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Home: Surnames: Rigsby Family Genealogy Forum

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DNA Project
Posted by: Ken Hinds (ID *****4287) Date: September 21, 2005 at 05:18:49
  of 1063

I've been asked about a DNA project for the Rigsby family.
I am willing to act as coordinator if we can get enough

The testing company I'm familiar with is Family Tree DNA.
We're using them for the Hinds project that I'm
participating in. I would vote we use them for the Rigsbys

The test works by testing the Y-chromosome for several
"markers". Since the Y-chromosome is passed only from
father to son, two men who share a common ancestor should
have identical Y-chromosomes. However, mutations
occasionally occur among these "markers". Thus two brothers
can have Y-chromosomes which match at all but one "marker".
By mapping out these mutations, an approximate tree can be

Since the test is on the Y-chromosome, all participants
would have to be males named Rigsby or some spelling
variant. Taking the test is very simple: you just rub this
little plastic thing against the inside of your cheek, then
put it in a special container and mail it off. After 6 to 8
weeks or so, the results are ready.

The company does different versions of the test, measuring
12, 25, or 37 "markers". I would recommend we do the 25-
marker test. People who match exactly on this test should
have a common ancestor about 7 generations back, and if
they are off by one the ancestor should be about 18
generations back. In the Hinds test, I matched exactly with
someone whose common ancestor with me is 8 generations
back. The 25-marker test currently costs $169. Note that
participants do not all have to take the same test.

I have a web page for the Hinds project, and could do one
for the Rigsbys. Take a look at this:

Now, one thing I have to warn everybody. There is a
possibility that the test won't help us much. As far as I
can tell, there have been fewer than 20 Rigsby immigrants
to the US up to 1900. The Rigsby name is pretty rare in
England too, and they pretty much all live in the same
area. So there's a good chance that all the immigrants are
fairly closely related, and will have virtually identical
DNA. We may find that every Rigsby who takes the test
matches exactly. Then again, we may find that everybody
falls into a small number of groups differing by only one

On the other hand, there is at least one branch that
definitely will benefit from the test: the Allen Rigsby of
the two Rigsby books is supposed to have been given his
mother's last name, and really be a Taylor. If his
descendants are completely different from the other
Rigsbys, that will lend strength to the story. There were
also several Rigsby women who had children out of wedlock.
Descendants of their sons should also be completely
different from the others.

We need at least 6 participants to get started. I have been
contacted by descendants of Lewis Rigsby c1784 who married
Lucinda, and I think I can get a descendant of my James
Rigsby c1755 who married Susannah. So we need at least 4
more participants.

I personally hope we could also get descendants of:

the above Allen 1770,
Jonathan c1801 who married Mary Sanders and is supposed to
be a brother of the above Lewis,
James c1763 who married Rebecca Moore and lived near my
James in Wake Co NC,
Jesse of Orange Co NC who married Elizabeth Pickett and is
supposed to have a brother James,
Luke c1767 whose descendants used the Riggsbee and Rigsbee
Isaiah 1778 whose descendants also used the Riggsbee
Thomas c1760 whose descendants were in Cannon and DeKalb
Cos TN,
William Rigsby of Goochland Co VA who married Susannah
Thomas 1775 who married Aggie Smith and Diana Deboard,
Jacob c1856 who is supposed to be Thomas' son,
William c1800 who immigrated from England about 1835,

and, for that matter, all the other Rigsbys I haven't been
able to connect up.

If you're interested in participating, email me. You can
get my address by clicking on the link for my name above.


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