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Individuals with a Hinshaw/Henshaw/Hanshaw surname (or with a similar surname) are welcome to join our Hinshaw Surname Project. And sisters, cousins, nieces, mothers, grandmothers, et. al., (who have male relatives with such surnames) are certainly welcome to encourage their male relatives to join.


The process is quite straightforward. After clicking this link: http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Hinshaw, in the MALE LINE TESTING section of the resulting page, click the ORDER NOW button for the test you'd like to order (we recommend the Y-DNA67 test for new members).  And then just follow the instructions.

Your DNA test kit will be mailed to you the next day. Once your DNA testing is complete, you will receive an email that allows you to access your personal and confidential FTDNA web page.


Then you will be all set to enjoy all the benefits of being a member of the Hinshaw Surname Project! You can then visit your personal FTDNA web page, and see all the people with whom you have matches.  It's really fascinating to see that first view of those people that you match!


1.  Find Out Who You Match

You'll, of course, be most interested in who you match in the FTDNA database and who you match most closely.  Scientific data show that if two people match exactly at the 67-marker level, there's a 50% probability that their most recent common ancestor (MCRA) was no longer than 2 generations ago and a 90% probability that the MCRA was no longer than 5 generations ago.

2. View Recent Ancestral Origins

These are the ancestors' countries of the people that you match. KNowing where there ancestors came from will give you further information about from where YOUR ancestors may have lived.

3. View your Haplogroup

Your Haplogroup is your branch on the human family tree and where that Haplogroup originated. That will tell you where on the earth, as much as 50,000 years ago, your ancestors were located and you will be able to view a chart showing how they migrated in Africa, Europe and Asia.

For example, by viewing that Haplogroup location and seeing my Recent Ancestral Origins (and combining that information with other genealogy research I and others have done), I think that my Hinshaw ancestors may have taken this migratory path: Perhaps 30,000 years ago, they lived in the area just north of the Black and Caspian Seas; migrated across Europe and eventually to Scandinavia (they were likely Vikings based on my DNA matches with several people (including one in Iceland) who can trace their ancestries to the Vikings); boated to the Shetland Islands; sailed to Scotland; migrated to southern Scotland/northern England; being Quakers by that time, they were possibly deported by the King of England to Ireland (or just chose to go there for religious reasons), and then migrated to eastern Pennsylvania in 1741 (again maybe for religious freedom reasons).

4. View your actual scientific Allele values and DYS #'s for your Y-DNA test results.

You are free to use those values to compare to others in other databases, or load them into an FTDNA-sponsored public database for purposes of matching other people (but only if you choose to do so).

5. Upload a GEDCOM pedigree chart

You can use this as a means to connect with other researchers working on the same surnames.

6. Learn about the Genographic Project

Learn what it is and how you can join it.

6. Change your setup preferences

This includes such things as choosing what levels of Y-DNA matches you wish to be displayed, and indicating what your Recent Ancestral Origins were.

From your personal FTDNA web page, you can also click the "Hinshaw" link anytime to see the Hinshaw Surname Project page.


If you have any questions about this process and would like to email the Hinshaw Group administrator, please do so at: 


Numerous American Hinshaws/Henshaws/Hanshaws have been researching their genealogy for decades now. DNA matching has already helped some of us to identify additional ancestors (or using our DNA matches, confirm less than totally conclusive documentary evidence regarding who our common ancestor is).

Some of our searches have now reached the end of our ancestors in the colonies/States. The discovery of other living people (particularly of those living in Europe) who share our common Hinshaw/Henshaw/Hanshaw DNA helps us trace back to likely common European ancestors and helps us find where those ancestors originated in Europe.

Generally speaking, the Hinshaws migrated to the colonies/States from Ireland and previously the Henshaws had migrated to Ireland from England/Scotland. "Henshaw" appears to be an Anglo name concentrated in the Borders region of southern Scotland and northern England, and primarily on the Scottish side of the border. One source gives the origin of the name "Henshaw" as a geographical surname arising from the village of Henshaw on the River Tyne in Northumberland, which would be consistent with their concentration in the Borders. The etymology given states that "Henshaw" (and its wide spelling variants) arises from "Old English "hethin-shaghe" as "the wood by the heath".

So the Irish Hinshaws likey got to Ireland by emigrating from those Border areas in the 1600's, where they had been known by the surname of "Henshaw." They settled in Ulster (today known as Northern Ireland). "Hinshaw"/"Henshaw" is not a native Irish Gaelic name and the Hinshaws were not Roman Catholic, making it less likely that they originated in Ireland, and more likely that they came to Ulster as immigrants, possibly as part of the Plantations.

Also in the 1600's, some Henshaws left England for New England. Some other Henshaws and Hanchers left England for Virginia and West Virginia. Then in the 1700's, some of the Irish Hinshaws immigrated to eastern Pennsylvania. Other Hinshaws left Ireland and settled in North Carolina. A decade later, some of the Pennsylvania Hinshaws left there to settle in North Carolina, presumably to join relatives who had already settled there from Ireland.

From North Carolina, the Hinshaws spread during the 1800's to Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and even Indiana. Their surname took on various forms in these new locations, including "Henshaw" and "Hanshaw."


The Hinshaw Family Association is a great resource for Hinshaw (and related surnames) genealogy researchers.  It provides a web site where you can search for Hinshaw ancestors and relatives.  And it provides more detail on the origin of the Hinshaws in North America.

Click this link to visit the Hinshaw Family Association web site: