by Phillip G. Goff, GGFA Director of Genetic Genealogy

The genetic family charts on the GGFA website hold important clues. Sometimes these charts, which are based on YSNPs and YSTRs, agree with the paper trail. The charts can also point the way to break down a brick wall.


On the GGFA website, genetic charts are located in the following path: Archives & Research>DNA Surname Study. On this landing page, please click on the link titled Current GGFA DNA Family Groups. Genetic charts are being built for all families, but not all are complete at this time. The “1564” genetic chart includes 20 lineages that track the Y-chromosome. These lineages stretch across the Oxfordshire Gough family, the Rehoboth Goff family and the Buckingham Co., VA Gough family.

An Anomaly:

The 1564 genetic chart is primarily constructed from YSNP mutations discovered in Big Y 700 testing. YSNPs are markers that are believed to have mutated only once in the history of mankind. Not all participants have taken Big Y 700. Information is also gleaned from YSTRs in tests such as YDNA37, YDNA67 or YDNA111. This information supports known lineages or offer clues for those with brick walls.

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Next Steps:

Two YSTR mutations strongly suggest that Jonathan Goff b. 1818 MA and David T. Goff b. 1812 NY are descendants of Robert Goff b. 1722 MA. Testing all three lineages with Big Y 700 will reveal the precise nature of the connection between these three Goff families. Fully-paid GGFA members in these lineages are encouraged to identify potential participants for a fully sponsored Big Y 700 test.

For more information, please check our DNA Surname Study pages or email me at Each new participant helps to fill in the history of the Goff/Gough families.


Phillip Goff is the co-author, along with Roy L. Lockhart, of The Four Goff Brothers of Western Virginia. Since 2004, he has run the Goff/Gough Surname DNA Study, which today has about 400 participants.

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