In May 2011 Peter Cuffley and David Cufley decided to start their DNA project , partly as the way to answer the question that all CUF(F)LEYs ask "are we related". Over 40 years research has not provided a conclusive answer to this question.
DNA testing does not replace the research of records and documents, it is merely a tool that might suggest an alternative avenue of research.
If you are interested in DNA testing for family history we recommend you read Chris Pomery's book 'DNA and Family History' published by the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England in 2004. ISBN 1 903365 708.
Chris Pomery quotes Professor David Hey (p44) "whether a family surname could have a single ancestor". "The rule of thumb is that if the deaths of 50 name bearers were registered in England and Wales in the five year period 1842-6 then that average of 10 deaths per year suggests that the surname is small enough that it's bearers could have had a single ancestor'.
The CUF(F)LEY registered deaths in this period was 15. While there is at least a 25% error in this figure due to unregistered deaths the rule of thumb would suggest that we do have a single ancestor.
Perhaps now DNA testing can help discover if the CUF(F)LEYs do descend from the mythical Kuffa who had a clearing in the forest of south Hertfordshire. All we have to do is prove it with the document research.
The Anglo-Saxon invasion into Hertfordshire may mean we are the offspring of one of the marauders (1), (2).
If you would like to join us in this DNA project please contact us at davidrcufleycufley.co.uk. Alternatively you can join the project on familytreeDNA and sign up to have your Y-DNA tested. We would suggest that you have 37 markers tested. This has become the standard for our study but if you have only 12 or 25 markers tested that will still help with discovering the CUF(F)LEY family origins.
If you have CUF(F)LEYs in your family history research and would like to know more about them please do not hesitate to contact either Peter Cuffley or David Cufley.
1) Williamson, Tom. (2010), The origins of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Publications. ISBN 9781905313952.
2) Thomas, M. G., Stumpf, P. H., Harke, H. Evidence for an apartheid-like social structure in early Anglo-Saxon England, Proceedings of the Royal Society (2006) 273, 2651-2657, published online 18 July 2006.
3) Chris Pomery, Chris 'DNA and Family History' published by the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England in 2004. ISBN 1 903365 708.