DNA testing is a wonderful, new way of tracing your family tree far back beyond what can be achieved using oral history and written records. It is frustrating that genetic test results are often presented in completely different formats to our traditional family trees, so, in 2014, I devised a way of combining information from both in a coherent narrative, following the narrative style of pedigree developed in the nineteenth century in Burke’s Peerage. An example is as follows, based on the one published at the end of my book In Search of Our Ancient Ancestors: from the Big Bang to Modern Britain, in Science and Myth.
The book tells the story of our ancestry right back to the first life on earth. This narrative pedigree picks up the story with:
Homo Erectus, who evolved out of earlier homo species (and thus from earlier mammals, cynodonts, labyrinthodonts, fish, worms and ultimately single-celled life-forms), perhaps in the Caucasus, about 1.8 million years ago, ancestor of:
- Erectus ancestors of Homo floresiensis, nicknamed ‘Hobbits’, who lived in the island of Flores until at least 12,000 years ago.
- H. Heidelbergensis (see below).
Homo Heidelbergensis, who evolved in Africa about 1 million years ago, ancestor of:
- Heidelbergensis people in Africa (see below).
- Heidelbergensis people in Europe, probably including those at Happisburg, Norfolk, about 950,000 years ago, ancestors of:
- Heidelbergensis people in Asia, ancestors of:
- Denisovans, who evolved in Asia and interbred with the later H. sapiens, colonisers of south-eastern Asia.
- Heidelbergensis people Europe, probably including those at Boxgrove about 500,000 years ago, ancestors of:
- The people of Swanscombe, Kent, about 400,000 years ago, who were probably amongst the ancestors of:
- Neanderthals, who evolved in Europe about 250,000 years ago, and who later interbred with the early H. sapiens who came out of Africa.
Heidelbergensis people in Africa, who were ancestors of:
A00 (AF6/L1284), an archaic human male in Africa more than 200,000 years ago, in whose Y chromosome the A00 (AF6/L1284) genetic mutation arose, ancestor of:
- A00 (AF6/L1284), whose descendant in Africa about 30,000 years ago bred with a Homo sapiens woman and left male-line descendants amongst the Mbo people of the Cameroons (with an African-American descendant carrying the same marker).
- Homo sapiens (see below)
Homo sapiens, who evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago, ancestors of the Mitochondrial Eve (who lived about 140,000 years ago and is now ancestor of all living humans through the female line) and of:
A0-T (L1085) the ‘Genetic Adam’ (descended in the female line from the Mitochondrial Eve), an early Homo sapiens who lived in Africa about 80,000 years ago, ancestor of:
- AO (L911), with descendants in Africa.
- A1 (L986/P305) (see below).
A1 (L986/P305) who was ancestor of:
- A1a (M31) with descendants in Africa.
- A1b (P108) (see below).
A1b (P108), in Africa, ancestor of:
- A1b1 (L419), in Africa.
- BT (M91/M42) (see below)
BT (M91/M42) who emerged in North Africa about 60,000 years ago, ancestor of:
- B (M60), ancestor of men with haplogroup B, mostly in Africa.
- CT (M168) (see below)
CT (M168), probably in Ethiopia, ancestor of:
- CF (P145) (see below)
- E (M145/P205), ancestor of:
- D (M174, including many early migrants to southern India and the Andaman Islands.
- E (M96), with many descendants in Africa, and a line reaching Corsica, where it was ancestral to Napoleon Bonaparte.
CF (P143), the main group who left Africa about 55,000 years ago, and interbred with Neanderthals in the Middle East, some of whose descendants also interbred with Denisovans further east in Asia, ancestor of:
- C (M130), whose subgroups include:
- C (M347), early Aborigines in Australia about 42,000 years ago.
- C (M217), Chinese, Mongols (including Genghis Khan) and many native Americans.
- C (M338), in Indonesia and Polynesia.
- C (P55), in Indonesia and Polynesia.
- F (M89) (see below).
F (M89), in the Middle East and south/south-western Asia about 48,000 years ago, before the start of the Aurignacian culture, the ancestor of:
- F (M89)
- G (M201) (see below)
- H (M69)
- IJK (L15), ancestor of groups I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S and T. The ancestry of Haplogroup R, together with the genealogical line down to the present Royal Family, is given in In Search of Our Ancient Ancestors.
the man in whose Y chromosome the G (M201) genetic mutation arose, who is thought to have lived in south-west Asia about 40,000 years ago, ancestor of:
- G (M285), whose descendants live in the Middle East and Iran.
- G (P287) (see below)
- The male-line ancestor of Daniel Correll, who was born in 1848 in Muncie, Pennsylvania and whose descendant Robert Correll tested positive for G-M201 (by a complete coincidence, Robert also tested positive for K1a on his mother’s side, making him a cousin of Ozti through that route too).
The man in whose Y chromosome the G (P287) genetic mutation arose, who is thought to have lived in the Middle East about 21,000 years ago, the direct male-line ancestor, as revealed on 2 December 2014, of Richard III, (and by implication of all the Plantagenet dynasty) and of:
This forebear of mine was ancestor of:
Who lived about 15,700 years ago. He was the ancestor of everyone carrying the G(L1259) marker alive today. He was ancestor of:
- G (PF3146), ancestor of G (PF3177), ancestor of G (L91), the genetic subgroup of Ötzi the Iceman, whose frozen corpse was found in the Ötzal Alps, on the Austrian-Italian border, in 1991. He had lived and died about 5,300 years ago. He carried a copper axe, and sets the earliest date for the arrival of the Chalcolithic period, the ‘age of copper’, in Europe. The technology was brought from Asia into Europe by travelling metal-workers, perhaps including Ötzi himself, and ushered in the decline and end of the Stone Age.
- G (L30) (see below)
Who probably lived in the Caucasus, and was ancestor of:
Who probably lived about 13,000 years ago, and was ancestor of:
(nb since compiling this chart in 2015, the ISOGG have continued to refine their understanding of the G haplotree, adding in some new levels, but the line down to CTS4803 remains fundamentally sound. I shall update this page in due course (but as soon as it is update, they will probably come along and make more refinements!)
- G (P316/S316) (see below)
- G (L140), ancestor of G (U1), ancestor of G (L13); ancestor of G (CTS9909), ancestor of G (Z2003), ancestor of G (Z29424), the subgroup of Claude Herbet of Italy, who contacted me in July 2015, who can trace his male lineal ancestry back to Pierre Herbet in 1550, but the surname goes back (presumably in the male line) to Boniface Arbet, son of Aymonet Arbet, who was recorded as living in Saint-Vincent Italy, in 1393 – all within a couple of hundred miles of the place where Ötzi was found.
G (P316/S316), ancestor of:
- G (L497/CTS 1899) (see below)
- G U1 (the haplogroup of John Tobin, whose recent ancestry is from Co. Cork in Ireland)
G (L497/CTS 1899)
Who probably lived about 10,000 years ago in south or central Europe and was ancestor of:
- G (L43), who probably lived in Europe about 4,700 years ago.
- G (PAGES00011)
- G (Z726/CTS6796) (see below)
- G (M 147)
- Dr Geoff Swinfield, who taught me genealogy in Canterbury, who is predicted to be in Z725 but probably not Z726.
Who probably lived about 5,000 years ago, during the Bronze Age, in Europe and, given that his descendants were German, it makes sense to say that he lived in Germany too – an assertion which can only be made because of the different people listed below who know they are of German origin. He was ancestor of:
- the G (Z726/CTS6796)* ancestors of Mike Moose, a retired architect in Cincinnati, Ohio, who is so far the only person in the world to test positive for this marker but not for any others further downstream, which could suggest (as Brian Hamman thought in April 2017) that the whereabouts of his ancestors could indicate where the marker arose, about 4,500 years ago (i.e, about 2,500 BC). His known male line ancestry goes back to the Mussgung family of Sollingen near Karlsruhe, which is about 120 miles down the Rhine from where my Adolph ancestors lived.
- the G (Z726/CTS6796) ancestors of Jack Fletcher 311504, whose ancestors were Furchers from an as yet unknown location in Germany; Sam Shaver 198471 and Gary Shaver N2302 from Unterheinriet near Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg, and Jürgen Förster E14143 and Rick Foster 214036, from Schönberg-Ortmannsdorf, Zwichau, Saxony.
- the G (Z726/CTS6796) ancestors of Steve Hissem of San Diego, who tested G-M201 (predicted Z726/Z36217) and who can trace his ancestry back to John Heesom or Easom, a carpenter who emigrated to America, born about 1650 at Crofton, Yorkshire. Steve has found Heesoms (and variants) living in Hull, 40 miles east of Crofton, who share his male-line DNA signature. He believes his line goes back to John de Heysham, bailiff of Lancaster in the 1300s, whose name derives from Heysham, not far from Lancaster. His traceable ancestry lies in England. He writes (August 2020) ‘the Z36217 subclade of Z726 has been further researched and appears now to be a wholly English clade dated to circa 2,000 BC. My current thinking is that my ancestors migrated to Britain with the Bell Beakers from the Lower Rhine (2,500 to 2,000 BC)’. .
- G (P293)
- G (CTS4803) (see below)
He probably lived in Europe (and again, almost certainly in Germany) about 3,100 years ago, i.e., c. 1,100 BC. This man was ancestral to subgroups G (L667); G (F1694); G (F720); G (CTS6369); G (YSC0000256); G (F3484), and to Richard Billings of Ashe County North Carolina, U.S.A. (c. 1800-1873), the ancestor of Jay Jay Billings, and also of:
This man was ancestral to:
1. G (Z17780)
2. G (S23438) (see below)
3. G (FGC14522), the male line ancestors of a blacksmith called James Wright who was born 1750 at Kepwick, Yorkshire. His male-line descendants’ surname later changed from Wright to Goldsbrough and from them comes John Goldsbrough (who tested positive for G (FGC14522).
4.The S2808 ancestor of Maxin Komarov. He lives in Moscow, where he is a drummer for the Russian pop star Valeria. He was born in Irkutsk, Siberia, and has traced his ancestors back to Vyatka, and before that to Veliky Novgorod in the 17th century.
I tested positive for this subgroup in 2015. Thanks to the sterling work of Brian Hamman of the G L497 project, I know that the other members of the project who have also tested positive for this marker are male line descendants of Henry Bender (1759-1845) of America, but whose ancestors are known to be German (with whom I match 30 out of 37 STR markers); the Quinn family of Magilligan, Co. Derry and the male line descendants of Kerst Haesen who lived in 1575 in Margraten in the Netherlands (with whom I match 29 out of 37 STR markers). (On the basis of our STR results, two other members, who have not yet been tested for S23438, are predicted to be S23438 as well: Pearl Keay (presumably or a man, or a woman who had her father or brother tested on her behalf) and John Tatum, both from England). So my north German ancestors’ closes matches appear to be German and Dutch (and Margraten is only about 80 miles west of where my ancestors lived in Germany). The English matches could perhaps be due to Anglo-Saxon immigration to England and the results indicate a Germanic origin for the Quinns, something which probably surprises them. G (S23438) was the male-lineal ancestor of:
- The G (S23438) ancestor of Adolph (see below).
- S18765, a rare genetic marker carried by (1) Charles Buisson, born in 1729 near Evreux in Eure, France, the ancestor of Philippe Buisson and by (2) James Henry Miller senior, born in 1825 in Virginia in the United States, the ancestor of Stephen Miller. I was also contacted in March 2019 by Jeff Andle whose male line ancestry goes back to the Stutters of Bretzwil, Basel, Switzerland in the 1600s and who belongs to G (L667), a subgroup of G (Z41143), which is in turn a subgroup of G (S18765).
Whoever he was, he had the first name Adolph (which is either from the German adel meaning ‘noble’ and wolf, as used by the Visigothic king, Attaulf, who was murdered in AD 415, or from the Greek adelphos, meaning ‘brother’). He was father of:
The first person in my male-line ancestry to use Adolph (i.e., ‘son of Adolph) as a surname. Odericus Vitalis mentioned Baldrich and Strabello ‘Attaulfus’ [i.e., Adolph] who were in the household of Godfrey de Bouillon, and who accompanied him on the First Crusade (AD 1096-1099), and had probably come, like Godfrey, from Lorraine, indicating an early presence of the surname there. This unknown German Adolph was ancestor of:
Johannes Peter Adolph
My male-line ancestor, who we can therefore assume carried the genetic marker, G(S23438), which I inherited. He was of Litterscheid in the parish of Ruppichteroth in the district of Monheim-am-Rhein, Westphalia, Germany, perhaps born about the 1650s. We know nothing more about him, but his son was a basket-maker so for all we know he was too. He and his unknown wife had children:
- Johannes Peter Adolph (see below)
- (probably) Maria Barbara Adolph, godmother to Peter’s daughter Maria Barbara and Matthias’s children Anna Barbara and Johann Bernhard.
- Johann Matthias Adolph, basket maker in Ober-Ingelbach, married Catherine Müller and had children:
- an unnamed son who was buried as son of J.M. Adolph on 28 October 1707 in Huttenhofen.
- Johann Weigand Adolph, baptized on 21 February 1708 in Daaden.
- Franz Heinrich Adolph, born on 9 October 1710 in Ober-Ingelbach and baptized on 10 October 1710 in Altenkirchen. He was buried on 20 February 1712 in Gebhardshain.
- Johann Heinrich Adolph, baptized on 31 December 1712 in Muschenbach and Marienstatt. The original entry reads : Xbris baptus est Joes Henricus filius Matthias Adolphi et Catharina conjugum advenarum in Müschenbach Ist… Henrico Baumeister ibidem filius advena Comatre Elisabetha Contzin vidua ejusd. pagi Praesentibus Wilhelmo Klein et Otilia Adolphin [his uncle’s wife]. He married Catherine Elizabeth and they had three children, Johann Weigand Adolph, born on 24 January 1744 and baptised on 28 January 1714 at Volkerzen, godson of his uncle Johannes Weigand Adolph; Anna Veronika Adolph, buried on 13 April 1754 aged 15 in Volkerzen and Anna Christina Adolph, born on 21 December 1754 and baptised on 27 December 1754 in Volkerzen.
- Anna Barbara Adolph baptised on 6 January 1714 Muschenbach and in Marienstat.
- Johann Wilhelm Adolph, born on 24 November 1719 in Altenkirchen and baptised on 28 November 1719 in Marienstatt. For his descendants see the narrative pedigree ‘Adolph of Hartenfels’.
Johannes Peter Adolph
He was baptized in Ruppichteroth-with-Litterscheid at an unrecorded date in 1682. On 31 January 1702 the church register of Hachenburg records that Peter Adolph, a ‘vagorum’ (vagabond, unsettled) from Litters[cheid] in the district of Monheim, the son of Peter Adolph who was deceased, married Odillia Lapland, the daughter of Johannes Lapland, also deceased, from ‘Bockenhen in Germanica Lotharingia’ (i.e, the German part of Lorraine). ‘Bockenhen’ was almost certainly Bochenheim, sometimes called Stein-Bockenheim, about thirty kilometers south-west of Mainz. Invasions and the dislocating effects of war may easily account for this migration. Otilia was godmother to Johann Heinrich Adolph in Marienstatt in 1712. Peter and Otilia settled in Oberhattert near Hachenberg and had the following children baptised at Oberhattert:
- Maria Barbara, baptized on 7 December 1702 in Oberhattert
- Johannes Peter Adolph (see below)
Johannes Peter Adolph
He was born on 19 March 1702 in Ruppichteroth (Lutheran), the Protestant parish that covers Litterscheid. He married first, before 1732, to Marie Elisabeth Schmidt, and secondly on 21 October 1733, to Maria Elisabeth Baumeister and they were parents of:
Johannes Carl Adolph
He was a farm bondsman in the hamlet of Volkerzen in the Westerwald parish of Altenkirchen, lying in the fertile planes to the south of the river Seig and to the west of Hachenburg and the east of Cologne. The registers of Altenkirchen have been destroyed by Allied bombing. He married on 22 August 1764 at Hilgenroth to Anna Clara Käßgens, daughter of Johann Peter Käßgens. He died by 1835 and her death was recorded at Marienthal on 31 May 1803. They had children including:
Johannes Peter Adolph
He was born at Volkerzen on 6 June 1778 and this was recorded at Hilgenroth. He lived at Marienthal and later in Hachenburg. He married Maria Gertrude Fischer. They had children including Friederich Phillipp Adolph, father of Alphons Adolph (1853-1934), who imvented the picture postcard, and:
Wilhelm Adolph Adolph
He was baptised on 3 February 1810 at Hachenburg with gdparents Wilhelm Adolph of Selbach, Adolph Fischer and Gertrude Fischer, hence his two christian names. He came to London as an agent for his family’s mineral trading business. The Home Office records of aliens and certificates of arrival (HO2 1836-1852) include ‘HO5/27. Wilhelm Adolph London 6 June 1832 no 942 passport sent to PD (?) 22 June 1835. He married Maria Catherine Gertrude Brown on 23 November 1840 at Spanish Place, London. He founded William Adolph & Co. and was author of books including The Simplicity of Creation, in which he endeavored to explain the functioning of the universe in terms of scientific knowledge within a framework of Catholicism. He died on 22 June 1868 at Maitland Park, Hampstead, London. They were parents of children including:
Albert Joseph Adolph
He was born on 17 October 1854 at Bury Court, St Mary Axe in the City of London where his family lived and worked. He married Emily Lydia Watson at St Dominic’s Priory, Haverstock Hill on 3 July 1877. He ran William Adolph & Co. and lived latterly in Sutton, Surrey and Hove, Sussex. They had children including:
1. William Adolph (whose son Peter Adolph invented the Subbuteo table football game)
2. Joseph Aloys Aphonsus Adolph (see below);
3. Cecil Henry Russell Adolph (see further below).
Joseph Aloys Alphonsus Adolph
He was born on 11 December 1882 and married Angela Mary Havers (a descendant of Thomas Cromwell and of the Jermyns) on 19 October 1909 at the Virgo Fidelis Convent in Upper Norwood, Surrey. He took over the family firm until it went bankrupt due to the Great Depression and it was dissolved on 10 May 1935 under section 295 of the Companies Act 1929. He died on 30 March 1966 in Sanderstead, Surrey. He had children including:
Joseph Albert Stanislaus Adolph, M.C., O. St J.J., T.D.,
He was born on 3 August 1910 at Longthorpe, Montague Gardens, Wallington, Surrey. He married first to Beryl Ivy Waters (a descendant of the Fairfax family and thus a cousin of H.R.H. The Duchess of Cambridge) on 17 September 1937 at St Mary, Croydon, Surrey and secondly to Gwendolen Mary Stepney on 31 January 1967. He died at 6 o’clock in the morning on 12 July 1995 in Treliske Hospital, Truro, Cornwall. He had children including:
Peter Joseph Adolph
Born on 5 May 1937 at Pevensey, Sussex, confirmed at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, where his father was serving in the Palestine Police. He became a marine engineer. He married on 28 February 1965 at Wadhurst, Sussex to Jane Patricia Collingwood, daughter of Major Jerome Collingwood Rietchel of ‘Pinehurst’, Wadhurst, Sussex. He died on 12 June 2021. He left an only child:
Anthony Richard Joseph Stanislaus Adolph
He was born on 2 November 1967 at North Meols, Lancashire and baptised on 2 December 1967 at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Ainsdale, Lancaster, and became a professional genealogist…
The following brings down another line from Albert Joseph Adolph, above:
Cecil Henry Russell Adolph
He was born in 1892 in Hove, Sussex. He became the military commander of Le Cateau during the First World War and married the daughter of the mayor, Violette Renee Rolande Juliette Dupont. He died at Veuil near Valencay, France on 22 February 1982. He had children Marcel, Gerald, Ginette and (the oldest):
Cecil Edward Adolph
He was born on 15 June 1925 at Tavernay, France. He served in the 51st Highland Division in the Second World War, worked for Air India and lives in Viroflay near Paris. He celebrated his 90th birthday in 2015 (congratulations!). He married Hugette Chapius and they had a son:
William L. Adolph
He was born in 1949 and is an anaesthetist, co-founder of the Clinique Saint-Gatien in Tours, France and owner of Chateau La Gaudrelle in Vouvray, France. He married Agnes Cherrier and had children Gladys, Margaux and:
He was born in 1978 and is a restaurateur in France. He married Petra Kovar and had children Alexandra, Raphael, Alexis and, the oldest:
Maximilian Peter William Adolph
He was born on 30 June 2007 in London but grew up in France and is one of those who will continue the line of the Adolphs during the twenty first century.