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Since 1895 it has been an article of faith that most North American KNOWLTONs descend from two brothers; John (b 1610) and William (b 1615); who arrived in Massachusetts about 1630. There is an equally old tale that one Captain William Knowlton (b 1584) was their father. The principal source of this belief comes from two books:
The History and Genealogy of the Knowltons of England and America; Charles Henry Wright Stocking, D.D. Published 1897; the Knickerbocker Press.
Errata and Addenda to the Knowlton Ancestry; George H Knowlton; Published 1903, Everett Press Company
This is no longer good enough. There is now compelling genetic evidence that John and William were not related, and that their lines are separate back to the dawn of history. There is no evidence whatsoever that Captain William ever existed.
While this is not the place to go into the science of the thing, we can say with certainty that genetic tests of descendants of both John and William place them in two very distinct sub-categories of Homo sapiens. John falls into what is called haplogroup R1b1. William falls into haplogroup T.