Poindexter Poingdestre Pendexter Puddester Puddister
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Q. Will the Y-DNA test tell me about all my cousins and what percentage of my heritage is from what countries?

A. No. You need to take the Family Finder test at ftDNA.  The Y test follows the Y chromosome, which is passed from grandfather to father to son. You may find matches to others which you have common ancestor, thus a cousin for example, but only if their Y matches yours. The genetic distance shown with your matches indicates how closely those matches are probably related to you.

Many more answers are available to your questions about DNA testing by FamilyTree DNA at www.familytreedna.com/learn/fag. The rest of these FAQs will focused on the PDA’s DNA project.


Q. Are all Poingdestre descendants related?

A. No based on Y DNA.  Yes based on familial relationships throughout history.  Our colorized chart divides us into groups based on Y-DNA test results.

It's not unusual for families whose surnames are derived from a place or occupation to not be related. But we were a bit surprised when tests showed that the descendants of immigrant to Virginia Colony, George Poingdestre/Poindexter, b.1627, didn't match the results of Poingdestre's living in the Isle of Jersey today. We already knew we probably had multiple Poindexter lines in the United States.


Q. Why might someone change their surname?

A. There are many reasons someone might change his surname, or for someone to take a different surname.  Common reasons include adoptions, births out of wedlock, change one's status,etc. Dit names could have played a role as well. A dit (pronounced"dee") name is an alias, or alternate name, tacked onto the surname. An example is Mr. Jones served in General Poingdestre's Regiment, so came to be known as Jones Poingdestre. Over time or record keeping errors, the Jones part of the name is lost. Many immigrants to a new country may be unable to spell or speak the language and officials recording their names dropped the surname or changed it to what they thought they heard. Household servants in England were often referred to by the surname of those they served. American slaves were often referred to by their master's surnames as a statement of ownership during slavery, and many adopted those names upon emancipation.


Q. How many family trees to we have descending from Jersey?

A. At this time, we have two DNA groups that descend from someone that lived in Jersey.

Group 01: On our colorized chart, Group 1 (a, b and c) descend from George who immigrated to Virginia in the 1650's. George is documented as the third born son of Thomas Poingdestre, the seigneur of the fief es Poingdestres in Jersey. George is the progenitor of a large family tree in the U. S. and whose paper trail lineage in Jersey dates back to the 14th century. This group founded the Poindexter Descendants Association in 1982. Early PDA members were avid amateur genealogists, visiting courthouse, churches, archives and libraries throughout the United States and started a genealogy database, which is available to members online.

Group 03: On our chart, Group 3 are test subjects that use the name Poingdestre, Pendexter or Puddester/Puddister today. Test subjects using Poingdestre live in England and Jersey, Pendexter in New England and Puddester in Newfoundland.


Q. What records are available for today's family researchers?

A. In addition to online resources from Ancestry, LDS and many other sources, the PDA has many publications available digitally online in the Members section of the web site at www.poindexterfamily.org We also have a very useful tool, a dozen family trees that were published by the Channel Islands Family History Society in 1998 based on published genealogies and records in the Jersey Archive. We also have reports by amateur and professional genealogists on our web site.


Q. How many Poindexter families are there in the U.S.?

A. The number is growing as we add test subjects to our DNA project.

Descendants of John C. Poindexter and/or an unknown brother has many descendants in the U.S.  This Y-DNA group does not match George's DNA group 01 or the Poingdestre, Pendexter, Puddester DNA group 03. This group does have Y-DNA matches with test subjects by the surname Brackeen, Burkeen, Brecheen, Burkeen. Focus of research is on Rev. James Brechin/Brecheen who married widow of Thomas Poindexter, of Hanover County, Virginia in 1711 and the next few generations from him. The Brechin and Poindexter families were geographically located in central Virginia

A number of male test subjects descend from unknown ancestors by various surnames. Some knew there was adoption in their lineage, some did not until they tested. This is Group 07 on our colorized chart.


Q. What is the TiP tool look at my Y-DNA Matches?

A. This is the Time Predictor tool. ftDNA provides the Time Predictor (TiP) tool that helps us to analyze the test results by comparing the results from any two members of the project to determine about how many generations ago they might have had a common ancestor, up to 24 generations. This tool is also available when you log into your ftDNA account and click on Y-DNA Matches.

TiP gives us a starting point to develop a timeline to The Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA), which is the amount of time expressed as the number of generations to that common ancestor (CA) between yourself and one of your matches. The DNA test measure selected markers of a person’s DNA, looking for matches with other males. Since mutations (changes) in these markers occur at random, the estimate of the TMRCA is not an exact number of generations, but rather a distribution of probability expressed in percentages.