MG’s Paper Researching Distant Ancestors in the Line of Paternal Descendancy

The following paper was prepared by a distant cousin (MG) who corresponds with me on y-DNA studies and is printed with his permission. The paper summarizes the current findings of DNA research as they relate to our branch of the human “family tree”. I will make reference to this paper in further posts on this website on this subject.

Ancestral DNA project

 I am participating in a DNA Ancestry project to trace & search my genetic genealogy with three Labs, one Canadian, a British and a US Lab for deep SNP testing, which specializes in DNA testing.

I have originally purchased kits for testing: one for paternal & the other for maternal origin testing. My ancestral DNA CDN provider was offering DNA general services including ancestral DNA. However, they do not offer any analysis/reports of your results. The same issue exist for other Labs. No analysis. They are all interested in doing the tests and, I suspect, it is to make a profit.

The British Lab did provide a narrative but it was so generic in nature, covering 4 UK countries only that it was totally useless for me has my roots are from Normandy. Some Labs go as far as, not posting the results at the public website, to prevent you from comparing your results to the database. This is done, I surmise, in order to entice you in ordering more tests. Now I concentrate on Y-DNA only with my latest request.

There are 3 DNA inheritance patterns:

1-Autosomal (autosome)

2-Y-DNA (male) and

3- mtDNA (female).

Not all DNA providers test for these or if they do, they charge separately. Some offer combinations. The testing for # of markers varies from Lab to Lab and so do the prices.

Using the original literature from my CDN DNA provider, it states that Y-DNA (58 Million pairs) is inherited along the paternal line (from father to son). Ancestral markers (mutation) can be found throughout the entire Y-DNA.

There are two types of ancestral markers:

1- Short Tandem Repeat (STR) and

2- Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) (pronounced snip).

STR markers have rapid mutation rate (changes occur every few generations) compared to SNPs, which have a much slower mutation rate (changes occur every few hundred years or more).

These two types of markers allow scientists to trace recent ancestry (from a few generations ago) by testing STRs, and to trace deep ancestry (from thousands of years ago) by testing SNPs.

The paternal side STR DNA markers are concentrated in the Y chromosome (inherited from father to son) contains 58 million pair bits of info, each of which is encoded by a base pair.

Geneticists have identified specific chromosome locations that can be used for testing and comparison. These unique locations are called markers and when they occur on the Y chromosome they are given the names starting with DYS.

At some Y chromosome locations, there are segments of base pairs that are repeated in the DNA. Markers with these types of repetitions are called STR markers and are subject to rapid mutation. Example at the DYS391 location markers, TCTA (DNA chemicals A,T,C,G) is repeated 10 times. The # of repeats is the value that is shown on the Y-DNA test reports for the markers. Some markers are duplicate markers since they have two values Ex: DYS385a and DSY385b.  Others have more DYD464 has 5.

The next set is the SNP markers which has a much lower mutation rate (changes occur every few 100 yrs). The SNP markers are single changes in precise points of the DNA. Once a mutation occurs, it acts as an ancestral time date marker and all further generations will always carry that marker. Each SNP mutation that we carry allows us to trace our ancestry to a specific time and place in history.

The mtDNA markers are inherited along the maternal line (mother to child but it is retained and past along if it is daughter). From mother >daughter>daughter and so on. The mtDNA is divided into 3 regions. They are the coding region (00577-16023) and two hyper-variable regions HVR1 (16204-16569) and HVR2 (00001-00576).The entire mtDNA is 16,659 pairs (nucleotides) in length (1 to 16,569 base pairs). The mtDNA SNPs total approximately 3,000.

If you decide to request testing kits, request the highest # of paternal markers at the same time and the SNP tests. For the maternal tests, do the mtDNA (HVR-1 and HVR-2) first because that would be different to mine (different mothers). You then could consider later the SNP mtDNA test later.

My personal ancestral DNA

A Haplogroup (HP) defines where you fit in the Human genome tree. Letters and numbers are use to differentiate people. It also helps with understanding the population movement (migration) throughout the various regions of the world taken by our ancestors. It is a different route for males and females. If you test positive at specific SNP markers, you are in Y-HP I* or mtDNA-H*.

My original predicted Y-DNA Haplogroup was the Y-HP-“I1a” using my DYS455=8. The Haplogroup “I” is a branch which descended from Haplogroup “F” ancestors. Individuals belonging to the Haplogroup “I” carry the M89+ and the M213+ SNP markers of Haplogroup “F” and are further characterized by additional markers in the Y-DNA called M170+, M168+, M258+, M253+. The presence of the M170+ marker is unique to all individuals who descended from this line HP “I”. Now, with more SNPs testing done in 2015, I am no longer “I1a” but rather I-M253+,I-M253* and I-Z132+.

The founder of Haplogroup “I” lived approx. 15,000-20,000 years ago possibly in the Balkans (ancient Greece) during the last Glacial Maximum. He is a direct descendent of Haplogroup “F” ancestors who journeyed from the Middle East into the Balkans.

Today, the highest frequencies of Haplogroup “I” is found in the Balkans near the Dinaric Mountain chain in Croatia. Haplogroup “I” is strongly associated with Croat population namely Slavic people living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other nearby countries.

As the ice sheets retreated at the end of the Ice Age, these ancestors continued their journey northward Europe, in particular Scandinavia (a region in Northern Europe named after Scandinavian Peninsula). Today, a large portion of Scandinavian populations in the Adriatic regions, including Denmark, mainland Norway, Sweden and Finland trace their ancestry to this line. The Vikings are likely descendents from this line. The detection of low frequencies of this Haplogroup on the British Isles, France and some Celtic populations may be the results of more recent Vikings raids in these regions.

The association between Haplogroup “I” and Celtic culture is consistent with the parallels seen between the observed spread oh Haplogroup “I” in Western Europe and the corresponding Celtic expansion that occurred in the mid-first millennium BC. HP “I1” is estimated (in 2013) to be 4,000 to 5,000 years old. Now in 2015, it could be 8,000 to 10,000 years old.

Sub-types/clades of Haplogroup “I” include:

  • I 1 a – found at highest frequencies in Scandinavia, Iceland, and northwest Europe.
  • I 1 b – highly concentrated in Greece and other areas of Southern Europe.
  • I 1 c
  • I 2

Despite its apparent designation as “I “, subgroup”I”1a – with its “I”1b, 1c neighbours – have been shown to be of non-Scandinavian origin. Its roots have been traced to as recently as the past 1,000 years, and are thought to be linked to Anglo-Saxon migrations from southern into northern Europe. The group’s modern-day seat is in central Europe. See

“I”1a: The Haplogroup “I”1a lineage likely has its roots in northern France. Today it is found most frequently within Viking / Scandinavian populations in northwest Europe and has since spread down into Central and Eastern Europe, where it is found at low frequencies. See

I tested my personal Y-DNA markers at various sites including my DNA service provider and found no real comparison. Maybe there is no comparison available in North America as my ancestor originated, in 1643, from Dieppe, Normandie, France.

Those markers confirmed that my ancestors were part of the Haplogroup “I” (HG I) which was founded possibly in the Balkans (ancient Greece) 15,000-20,000 years ago during the last Glacial Maximum.

My paternal main Haplogroup is Y“I-M253+.

The HP I-M253+ had two branches until recently. The SNP markers represented by DF29+ (HP I1a) >Z58+ (HP I1a2), Z131+ (HP I1b) and S438+ (HP I2). With my results, there is a new separate branch I-Z132+. The branch Z132+ is estimated to be 8,000 to 10,000 years old.

The geographic location may be Northern France in the caves (some 36,000 years old) near Dieppe, Normandy, unless deep SNP ancestry tests reveals an older location, the ethnic group has not been determined yet.

The mtDNA is inherited along the maternal line (mother to child) and hold the key to the mysteries of our maternal ancestry. If the mtDNA is passed on to a son, it will end there. If it is passed on to a daughter, then the daughter-daughter will transfer it to the next generation.

My mtDNA SNP results states that my ancestral maternal ancestors were part of HG “mtDNA H”. However, the HG “H” has 90 subgroups many in EU. The British Lab labelled mine as mtDNA-Pioneer H86 based on one additional SNP marker they found T1809C. No explanation given for Pioneer. The CDN Lab prediction is incorrect at mtDNA H26.

In my research, I found an article that associated the migration of Y I-M253+ with the migration of mtDNA H. In other words, the wives traveled with their men on their voyage.

Therefore, all male “G” should share the same STR and SNP Y-DNA markers unless there is a substitution, an insertion or mutation.

With respect to the mtDNA markers, the outcome is totally different for all of you. My own mtDNA would be that of my mother’s, my maternal grand-mother and g-grand-mother.

Your mtDNA would be that of your mother, maternal grand-mother and so on.

My autosomal results indicate that my ancestry is 83% EU & West Eurasian, 7% South-West Asia, 4% South Asia, 3% North Asia and 1% Native American. Ancestry components below 1-3% are potentially not informative

For further information, MG suggests the websites and . Another approach would is to suggest that people enter in Google the various terms used: DNA chemicals A T C G, DNA acronyms, Human Mitochondrial Genome and Single-nucleotide Polymorphism. See also . If you have some DYS and SNPs results, you could search for Y-I-M253, DYS455=8, or for mtDNA 16519. Insertion, substitution, mutation.

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Sorting through the Y-DNA clues

In my last correspondence on these pages, I posted a note from a y-dna group administrator that suggested that it would be useful to test for certain y-DNA SNPs before trying to interpret the 111 markers for which I had recently been tested.

The organization with which my test results are stored,, has confidently designated my haplogroup as I-M253.  Between the Sorensen Molecular Research Foundation, and a small group of surnames has been identified as associated with my y-dna line – Saunders, Crump, Kerley, and (a recent addition from Dewar.

After waiting for a possibly more distant relative to get his results from Britain’s Chrome 2.o test, I made the decision to test for two SNPs, DF 29 and Z58.

While awaiting those results I came upon the information that one of the Crump men that has determined is closely related to me has tested positive for SNP Z59+, itself derived from Z58. Therefore, even in advance of receiving the results, I am expecting my tests for the two SNPs DF29 and Z58 (the latter which emerged from the former) both to be positive. Any other result will be quite confusing.

A view of the harbor at Aveton-Gifford in Devon, a possible ancestral homeland?

During the anticipated long wait for SNP results, I will attempt to sort through how the y-DNA data on “close relatives” meshes with my genealogical research based on birth records, wills and other paper trails, as well as my speculative guesses based on historical events in England and Virginia – ideas that have been set forth on these website pages.

I’ve been doing some initial work on who is I-M253 in my y-dna line and also in other male lines known to have intermarried at some point with the male ancestors who are directly in my y-dna line.

I’m aware that this is a departure from the traditional ways of doing genalogical research with the construction of family trees based on records that rise to the level of acceptable genealogical proof. Readers of this website know I like all of the records – wills, census documents, Quaker meeting minutes, historical maps, photographs if available.

But how can tracing y-dna lines help with genealogical research? I believe that there are special situations in “deep ancestral research” that make what seems impossible to prove not to be. These special situations include historical reasons why particular groups intermarried, and why groups of families retained relationships with each other over centuries.

Note that the name of the website refers to “Vikings” and to “Virginians”.  Why so?

It’s a known fact that the Viking aristocracy that took over England after the Battle of Hastings kept power in the Norman-descended families for centuries, while families continually were intermarrying.

There are some particular subgroups that appear to be relevant to my family history. These include religious dissenters (Protestants in Catholic England, Quakers and Baptists in Anglican Virginia).

Also, the particular surnames, that range from not partiularly common to quite rare are all represented in the coastal counties of Southern England, particularly England’s Southwest –  Devonshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset, Wiltshire. The surnames often show up with maritime activities and/or with religious dissent.

Significantly, in the revolutionary 17th century decades leading up to and through the English Civil War and continuing through the Restoration, many persons so surnamed, or associated with lines genealogically related, had access to ships engaged in transatlantic voyages.

Although none of this is yet proof, none of it seems to me to be inconsistent with my “descendants of Norman aristocracy” hypothesis, nor my idea that, at least some members of my ancestral families, had the wealth and expertise to be engaged in maritime activities, and/or had access to ships bound for the New World.

More will follow!


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A DNA Expert’s Response to my 111-marker DNA results

Continue reading

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Searching for Kerley Roots in Dorset and Southern England, part 3.

What do we know of the Kerleys of Ashmore in the period 1638 through 1642? 1642 was an important date, because the Protestant Returns of 1642 were promulgated and the records for Ashmore in Dorset survive. 

For those unfamiliar with the Protestation Returns of 1642, the following is excerpted from a Wikipedia article:

“The Protestation Returns of 1642 are lists of males over the age of eighteen who took, or did not take, an oath ‘to live and die for the true Protestant religion, the liberties and rights of subjects and the privilege of Parliaments’. These lists were usually compiled by parish, or township, within hundred, or wapentake. They are of importance to local historians for estimating populations, to genealogists trying to find an ancestor immediately before the English Civil War and for scholars interested in surname distributions.[1]


In May 1641 reacting to scares, rumours of plots and anxiety that the Protestant reformation was in danger of being undone, a ten man committee of the House of Commons, in the Long Parliament, was appointed to draft a national declaration.[2] It was the first of three oaths of loyalty imposed by the Long Parliament, between May 1641 and September 1643. The others were the Vow and covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant[3]

“The declaration, or Protestation, read:

I, _ A.B. _ do, in the presence of Almighty God, promise, vow, and protest to maintain, and defend as far as lawfully I may, with my Life, Power and Estate, the true Reformed Protestant religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery and Popish Innovations, within this Realm, contrary to the same Doctrine, and according to the duty of my Allegiance, His Majesties Royal Person, Honour and Estate, as also the Power and Privileges of Parliament, the lawful Rights and Liberties of the Subjects, and any person that maketh this Protestation, in whatsoever he shall do in the lawful Pursuance of the same: and to my power, and as far as lawfully I may, I will appose and by all good Ways and Means endeavour to bring to condign Punishment all such as shall, either by Force, Practice, Councels, Plots, Conspiracies, or otherwise, doe any thing to the contrary of any thing in this present Protestation contained: and further, that I shall, in all just and honourable ways, endeavour to preserve the Union and Peace betwixt the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland: and neither for Hope, Fear, nor other Respect, shell relinquish this Promise, Vow and Protestation.[4]

“It was taken by the members of the House of Commons on 3 May 1641. The following day the Protestant peers in the House of Lords also swore it. Subsequently on the 18 January 1642, perhaps prompted by the King’s attempt on the 4 January to arrest the Five Members of parliament, the Speaker, William Lenthall, sent out a letter to the effect that that all males of eighteen or over should take the oath.[5] The idea was that those that refused to take the oath would be presumed to be Catholics and so unfit to hold office in Church or state. In fact it was not a particularly effective way of distinguishing Catholics from Protestants, as in some areas Catholics took the oath with reservations concerning their religion, and others that were known from recusancy lists, appeared on the returns.[6

The Protestation Return, 1642 for Ashmore had 37 signators of who the following were listed: Watson, Ashmore. p. 129

William Kerley; Rich. Kerley

(signed Thos Dibbern and Will. Kerley, Churchwar.)

Wikipedia definition: A churchwarden is a lay official in a parish church or congregation of the Anglican Communion, usually working as a part-time volunteer. Holders of these positions are ex officio members of the parish board, usually called a vestryparish councilparochial church council, or in the case of a Cathedral parish the chapter.


The references to the lists of the Ashmore parishioners taking the Oath of Protestation and to the lists of residents of Ashmore seen below are from the work of  E. W. Watson, M.A. entitled Ashmore Co. Dorset A History of the Parish With Index to the Registers 1651 to 1820, Society of St Andrews, Salisbury, Wilstshire, 1890. Each reference to that work is listed as "Watson, Ashmore."


Here are earlier "Lists of Residents" of the Ashmore Parish, see Watson, Ashmore, p. 129.

Iniquistio Honarum, 1291: Subsidy Rolls 2 Ed. iii: Will. le Carle (WHB- 1 of 15 persons listed)



Note from Watson, Ashmore, p. 129

"The names for the Hundred of Cranborne  are given together, without distinction of parish in tis Roll. The only names which appear to belong to Ashmore are:

5 Eliz. [WHB-1563]  Will. Kirley (one of 5 persons identified by Watson)



Note from Watson, Ashmore p. 130

“Witnesses to Livery of seisin: -

1621 William Kerley (was one of seven persons listed by Watson)

1635 William Kerley, senior; William Kerley, junior 

Wikipedia Note: Livery of seisin is an archaic legal conveyancing ceremony, formerly practiced in feudal England and in other countries following English common law, used to convey holdings in property. The term “livery” is related to, if not synonymous with, the word “delivery” as used in modern contract law. The common law in those jurisdictions once provided that a valid conveyance of a feudal tenure in land required the physical transfer by the transferor to the transferee, in the presence of witnesses, of a piece of the ground itself, in the literal sense of a hand-to-hand passing of an amount of soil, a twig, key, or other symbol.



The following excerpts are from Sumner Chilton Powell’s Puritan Village: The Formation of a New England Town, p.72

“In 1636. William Kerley, or Ashmore, Dorset, a parish just next to Donhead St Mary, was cited at the archdeacon’s court for ‘neglecting his parish church.’ Kerley simply replied, ‘that he did not do this out of contempt, but in respect that he has land at lower Donhead and has something to do there.’ He was dismissed with a mild warning to improve his habits.

(Powell’s description of William Kerley’s encounters with the Anglican church and his settling in the Puritan village of Sudbury, Massachusetts, and the later Kerley Oaths of Protestation suggests that the Kerley family’s religious orientation was Puritan.)


Index of Parishes Mentioned in the Ashmore Parish Registers”

Charlton (not specified, almost certainly the Chapelry in Donhead S. Mary) Kerley I.


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Searching for Kerley Roots in Dorset and Southern England, Part 2

 In my discussions in “Searching for Kerley Roots in Dorset and Southern England, Part 1″, I revisited an earlier post on the 1642 passage of a Richard Kerley to Virginia, sponsored by Hugh Gwyn.

I would also like, in this part of my speculations, to revisit a post entitled Notes on the Kerley and Saunders Family Immigration to the American Colonies, Part 1 that I made on June 3, 2013, in which I stated the following:

“The history of the 17th century settlement of the English colonies suggests that researchers should be looking both in England and the Colonies for relevant genealogical information. However, I suspect that researchers in Virginia and Massachusetts tend to discount the possibility of finding genealogical clues in the “other colony”.

“But it might be worth some consideration. Take a look at the following information on the passengers aboard a 1638 voyage of the Confidence, bound for settlements in Marlborough and Sudbury, Massachusetts:

 ~ THE CONFIDENCE ~Marlborough Settlers
 ”CONFIDENCE, of London, two hundred tons, John Gibson, Master. She sailed from Southampton the last of April,` by vertue of the Lord Treasurers warrant of the 11th of April,1638. 1

“JOHN SANDERS,  25 of Langford, Wilts, Salisbury, husbandman; Mrs. Sarah Sanders, John Cole 40,  Roger Eastman 15 servant; Richard Blake                                                    16 servant; William Cottle 12 servant; Robert King 24 servant . . .                                                      

“[WHB: Note the following passengers on that voyage of the Confidence:]

“EDMUND KERLEY 22 of Ashmore, county Dorset;  husbandman                                                                                 William Kerley husbandman Sudbury; Edmund Morris                                                     of Kington Magna, county Dorset.”

Some Hypotheses:

1) If, indeed, the Hugh Gwyn of 1742 is the Gloucester County (Virginia) landowner Hugh Gwynne, who was later a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, it would be almost certain that Hugh Gwyn was a member of the British gentry.

2) That Edmund Kerley (Ashmore)  and William Kerley (Sudbury), the three 1638 passengers on the Confidence and Richard Kerley, the 1642 passenger sponsored by Hugh Gwyn, are somehow related, and that the decisions of each of them to leave England for the American colonies were not coincidental.

The following discussion from the website about the 17th century British term “husbandman” used to describe William and Edmund Kerley should be considered:

“The debate about what the term ”husbandman” means in the 16th and 17th centuries is by far yet unresolved. Some sources suggest it merely means “a farmer, or anyone occupied in agricultural pursuits.” Another source indicates it could be used merely to mean “householder, or head of a family.” One can see Richard using it this way to identify himself as the head of the household he was about to describe.

“But there is also a body of data suggesting the term ”husbandman” applies to a very specific rank or class; being lower than yeoman and higher than labourer. And this brings us immediately to consider the use of the term”yeoman” in the Parish records. Again, there is much disagreement about the exact meaning or meanings of the term ”yeoman”. Generally the term derives from the former “free tenant” or “freeman of the Manor” in feudal society. It was clearly used to describe rank and status in rural society by the latter half of the 15th century, and by the 16th century it had come to mean a man holding free land to a certain value.

“But even that is debatable, for some farmers who merely rented their lands and owned little or none of their own were often recorded as”yeoman”. In records pertaining to legal matters in the time of James I, the term ”yeoman” was sometimes crossed out and changed to”husbandman” when it was found the man had no freehold property, and in another instance ”husbandman” was changed to ”yeoman”when it was shown he did have such property. And statements like that below strongly suggest a clear heirarchy separating the two.

“The honourable will abhor them; the worshipful will reject them; the yeoman will sharply taunt them; the husbandman will utterly defy them;  the labouring man bluntly chide them.”  1567

“In the most general terms, ”yeomen” were part of the rural agricultural heirarchy in Elizabethan times. At the top of the scale were the”gentry”; below them the ”yeomen”, below them the ”husbandmen” and, at the bottom of the scale, the ”laborer” who worked only for wages and owned no land. At minimum, ”yeomen” may be defined as ”independent landowners living on their own property.”

If further research appears to strengthen the two hypotheses presented above, a corollary might also be considered:

That Hugh Gwyn and his close relatives were regarded as being of a higher social status than William, Edmund or Richard Kerley.

There are documents from Dorset, including some from a later time, that might be offered for further speculation, which I will do in the next part of this essay.

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Searching for Kerley Roots in Dorset and Southern England, Part 1

I’m waiting for the to complete my 111-marker y-dna test results. (All values are in except for markers 38 through 67. When those are in, I’ll have more to say on this subject.)

In the meantime, I want to spend to some time on England’s County of Dorset, particularly the seacoast town of Bournemouth.

Why Bournemouth?

One of my family history theses has been pieces of evidence suggesting that several of my ancestral lines – going back centuries – were involved with ships and the sea.

I’ve been prompted by Edie Kearley, who is very much involved in a “Surname project”, this one for the names Kerley, Kearley, Curley and other similar sounding surnames. She had found me because the website has included a lot of seemingly random entries about the name Kerley.

Let me review why the Kerley name appears on these pages. When I took the y-dna test, a person surnamed Kerley (with whom, so far, I have been unable to establish contact) has y-DNA values that are the same as mine, except for three that are only one number off.  The calculations suggest a Most Recent Common Ancestor within historic time.

In search of a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)

There is an advantage to descending from persons who lived in England, in French Normandie, and in the American Colonies, because so many records exist, albeit in a myriad of locations. I believe that powerful search engines such as Google can help identify data sources that would not have been considered in traditional methods of family history research.

I support the traditional methods of proving relationships with records that establish birthdates, mother and father, place of birth, siblings and supplementary information for each individual in a family tree. But one needs clues to know where to look for such documentary evidence.

Finding a MRCA in Historic Time

I believe that traditional genealogy can be supplemented with other methods that use DNA results to help decide where to look for clues.

Sorting Through Clues I Already Have (Part One)

In my 5-11-13 post entitled  17th Century Saunders, Crump and Kerley Immigrants to Virginia I made note of the following passage to Virginia from England:

“1642 Richard Kerley, sponsored by Hugh Gwyn (unknown)

[WHB - in 1642, Hugh Gwyn also sponsored John Averry (unknown).]”

The following information is  from History of the Gwin Family by Jesse Blaine Gwin pub. 1961

pg. 12 VIRGINIA Col. Hugh Gwynne was an early settler in Gloucester County, Virginia and was a member of the Virginia House of Burgess in Jamestown, 1652-1690. Some of the Descendants of Hugh Gwynne changed their name to Gwin, Gwinn or Gwyn.

Col. Hugh Gwynne was very prominent in the early Colonial Days and was closely associated with the Washington’s, the Reades, the Randolphs, the Carters and other leaders of that time.

The name Hugh Gwynne (Gwyn, Gwin) occurs frequently in the Colonial records. He is known to have owned, in addition to Gwynne Island. 6000 acres on the Potomac in Westmoreland County and 700 acres in Isle of Wight County. Not much is known about Col. Hugh Gwynne’s family as Gloucester County records were destroyed but Media Research gives his children as Elizabeth, Hugh, and Rev. John. Rev. John came over in Cromwell’s time and was pastor of Abington and Ware Parishes. He is recorded as the father of Edmund Gwin who married Lucy Bernard. They were the parents of Lucy and John Gwin.

There may have been earlier arrivals of Gwins in America, but if so none of them represent permanent settlers . It is recorded in Americans of Gentle Birth that Capt. Peter Wynne, of the Kings Council, came over with Capt. Newport on the ship Mary and Margaret. It should be repeated here that the Gwyns and Wynns are from the same family in the Old World. . . . 

WHB: Neither Gwyn and Kerley are common surnames, so establishing a linkage between Hugh Gwyn and Richard Kerley in the mid-17th century is a useful place to start some additional research. There is ample evidence that a Hugh Gwyn was an early landowner in Tidewater Virginia (on the peninsula in which Gloucester County, VA is located).

There are Gwyns and Richard Kerleys throughout the 17th and 18th centuries in Dorset. A century after Hugh Gwyn sponsored Richard Kerley’s passage to England, another Richard Kerley is identified with the seaboard community of Bournemouth in Dorset, and two small communities nearby.

One must always keep in mind that all the early and mid-17th century England was a time of religious struggles that led to the English Civil War, and in 1649, the beheading of King Charles I and the creation of the Puritan Commonwealth.

Any journeys between England and the American colonies should be considered in the context of the polticial situation and the relation of powerful persons to the English sovereign (whether king of Commonwealth Protector) or to such persons with power.

If John Gwyn was both a Virginia landowner from the 1620s and a sponsor of immigrants to Virginia, Gwyn’s relationship to the crown and Kerley’s relationship to Gwyn is worth considering.

That might be one of the subjects considered in Part 2 of this discussion.

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English Surnames and Viking Names: Some Initial Correspondence

Naming a Most Recent Common Ancestor:

My cousin Anthony Crump whose y-DNA values show that we share a Recent Common Ancestor, and who has decided, like myself and my correspondent from Ottawa, to take an 111 marker y-DNA test. The following correspondence addresses what very well may be a useful area for research. If we know we have a Common Rscent Ancestor, what might be that Ancestor’s surname?

Below is Anthony’s correspondence and his question

” . . .  I will have the 111 maker test run also and when I get the results back I will send them to you.

“Our current [surnames] might be temporary.  Since we go back to the Vikings, what was our Viking name?  The Vikings ruled from 800 – 1100 AD.  However our Viking ancestry could have been earlier.  There must have been people prior to the Vikings that were pre-Vikings.

In other words the Viking that ruled from 800 – 1100 AD had ancestors.  At what point in history did our line of Viking blood enter into England where the origin of the sir name Crump was taken over?  What Viking did the deed?  Who was he?  I found on Y-search DNA from the area and with the I1 Viking gene that is somewhat of a match to ours.  Maybe you can look into that a little more with the info I sent you.

Your web site is growing all the time and is discovering and exploring new findings using DNA results and comparisons to break through the limitations of the paper trail.  From Vikings to Virginians is an excellent web page for those who study ancestor research.

The finding of the Viking gene was a big step forward.  Then studying of the Viking history was another research that unlocks the movement of the Vikings and the who, what, when, where and why they invaded other countries.  All this played an important role in our ancestry past and the development of who we are today. Very interesting and entertaining.

Maybe this explains some of my behavior issues in my youth when I had a great appetite for women and sometimes loud outbursts of anger due to my uncontrollable temper when things did not go my way. All maybe associated with my Viking blood.

“Thanks again, Tony (Anthony Dwight Crump)

My response to Anthony Dwight Crump:

Hi Tony -

My current hypothesis is that at least some of my ancestors (including maternal lines) were French Normans who came over from France (Normandie) around or just after the time of the Norman Invasion in 1066 a.d.

I’m hoping that my 111 marker data will yield some insights into my exact relationship with a French Canadian correspondent, who himself descends from the Norman Vikings.

Recall that between William the Conqueror and Edward I many of the Norman rulers of England had property in both England and France. It was only with the Hundred Years War that our ancestors had to choose whether they were English or French.

Your question about surnames is a good one. Right now, we have no idea. However, I probably would go with the assumption that the Norse tradition of naming sons for their fathers (e.g., Arne Olafson) continued for many centuries. It wasn’t until the 14th century (or later) that an Englishman was expected to have a surname.

Therefore, it is quite possible that some of these related English surnames (Saunders, Kerley, Crump, to which I would add Vassar and Ayres) relate to land possessions in France or England eight or nine centuries ago, or places that branches of the family resided in the 1300s.

Let’s keep in touch on the 111 markers.

Cordially, Bill

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My welcome to y-DNA Haplogroup I-M253

Note: I am currently completing the process of transferring my y-DNA 46 marker results form to On the basis of what has have received so far (my DNA test kit that I returned to them and the marker values from, I have been identified by as being in Haplogroup I-M253.

In researching this specific haplogroup entity, I sent an e-mail to Mr William Hartley, who is identified as the I-M253 Haplogroup Project Leader.

I’m sharing the following e-mail correspondence with my readership:

E-mail correspondence to Mr William Hartley, I-M253 Haplogroup Project:

Hi William -

I have recently transferred my 46-marker Y DNA test results from to FTDNA and they placed me in the I-M253 haplogroup.

I will be ordering the 111 marker test from them, and will be most interested in following your I-M253 project.

Cordially, Bill

E-mail correspondence from Mr William Hartley, I-M253 Haplogroup Project:

Hello William, good to hear you’ve joined our I1-M253 Project.

I see one Y-37 Burnett listed who is from Ohio, I1-M253 [Generic] no known ancestral origin but he has matches to the Creasy family, do you have that surname in your research?

Once your STR markers show up I’ll take a look, see if you match this gentleman, and see if I can better place you both.

Burnett Name Meaning – Scottish and English: descriptive nickname from Old French burnete, a diminutive of brun ‘brown’ (see Brown).

The surname is more commonly found in the North of England and Aberdeenshire, as you likely know.

The Y-111 will very likely tell us a lot more than Y-46. Once that result comes through I’ll look again.

E-mail correspondence to Mr William Hartley, I-M253 Haplogroup Project:

Hi William -

I do have genealogical information to supplement your I-M253 entry surnamed “Burnett”. I have discussed this at considerable length on the website

In fact, early in the first decade of the 19th century in Bedford County, Virginia, three “out of wedlock” sons were born to Priscilla Carter Burnett, the apparently estranged (but not divorced) wife of Williamson Burnett, a Bedford County slaveowner.

The father of Priscilla’s three boys was either Julius Saunders or a male relative who shared his genetic line. All three boys fathered sons and the male descendents of all three boys are numerous. I have direct knowledge of men from each of the three lines who have taken y-DNA tests that have confirmed this information.

My own male ancestral lines include men who lived close to and likely married into the Creasy family. (I have discussed this on my website.)

All of the families descended from these three sons of Priscilla Carter Burnett were members of two “anti-establishment” religious sects, the Quakers and the Baptists, who in the early 19th century were both anti-slavery.

Many of those Quaker and Baptist families left Virginia for Ohio (a free state), those who stayed behind were in anti-slavery counties of Western Virginia, a big chunk of which joined with the Union during the Civil War and became the state of West Virginia.

All of this information suggests that the Burnett with Creasy relationships living in Ohio is with almost absolute certainty descended from one of the three Burnett sons – William(son), Joseph and Christopher Ammon, whose mother was Priscilla Carter (Burnett) and whose father is Julius Saunders of Bedford County, Virginia or a brother Saunders.

Saunders and Creasy are prominent names in the Southern part of Bedford County, Virginia (itself in the Western part of Virginia).

You may wish to share this information with the Ohio Burnett you include in your study. Interestingly, most Saunders in the Sanders/Saunders DNA surname project are not I-M 253, but a couple are. I can see another line of inquiry to be pursued thee.

Cordially, William Burnett

I have further e-mail correspondence to share, but will first follow through on the processes required to order the 111 marker DNA test.

For those wishing to correspond with me directly on this matter, please use


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An account of my Y-DNA Testing Strategy to Increase my Markers to 111

Note from William:

The current turmoil created by’s decision to no longer conduct or support y-DNA testing has led to considerable confusion.

For myself and others whose previous y-DNA tests have indicated that we share a Recent Common Ancestor in our male lineage, and who have wished to pursue additional y-DNA testing, it appeared to be a difficult problem in determining what course of action to pursue.

Therefore, I was pleased that my correspondent from Ottawa compared the y-DNA  I posted previously on this site, for members of the Burnett (descended from Saunders), Kerley and Crump families, with his own y-DNA values and determined a probable relationship, for which additional research is warranted.

I subsequently provided him with all the y-DNA values that from my own test. After his comparison, he provided me with the following suggestions as how to proceed.

“For the DNA test, only one male need to be tested as the paternal Y-DNA ancestral markers got passed down from father to son, son and so on. So all male Burnetts [note from William-that is, Bedford County, Virginia Burnetts determined to be descended from a person surnamed Saunders]  have it.

“One can be tested and all relatives share the costs & results. If you decide to do it, increase your ancestral markers to 111 (FTDNA US$ 389 full testing but if they accept what has been at for a small charge, then increase from 67 to 111) and include these two tests one called SNP Backbone panel test to confirm that you are in HP I, and the second the SNP subclade to confirm that you are in HP I 1 or HP I 2.

“I do not know the cost at FTDNA for these SNP tests but I would think under US$100. This subclade HP I1 has 6 further sub-groups not all yet defined as 4 studies are underway in 4 Scandinavian countries ( Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway).

“These studies are being done by FamilyTreeDNA and Genebase. I checked my markers against the 6 sub-group and mine don’t fit in any of them. So my HP I1*. The star indicate undetermined. To be part of HP I, you have to test positive at two SNP Location subclade M258 (mutation from T>C), and M253 (mutation C>T) or to have DYS455=8, DYS462=12 which you have. To be in HP I1-uN (which is Ultra-Norse mostly Norwigian & Icelandic people), you need to have DYS511=9.

“There is a possibility that FTDNA may be ahead of Genebase and may offer sub-subclade tests. I am saying this because FTDNA test for 111 ancestral markers whereas Genebase offer test for only 91 markers and none for sub-subclade 1*

“Now that I have group[ed] together all our markers, we have 14 genetic distance because we have 14 markers that are different. Check the spreadsheet. This mean that your family origin into Ireland, Scotland, England, and British Isles may have taken place in 4 different ways: 1) First raid by the Vikings from Scandinavia (Norwigian or Danes) in the 5th or 6th centuries, 2) The Viking (Norwigian) invasion that started from year 841, 3) Norman Vikings that conquered and settled in England in year 1066, 4) immigration from France or Norway in the 16th century.

“M___ G___”

William’s Thoughts on Opinion of Ottawa Correspondent

Those of us who are descended from Virginia families that arrived in the colony in the 17th century, from my knowledge of English and of Virginia history, are very likely descended from – either through our paternal or maternal lines – from Norsemen in one of the first three groups that the Ottawa Correspondent identifies: first raids of 5th/6th century, Norwegian raids 9th century, or Norman invasion of 11th century.

Historically, the settlement of Virginia is most likely comprised in the majority by the Norman invasion. This group dominated the ruling class in England from the 11th century through the 16th, and through much of the 17th.

I think it is iless likely that there is a historical case of Norwegians or French Normans arriving in England in the 16th century, who then migrated to Virginia.

We’ll see what the more extensive DNA testing shows (or suggests).

Follow-up activities by William on FTDNA test:

Subsequently, I contacted Family Tree DNA and determined that they had a process (for a modest fee) where the values from my y-DNA test can be entered into their data base. I’ve paid for that service, as part of a larger plan to obtain the 111 marker test.

Receipt of DNA Testing Kit:

Only a couple of days after I had ordered the Family Tree DNA, the kit arrived. I did the cheek swabs and mailed the swabs as instructed back to Family Tree DNA on Saturday, July 12th.

Follow-up with FTDNA Testing Kit Results and Data Transfer

Because the y-dna test was a 46-marker test and I have been advised to take the 111-marker test, I thought it would be useful to let others know how FTDNA follows through.

First, an electronic form was provided me to enter the values (with the warning not to make any mistakes). These transfer values were accepted by FTDNA.

Second, I had to provide proof that these were the actual values recorded by  Downloarding the results from their website (displaying’s logo) as a .jpg met this requirement.

Third, a few days later, the swabs produced three rows of my initial results (totalling 37 markers) which are accessible to me on the FTDNA website under my Kit #. Interestingly, their results differed from’s results, especially on DYS442, which equalled 12 on FTDNA and 17 (a value apparently unprecedented in all human y-DNA research) on Ancestry. FTDNA appears to have substituted their own calculated DYS442 value into their table of the “transferred” values from

[Without knowledge of how calculated the DYS442 value, I am tentatively guessing that at some point in the process, somone recorded the number "12" for that value in handwritten form, and then that person or another person misread the "2" and recorded a "7" instead. Since Ancestry appears to be getting out of the y-DNA testing totally, I may never know.]

Subsequently, I’ve ordered the 111-marker test. Because I transferred data from Ancestry, there is a (rather substantial) discount. However, to obtain the discount, I used their 800 number rather than their website, since their website seems not to be programmed to calculate the discount as part of the 111-marker fee.

For others interested in this process, feel free to contact me at 


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Some “Points of Introductcry Conjecture” about 18th Century Persons Named Julius Saunders

The following correspondence from a relative in Houston has prompted me to pull together some thoughts about Julius Saunders of Bedford County, Virginia. Please contact me at if you have information to clarify any of the issues raised here.


Been reading your commentary on the two Julius Saunders. I was recently made aware of a third, b 1755 in Virginia and in Kentucky for Revolutionary service. Have you come across him before?

A DNA test is forthcoming for one of my siblings. We are descended from George Woodward Saunders b 1819 in Kentucky. His probable father was John G, whose probable father appears to be the Julius b 1758.

P. S.
Houston, Texas

Hi P____ -

The DAR record contains only a fact or two, the name, the death in 1799, and the defense of Fort Logan.

However, this information in itself does not appear to me to be based on any document.

I did come across a muster roll of Captain Ben Logan’s militia.

Logan’s Fort Kentucky prior to Boonsboro battle in 1778 The Militia of 1777… The following is recorded exactly from the Draper Papers: A list of Capt. Ben LOGAN’S pay roll with oral note* – gives among others, v ig. Capt. Ben Logan Lt. John Logan Alex Montgomery, Ensign* Azariah Davis, Ensign Benj. Patton, Sargt. Wm. Menifee, Sargt. Rosel Stevens, Sargt. George Clark, Sargt. Hugh Leeper John Martin James Leeper George White John Fain Wm. Casey Robert Barnett John Kennedy JULIUS SAUNDERS, Benjn. Briggs Nich. Proctor, Sr. Nich. Proctor, Jr. Page Proctor Joseph Proctor Reuben Proctor Philip Trammel Geo. Scote Joseph Kennedy Jared Menifee James Menifee Wm. Whitley *This roll must have been made out prior to Sept. 1778 when, Alex Montgomery, Ensign, was killed on Kenton’s horse foray.

I don’t want to reject a lead out of hand, but would be very interested if you or anyone else has knowledge of what happened at Fort Logan, whether the person named Julius Saunders was the JULIUS SAUNDERS from the Fluvanna portion of Albemarle County. He would have been 20 if you use my guess of 1758 birth or 23 if he were born in 1755.

If we do a little more digging about this muster roll, and Ensign Montgomery and Kenton’s horse foray, maybe those will tie it to Albemarle.

Cordially, Bill

 I like your term “points of introductory conjecture” and decided that our e-mail exchange should be posted on the site. I can always edit and revise if (1) we get new information to supplement what we have discussed so far, (2) if you prefer not to have your name associated with the web-post. . .

Several of our family history-oriented relatives do read the website, and may have some leads. In the meantime, I’ve begun to dig up bits about the Logan et al., especially the controversies surrounding Daniel Boone. I suspect our ancestors knew a lot of these players.

Cordially, Bill


Thank you for your reply and the Logan’s Fort information.

The DAR record was of interest to me because there are three Virginia-born Julius Saunders indexed in their roll, with two appearing to have served in different states with different years of birth, though being recorded as 1755 (A100552) and 1758 (A100553) – with Julius the husband of Jemima (A208813) being the third. Curious that A100553, or the “Captain” as he’s referred to in your writings, has been earmarked for further review. Given your attention to detail, it’s presumed that there is more information on his service to establish his rank and service record. Would love to have that info if you have it handy.

I know this means next to nothing other than as an early exercise. Thought you might find it interesting with your hypothesis of Julius being the son of Julius and not of George. If there indeed were two Julius Saunders of the same 1750s generation, it occurred to me that the elder Julius could yet claim one as a son without disqualifying the other as the son of George.

We’ve been aware of the potential parentage beyond George Woodward Saunders b 1819 of Kentucky, though we’ve not even penciled it in over the years because of a lack of direct documentation, and that research efforts have gone elsewhere in the tree. His first son James Wood Saunders* is my second great grandfather. His fifth son Wesley Zachary Saunders was a documented DAR descendent for this member 537158, linking him to Julius A100553.

Again, our documents run a little thin beyond George Woodward. He is noted as Woodward G. Saunders (inconsistent with the George Woodward from Census, land, and church records) on p 546 of Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler, and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1892.** His father is listed there as George W. instead of the John Gardiner of New Kent, Virginia, which has presented a wrinkle.

Other families’ online research appear to link George W., John G. and a Julius as the sons of Julius and Jane Hughes Saunders with various birth dates (and of course, no direct sources listed): ex.

At this point I don’t know how much use this would be on the website beyond points of introductory conjecture. My next stop is to review an alleged large Saunders file in the Clayton Library here in Houston as the former work of a Katherine Reynolds. Of course we’ll also pass on any future DNA findings or points of interest.

Regards, P_____ from Houston

Several of our family history-oriented relatives do read the website, and may have some leads. In the meantime, I’ve begun to dig up bits about the Logan et al., especially the controversies surrounding Daniel Boone. I suspect our ancestors knew a lot of these players.

Cordially, Bill

In the meantime, here are a few issues about Julius Saunders that I feel should be advanced as “points of introducctory conjecture”:

1. Did, in fact, the JULIUS SAUNDERS, whom I believe was born in January, 1758 in what is now Fluvanna Countuy, Virginia (then Albemarle) participate in the Revolutionary War activities on the Western frontier (Kentucky)? He would have been 20 at the time of the muster referenced above.

2. I believe that there is a strong possibility that the grandfather of JOSEPH, Ammon and William BURNETT, sons of PRISCILLA CARTER BURNETT, was JULIUS SAUNDERS SR (father of JULIUS SAUNDERS of Bedford County, Virginia, who apprenticed PRISCILLA’s three boys.

3. My current thinking is that it less probable that JULIUS SAUNDERS of Bedford County, to whom the three BURNETT boys were apprenticed, was their father. My return to Bedford County in October 2013 to do some more research there is what has changed my mind. Absent any evidence of a separation between JULIUS and his wife JANE HUGHES SAUNDERS, who appears to have lived with him throughout this period, and the close association of this family with the Bedford County Quaker Community, it seems to me improbable that JULIUS’ wife and the Quaker Community would have permitted two married persons to conduct an ongoing extra-marital affair that produced three boys.

4. The Bedford County court in a very unusual move at a time when “home correction” (in that time and place, the acknowledged customary right of a husband to take matters into his own hands when a wife was known to be “straying”) to have issues a restraining order against Williamson Burnett for physically abusing PRISCILLA CARTER BURNETT.

The complaint against Williamson was brought before the courts by David Saunders.

[See Bedford County 1805 May 27 – Court Order BK:200 ‘Williamson Burnett was ordered on his own recognizance to be of good behavior towards PRISCILLA BURNETT for 12 months by complaint of Priscilla by David Saunders.”]

It is important to know why David Saunders brought this action which imposed himself in another man’s marital situation. What WAS David Saunders’ relationship to or interest in PRISCILLA CARTER BURNETT?
What facts DO we know about David Saunders?