We now have a number of biologically different Phelps YDNA tested lines and over 160 tested Phelps men!.
What have we discovered through DNA testing? Among many other findings.....
The four traditional Phelps lines of New England are not biologically related in recent historical times. There is no biological relationship between William and George Phelps of early New England.
Three (possibly 4 or 5) southern lines, previously considered unrelated, are definitely biologically related but likely as far back as 1500 : the lines of James Phelps d 1786 Caswell Co, NC; Thomas Phelps d 1751 Albemarle, VA; and Thomas Felps d 1759 Baltimore Co., Md. Their haplogroup is a rare E1a1/M44 They are now into SNP testing.
It is now evident that the James Phelps of Gates Co, NC line is not related to the Nicholas Phelps line of Perquimans Co. Y-DNA does not support it nor has any solid paper trail research concluded the likelihood. DNA testing also shows that the Phelps who may trace back to Tyrrell Co, NC are not related to the Phelps of Gates Co. Of course there may be untested lines in both counties.
Recent testing shows the probable early James Phelps line of Chowan Co, NC IS related to the early Tyrrell Co Phelps.
None of the tested southern Phelps were ydna related to the New England Phelps. We now know there are several totally different biological Phelps lines with origins in VA, MD, and NC. We may pay for Y-DNA tests of certain Phelps whose ancestries are of interest to current Y-DNA members. Those include any Phelps with no ancestors living in the U.S. and several southern Phelps lines.
One of the southern American Phelps lines has developed extensive SNP testing, an approach with great promise. However it is an expensive approach requiring very involved lineage coordinators.