The Gotham / Goatham DNA Study
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About us

The main goals of the Goatham / Gotham One-Name Study Y-DNA project:

  1. To discover if any two or all three of the 3 main Goatham / Gotham groups in England share a common paternal ancestor.

  2. To discover where John-the-emigrant (to the USA, in the mid C18th) fits in.

    The One-Name Study (of which this DNA project is part) has so far concentrated on English Go(a)thams. There have been a number who have emigrated in the C19th and C20th to various countries including the USA; the links are mostly established.
    However, many, perhaps most, Gothams in the US descend from 'John-the-emigrant' - one John Gotham who is said to have married Dorothy Rhymes in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1753; his identity is uncertain.  The DNA of his male-line descendants will probably show a link to Kent or Devon Go(a)thams (or both, if they turn out to have a common ancestor).
Required to achieve these goals:
  • for goal 1 - a Gotham with Midlands ancestry (descended from this John, whose ancestry had been in the Midlands since at least 1600) and a Gotham with Devonshire ancestry
  • for goal 2 - a Gotham descended from John-the-emigrant and a Gotham with Devonshire ancestry

(a Kentish 'Goatham' has already been tested).

Additionally the study can potentially:

  • Discover those with a Goatham / Gotham paternal line ancestor who don't have the surname;

  • Discover whether a family whose name was variously recorded as Cottam or similar OR Gottam / Gotham shares a common paternal line ancestor with Gothams living now;

  • Discover information which may solve research problems, and/or resolve brick walls;

  • Show the origin of John-of-Marylebone.
    There are some English 'stray' Go(a)thams, mostly in London, who it has not been possible to link to a tree with any degree of certainty. Most appear to have left no male-line Go(a)tham descendants, but John of Marylebone (married 1780) had a grandson William who emigrated to the US and had two sons. The fate of this family is currently unknown; if there are male-line descendants it should be possible to get an idea of where John of Marylebone fits in the wider Goatham / Gotham picture.

  • Show whether the two Devon 'sub-groups' share a common paternal line ancestor;

  • Assuming they do, suggest approximately how long ago;

  • Confirm suspected events, e.g. concerning illegitimacy and adoption;

  • Amongst others it may confirm if descendants of a supposed 'Samuel' have DNA common to other Gothams.
    The last male-line descendant of whom I am aware, though, died in 1981. But what became of his grandson Albert James, born 1902? Not found in England after the 1911 census, it looks like he might have emigrated - are there descendants? 

  • Find previously unknown or uncertain variants;

  • Find mistaken connections in family trees;

  • Find previously unknown or uncertain variants;

  • Validate family history research;

  • Preserve DNA results for future research, to protect against any male line becoming extinct;

  • Discover clues regarding the origin of the surname (that for the Devon group seems clear; if the other groups do not share a paternal line ancestor with this group it is possible that as more DNA tests are done regional variations in DNA commonly found can suggest likely origins)

What it won't be able to do:

  • The 'tree' for Devon Gothams on the One-Name Study webpages contains a number of unlinked branches. Most of these are not believed to have any male-line descendants living so it is unlikely this DNA project will enable any of them to be linked. (Very unlikely but not impossible, since it is just possible a male-line descendant with a different surname or whose ancestor had emigrated will be found)

  • In particular, in the ancestry of the Devonshire Gothams who moved to the Potteries (William) and Liverpool (his brother Thomas) there are some tentative links in the line from them back to Andrew of Abbotskerswell (married 1615/16), particularly with the suggestion that Thomas was Andrew's son; it is very unlikely this study will enable them to be confirmed or otherwise.

  • Y-DNA tests will not help confirm if / how two families are linked where one line contains the name Gotham passed through the female line (though other DNA tests may be able to help with this).