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 others (e.g., close or distant relatives in the same Division).  For similar information in brochure form, you can download the project brochure.

How to have DNA tested

  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 project, each participant with Y-DNA results agrees to have them and his direct male-line pedigree posted on this website (omitting his name and his father's name, unless requested).
  2. Read the Prices, Privacy Policy, and Notice sections below. Please contact the project coordinator, Michael Corson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), if you have any questions about them.

  3. To be eligible for reduced prices for DNA tests at Family Tree DNA, visit the Corson project page at its website and send a request to join the project.  Please include the name and birth/death dates of your earliest-known male-line ancestor in the request.

  4. Michael will review the join request and add you to the project if you are eligible. You then will be able to order a reduced-price DNA test from Family Tree DNA.

  5. While waiting for test results, send Michael additional information about the wives and birth/death places of your male-line ancestors (as shown on the participant lineages page).

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


Prices for Y-DNA STR tests from FTDNA (Y37, Y67, Y111) vary from $99-$289 depending upon the number of markers tested, the group discount, and whether a sale is occurring. 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.

SNP tests are also available from several companies, either for individual SNPs or many at a time (e.g., Big Y test, Geno 2.0).  If you wish to order an SNP test, please review current information about them and, since the most important SNPs for a given Division are changing rapidly, please contact Michael before ordering.

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 visit the Subsidy Fund page for instructions or contact Michael.

Privacy Policy

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) "misattributed paternity" of a known, documented male ancestor occurred 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  misattributed paternity occurred, the more surprising it may 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 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you have any questions or concerns.