Hello Pew researchers,
We would like to extend an invitation to join us in the Pugh surname project at Family Tree DNA www.familytreedna.com/public/Pugh. We now have about 100 participants in this project with variant spellings of the surname. Over the past several years we have made many exciting discoveries but there is still much to learn through this study. We now have a relatively good understanding as to how the various Pugh lines in America are related. DNA has told us that by the 1800s there were many distinct Pugh lines in America. We know that the Lewis Pugh line of Richmond County, Virginia is not related to the largely Quaker Pughs who settled in Pennsylvania or the early line of Francis Pugh of Virginia. There were other Pugh lines well established in America in the early 1700s but we need participants of these lines to join our project. Therefore, we are seeking your participation in this project if you are male and carry the Pugh surname. If you are female, you could ask a brother, uncle, or father to test for you who carries the Pugh surname.
Our biggest burning question remains how the well documented early Pennsylvania Pugh lines from the Welsh Track are related back in Wales. We are beginning to gain participants from the early Pennsylvania Pugh branches but we do not yet have an adequate database to draw any conclusions. We are very much in need of participants from the following branches:
• James M. Pugh and Joan Price who were of the Quaker faith and were married at Radnor in 1692. James came to America in 1682. His father, Evan Pugh, did not come to America until 1698. This line of Pughs is very well documented and has branches that spread all across America. We currently have two participants from one of the southern branches but we need more participants, particularly from the northern branches.
• David Pugh and Katherine Price who were also of the Quaker faith and married in Radnor in 1698. It is believed that David and James were brothers who married Price sisters. We have one known participant from this line and his DNA results vary substantially from the two James M. Pugh participants. It is critical to our research that we gain additional participants from this line.
• Robert Pugh (or ap Hugh) and Sarah Evans who were married in Wales and arrived in America in 1698. While we have not come across primary source information, we have read that the couple practiced the Quaker faith in Wales but converted to the Church of England upon arrival in America. This line is most notably represented by the Hampshire County, Virginia Pughs. Maud Pugh and others have done a wonderful job of documenting this line. We have only one participant from this line but, from his results, we have learned that the Hampshire County Pughs are related to the Hancock County Pughs. We need additional participants to help us better define the relationship between these two lines.
• Ellis Pugh and Sinah[--?--] left Wales in 1686 to come to America. Ellis was a Quaker preacher who was orphaned as a young boy in Wales. There is much written on him and his genealogy has been very well documented. However, a significant number of branches remain to be developed. This line is one of the most prominent in America but we do not yet have a single known participant in the Project. It has been suggested by many that Ellis and Robert were related. Branches of both lines seemed to migrate together. Needless to say, we need some participants from this line.
• Hugh Pugh I and Helena Brink are first found in the Dutch Reformed Church records from the Minisink area of New York. They were married there in about 1785. While the couple had five sons, only the genealogy of Hugh Pugh II has been well documented. Hugh Pugh II and Elizabeth Davis arrived in Hancock (then Brooke) County, West Virginia in about 1800. Their son, David, laid out what became Pughtown (now New Manchester). We have one participant from this line and his DNA closely matches that of our Robert Pugh representative. This is another prominent line of Pughs that is in drastic need of additional participants.
• Francis Pugh III and Pheribee Savage were both from the Northampton Area of Virginia. Francis was born there in about 1692. This Francis was the grandson of Francis Pugh I who came from Wales to Jamestown, Virginia in 1666 with brothers Daniel & Thomas. This line may include many of the Pughs found in early census data in Virginia and North Carolina. We currently have only one known participant of this line and are evaluating close DNA matches from two of our participants that have hit a brick wall. Without additional participants known to be of this line, we cannot yet come to a conclusion. As with the other lines, we need more participants.
• Lewis Pugh and Ann[--?--] were married in Richmond County, Virginia in about 1703. Lewis came from Wales to the Colony of Virginia in 1695. The couple had eight children and descendants of his line have spread all across America. This is our biggest success story. Nearly half of our participants are representatives of this line. Due to the size of this group, we have been able to break the data down into subgroups to better define genetic markers that may indicate the individual sons or grandsons of this couple. What we are currently doing with this group serves as a model for what we hope to do with the other groups represented in our project. We still need more participants to join us as there are several members of this group who do not have a paper trail showing who they descend from.
While the specific goals and objectives for each of our participants may vary, we are all interested in gaining answers to genealogical questions that cannot be answered through conventional research. DNA is a very powerful tool and, when used in conjunction with paper trail evidence, it can provide us with answers to some very important questions. DNA can tell us whether or not two or more poorly documented Pugh families living in the same area at the same time are related. It can also bring surprising results, such as connecting two Pugh lines that were before believed to be unrelated!! We also have four African-American participants who learned through DNA testing that they descend from a Pugh ancestor even though they do not carry the Pugh surname. A number of our participants have hit a brick wall in the mid-1800s. For those participants, matching DNA with someone who can trace his lineage back to the 1700s or even 1600s is an incredible experience.
We are fortunate to have this new tool at our disposal. DNA can fill in some of the gaps in our paper trail research that can otherwise never be known. Events in American history have had a negative impact on records availability and our ability to follow some of the early Pugh lines. The French and Indian War (1756-1763) drove many settlers out of Virginia and on to North and South Carolina. After 1763, some settlers returned but many remained in the Carolinas and continued migrating southward and westward. Other Pugh branches spread throughout New England and Pennsylvania and later migrated westward as government land grants were made available after the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) and the War of 1812 (1812-1815). Records from this period become increasingly more available for genealogical researchers but the early migrations of the various Pugh lines in America present a challenge for many. The Civil War had a devastating impact on the records in the South. Many courthouses were burned to the ground and with them information has been lost forever. It is our hope that through the use of DNA analysis, the relationships among and origins of the many documented Pugh lines may be more clearly defined.
The results of our project is summarized on the Y RESULTS page of our website http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Pugh.
A Website/Mailing List has been created to discuss our various Pugh lines; our successes and our brickwalls. This is also an excellent place for people who are considering DNA testing to ask questions. We invite you to become part of the Yahoo Groups “Tracing Pugh Origins” at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Tracing_Pugh_Origins/.
Please contact me if you have any interest or questions about this project.
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