Maness Surname DNA Project - For ANYONE with Maness ancestry!
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About us

As of March 2019, we have identified twelve different ancestral Maness family "clans," showing that there are multiple genetic origins for the Maness surname and its variants. 

At this point, the results sort into one main family group with early roots in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and eleven other lines, each with one or two representatives. 

By combining the circa 1779 indication that William Maness I was likely of Highland Scotts origin or heritage (see the write-up for 106488) with part of the 1920 tradition from the line of genetic relative Seth Manis that Seth's grandfather was the first of the family to come to what is now the United States as an eleven-year-old indentured servant from Wales (see the write-up for 63405), it seems possible that William Maness I could be the common immigrant ancestor of all of the Group 01 participants tested so far and that the origins of this family group could lie somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland.  (Since Seth was born in 1762, his grandfather would probably have been of the generation of William I.)  If this theory is correct, then all participants of U. S. heritage whose Y-DNA test results place them into Group 01 probably descend from one of the sons of William Maness I, whoever those sons were.  This large group of North American participants has yet to achieve STR matches with European participants that might help to pinpoint its European place of origin; however, further DNA testing for SNPs places Group 1 in the haplogroup R-A7066.  (See the DF27 project results table at  The relevant SNPs for which the Group 1 members are positive are R-P312/S116 > Z40481 > ZZ11 > DF27/S250 > Z195/S355 > Z272 > S450 > ZZ40 > S21184 > FGC13557 > A7066.  So far, SNP matches seem to tend to trace back to European continental origins, including lineages from the Netherlands, France, and Germany.  All three of these countries have been named in different Maness records as the place of origin for the family, so it might be that Scotland is not the place of origin, after all.  Hopefully time and the progressing DNA science will eventually tell us more...

Several presumed mutations (changes to the DNA) have surfaced in various branches of the largest group, but we do not yet have enough data to pinpoint the exact ancestors in which most of those mutations originated.  However, based on results for two descendants of William "Billy" Maness II of Moore County, North Carolina, it seems possible that he passed to his descendants a unique value for genetic marker CDYb--a value of 40 rather than the baseline value of 41.

Ideally, we hope to eventually have participants from as many unlinked Maness ancestors as possible, preferably from two or three different lines of descent from the most distant Maness ancestors when available, which would allow us to begin establishing baseline DNA signatures for those ancestors.  Is your Maness line represented, yet?

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