DNA Surname Projects

Updated/Edited: 12 Jan 2015

I am currently participating in THREE DNA surname projects. Two for my maiden name of PEPPER, and one for my mom’s maiden name of ROORK.

These tests have been very valuable to my family history research. For more information go to:

The PEPPER DNA Surname Project page. Our DNA Donor: John Prouty Pepper (1908-2008)

The ROORK DNA Surname Project page. DNA Donor: C. D. ROORK

The first DNA project that I joined and participated in was the PEPPER DNA Project. In June, 2007, I purchased a Family Tree DNA kit and took an inside-the-cheek sample from my then, 99 year old grandfather, John Prouty PEPPER. I sent the sample in and waited to see the results of our 37 marker test.

I wanted to have my grandfather’s DNA tested because after thirty years of PEPPER family history research my fellow family researchers and I were still unable to find the parents of our immigrant ancestor, Robert Pepper of Roxbury, Massachusetts. I hoped that we might be able to find a distant PEPPER cousin in ENGLAND or maybe just other cousins here in the states that may have more information about our PEPPER ancestry.

About two months later, I received our results and we did not match ANY PEPPER surname! We did have two perfect 37/37 matches and they were with two different lines of the HAMILTON family! I went to the HAMILTON DNA Project to see what, if any, other matches we might have there, and we did have some other HAMILTON matches, but not as perfect as the two 37/37 matches.

I asked Gordon HAMILTON at the Hamilton DNA Project to let us join their project so that we could compare our matches and do further tests to see where these matches would take us. After joining, I contacted our matches, our “new” cousins, Oscar HAMILTON and Martha H.. Both were very warm and welcoming and happy to have found us!

Oscar and Martha were distant cousins but had never met each other in person, they may have corresponded in the past, but they were not close, so the fact that we matched both of them perfectly at the 37 marker was pretty remarkable and after discussing our results with them, my Aunt Judy and I decided that we should test more markers to get a better picture of how we related.

All three of us upgraded to the 67 marker and waited to see what the results would be. We received the results after about two months and found that we still had a PERFECT match with Martha H. at 67/67 markers and a near perfect match with O. M. HAMILTON at 67/66. We took this to mean that we were a little more closely related to Martha than Oscar.

What this means is that at some time about 4 to 6 generations previous to my Grandfather John Prouty PEPPER, we share the SAME ancestor as Martha Hamilton.

Using DNA for genealogical purposes also requires, when possible, the use of records or what genealogists call “a paper trail,” to help define the actual place and time where persons  crossed paths and their DNA was transmitted through procreation. 😉 So that was next on our agenda. We needed to find out if our PEPPER family ever lived near the HAMILTON ancestors of Martha and Oscar.

In 2008, I tested my Uncle Roork’s DNA

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One Response to DNA Surname Projects

  1. Marion Lynne Banks McGee says:

    Wow, I just wrote a long email and lost it all when I tried to enter my email and address. I’m sure I can’t write it again the same as the first time; but I’ll try. Won’t do it again if the same thing happens though!!!!

    There is a Soule/Soles DNA project. you can click on the following link…
    http://www.familytreedna.com/surname-search-results.aspx?sType=eq&Searchname2=Soule
    Click on Soule in the Project list should take you to the Soule project. If not enter “Soule” in the Project Search window near top on right side of screen.
    This page will tell you about the project and all about FamilyTree DNA and give you the opportunity to order a DNA test. If you have already been tested through Family Tree DNA, you can join the project through you other test.
    I am a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants through my 12 great-grandfather, George Soule. That should make us cousins of some denomination!
    Direct Descendants of George Soule

    1 George Soule b: Bet. 1593 – 1600 Eckington, Worcester, England d: 22 Jan 1679 Duxbury, Plymouth, MA
    … +Mary Bucket/Becket b: 17 Jan 1590 Eckington, Worcester, England? d: 16 Dec 1676
    ………. 2 George Soule b: Bet. 1625 – 1639 Plymouth. Plymouth, MA d: 17 May 1704 Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
    ……………. +Deborah Thomas b: 1648 Duxbury, Plymouth, MA d: 25 Mar 1697 Duxbury, Plymouth, MA
    …………………. 3 William Soule b: 1670 Dartmouth, Bristol, MA d: Apr 1723 Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
    ………………………. +Hannah Eaton b: Abt. 1669 Dartmouth, Bristol, MA d: Bef. 01 Jul 1734 Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
    …………………………….. 4 Benjamin Soule b: 14 May 1698 Dartmouth, Bristol, MA d: 06 Feb 1774 Dartmouth, Briston, MA
    ………………………………….. +Mary Holway b: 18 Jun 1699 Sanwich, Barnstable, MA d: Aft. 20 Oct 1733 NC
    ……………………………………….. 5 Benjamin Soule b: 28 Nov 1724 Dartmouth, Bristol, MA d: 06 Feb 1774 Poss. Brunswick Co., NC
    …………………………………………….. +Mary McKinney b: Abt. 1735 Prob. Edgecombe Co., NC d: Abt. 1775
    …………………………………………………… 6 Joshua Soles b: Bef. 1768 Brunswick Co., NC d: Feb 1834 Columbus Co., NC
    ………………………………………………………… +Elizabeth Cartrette d: Aft. 1846 Columbus Co., NC
    ……………………………………………………………… 7 Jordan Munroe “Jird” Soles b: May 1816 Columbus Co., NC d: 09 Feb 1873 Columbus Co., NC b: Old Soles Cemetery, Columbus Co., NC Find A Grave Memorial: 03 Sep 2009 41508379
    …………………………………………………………………… +Anna Eliza Watts b: Abt. 1823 Columbus Co., NC d: 18 Apr 1881 b: Old Soles Cemetery, Columbus Co., NC
    …………………………………………………………………………. 8 Charles Calvin Soles b: Abt. 1845 Columbus Co., NC d: Abt. 1892 Columbus Co., NC b: Farm of Elwood Norris, Columbus Co., NC (CSA Marker at Norris Lake Cemetery) Find A Grave Memorial: 08 Aug 2010 56797426
    ………………………………………………………………………………. +Annie Jane Garrell b: 08 Dec 1837 Columbus Co., NC d: 14 Dec 1916 Columbus Co., NC b: Farm of Elwood Norris, Columbus Co., NC
    ……………………………………………………………………………………. 9 Amanda Adora “Mandy” Soles b: 08 Mar 1872 Columbus Co., NC d: 29 May 1931 South Williams Twp., Columbus Co., NC b: Sandy Plain Baptist Church Cemetery, Columbus Co., NC Find A Grave Memorial: 06 Sep 2009 41649337
    …………………………………………………………………………………………. +Needham Chastine Norris b: 18 Jan 1863 Columbus Co., NC d: 26 Jul 1942 South Williams Twp., Columbus Co., NC b: Sandy Plain Baptist Church Cemetery, Columbus Co., NC Find A Grave Memorial: 06 Sep 2009 41649314
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10 Rosetta “Rosettie” Norris b: 06 Jul 1896 Columbus Co., NC d: 04 Oct 1967 Goldsboro, Wayne Co., NC b: Sandy Plain Baptist Church Cemetery, Columbus Co., NC Find A Grave Memorial: 06 Sep 2009 41648910
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. +John Quincey Piver b: 30 Apr 1892 Shallotte Twp., Brunswick Co. , NC d: 03 Sep 1974 home of John W. Hardee, Oak Dale Community, Horry Co., SC b: Sandy Plain Baptist Church Cemetery, Columbus Co., NC Find A Grave Memorial: 06 Sep 209 41648868
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11 Delta Drue Piver b: 29 Jan 1922 South Williams Twp., Columbus Co., NC d: 29 Jan 1992 McLeod Regional Medical Center, Florence, Florence Co., SC b: William Mayo Hardee Cemetery [Oak Dale Road], Horry Co., SC Find A Grave Memorial: 20 May 2009 37310839
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. +Marion Willard “Buddy” Banks b: 12 Aug 1922 Darlington Co., SC d: 01 Mar 1945 Germany b: Florence National Cemetery (Section C, Site 10), Florence, Florence Co., SC Find A Grave Memorial: 04 Mar 2000 3008765
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12 Marion Lynne Banks b: 27 Sep 1942 Columbus Co., NC

    Would love to hear further from you!

    Marion McGee

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