Dear Fellow Kremenetsers,


Sheree and I are pleased to announce our exciting new DNA Project. Kremenets Shtetl CO-OP member Richard Spector ( has agreed to be Project Leader for this very important work. Richard is researching family from Vishnevets and Shumsk, and he is much more knowledgeable about DNA testing than I am. He will try to answer your questions about participation in this project. So please don't hesitate to contact him. And, of course, if you have any other questions, be sure to contact me or Sheree Roth (


Best wishes,


Ron Doctor

Co-Coordinator, Kremenets Shtetl CO-OP/Jewish Records Indexing-Poland

an activity of the Kremenets District Research Group






The Kremenets Shtetl CO-OP in co-operation with Family Tree DNA has begun a new DNA testing project. This project will provide the opportunity for everyone with ancestors who came from Kremenets or one of the 476 surrounding towns to take advantage of the latest DNA genealogical technology to advance their genealogical inquiries. DNA testing may help you break through that brick wall that has stalled your family history research.


If enough of us participate in this Project, we hope to be able to identify how all of us group into various family trees. Each tree will connect together many people who currently are unaware of their other relatives whose ancestors also came from the greater Kremenets area. Every individual participating in this DNA project has the hope of finding new relatives or confirming suspected, but unproven, relationships to other people. This, in turn, can lead to finding heretofore unknown ancestors from the Kremenets area. 


It is easy to participate in this project by submitting a sample of your DNA to Family Tree DNA, the leading genealogical DNA testing company with whom we have teamed up. (You provide the sample simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek—no blood needed!)   Once you place your order, Family Tree DNA will send you a kit for taking the sample and a mailer for returning it. They will process the sample, send you the results, and provide the results to us so that we may post it on our page on their website. The results come in the form of exact or close DNA matches to others participating in the project. Depending on the nature of the test you took and how close your match is, the results can tell you with a certain probability how many generations ago you and your matching person had a common ancestor. On our page you will be able to see your DNA matches and watch the progress of our project as it unfolds. We will provide explanations and comments for our participants as the project progresses. 


Several different levels of DNA testing are available (discussed below). The different tests cost between $100 and $270. Family Tree DNA has given us a group discount on certain of the tests and they will give the Kremenets Shtetl CO-OP a “commission” of 5% to 10% on test ordered through our group. The money we receive will be used in our on-going projects to acquire and translate documents. Most of you already are familiar with this work.


It is important that you order your DNA kit from the Kremenets page on FamilyTreeDNA’s website (see the link below). That way we will be sure to include your results in our Project for analysis. And our CO-OP will earn the funds to further our document acquisition and translation work.


Participation is open to anyone with an ancestor known or thought to be from the Kremenets area. It is especially important for you to participate if your ancestors came from the surrounding towns (currently about 150 towns are named in the Kremenets vital records). Our ancestors moved around quite a bit, so to discover relationships that encompass more than one town, we must include as many as possible of the towns around Kremenets. 


However, there is one very important criterion about which you must be aware before you participate:


*PLEASE NOTE:* DNA testing allows you to trace your father’s /paternal/ line (Y-DNA testing) and your mother’s /maternal/ line (mtDNA testing). It does /not /allow you to trace back to your father’s mother, or to your mother’s father and /their /lines (or to other mixed male/female ancestral lines) … unless you get a correctly situated cousin, aunt or uncle involved in the DNA testing project. If you think this is something you want to do but aren’t certain how to proceed, please contact us for help.


If you are a male, you should take what is called the Y-DNA test if you want to track your male ancestral line and what is called the mtDNA test if you want to track your female ancestral line. If you are a male, you can take both tests if both your male and female ancestral lines originate in the Kremenets area. Females can take only the mtDNA test. If you need help figuring out who should be tested, and what test they should take, please contact us.


There are four levels of Y-DNA testing: 12, 25, 37, and 59 markers. We strongly recommend you take at least the 25 marker Y-DNA test for the male line, or preferably, the 37 marker test. For the female line, you have three choices: “mtDNA”, “mtDNAPlus”, or “mtDNA Full Sequence”. For now, we recommend the mtDNAPlus test. The more detailed tests cost a bit more but they are well worth the extra money. The more detailed the test the more the results will exclude random matches with unrelated people. And, the more detailed tests will provide matches that have a higher chance of identifying a possible relative whom you can subsequently confirm in a paper trail.


You can link directly to our page on the Family Tree DNA website:


At this website you will find further information about our project as well as an on-line order form. For further information about DNA genealogy with explanations of many of the aspects of this emerging new way to do genealogy, you can browse


You also can reach our page by clicking on this link, which takes you to Family Tree DNA’s home page, and entering “Kremenets” in the search box in the upper right corner. Then click on the search result that comes up.

Of course, if you want more information about our project or about DNA testing, feel free to contact our DNA Project Director, Richard Spector, at