This is the website for the Bacharach DNA project. If you are male and your surname is (or was in some previous generation) Bacharach, Bachrach, Bacherach, Bacher, Backrack, or any other spelling variant, we urge you to become part of the project. If you are not a male with the Bacharach surname, but are related to a Bacharach family some other way, you can participate by helping to identify and recruit males from your family who have the appropriate Y-DNA.
What are we trying to find out? There are many Bacharach families who lived in various parts of Germany, the Czech Republic, and Eastern Europe in the 17th-19th centuries. Many of them had the surname Bacharach or Bachrach long before surnames were mandated by the governments where they lived. What we wanted to determine is whether all these different families with that surname are related, which would mean they started in one place with that surname and spread out, or whether they adopted the surname independently of each other. The best way to find out scientifically is to carry out what’s called a surname study, which looks at the Y-DNA, and compares several representatives of different Bacharach families from different parts of the world. What we need is more males with the Bacharach surname, especially men whose ancestry we know something about, so that we can connect the scientific data with the historical data. So far, all the Bacharach males that have been tested share a common ancestor, probably in the 14th or 15th century.
What’s in it for you? Maybe there’s a long-lost branch of your family out there somewhere that you would never have run across otherwise. This is your chance to find them, and for them to find you. Or maybe you’ll turn out to be part of the distinguished rabbinic Bacharach family. You’ll never know if you don’t do the test.
How do you participate? You only need to do a cheek swab, no blood test, nothing more intrusive. The only thing that would be tested for would be the Y-DNA, which does not carry any information about diseases or anything else confidential. The information from the test would tell whether you share a recent (within a few hundred years) male ancestor with the other participants, and how far back that ancestor likely was. It also tells you the larger group (haplogroup) of your Y-DNA in the larger schema of human migration several thousand years ago. The cost of the 37-marker test with the project discount is $149, but if that’s an impediment contact us and we can try to work something out. And, if you are descended from the Bacharachs and would like to help, but don’t have the correct DNA, you can contribute to the testing fund to help defray the costs of testing for your cousins who have the DNA.
The company that does the tests and runs the project is FamilyTreeDNA, which was the first one in that business. You might have heard a while back about the Cohen gene research–that was done by the main scientist from this company. Here’s an FAQ that provides some information, and I can try to answer any other questions you have based on my experience, or I can get an answer for you from the FTDNA folks. Nobody in the project benefits financially from the purchase of tests. This is is solely a scholarly/intellectual pursuit.
If you want to join the project, just go to our project page and order your kit. Please test at least 37 markers so we have enough data to see when the different branches diverged. If you can do the 67 marker test, that is even better.
Rachel Unkefer, Project Administrator
P.S. Like this website? It’s hosted by ConnectNC. They set up the WordPress template for me and designed a custom graphic for the header. If you have a genealogy or DNA project website and you’d like it to look this good, contact me for more information.