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About us

The Curtis DNA Project had 116 members who completed Y-DNA tests as of February 1, 2009. Ninety-five of those participants had at least one statistically significant match. The results are summarized in the chart under Y-DNA Results. The participants were grouped by the county and state with which the most distant ancestor is most frequently associated. There are seven genetically distinct Curtis families of New England origin and six from Virginia. The descendants of the Curtis families who settled in Randolph County, NC, Burlington County, NJ and Otsego County, NY all share the same common ancestor, probably John Curtis of the village of Ford, County of Derbyshire, England, who was born about 1570 and died in 1629. There also are five descendants, representing two genetically distinct families, for whom the family history information provided is inadequate to make a characterization.

Out of the 95 descendants who have matches, it is safe to say that all but one have immigrant ancestors who arrived in America before the Revolutionary War. Thus, these men are not representative of today’s Curtis population, which includes many post-colonial period immigrants. They probably are representative of the research interests of Curtis genealogists in general. This lack of participation by more recent immigrant families is unfortunate for us researchers. Generally speaking, the more recent a family immigrated, the more likely there are records of their origin. Matching one of their descendants might help pinpoint our earlier immigrant families in the United Kingdom.

To the extent that the immigrant ancestors or their points of departure have been identified, they all came from England. There have been very few tests by men who claim Irish descent, for example, and they have not het found a match. In some cases, the haplogroup can be helpful in locating a general area of origin. Haplogroups represent larger groups of people who share distinctive genetic characteristics. The majority of the Curtis descendants in the project share haplogroup R1b, more specifically R1b1b2. (Wikipedia is a good place to read about haplogroups.) R1b is the most frequently occurring haplogroup in Western Europe and, due to European immigration, in North America.