If you want to discover your genetic history and where you came from... you’ve found the right place!


review of scientific and news articles on dna testing and popular genetics

DNA Consultants Method in a Nutshell

Monday, July 21, 2014
We often are asked, "How does your ancestry analysis work," and "What makes it different from other methods?" Principal Investigator Donald Yates was recently interviewed along these lines and here are his answers.

How do DNA ancestry tests work—or not work? It is fairly simple to explain the difference between first-generation tests that looked at your sex-linked lines and the new wave of admixture and population match tests that examine your whole ancestry.  The pitfalls of Y chromosome and mitochondrial haplotying tests are well known: information limited to only two lines in your tree, irrelevant broad matches instead of valid exact matches, false results from non-paternity events, outdated genetic theories about human prehistory and historical migrations and so forth. So-called "percentage tests" did little to alleviate the situation. Now many companies are claiming to test thousands of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms). However, the inferences linked to these are mostly still based on sex-linked data, medical studies and haplotype surveys. That is not truly an autosomal method, since the meaning of autosomal is non-sex-linked.  The DNA profile method (CoDIS markers) offers the next best thing to "percentage tests." Using true autosomal data and capturing published STR values for world populations, it calculates your random match frequencies and can probabilistically predict ancestry according to several parameters, including metapopulations, megapopulations, ethnic marker affinity and rare alleles.

Above:  Each test in the DNA Fingerprint family of products starts with a 16-loci DNA fingerprint or profile from the lab. Green indicates the so-called "core CoDEX" loci, which yield the greatest coverage in population data. Yellow shows four additional ones for which there is a lesser number of populations, and blue shows two extra loci used in the European system (our EURO section). 

For more information

Autosomal DNA Set to Rewrite History of "Peopling of the Americas" (announcement)
Emerging Prehistory of Ethnic Groups (blog post)
Autosomal Testing Revalidated (blog post)


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Rare Genes from History Revisited

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Check Out DNA Fingerprint Plus $300 

It's been a year and a half since DNA Consultants introduced Rare Genes from History. We republish here the original press release from October 2012 as a means of familiarizing new and old customers with this unique autosomal marker test, exclusive to our company. Purchase now for only $149 ($134.10 with your customer discount).

For descriptions of all 26 Rare Genes from History, visit the product page

If you have received your Rare Genes from History results, we encourage you to discuss them with others in the free forums at DNA Communities. How many did you get? Were they European, Native American, African or Asian? Do you think you got a given rare gene from your mother or father? From both?


Rare Genes from History:  DNA Consultants’ Next-Generation Ancestry Markers

PHOENIX -- (Oct. 1, 2012) -- DNA typing has gone from successes in the criminal justice system and paternity testing to new heights in mapping genetic diseases and tracing human history. John Butler in the conclusion to his textbook Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing raised an important question about these trends. How might genetic genealogy information intersect with forensic DNA testing in the future?

"At DNA Consultants, that new chapter in DNA testing arrived several years ago," said Donald Yates, chief research officer and founder. "As we approach our tenth anniversary, examining human population diversity continues to be the whole thrust of our research, and it just gets more and more exciting."

The company's DNA database atDNA 4.0 captures and puts to use every single published academic study on forensic STR markers, the standard CoDIS markers used in DNA profiles for paternity and personal identification. In 2009, the company introduced the first broad-scale ethnicity markers and created the DNA Fingerprint Plus.

But its innovations didn’t stop there. In October 2012, the company announced the launch of its Rare Genes from History Panel.

Why CoDIS Markers?

“Theoretically,” noted Butler in 2009, “all of the alleles (variations) that exist today for a particular STR locus have resulted from only a few ‘founder’ individuals by slowly changing over tens of thousands of years.”

How true! Hospital studies have determined that the most stable loci (marker addresses on your chromosomes) have values that mutate at a rate of only 0.01%. That means the chance of the value at that location changing from parent to progeny is once every 10,000 generations.

So the autosomal clock of human history ticks at an even slower quantum rate than mitochondrial DNA. Like “mitochondrial Eve,” its patterns were set down in Africa over 100,000 years ago when anatomically modern humans first appeared on the stage of time.

Though the face value of the cards in the deck of human diversity never changed—and all alleles can be traced back to an African origin—as humans left Africa and eventually spread throughout the world, alleles were shuffled and reshuffled. Humanity went through bottlenecks and expansions that emphasized certain alleles over others. Genetic pooling, drift and selection of mates produced regional and country-specific contours much like a geographic map. 

"These rare but robust signals of deep history can act as powerful ancestral probes into the tangled past of the human race as well as unique touchstones for the surprising stories of individuals."

By the twentieth century, when scientists began to assemble the first genetic snapshots of people, it was found that nearly all populations were mixed, some more than others. The geneticist Luigi-Luca Cavalli-Sforza at Stanford University proved that there is almost always more diversity within a population than between populations.

So if there is no such thing as a “pure” population—a control or standard—how are we to make sense of any single individual’s ancestral lines? Statistical analysis provides the answer. And rare genes are easier to trace in the genetic record than common ones. Their distinctive signature stands out.

Back Story:  It All Began with the Melungeons

About the same time as DNA Consultants' scientists were cracking the mystery of the Melungeons, a tri-racial isolate in the Appalachians, they became aware of certain very rare alleles carried by this unusual population in relatively large doses. The Starnes family, for instance, in Harriman, Tennessee, was observed to have a certain rare score repeated on one location in the profiles of members through three generations. The staff dubbed it “the Starnes gene.”

Soon, company research had characterized 26 rare autosomal ancestry markers—tiny, distinctive threads of inheritance that reflected an origin in Africa and expansion and travels through world history. Genes in this new generation of discoveries were named after some distinctive feature associated with the pattern they created in human genetic history--for instance, the Kilimanjaro Gene after its source in Central East Africa. The Thuya, Akhenaten and King Tut genes were named for the royal family of Egypt whose mummies were investigated by Zahi Hawass’ team in 2010.

The Starnes Gene” became the Helen Gene. Because of its apparent center in Troy in ancient Asia Minor and predilection for settling in island populations, it was named for "the face that launched a thousand ships," in the famous phrase by Christopher Marlowe.  

All 26 of DNA Consultants' new markers are rare. Not everyone is going to have one. But that’s what makes them interesting, according to Dr. Yates.

Coming from all sections of human diversity—African, Indian, Asian and Native American—they are like tiny gold filaments in a huge, outspread multi-colored tapestry, explains Phyllis Starnes, assistant principal investigator and wife of the namesake of the first discovery. But does that mean that her husband has a connection to Helen of Troy? The markers don’t work on such a literal level, but it does imply that Billy Starnes shares a part of his ancestral heritage with an ancient Greek/Turkish population prominent on the page of history.

Over the past two decades, geneticists have worked out the macro-history and chronology of human migrations in amazing detail and agreement. The Rare Genes from History Panel is another reminder--in the words of an American Indian ceremonial greeting--that “We Are All Related.”

These rare but robust signals of deep history can act as powerful ancestral probes into the tangled past of the human race as well as unique touchstones for the surprising stories of individuals.

For more information about the science of autosomal DNA ancestry testing, visit DNA Consultants or check out its Twitter or Facebook page. 

#  #  #  

Distribution map of the Egyptian Gene shows its African origin, partial presence in Coptic populations today (green dots in Egypt) and scattered incidence around the world. 


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Back to the Future of DNA

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

From Teresa Yates' work-in-progress, here is a post from eight years ago that still strikes a timely note. Yates' new book is titled DNA and You and reprises fifteen years of the blogosphere from the early, heroic days of DNA testing. It is expected to appear this summer.

Wild, Wooly World of DNA May Create, As Well As Solve, Problems

Abstracted from The New York Times

The first in a series of articles in the New York Times, titled "The DNA Age" presents case histories of people whose DNA tests are turning out to be mixed blessings, arousing more expectations than may be justified. From the adopted twins who are looking for financial aid after finding out they are part African and part Native American to the man raised a gentile attempting to invoke the law of return to Israel following the revelation his DNA matched Ashkenazi Jews, the series by Amy Harmon apparently intends to explore the two sides of DNA—the answers it brings, along with the new questions it raises.

On another front, Indian tribes routinely refuse to accept DNA evidence. According to the article, though, this has not deterred prospective new enrollees. "It used to be 'someone said my grandmother was an Indian,' " says Joyce Walker, the enrollment clerk who regularly turns away DNA petitioners for the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, which operates the lucrative Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. "Now it's 'my DNA says my grandmother was an Indian.'"

The title of the first of the series is "Seeking Ancestry in DNA Ties Uncovered by Tests." One of the featured DNA test takers was a customer of DNA Consultants.

April 13, 2006


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Virginia Surnames and Families with Possible Jewish (and Muslim) Roots

Friday, May 02, 2014

In our continuing series of notes on colonial genealogies, we give here the the complete appendix containing all early lists of emigrants to Virginia, taken from Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America (2012). This was the second volume in a series that began with When Scotland Was Jewish (2007) and concludes this month (May 2014) with the publication of The Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales: A Genetic and Genealogical History. Are any of your colonial ancestors listed? If they are it is likely they bore Jewish ancestry, even if they did not practice Judaism and even if they presented themselves as Christian. 

Left:  As discussed in the associated chapter, "Virginia - First and Not So English - Colony," William Byrd was undoubtedly crypto-Jewish.

From the book by Hirschman and Yates
"William Byrd, the ancestor of the Byrds of Virginia, was the son of John Bird, a London goldsmith.[i]  The earliest firm genealogical record for the family is mention of a Thomas Bird, apprenticed to Henry Sacheverell (Hebrew anagram),[ii] vintner, in 1608, subsequently admitted to the Wine Merchants Company in 1616.  Thomas Bird married his first cousin Elizabeth Bird.  It was Thomas’ son, John who became a goldsmith.  What is transparent from these records, given the occupations of wine merchant and goldsmith and first cousin marriage, is that the Birds/Byrds were Jewish.  Byrd was not an English name before this family became prominent. The first of that name probably came to England as a court musician like the Sephardic Anthons mentioned earlier:  a relative was William Byrd, the Renaissance court composer (circa 1540-1623). Publicly they were not Jewish, as Jews were officially banned from England until 1664. They were privately Jewish or crypto-Jewish as so many other persons in London at the time. It is likely that at least the first generation officially practiced Catholicism, the religion of their parent country. English custom in London and other major cities allowed Spanish and Portuguese Jews as foreigners to worship at their own parish churches, which were presumed to be Catholic.

            "William Byrd came to Virginia at the request of his uncle Captain Thomas Stegge, who was childless and designated William his heir.  Although the exact date is unknown, his arrival was probably around 1670.  The Stegges were traders with the Indians, primarily Catawbas and Cherokees, another profession markedly Jewish. Upon reaching adulthood and receiving his inheritance, Bird entered the lucrative triangular trade between Virginia, Barbados and Africa. Tobacco, deerskins, sugar, rum, and slaves were the primary commodities of exchange. Typically, those who plied this trade imported slaves from Portuguese middlemen off the Guinea Coast of Africa. In Barbados, rum and sugar were taken onboard to be transported to Virginia. American planters paid for rum, sugar and slaves in tobacco or deerskins and received credit in England or Scotland paid out to them in manufactured goods supplied on the steady stream of ships carrying new colonists. Except for the profit margins of the merchants, frequently Jews, no money changed hands, this only in England, thus preserving the mother country’s prohibition about allowing specie to flow into the colonies or accumulate there.

            "In 1673 Byrd married Mary Horsmanden, whose lineage goes back to the St. Leger family of Cornwall mentioned in chapter one. Very importantly, biographer Alden Hatch tells us that this St. Leger family traced its ancestry back to Baudoin III, King of Jerusalem during the Crusades, who was evidently of Jewish descent.  Byrd soon became Receiver General of the King’s Revenue, as well as Auditor of Virginia. As Hatch notes, he both collected the taxes and audited them!

           "There are other strong cues regarding Bird’s ancestry and religious leanings.  Hatch states that Byrd “regarded Catholics as but one degree above the devils from hell.”  In 1699 when the Huguenots were under attack once again by a Catholic monarch, it was William Byrd of Virginia who championed their cause. About three hundred of them were brought to safety in Virginia and another two hundred the following year. “Largely as a result of the arguments presented by William Byrd to the Board of Trade, between 700 and 800 [Huguenots] settled in Virginia.”[iii]   Such activities are in complete conformity with the efforts begun in the late 1500s by Raleigh and Drake to settle their Sephardic and Morisco kinsmen in the New World.  Both Raleigh and Drake had assisted the Huguenots in France before and after the infamous St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572.  In the 1705 edition of his History, Robert Beverley wrote of “the Goodness and generosity of Colonel Byrd toward these distressed Huguenots.” Beverly goes on to say, 

Upon their first Arrival in that country, he [Byrd] received them with all the tenderness of a Father, and ever since has constantly given them the utmost assistance… employing all his Skill, and all his friends to advance their interest both publickly and privately….  What Liberties has he not all along allowed them on his own plantations to furnish themselves from thence Corn and other necessaries?  His Mills have been at their Service to grind their Corn toll-free….  With what Zeal did he represent their Cause to the Assembly?  And with what earnestness did he press all his Friends in their favor”?[iv]

Byrd was attended in his final days by one of them, his valet Jean Marat – who bears a common Sephardic/Arabic surname.

            "William Byrd’s son William II was educated in England, where he learned Hebrew, Greek and Latin.  Micajah Perry (nearly invariably a Sephardic name, as we have seen) was William Byrd, Sr.’s factor and agent in London and looked after William Byrd Jr.’s welfare as a student abroad.  In 1705 young William returned to Virginia and took over the family’s several mercantile and milling interests.  He had an avid interest in medicine and special fascination with the properties (and profits) in ginseng. This was a root gathered by Melungeons and shipped as far away as China during the late 1700s by Daniel Boone and John Jacob Astor (“from Asturia”).  William Byrd II married Lucy Parke. Lucy’s sister Frances would later marry John Custis (Costas), probably of Sephardic ancestry.

            "Hatch also reports from transcriptions of Byrd’s private diary that he would read one or two chapters of the Bible in Hebrew every morning.  Since the Hebrew Bible does not contain the New Testament, we must assume that William was reading the Torah.  Hatch continues, “Byrd was very strict about keeping the Sabbath.  He would allow no work to be done that could possibly be avoided; and even when it could not be helped… he was uneasy in his conscience and sought a Biblical excuse.”  Also according to Hatch, Byrd “frequently ducked going to [Christian] church.”  In our view, these descriptions illustrate crypto-Jewish behavior (appendix B)."

--pp. 55-56, Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America © Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman and Donald N. Yates 2012

[i] Byrd  perhaps translated from Hebrew Zipporah, used of both males and females. In Germany, the Jewish surnames Vogel, Fogel and Feiglin are examples (Gorr 87). In general, see Alden Hatch, The Byrds of Virginia:  An American Dynasty, 1670 to the Present (New York:  Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1969) esp. 36, 48, 51, 118, 141, 165. William Byrd the composer also married a cousin, Juliana (a favorite Jewish name) Byrd (1568). Their children were Christopher (a good crypto-Jewish name), Elizabeth, Rachel (Hebrew), Mary, Catherine, Thomas and Edward.

[ii] Sacheverell appears to be derived from a contraction of Hebrew zera kodesh “holy seed,” as in the names Sachs, Saks and the like (Menk  641).

[iii] The respective Huguenot ancestors of author Donald Yates and his wife Teresa, Jean Pierre Bondurant (from Bon and Duran) and Pierre Prevot/Prevatt (Templar name from the Channel Islands), came on the same ship the Peter and Anthony.

[iv]Robert Beverley, The History of the Present State of Virginia (London:  R. Parker, 1705). 


Appendix E


Lists of Emigrants to Virginia 1585-1700



Given in this appendix are traditional lists of names for the earliest colonists in Virginia. The names generally are listed in the order and spelling of the source records. We have added some glosses and annotations in parentheses and notes.

The Names of Lane’s Colonists (1585)

The names of all those… that remained one whole yeere in Virginia under the Governement of Master Ralfe Lane.[1] National Park Service.

Master Philip Amades, Admirall of the countrie

Master Hariot

Master Acton

Master Edward Stafford

Thomas Luddington

Master Marvyn

Master Gardyner

Captaine Vaughan

Master Kendall

Master Prideox

Robert Holecroft

Rise Courtney

Master Hugh Rogers

Thomas Foxe

Edward Hugen

Darby Glande

Edward Kelle

John Gostigo

Erasmus Clefs

Edward Ketcheman

John Linsey

Thomas Rottenbury

Roger Deane

John Harris

Master Thomas Harvie

Master Smelling

Master Anthony Russe

Master Allyne

Maste Michel Polyson

John Cage

Thomas Parre

William Randes

Geffrey Churchman

William Farthowe

John Taylor

Philppe Robyns

Thomas Phillippes

Valentine Beale

James Skinner

George Eseven

John Chaundeler

Philip Blunt

Richard Poore

Robert Yong

Marmaduke Constable

Thomas Hesket

William Wasse

John Fever


Frauncis Norris

Mathewe Lyne

Edward Kettell (Catteil?)

Thomas Wisse

Robert Biscombe

William Backhouse

William White

Henry Potkin

Dennis Barnes

Joseph Borges

Doughan Gannes

William Tenche

Randall Latham

Thomas Hulme

Walter Myll

Richard Gilbert

Steven Pomarie (Pomerie)

John Brocke

Bennett Harrye

James Stevenson

Christopher Lowde

Jeremie Man

James Mason

David Salter

Richard Ireland

Thomas Bookener (Buchener)

William Philippes

Randall Mayne

Thomas Taylor

Richard Humfrey

John Wright

Gabriell North

Bennet Chappell

Richard Sare

James Sare

James Lasie


Thomas Smart


John Evans

Roger Large

Humfrey Garden

Frauncis Whitton

Rowland Griffyn

William Millard

John Twyt

Edwarde Seklemore

John Anwike

Christopher Marshall

David Williams

Nicholas Swabber

Edward Chipping

Sylvester Beching

Vincent Cheyne

Haunce Walters

Edward Barecombe

Thomas Skevelabs

William Walters

The Names of the 1587 Virginia Colonists

The names of all the men, women and Children, which safely arrived in Virginia, and remained to inhabite there. 1587. Anno Regni Reginae Elizabethae.29. National Park Service.

John White [Governor]

Roger Bailie [Assistant]

Ananias Dare [Assistant]

Christopher Cooper [Asst.]

Thomas Stevens [Assistant]

John Sampson [Assistant]

Dyonis Harvie [Assistant]

Roger Prat [Assistant]

George Howe [Assistant]

Simon Fernando [Assistant]

Nicholas Johnson

Thomas Warner

Anthony Cage

John Jones

John Tydway

Ambrose Viccard

Edmond English

Thomas Topan

Henry Berrye

Richard Berrye

John Spendlove

John Hemmington

Thomas Butler

Edward Powell

John Burden

James Hynde

William Willes

John Brooke

Cutbert White

John Bright

Clement Tayler


Elyoner Dare

Margery Harvie

Agnes Wood

Wenefrid Powell

Joyce Archard

Jane Jones

Elizabeth Glane

Jane Pierce

Audry Tappan

Alis Chapman

Emme Merrimoth


Margaret Lawrence

William Sole

John Cotsmur

Humfrey Newton

Thomas Colman

Thomas Gramme

Marke Bennet

John Gibbes

John Stilman

Robert Wilkinson

Peter Little

John Wyles

Brian Wyles

George Martyn

Hugh Pattenson

Martyn Sutton

John Farre

John Bridger

Griffin Jones

Richard Shaberdge

Thomas Ellis

William Browne

Michael Myllet

Thomas Smith

Richard Taverner

Thomas Harris

Richard Taverner

John Earnest

Henry Johnson

John Starte

Richard Darige

William Lucas

Joan Warren

Jane Mannering

Rose Payne

Elizabeth Viccars

Arnold Archard

John Wright

William Dutton

Morris Allen

William Waters

Richard Arthur

John Chapman

William Clement

Robert Little

Hugh Taylor

Richard Wildye

Lewes Wotton

Michael Bishop

Henry Browne

Henry Rufoote

Richard Tomkins

Henry Dorrell

Charles Florrie

Henry Mylton

Henry Payne

Thomas Harris

William Nicholes

Thomas Phevens

John Borden

Thomas Scot

James Lasie

John Cheven

Thomas Hewet

William Berde

Boys and Children

John Sampson

Robert Ellis

Ambrose Viccars

Thomas Archard

Thomas Humfrey

Thomas Smart

George Howe

John Prat

William Wythers

Children Born in Virginia

Virginia Dare






Original Settlers (May 14, 1607) at Jamestown, Listed by Occupation.[2]

Source:  Virtual Jamestown; The First Residents of Jamestown.[3]



Master Edward Maria Wingfield, President

Captaine Bartholomew Gosnoll

Captaine John Smyth (or Smith)

Captaine John Ratliffe (or Ratcliffe)

Captaine John Martin

Captaine George Kendall


Master Robert Hunt

Preacher and Gentleman

Master George Percy

Anthony Gosnoll

George Flower

Captaine Gabriell Archer

Robert Fenton

Robert Ford

William Bruster (or Brewster)

Edward Harrington

Dru Pickhouse (or Pigasse)

Thomas Jacob, Sergeant

John Brookes

Ellis Kingston (or Kiniston)

Thomas Sands

Benjamin Beast (Best)

John (or Jehu) Robinson (Melungeon name)

Ustis (or Eustace) Clovill

Stephen Halthrop

Kellam Throgmorton

Edward Morish (or Moris)

Nathaniell Powell

Edward Browne

Robert Behethland (or Betheland)

John Penington

Jeremy (or Jerome) Alicock

George Walker

Thomas Studley (or Stoodie)

Richard Crofts

Nicholas Houlgrave

Thomas Webbe

John Waller

John Short (Melungeon name)

William Tankard

William Smethes

Francis Snarsbrough

Richard Simons

Edward Brookes

Richard Dixon

John Martin

Roger Cooke

George Martin

Anthony Gosnold

Thomas Wotton (Wooten), Surgeon

John Stevenson

Henry Adling (or Adding)

Thomas Gower

Thomas Gore

Francis Midwinter

Richard Frith

Stephen Galthorpe (Goldthorp)


William Laxton

Edward Pising

Thomas Emry

Robert Small


John Herd (Heard)

William Garret


William Cassen (or Cawsen)

George Casson

Thomas Casson

Willam Rods (or Rodes = Rhodes)

William White (Melungeon name)

Ould Edward (perhaps a Scot or Irishman)

Henry Tavin (or Tauin: from Hebrew)

George Golding (or Goulding)

William Johnson

William Vnger (or Unger, i.e., Hungarian)


Samuell Collier (Melungeon name)

James Brumfield

Richard Mutton (or Mullon=Mullin:  Melungeon name)

Boys (i.e. servants)

Anas Todkill, Soldier

Jonas Profit, Sailor, Fisher, Soldier (Melungeon name)

Thomas Couper (or Cowper: Melungeon name), Barber

Edward Brinto (or Brinton), Mason, Soldier

William Loue (or Love:  Melungeon name), Tailor, Soldier

Nicholas Skot (or Scot), Drummer

John Laydon (i.e., from Leiden), Labourer, Carpenter

John Dods (Dodds), Labourer, Soldier

William Wilkinson, Surgeon

James Read (Melungeon name), Blacksmith, Soldier

Nathaniel Pecock (or Peacock), Boy, Sailor, Soldier

Mathew Morton, Sailor


John Asbie (Melungeon name)

Andrew Buckler

John Capper (perhaps Cooper)

William Dier (or Dye: Melungeon name)

Thomas Mounslie

Thomas Mouton

a Dutchman




Mariners and Others Known to Have Been with the Expedition that Established Jamestown on May 13, 1607. [4]


Source:  The First Residents of Jamestown.

Browne, Oliver

Clarke, Charles (Melungeon name)

Collson, John  Mariner

Cotson, John   Mariner

Deale, Jeremy

Fytch, Mathew  Mariner

Genoway, Richard (from Genoa?)

Godword, Thomas

Jackson, Robert (Melungeon name)

Markham, Robert

Nellson, Francys

Poole, Jonas

Skunner, Thomas

Turnbrydge (or Turbridge), Thomas

Newport, Christopher  Captain, Councilor

Tyndall, Robert  Mariner, Gunner

White, Benjamyn (Melungeon name)





Jamestown Colonists on the Resupply Ship, 1608


Source:  National Park Service.


Thomas Abbay

Jeffery Abbot

Rob Alberton

David Aphugh

Robert Barnes

William Bayley

Gabriel Beadle

John Beadle

William Beckwith

Richard Belfield

Henry Bell

William Bentley

John Bouth

Thomas Bradley

Richard Bristow

Richard Burket

Anne Burras

John Burras

James Burre

George Burton

William Cantrell

Nathaniell Causy

John Clarke

Thomas Coe

Henry Collings

Robert Cotton

Raleigh Crowhaw

John Cuderington

Robert Culter

John Dauxe

Thomas Dawse

Will Dawson

Richard Dole

William Dowman

David Ellis

Richard Featherstone

Thomas Field

Unknown Floud

George Forest

Unknown Forest

Thomas Forest

Thomas Fox

Thomas Gibson

Post Ginnat

Raymond Goodison

Richard Gradson

Thomas Graves

William Grivell

Edward Gurgana

Nicholas Handcock

Unknown Hardwyn

Harmon Harrison

George Hill

Unknown Hilliard

Thomas Hope

John Hoult

Unknown Hunt

Wil Johnson

Peter Keffer

Richard Killingbeck

Thomas Lavander

Timothy Leeds

Henry Leigh

John Lewes

Michael Lowick

Thomas Mallard

Thomas Maxes

William May

Unknown Michaell

Unknown Milman

Richard Milmer

Unknown Morley

Ralph Morton

Richard Mullinax

Rawland Nelstrop

John Nichols

Thomas Norton

Dionis O'Connor

William Perce

Francis Perkins

Thomas Phelps

Henry Philpot

Michaell Phittiplace

William Phittiplace

Peter Pory

Richard Pots

Unknown Powell

John Powell

John Prat

George Pretty

Richard Prodger

David Pugh

Christopher Rods

Unknown Rose

Unknown Russell

John Russell

William Russell

William Sambage

Richard Savage

Thomas Savage

Unknown Scot

Mathew Scrivener

Jeffrey Shortridge

Michaell Sicklemore

WIlliam Simons

John Spearman

William Spence

Dani Stallings

John Taverner

William Tayler

Lawrence Towtales

Daniel Tucker

Nicholas Ven

Unknown Vere

Richard Waldo

Unknown Walker

William Ward

James Watkins

Francis West

Unknown Wiles

Unknown Williams

Hugh Winne

Peter Winne

Hugh Wolleston

Richard Worley

George Yarington

William Younge



Sea Venture Passengers


Sources: 1) the Generall Historie of  the Bermudas by Captain John Smith 1624, reprint 1966; 2) Bermuda – Unintended Destination by Terry Tucker, 1982.


Sir Thomas Gates, Governor for Virginia

Sir George Somers, Admiral of the flotilla

Rev Richard, chaplain to the expedition

William Strachney, Secretary-elect of Virginia Company

Silvester Jourdain, of Lyme Regis, Dorset

Joseph Chard

Mr. Henry Shelly

Robert Walsingham, cockswain

Robert Frobisher, shipwright

Nicholas Bennit, carpenter

Francis Pearepoint

William Brian

William Martin

Henry Ravens, master mate; lost at sea when he sailed for help

Richard Knowles

Stephen Hopkins

Christopher Carter deserted and stayed behind on the island

Robert Waters who deserted and stayed behind on the island

Edward Waters

Samuel Sharpe

Henry Paine, shot to death for mutiny

Humfrey Reede

James Swift

Thomas Powell, cook

Edward Eason

Mistress Eason

Baby boy Bermuda Eason, born in Bermuda to the above

John Want

Mistress Horton

Elizabeth Persons, maid to Mistress Horton; married Thomas Powell while in Bermuda

Capt (Sir) George Yeardley, experienced veteran of the Dutch wars

Jeffrey Briars (died in Bermuda)

Richard Lewis, died in Bermuda

Edward Samuel, murdered by Robert Waters

William Hitchman, died in Bermuda

Thomas Whittingham, lost at sea with Ravens (above)

Edward Chard who stayed behind on the island

Captain Matthew Somers nephew and heir of Sir George, was aboard the “Swallow” on the same expedition

Robert Rich*, the brother of Sir Nathaniel Rich, a shareholder.  Was a soldier.  Returned to Bermuda 1617 and died there 1630.

Christopher Newport*, Captain of the Sea Venture, former privateer

Stephen Hopkins*

John Rolfe*, a young man in his twenties and traveling with his wife.  Their baby girl was born in Bermuda, christened Bermudas and died shortly thereafter.  His wife died shortly after reaching Virginia Spring 1610 and he married Pocahontas in April 1614.

Mistress Rolfe, first wife of above

*Royal Naval Dockyard Museum, Somerset, Bermuda (Tucker’s Note).

Additional persons listed as arriving at Jamestown in the Patience and the Deliverance (and therefore assumed to be aboard the Sea Venture when it wrecked at Bermuda). Source:  Cavaliers and Pioneers by Nell Marion Nugent (1963).

Henry Bagwell, aged 35 in Deliverance

Thomas Godby, aged 36 in the Deliverance

Edward Waters, aged 40 in the Patience

Elizabeth Joons, aged 30, servant

John Lytefoote

John Proctor

Virginia Historical Index by Swem

According to the original records, “As a results of the efforts, Sir Thomas Gates as sole and absolute Governor, with Sir George Summers, Admiral, and Capt. Newport, Vice Admiral of Virginia, and divers and other persons of ran four cke and quality in seven ships and two pinnaces, left Falmouth on the 8 of June 1609, and on the 24 day of July, 1609 they encountered a terrible storm that prevailed from Tuesday noone till Friday noone; that scattered the fleet and wrecked The Sea Venture (on July 28 1609) upon the island of Bermuda.”

Francis Michell lived at Elizabeth Citty February 1623 and Josuah Chard, aged 36, who came in the Sea Venture, May 1607.

Josuah Chard came in the SV

Purse and Person

The following came in the sea Ventura (from different pages)

p15 Henry Baguel

p22 Smauel Sharp

p30 John Lightfoote

p31 Capt. Wm Pierce

p32 George Grave

p38 John Procter

p140 Richard Buck sailed June 1609 with wife, Miss Langley and four Buck children.  Marooned for 9 months embarked for Virginia from Bermuda 10 May 1610.  Arrived in Jamestown 21 May 1610.  He was a minister.  The four Buck children, Elizabeth, Bridget and Bermuda were born and died while their parent marooned on Somers Island (1609-1610) Mara born in Virginia 1611 ward of brother-in-law, John Burrows.

p374 Stephen Hopkins left England 9 June 1609 among 150 persons cast ashore etc etc then it states “Although there is no complete list of the shipwrecked party which eventually reached Jamestown in the two pinnaces Patience and Deliverance, built on the islands, Hopkins did not remain on The Somers Islands and the conclusion is that the recalcitrant came to Virginia despite his known wish to return to England.  (He went back to England and came on the Mayflower in 1620 to Plymouth, Mass.

No further connection with the Colony.

p475 Wm Pierce

p507 John Rolfe and wife . 9 months on Somers Island.  Wife died on Somers Island or shortly after arriving in Virginia.

p590 Wm Strachey from Surrey England b 1572 on SV, marooned 9 mo etc

p650 Lieut. Edward Waters on SV and on to Virginia Patience.

p724 George Yeardley

Admiral Sir George Somers (1554-1610) was born near Lyme Regis in Dorset, England of modest circumstances.  At an early age he took to the sea, and as a captain of the Flibcote he captured Spanish booty, bringing it back to Dartmouth.  He became a large landowner by his early thirties.  In 1609 he received orders to command an expedition to Virginia, mortgaged his property and outfitted the Sea Venture.  He left no direct descendants.



Walloon and French Colonists to Virginia (1621)


Source: Sainsbury, Calendar, pp. 498-99.

According to the original records, the settlers swore, “We promise my Lord Ambassador of the Most Serene King of Great Britain to go and inhabit in Virginia, a land under his Majesty’s obedience, as soon as conveniently may be, and this under the conditions to be carried out in the articles we have communicated to the said Ambassador, and not otherwise, on the faith of which we have unanimously signed this present with our sign manual”.  The signatures and the calling of each are appended in the form of a round robin, and in a outer circle the person signing states whether he is married, and the number of his children.  The charter is endorsed by Sir Dudley Carleton.

Signature of such Walloons and French as offer themselves to goe into Verginia”.  The names with an * have only signed their marks.  Total 227, including 55 men, 41 women, 129 children, and two servants.

Mousnier de la Montagne, medical student; marrying man

Mousnier de la Montagne, apothecary and surgeon; marrying man

Jacque Conne, tiller of the earth; wife and two children

Henry Lambert, woolen draper; wife

*George Beava, porter; wife and one child

Michel Du Pon, hatter; wife and two children

Jan Bullt, labourer; wife and four children

Paul de Pasar, weaver; wife and two children

Antoine Grenier, gardener; wife

Jean Gourdeman, labourer; wife and five children

Jean Campion, wool carder; wife and four children

*Jan De La Met, labourer; young man

*Antoine Martin’ wife and one child

Francois Fourdrin, leather dresser; young man

*Jan Leca, labourer; wife and five children

Theodore Dufour, draper; wife and two children

*Gillian Broque, labourer; young man

George Wauter, musician; wife and four children

*Jan Sage, serge maker; wife and six children

*Marie Flit, in the name of her husband, a miller; wife and two children

P. Gantois, student in theology; young man

Jacques de Lecheilles, brewer; marrying man

*Jan Le Rou, printer; wife and six children

*Jan de Croy, sawyer; wife and five children

*Charles Chancy, labourer; wife and two children

*Francois Clitdeu, labourer; wife and five children

*Phillippe Campion, draper; wife and one child

*Robert Broque, labourer; young man

Philip De le Mer, carpenter; young man

*Jeanne Martin; young girl

Pierre Cornille, vine-dresser; young man

Jan de Carpentry, labourer; wife and two children

*Martin de Carpentier, brass founder; young man

Thomas Farnarcque, locksmith; wife and seven children

Pierre Gaspar

*Gregoire Le Juene, shoemaker; wife and four children

Martin Framerie, musician; wife and one child

Pierre Quesnee, brewer; marrying man

Pontus Le Gean, bolting-cloth weaver; wife and three children

*Barthelemy Digaud, sawyer; wife and eight children

Jesse de Foprest. Duer’ wife and five children

*Nicholas De la Marlier, dyer; wife and two children

*Jan Damont, labourer; wife

*Jan Gille, labourer; wife and three children

*Jan de Trou, wool carder; wife and five children

Philippe Maton, dyer, and two servants; wife and five children

Anthoine de Lielate, vinedresser; wife and four children

Ernou Catoir, wool carder; wife and five children

Anthoin Desendre, labourer; wife and one child

Agel de Crepy, shuttle worker; wife and four children

*Adrian Barbe, dyer; wife and four children
*Michel Leusier, cloth weaver; wife and one child
*Jerome Le Roy, cloth weaver; wife and four children
*Claude Ghiselin, tailor; young man
*Jan de Crenne, glass maker? (fritteur); wife and one child
*Louis Broque, labourer; wife and two children

More Settlers from Various Sources

According to the records, in 1635, in addition to those before-mentioned were Jonas Austin, Nicholas Baker, Clement Bates Richard Betscome, Benjamin Bozworth, William Buckland, James Cade, Anthony Cooper, John Cutler, John Farrow, Daniel Fop, Jarvice Gould, Wm. Hersey, Nicholas Hodsdin, Thos. Johnson, Andrew Lane, Wm. Large, Thomas Loring, George Ludkin, Jeremy Morse, William Nolton, John Otis, David Phippeny, John Palmer, John Porter, Henry Rust, John Smart, Francis Smith (or Smyth), John Strong, Henry Tuttil, William Walton, Thomas Andrews, William Arnall, George Bacon, Nathaniel Baker, Thomas Collier, George Lane, George Marsh, Abraham Martin, Nathaniel Peck, Richard Osborn, Thomas Wakely, Thomas Gill, Richard Ibrook, William Cockerum, William Cockerill, John Fearing, John Tucker.

Moreover, in 1636 were John Beal, senior, Anthony Eames, Thomas Hammond, Joseph Hull, Richard Jones, Nicholas Lobdin, Richard Langer, John Leavitt, Thomas Lincoln, Jr., miller, Thomas Lincoln, cooper, Adam Mott, Thomas Minard, John Parker, George Russell, William Sprague, George Strange, Thomas Underwood, Samuel Ward, Ralph Woodward, John Winchester, William Walker.

In 1637 were Thomas Barnes, Josiah Cobbit, Thomas Chaffe, Thomas Clapp, William Carlslye (or Carsly), Thomas Dimock, Vinton Dreuce, Thomas Hett, Thomas Joshlin, Aaron Ludkin, John Morrick, Thomas Nichols, Thomas Paynter, Edmund Pitts, Joseph Phippeny, Thomas Shave, Ralph Smith, Thomas Turner, John Tower, Joseph Underwood, William Ludkin, Jonathan Bozworth.

In 1638 there was a considerable increase of the number of settlers.  Among them were Mr. Robert Peck, Joseph Peck, Edward Gilman, John Foulsham, Henry Chamberlain, Stephen Gates, George Knights, Thomas Cooper, Matthew Cushing, John Beal, Jr., Francis James, Philip James, James Buck, Stephen Payne, William Pitts, Edward Michell, John Sutton, Stephen Lincoln, Samuel Parker, Thomas Lincoln, Jeremiah Moore, Mr. Henry Smith, Bozoan Allen, Matthew Hawke, William Ripley.

According to our sources, all of those preceding, who came to this country in 1638, took passage in the ship Diligent, of Ipswich, John Martin, master.  In addition to these, the following named persons received grants of land in the year 1638, viz.: John Buck, John Benson, Thomas Jones, Thomas Lawrence, John Stephens, John Stodder, Widow Martha Wilder, Thomas Thaxter.

In 1639 Anthony Hilliard and John Prince received grants of land.  The name of Hewett (Huet) and Liford, are mentioned in Hobart’s Diary, in that year, and in the Diary the followings names are first found in the respective years mentioned; in 1646, Burr, in 1647, James Whiton; in 1649, John Lazell, Samuel Stowell in 1653, Garnett and Canterbury.

Passengers on the Abraham Bound from London, England, to Virginia in 1635,

John Barker (perhaps an error for Barber), Master, Arranged by First Name, Surname and Age.

Source:  http://olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/tove_abraham1635.shtml


Tobie Sylbie 20

Robert Harrison 32

Willm Lawrence 22

John Johnson 35

W. Fisher 25

Steeven Taylor 17

Tho: Penford 30

Wm Smith 25

Tho: Archdin 18

Rich Morris 17

Walter Piggott 19

Rich Watkyns 20

Jo: Brunch 13

Jo: Clark 20

Gabriell Thomas 30

David Jones 21

Alexander Maddox 22

Francis Tippsley 17

Emanuell Davies 19

W=Williams 25

Roger Matthews 28

Jo: Britton 23

George Preston 20

Robert Toulban 23

Henry Dobell 20

George Brewett 18

Francis Stanely 23

Willm Freeman 46

Edward Griffth 33

Willm Manton 30

Owen Williams 40

Tho: Flower 32

Jo: Bullar 32

Jo: Clanton 26

Alexander Symes 19

Anto Parkhurst 42

Jo” Hill 36

Alexander Gregorie 24

Martin Westlink 20

Patrick Wood 24

Tho: Kedby 25

Riger Greene 24

Will= Downs 24

Jo: Burnett 24

Tho: Allen 31

Simon Farrell 19

Tho: Clements 30

Wm Hunt 20

Kathryn Adwell 33

The David from England to Virginia 1635

“The under-written Names are to be transported to Virginea, Inbarqued in the “David,” Jo. Hogg, Master, have been examined by the minister of Gravesend, etc.”

Edward Browne 25

Samuel Troope 17

Wm Hatton 23

Daniel Bacon 30

Robert Alsopp 18

Teddar Jones 30

Tho: Siggins 18

Abell Dexter 25

Rich Caton 26

Henry Spicer 28

Tho: Granger 19

Jo: Bonfilly 21

Roger Mannington 14

Josua Chanbers 17

Henry Melton 23

Davod Lloyd 30

Donough Gornes 27

Geo: Butler 27

Addan Nunnick 25

Jo: Stann 27

Edward Spicer 18

Jo: Felding 19

Jo: Morris 26

Richard Brookes 30

Robert Barron 18

Jonathan Barnes 22

Henry kendall 17

Tho: Poulter 31

Jo: Lamb 22

Tho: Nunnick 22

Jo: Steevens 19

Edward Crabtree 20

Wm Barber 17

Ann Beeford 25

Martha Potter 20

Gurtred Lovett 18

Jane Jennings 25

Margaret Bole 30

Mary Rogers 20

margaret  Walker 20

Freese Brooran 20

Eliza Jones 20

The Bonaventure (1635)

Richard Doll 25

Tho: Perry 34

Uxor Dorothy 26

Ben: Perry

Mary Carlton 23

Abram Silvester 40

Tho: Belton

Richard Champion 1

Richard Champion 1

Abram Silvester 14

Elizabeth Nanisk 20

Jo Atkinson 30

Rich: Hore 24

Ralph Nichelson 20

Robert More 20

Joan Nubold 20

Tho: Hebden 20

Willm Sayer 58

Brazil Brooke 20

Robert Perry 40

Charles Hillard 22

Edward Clark 30

Jo: Ogell 28

Richard Hargrave 20

Jo: Anderson 20

Francis Spence 23

John Lewes 23

Richard Hughes 19

John Clark 19

Wm Guy 18

John Burd 18

James Redding 19

Richard Cooper 18

Andrew Jefferies 24

Wm Munday

Arthur Howell 20

Jo: Abby 22

James Moyser 28

Mathew Marshall 30

Wm Smith 20

Garrett Riley 24

Miles Riley 20

Willm Burch 19

Peter Dole 20

James Metcalf 22

Margerie Furbredd 20

Jo: Underwood 23

Robert Luck 25

John Wood 23

Waltr Morgan 23

Henrie Irish 16

George Greene 20

Henry Quinton 20

Jo: Bryan 25

Robert Payton 25

Tho: Symonds 27

Michell Browne 35

Jo: Hodges 37

Jo: Edmonds 16

Garrett Pownder 19

Jo: Wise 28

Henry Dunnell 23

Symon Kenneday 20

Tho: Hyet 22

Tho: James 20

Jo: Sotterfeyth 24

Emannell Bomer 18

Leonard Wetherfield 17

James Luckbarrowe 20

Tho: singer 18

Jesper Withy 21

Robert Kersley 22

Jo: Springall 18

Tho: Jessupp 18

James Perkyns 42

Daniell Greene 24

Wm Hutton 24

Jo: Wilkinson 19

Hugh Garland 20

Richard Spencer 18

Humfrey Topsall 24

Tho: Stanton 20

John Fountaine 18

Henry Redding 22

Loughten Bosteck 16

John Russell 19

Tho: Ridgley 23

Robert Harris 19

Willm Mason 10

Victor Derrick 23

John Bamford 28

Margaret Huntley 20

Geo: Session 40

Jo: Cooke 47

Tho: Townson 26

Tho: Parson 30

Tho:Goodman 25

Philip Connor 21

Launcelot Pyrce 21

Uxor Thomazin 18

Kat: Yates 19

Alveryn Cowper 20

Jo: Dunnell 26

Leonard Evans 22

Tho: Anderson 28

Edward Cranfield 18

Jo: Baggley 14

Tho: Smith 14

Willm Weston 30

Tho: Townsend 14

Edward Davies 25

Mary Saunders 26

Jane Chambers 23

Margaret Maddocks 21

Roger Sturdevant 21

John Wigg 24

John Greenwood 16

Andrew Dunton 38

John Wise 30

Wm Hudson 32

Tho: Edmborough 37

John Hill 50

Henry Rogers 30

Robert Smithson 23

Nics Harvey 30

James Grafton 22

Daniell Daniell 18

Reginell Hawes 25

Geo: Burlington 20

Jo: Hutchinson 22

James Crane 17

Richard Hurman 20

Sam: Ashley 19

Geo: Burlingham 20

Elizabeth Jackson 17

Sara Turner 20

Mary Ashley 24


Huguenot Refugees on Board Ship “Mary and Ann”, August 12, 1700 Virginia, James City.


Pierre Delome, et sa  femme

Marguerite Sene, et sa fille

Magdalaine Mertle

Jean Vidau

Jean Menager et Jean Lesnard

Estienne Badouet

Pierre Morrisct

Jedron Chamboux et sa femme

Jean Farry et Jerome Dumas

Jean Tardieu

Jean Moreau

Jaques Roy, et sa femme

Abraham Sablet, et des deux enfants

Quintin Chastatain et Michael Roux

Jean Quictet, sa femme and trios enfants

Henry Cabanis, sa femme et un enfant

Jaques Sayte

Jean Boisson

Francois Bosse

Teertulien Sehult, et sa femme et deux enfants

Pierre Lauret

Jean Roger

Pierre Chastain, a femme et cinq enfants

Philippe Duvivier

Pierre Nace, sa femme et leur deux filles

Francois Clere

Symon Sardin

Sourbragon, et Jacques Nicolay

Pierre Mallet

Francoise Coupet

Jean Oger, sa femme et trios enfants

Jane or Jean Saye

Elizabet Angeliere

Jean et Claude Mallfant, avec leur mere

Isaac Chabanas, sou fils, et Catharine Bomard

Estinne Chastain

Adam Vignes

Jean Fouchie

Francoise Sassin

Andre Cochet

Jean Gaury, sa femme et un enfant

Pierre Gaury, sa femme et un enfant

Pierre Perrut, et sa femme

Isaac Panetier

Jean Parransos sa seur

Elie Tremson, sa femme

Elizabeth Tignac

Antoine Trouillard

Jean Bourru et Jean Bouchet

Jaques Boyes

Elizabet Migot

Catherine Godwal

Pierre la Courru

Jean et Michell Cautepie, sa femme et deux enfants

Jaques Broret, sa femme et deux enfants

Abraham Moulin et sa femme

Francois Billot

Pierre Comte

Ettienne Guevin

Rene Massoneau

Francois Du Tartre

Isaac Verry

Jean Parmentier

David Thonitier et sa femme

Moyse Lewreau

Pierre Tillou

Marie Levesque

Jean Constantin

Claud Berdon sa femme

Jean Imbert, et sa femme

Elizabeth Fleury

Looys du Pyn

Jaques Richard, et sa femme

Adam et Marie Prevost

Jaques Viras, et sa femme

Jawues Brouse, sou enfant

Pierre Cornu

Louiss Bon

Isaac Fordet

Jean Pepre

Jean Gaillard et son fils

Anthonie Matton, et sa femme

John Lucadou et sa femme

Louiss Orange, sa femme et un enfant

Daniel Taure, et deux enfants

Pierre Cupper

Daniel Roy

Magdelain Gigou

Pierre Grelet

Jean Jovany, sa femme, deux enfnans

Pierre Ferrier, sa femme, un enfant

La vefve faure et quatre enfants

Isaac Arnaud, et sa femme

Pierre Chantanier, sa femme et son pere

Jaen Fonasse

Jaques Bibbeau

Jean March

Catherine Billot

Marie et Symon Jourdon

Abraham Menot

Timothy Moul, sa femme un enfant

Jean Savin sa femme un enfant

Jean Sargeaton sa femme un enfant

Claude Philipe, et sa femme

Gabriel Sturter

Pierre de Corne

Helen Trubyer




List of Passengers from London to James River in Virginia Inbarqued in the Ship ye “Peter and Anthony,” Galley of London, Daniel Perreau, Commander (viz’t) 20th of Sept. 1700

Jean Pilard

Estienne Ocosnad (Turkish)?

Abraham Remis sa femme = Ramy

Jean Le Franc Vudurand

Daniel Maison Dieu

Pierre Baudry

David Menestrier

Jacob Fleurnoir, sa femme 2 garsons & 2 fille avid Blevet sa femme & 6 enfants

Elizabeth Lemat

Abraham Le Foix sa femme & 4 enfants

Jean Aunant, sa femme & un fille

Jean Genge de Melvis

Monsieur Je Joux, minister

Francois de Launay, & un enfants

Gaspart, sa femme & 7 enfants

Jacques Corbell

Jacob Capen

Isaac Iroc (Iraq?)

Elie Gastand

Anthonie Boignard

Nicholas Mare, sa femme & 2 enfants

Jaques Feuillet & sa femme.

Pierre Sarazin

Jean Perrachou

Phillippe Claude

Simon Hugault

Samuel Barrel

Gaspar Gueruer sa femme & 3 enfants

Jean Soulegre

Jean Morroe (possibly Moreau)

Louis Desfontaine & sa femme

Pierre Masset

Solomon Jourdan

Estienne Chabran, sa femme

Susanne Soblet & 3 enfants

Jean Hugon

Michel Michel

Mheodore de Rousseau

Pierre Cavalier, sa femme & un garson

Pierre Anthonie Eupins

Isaac Le ffeure (now Lefew in Virginia)

Jean Martain

Pierre Renaudd

Marthien Roussel

Augustin Coullard

Jean Coullard

Jaques du Crow, sa femme & une fille

Paul Laurion

Moise Broc.

Jean Pierre Bondurand[5]

Pierre La Badic

Jean Bossard, sa femme & 3 enfants

Guillaume Rullett

Anthony Gioudar

Anne Carbonnet & un enfant

Guillemme Guervot, sa femme & un garson

Louis Robert, & un fille

Estienne Tauvin, sa femme & 2 enfants

Paul Castiche

Jean Mazeris

Noel Delamarre sa femme & un fille

Jean Le Vilain

Jean Marisset

Jean Maillard & 3 enfants

Thimotthree Roux

Gaspart Guamondet & sa femme

Daniel Rogier

Pierre Gosfand

Soloman Ormund

Louis Geoffray

Maize Veneuil, sa femme & 5 enfants

Joseph Oliver (probably from Niort, in Poitou)

Jaques Faucher

Pierre La Grand, sa femme & 5 enfants

Pierre Prevol (Prevat, Prevatte[6])

Daniel Riches

Francis Clapie

Jacob Riche, sa femme & un enfants

Mathier Passedoit

Pierre Hiuert

Michel Fournet, sa femme & deux enfants

Jean Monnicat

Simon Faucher

Jean Combelle

[1] Copies of this list in public records as all the following ones in this Appendix and elsewhere in our book are legion in scholarly and popular literature. As far as we are informed they do not represent copyright materials. Out of convenience, we have followed in this instance the list provided by the National Park Service. Others are published all over the Internet. We make no claim that the list provided here is original, authoritative or definitive. At the same time, we have attempted to harmonize different versions and acknowledge important sources. If anyone holds the copyright to this or similar material used by us, we would appreciate hearing so that we can make the correction.  –The Authors.
[2] The original group came in May 1607, the first supply group in January 1608, and the second supply group in the fall 1608. Occupations are given with original spellings. List is based on the records of John Smith, "Proceedings of the English Colony in Virginia" and Generall Historie. The record states there were “diverse others to the number of 105.”
[3] This is the title of the facsimile parchment record in my possession.
[4] There were 144 persons in the expedition including the one hundred five who remained in Virginia.
[5] One of the authors’ ancestors from Provence, said to have been of extremely dark appearance. The surname was probably originally a Spanish compound one, Bon-Durante, a form of the “good name” (see App. C). Durands/Durants were a prominent Sephardic family of rabbis, physicians and scholars who settled mostly in Provence, Marseilles, Majorca and Morocco after the Expulsion of 1492 (Faiguenboim et al 244), where the Bondurants originated. Jean Pierre, the emigrant, was an apothecary and vintner by profession. His mother was Gabrielle Barjon (“son of Jean”). A Barjon relative was one of the organizers of the mass escape from France, which led the Huguenots through Switzerland, Germany and finally, London, to the New World. Jean Pierre’s wife, Rhoda Faur (Anglicized as Ford), also bore a Sephardic surname (Faiguenboim et al 256). The Bondurant family can be traced back to Génolhac, département Gard, France, to the early sixteenth century, but not before—as we have seen, often a clue invoking the date 1492. They were probably relatively new arrival from Inquisitorial Spain. In Virginia, the Bondurants intermarried again and again with Agee, Maxey, Radford and Ford cousins, a common crypto-Jewish trait.
[6] Ancestor of co-author’s spouse, Teresa Panther-Yates. The family intermarried with Tuscarora and Cherokee Indians and was later known as Black Dutch.


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Top DNA Stories of the Year

Thursday, January 02, 2014

DNA Rocks the News 


This was definitely the year that was in DNA news. Here are, we propose, the top three stories.

First, last June came the U.S. Supreme Court decision that police officers can now legally take DNA from anyone they arrest. Yes, and they then then enter your DNA profile into a database where they can match it with existing samples (Dan Noswolitiz, “It’s Now Legal for the Police to Collect DNA,” Popular Science). Since we live in a rather scary world since 9/11, I thought that might be constructive, at first glance, until I realized that the key word is “arrest” not “charged.” What is the difference? People are falsely framed and arrested every day as well as arrested for minor offenses. Consequently, there are any number of ways this could be abused. Even if someone is declared innocent, guess what? They still have your DNA.

Do you want others to have your personal genomic data? That is a question you might want to ask of any DNA testing company you use. What do you do with my DNA? Do you keep it and put it in a database or share it with others? In the same month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented, except for synthetic genes. This was in response to a lawsuit between “Myriad Genetics, a medical diagnostics company, and the Association for Molecular Pathology” (Young). Many saw this as a win for women with an elevated genetic risk of breast and ovarian cancers as well as researchers and scientists (Richard Wolf, “Justices Rule Human Genes Cannot Be Patented,” USA TODAY) Why? Myriad had a monopoly on the gene; as a result, no one else could produce or manufacture it, and the genetic test was inordinately expensive.

23 and Me vs. Nearly Everybody Else 
Not every woman has a bank account matching Angelina Jolie’s. Her decision to first take the genetic test and then have a preventive double mastectomy because of her high risk of breast cancer brought this case to the forefront. But the breast cancer issue also played into the biggest and most controversial story of the year concerning genetics testing for disease and the battle between the FDA and 23&me. The FDA told them to stop selling health and medical related information with their genetic tests. Some see this as the FDA stealing their right to their own personal genetic information. Since there is no genetic destiny for disease because of other lifestyle and epigenetic factors (Carl Zimmer, “Hope, Hype, and Genetic Breakthroughs” Wall Street Journal), others see this as part of a process to ensure that these tests are accurate and not misinterpreted. However, knowing you have a high genetic risk for a disease might mean you make better lifestyle choices. I think in the end it will not spell the end for direct-to-consumer genetic health services. Hopefully, the industry will not only be resurrected, but there will also be better guidelines for the field as well as the consumer spurring a wider market so consumers have more choices. I am looking for that silver lining in the New Year.

So that's three stories that spell continuing interest in DNA testing everywhere. Watch for headlines on personal genomics, medical tests and Denisovans/Neanderthals in the coming year.


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Too Big to Feel

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We don't often write editorials in this space. Normally, you will see nothing but news in the DNA Consultants Blog. Some sparse marketing messages may appear whenever we have a new product or study. But the FDA's "stop and desist" letter last Friday to personal genomics giant 23&me has sent shock waves through the industry. Although we are not in the business of providing medical information to customers, only ancestral background analyses, we feel compelled to weigh in on the FDA's warning, which we think is overdue.

First, it is important to note that the FDA took action against 23&me because the company has been selling an unapproved diagnostic device and medical service. The FDA demanded 23&me "immediately discontinue marketing the Personal Genome Service" after years of protracted and unsuccessful requests for proof of safety and efficacy to back up the company's marketing claims.

A check of 23&me's website on November 26 showed little change in the promises it makes to consumers. Splashed across the welcome page in large letters was "Get to know you." The site boasted having "Reports on 240+ health conditions." In language that sure sounds medical to us, it speaks of carrier status, health risks and drug response. 

An appeal to parents suggests, "Find out if your children are at risk for inherited conditions, so you can plan for the health of your family." Under "drug response," the company advises that you can take "information on how you might respond to certain medications" from your $99 DNA test to your next doctor's visit.

The FDA found "some of the uses for which Personal Genomic Service is intended are particularly concerning." A false positive result for the BRCA gene, for instance, could cause a patient to remove breasts or ovaries to avoid getting cancer. A false negative could lead patients into an unfounded sense of security and make them ignore that an actual risk exists. An inaccurate result for warfarin drug response could lead a patient to self-manage their dosage or skip it altogether, leading to "illness, injury, or death."

Some pretty dire concerns.

DNA Consultants simply does not do DNA testing for medical information. If a customer calls and asks for such a service we explain that is something they should discuss with their healthcare provider. Neither our marketing nor fulfillment of tests contains any medical language.

We specialize in ancestry analysis exclusively and believe we do that better than anybody else.

Of course, the field of genetic screening has made enormous progress over the past ten years. We monitor many of those advances in our blog. But we do not believe the field is by any means "there" yet, certainly not ready to be packaged and hawked to consumers. We doubt it ever will be. Or at least we hope not.

Despite popular anthems of genetic determinism, your health is not all in your genes. But your ancestry certainly is. Find out what your ancestry is and you will be able to form an idea of what your ancestral medical history might look like, going beyond the two generations of family medical history covered by standard questionnaires at the doctor's office. But that part is entirely up to you and your healthcare providers.

No company is too big to fail. Even the largest are subject to oversight by the government as well as consumer pressure and the natural forces of the market. Nor is any company too big to feel. We hope 23&me will respond both to the FDA and the public with understanding and responsibility, not indifference and arrogance.

Related Posts

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The Sins of Science

How Good is Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Screening:  Not Very, According to Study

Regulation Unlikely in Europe

Should the DNA Marketspace Be Regulated by the Government?


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Where Do I Come From: James Shoemaker

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Where Do I Come From: James Shoemaker

Real People's DNA Stories

Bible Studies, DNA Tests, Mother's Nursing-Home Confessions Lead to New Life

NOVEMBER 16, 2013 — Until he took an autosomal ancestry test, James T. Shoemaker had little concept of his heritage. He assumed he was just an average white European American like his Appalachian neighbors.

Although raised in a Pentecostal Church, Shoemaker always felt a strong pull toward Jewish culture. So last year he went to his doctor and asked for a DNA test. "I wanted to see if there were any Jewish lines in my ancestry," he said.

He ended up taking a DNA Fingerprint Plus, a complete analysis of one's genetic ancestry that includes ethnic markers and megapopulation admixture matches.

Fast forward from that first eye-opener and today the 53-year-old Waynesboro, Pa. resident is halfway through a conversion process to Judaism at B'nai Abraham, a Reform congregation in Hagerstown, Md., where he is being mentored by youngish Rabbi Ari Plost.

"I got all three ancestral markers for Jewish I, II and III," Shoemaker recalls, “so I went to see my mother, Jacqueline Rose, at the nursing home in Hagerstown, and she admitted, ‘Well, yeah, my parents, uh, they were both Jewish."

It was the first he had heard of it. “Mom never said a word about having Jewish ancestors. It turned my life around.”

The fact that he got a "double dose" of Jewish alleles in his marker results confirmed the truth of his mother's admission that both she and his father came from Jewish families.

Shoemaker next took a Premium Male DNA Ancestry Test to determine whether his father's Y chromosome line was perhaps Jewish. The results were delivered to him in mid-November.

His particular haplotype did indeed match several other Jewish men, including those with the surnames Brown, Hendrix, Shepard, Getz, Phillips, Lewetag and Sequeira. "The subject’s specific male haplotype (surname line) probably came from Southwest Germany or the Low Lands, to judge from the modal matches and patterns of distribution," according to the report.

As for the surname itself, the Surname History section (included in every Premium Male report, cost $325.00), had some valuable clues for Shoemaker's genealogy.

"Shoemaker is probably a translation of the Dutch or German equivalent Schuhmacher or Shumacher meaning "shoemaker." It is noted as a Jewish family name in Southwest Germany and the Saarland in France, including Lörrach in Baden (Lars Menk, A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames, Bergenfield: Avotaynu, 2005, pp. 673-74). It could also come from Schuster, a more common Jewish German surname (p. 675)."

A Mason since 1990, and flirting at one time with Messianic Judaism, Shoemaker feels as though his earlier attempts to connect with his Jewish heritage were blind and unguided without the hard testimony of DNA. "All these things I've been interested in with my studies and religious life now fall into place," he said. "I'm finding out why."

What lies in the future? This Pesach, Shoemaker will have an official bar mitzvah, complete with ritual bath and reading from the Torah. He then plans to attend Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. "What I am really looking forward to," he says, "is making aliyah to the Land of Israel."


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Indians and Crypto-Jews

Sunday, October 06, 2013

It's been exactly 10 years since this paper was first presented to a conference of Jewish genealogists and DNA experts, so we are posting it in this space on its anniversary. "DNA Testing of Southeastern American Indian Families to Confirm Jewish Ethnicity," Paper Delivered by Donald Panther-Yates at the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies Conference, San Antonio, August 3, 2003

The project I will be speaking about today is the first of its kind I am aware of. It grew out of the Melungeon Surname DNA Project started by Beth Hirschman, who was inspired—or manic enough at the time—to spring for the funds. I want to begin by thanking both Beth and Bennett Greenspan of Family Tree DNA for their amazing help and support. At one point in the project, when the results were beginning to roll in, I was pleased to see that both Bennett’s son Elliott and Abe Lavender matched mitochondrial DNA results of several of our participants. Beth was able to e-mail Bennett with the message, “Welcome to Melungeon-land!”

The project called for volunteers to take either a female descent or male descent genetic test if they could provide reasonable genealogical proof that they were descended either from an early Indian trader or a Native American woman who married or had children with one. The odds were all against us. In order to qualify, the descent of the trader or his wife could not cross from the male to the female line; it had to be either the outside male line, father to son, father to son, or the outside female line, mother-daughter, mother-daughter. We could not, for instance, test one individual who claimed, very eloquently and convincingly, to be descended from both Pocahontas and her sister-cousin Princess Cleopatra. I received a fair measure of hate mail from professors of Indigenous Studies. One volunteer, a Collins in Kentucky, wrote to me about Torah study in her local band of the Saponi, though she assured me they were all good Christians. I also got an interesting letter from the chief of a Tennessee band of the Cherokee who lamented the fact that the tribe members were going through their fourth round of DNA testing without proving much Indian blood. They had found so much Jewish types among them that one of them decided to adopt the name “Rolling Bagel.”

Some of the test subjects invariably got cold feet and bowed out. I am particularly sorry to have missed the linear descendant of James Adair (author of the first anthropological study of American Indians), the linear descendant of Abraham Mordecai (founder of the town of Montgomery, Alabama), and the linear descendant of Cherokee Chief John Looney (whose ancestors were the famous Luna family of Portugal, among them “the Woman Who Defied Kings”). On the positive side, though, we hit paydirt by locating people with the right credentials and level of cooperation for a number of important historical figures. These included Nancy Ward, the Beloved Woman of the Cherokee Nation, who has more than 12,000 known descendants alive today; Col. William Holland Thomas, the Welsh trader who founded the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina; Chief John Bowles, the leader of the Texas Band of Cherokees; and Elizabeth Tassell, said to be the first Cherokee to marry a white man, (Ludovic Grant, a Scottish trader). To these may be added an ancestor both Beth and I have in common—William Cooper, an explorer and trader who was the scout for Daniel Boone.

What I’m going to do is run through the numbers first, then talk about a few of the genetic types on both the female (mostly Indian) side and white (mostly male) side, then sum up with some observations about the early mixing of Indians and Jews in the Colonial period. You will see that admixture between Jews and Indians is a sort of Eastern parallel to the experiences you are probably more familiar with in the American Southwest. I’ve brought all my files with my on a laptop if anyone is interested in seeing specific data or is curious about pursuing a connection after the lecture.

First, the numbers. There were 9 persons, mostly females, who took the Native Match test, and 12 persons, necessarily males, who took the Y chromosome test. Only one test result came back Unknown. Many of the haplotypes were unique, meaning they matched no sample in either Bennett’s clientele at Family Tree DNA or the larger databases he cross-indexes to, including Michael Hammer’s. This shouldn’t surprise us because the DNA testing of Native Americans has been very limited, controversial, concentrated in any event on Navajos and other Western reservation tribes. Peter Jones of the Bäuu Institute in Boulder, Colorado, recently published an important paper criticizing the whole state of anthropological genetics and calling for an entirely new beginning. Of the five lineages the current state of scholarship classifies as Native American—haplogroups A, B, C, D and X—our project found 2 Cs and one B, no A, no D, and one X, the latter in an uncle of one of our participants. The majority of those hoping to authenticate their female Indian ancestry (5 out of 9) proved to be  H, the most common European haplogroup. One was J, the classic Jewish/Semitic haplogroup. As for the Y chromosome haplogroups, half (6 out of 12) were R1b (sometimes called the Atlantic Modal Haplogroup), 2 (17%) were E3b, one of two well-studied Jewish haplogroups, and one was J2, the second well-established type. There were also single entries in the categories of Viking (Locklear, a Lumbee Indian name), Native American (Sizemore), and as I mentioned, one sample that turned out to be a “big unknown.” 

So those are the results we are dealing with. Both Beth and I—I'm not sure about Bennett—were impressed with the fact that, though this was just a small sample, it produced the same proportion of what we might call male Jewish DNA, roughly 20 percent, vis à vis 80 percent male non-Jewish DNA, as is the proportion in most studies of both Sephardic and Ashkenazi populations. On the female side, the most startling result was a strong hint that there were females carrying Middle Eastern genes among the Cherokees even before so-called “white contact” in the eighteenth century. 

For our first break-out, let’s talk about the results for a woman whom I shall Jasmine, for she showed the J haplogroup in her female line. Jasmine was very forthcoming with documentation, names, dates and a lot of family history that would probably not have been shared and made available under other circumstances. She claimed strict matrilineal descent from Betsy Walker Hyde, a native girl born about 1718, who was captured in a military attack by the English and raised by Sen. Felix Walker. Her descendant, Catherine Hyde, was remembered as a “full blood Cherokee.” Catherine became the mistress of Col. Will Thomas and bore him several children. Jasmine put me in touch with the last, lone descendant of one of Col. Will’s other daughters, whom he fathered with another native woman, Demarius Angeline Thomas Sherril. The mtDNA there was haplogroup X, a rare Native American lineage which may have come from Europe or the Middle East, not Asia. There are many reasons to think Col. Thomas himself was a crypto-Jew. His mother was a Calvert, and the Holland surname is often associated with Jews from the Netherlands. Supporting the suspicion these people were crypto-Jewish culture are the names they gave their children: Demarius (Tamar), Darthelia, Joshua, Parmelia and (my favorite) Docie Beatrice.

 Let us go now to the man who turned out to bear Jewish male DNA. I was extremely pleased to get correspondence from the descendants of Col. John Bowles, the founder of the Texas Band of the Cherokee. Chief Bowles died leading a war party, shot in the back by a white man near Redlands, Texas, in 1839. We located two elderly brothers in Oklahoma who were great-great-great grandsons of the legendary chief. To everyone’s surprise Bowles DNA came back J2, with a two-step mutation matching a person identified as Ashkenazi from the Ukraine. How could this be? Bowles was similar to other Cherokee chiefs of his day in being a halfbreed. His father was a Scottish trader and his mother a full-blood Cherokee. When his father was killed and robbed by two North Carolinians in 1768, John was only twelve years old, but within two years the fair-complexioned, auburn haired boy had killed both his father’s slayers. After that, he became a Chickamauga warrior. He was called The Bowl (in Cherokee, Duwali). And he was not the only "white chief." Another during the same period was The Glass, whose name in the North Carolina settlements was originally Thomas Glass. Chief Black Fox, my ancestor was a Scotsman descended from Blacks and FoxesI believe all these families were Scottish crypto-Jews. They were heavily intermarried, generation after generation.

I ran a search for matches on Bowles DNA in the Y-STR Haplotype Reference Database. There were 17 matches in Europe—Albania, Berlin, Budapest, Bulgaria, Bydgoszcz in northern Poland, Cologne, Colombia (2), Freiburg, Latium, Pomerania, Stuttgart, Sweden, Tyrol, Umbria, Warsaw and Westphaia. A “one-off” mutation produced Freiburg and Lombardy. The picture that emerged was one that closely echoed the distribution pattern for the Gothic invasions that repeopled Italy, France and Spain. To the contrary, the predominant matches in our Melungeon surname study have led to the Iberian Peninsula and to places like Antioquia, Colombia, where Marranos and crypto-Jews emigrated. Here was a Jewish haplotype that, historically speaking, seemed to have traveled out of Scandinavia and the Baltic region, passed through Italy to Spain and Scotland and migrated on to the Americas, where it mingled with the Indians.

In another of our surnames, Rogers, one can also retrace the footsteps of the Goths.

How about Wales as an unlikely place to find Jews? Our project established the Jewish origins of another great pioneer family of the South who intermarried with Cherokees, the Blevinses.  Two of our Blevins test subjects were found to have E3b genes, which even Bennett admits are Ashkenazic. The name Blevins originates in Britain and by the seventeenth century was associated with the little port town of Formby. It may be derived from (a)b (Welsh for "son of") and Levin (meaning Levite). William Blevins, born in Rhode Island, was a Long Hunter who explored Kentucky and Tennessee with Elisha Wallen in 1734. His son had two Cherokee wives, sisters, and a multitude of Blevinses appear on the Cherokee rolls. All are my cousins, as my great-great-grandmother was Mahala Jane Blevins. The Blevins family has occasionally shown itself to be openly Jewish. Bertha Blevins, a declared Jewess, married Moses H. Cone, who was born in Jonesboro, Tennessee, in 1857. She endowed the Greensboro (N.C.) Health Care System upon her death in 1947.

Now it is time to look at the American Indian results. We were fortunate in being able to sample the DNA of two key female figures in Cherokee history. Elizabeth Tassell (we might as well call her a “princess” as long as the American Indian Movement or sticklers in the BIA are not listening), married Ludovic Grant, a Scottish trader about 1720. His name probably comes from French Grand, German Gross. The couple's  descendants are the oldest of the bloodlines studied in a definitive fashion by Emmett Starr, whose genealogies were the basis for government blood quantums and tribal membership. One of Elizabeth Grant's eleventh-generation descendants, with a long Dutch name, joined our study and her DNA proved to be haplogroup C. This was also the haplogroup of an Oklahoma descendant of Nancy Ward, the famous Beloved Woman. Both participants preserve their clan affiliation, which is Wolf Clan.

Does this tell us anything? I think it does.  One’s clan was passed from the mother to her children in a strict matrilineal fashion, just like mitochondrial DNA.

Another test subject, a San Francisco man, matched a woman of Hispanic descent with a crypto-Jewish surname. He carried B lineage and the family still preserved the fact they were Long Hair Clan.

Haplogroup C, notably, has a large “cline” in the southern Appalachians. The B haplogroup, concentrated in the Southwest, appears to fit the Pueblo Indians.

Let me mention a “Big Unknown,” before concluding. This was an 80-year-old gentleman in California by the Scottish-sounding name of McAbee who generously joined our study, with the help of his niece. Their family had a sturdy tradition of crypto-Jewish practices in Kentucky, including opening the door for the prophet Elijah on special days. Everybody at Family Tree DNA drew a blank over his DNA, which was finally classified as “Unknown.” It was described by all the rest of us as “eerie.” The family claimed they were descended from Judas Macabbaeus. Could it be true? As I learned, it is indeed a very rare haplotype. The closest matches in the Y-user database in Berlin were in Albania, Bulgaria/Romani, London and with a Bulgarian Turk. If surviving descendants of the Hasmonean Jews, the first convert population, lived anywhere it would likely be in those places.

The last DNA test results I would like to talk about were those of a verifiable crypto-Jewish family among the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians. This was a male paternal-line descendant of Louis LeFleur/LeFlore, a French Canadian trader who married Rebecca Cravat, said to be an “Indian princess.” He introduced the first cattle, hogs, keel boats, cotton and tobacco crops to the Choctaw. LeFlore thus occupies the same position of Culture Bearer as Nancy Ward holds among the Cherokee. His son Greenwood became the principal chief of the Choctaw, married a Jewish Cherokee woman named Elizabeth Coody and managed to stay in Mississippi after Indian removal. One branch of the family in modern times changed its name to Flores, which seems to be the original Portuguese form. Flores is a big Marrano surname. A run through the Y-STR database confirmed numerous Iberian and Latin American matches, with Asturias and Central East Spain being the strongest hits.

One of the really cool things about DNA analysis is finding a match and making contact with people you would never have dreamed you are related to. When we got the results for Gayle Wilson, an enrolled Cherokee in Oklahoma, and found out she carried the Nancy Ward gene, a young schoolteacher in California by the name of Juan Madrid wrote to us inquiring how he could have matched her. Madrid, of course, is a fairly common Marrano name. But he had no tradition of being Cherokee. His grandmother lived among the Comanches, and all the family would talk about is “some Indian blood somewhere,” without being specific. Juan definitely had the Cherokee Wolf Clan gene, and he is now pursuing tribal enrollment. I found out he already had an Indian name. Significantly, he is called Two Hearts.

It is time to draw some conclusions and end. Bennett has repeatedly assured both Beth and me that there is no such thing as “Jewish DNA.” Strictly speaking, it’s true. There are haplogroups into which the DNA of people known to be Jewish today fall. But even some Arabs and Muslims test positive for the Cohen gene. So how can we be so sure the Y chromosomal haplotypes we are studying are Jewish? The answer lies in a chain of circumstantial evidence. The overwhelming preponderance of surnames with Hebrew and Sephardic Jewish roots, combined with multigenerational cousin marriage and other historical factors, cannot be ignored. Genetics without a good genealogical chart is useless. Even the charts can sometimes be misleading unless one has access to death-bed confessions and whispered family traditions.

Only in the last two years did I find out my family was Jewish, or perhaps better said, crypto-Jewish. There is not a single surname in my family tree, which I have traced back more than 700 years in some lines, that defies the pattern. Despite all this, though, I always wanted to find something concrete and unequivocal, something of the vanished past I could touch with my hands and cling to in my thoughts. So this spring I made a pilgrimage to New Hope Cemetery on Sand Mountain in Tennessee where my great-great-great grandmother Mahala Jane Blevins Cooper is said to be buried.

New Hope is a beautiful, forgotten place. The dogwoods and redbuds were in flower; it was a Sunday morning. The Cooper-Blevins burial plot was on the edge of the cemetery with the oldest stones, rough unmarked header and footer rocks, unlike the rest of the graves. I took a picture of my great-uncle Harmon Cooper’s memorial. It had the Freemason or Templar cross and showed a hand pointing to the sky, with the words GONE HOME. I was thrilled, satisfied at last I had concrete proof, for I’d seen similar designs in the crypto-Jewish burials at Purrysburgh, South Carolina. I cleaned the graves … put down a tobacco offering in the Indian manner … said the Shema and Shecheyanu … and wished I had learned the Mourner’s Kaddish. I finally experienced what I think I had been looking for all along … a shock of recognition, a strong feeling that the ancestors were placated and pleased. If I have accomplished nothing else, I would like to leave you with this. We all have a moral imperative to uncover our families’ past. And they would have been proud of us.


Bill Hucks commented on 18-Jan-2014 01:37 PM

According to Wikipedia, Moses H. Cone married Bertha Lindau. How do you explain this discrepancy (that she was a Blevins)?

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Where Do I Come From: Shawn

Monday, July 22, 2013

Where Do I Come from:  Shawn

Real People's DNA Stories

Ethnicity Beyond European Migration

By Shawn

My journey into DNA testing began with my desire to expand on my known heritage, while clarifying debated Jewish ancestry.  What I have found in return is that my ancestral paper trail only uncovers a small portion of the blood that runs through my veins.  My DNA Consultants results, for the most part were quite surprising.  My European matches were fairly consistent with my country origins on paper and surrounding areas.  The major surprise, however, was that my number one European match was Romani/Gypsy and my number 10 match was Czech Republic.... 

Things became much more interesting with my World Population Matches.  My scores (in order) were Romani/Gypsy, Middle Eastern, African, Iberian, Central European, African-American, Jewish, Mediterranean European, European American and Eastern European.  I also came up with Native American admixture to top it off.  These results are causing me to believe that there may be a line or more of family lineages that I have yet to tap into. 

Looking back on things now, I have received comments from others concerning my phenotype such as "I'm not sure what you are,” "You don't look Irish" and "You must have some Black ancestry."  Some have even just assumed I was Hispanic or Caucasian.  Interestingly enough, almost all acknowledge that they see my Italian/Spanish phenotype, while a few also see slight Native American.   

While my results provided insight into how diverse my blood really is, they also put an end to an age-old family debate as to our Jewish ethnicity.  One of my relatives from a few generations past would passionately defend her position that our family line was indeed Jewish, while another family member would vigorously put forth his position that we were not Jewish.  He would try to prove our non-Jewishness any time he could.  I also had another family member along that same family line say that he almost did not get hired for a job because the hirer thought he was Jewish.  I always believed these accounts, especially since as young as I can remember I have found this side of my family (Italian and German) to phenotypically look Italian and/or Jewish.  

So where does all this leave me now?  My results show my blood is much more than simply Italian, French, Irish and German.  They confirm family testimony of Spanish/Portuguese/Iberian and Jewish ancestry.  Perhaps more interestingly, my results leave me re-assessing my ethnicity or multi-ethnic heritage, end years of family verbal passages or debates and leave me with intriguing new ancestries that are waiting to be discovered. 


Maria OConnor commented on 23-Jul-2013 12:42 AM

Shawn: Countries frontiers are artificial. For example, there are people of celtic heritage in northern Spain, northern Portugal, all over Ireland, all over England, all over Scotland, all over Wales, Southern Germany, northern France, Northern Italy, etc. All of them, even considering the come from different places have the same celtic DNA. So, if you have an ancestor from Spain or Portugal, could be of celtic origen, or mediterranean origen.
If a person has jewish sefardi dna, it could be originated from Southern Spain, Southern Portugal, North Africa, Middle East, etc.
Also, in South America there are great numbers of people of European ancestry, including non hispanic non portugue ancestry, like Irish, German, Italians, etc.
Is quite complicated, due to ancient and new migrations.

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Where Do I Come From: Monica Sanowar

Friday, July 12, 2013

Where Do I Come From

Real People's DNA Stories

A Red-Hot Tale from the Nation's Capital

By Monica R. Sanowar


I took my first test with Family Tree in 2006. This test showed my mtDNA as L3e2b2 and it went like this:

52% West African

39% European


0% Native American

I could not believe the East Asian part, and I shrugged it off and thought—that has to be Native American.

So, fast forward—I took another test with Ancestry.com. This was autosomal and showed:

48% - West African

44% - European


How can you be UNKNOWN?

Neither of these tests really breaks down what country your people may have originated from. So then I tried 23&me, their autosomal offering.

49% - West African

48.3% European - Central - Northern - Non-specific

and the leftovers were .7 EAST ASIAN & NATIVE (although the NA box did not turn red)


I knew from family history that NA was on both sides of my fence. I also was aware that I had four of the traits Melungeon people have. I have the ridge in the back of my head that you can lay your finger in; I have ridges on the teeth and I can make the clicking sound on the shovel teeth; I have the Asian eyefold, and the very high arches. Can't get my foot inside of a boot and if I do, I can't get it off.  I was amazed that I got my results in less than two weeks!

Finally, I tried DNA Consultants. Its test was the very first that didn't show "UNKNOWN" or non-specific. Everything was accounted for, although I did find a few shocks. No one told me about Sephardic Jews or the Portuguese. At last, a test verified my Native roots with valid matches to tribes or nations and confirmed Native American autosomal markers—from both parents, as I had been told.

I got into Native culture back in 1983 when I started to go to powwows. I finally felt at home. I enjoyed seeing people that looked like me, mixed. My great-great-great grandmother was listed on the FREE NEGRO LIST where it asked How Freed? And it was written BORN FREE. Then came a description— a light-skinned black, with long straight black hair and a small scar on her hand. Below is a picture of her daughter, Alethea Preston Pinn. Alethea's father was a white man named Allen Preston. Alethea had seven children with James E. Colvin, who was white, and all

of their children were put on Walter Plecker's list of "mongrels" not allowed to vote or go to school. That was 1943. Not that long ago.

So, I got a second cousin to take the test with 23&me who comes directly from

Sarah Pinn (the alleged light-skinned black woman). My cousin's haplogroup came in A2N - Native American.

I know that some things may show and some not, but DNA Consultants' test knocked the EAST ASIAN right off the page. I've learned a lot of different things with DNA testing, but DNA Consultants' is the best one I have seen and is well worth the money. 

I love it when these geneticists and genealogists out there decide what you do or do not have in your family tree, especially the Indian part of the tree.  As if this just could not have happened . . . .  I am proud of all of it.  I can just about hang up a flag from everywhere.   

I can't praise the DNA Fingerprint Plus enough and wish I'd known about it years ago. I really appreciate all of the knowledge and insight Dr. Yates has about genealogy and history that I was totally unaware of. I actually spoke to him on the phone at length and he truly made my day. I highly recommend DNA Consultants' service to people who are looking for the truth about their genealogy.

And speaking of spicy mixtures, check out my hot sauces at Sun Pony. They've got secret, all-natural ingredients just like the family!

Alethea Preston Pinn, my great-great-grandmother on my paternal side.

My mother, Mary Wood.

My great-aunt Lenora Wood.


Elizabeth Colvin, a granddaughter of Alethea Preston Pinn. "Contrary to the belief and convictions of many people, long hair really does exist in my family," says Monica Sanowar. "It isn't a made-up fantasy and this was long before hairweaves.  My cousin's hair was down to her calves." 

Guest blog author Monica Sanowar is the founder of Sun Pony Distributors Inc., makers of a line of all-natural, wholesome condiments and energy supplements found in stores up and down the East Coast. Her first hot sauce was Yellow Thunder and her Native name is Sundancer. SunPony's D.C. Redbone Hot Sauce is the official hot sauce of the Anacostia Indians, D.C.'s little known indigenous people, who were first recorded by Capt. John Smith in 1608.  Sanowar lives in Washington, D.C., not far from the Anacostia's village site, now a national historical landmark. Watch grassdancer Rusty Gillette in a video about D.C. Redbone. 

Phyllis Starnes commented on 12-Jul-2013 04:42 PM

Monica Sanowar,

I had the pleasure of analyzing your personal DNA profile and preparing your report.

I am pleased that our detailed report validated your known ancestry.

Thank you for sharing your experience with DNA Consultants.

Phyllis Starnes
Assistant Investigator
DNA Consultants

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