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About us

In 2009, I wanted to have someone start the Collinsworth DNA Project. Since I could not find a person to take it on, I decided to start it. I contacted Charlotte Carpenter Johnson and Mary Preston, two of the foremost Collinsworth Researchers, and they joined as Co-Administrators. The Collinsworth/Collingsworth Family DNA Project covers all of the various spellings of the last name. Any male with a Collinsworth/Collingsworth (including the various spellings) surname should have their DNA tested. The test is then compared with other Collinsworth/Collingsworth in this project to attempt to find those with whom one may be related. The 37 Marker test is recommended as it provides information to help determine the greater possibility of being related.

Charlotte has researched this family for over 20 years and her research is often looked to when there are questions. Charlotte maintains the Collinsworth database on RootsWeb. Footprints Through Time You can also join our group on GenealogyWise Collinsworth Group on GenealogyWise

Charlotte and Mary, while always available for questions and research, have had to drop out of being active within the DNA Project but are still very important members of our Project.

As of May 2013, I am pleased to welcome Erik Maher as Project Co-Administrator. He brings a vast amount of experience and knowledge as a DNA Project Administrator.  If you have an interest, please contact him or myself. You can also send an email to the Project

The following is an excerpt from Charlotte's database:

"Collinwood, Collingwood, Callingwood, Collenswood, Gollingwood and many more. Motto "To have a conscience free from guild." First found in Nurthumberland where they were seated from ancient times.

English: habitational name, probably from Collingwood in Staffordshire, although the surname is now more common on Tyneside. The place name arose from a wood the ownership of which was disputed (from Middle English calenge ?dispute?, ?challenge?). Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

The English distribution of the name Collinwood is primarily centered in the areas of Straffordshire,Lancashire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire - with minor percentages in Essex, London and Lincolnshire, England.
There is a Collingwood shipbuilding town in Northern Ontario, Canada.
One of the first settlers was Samuel Collingwood who arrived in Philedelphia in 1798.
In the 1920 U S Census Collinwood families, occupation farmers, are found in PA and OH with departure points from Liverpool or Queenstown, Ireland.

Collinsworth, Collingsworth is a variation of Collinwood. In the 1920 Census, 27% were in KY, 16% TX, USA, 6% OK, 5% Florida with the other 46% scattered across the United States. My search of did not find any departure points under the name of Collinsworth.

There are references to a possible Melungeon connection by the Collinsworth lines. The majority of researchers over the years have concurred with the theory that the word derived from the French melange, meaning "mixture". Another proposed theory for the origin of ?Melungeon? is the Afro-Portuguese term melungo, supposedly meaning ?shipmate.? Yet another is the Greek term melan, meaning ?black.? Like many of these tri-racial groups, the Melungeons are traditionally identified by family names. A few of the surnames are associated with the Melungeons include Collins, (Collinsworth is sometimes included in this group), Gibson, Goins, Mullins, and Bowlin. The Melungeons have historically been associated with the region along the Virginia-TN, USA border east of Cumberland Gap, with Newman?s Ridge in Hancock County, TN, USA, receiving most of the attention from journalists. There are many books and research aids on this group; it is much too complex to address here.

Legend has it that all of the Collinsworth family in the U.S. spring from five brothers who came over to the Colony of Virginia in the 17th century. Their names were William, John, Thomas, Edward,and David. These names have been passed down from generation to generation. A second legends is that this family camee from the town of Coalville, Leichestershire, England. MANY individuals are seeking our Collinsworth roots possibly in England, Wales, or Ireland."