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About us

The principal goal of the Dewees(e) Surname Project, initiated on June 7, 2010, is to use Y chromosome variations in Dewees(e) males to test the hypothesis that virtually all Dewees(e) families in America are descended from a single ancestral male, most likely Garrett Hendricks deWees.

secondary goal is to determine if Dewees(e) families sort out into specific sub groups. Once a new Y-chromosome mutation occurs in a Dewees(e) male, his Dewees(e) male descendants should carry this rare and unique mutation and would therefore form a distinctive sub group of the Dewees(e) family. Through participation in this project by male Deweeses having extensive records of their families back to Garrett Hendricks deWees, we will be able to associate variations in Y chromosomes with the different Dewees(e) lineages in America.

final goal: the Y chromosome test by Family Tree DNA provides information to verify a possible deep ancestral point of origin and migration history across the globe for the Dewees(e) paternal line.

Recommendations for Participants: For the Dewees(e) Surname Project we are recommending participants use the Y-DNA37 test kit from It includes a balanced panel of 37 genetic markers on the Y chromosome and is the recommended test to trace the paternal ancestry of males for genealogical purposes.

Word of Warning

Participants may be disappointed with the results of their Y-DNA tests.  For one of several reasons, the Y-DNA pattern of a Dewees(e) male may not match patterns that are typical of other Dewees(e) participants.  At this juncture in our study, all participants who have solid paper records tracing their ancestry back to our common male ancestor, Garrett Hendricks deWees, have similar Y-DNA patterns.  The few differences that do occur among current participants are due to predictably rare mutations that have occurred in our separate Dewees(e) lineages.   

 One possible reason why a new participant’s Y-DNA pattern may not match the typical Dewees(e) pattern is that the Dewees(e) in question may represent a family lineage dating back to a Dewees(e) ancestor other than Garrett Hendricks deWees and who was not closely related to him.  However, Dewees(e) family historians in the U. S. have not reported such Dewees(e) family lineages.

Another possibility for a mismatch is the occurrence of a “non-paternal event” (NPE) of some form in the past.  A very common example of this is the adoption of a “non-Dewees(e)” male child who  is then given the Dewees(e) surname.  The child carries the Dewees(e) surname but not the typical Dewees(e) Y chromosome.  Pregnancy outside of marriage also could result in this same outcome.  Another reason for a NPE occurs in cases where male children are given the maiden name of their mother, Dewees(e) in this case, rather than the surname of the biological father..   In all of these cases, the Dewees(e) participant is legally still a Dewees(e) and in a genealogical sense a member of the Dewees(e) family, but they lack the typical Dewees(e) DNA pattern on their Y chromosome.