A wise SAMPSON COUNTY historian offered me some sage advice when I first began to do GENETIC GENEALOGY PRIMER presentations eight long years ago.  He advised me to just

just show how DNA TESTING actually helped someone advance their family history work“.

At the time I felt what would pass his test was my UNDERWOOD work.  Those brickwalls were and are immediate fodder to use to help folks understand how genetic genealogy tools can advance the work.  But I have always understood something much more fundamental which DOES meet his advice but in early days was difficult to convey.

FOR any one doing geneaolgy work now there is a requisite to include genetic genealogy to validate any classic work.  SO the true HELP is simply doing your genetic genealogy work correctly from the start.  That WILL advance each person’s family history work AS well as advance the fields of EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY, ANTHOPOLOGY and GENEALOGY.

Each of us need to establish and confirm our lines.

To do this requires boys submitting FTDNA kits.  When you look at your pedigree you need to submit two foundation kits – one to establish your dad’s surname/line which will provide you the CLAN, aka scientific subclad with specific ymarkers that have been passed from father to son generation after generation. The Ymarker37 or greater test is the lone way to accomplish this.  And you need to use a BOY for both sides of your family – the submitter for your mom’s side should be the eldest living boy – could be her paternal grandpa, great uncle, father, uncle, or the eldest living male child of any of these.  YOU MUST KNOW THIS INFORMATION BEFORE YOU CAN PROPERLY ANALYZE ANY AUTOSOMAL, AKA FAMILY FINDER TEST.  So if you have used or 23andme, you truly need to start by moving your raw data to FTDNA AND submit kits to establish your lines.

For me, I have been focused on JORDAN work AS WELL as any family/surname/clan who connects to the JORDANS of Carolina at any generation node.  Those WIFE/MOTHER nodes are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!  But in order to properly see any mother at any generation node in one’s pedigree you have to know the SURNAME that person carried internally.  And my work has focused on establishing provenancial plot point lines.  In other words, I have looked very hard at the raw records to find candidates who can help us create reference points.  I also have been interested in establishing any line who carries a name that has been passed along to future generations but the reason where the name originated is lost or contested.

So for the last 10 years I have been DNA mapping various pedigrees trying to properly establish and confirm our early lines back to a point where we can hop the Atlantic and find the next generation nodes for our family who never left Europe. It was my hope the work would move faster and my focus would be learning the stories of the ancestoral families.

We are at an advantage because our country is young enough for our efforts to accomplish two critical steps:

1 – DNA confirm our pedigree back to the first immigrant or explorer who crossed the Atlantic or even directly confirm our line with European nodes is possible.  This is where more researchers put all of their efforts.  And sadly most are doing this work in piecemeal fashion.  They focus on one particular surname only and neglect the rest.  This is something that must change and change immediately if we are to accomplish the necessary  genealogy work of our generation of family historians.

2 – develop population clusters. When one establishes their lines AND then works to CONFIRM the lines two geographic events occur. First there are plot points for specific people. The plot point together with others who called the same place home creates a population cluster.  These population clusters are a basic component of haplogroup work – the migration pattern work for humanity.  When it comes the era when people made their way to North America there was a great deal of sea travel.  And lots of explorers were charged to find one place and they actually found a different place.  There are some explorers like HOWARD whose exploits are yet to be determined.  There are snippets of information which have nagged historians – the LOST COLONY of course is the most well known mystery for NC but there are others.  For instance how many of you know that the map held by Gov. Dobbs found by descendants just a few years ago showed BATH was not the pinpoint geographic place most historians have made us think it was.  It was a great swatch of land that began on the north side of the Neuse and stretched to the Cape Fear.  So the stories of the men who arrived from SWITZERLAND to establish BATH or the counter story about the FRENCH REFUGEES from BELIGUM who arrived to establish BATH could BOTH BE RIGHT!  The popoulation cluster work is something that Early NC researchers need to consider.  The earliest chapters of history for NC is murky.   We are all walking repositories with information that has not been available to any other generation.  We are the first generation to have scientific tools to help us advance our work.  But the window will not be with us forever. There is a finite time line in play right now.  The 70+ relatives we can currently approach will not be here forever. PLEASE Carpe diem!  Seize the day!  Don’t let the opportunity slip away. There is no plan b in the wings!

We need to do our best work.  We need cooperation from the boys to geographic plot our lines historically on both side of the Atlantic. The effort will also produce material for scientists to find ways to bring forward indigenous populations and relationship with newcomers.  Our efforts will yield a better more refined understanding of populations for specific locations and the people who called those specific locations home!

SO STEP 1 is establishing one’s paternal side and maternal side by submitting FTDNA kits with DNA from the patriarch or most senior cooperative candidate.  Each kit should include two tests – the Ymarker37 test and the Family Finder (autosomal) test. These two kits ANCHOR your pedigree work and are the first two plot points for you.  Those points start you where the tester was born.  For many many Carolina families we have lived in the same communities for hundreds of years.  So  step two is much easier for us than someone whose line pushed off from a Colonial Coastal region to the heartland or the west.  We are not only in a position to quickly confirm our lines BUT while we do our work we aid those lines who pushed off.  And those of us in the Coastal Plains learn where those pushed off lines belong in our pedigree work. NOT via Ymarker test information BUT via the combination of the Ymarker test confirming the CLAN tree is the same BUT also the FAMILY FINDER test. The FF test gives us the plot points for not only the specific person in that generation node BUT also by confirming connections to the other relatives of that generation node who also lived in that particular place we CONFIRM our actual lines. This helps us separate cousins who carried the same first and last names.  Like it or not many we have to wade through many people who carry the same name -first and last. The geographic plot points helps us keep them straight. They didn’t all marry the same people.  There may be very sutle differences but it is critical we hone our work and get those nuisances established and confirmed.

STEP 2 – is DNA mapping your pedigree.  This could be must easier if EVERYONE used FTDNA to do all their DNA submissions.  But sadly during the last ten years I have watched while greedy companies have all sorts of claims to entice folks to order these greedy companies’ tests.  The companies all provide subpar tests and there is NOT a single database but multiple ones we have to hurdle to try and corral the information needed to advance the work.

DNA mapping means working with cousins at each generation node. Even close nodes like a grandparent node can mean working with second and third cousins who may be strangers.  Families fracture and push off at any generational node.  Most who have done any genetic genealogy have knowledge of the Family Finder test.  It acts like a net capturing all cousins who connect at some generation node via one or more parents.  The reach of the Family Finder test is 4-7 generations depending on which lab one uses. FTDNA offers the best kit which captures the strongest sample and therefore produces the longest reach. FTDNA also gives us X match filters which is so very valuable.

IT IS CRITICALLY important to work with each other!

I have worked from an unique perspective. I have been paying attention to locations and surnames and trying to establish lines which will advance the JORDAN work which is actually more an EARLY NC FAMILIES project now.  So I have information which may be simply establishment plot points for various NC names/surnames.

At this junction I can say without any hesitation that most all early NC family history includes more than one surname along their clan lines.  SO the whole moniker or label of a SURNAME PROJECT is really incomplete. WHAT NC research has told me is we are dealing with CLANS.  Kits are showing more than one surname belongs to the same Ymarker signatures so the same Family or more accurately CLAN TREE.  By working together we can learn the most about each of our CLAN TREES.



For me I am pondering if the JG3 JORDANS go back to the three Monsieurs JOURDANS who were founders of BATH.  Just when these men arrived is a mystery.

There is another working hypothesis where there is a need to isolate laborors brought here by Thomas Clark in the late 1600s/early 1700s along the Yeopim River.  One of those who arrived via headrights was an Alex Jordan.

It may help me resolve the mysteries surrounding some families like the ROYALS whose Ymarker information shows a nest of surnames consistent with Irish gentry who left in a hurry during William’s conquest and whose fate has been a mystery. (1500s)

There is an English story of a Joseph Jordan, ironically a BATH England ship captain, whose ship was used to move a mysterious group of people from a tiny island off the coast of France but whose fate remains a mystery. (1500s)

How about a more current (1700s) there was a man named Robertson who worked to take groups of people to the Cumberland River of TN and these families were the founding families of what would become NASHVILLE TN.  There is/are an EVAN/AVON Jordan who appears to be one who moved from the CRAVEN region of NC.

Along the last ten years I have helped establish many different surnames.  Different lines/clans are at different research focal points emerged. With my 10th year Anniversary I have decided to try and publish a bit where some of the work is. The lines I have included are the ones I have permission to publish. It is my goal by publishing the names will incent researchers who are working particular lines to get busy and get their lines established and anchored and join with us as we work backward.

I believe what I have learned with the JORDAN work translates to any and all early NC (and possibly other North American colonies) genealogy work.  It is critically important to include DNA for the branches of OTHER SURNAMED FAMILIES who married into your particular JORDAN branch at various generational junctions ensuring those lines are confirmed.  It may make all the difference to helping you with a mystery at a particular junction or it may just make sure your work is valid.  None of us are working independently when it comes to genealogy work.  The discipline requires participation and cooperation. Anyone who does not heed the fundamentals risks at best causing their own work product to be unreliable and at worst harming the progress of an entire line/clan.

Published colonial genealogies of yesteryear must be confirmed.  So if you have a dusty volume you claim proves your heritage you owe it to whomever developed it to confirm their work.  Many of us have mothers, aunts, uncles or cousins who worked diligently to produce genealogy work.  They have gone on to glory .  If they were here I am confident they would want help from their kin in confirming their work AND advancing it.

STEP 2 is to submit FAMILY FINDER KITS for your JORDANs in your pedigree.  Use your eldest living JORDANs, if at all possible.  STEP 3. often missed, can help you CONFIRM YOUR PEDIGREE and HELP YOU FIND YOUR JORDAN MIGRATION TRACK .

If you are stuck where your JORDANS are concerned, take a close DNA look at your earliest grandma who wed your earliest known JORDAN.  For many Carolina families, there are some commonalities – brothers at times married sisters or some other immediate direct connection between two distinct families occurred.  For our direct family our CORNELIUS JORDAN wed TABITHA PARRISH and Tabitha’s brother PINKNEY PARRISH wed Cornelius’ sister MARGARET JORDAN. So for me I have a reason to explore and understand the PARRISHs in addition to our JORDANS.

Sometimes  DNA mapping your earliest maternal branch will result in a middle name appearing in your JORDAN lines and JORDAN appearing as middle names in the maiden surnamed family.  At this time there is an open question regarding a governor of North Carolina. GOVERNOR THOMAS JORDAN JARVIS was a man who had a great love of history and he encouraged folks to  document their history.  His Jarvis can be tracked back to CURRITUCK and the some of the early days immigrants lived on our land.  Sadly his own connection to the particular JORDANs explaining his middle name is unclear.  It is my hope nc1700sJordans will solve this mystery.

There are many JORDANS whose particular family moved away from Carolina or maybe moved to a different region of Carolina.  These folks know they track back to Carolina but they don’t know which exact branch or in some cases which tree they belong and their work is stymied.

Migration patterns involve BOTH the paternal and maternal side for families. Often times it was not simply one family unit who moved away, it was a group of folks who moved.  The move could include folks of the maternal side. Sometimes where folks moved can be tracked back to the maternal side of families.  So exploring the maternal surnames is a critical step some family historians forget to explore. Remember DNA is its own repository of information.  Forgetting to include the maternal surname in one’s DNA work is akin to ignoring all deeds and only relying on census reports and wills in classic genealogy work!

Also remember DNA is INFORMATION.  You have to verify information. Just as you have to understand and verify classic genealogy papers, you need to use the maternal side of your family pedigree to help you understand and verify your DNA work!  And to do this doesn’t involve the expensive mitochondrial test! You simply work alongside and with the folks who are doing step 1 and step 2 for your grandma (or great+) grandma’s branch!

As folks work along and incorporate DNA in their work there is a wonderful opportunity for maternal and paternal sides who intersect to work together and share the costs of DNA testing  while maximizing the results! For instance, there is NO NEED for every son to establish their branch if another brother’s family has already established their father’s branch!  The money and effort would be better served working together to find their earliest ancestor’s descendant and together that is three different families who need the same information.  And there could be even more who need this information. Girls lines can help with Family Finder kits but they need men who fit in their pedigree to establish the branches.

Don’t limit your success by forgetting to include those maternal OTHER THAN JORDAN DNA

When my research work morphed from our specific MATTHEW JORDAN FAMILY HISTORY PROJECT into a full blown multi-tiered Cluster DNA Project, I did not do so lightheartedly.  This is not a means to hopefully get a particular JORDAN to submit a kit that will match our MATTHEW JORDAN BRANCH perfectly or within one step and I pack it in and stop the work.

I have over 40 working kits. These kits include JG3, JG4, JG5, JG8, JG25 JORDANS and I also have kits for SASSERS, BEASLEYS, CRAWFORDS, ALFORDS, ANDERSONS, AYCOCKS, CARRS, BOSWELLS, BAKERS, GORRELLS, McCULLENS, STRICKLANDS, and UNDERWOODS.   I have an obligation to help each person who has helped this project.

There are many JORDAN researchers stymied and many other surnamed researchers who are also stymied.  As a seasoned researcher I know what the solution is.  I am willing and working without any expectation of compensation to clarify and advance understanding of COLONIAL CAROLINA JORDANS and along the way this project will naturally if done correctly and made possible via participation and through cooperation will help more than JORDANS when it comes to the colonial period of Carolina!

There is no reason for speculation any longer or for discussions about how someone thinks so and so is related but …  We can apply science to our family history work and gain answers to questions which have stalled some branches for over a century.   The solution is within our reach.





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