towns in South Carolina and other English colonies to the north.

The study incorporates the full range of DNA tests available through Family Tree DNA. Male line (yDNA), female line (mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA), and autosomal (Family Finder) studies are included. Family Tree DNA tutorials and other website information are helpful in understanding these tests.

This study has already confirmed and added to our knowledge of Orangeburgh District families. As more people participate we expect to continue learning additional information. Possible outcomes include answering questions about unidentified female lines, adoptions, and related family groups. Participation in surname studies can be complemented by participation in this study.

This website reports results for participants while maintaining the anonymity of individual test subjects.The yDNA and mtDNA pages at this website show haplogroup results and ancestral information for project participants by surname and kit number. More complete test results can be found by using the FamilyTreeDNA link on each of these pages.

Autosomal DNA results are more sensitive, since they may reflect medical conditions and other hereditary attributes. They cannot be made generally available, although participants and project administrators can identify which chromosomal segments match to other individual participants. The Family Finder page for this project provides the ancestral data to determine the relationships between project participants. It is password protected but can be accessed by those who have taken the Family Finder test and have provided their ancestral information to this project.


The Y-DNA test helps to trace your direct paternal line (your father, his father, etc). It is most effective in helping to identify distant common ancestors rather than more recent ones. Only males can order a yDNA test.

The mtDNA test helps to trace your direct maternal line (your mother, her mother, etc). As with the yDNA test, it is most efective in helping to identify more distant common ancestors rather than more recent ones Both males and females can order an mtDNA test.

The Family Finder test is used to trace all of the lines of your family, both paternal and maternal, and all those in between (i.e. paternal grandmother's father's line). It is most effective at identifying potential relationships within the most recent five generations but may provide useful results out to seven generations. The Family Finder pages allow sharing of pedigree information among participants to help identify potential relationships. Both males and females can order a Family Finder test.

In many cases, the Orangeburgh group supplements a DNA surname group or other group. Additional information can be found on the web sites of various projects listed on the ftDNA Projects Page (The Orangeburgh District project can be found under "Dual Geographical Projects).


DNA is a powerful tool for family history studies, although one with some limitations. For example, yDNA matches across surnames can be "accidental", especially when common DNA groups are involved and less than 25 markers are tested. (They are not actually accidental but converge over time within a large group producing the deceptive appearance of a relatively close match.)

Many families have lived together in the old Orangeburgh District area for several centuries, and linkages between these families are complex. This DNA study group permits convenient comparison of yDNA, mtDNA and autosomal DNA results to help resolve problems associated with unidentified ancestors. In all cases comparison with known lineages and known pedigrees must supplement the DNA studies. That is the purpose of this project. Help us break down a few more of our ancestral brick walls by participating in this project. Everyone has something to contribute!

How to Participate

If you have already tested at Family Tree DNA

Go to your personal Family Tree DNA webpage and click on "Join Projects" under the "My Projects" heading on the left. On the index page that will appear, click on "Orangeburgh District" under "Dual Geographical Projects." Once you've joined the Orangeburgh District Project, send your Pedigree/Lineage Information to: Margaret Waters or Jim Rickenbacker.

If you have not tested at Family Tree DNA

To join the Orangeburgh District DNA Project and order a test kit at a discount, click on the link below and follow the instructions. The kit can be shipped either to you, or directly to the person for whom you are purchasing.

Order Test Kit

Once you've joined the Orangeburgh District Project and ordered your test kit, send your Pedigree/Lineage Information to: Margaret Waters or Jim Rickenbacker.


Lynn Teague, Project Administrator
Margaret Waters, Co-administrator - Family Finder
Jim Rickenbacker, Co-administrator - yDNA, mtDNA).