Poindexter Poingdestre Pendexter Puddester Puddister
  • 130 members

About us

Welcome to the Poindexter Descendants Association's DNA Project!

All those who have tested at ftDNA and believe they descend from the family (Poingdestre, Poindexter, Pendexter, Puddester, or similar spellings) are invited to join this project.


·       To gain deeper understanding of the origins and migrations of our patronymic lineages. We do this by focusing on the paternal lineage (following the surname) lineage of male members of this project who have a solid male to male lineage along this surname.

·       Secondary goals include assisting members in interpreting their DNA results and the matches to other test subjects in the ftDNA database.


The most ancient spelling of the name is Poindestre and Poingdestre, found in records from Normandy in the 12th century. Variations in spelling have occurred over time,geographical location, and the literacy of the informant or the person writing a record. Much more is known of the Poingdestres that have been on the Isle of Jersey since at least 1300 A.D. Poindexter, Pendexter, Puddister or Puddester are most commonly found in North America.

Y-DNA Test Groupings

Based on the Y-DNA results, project members fall into one of three large groups, where a common ancestor is predicted within a group, but no common ancestor is predicted for all three groups. See our chart.

Groups 1 and 2 are those Y-DNA test subjects using the Poindexter spelling but whose DNA doesn’t match and so are assigned to two unrelated groups, known as 1 and 2.

  1. Group 1, based on genealogical research of records, descend from George Poingdestre/Poindexter. George came from Jersey to the Virginia colony in the 1650's. He lived in Middle Plantation (Williamsburg) and built the plantation manor known as Criss Cross in New Kent County. George was the son of Thomas Poingdestre, the seigneur of the fief es Poingdestres and owner of land in St. Saviour Parish in Jersey.  Group 1 is subdivided into subgroups:
    1. Descendants of George that do not descend from two of his great grandsons, Joseph and Thomas, who were both captains in the American Revolutionary War. 
    2. Descend from Thomas based on research of the paper trail.  Many members of the PDA are in this group.
    3. Descend from Joseph on the paper trail.  All males in this subgroup have a mutation at DYS447 marker (26) whereas all other descendants of George are 27, including those descending from Joseph’s brothers.
  1. Group 2, the Brechin/Poindexter Group’s earliest common ancestor is in flux as DNA is providing interesting results and challenging the paper trail interpretations by our early researchers of the PDA. John C. Poindexter, who was born c.1750s and lived in Hawkins County, Tennessee is one of the ancestors.  A Chapman Poindexter might also be of this group.  What we do know is that this group of Poindexters Y DNA matches closely with men by the last name of Brechin (or various spellings). We suspect that in the early 18th century, a male child of a Brechin father adopted Poindexter as his surname.   
  2. Group 3, DNA indicates several testers by the name of Poingdestre, Pendexter and Puddester do have a common ancestor, likely in Jersey in the 16th century. However, this group do not match those members of Group 1.a, descendants of George. The test subjects named Poingdestre live in England and Jersey.  Pendexter and Puddister are centered in New England and Newfoundland, respectfully.

Additional groups are also shown on the chart, including known and unknown connections to the surname via a female line via the FamilyFinder and/or mtDNA tests.

Reports on Findings

Reports by the PDA Research Committee are published in the PDA Newsletter, which are mailed to PDA members and are available to PDA members online. To join the PDA, visit membership.poindexterfamily.org.  Membership in the PDA is not required to join this DNA project.  Members are kept updated and are invited to annual reunions.

Key Steps to Take

  1. Read about the available tests and which ones you want to purchase.  You must have a test result with Family Tree DNA (ftDNA).
  2. To read more about available tests check the DNA FAQ item in the menu above. National Genographic Project testers can easily join, but first you must transfer your test results to ftDNA. Please order at minimum, the 111 marker Y test if you are ordering the Y-DNA test. Even better, upgrade to the Big Y test.
  3. To join this project click on JOIN in the graphic banner above and login with your ftDNA account ID and password.
  4. Click on MANAGE PERSONAL INFORMATION. This is critical to finding potential relatives and understanding origins. We have to share data for the project to be successful.
    1. If you are managing a kit for someone else, we recommend using the tested person's last name as the Contact Last Name. Use the First Name field for your full name with "c/o" in front of your name.
    2. Go to PRIVACY & SHARING, scroll down to:
      • Matching Preferences, set Y-DNA Matching level to All Levels
      • Group Project Profile, check the Opt In to Sharing box.
    3. Go to PROJECT PREFERENCES to grant Full or Limited Access for the current project administrators. We can't help you if you have not granted at least Limited Access. Advanced access is even better.
  5. Join and participate in the Poindexter Descendants Association, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit for the research of our family history and socializing with your cousins all year and at annual family reunions. Visit our web site at poindexterfamily.org for more information.

Project Considerations and Operations

The project administrators are volunteers and are members of the Poindexter Descendants Association. They do not represent ftDNA nor receive special benefits.

This is a public project. The more of us who test and share our information, the more we will all learn. When you join a group at ftDNA, you're making surname, ancestor and DNA related results public, from which they can never be fully retracted. Your matches can see your email address.  The PDA nor ftDNA will publish your full given name or contact info. Only the Group Administrator has access to your name and email address.

This project is operated as a system of record project. It is intended to operate for posterity purposes. Our descendants and family members and distant cousins can continue on when we are not able to or have new focuses in life. New generations can build upon our work. Sub-groupings are done by SNP validated testing with a chain of evidence to the test results. Surnames and STR based predictions are not used to assigned sub-groupings. SNP results researched without FTDNA test validation are not included so please validate findings with ftDNA testing. Outside research is good, but please validate branching at FTDNA for the project test results. As changes are made to project administrators the sub-groupings can be reconstructed or re-validated as needed given they are based on test results on the Y DNA SNP report page of the project.

Thank you for your consideration. Please review the Results web page.

Much of the general information above about Y and STR testing and personal preference settings comes from the R1b All Subclades Master Project and Gateway. If you are a male who has taken a Y-DNA test, please consider joining that group as well. Their researchers are looking at Y DNA for the haplogroup that the Poingdestre families fall into, beyond just looking at our surname. Our haplogroup is common in western Europe as a point of origin and we are focused only on our Jersey/Norman origins.

The Poindexter DNA Project was started by PDA members Robin BUTLER Daviet and her sister Doris Ann BUTLER Lucas. Today the primary administrator of this project is Jamie Diana Poindexter, chair of the PDA Research Committee. Administration of this project is done by volunteers, as is all research and all other activities of the PDA.