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Fox Y-DNA Surname Project

  • 269 members

About us

Updated 7/28/2011

Our first goal was to get standard Y-DNA test data on as many men surnamed Fox as possible to see if any common thread could be found.  We now know that the Fox name has a diverse ancestry and new lines are continually being identified. Recently, however, we have been quite successful in finding matches and establishing family connections, indicating that the project has reached a certain state of maturity. While we concentrate on extending known family lines, we welcome anyone to the project who is looking for clues to their Fox ancestry and will provide adequate family documentation.

We have admitted a few with other surnames that are known cases of adoption, have possible Fox connections or are close matches to Foxes in the project.  It should be cautioned, however, that matching results with different surnames are subject to entirely different analytical rules and a close match may be pure coincidence.  There certainly is a common ancestor involved but he may have lived before the adoption of surnames.

The most efficient way to use Y-DNA testing is to start with a paper trail and a premise that can either be proven or denied.  New members are advised to select the 37 or 67 marker Y-DNA tests. For certain situations an upgrade to 67 or 111 markers may be recommended.  37 markers are required to establish a connection within a genealogical time-frame and the additional 74 markers give additional information on stable markers that may help in the analysis of deep ancestry and may help distinguish between lines of the same family group.  It must be remembered that the interpretation of results is a matter of statistical probabilities and, the more markers that match, the higher the probability of a recent common ancestor.  More markers help improve confidence limits for the prediction of time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) and FTDNA’s markers 26 through 37, in particular, contain a number of markers that mutate frequently and provide a good test of a relationship. 

The group coordinator hopes to get further volunteers from descendants of Francis Fox of Wiltshire and Cornwall, England, and of Justinian Fox of Philadelphia, PA, to round out his own family study. The whole story has been told in a book by the project administrator entitled Growing with America - The Fox Family of Philadelphia, available at Xlibris.com, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble bookstores.  The book is searchable at Amazon.com.


Since tradition has Francis Fox being related to Sir Stephen Fox, Lord Holland, and to the Earls of Ilchester, any possible male descendants of these gentlemen [such as the Fox-Strangways family] are urged to join the project. Other project members have proposed a connection to Sir Stephen Fox and it would be a real project coup if the true connection could be determined.

One Fox researcher proposes that the Henry Fox/Anne West line traces back to Harold de Vaux and his son Robert de Vaux.  They were Normans who came to Britain in 1066 with William the Conqueror.  His conclusion is based on a presumed de Vaux to Vaux to Fox name change and the fact that a direct ancestor, William Fox (1497-1559,) is found residing at Stewkley Manor, Great Missenden, a property that William Vaux (1390-1460) acquired through his wife, Maud Lucy.  An even earlier tie-in of the de Vaux family to the de Baux family of Aquitaine is given in a Vance family website. Members of the Vaux family in America are being solicited to join either the Fox or Vance projects, unfortunately without success so far.  Any Vaux who is interested would be welcomed to the Fox Project.  We have a Vaux from the same line as above who once expressed an interest in the project but has yet to take action.

We continue to look for more descendants of Francis Fox and Dorothy Kekewich, Henry Fox and Anne West, William Fox of Loudoun County, VA, Thomas Fox of Concord, MA, Jacob Fuchs of Bucks County, PA, Elijah Fox of North Carolina, Richard Fox and Hannah Williamson of Virginia, Andrew Fox of Culpepper VA and Greene Co, TN. and his wife Sarah, Thomas Fox and Mary Tunstall, John Fox and Margaret Lightfoot.   For more ancestral names, see the project groupings under Project Background, which correspond to the groupings in the Y-Results tables, where each individual is identified by his most-distant known male-line ancestor.

While the standard STR haplotype is ideal for genealogical purposes, there is a great deal of interest these days in deep ancestry – finding where those male ancestors lived thousands or many thousands of years ago.  While the Haplogroup and its primary subclades can be pretty well estimated from the STR haplotype, SNP testing is the final determinant.  New SNPs are now being discovered at a rapid rate, defining the Haplogroup tree in ever finer detail and getting closer and closer to a genealogical time frame.  Where members wish to pursue SNP testing the administrators will provide encouragement and assistance and there are many Haplogroup Projects that one can then join and learn more.

A secondary project goal, therefore, is the investigation of deep male line ancestry - particularly in Haplogroups R1b and I, where the majority of our results lie. Project Co-Administrator, Neal Fox, is a recognized expert in establishing clusters of related results, based on duplications at certain very stable markers that indicate a common founder.  He has often been able to predict the subclade of R1b and confirm this with SNP testing.  The Fox Project is in the forefront of such research, which may eventually lead to the identification of paths of migration, when certain clusters migrated to Britain and from whence they originally came.  Bear in mind, however, that this is only the direct male line and everyone has thousands of other ancestors when going back this far in time.

The project administrators also want to put all project members who have identified their most distant known male line ancestor into the Ysearch database.  This has been highly successful in recruiting new members and the database is an invaluable research tool for both genealogical and population studies.  There are now over 100 project members in Ysearch, many of whom have pedigrees listed.  Unfortunately Ysearch has not been accepting gedcoms for the last year or so but members can always add a gedcom file on their personal page at FTDNA. Bear in mind that the identity of people born after 1905 are not revealed so be sure to include birth dates for these people. Unfortunately, there are still gaps where project members have failed to cooperate and the project is now only admitting members who will supply ancestral information.

In general, the project keeps the identity of its members hidden from public view by using the most distant known ancestor and test kit number to identify them in our reports and tables. Within the project, however, the administrators feel free to name names and provide connections with other project members.

Other Types of Testing

Family Finder

While outside the realm of Surname Testing, a number of our Fox Project members have had selective full genome testing done at 23andMe.  23andMe provide a “Relative Finder” to locate close cousins in any branch of the family tree. In February 2010, Family Tree DNA began offering a competitive feature called “Family Finder”.  Fox Project members are encouraged to purchase Family Finder through the project, if at all interested.  Making connections, however, is the responsibility of the individual.  Publishing a family tree (gedcom file) and/or a good list of known family surnames and locations on one’s profile page is the absolute key to success.

Family Tree DNA has upgraded their "Family Finder" application to an Illumina chip, testing more SNPs, and you can find a link to it on your personal webpage. Family Finder is less comprehensive than Relative Finder in that chromosome Y and mtDNA are not included and no medical interpretation is provided. Currently, Relative Finder at 23andMe is less expensive. Both test the 22 autosomal chromosome pairs and chromosome X on some 1,000,000 selected sites where single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been known to occur.  Where identical segments of sufficient length are identified between two participants on one of their chromosome pairs, an estimate of the degree of relatedness is provided and the location and length of the matching segment(s) is provided. It is then up to the two participants to find out who the common ancestor was.

Your project administrators have had some experience with both Relative Finder and Family Finder and have learned some things about both their power and their limitations:
(1)    They require intensive effort by the participants to supply and match ancestral names and locations. In this respect Family Finder could have an advantage in that Family Tree DNA participants are easier to contact and may well be more oriented towards building family relationships than 23andMe participants.  23andMe is trying to improve this situation.
(2)    Both get pretty hit or miss beyond third cousins. Testing of multiple related family members may well be helpful in achieving success.
(3)    Both males and females participate equally and the number of possible surnames increases exponentially as the generations back to the common ancestor go up.
(4)    Conversely, the percentage of your ancestors contributing to your genome goes down rapidly as the generations increase.
(5)    If successful, this effort can really pay off in new information on ancestors you knew very little about.

Our conclusion is that, while this may be of interest to some of our Fox Surname Project members and we will be happy to provide advice, it is definitely not a part of the main activities of the Fox Surname Project. Feel free to contact us, however, for more information or look on your personal webpage at FTDNA.

So far twenty members of the Fox Surname Project have signed up for Family Finder: 25549, 28579, 38430, 48348, 53477, 68367, 69617, 99981, 165969, 167994, 179015, 206501, 216976, 222791, 231195, 233233, N28014, N64076 and N69127, .  25549 and 48348 are both members of the group that are null at DYS 439.  53477 and 206501 are female Fox relatives and 167994 is an adoptee looking for Fox connections.  206501 is the aunt of 68387 – it is always a good idea to test known relatives since the locations of matching segments can provide a clue to the branch of the family where the connection may lie.

Mitochondrial DNA Testing

Similarly, while mtDNA testing (for the all female line) is available through FTDNA and results are reported on this Web Site, the administrators rely on members to interpret their own results and report any success stories to the administrators.  Basically, to achieve a comparable degree of success in matching genealogies to the 67-marker Y-DNA test, a full genome sequence (FGS) mtDNA test is required.  Since FGS results have some medical implications, they are not reported on this Website.

Results from Other Testing Laboratories

We had been encouraging all of our members to submit samples to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) project at smgf.org for testing at no cost as long as a pedigree of at last 4 generations could be provided.  SMGF results took some time to be reported and are not reported directly but can be retrieved with a little detective work.  All existing Fox results (24 in all) have been identified and are being monitored by the administrators of this project.  This has enabled us to add 11 additional markers to the Y-DNA results for some of our project members.

Unfortunately, this option is no longer available since SMGF has disbanded and their results are being absorbed by Ancestry.com. Similarly Relative Genetics, a related test lab, has been taken over by Ancestry.com.  A number of Foxes tested by Relative Genetics and Ancestry.com have reported their results to the project administrators and these, as well as the SMGF results, are reported at the Fox Surname Project Supplemental Website. http://home.comcast.net/~jmfoxiii/HaplogroupSummaries.html

FTDNA offers a discounted rate to those tested by other laboratories who want to join the Fox Project and be retested.  Contact the project administrator for information.

A listing of Fox Project ID numbers and corresponding Ysearch IDs

14179 is YF4BT, 16564 is TU5JA, 24011 is 4K2NR, 24049 is SPDKV, 24106 is WFQJ5, 24157 is 4BPXT, 24972 is K9D3U, 25481 is 66MKR, 25549 is P6CD3, 25525 is JBEDG, 24750 is 2HWQB, 25721 is Z2CGM, 26383 is JC4XA, 26653 is 8SWEU, 27152 is 97YA4, 30540 is UABM6, 31167 is G76DV, 34505 is CJ4KA, 35689 is SZBZ4, 36120 is B36AD, 36279 is 9679E, 36288 is 7V66U, 37154 is U5B3F, 37645 is G2YTZ, 38215 is BHAMJ, 38640 is STUPY, 43080 is 622FG, 45680 is MF7QH, 46155 is JTFYX, 47889 is 7E72J, 48275 is DK924, 48348 is 45UU7, 52944 is DB2RS, 56554 is P5UT4, 56980 is RHKUH, 58674 is NH8X8, 59573 is DFBWC, 59807 is NFM3V, 60400 is UCWD6, 62776 is GC3B2, 68367 is PEU8S, 69167 is M62FS, 70474 is ZKNXP, 71539 is HDCCJ, 76361 is 47DT5, 78547 is 7JFE2, 80721 is 7468T, 85202 is XCHUK, 85639 is Y2DAS, 86766 is UM52E, 88154 is ZB6U9, 89347 is H6WZG, 93795 is GRB9D, 94524 is WH4M3, 96218 is S6J39, 96656 is VTHTS, 97877 is UTWUR, 99137 is 6R9VN, 99981 is P55TS, 107545 is A7MZ7, 108898 is MZNXE, 110488 is RDE3M, 114418 is KMTTN, 112106 is B6FS8, 121692 is FAESG and 123131 is YC6JX. 125352 is VPB4N , 125558 is UQD3Z , 130621 is Y8YVT, 131451 is JUAW6 , 131454 is MF99R, 131649 is  GU929, 133409 is  A6T8F, 133998 is  RGPPX, 134182 is DGSZ9, 139347 is  XR8HV, 140364 is SW3MG, 142427 is  J2GSF, 143344 is WQ94Q, 144536 is KHZCN, 146610 is 7KYTF, 147651 is KB3NG, 153293 is 5B8T4, 153424 is SSNBF, 155575 is EE67S, 156993 is XQJFP, 157124 is UQDJJ, 159919 in N4V4U, 164277 is 5VUBV, 164558 is GRGCD, 164677 is RHC29, 168337 is RR74G, 169178 is  DTYXH, 169337 is      ,169863 is AK73N, 170564 is  QT2TA  ,171548 is  CP2YA, 174369 is YMQZ9, 178620 is 7YFJW, 179015 is AD6S8, 182228 is 25676, 184502 is ZH4TC,184684 is 43Q4A, 185491 is UHXHX, 188202  is  NA, 188815 is V299C, 188846 is GAW3U, 191095 is RE8QA, 200268 is NA, 201278 is 201967 is RPGTK, 204318 is THZCT, 205722 is MW7R3, 206923 is 4AJX7.

N16652 is 9WQKT, N23128 is YJ2UX7, N27705 is GB8QA, N30820 is P2Q9W, N34591 is SDXX8, N34859 is MCM96, N55006 is S8XDH, N57084 is BMGGS, N69127 is YXSTD