by Phillip G. Goff, GGFA DNA Project Manager

In the September 25, 2021 GGFA Virtual Gathering, I presented on the topic of “Instant Goff/Gough Family Tree: Using Autosomal DNA Results to Find Your Y Haplogroup.” The theme was that autosomal DNA tests from AncestryDNA, 23andme, MyHeritage and LivingDNA include YSNPs. These YSNPs can be used to connect male line descendants to one of the 33 known genetic Goff/Gough families, or form new ones. The YSNP alone places the descendant in a family tree. No other information, such as surname, location or lineage, is required. This technique was put to use fewer than two weeks later. Details in the following account are slightly altered to protect privacy while illustrating the power of a single YSNP to connect a family.

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Do you know of a male Gough, Goff, Goffe, Gaughf or Gawf who has taken an AncestryDNA, 23andme, MyHeritage or LivingDNA autosomal test? If so, their test results can help the GGFA connect descendants to the 33 known Goff/Gough families and to identify new genetic families. Please contact me at to get these results into the GGFA DNA program.

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.

Editor’s Note: A video of Phil Goff’s presentation (and others from our 2nd GGFA Virtual Gathering) mentioned above is available for viewing by GGFA members at

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