The Johann Adam and Anna Maria (Mertz)


Family of Berks and Schuylkill Counties, Pennsylvania

Zehner Surname Y-DNA Project Launched!

Great news! Those of the Zehner Surname now have a direct link to their distant cousins and ancestors!

A Zehner-surname Y-DNA project has just been started. We seek both the recent and the ancient origins of Adam Zehner's male-line ancestors and descendants.

You may have read recently that certain portions of the DNA that all males have in every cell of their bodies contains an exact replica of the DNA of their fathers. It's called Y-DNA, and your father's Y-DNA is identical to that of his father, and to that of his grandfather. And so on, back into the distant origins of your ancestral tree. (Ladies can use this remarkable feature as well, if they can motivate a brother, uncle, or other male-line Zehner descendant.)

We have recently partnered with the Family Tree DNA testing group to explore this unique documentary evidence of our past.

The project contemplates the many variants of our surname that are known to have evolved in over the past 246 years, including Zaner, Zahner, Saner, and Sanor. But we also seek the connection (if any) with the descendants of Michael Zehner (1745- aft 1820) of Alsace, Lorraine, whose surname is known to have evolved to include Zenor, Zeanor,and Saner, among others.

Purposes of this project are:

1) To test the hypothesis that Johann Adam Zehner (say 1735-1814) late of Schuylkill Co., PA, was a close relative of a certain Johann Michael Zehner (1745- aft 1820) of Alsace, Loraine. (N. B. Descendants of the later now go by several surnames including, but not limited to, Zenor, Zeanor, Saner, and Sanor. Further, some descendants of Adam Zehner now use the surname Zaner)

2) To assist in validating (or challenging) the documented genealogy of the descendants of the same Johann Adam Zehner reported in the recent book by William J. Zehner.

3) To assist the effort to locate the Germanic birthplace of Johann Adam Zehner.

4) To provide a public database in support of all those individuals of the Zehner surname (and all its current variants) who seek their ancestral past.

Early results:

Initial test results suggest that the Adam Zehner Y-haplogroup is I1, a group that occurs in large numbers in Scandinavia and northern Germany. Our ancient ancestors were Norsemen.

We invite active participation by all those who are fascinated by our family origins. You can learn more about our project here: Zehner DNA Project

Questions or comments may be emailed
to the

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Last Updated on 24 July 2010

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