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NMGS DNA Project

See below for an abstract of "Piecing Together the Y-DNA Puzzle The Shared Genetic Paternal Ancestry of Three New Mexico Families: Durán y Chaves, García de Noriega, and Gurulé" by Daria Celeste Landress and Miguel A. Tórrez, an article published in the December 2022 issue of the New Mexico Genealogist.


Read more about the NMGS DNA project in this presentation.


The New Mexico Genealogical Society’s DNA Project is hosted by FamilyTreeDNA. Our mission is to validate genealogies tracing back to their known origin in New Mexico using Y-DNA and mtDNA testing.

New Mexico settlements occurred in different waves, sometimes in large groups or smaller families, thus resulting in settlers coming at different times. Some genealogies have paper trail road blocks; some are traceable all the way back to the 1598 Oñate settlement, while others can only trace to the Reconquest, Mexican or Territorial periods. Some lineages are also traceable to known Native American ancestors.

In addition to Miguel A. Tórrez, volunteers on the project include: 

  • Henrietta M. Christmas

  • Daria C. Landress

  • Damien Aragon

  • Stephanie Thomas

  • Ernie Sandoval

NMGS DNA Project
Y-DNA Form (Word)
mtDNA Form (Word)
NM Genetic 
Genealogy Blog
NM Genealogist 
DNA Issue
NM Genealogist DNA Articles 2015–Present 

Miguel A. Tórrez
Henrietta M. Christmas
Daria C. Landress



Y-DNA and mtDNA testing is a tool that can help confirm or distinguish branches of the same surname, and help these road blocks by possibly linking them to surname lineages or family branches that have been confirmed using the paper trail/DNA process. The project requires that a participant submit a genealogy for the lineage tested, Y-DNA or mtDNA. Our project has well known genealogists and volunteers that assist in researching, validating and finalizing genealogies.


A person who only tests a Family Finder cannot join the project.


A person who only has Family Finder results from FTDNA can easily upgrade to a Y-DNA or mtDNA test (or both) and become eligible for the benefits our project offers.  The results of this test (also known as “autosomal” testing) contain inherited DNA from both of your parents that are passed down through the generations.  

All people that appear on the results list are cousins, from one side or the other, and some are more distant than others, determined by the cM (centiMorgan number).


The goal of the NMGS DNA Project is to use the genealogies and DNA results to better understand New Mexican ancestry by managing them in a database listing last known ancestors for the lines tested. To accomplish this, the project is designed to be open with sharing genealogies and DNA results. This in turn helps New Mexico genetic genealogy as a whole.


In order to fulfill our commitment to list the earliest known ancestor for each kit, we request participants to provide NMGS DNA Group Project Administrators Advanced Access to their DNA Kit.


Requirements to Join the Project
  1. Fill out and submit the Applicant Questionnaire and Request to Join the NMGS DNA Project.

  2. Read and sign the Terms of Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Consent to Participate in NMGS DNA Project.

  3. Submit a Lineage form for validation by one of the NMGS DNA Project volunteers.


If a participant does not adhere to the requirements above, administrators have the right to remove them from the project.

Please find the links to the forms and applications and follow the requirements in the sidebar to the right.

It is a requirement that a participant is an NMGS member. We are here to serve you and becoming a member has many advantages. We are the society that has been serving New Mexico genealogy since 1960. ​



Submit a "JOIN US" form:

Gives the administrator authority to analyze the participant’s DNA data and genealogy.  Also, participants need to grant access, visit instructions here.


Also states whom the results can be shared with.

If sending a printed form, mail to:

Miguel A. Tórrez

P. O. Box 1262

Santa Cruz, NM 87567


Submit a "GENEALOGY" form:

The genealogy form should be filled out and sourced as best as possible.


Our team will check, correct and validate what is submitted.

Submission by email as a MS Word document is preferred.


Piecing Together the Y-DNA Puzzle The Shared Genetic Paternal Ancestry of Three New Mexico Families: Durán y Chaves, García de Noriega, and Gurulé
by Daria Celeste Landress and Miguel A. Tórrez 


The Big Y-700 DNA test, offered by FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA), was used by the NMGS-DNA project team to 1) confirm whether tested males associated with Family Clade I-BY13531, a subclade of I-M253, were associated with the Chávez, Garcia, and Gurulé surnames, and 2) whether all three surnames descend from a common patrilineal ancestor within genealogic time. To answer this question, in 2022 the researchers added five new strategically selected Big Y-700 kits to the existing group of 23, bringing the total number to 28.  The resulting Big Y Block Tree confirmed and illustrated the genetic connectedness between participants, including branching points for each of the studied lines. In addition, the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) of all tested participants was estimated to have been 450 years ago, +/- 100 years. The statistical mean of 1576 of the common era (CE) correlates with the approximate birthyear of Pedro (I) Duran y Chaves.  The results support the hypothesis that Pedro (I) Duran y Chaves is the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for the Chávez, Garcia, and Gurulé lines of New Mexico, as well as others to be determined. Research is ongoing and new results will be published in 2023. This study underscores the need for strategic Y-700 DNA testing, to assure the highest level of fidelity for Y-DNA surname studies.  The exceptional granularity of the Y-700 DNA test yielded results that clarified otherwise confusing STR based test results (e.g., Y-37; Y-111 tests) and resolved lingering patrilineal and genealogical questions.


Full article in the December 2022 New Mexico Genealogist, published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society. Also included will be historical biographies of these families by José Antonio Esquibel.

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