• 59 members

About us

Surname DNA testing is the newest tool available to genealogists. These tests help genealogists verify their paternal ancestry (father's father .... ) in a quick and easy way. It savestime, prevents mistakes, and provides invaluable data that can be obtained in no other way.


This Family Project is started to:

1. Help researchers on common or related families worktogether to find their common heritage  (See the Patriarch Page)

2. Identify the DNA of the ancestor families and compile them and their lost branches into distinct genetic lineages through DNA matches

3. We are interested in testing the mediaeval genealogies of the Breretons of Cheshire, and finding out how many unrelated families have adopted the Brereton name.

4. We are also searching for possible matches with the, so, as we start this project on30 July 2013, we have just one DNA profile from Jeanie Atkins the admin for the Brewerton project as an initial target for Breretons to match against.

Results Highlights

We are already able to identify 4 or 5 completely separate Brereton lineages. Two are characterised by having a haplogroup whichis rather rare in Britain (about 0.5%).
We have one Brereton with haplogroup I-L38.Nine are grouped in haplogroup R1b- lineage I,which refined tests now show to be R1b-L51* (ie R1b1a2a* with SNPPF7589). The signature of the Norfolk Brereton line whose pedigree goes back to the medieval De Breretons has also a completely distinct haplo type within  R1b - SNP Z253.  With these distinct groupings there must have been at least 4 or 5 unrelated males (i.e.not sharing a male line ancestor more recently than around 4000BC), who adopted the Brereton name with the introduction of surnames inthe last 800 years or so.
It now looks very much as if our Brewerton member(who doesn't have a match within the Brewerton DNA Project) does indeed match the Brereton R1b-lineage I, so at sometime a spelling variation must have taken place.

Brereton Y-dna Results

The Diagram above shows how the Breretons tested fit into the different y-dna branches of the human family tree. The y-dna branchies shown in the yellow part of the diagram all occurred several thousands of years ago, and so those in different branches can not be descended from a common ancestor who first adopted th esurname Brereton after the Norman Conquest.:

New Year Message 1 Jan 2014

In 5 months since the project started at the end of July,we have 4 results which are grouped into two Brereton lineages.(Update June 2014: now 7 results grouped into 3 different Brereton lineages.)
Two have rather uncommon haplotypes (<0.5% in Britain), which will help to convince us that STR matches are real.
What we need now is more Breretons to test.  If all members plus myself can recruit one additional Brereton to test then we could have 11 results by the time of our first anniversary in July. But let us make the goal to each recruit 2 or 3 new members by the end of 2014 so that we then have over 20 members.
We all know recruiting is hard work. I have already targeted Brereton genealogists with whom I have been in correspondence over the past 10 years. But none have yet resulted in a successful recruitment. Perhaps we need success stories:

  • A match for the Barbados/Trindad Brereton line amongst English Brereton lines would be wonderful news.

  • Are all the present WestIndies lines of the same rare I-L38/L39 haplogroup?

  • Can we link some of the Irish lines back to Cheshire/Staffordshire/Lancashire? There was much two way traffic across the Irish sea.  SUCCESS 3 Irish lines linked to 2 Cheshire lines by DNA

  • There are lots of Breretons in UK and in countries that were formerly colonies. Can we discover a genetic match for any of these amongst lines that stayed in Britain?

  • Finally we must be alert to possibility of surname spelling variations, and welcome and help them. It may be that they will be best served initially by a surname project for their exact name if one exists. However if there is a real prospect of a match with our project lineages, or if they dont have a natural surname project home elsewhere then we should be ready to include them.

A successful year of DNA discovery to you all

Update 2017: We are still very interested in getting more male line Breretons to test.

Update May 2018: More  y-dna tests have been carried out. We hope to summarise the results here soon.

Michael Sandford

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