Society of the Descendants of Johannes de la Montagne
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What is the
Surname DNA Project?

The Society of Descendants of Johannes de la Montagne seeks males bearing the Montanye name (or any of its variants) who are willing to provide a mouth swab sample for a 12-marker Y-chromosome DNA test. We wish to have samples from members of each branch in order to test our belief that all are descendants of Dr. Johannes Mousnier de la Montagne (1595-1670), Huguenot physician of New Amsterdam and Vice Director of the Colony of New Netherland (today known as New York).

With the results we can calculate the Most Recent Common Ancestor for those surnames with a significant marker match and create a report describing the results. The report will be available on our website as the testing progresses (click here for rolling results).

We believe that the most common surnames used today in North America by descendants of Dr. Johannes Mousnier de la Montagne (1595-1670) are Montanye, Montaney, Montanya, Mantonya, Mantanya, Mintonye, Montana, Montaine, Montonye, Montayne and de la Montanya, but there are others. Participants from all of the various name spellings, including those that are not currently identified on the SDJM site, are encouraged to join in the test program.

The Y-chromosome is passed from father to son unchanged, except for a mutation about every 500 generations. Testing the Y-chromosome will provide us with a genetic fingerprint consisting of 12 or 25 numbers, called markers. By comparing each fingerprint to others with other surname variants, we can determine who is related.


Since a Surname Project in essence traces members of a family that share a common surname, and females (a) don't carry their father's Y-chromosome, and (b) acquire a new surname by way of marriage, in order to be relevant to the Surname Project, the tested individual must be a male who wants to crack his paternal line (father's father's father's…). The test to be ordered initially is the Y-DNA12, and females should look for a brother or a cousin with that surname to be tested. Females can also order a test for themselves to determine their maternal line (mother's mother's mother's…), which will be the mtDNA or mtDNAplus, but the results of these tests cannot be tied to the Surname Project.


Not sure if this is a situation that applies to you? Have issues? Want to obtain additional information? Write to:

Lois Stewart, Administrator
1601 Nectarine Street #B-3
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

or email her at


Each male participant would provide a mouth swab sample to be analyzed by the Family Tree DNA laboratory. This sampling technique is painless and only involves the use of a swab to collect a small amount of cells from the inside of a person's cheek. The participant administers the test in the privacy of his own home. A standard swab kit is provided from the FTDNA testing laboratory. Each test kit consists of two cheek scrapers and two holding containers for shipping. The reason for two of each is to ensure a good collection of cheek cells for analysis. We would like to find two males from each branch of the DE LA MONTAGNE family to provide samples. While we would eventually like to test twenty or more individuals, we can start with a few and add others as they come forward.

A Montagne Surname Project Profile has been established at Family Tree DNA. Click on the preceding link to see that profile at the Family Tree DNA site. When you decide to take part in this project, go back to the Project Profile page to order your own kit.

The analysis itself, after samples are collected, takes about 5-6 weeks.


First of all, you should know that no medical tests are being run on your samples. Only the Y-chromosome is being tested. Still, if you feel nervous about your privacy, you should be aware that the lab will never know your name. The lab work is done at the University of Arizona, while Family Tree DNA is located in Texas. Each sample is given an ID number before being forwarded to the lab and the lab never knows which man has offered the sample.

Obviously, the privacy of the results is of concern to us, too. The release form is required simply to allow the information to be sent to Lois Stewart as Group Administrator. The DNA participants will receive more detailed messages and reports. Any reports resulting from this test would only identify sample numbers, not individual names. The only risk of participating in such a study is that the participant might discover that he is not actually a male DE LA MONTAGNE descendant as he expected. We would expect all DE LA MONTAGNE descendants to match on 12 of 12 markers, or 11 of 12 markers if the relationship is quite distant.


As the project progresses, the summarized results (such as: this branch and this surname are related through Dr. Johannes de la Montagne) will be posted on the SDJM web site for all visitors and the participants of the program to view. The results will also be reported in the SDJM Newsletter. The participants will never be identified by name unless they want to be.

In summary, we are testing so that we may be sure of all of our variant surname branches. We are interested in confirming that these surnames are related to each other. By doing so, we will save time and money and avoid frustration in our genealogical research, should it turn out that some of our present assumptions are wrong.

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