This is the website for the Unkefer/Uncapher/Ungefehr DNA project. If you are male and your surname is Unkefer, Uncapher, Ungefehr, or any other spelling variant, we urge you to become part of the project. If you are not a male with one of these surnames, but are related to this 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? We have a paper trail back to an Ungefehr ancestor who emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1723 from the village of Lambsheim in the Rheinpfalz area of Germany. The surname was Anglicized to Unkafair and later Unkefer. A later descendant adopted Uncapher as the spelling. There are still some people named Ungefehr in Germany. Are we all definitely descended from the same ancestor?

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. You’ll never know if you don’t do the test.

How do you participate? You would 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 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 Ungefehrs 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. 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.

If you want to join the project, just go to our project page and order your kit. Please test at least 37 markers (YDNA-37) so we have enough data to see when the different branches diverged. If you can do the 67 marker test, that is even better. Another option is the Family Finder test, if you’re curious about other branches of your family in addition to the male line. All tests are discounted if you order them through our project.

Rachel Unkefer, Project Administrator