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Wheelock Surname DNA Project - for ANYONE with Wheelock ancestry!
  • 39 members

About us

So far, all of our participating family lines are from the United States.

One of the initial goals for the Wheelock DNA Project was to determine whether the U.S. "northern" Wheelock branch descended from Ralph Wheelock of Massachusetts, USA, are paternally related to the "southern" Wheelock branch descended from James Wheelock of Virginia, USA. Based on results so far, it appears that these are two genetically separate Wheelock families. It will be interesting to see how many different Wheelock family origins we can uncover.

The Group 01 Wheelocks descend paternally from the ancient patriarch of haplogroup E1b.  Specifically, Group 01 belongs to haplogroup E-L142 (E1b1a1a1b1a1), which includes the SNP variants M78 and V13 that were the subject of a 2007 study by Steven C. Bird (see  Bird reports that the highest concentration of this group in the world is located in what would have been the Roman province of Moesia Superior, corresponding to modern-day Kosovo, southern Serbia, northern Macedonia, and extreme northwestern Bulgaria in the Balkans, and he theorizes that the presence in Britain of this haplogroup might be explained by the presence of Thracian Roman soldiers that were recruited from the Balkans over approximately the first four centuries CE.  Quoting Bird, "By no later than the mid-third century, retired Thracian soldiers and their families were living in Deva (Chester); archaeological evidence indicates also that the Northern Wales/Cheshire region was heavily settled by the Romano-British during the same period (third century), a region containing the highest frequency of E3b1a-M78 haplotypes found in Britain today." (E3b1a refers to a former name for the haplogroup.) This statement is significant in that it is in this same region of Britain (Cheshire) that the ancient village and river of Wheelock are found. According to Rev. C. Millington of the Wheelock Congregational Church there, this area was important to the Romans as a source of salt and also as a junction of roads in Roman Cheshire that allowed for quick movement of soldiers, avoiding major hills and valleys (see  The theory of Roman recruits explaining the presence of this haplogroup in Britain has received criticism by some, but combined with the location evidence for the historical name of Wheelock, it might well be correct for our Wheelock Group 01.

The Group 02 and Group 03 Wheelocks descend paternally from the ancient patriarch of haplogroup R1b, the largest haplogroup for western Europe.

Ideally, we hope to have Y-DNA participants from as many Wheelock ancestors as possible, preferably from two (and ideally from three) different sons of the most distant known ancestor of each line where available, which would allow us to establish a baseline DNA signature for the distant ancestor. We also hope that additional direct paternal descendants from ancestors already represented will participate and help to determine in which ancestors particular DNA changes might have arisen that could characterize their particular descendants.

Is your Wheelock family represented, yet?

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