Corson Surname DNA Project


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How to Participate

Because the surname project compares Y-chromosome DNA, only men are able to submit DNA samples for testing.  For best results, those joining the project should believe that they descend in the male-line from a male with the CORSON, COLSON, COURSON, COURSEN, CORSEN, CORSSEN, CORSA, CORSAW, DECOURSEY, VROOM, or RACER surname (or another variant).  Female descendants or individuals descended from female ancestors who want DNA information about their family line will need to identify direct-line male relatives with the relevant surname for testing.  An alternate way to participate in the project is to “sponsor” part or all of the test cost for certain individuals (e.g., close relatives or others in the same Division).  For similar information in brochure form, you can download the project brochure (PDF file, 31 KB).

How to Submit a DNA Sample 

  1. Ensure that the person to be tested is eligible to submit a DNA sample: a male, at least 18 years old, with the surname Corson, Colson, Courson, Coursen, Corsen, Corssen, Corsa, Corsaw, DeCoursey, Vroom, Racer, or another known variant. By joining this study, each participant agrees to have his DNA test results and his direct male-line pedigree  (omitting his name and his father's name) posted on this website.  Participants also will have their test results posted anonymously (with the project coordinator as the contact) on the Ysearch and Ybase databases. (Participants may assume control of these Ysearch and Ybase accounts, if they wish.)
  2. Read the Prices, Privacy Policy, and Notice sections below. Please contact the project coordinator, Michael Corson, at  if you have any questions about them.

  3. Order a test kit:

    A. If in the United States, select DNA Ancestry's 46-marker "Advanced Paternal Lineage" test kit.  Testing is also available through Family Tree DNA, if desired (see below).

    B. If in Europe, select DNA Heritage's 43-marker test kit


  4. Send Michael your male-line ancestral lineage that includes the information shown on the participant lineages page.

  5. Michael will post your DNA test results to the results page once they arrive.



DNA Ancestry offers two Y-chromosome DNA tests of different sizes (33-marker ($149) and 46-marker ($199)). Because each marker has a chance of mutating as it passes from generation to generation, the more markers that are tested, the easier it is to connect each participant to others in the project. Thus, I strongly recommend having 46 markers tested.

DNA Heritage sells its 43-marker test for $189 to members of surname projects.

In addition, a Corson project exists at Family Tree DNA for those wishing to have the markers that its offers tested.  It sometimes has a sale on its 37-marker test with a price lower than that for Ancestry DNA's 46-marker test.  (Both tests examine approximately the same markers; they just count them differently.)

Please contact Michael if you have any questions. 

Partial reimbursements are available! - Funds are available to pay a proportion of test costs for individuals from particular Corson Divisions. See the Subsidy Fund list for reimbursement opportunities for descendants of particular progenitors.  If you would like to provide funds to sponsor part or all of a DNA test for someone else, please contact Michael.  

Privacy Policy

DNA Ancestry, DNA Heritage, or Family Tree DNA will report each participant's DNA test results only to the participant and the project coordinator, Michael Corson.  On this website and in correspondence with others, individual DNA test results will be associated only with the participant's surname and male-line ancestors (down to his grandfather), unless the participant has given permission to reveal additional information.


By having his Y-chromosome DNA tested and compared to those of others in his documented family line, it is possible that a participant may discover that his DNA test results do not agree with his documented male-line ancestry. If this occurs, it means that either (1) the documented ancestry is incorrect or (2) a "misattributed-paternity" event occurred to a known, documented male ancestor at some point in the past, such as an unrecorded adoption, receipt of his mother's maiden name, or birth outside of wedlock. The more recently that a misattributed-paternity event occurred, the more surprising it could feel. Though such surprises occur very rarely in DNA studies, potential participants need to know that the possibility does exist.

Also, research shows that Y-chromosome DNA results can reveal a mutation found in a very small proportion of men (ca. 1 out of every 4000 men tested) that is associated with infertility.  If you've had children, then you don't have this mutation.  Please contact Michael at if you have any questions or concerns.

Last updated: 24 Jan 2009