Group B News

Among other things I monitor the U152 Project for results and we have a new entry into the L2* group and this one is a man who tracks back to a William Dodd 1668 of Dean Prior Devon. You can have a look here

This individual has very different markers then our cluster of Wheaton/ Hancock yet this provides further evidence for  the ancient clan of L2* in Devon.  Why this is important? Because should Jerry’s Walk Through the Y turn up some new mutations (SNPs) this will although others in the L2* group to test for those SNPs. This further defines the migration of the clan from the mountains of Northern Italy into Devon.

Any questions?

Robert Wheaton “DEVON MAN?”

Thanks to Susan and Ben about their comments on Robert’s literacy and for Susan’s comment about Roger le Wheaton being a Devon man. Having never been to Devon or lived there I am at a bit of a disadvantage—-however if this means a stubborn stick-to-it-ness, a principled man. I can see that to this day most affectionately with my own Wheatons.  More on Robert’s character in a bit

As to the records in Bristol County. The records are all transcribed in the hand of the then clerk. When a person has signed a document he writes out the name and when the person has used a “mark” it says so. For instance in the distribution of Robert’s estate Jeremiah, Obadiah, John, and Benjamin Wheaton have signed as well as John Butterworth and Mary M Mann. It lists the Mark of Bethiah Wheaton. In both his will and an agreement he reached late in life with his neighbor Robert Fuller Robert Wheaton’s mark is listed. Please note that Robert Fuller’s daughter Alice married Robert Wheaton’s son Benjamin. Rehoboth Town Meetings Book II:

An agreement made the 28th of (torn) 1679 Betwixt Robat Wheaton and Robert ffuller, both of Rehoboth in order to make the ending of a contriversie that hath ben longe between them Respecting Bounds of thire home lott, the said Robat Wheton ingaeing in the personne of Mr. James Browne and other neighbors; that betwist this day and winter sets in he would pluk up his fence and set in it in the bounds where the thre stakes stands, and they both agreeing that those stakes shall be the bounds betwixt them: witness my hand the day and year written.

The marke of


Robert Wheaton

This was acknowledged before me

James Browne Assistant

This is a rue copey of the agreement betwixt Robert ffuller and Robert Wheaton Transcribed out of the original By me.

William Carpenter

Town Clerk


The very first record we have of Robert Wheaton in America is that in the Salem Town Meeting 6 Nov. 1636 Where it simply states:

Robert Wheato. refused to be Inhabitant.


Later added in the margin in Governor John Endecott’s hand:

We have made a show of making him Inhabitant

Here’s some important tidbits. Gov. Endecott was himself a “Devon Man” having been of the Endecott’s of Chagford, Devon. There is some disagreemet as to whether he was born in Dorchester, Chagford, or on a farm near North Bovey or at Middlecot (between North Bovey and Chagford). In any event Gov. Endecott would have been a contemporary of Robert and may well have been acquainted with him back in England.  The land that was granted to Robert in Salem was in the part of Salem known as “Danvers” “at the foot of the hill, near the pear-tree said to have been set out by Gov. Endecott on his farm.” It is also known that Gov. Endecott was a Baptist sympathizer and gave shelter to Roger Williams. Gov. Endecott was known for his “pious zeal, genial manners and hot head.” For some reason this strikes true to Robert Wheaton as well. [Chagford coincidentally is the home of the Whiddon family although no DNA match exists with this group.]

Robert was earlier granted land at Marblehead, where not too surprisingly, we find that Roger Williams had tried to establish a church and had been denied. Roger Williams goes on to move to what becomes Rehoboth and then further across the River to establish the colony of Rhode Island.

In the most extensive of any written genealogies about Robert Wheaton; “The Family Record pf Deacon’s James W. Converse and Elisha S. Converse” by William G. Hill 1887 he writes:

That Robert Wheaton came from the pure, unmixed, native Welsh or rather Cumry race…..

It is believed that his wife Alice (Elce, Alce) Bowen was of Welsh origins but to date their is no proof of Robert having been Welsh and unless we are talking way, way back such as in Roger’s father or grandfather this is not likely to be true. But perhaps a long standing Celtic origin could be interpreted nearly 200 years after his death as Welsh. An original document from 1775 in the archives in Rhode Island states Robert came from England.

The records of Robert’s life are quite scant and much of what we “know” of him is a reading of tea leaves. That does not deter me from trying to do so. I collected information not only on Wheatons in Devon but any Rehoboth inhabitants with possible Devon connections. Which keeps leading me round and round like a dog chasing her tail…..

MORE ON MAYOR Roger Bevyn Le Wheaton

Not sure which group would like to be related to our dear Mayor! He sounds just as feisty as Robert of Rehoboth. However Robert was not literate and Roger surely is!

This from Exeter Memories re Mayors|

1302 Roger Beynim (Roger le Whetene) – a dispute arose between Mayor and people of the city, and tenants of the Lord of Kenton and Wyke, who refused to pay Murage for their wares and merchandises. Murage was a tax for repairing the walls.



1303 Roger Wheaton (Roger Beyvin) – Wheaton decreed that persons who set up for Lammas Fair before the appointed time had to answer to the Mayor.


1309 Roger Beynim – Hugh Courtenay was in dispute with Bishop Cator over the purchase of three pots of fish in the market. The Mayor intervened and ordered that one box be allocated to Courtenay, one to the bishop and one to the market. Courtenay berated the Mayor over the affair with the citizens outside, afraid for the Mayor’s safety. The Mayor wearing a coat bearing the Earl’s coat of arms, suddenly took the coat off and flung it to the ground, stating that Exeter’s Mayors from then on would only answer to the king.


1313 Roger Beynim – the Mayor this year fined the bakers of the city for underweight bread. Seventeen complained, but lost their case.

EARLIEST WHEATON now the year 1288

Back from a trip to Salt Lake City I will be sharing lots of information in the next few weeks.

First off is confirmation that Roger Beyvin and Roger le Whetene are one and the same man. He was an early wine merchant of Exeter and the earliest record located is a court case dated 8 Nov 1288. He along with others is cited for unloading 1 tun of wines at Colepole against the city statue. This Roger Beyvin le Whetene is listed in a number of records all having to do with importing wine and later as Mayor of Exeter. In the Book “The Local Customs Accounts of the Port of Exeter 1266-1321” by Maryanne Kowlseski 1993 pg 313 the footnote contains:

Roger le Wetene (also Whetene, Hwetene) and Roger Bevyn (also Beyvin) were the same person.

So here we have a very early account of a man with more than one name and the adoption of his surname. Bevyn is of Celtic origin and could be son of Evan or stand for young soldier.

Another of our early Wheatons is Alexander Leygh alias Alexander Wheton of Tiverton who appears in Court records in March of 1376 for owing 60 pounds (a substantial amount) to a Draper (clothing merchant) in London. As Tiverton was a town with a vibrant cloth trade this make sense. The Leygh may refer to any of several hamlets or manors near Tiverton by that name including one at Loxbeare and one in Halberton. I also have located records in 1310 listing brothers of a Alexander de la Leye as John and Joceus. In the 1332 Lay Subsidy Rolls there are 38 names listed in Halberton among them are: William Whetene, Edward de Leghe and a curious John de Mettone which I can’t help but wonder whether this should read Wettone.

I have begun updating this page so you may want to check back later:


The WALK THROUGH THE Y for Group B has Been Approved!

Just got word today that we are approved for the Walk Through the Y (WTY) with Jerry’s sample. The time frame I was given is 3-4 months and this doesn’t include our request to hold up the sample for the New Plate 3.

So let the waiting begin and the hoping that something turns up. NO GUARANTEES as only a little over half have yielded new discoveries in the past—however we are in a new area of the Y so that may help. However one way of looking at it should nothing turn up is that we belong to a smaller and ancient group 😉

This further posting by Thomas on the ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogists) regarding the Genographic 2.0 and Walk Through the Y is of interest:

Geno 2.0 was a team effort. Elliott (FTDNA) was focusing on the mtDNA, Eran (from National Geographic) was focusing on the autosomal SNPs (including Neanderthal, Denisova etc.) and I did the Y-SNPs (Thomas Krahn FTDNA). Elliott was also leading the evaluation process (wetting the chip as Spencer puts it).

The difficulty was not really the high number of SNPs but rather selecting the best ones for genealogical and anthropological purpose. I started off with a contingent of 15000 SNPs that Spencer wanted for the Y chromosome and I tried to make sure that all SNPs from the existing tree and whatever we had available from the WTY and other internal sources was included on the chip. Then I selected the ones from the most reliable external sources and filled them up with data that was extracted from the 1000 genomes public datasets (excluding regions that are considered problematic from a recombination mechanism standpoint).

From the > 25000 Y-SNPs that I had available at that time we filtered out the ones that gave the best scores with a prediction tool provided by Illumina. However we always tried to keep all SNPs from the YCC and Draft Tree in our selection. After several iterations I was able to convince Spencer to increase the Y contigent to 18000 SNPs at the time when we submitted our final choice to Illumina. Many of the today known Z series SNPs have been included in the selection, however I cannot discuss each individual one. There will be other good Z series SNPs that we’ll be missing because not all currently available 1000 genomes data were available at that time. Off course all new findings from the WTY and all verified Z markers that were discovered in the mean time will be considered for the next version of the Geno chip.

The future of Y SNP testing after Geno 2.0 will be essentially:
1.) Test Geno 2.0 or predict your Y haplogroup as good as possible from Y-STR results.
2.) If necessary use individual Y-SNP tests to determine your fine haplogroup (to the last twig of the current knowledge if you want).
3.) If you still can’t solve a Y haplogroup question consider to apply for a WTY run and hopefully find a new SNP that will solve your question and/or contribute to further research and for inclusion in the next Geno Chip.

I hope this helps,


Genographic 2.0 versus Walk Through the Y

The following was posted on a List I belong to and it is from Thomas the scientist who will be doing the work on on Walk Through the Y so thought is worth looking at.

The Geno 2.0 test scans the same SNPs over and over again, so it is possible to have a computer scoring the data and spiting out a easy to understand result for the customer.

On the other hand at WTY the sequencing traces need to be examined by a knowledgeable scientist in order to identify and verify NEW mutations. Every new mutation needs to be crosschecked and its position on the tree needs to get investigated. Therefore it takes a lot more qualified workpower to analyze.

The two tests are not competing with each other but instead they are following different goals. The Geno 2.0 test is a good opportunity to scan thousands of known mutations in a huge crowd of people at an affordable cost, whereas the WTY is primarily a tool to find new SNPs that later can be added to the next version of the Geno chip.




Rodger asked:

Sorry Kelly but I don’t follow you. Most of this DNA information reminds me of the matrix. Strings of numbers without any apparent meaning or order.

How do you know there is a match and what are you looking at/for?

Good questions. Lets review some basics of Y-DNA. There are two kinds of  Y-DNA MARKERS we look at. The Y-STRS and Y-SNPS.

Y-STRS= Y chromosome Single Tandem Repeats. These basically count the number of times a sequence of DNA is repeated as in ATGC repeated twelve times would give the marker a value or allele of 12. Each marker has a name as in the first FTDNA marker reported is DYS393. On the screen shot of our project below Group A has a value of 13 at DYS393. (Meaning the sequence was repeated 13 times) Groups A, C and D all share a value of 13 at this marker, however Group B has 14 (they got an extra repeat). There are approximately 400-500 Y-STRS that might eventually prove useful, however only 111 are currently available through FTDNA (The most in the industry). Y-STRS are what we use to match men to a common ancestor in a genealogical time frame. These changes don’t happen often but they do happen. In general we need to look at anywhere from 37 to 67 markers to see if two men are related. The more markers that match the higher the likelihood they are related. The more common a set of values is the more markers that are needed to make an accurate match. With the Wheaton Group B they have many unusual values at given markers so we can basically know someone is related if they match the first 5. This is highly unusual. In group D there are so many men with similar values they have a name for them which is the North Atlantic Modal Haplotype or NAMH for short.

Y-SNPS= Y chromosome Single Nucleotide Polymorphism. These report mutations or change in your DNA sequence at a specific location known as a locus. So in this case we have mutations that happened once in the history of mankind for each Y-SNP and all men bearing that mutation are distantly related. If we started with the proverbial “ADAM” the first mutation in Y-SNPs happened maybe 60,000 years ago and the tree became Haplogroups A and B. Each time a mutation happens it separates the tree into finer and finer branches. By following the tree we can trace any man from Adam to the most recent or “terminal SNP.” A terminal SNP is just the furthest down the tree branch we get a positive result. If we look at Group B below there Haplogroup is listed as R1b1a2a1a1b3c. However as new SNPs are discovered reading that jumble of letters gets harder and harder so it is easier to identify them by their terminal SNP “L2.” Group D is R1b1a2a1a1a4 or terminal SNP “L48.” You can see that the first part of the R1b….. is shared meaning that back 5,000 +/- years ago they shared a common ancestor. See the Chart on my Post on Wheaton Relationship A-D. Y-SNPs are what we use to match men to a common ancestor in ancient Haplogroups and where we chart where they came from. The hope is that as new SNPs are discovered like in a Walk Through the Y we will eventually bridge the gap between genealogical time and ancient time. There are about 60 Million Y base pairs where we might hope to find between 10-50 Thousand useful Y-SNPs. The new GENOGRAPHIC 2.0 will test 12,000 Y-SNPs of which only about 1 Thousand have been previously available. The old WALK THROUGH THE Y looked at about 400 thousands looking for NEW SNP mutations. The New WALK THROUGH THE Y will look at nearly 800,00 base pairs looking to find new SNPs. These SNPs if found can help define the Wheaton Group B and if shared by other L2’s further refine the Y Haplotree.

Okay now that I have your heads spinning lets look at a screenshot from our FTDNA page:

So looking at this screen shot we have a column across the top which is the Haplogroup which refers to the Y-SNPs we have just discussed. Those listed in Green have been tested those in Red are predicted. Those tested early on in a project will often have shorter predictions. Once a couple of matching folks have tested, FTDNA can make more refined predictions with higher confidence.

The next column is DYS393, then DYS390 and so forth. These are the Y-STR markers listed by name. The numbers in each row refer to the values or alleles that each man had at each Y-STR marker. I have clustered these into Group A, B, C and so on based on shared values or signatures. Even though the values look very similar at first glance the more markers you look at the more you can see differences. For each Group the MINimum, MAXimum and MODE or average is shown. So within a project I am looking for patterns and high levels of matching as in 24 out of 25 markers or 64 out of 67 markers. Some markers mutate faster than others. The fastest mutating markers are shown in Burgundy rather than deep Blue. All these things go into analyzing the match.
Now here’s what you can do (and I also do on your behalf). You can go to your own FTDNA HOMEPAGE and click on Y-DNA Matches. If you are in Group D and you set the threshold at 12 marker matches you are going to get pages and pages of matches because you have a very common set of markers known as the WAMH. However if you are Wheaton Group B you have very unusual values and you are ONLY going to have a few matches even at 67  markers and those are all a part of our project. You may want to sort at various thresholds and you may want to screen by name or part of name such as “Wh.”

Group C has a very interesting situation in that your closest matches also include a “group” of men surnamed DEAN. To THICKEN the PLOT these men with the surname DEAN are very close matches and they come from the same area in the borderlands between DEVON and SOMERSET in England. And in fact they lived in the same towns, specifically Chard and Chardstock during the 1500’s and 1600’s. We have the same situation with Wheaton Group B and WHEATONs and HANCOCKs. In neither case can I say which came first but I can tell you they have a common ancestor in Genealogical time (within the past 500-600 years). In each of these two cases the immigrant bearing the name came to America in the 1600’s so any NPE or name adoption needed to happen before the immigration. So which came first? There are several ways to approach this. One is to look for strong paper evidence for line of descent and the second is  to do broad sampling of DNA of men still living in the area bearing those surnames. Sheer numbers do not infer who comes first. Meticulous reconstruction of DNA trees and Paper trees may provide the answers. We get pretty attached to our names so people get understandably upset by the notion they may have been of a different surname at one time or another. First of all our DNA doesn’t give a hoot what we want. Second it doesn’t care what name we put on it. DNA is only going to tell you the TRUTH so if you don’t want to know then don’t do a DNA test ;-).

Another thing to do is click on your Haplotree and then click on the arrow this will give you an idea of where you are on the Y-Haplotree as defined by the Y-SNP markers I have discussed before.


Mary Margaret Wheaton Bruner

ImageMy great great great grandmother – Mary Margaret Wheaton Bruner 1823 – 1913.  Daughter of Francis Wheaton and Mary Buckingham Wheaton.  Free African Americans and land owners in the early 1800s in Frederick, Maryland.

DNA News Updates

Walk Through the Y Group B

Just wanted you to know I filed the application today and the Kit is in Jerry’s hands. Once approved I will let you all know. I requested that should our project reach the top of the queue before the new Plate 3 is available that our project be held until the new ones are in use. This will increase the coverage significantly. More information on the Walk through the Y is available here.

Genographic 2.0 Link

This is a link to the U152 Project (Group B) results page for the Genographic project. Adam is the member of Group B listed there. This is where they will track new SNPs that in Combination with the Walk Through the Y hopefully will bring us closer to identifying our Group B origins. I checked on the U106 and L48 (Group C ) Scott “Rodger” is our representative for Group C. I have guessed that Group A and D are L21 but no one has ordered a test from these group.

Upcoming Results

On order or in process:

Ralph (Bonnie)- Refinement

Robert N.- New

Charles A -New

Jerry- Walk Through the Y

Rodger- Genographic 2.0

Adam- Genographic 2.0

Thanks to all for the continued support.



Surnames, DNA and Family History

Book Recommendation

If you would like to learn more about British surnames and their linguistic, historical and DNA significance I recommend reading Surnames, DNA, and Family History by George Redmonds, Turi King, and David Hey. Oxford University Press 2011.  It is not a book about specific surnames, although it mentions many but it is about determining the origins of surnames and how that ties in with Family DNA Studies. Sure wish this was available long ago and it is interesting that I have followed much of the same advice and found the same conclusions as the authors in our project. From page 5 of the Introduction:

Every family name, however common, had a single progenitor and every effort must be made to identify him and his immediate descendants if we are to understand how a name arose and perhaps evolved into something different. A multi-disciplinary approach is necessary for a proper understanding.