Pulliam Surname Project at FTDNA

Join the Pulliam Surname Project

One of my genealogy goals is to use a combination of records and DNA to “prove” my connection to the person that many Pullums and Pulliams I’ve spoken to believe is our “come to America” male ancestor, Edward Augustus Pulliam (b. 1600, Ripley, Yorkshire, England, d. 1644, Hanover, Virginia). Unfortunately, my paper trail stops in antebellum Kentucky with Thomas Pullum/Pulliam and his son Drury (my 4th great-grandfather).

The first family tree builder website I used was Geni. When Geni added integration with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), I decided to check it out, so that’s where I got started with genetic genealogy. I’ve gotten a few kits for family members over time, but the most interesting thing I did was get my partner’s grandfather, Papa Jack, tested. After getting the results, a project administrator contacted me and asked if Jack would join a surname project.

The goal of this project was to document the variations in the Y chromosome among the descendants of a “most recent common ancestor” (MRCA) using the Big-Y test. They were able to determine that specific tester men descended from a specific ancestor (sons of the MRCA), built a hypothetical tree, and triangulated with records and reasoned estimation.

FTDNA has numerous groups projects, including a Pulliam one. I joined it, but there wasn’t much going on. After my experience with Jack, and after noticing that the Pulliam project was missing an administrator, I decided to take the plunge and asked to take it over.

As the new admin. I’ve invited multiple Pullums, Pullams, and Pulliams I’ve met online to the project, including the folks who manage the Historical Pulliam Family Cemetery in Dewy Rose, Georgia (hopefully I can visit someday) and host the very useful family tree document.

If you are interested, please visit the project page and drop me a line.

“Sometimes they just fall out of the hamper.”

*I wrote this February 5, 2020, prior to the pandemic. Like almost everything else in life, my genealogy and other plans for 2020 and what actually happened were daylight and dark. However, we are both extremely fortunate to be healthy, safe, and working from home.

Nothing about doing genealogy well is quick or easy. Having spent a decade or so fumbling around with my tree, research, and DNA, I think I can just now call myself “familiar” with what genealogy is and what genealogists actually do.

I like the discovery, problem solving, and “connecting the dots” parts of the craft, assuming you can find dots to connect in the universe of stars. However, I’m not a detail-oriented person, and there are many traps, pitfalls, and the inevitable and frustrating “brick-walls.”

As much of a people-person as I think I am, I feel like I still need to communicate better. Finding study buddies and at least one ideally more people per line or branch will help you quite a bit, and is something I’ve been better at recently.

I was inspired to write a post after receiving an email reply from a member of the California Mayflower Society, having asked where I should start looking for my ancestor (assuming I have one). Essentially I got “you’re on your own kid” but they also said “Sometimes they just fall out of the hamper.” 

This I have to see. I didn’t get upset at this comment though. I just took it in stride (older person humor maybe?). I’ll ask around and see if someone at my “local” family history center can help out.