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Cude yDNA Project Overview

The Cude Family Project is a surname study.  It is an effort to trace the Cud(d)(e) Family history from its earliest origins.  To do this, we are going beyond the traditional genealogical research of “Dusty Documents” and using modern genetic testing.   yDNA analysis is particularly helpful in a surname study.  Its usefulness relies on the fact that the Y-chromosome is passed down largely unchanged from father to son.  Mutations accumulate over long periods of time and give every family a unique signature.  These small changes can be measured in a yDNA analysis.  The outcomes can then be compared to others.  Thus, yDNA analysis can confirm or rule out specific relationships to others.   

For example, the Coads/Coodes of Cornwall and our Cud(d)(e) family have lived in the same regions of England and America at about the same time for at least 5 centuries.  As a result, the spelling of the names (especially in America) was frequently confused.  Dr. Joe Flood manages the Coad-Coode Project with Family Tree.  Despite our close proximity to one another in time and place, yDNA testing proved that the American Cud(d)(e) Family is not related to the Cornish Coad/Coode family.

Old English records provide substantial circumstantial evidence that the counties of Devon, Somerset, and Gloucestershire in Southwest England represent the English Homeland of the Cud(d)(e) Family.  On the American side, we can follow our ancestors from Virginia through North Carolina, Tennessee and beyond, but we have a brick wall that has prevented us from identifying our Original Cud(d)(e) Immigrant to America.  Additional yDNA testing would greatly assist our research efforts.  At present, we find no yDNA testing in public DNA databases from Cudes or Cudds living the Southwest region of Britain, and testing from the American side has been limited.  Therefore, the Cude yDNA Project seeks to promote increased yDNA testing among our family members.

I encourage you to join our Cude yDNA Project.  yDNA test results contain no personal information.  Related family members will be identified for you.  You may contact them or share more information only if you wish.  You are in complete control of your personal information.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about your origins and ancestry.  Order your test kit TODAY!  The yDNA37 test is adequate at this time.  You can upgrade later.  Click on "Join Request" at the top of this page in the menu bar.  You will automatically join the Cude Project when you order your yDNA test kit, AND you get a $20 discount on the yDNA37 test.     

Some Background Information on the Cud(d)(e)s:

The Surname

Today, the most common spelling of our name is Cudd and Cude.  However, when researching our family history, it is important to remain “flexible” with the spelling of the name.  There are many different iterations.  Some but not all are: 
        1)  Cud, Cudd, Cudde, Cude          Group 1 can be abbreviated "Cud(d)(e)". 
        2)  Cod, Codd, Code, Coode          Group 2 can be abbreviated "Co(o)d(d)(e)". 
        3)  Coad, Coade, Cowd
        4)  Coude, Good, Cody, etc.

The root of the Cude surname is believed to be from southwest England.  However, southern Wales is also indicated.  Surnames in Britain were not widely used until after the Norman conquest in 1066 AD.  When English surnames were adopted, most people were illiterate.  As a result, clergy and government officials recorded what they thought they “heard” someone say.  Different dialects and even different languages were a factor.  Hence, we see a wide range of spellings in the historical record.  Cud(d)(e) Family researchers have found as many as three different spellings within the records of the same nuclear family. 


yDNA testing of the American branch of the Cude Family shows that we belong to Haplogroup I, subclade I1 or M-253.  Today, Haplogroup I is associated with Scandinavia where it represents as much as 45% of the population.  However, Haplogroup I is also prevalent from northern France, up through the low countries, and into northern Germany and Denmark.  Here, concentrations range from 10 to 35%.  The U.K. population is about 15% Haplogroup I.  Haplogroup I is believed to be the oldest in Europe originating about 25,000 years ago.  Its precursor originated in the Middle East some 30-40,000 years ago.  Haplogroup I represents about 15% of the European population today.  Our Haplogroup I1 branched off the main tree about 6,000 years ago +/- 3,000 years. Our ancestors followed the retreating ice sheets northward.

       1) In Pre-History, Haplogroup I1 could have found its way to Britain from northwest Europe across the Doggerland land-bridge prior to 6,000 BC.  Sea levels were much lower and Britain was connected to Europe.

Early History in Europe

In more recent times, our Haplogroup I1 ancestor could have arrived in Britain at different times in different ways:
        1)  Arriving from Gaul with the Romans 2,000 years ago;
        2)  Arriving as part of the Anglo-Saxon invasion about 440 AD;
        3)  Arriving with the Viking raiders between 800-1,000 AD;
        4)  Arriving with the Norman invasion in 1066 AD, and
        5)  Arriving as part of the Huguenot migration during the late 1500’s and 1600’s.

Modern History in Europe

We start finding a recorded history of Cud(d)(e) around 1500 + AD.  England started recording Birth, Marriage, and Death (BMD) records in 1538.  Locating references to the Cud(d)(e) Family surname in public and private records becomes feasible starting about this time.  For example: 
        1)  Using the English BMD records, family researchers have found significant clusters of Cud(d)(e) records in Southwest England, specifically, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Devon between 1550-1750. 
        2)  In the 1841 UK Census, the Cud(d)(e) concentration has shifted slightly southward toward Somerset and Devon. 
        3)  Modern surname analysis in 2016 shows that 70%+ of Cud(d)(e) records are still located in Southwest England in a corridor along the M5 from Exeter to Bristol and on to Birmingham.
        4)  We also see a significant number of Cud(d)(e)s in southern Wales.
        5)  From these written records, we can suggest a vague surname evolution from Cudde to Cud & Cudd to Cudd & Cude.

TODAY, four hundred years later, a significant number of modern English (Cud(d)(e)s can be found within a 50-mile radius circle that encompasses Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Devon.

Recent DNA analysis

Finally, The Cude Family Project sponsored an independent genetic study of the Cudes that included other genetically related families (but not the same surname).  The study suggests an English homeland centered north of Exeter, Devon, England.  This study method combines the science of genetics with big data analytics to estimate where our ancestor (the Cude “Adam”) first adopted the surname Cud(d)(e) or some iteration of it.   

The analysis suggests that this occurred approximately 1,000 years ago +/-.  The study further reveals that the Cud(d)(e), Britton, Bronson, and Jackson surnames from this area may share a common ancestor.  A further analysis of genetically related individuals (again regardless of surname) reveals a cluster of related individuals in Scandinavia, especially southern Sweden.

Thus, by combining yDNA results with other public and private demographic information, the study arrived at substantially the same conclusion provided by traditional genealogy.  Amazingly, the theoretical Cud(d)(e) English genetic homeland falls within the same 50-mile radius suggested by the "dusty documents".  In addition, the cluster of genetically distant relatives in southern Sweden would be consistent with the Cude Haplogroup I1 M253 concentration in Scandinavia and a Viking connection. 

Modern History in America

At this time, Cude Family researchers have NOT confirmed our Original Immigrant to America.  Nevertheless, we have a number of possibilities. 
        1)  The first documented Cude in America is Allin de Cude, living in New Kent, Virginia in 1639.  He may have arrived in Jamestown, VA, but his port of departure is unknown.
        2)  We also have a John Cudd sailing from Bristol (Gloucestershire) between 1654 and 1663 arriving Nevis Island in the West Indies.  This was not an unusual first stop for early colonists because sailing ships were driven by the trade winds.  From              the West Indies, they would make their way to mainland North America.  John was an indentured servant.
        3)  We also find a Mary Cudd and a John Cudd arriving in Virginia in the late 1600s and early 1700s.  
        4)  Finally, we have a John Cudd in the Quaker records in Henrico County, Charles City, VA in 1740.  Several Cud/Cudd/Cude families in Gloucestershire were Quaker.

It is likely that some of these early Cudd/Cudes arrived as indentured servants to some of the large Virginia plantation owners.  All these Cudd/Cudes disappear from the historical record. 
However, John and Mary were the most common forenames among the Cud(d)(e) family in Gloucestershire during this time.  This combined with a documented Cudd departure from Bristol and Quaker connections on both sides of the Atlantic suggests a strong Gloucestershire connection.

The American Cude Patriarch

The confirmed patriarch of the American Cude family is Timothy Cude.  Timothy can be found in Virginia land documents as early as 1749.  His father is believed to be a John Cude who died young about 1742+/- and his mother was Ann (Nancy) King.  There is good evidence supporting this parentage but no firm proof.  Timothy Cude was probably born around 1730-40.  In early American records, the name is routinely spelled Cud, Cude, Cood, and Coode.   
Timothy Cude settled in what would become Randolph County, North Carolina by the late 1750’s.  He married and had four sons.  All known American Cude surname lines begin with Timothy and these four sons, William, John, James, and Timothy.

Cude yDNA Project Goals

The Cud(d)(e) Family surname is rare and our Family is small.  By identifying other Family members, we can tap into additional oral and written family history.  These individual family stories combined with other histories frequently provide significant clues about the family’s past.  All Family members have unique stories of life, death, and survival that adds color to a rich family tapestry.

By seeking expanded yDNA testing among living male Cudes, Cudds, and related families, we can:

        1) establish the Cud(d)(e) Family connection with Southwest England,

        2) help identify different clans within the Cud(d)(e) Family,

        3) confirm or refute that the Cud(d)(e) Family shares a common ancestor with related families such as Britton, Bronson, and Jackson,

        4) help focus the research efforts of American genealogists as they search for the Original Immigrant to America, and 

        5) identify other family members on both sides of the Atlantic.

Again, I encourage you to join our Cude yDNA Project.  Click on "Join Request" at the top of this page in the menu bar.  You will automatically join our project when you order your yDNA test kit.