The Mugford Surname DNA Project
  • 24 members

About us

Results So Far ...

So far we have tested 23 Mugford, Mudford and Mogford men for the standard 67 STR markers (Short Tandem Repeat Y-DNA markers). 

It is already evident that Mugford men belong to a variety of different genetic Y-haplogroups, so we conclude that the single-founder hypothesis is false for Mugfords.   This was expected, given the geographic (locative) origins of the surname.

So far, we have found our members are spread among 9 different Y-haplogroups, representing 9 genetically-distinct family lines, as shown in a summary table below.   Further testing might show that some of these different groups are in fact related, although perhaps distantly. 

It is probable that all or most Mugford men with roots in the Conception Bay and nearby areas of Newfoundland might share a common Mugford ancestor, and for them the single-founder hypothesis could be true.   We have tested only 6 of them and need to test more.   These 6 participants all match fairly closely on 67 STR markers.   As well, an additional participant, with roots in Devon, England, is a reasonable match for the 6 from Newfoundland, confirming that at least some of the Conception Bay Mugfords have roots in Devon, England.   Five of the these six men have been tested for SNP L448 and found to be positive; ISOGG has proposed that their haplogroup be called R1a1a1b1a3a (R1a-L448).  Four have also now tested positive for CTS4179.  A Big-Y test on one of the men has found him positive for new SNP YP386 and it is expected that the others will be positive for it as well. 

These 12 men all belong to an ancient Scandinavian group characterized by the genetic values 19 and 21 at markers YCAII-a and -b, instead of values 19 and 23 which are characteristic of R1a1 types from Eastern Europe.   They also have some of the characteristics of the Somerled Scots, descendants of the 12th century Scottish warrior Somerled.   Men of R1a genetic origin may have come to Britain during the many invasions and settlements by "Vikings" and other Scandinavians during the period 800-1000 AD.   There are other possibilities as well, some perhaps even pre-Roman.   Some researchers believe that the R1a lineage originated in Eurasia, north of the Caspian and Black Seas, and is associated with people of the Kurgan Culture who domesticated the horse about 3000 B.C.

Nine other participants belong to various sub-branches of haplogroup R1b and are not related to the other gentlemen in haplogroup R1a1.  Only two of the eight are known to be related.  These eight have roots in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, England and in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  Another participant belongs to haplogroup R1a1 but is not related to others in R1a1, and another belongs to haplogroup I2a.  Testing is underway to see exactly which sub-branches these men are on and what their terminal SNPs are.  

Haplogroup R1b is the most common Y-haplogroup in Western Europe with especially high incidence in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), Western France and Ireland.  

Another participant belongs to haplogroup I2, a relatively small haplogroup found mainly in western Europe.

Another participant belongs to haplogroup O, probably O1 (testing is not complete), a haplogroup found mainly in southeast Asia and thought to have originated there, thousands of years ago.

Mugford and Mudford Family Lines

The table below describes the 9 genetically-distinct (Y-DNA) Mugford and Mudford family groups discovered so far among members of the Mugford Surname DNA Project :

MembersGenealogical OriginsWhere Found TodayY-Haplogroup,
Terminal SNP
Tentative Ancient Ethnic Origin
"A" 11 England (Devon) Australia (Queensland), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Ontario), USA (Vermont) R1a-M417
M417+ Z282+ Z284+ L448+ CTS4179+ YP386+
Scandinavian, associated with Norse Viking
"B" 1 England (Devon) England (Northumberland) R1b-P312
P312+ DF19+ L644+
"C" 1 Canada (Labrador) Canada (Labrador) R1b-P312
P312+ DF27+ Z2571+ CTS11567+
"D" 2 England (Cornwall) Canada (Alberta), USA (Florida) R1b-U106
U106+ S12025+ S16361+
West Germanic (Frisian, Anglo-Saxon, and Lombard)
"E" 1 Canada (Newfoundland) Canada (Newfoundland) R1b-P312
P312+ L21+ L513+ S6365+ BY17+
1 England (Somerset) New Zealand R1a-M417
M417+ L664+
Northwest European
"G" 2 England (Devon) England, USA (Florida) R1b-P312
P312+ DF27+ Z2571+ FGC11397+
so-called "Rox2" cluster
"H" 1 England (Cornwall) USA (South Carolina) R1b-P312
P312+ L624+
"I" 1 Canada (Newfoundland) USA (Illinois) I2a-P37.2
P37.2+ CTS595+ S21825+ L1286+ L233+
Western Europe
"J" 1 England (Devon) England O1a-M175
F265+ F81+
Southeast Asia

Notes :

  1. Genetically-distinct family lines are designated arbitrarily by letters.
  2. The genetic haplogroups have been determined by specific SNP tests done on project members by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and are labeled as currently defined in the FTDNA database.  Based on these tests, some haplogroup designations have been extended according to the co-ordinated haplotree maintained by ISOGG*.  In many cases further extensions of the tree have been made by reference to the experimental haplotrees maintained by relevant haplogroup projects at FTDNA and sometimes also by reference to the experimental tree maintained by the genomic analysis service of  The labels shown here are reviewed and revised periodically in accordance with advances in knowledge of the haplotree. 
  3. The terminal SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) is the last known SNP on that branch of the phylogenetic tree (haplotree) from which the men originated.  The haplotree is being continually revised as research results accumulate and are verified.  The terminal SNPs of project members are being actively researched.
  4. The tentative ancient ethnic origins are according to various sources, usually based on older data, and will be revised as research in anthropology and population genetics progresses.

* ISOGG = International Society of Genetic Genealogy, 

Mugfords and Mudfords in the Haplotree

So Mugfords and Mudfords are from a variety of different genetic haplogroups.  Let's see how these different haplogroups appear in the Y-haplotree.  Below is a diagram of the Mugford and Mudford family lines discovered so far and their locations in the "tree" of Y-chromosome Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) that define their respective haplogroups.  The "tree" is shown in inverted format with the ends of the branches at the bottom, making it easier to add more SNPs as they are discovered. 

Diagram of haplotree for Mugford family lines

The Challenge

You can see that there is still much work to be done in finding the terminal SNPs for all family lines.  We need to test more Mugfords and Mudfords everywhere to find common ancestors between family lines in England, North America and elsewhere, and to see what proportion of Mugford and Mudford men belong to each haplogroup.  If you are a male Mugford or Mudford (or variant surname), I invite you to join our project to see which family line you might be connected to and to possibly extend your own genealogy when a close match is found. 

Interested?  Please contact the Administrator, Martin Potter, at the address near the top of this page.