• 155 members

About us

As from 26 June 2015, this project has a new administrator and is under total reconstruction.

It appears that the project was begun around August 2008 and today, there are 117 members.

This project is dedicated to the surname Briggs and its variants, such as Brigg, Brig and Brigs. Your participation in the various DNA Testing available will greatly aid in finding the common links between individuals with this surname.  If you are of the R1b haplogroup, it is virtually a given that the minimum Y chromosome test to order is Y-67 with Y-111 being the aim. 

Such testing aids your Admin in correctly placing you within the project and in turn it reveals whether there is a common ancestor somewhere along the way.
DNA does not lie and so if your Y-DNA test results are at variance with your paper trail, then something is awry in your paper trail.

All male and female BRIGGS are welcome and you are encouraged to join the forum conversations which are kept 100% private to only this project's membership!
To see your own matches, you need to be willing to allow others who match you, to also see yours.  If you turn off the ability for your results to be seen, then neither can the Admin of a project you join see your results.  If privacy is an issue for you, consider altering your testing name or maybe limiting the visibility of your results to only those projects that you choose to join.  And please state your most distant direct paternal ancestor giving his name his birth and death date and the geographical area of his existence (although you may have to abbreviate certain things to enable the information to fit into the small space available).

I have just located this at
If anyone knows of this  or of Louise S. Briggs, I welcome your contact, please.


There are many 'Briggs' families in the United States, and it is often assumed that each had a common origination in Great Britain, and that the name came from having lived "by the bridge," as popular heraldry sites explain. Efforts have been made in various genealogies, to trace the 'Briggs' ancestry to John Briggs or Atte Brigge of Salle in Great Britain from the 13th century, as the first known family patriach. The earliest "Briggs' ancestor in the United States is thought to be 'Clement Briggs' of Plymouth Colony, MA, who arrived on the ship "Fortune in 1621, one year after the 'Mayflower.' At the time of the Revolutionary War in the United States, there are at least eight different Briggs lines that have been documented in various genealogies:

-, Vol. 1 & 2, Edna Anne Hannibal, Claude Barlow, private printing, 1969. See also  , Orlo Gardner Briggs, The Sugar River Printing Company, Albany, Wisconsin, 1931.

-, Edna Anne Hannibal, Claude Barlow, private printing, 1962.

-"Richard, William, and Hugh, Sons of John Briggs of Taunton, Mass.", Edna Anne Hannibal, Claude Barlow, , Boston, MA., Vol. 125, April 1971, No. 2;/ Vol. 125, July 1971, No. 3;/ Vol 125, October 1971, No. 4;/ Vol. 126, January 1972, No. 1/; Vol. 126, April 1972, No. 2;/ Vol. 126 July 1972, No. 3;/ Vol. 126 October 1972, No. 4...See also by Winifred Lovering Holman, S.B., The Rumsford Press, Concord, NH, 1931. See also , Beacon Press, Boston, MA 1887.

-(Walter Briggs of Scituate, Mass.) , L. Vernon Briggs, Charles E. Goodspeed & Co., Boston, MA, 1938.

-(John Briggs of Portsmouth, RI) , Sam Briggs, private Printing, 1878. See also , Bertha Bortle Beal Aldridge, private printing, 1953.

-, compiled by Mrs. Lilla Briggs Samspon, New York, 1926

-, compiled by Mrs. Lilla Briggs Sampson, New York, 1926. See also,, compiled by Jane C. Whitaker, 1997, and, compiled by Jane C. Whitaker, 1996 (the latter by Jane Whitaker pertain to the lines from John of Portsmouth->William Briggs->Eliakim Briggs in the White Creek , NY area).

-, compiled by Lilla Briggs Sampson, New York, 1926 [If anyone has a copy of the genealogies by Lilla Briggs Sampson, please contact me. ]

These genealogies while not exhaustive, represent our 'long' Briggs lines, because we have a record of the Briggs families that predate the American Revolution. In the 1790 U.S. Census, there are hundreds of individuals with the surname "Briggs" and its variants, Brig, Brigs, Brigg, Brigges, etc. Many of these individuals cannot be linked to the known Briggs lines mentioned due to an inability to locate paper documentation, or possibly, because they are not related to them, representing lines not yet fully documented, or lines which arrived in the United States after the Colonial Period but before the American Revolution. Additionally, judging by the re-occurence of the surname "Briggs" and its variants in the 1800 U.S. Census through the 1930 U.S. Census, there appear to be many individuals who arrived in the United States bearing the 'Briggs' surname directly from Great Britain, Europe, and other nations, whose roots and relation to other documented lines and each other are unknown.

Purpose of Project

The purpose of the BRIGGS DNA PROJECT is multifold: It will determine if there are any common ancestors between our various Briggs lines; it will help identify previously unknown Briggs lines; it will 'flesh out' and add previously unknown relatives to the known Briggs lines; and it will serve as an invaluable link for individuals with the Briggs surname where the paper trail has run cold and origination cannot be otherwise determined. DNA research is a wonderful new tool to use because many of the traditional genealogical sources such as birth, death, and marriage records, tax records, census records, military and pension records, court records, or family bibles, either yield no results, or may have been destroyed by various disasters and cannot provide the information sought. This project originally began in 2003, and was combined with the DNA project for the surname "Bridges," due to the belief that the surname "Briggs" meant living 'by the bridge.' In 2005 the Briggs surname project was severed from the "Bridges" surname project, because there were no demonstrative matches between the DNA test results for both surnames. We became the administrators for the BRIGGS DNA PROJECT in 2005, and have no financial interest in this project, nor have any association with Family Tree DNA of Houston, TX, the testing service used to produce the dna results.

What is DNA Testing

DNA Testing uses cutting edge technology to help us trace our ancestors. In this project, the testing is done on males with the surname "Briggs." The test is limited to males because the Y chromosome is analyzed for 'markers' that have been shown to remain stable and unchanged as they pass from father to son over many generations. When a change or difference occurs, it is due to a random mutation. The mutation or difference is shown as a different number assigned to a marker. The 'markers' can be analysed in groups of 12, 25, and 37 intervals, for numerical matches with another individual with the same surname. Thus, if all or most of your numbers match those of another individual with the same surname, that you are related can be established. The test is done with a swab that is rubbed inside the mouth, and sent in a kit by Family Tree DNA, after you join the project. While the test can be purchased at the 12, 25, and 37 marker range, the 25 or 37 marker test is strongly recommended as the results at these levels are the most accurate. If you begin with the 12 marker test, it is strongly urged that you upgrade to the 25 or 37 marker test as soon as possible. There is a link on this site below to "Buy the DNA Test" online, and we are receiving the following discount group rates: The 12 marker test is $99.00, the 25 marker test is $169.00, and the 37 marker test is $219.00. We have a sponsorship fund that may offset the cost of these tests if you belong to a certain Briggs line where results are sought, so be sure to check the 'sponsorship' link on this page.

DNA Testing and Privacy

The test performed on your DNA for genealogical research, is different than that used by government agencies to identify and track criminals. There is absolutely no cross-over between databases used by the state and federal governments, and the private database used by Family Tree DNA. Your results are completely protected by state and federal privacy laws and legislation. Family Tree DNA, the company which performs the genetic test, is bound by these stringent privacy laws. Family Tree DNA maintains the surname database library and test scores, and the University of Arizona physically houses the genetic samples, so there is an added layer of privacy in not having the test results and samples located in one place. You retain ownership of your genetic sample before, during, and after the genetic sample is tested, and can request that it be returned to you at any time, even though it is securely stored. Additionally, the Project Administrators may not disclose, divulge, or otherwise reveal your identity without your prior consent, and are committed to insuring that the identities of all living persons are not listed online or in any other forum.

About DNA Results

Haplogroups: These are considered "deep ancestry" and every male tested belongs to a group. The group is determined by testing the Y chromosome for mutations that occured at different periods of time. Haplogroup information is used by anthropologists in determining ancient migration patterns, as it points to origins over 10,000 years ago when Europe was first settled. The most common Haplogroups and their area of origination are: R1b-Western Europe; R1a-Eastern Europe; I-Nordic; J2-Semitic; Q3-Native American. Family Tree DNA provides a wonderful Haplogroup map that you can review, which contains all the different groups. Two individuals who belong to different Haplogroups cannot be related for many thousands of years, so it would be impossible to draw a genealogical connection between them based on like surnames, as surnames only came into use during the 1300's in Great Britain and Europe. Where the Haplogroup has been predicted rather than tested with a SNP Test(Single Nucleotide Polymorphism), the results are 90% accurate.

Genetic Distance: If two individuals markers match 37 out of 37, they are related with certainty. Genetic distance pertains to interpreting the results for non-matching, markers having undergone mutation, in the context of the 12, 25, or 37 marker tests. Non-matching markers are shown by having different numbers. Thus, if one individual has a marker series, 21, 21, 21, and another individual has a marker series of 21, 22, 21, we would say that there is a one-step difference or mutation between them. A two-step difference would be shown by comparing a marker series, 21, 21, 21, to a marker series 21, 23, 21, or 21, 22, 20, depending on the interpretive method used. It is assumed that one mutation occurs per marker one time every 500 generations in unrelated individuals.Thus, we would expect one or two mutations if two people were related during the 14th century. Based on this formula, a 37 out of 37 marker match means that the common ancestor between the individuals tested, 50% of the time, is found within 5 generations, and 90% of the time, within 16 generations. As the degree of distance increases between the markers, the degree of predicting relatedness via a common ancestor also diminishes. As a very general rule, if the degree of mismatch exceeds 6 steps, the individuals are probably not related, unless an individual "in between" the markers emerges, showing a slow transition between the marker differentiations. Family Tree DNA has provided some general tables that you can see in the"Tables" link below, which illustrate the degree of relatedness as per the 12, 26, and 37 marker tests.

Fast Moving Markers: It is assumed that one mutation occurs per marker one time every 500 generations in unrelated individuals. This assumption has been proven to be overstated with respect to 'fast mutating' or volatile markers within a known family. These markers are indicated in red on the DNA results page. It appears that there can be more variation in mutation and distance with these fast moving markers, and relatedness even if unknown through other sources, can still be drawn. As a very general safe rule, if two individuals match exactly but for one fast mutating marker, they are more closely related than the one step difference (from the mutation) indicates. Research is currently being conducted to determine the frequency and rate of mutation along these markers. It is assumed that they will not show a standard rate of change and prediction, and are thus difficult to interpret with regard to whether or not individuals are related, and if related, within what time period. It appears that some families have more mutations than others, though this has not been tested.