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Britten Families of 17th Century Virginia & DNA Studies
Posted by: Lindsey Britton (ID *****0291) Date: January 10, 2005 at 07:59:44
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I would like to hear from and compare notes with anyone who can trace descent from a Britton ancestor who lived in Virginia in the 17th century. I don't think there were many early Britton familes; I appear to descend from John Britton bc 1671 and living in Henrico in the last decades of the 17th century. Where did he come from and are there any other Britton families related to mine? These are questions that may be partially answered by looking at early families from other (especially nearby) counties. There were Brittons, for example, living in 17th century Surry Co (easterly across the James River from Henrico), and descendants of this family may have been living in Isle of Wight (adjacent to Surry) as late as the mid 18th century. There was also an early 18th century family of Brittons settled in Elizabeth City County.

Does anyone have infrmation on these or other Britton families? Would any male members of any Britton family be interested in participating in a DNA Study? I have strong views on this matter, having researched the Brittons and other Virginia ancestors for the past 15 years--I live in Richmond, so I have every advantage and access to almost every record that might possibly be useful--and my conclusion is that DNA studies offer perhaps the only way to extend our knowledge of most of these ancestors. We are running out of documents to look at and only DNA can bridge the gap.

For those not familiar with genetics--Y-Chromosome studies make it possible with a very high degree of accuracy to determine whether any two males with the same surname share a common male ancestor in the last several hundred years. The y-chromosome follows the surname, which makes it ideal for genealogical research, especially in burned record counties where court records are missing or for finding English ancestors of American families.

In order for this new technology to work its magic, however, we must find men willing to participate in DNA studies. The larger the database, the greater the chances of finding a match. I believe that searching DNA databases will eventually become a routine part of all genealogical research.

Lindsey Britton

PS Spellings of the name vary considerably in the early records--ie Britton, Britten, Bretton, Brittain, etc. I think even Bruton may be another variation.

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