Origins of the Mugford Name
The surname Mugford and at least some of its variants are thought by some to be derived from the name of a place in Somerset, England, which no longer exists, but to my knowledge this idea has never been tested in the peer-reviewed academic literature. There seems little doubt, however, that the name originated from the name of a place; the question is Which Place? According to data from the 1881 census of England and Wales, Mugford families were known to have lived mostly in the southwest part of England, especially Devon and Cornwall, while the Mudford families, in comparison, were more generally spread across southern and central England. less likely due to an origin at or near some specific place; see maps below (thanks to Archer Software for these graphical presentations).
This geographic concentration of the surname Mugford naturally begs the question of how many different Mugford family founders there might have been. Did it all start with just one man or were there several unrelated Mugfords of different ancient ethnic origins who all lived in or near one place and, therefore, acquired the same surname? At least one male Mugford is thought to have migrated from Devon to Newfoundland in North America as early as the late 1600s. Using genetic Y-DNA testing it should be possible to connect related Mugford family lines now scattered around the world, even though a genealogical connection might be difficult or impossible to prove due to missing, lost or inaccessible records. These ideas led to the establishment of the Mugford Surname DNA Project in July, 2008.
By Participating in This Project
By participating in this project, each participant will :
- Learn which genetically-distinct founding line of Mugfords he is descended from;
- Learn his genetic "Y-haplogroup" or the ancient ethnic and geographic origin of his paternal (Mugford) line;
- Learn his key genealogical Y-chromosome markers which he can use for his own family history research, such as finding "lost cousins" through genetic matching; and
- Contribute to the study of migration and settlement patterns of ancient peoples.
Who May Join?
This project is open to any male whose paternal line (his father's father's ... father) is Mugford or a variant spelling. Please encourage a male in your Mugford family to participate in this project. If you would like to sponsor a male Mugford, please contact me at the address near the top of this page. To participate fully in this genealogical project, each member is asked to share his direct male line ancestry back to his earliest known male Mugford ancestor.
If You Have Devon Roots
Members of the Mugford project who have a documented genealogical trail back to Devon, England, are encouraged to also join the Devon DNA Project in order to get the most benefit from their test results.
Taking a Test
Taking a Y-DNA test for this project simply involves scraping the inside of the cheek to collect old skin cells with DNA material in them. It is NOT a medical procedure and there is nothing scary about the test or the results. FTDNA's test kit is described here and the instructions are here.
Taking a Y-chromosome DNA test for genealogical purposes will not provide any health-related or medical information, nor is it related to forensic testing, nor can anyone can steal your genetic identity by learning the DNA results found in this project. While there are no special privacy concerns involved in genetic testing for genealogical purposes using the commonly-tested DNA markers, Family Tree DNA and the Mugford Surname DNA Project have a strict policy for ensuring the privacy and anonymity of all project participants. Some people prefer this. Please see the FTDNA Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.
If You Have Questions
If you have any questions about this project, please contact the volunteer Group Administrator (Martin Potter) whose e-mail address appears near the top of this page. Also, a large amount of factual, non-commercial information about genetic testing for genealogy is available at the website of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG).
For information about DNA research on surnames with roots in Devon, England, read the article by Debbie Kennett, "DNA Testing and the Devon DNA Project" published in the Devon Family Historian, journal of the Devon Family History Society, No. 135, August 2010, pp 15-18, or visit the Devon DNA Project website. An article by David Pike, "New Developments Regarding Genealogical DNA Testing" published in the Newfoundland Ancestor, Journal of the Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's, Newfoundland, Volume 26, Number 2 (2010), pp 63-65, is also both useful and interesting. The Mugford DNA Project was described in the article "A Little Newfoundland DNA" by Martin Potter, published in The Newfoundland Ancestor, Journal of the Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, Vol 24, No 3 (2008), pp 107-108.
The administrator of this project is a member of the Devon Family History Society.
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