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Gay

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About us

The test results received so far on the Gay Family DNA Study appear to document at least three different branches of the Gay family in America and one in the UK. For classification purposes, these groups have been numbered and unique DNA characteristic are highlighted, as follows:

LINEAGE GROUP #1: Members of this group share DNA withdescendants of a Henry Gay of Isle of Wight County, in the Tidewater region ofVirginia. Henry died with a will in 1737. His father is thought to be a HenryGay who died ca 1686 in Isle of Wight VA. It is believed this family came toVirginia from England in the early 1600s. A record from Nov 1620 states 'VACompany officials noted that JAMES GAY one of late Capt CHRISTOPHER LAWNE'sapprentices had been assigned to Capt Ralph Hamor. Lawne & Hamor'splantations were in Warrensqueak (now Isle of Wight County VA). The Company decided to informWILLIAM GAY, JAMES' father that he could return to England if histransportation costs were paid. He may never have returned for on Feb 16, 1624he was living at West and Shirly Hundred.' The Tidewater Gay lineage is one ofthe earliest Gay lines in America.

Unique DNAcharacteristics: 393 marker = 12; 447 marker = 24; 464d marker = 18.

LINEAGE GROUP #2:At least one of this group's memberstraces its origins back to John Gay of Dedham, Mass., who also arrived in the1600s. These first two groups, based on genealogical records, appear to be theearliest in America . It is believed that this family came to Massachusettsfrom England.

Unique DNA characteristics: 393 marker = 14; 458 marker =17; 459a marker = 8.

LINEAGE GROUP #3:This group, unlike Group #1 and Group#2who suspect their roots go back to England, appears to trace its roots back toIreland or Scotland. This group also has more unique DNA characteristics incomparison to Groups #1 and 2. In fact, one of its markers appears only rarelyin the haplotype and typically only in people who trace their ancestry tonorthern Ireland or Scotland. This marker is the YCA IIb. In people of Group#3, this marker is 19, which is considered rare by geneticists. Most R1b's havea 23 in this marker, including all the members of Group #1 and Group #2. Sothis is a very distinguishing characteristic for Group #3. The members of thisgroup are also genetically matching very closely to people with differentsurnames like McCain, Henry, Duncan, and MacLea - all of whom traced their deepancestry (pre-1400AD) to Ireland or Scotland. It's suspected that thesefamilies may have at one time, before surnames were established, been part of asingle Irish or Scottish clan. Check out the Ulster DNA Project at:http://www.familytreedna.com/(kmeyta55v25ndlrhry0fuw45)/public/ulster/index.aspx?fixed_columns=on

Unique DNA characteristics: 393 marker = 13; 459b marker = 9; 437 marker =15; 448 marker =19; YCA IIb marker = 19.

LINEAGE GROUP #4: This UK line traces it’s earliest knownancestor back to Henry Gay and Margaret of Siston, South Gloucestershire. Thislineage had ancestors who were living in Siston or Abson area of SouthGloucestershire in the 1600s - 1700s according to local records. This group is simlar to #3 but with several consistent variations.

Unique DNA characteristics: 393 marker = 13; 385b marker = 13; 439 marker= 11; 576 marker = 17.

NOTE: We are also interested in additional members of the current branches to test their DNA so we can understand these branches better. So we encourage those who have not been tested, to please do so. If you have any question about who is appropriate to get tested, please contact Beth Gay, the Project Coordinator, at bethg1@protonmailcom
In addition to the branches mentioned above, the Gay Family DNA Study is actively searching for the following:

- Descendants of John Gay of Dedham, Massachusetts.

- Descendants of William Gay and Elizabeth Bolling. Elizabeth Bolling was claimed to be a direct descendant of Pocahontas and this family lived in the Henrico/Chesterfield Co. area of Virginia

REMINDER: If you have already tested and have your results, be sure to share your results as described in the 'Background' tab.
Feel free to discuss this project on the project Activity Feed
Participating in a Surname DNA Project provides:

- A report on the participant's genetic DNA, which is very close (and sometimes identical) to the earliest known ancestor
- A classification of the participant's "deep" ancestry, which gives insight into the prehistoric origins of your surname ancestors
- A sense of camaraderie with all who participate in the Gay Family DNA Project, which is particularly strong for those who share a genetic ancestry
- Stimulation to family research and sharing of information
- A wider sense of identity and relationship, as we begin to realize how much we are a world family.
- A chance to compare your genetic ancestry with those of the Gay surname and the variant spellings
- Locates the genetic matches that do not share your common surname