Bracey Y-DNA

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The Bracey family name and Y-DNA

The Bracey family name is found in several localities in England and there are also well-documented colonial branches of the name in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In 2002 there were 2163 individuals with the name in England, Wales and the Isle of Man giving an estimated male carrier population at that date of 1100.  An early variant, Braci, is found in Worcestershire, England in the latter half of the twelfth century and subsequently other Bracey variants are associated during medieval and early modern times with groupings in the counties of Gloucestershire, Cheshire, Norfolk and the area around London. Although the name originated in Europe and is predominantly carried by men with European ancestry, some Bracey surname variants are also found in the USA among African Americans. The genealogy of many of these groupings has already been well characterised but the relationship between their genealogies will remain uncertain until we have the results from a genetic study. 

  Population statistics for spelling variants of the Bracey surname in England, Wales and the Isle of Man (2002)

Spelling variant

Number of holders

Estimated male holders

            Brace

3735

1769

            Bracey

1863

913

            Bracy

15

7

            Brase

5

2

            Brasey

10

5

            Brassey

273

134

            Total

5901

2830

What is Genetic Genealogy?

Genetic genealogy uses laboratory tests to find information in your DNA that is only found in you and other people who are descended from the same ancestors.  Your Bracey name like other last names started to be used in England about 800-900 years ago and since then it has been passed from father to son through the centuries. Only men carry Y-DNA in the cells of their bodies and it, like their last name, is inherited from their father.  As a result, family names and Y-DNA are passed from father to son down the generations and men who share a last name, such as Bracey, are also likely to have very similar Y-DNA.  Genetic genealogy uses Y-DNA testing to connect genetic cousins and reveal the deep ancestral origin of your direct paternal line (your father, your father’s father etc).  It is a test that can only be taken by males but a woman could trace her paternal line by getting her father or brother to take the test.

What is a Y-DNA test?

Y-DNA testing looks at Short Tandem Repeat (STR) segments of DNA on the Y chromosome. The STR sequences which are tested are called “genetic markers” and occur in what is called "junk" DNA. The test is only used for finding genealogical information and the results have NO medical use. The combination of the result numbers for each STR marker tested in the Y-DNA test is called a haplotype.

Genetic cousins will have similar haplotypes.  So two Bracey males are likely to have similar haplotypes.  Testing more STR markers increases the accuracy of prediction of their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). The number of markers tested can vary from 12 to111.  A test with just 12 markers can subsequently be upgraded to 25, 37, 67 or 111 markers. Haplotypes which match at 67 or 111 markers indicate that the individuals are very closely related within just a few generations.

As well as confirming your recent genetic cousins a Y-DNA haplotype can also be used to infer your haplogroup.  The evolutionary tree of human Y-DNA haplogroups grows from a theoretical male “Y-DNA Adam” who lived in Africa, the paternal MRCA of all living humans.  From “Adam” the tree branches into haplogroups designated by the letters A to T which are further subdivided into Clades and Sub-clades. Your Y-DNA test will give a prediction of your haplogroup which in turn will show you where your pre-historic male ancestors originated.  Because Bracey is not a very common last name it is likely that most living Bracey males will belong to one or two haplogroups possibly with distinct descent clusters originating from just a few Bracey patriarchs.

How can I join and find out more about the project?

If you have any questions about the project or about some other aspect of genetic genealogy please get in touch with the GroupAdministator.  If you want to join the project you can do so by ordering a Y-DNA test kit from FTDNA.  It is probably a good idea to start with either a Y-DNA 25, Y-DNA 37 or a Y-DNA 67 marker test.  Remember that all tests, from 12 to 67 markers, can be upgraded if you wish once your initial results have been received.


If you would like to see how your Y-DNA results will look, you can go to this typical 67 marker certificate using link 1 in the "Other Project Documents" category on our Links page


The I2a3a haplotype is one of those that have been found associated with holders of the Bracey surname.  In "Surnames of men who have an I2a3a (I-L233) haplotype: their distribution in the British Isles" John Clement has used surname distribution data from the 1881 British census to assign 72 surnames from a sample of 76 men known to have an I2a3a haplotype to British counties.   His paper (originally posted in March 2013) contains maps and phylogenetic charts to illustrate the surname distribution.  The paper can be accessed using link 1 in the "Papers & Research Reports" category on our Links page

"The geographic distribution of ninety-seven I2a3a (I-L233) associated surnames in the British Isles" is an update note and map that extends the sample used the 2013 paper to include 104 men who were in the I2a3a "Western" and "Western Isles" clades of the I2a Y-DNA Project on 1st January 2014.  The paper can be accessed using link 2 in the "Papers & Research Reports" category on our Links page.

"British surnames associated with I-A417 and I-L233 haplotypes; their distribution in the British Isles"  includes sixteen Britsih surnames of men who had a result for the A417 SNP at the 1st January 2015 and 103 surnames of men who were in the I2a3a "Western" and "Western Isles" clades of the I2a Y-DNA Project on 1st January 2015. The paper can be accessed using link 3 in the "Papers & Research Reports" category on our Links page.

The phylogenetically important mutations upstream of I-A417 are illustrated on Ed Hilton's "Proposed I2a Migration Map (M170 to L233)" which can be seen using link 4 in the "Papers & Research Reports" category on our Links page.

The E3b1a2-V13 haplotype has also been found associated with holders of the Bracey name.  In his paper "Haplogroup E3b1a2 as a Possible Indicator of Settlement in Roman Britain by Soldiers of Balkan Origin" published  in 2007 in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, Steven C.Bird presents a large body of evidence suggesting that E3b1a2-V13 males in England may be descendants of Roman soldiers recruited in the ancient Roman province of Moesia Superior,  a region that today encompasses Kosovo, southern Serbia, northern Macedonia and extreme northwestern Bulgaria.   Here is a link to the paper http://www.jogg.info/32/bird.pdf

The J2a (J-M172) haplotype is associated with the Brassey surname in the county of Cheshire, England and with holders of Bracey/Bracy variant spellings in the United States of America who are themselves descendant's of seventeenth century Bressie colonists of Virginia.  Although no documentary evidence in support of this genetic connection between Cheshire and Virginia has, as yet, been found, the role of the Cheshire Bracey family in the seventeenth century colonisation of New England is well documented.  In "Ancestry of Thomas Bressey of New Haven, Conn.", Walter Goodwin Davies (New Eng.Hist.& Gen.Reg., VolCXII, p26-44, 1958, Boston.) provides a detailed pedigree plus an account of the migration of the family from Cheshire to New England.  In December 2014 the Bracey Y-DNA Project compiled a review of its J-M172 research entitled "Y-DNA STR analysis confirms that five men who are direct male-line descendants of eighteenth century Bracey colonists in Virginia are related to the Brassey family of Cheshire, England".  This J-M172 Research Update can be accessed using link 5 in the "Papers & Reasearch Reports" category on our Links page.


Haplogroups and clades that have so far been linked to the Bracey surname and variants from the United Kingdom, United States, France and Germany (April 2015)

ID or Kit Reference

Number of STR tested

Surname
variant

EKDMA
Putative origin

EKDMA
Date

Haplogroup
Clade (SNP)
236748
           111 *+ alias Bracey
Gloucestershire,UK
1739
        I
I2a3a (I-L233)
282009
            12 alias Bracey
Gloucestershire,UK
1739
        I
I2a3a (I-L233)
274466
            67
Bracey
Gloucestershire,UK
1550
        E
E1b1b1a1b
(E-V13)

367119
            12
alias Bracey
Gloucestershire,UK
1550
        E
E1b1b1a1b
(E-V13)

WF(Ancestry)
            34
Bracey
IOW,Virginia
1640
        J
J2 (J-M172)
224504
            67
Bracy
IOW,Virginia
1640
        J
J2 (J-M172)
298846
            67
Bracey
IOW,Virginia
1640
        J
J2a (J-M172)
416793
            12
Bracey
IOW,Virginia
1640
        J
J2 (J-M172)
309580
            25

Bracey IOW,Virginia 1640         J
J2a (J-M172)
396530
            37
Bracey
IOW,Virginia
1640
        J
J2 (J-M172)
366019
            67

Bracy IOW,Virginia 1640         J
J2a (J-M172)
355861
            12
Bracey
East Ohio,Pittsburgh
1800
        J
J2a (J-M172)
356598
            67
Brassey
Cheshire,UK
1800
        J
J2a (J-M172)
337428
            12
Bracey
United States
1916
        R
R1b (R-M269)
309570
            111
Bressie
United States
----
        J
J2 (J-M172)
152073
            37

Bresee
Albany,New York
1681
        I
I1
216136
            37
Bresee
Albany,New York
1681
        I
I1
WYEXU(ysearch) Ancestry
            28
Bresee
Albany,New York
1681
        I
I1
XG95K (ysearch)
FTDNA

            12
Brecy
France
1917
        I
I2b1
260188
            37
Brase
Germany

        I
I1
N115212
            67 *+
Brace
England
1644
        R
R1b1a2a1a1b3c
(R-Z150)
81974             111
Brace
Barbados (Scotland)
1751
        G
G2a3b1a (G-L140)
295545             111
Brace
Barbados
1751
        G
G2a3b1a
* also tested National Geographic Geno 2.0;     + "Big Y" test;           EKDMA = Earliest known direct-line male ancestor


For the latest developments and project news please take a look at our "News"update which can be found in the "About This Group" menu at the top left on this page. Results from completed STR and SNP tests are shown listed on the appropriate Y-DNA Results pages.


If you require advice about DNA testing, or if you want to find out more about the possibilities offered by genetic genealogy, please contact the Group Administrator using the email address at the top of this page.