Kingston surname DNA Project
At the present time the Kingston surname DNA project has thirty-four sets of Y chromosome results from thirty-three individual male Kingstons, representing thirty distinct Kingston families. Six individuals tested (three sets of cousins - Groups B, C, and D) share common known Kingston ancestors (i.e. they can be connected by paper records). Although none of the other twenty-seven Kingston families within the project can be connected by paper records (despite extensive genealogical research in most cases), twenty-one of the families, as a result of Y chromosome analysis, are now known to be related and to share a common Kingston ancestor. These twenty-one families have been grouped together as Group A. They include eighteen families with Kingston ancestry in Ireland. Seventeen of these eighteen trace origins to the western part of Co. Cork, and the eighteenth family, several members of which emigrated to Canada between 1821 and 1826, have well documented Irish origins. This eighteenth family, in addition to being a genetic match, shares many of the common forenames of West Cork Kingstons, and although documentation uncovered to date does not reveal the precise location of these origins within Ireland it is likely that the ancestors of this eighteenth family also came from West Cork. Three further Kingston families, with known origins in Northamptonshire and neighbouring Bedfordshire in England, can also be confirmed to share a common Kingston ancestor with the eighteen families of Irish origin on the basis of Y chromosome analysis. None of the direct Kingston ancestors of these latter three families are known to have settled in Ireland, and the fact that all Irish Kingstons tested have been shown to genetically match Kingstons from Northamptonshire and neighbouring Bedfordshire provides strong evidence that the original Kingstons who settled in Co. Cork, Ireland, came from Northamptonshire. One further individual whose results have been assigned to Group A is McLean by surname, but it is highly likely that his paternal ancestors along a purely male line were Kingston rather than McLean, as shall be discussed below. The families in Group A do not share a genetic match with the individuals assigned to Groups B, C, D, or E. In addition the three ungrouped Kingston families tested have results which differ significantly from each other, and from the individuals in Groups A, B, C, D, and E, and we can conclude that the project now contains members from eight independent Kingston families.
(kit #68119, kit #93641, kit #99618, kit #106714, kit #107275, kit #109951, kit #114954, kit #170539, kit #173705, kit #179667, kit #179680, kit #182431, kit #186680, kit #208899, kit #210691, kit #210692, kit #210693, kit #216460, kit #219122, kit #224702, kit #B3111, kit #N91340, kit #smgf1, and kit #smgf2)
Kit #68119 (111 markers tested with FTDNA) and kit #smgf2 (38 markers tested with the Sorenson project) are from the same individual. The same 38 markers have been tested by both laboratories, with identical results. The most distant known ancestors for kit #68119 (and therefore kit #smgf2) and kit #smgf1 (43 markers tested with Sorenson project, results transferred to FTDNA as kit #B3111) lived in Meenies townland (866 acres) in the parish of Drimoleague, Co. Cork, Ireland. The most distant known ancestors for kit #106714 (111 markers tested with FTDNA) and kit #107275 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Clodagh townland (1046 acres) which is also in the parish of Drimoleague. The latter Clodagh family includes Jane Kingston, the mother of Irish nationalist and footballer Sam Maguire (1877-1927), and all Group A Kingstons are therefore related to him. The most distant known ancestor for kit #99618 (25 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in the Drimoleague townland of Touraheen, which lies adjacent to the aforementioned Meenies. The most distant known ancestors for kit #93641 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) and kit #182431 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Drombeg, a short distance from Rosscarbery, Co. Cork, Ireland. The most distant known ancestor for kit #210692 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Bohonagh townland in Rosscarbery. The most distant known ancestor for kit #208899 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) also lived somewhere in Rosscarbery. The most distant known ancestor for kit #N91340 (67 markers tested with FTDNA, and Genographic Project) lived in Inchinagotagh, Abbeystrewry, Co. Cork, approximately halfway between Skibbereen and Drimoleague. The most distant known ancestor for kit #224702 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Rearahinagh, Caheragh/Drimoleague, Co. Cork. The most distant known ancestor for kit #179667 (25 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Bantry, Co. Cork. The most distant known ancestor for kit #219122 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Rathruane More townland, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, Ireland. The most distant known ancestors for kit #109951 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) and kit #186680 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) lived near Timoleague (in Madame and East Skeaf respectively), Co. Cork, and the latter family traces direct descent from Colonel Samuel Kingston. The most distant known ancestor for kit #210691 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Templebryan North townland in Clonakilty, Co. Cork. The most distant known ancestor for kit #210693 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Dromgariff, Kilnagross, which is very close to Clonakilty. The most distant known ancestor for kit #114954 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) emigrated from Ireland to Canada in the 1820s (see introductory paragraph above). The most distant known ancestor for kit #170539 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) married and settled in Cople, Bedfordshire in 1819, but there is reason to believe that he may originally have come from approximately twenty-five miles away in the Stony Stratford/Wolverton area of Buckinghamshire, just over the border from Northamptonshire and seven miles from Towcester. The most distant known ancestor for kit #173705 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) came from Silverstone, Northamptonshire, four miles from Towcester. The most distant known ancestor for kit #179680 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Paulerspury, Northamptonshire, which is just two miles from Towcester. None of these twenty-one distinct families can be connected by conventional genealogy (i.e. paper records), but a relationship is established by Y chromosome analysis. This demonstrates how invaluable DNA testing can be, and it also excludes the possibility of a non-paternity event in the Kingston line of all twenty-one participants in the last 450 years at the very least.
Interestingly there is just one non-Kingston sample in the entire FTDNA and Sorenson databases that provides a significant match with the above Group A Kingstons. This sample, kit #216460 (67 markers tested with FTDNA), was submitted by a McLean. His descent is from George Elmer McLean who was born on 16th July 1884 in Chatham, New Brunswick, Canada to Jane Lavender McLean and an unnamed father. During this period (certainly by 1887 and very possibly earlier) Jane was living in the same rural community in New Brunswick as several families of Kingston (all lived in Hardwicke, Northumberland County, New Brunswick). The McLean sample’s closest Y-DNA matches in the entire FTDNA database are all Group A Kingstons, and the sample has a genetic distance of just one from the Group A Kingston 67 marker modal haplotype (DYS576=19 compared to a modal value of 20). There can be little doubt, based on genetic and circumstantial evidence, that the father of George Elmer McLean was a Kingston.
In a detailed study by A. Richard Kingston entitled “The origins of Co. Cork Kingstons”, published in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society (JCHAS), Volume 86, 1981, the author suggests that Colonel Samuel Kingston, who received land in Timoleague, Co. Cork during the Cromwellian plantations of the 1650s, may, like some neighbouring beneficiaries of the Cromwellian plantations, have come from Somerset in England. He further speculates that many, if not most, Irish Kingstons may descend from Colonel Samuel Kingston. This project has proven that all seventeen Kingston families with known Co. Cork origins (and all eighteen Kingston families with known Irish origins) who have been tested share a common Kingston ancestor. Against A. Richard Kingston’s theory, there is documentary proof of Kingston settlers in West Cork before the Cromwellian plantation (and therefore before any grant of Timoleague land was made to Colonel Samuel Kingston). In “The History of Bandon and the Principal Towns in the West Riding of County Cork” by George Bennett, published in 1869, the author lists Kingston among the families who settled on undertaker Phane Becher’s seignory in Kinalmeaky during the Munster Plantation. Becher received his grant in 1588. Elsewhere in the same volume Bennett refers to a Richard Kingston, who was involved in a court judgement in Bandon in 1619. A. Richard Kingston was seemingly unaware of two Kingston deponents in West Cork in the 1641 depositions (written in September 1642), a Paul Kingston in Breaghna, near Ahiohill, and a Thomas Kingston in Clonakilty. The former deposition was misfiled as a Co. Louth document in 1741, and it was only rediscovered by this project's administrator in March 2010. More significantly, we have also discovered reference to a Paul Kingston in documents from a 1611 inquisition into the status of Munster Plantation lands. In 1611 he held a twenty-one year lease of one hundred plantation acres in the seignory of Castlemahon, in the barony of Kinalmeaky: "Pawle Kinston holdeth C. acres of lande for the tearme of xxi years by dimise from the saide John Shipwarde and a dwelling house thereupon erected". Details of the lease, which was from John Shipward, confirm that it was acquired by Kingston some time between late 1604 and early 1611. It may well be that Paul Kingston was the patriarch of all Co. Cork Kingstons, and that he came from the Towcester area of Northamptonshire between 1604 and 1611 (although we cannot be certain that this was Paul Kingston's first lease in Ireland, this appears likely). There can be no doubt that Kingstons were well established in Co. Cork before Colonel Samuel Kingston was granted land in Timoleague, and in much the same area as that later inhabited by Colonel Samuel. That Colonel Samuel's known descendant (kit #186680) matches all other Co. Cork Kingstons tested suggests that, on current evidence, it is likely that Colonel Samuel was related to the Kingstons already settled in the area. Furthermore, it is likely that he was born in Co. Cork, rather than in England. A paper entitled "Revisiting the origins of Co. Cork Kingstons", written by the project administrator, was published in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society (JCHAS), Volume 116, 2011. The paper discusses this DNA project, and it details research into early Co. Cork and Northamptonshire Kingstons.
The discovery by this project that Co. Cork Kingstons share a common Kingston ancestor with Kingstons from the villages around Towcester in the southern part of Northamptonshire, as determined by Y chromosome analysis, is crucial to our understanding of the origins of Co. Cork Kingstons. The area around Towcester, Northamptonshire, contained more Kingstons than any other part of England in the 1881 census, and records show that there have been Kingstons in that area since at least 1521: the will of Thomas Kyngston of Stoke Bruerne (two miles from Towcester) is dated 20th October 1521. However, a Robert Keniston is named in the same rural parish of Stoke Bruerne in the Northamptonshire Tax Assessment of 1301. It seems highly likely that the first Kingstons to settle in Co. Cork in the Munster Plantation, in the early 1600s, came from close to Towcester in Northamptonshire. Significantly, Co. Cork Kingstons do not match any Somerset Kingstons that have been tested to date. There may of course be some Co. Cork Kingstons who are not related to those already tested, but we have yet to find genetic evidence of this despite having tested a very wide and representative range of Co. Cork Kingstons. Nevertheless, testing of Kingstons from Co. Cork and elsewhere is an ongoing process.
In the present day very few Kingstons remain in the villages around Towcester, Northamptonshire. In the nearby county town of Northampton, just ten miles to the north of Towcester, several Kingstons still reside. However, despite geographical proximity, many of these may not descend from the Group A Kingstons of nearby Towcester because, in 1856, a William Kingston from Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, opened South Bridge School in Northampton. He had ten sons, eight of whom played county cricket for Northamptonshire and most of whom had children of their own. Y-DNA analysis of a descendant confirms that this family of Kingstons (see Group E) is not paternally related to the Kingstons of Group A.
We can generate a modal haplotype for Group A, which constructs a haplotype composed of the most common results for each marker among the twenty-two members in the group. The modal haplotype is the closest approximation we can make to the haplotype of the common ancestor of these twenty-two families (since we cannot directly test an individual who lived more than 450 years ago). All twenty-two Group A families match one another very convincingly, but most families deviate from the modal haplotype by novel mutations on one or more markers. These mutations have no adverse biological significance, but they are useful in that they have the potential to facilitate subgrouping of families within Group A that are more closely related to one another by virtue of shared mutations. Most of the mutations appearing within Group A are unique to one individual, with a few exceptions:
1. The modal value for DYS456 is 15, which is the value displayed by all but four of the kits in Group A (with the exception of two kits tested to only 25 markers, and therefore not yet tested for this marker). These four, each with a value of 16 for DYS456, are kit #182431 (origins in Drombeg near Rosscarbery, Co. Cork), kit #210692 (origins in Bohonagh, Rosscarbery), kit # 224702 (origins in Rearahinagh, Caheragh/Drimoleague, Co. Cork), and kit #N91340 (origins in Inchinagotagh, Abbeystrewery, Co. Cork). As the origins for all four are within a maximum of 16 miles of one another it is highly likely that this mutation first arose in a direct male Kingston ancestor common to these four families, who was not a direct ancestor (but a relative nonetheless) of all of the other Group A families. It is almost certain that this individual male Kingston ancestor who developed the mutation was living in this part of West Cork, most likely in the last 300 years, as none of the other Kingston families from West Cork who have been tested to date display this mutation. The Kingstons of Inchinagotagh were resident in that townland by 1844, but had not been so during the compiling of the Tithe Applotments just over a decade earlier. Inchinagotagh is approximately halfway between Drimoleague (to the north) and Skibbereen (to the south). At only four miles from Drimoleague, where Kingstons were most populous, it may be tempting to assume that this family originated there. However, the shared mutation with the two Kingston families from near Rosscarbery suggests a migration route to Inchinagotagh from the south. It is interesting that the earliest known ancestors of three of the four lines were named James Kingston, as James is an extremely uncommon forename among Drimoleague Kingstons but a prominent one among Kingstons in more coastal areas of West Cork including Drombeg and Skeaf. The Kingstons of Rearahinagh (which falls within the civil parishes of both Drimoleague and Caheragh) were living in that townland by 1814 (according to a baptismal record in that year). Rearahinagh and Inchinagotagh are separated by just one townland, which brings us to the next mutation of significance.
2. The modal value for DYS458 is 16, which is the value displayed by all but two kits in Group A. The two exceptions, each with a value of 17 for DYS458, are kit #224702 (origins in Rearahinagh, Caheragh/Drimoleague, Co. Cork), and kit #N91340 (origins in Inchinagotagh, Abbeystrewery, Co. Cork). As mentioned above, the Kingstons of Rearahinagh and Inchinagotagh are near neighbours, being separated by just one townland. There is a strong family tradition that the two families are closely related, but documentary proof of the precise connection is lacking (due to lack of sufficiently early church records for the area). However, the will of Samuel Kingston (c.1841-1913), who was one of the Inchinagotagh Kingstons, gives Richard Kingston of Rearahinagh, along with Samuel's wife and brother, a role in deciding the recipient of the estate. Such a role is highly likely to have been given only to a close family member. Documentary evidence and family tradition are therefore highly suggestive of a close link between these two families. The fact that they share a common mutation on DYS458 which is not shared by any other Group A Kingstons (including the two other Kingstons with whom they share a mutation on DYS456, see above) is proof of a close family connection, and it seems likely that the earliest definite ancestor of the Rearahinagh Kingstons (i.e. Samuel Kingston b.c.1780) was actually the father of the earliest definite ancestor of the Inchinagotagh Kingstons (i.e. James Kingston b.c.1809). This is further supported by the fact that James named his eldest son Samuel, since eldest sons were traditionally named after their paternal grandfathers.
3. The modal value for DYS576 is 20, which is the value displayed by all but three kits in Group A (with the exception of two kits tested to only 25 markers, and therefore not yet tested for this marker). These three, each with a value of 19 for DYS576, are kit #170539 (origins in Cople, Bedfordshire, near Northamptonshire), kit #210692 (origins in Bohonagh, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork), and kit #216460 (the McLean sample with origins in New Brunswick, Canada). Unlike the case with DYS456, due to the geographical scatter it is highly unlikely that all three submitters of these kits inherited the mutation from a single common Kingston male ancestor. For the mutation to present in an English and an Irish Kingston family from a common source the mutation would need to have first occurred in the family over 450 years ago, and if that was the case it would be present in all of the Co. Cork Kingston families. In this case it is much more likely that the same marker mutated independently in all three of these Group A families.
4. The modal value for CDYa is 38, which is the value displayed by all but two kits in Group A (with the exception of two kits tested to only 25 markers, and therefore not yet tested for this marker). The two outliers, each with a value of 39 for CDYa, are kit #173705 (origins in Silverstone, Northamptonshire) and kit #208899 (origins in Rosscarbery, Co. Cork). For the same reason as cited above for DYS576, it is likely that this mutation was acquired independently by two separate (but related) direct Kingston ancestors of the sample submitters.
It is hoped that more may be learned from mutational analysis in the future, as mutations have the potential to more accurately pinpoint locations of origin and migration pathways of individual Kingston families.
When the families are compared at the maximum number of markers which they have had tested they have no closer matches in the entire FTDNA database (244,375 Y chromosome results as of October 2012) than that to each other.
All twenty-three kits in Group A have been estimated to belong to haplogroup R1b1a2 (known as R1b1b2 until Spring 2011, and known as R1b1c until 2008), and one of these kits (kit #68119) has subsequently undergone deep clade testing which confirms this haplogroup – with a more specific designation of R1b1a2a1a1b4 (R1b1b2a1b5 until Spring 2011). Undoubtedly all other Group A Kingstons would share this result if deep clade testing were undertaken on their samples. This haplogroup subclade is also known as R-L21, and the Kingston sample belongs to a subset of that subclade, with a recently discovered SNP L513+, currently known as R-L21 11-13 Combo. R1b1a2 is by far the commonest haplogroup in Western Europe. R1b accounts for 70% of the tested male population of Southern England and well over 90% of the tested male population of Ireland. The vast majority of these are R1b1a2.
Of potential interest in the results of all twenty-three kits is DYS393=12. Only 2% of the R1b haplogroup in Western Europe display this result, most of the others showing DYS393=13. DYS393=13 is known as the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH) or Haplotype 15. DYS393=12 is known as the Armenian Modal Haplotype or Haplotype 35. Haplotype 35 is found with greatest frequency in Eastern Europe and Western Asia, decreasing towards Western Europe. Haplotype 15 shows the opposite trend, and is present with greatest frequency in Western Europe. There is a theory that members of Haplotype 35 are descended from those who found shelter in Anatolia during the Last Glacial Maximum while members of Haplotype 15 are descended from those who spent that period in Iberia. There are a number of theories as to how Haplotype 35 found its way to Britain and Ireland. These include mass migration of Roman soldiers of Alan and Sarmatian origin to Northern England (a theory favoured by the Border Reivers DNA Study), migration of Sephardic Jews, and Pictish origin (some authorities believe that the Picts originally came from Scythia). Although DYS393 is a very slowly mutating marker, it is very possible that DYS393=12 simply represents a later mutation from the more common DYS393=13 occurring in Britain, but its presence in all sixteen kits means that this mutation could not have occurred in at least the past 450 years. More recently evidence is emerging that true Haplotype 35 individuals tend to be P312 negative, and since the only Group A Kingston tested for P312 is positive for this SNP, it is likely that DYS393=12 among Group A Kingstons is merely a later mutation from the more common DYS393=13 within the Atlantic Modal Haplotype.
Of note, a genetic relationship has also been established between the project administrator and co-administrator through autosomal DNA analysis. Unlike Y chromosomal analysis, autosomal DNA analysis does not identify through which line two individuals are related. Therefore, in general terms, it has limited use in the setting of a surname project.(kit #138797 and kit #138799)
Kit #138797 (12 markers tested with FTDNA) and kit #138799 (12 markers tested with FTDNA) are first cousins, whose most distant known ancestor lived in St Peter, Leeds, Yorkshire, England. Interestingly, although Y chromosome analysis essentially supports their relationship, they do differ from each other at one of the 12 markers tested (DYS439). DYS439 is described as a fast-mutating marker, and clearly the mutation must have occurred either in one of the two individuals tested or in their fathers. This highlights one of the weaknesses of FTDNATiP analysis, according to which these individuals have an estimated probability of just 32.64% of sharing a common ancestor within 12 generations, despite the fact that we know they shared a paternal grandfather. These individuals are both estimated to belong to haplogroup I1. Haplogroup I1 is most commonly found in Scandanavian populations, and a relatively small percentage of the British population belong to this haplogroup. There are a number of opposing theories regarding its presence in Britain, with many supporting the important role of Viking and Norman migration. More recently the Genographic Project has reported that the origins of this haplogroup can be placed within the Iberian peninsula during the Last Glacial Maximum.
(kit #145431, kit #150315, and kit #209527)
Kit #145431 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) and kit #150315 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) are fourth cousins. Their most recent shared common ancestor was their third great grandfather William Kingston, who was born in Chew Magna, north-eastern Somerset, England, in 1747, although they can trace their ancestry back a further generation. They differ on just two of the 37 markers for which they have both been tested, DYS449 and DYS576, both of which are described as fast-mutating markers. A very interesting match is identified with kit #209527 (67 markers tested with FTDNA), the submitter of which can trace to a Thomas Kingston who was living in Shareshill, Staffordshire, England by 1761 (the year in which he married). Shareshill is 107 miles north of Chew Magna. These families without any doubt share common Kingston ancestry. The Staffordshire kit and the Somerset kit tested to 67 markers have a genetic distance of just 3 at 67 markers. As each family was well established in their respective (and relatively distant) counties of Somerset and Staffordshire by the mid 1700s, and as there is evidence of Kingston occupation in both counties as early as the 1300s, it is impossible to determine at this stage where the common Kingston ancestors of these families is more likely to have originated; most likely in either Somerset or Staffordshire (presumably not in both), but possibly somewhere in between. Future testing of other Kingstons from these counties may help to resolve this issue. Like the members of Group A, they are estimated to belong to haplogroup R1b1a2. Unlike the members of Group A, they are of the more common Haplotype 15 (Atlantic Modal Haplotype).
(kit #107546 and kit #198160)
Kit #107546 (25 markers tested with FTDNA) and kit #198160 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) both descend from George Kingston born c.1751, Eversley, Hampshire, England, although they can trace their ancestry back a further generation to Samuel Kingston (born c1730). They are R1b1a2.
(kit #208587 and kit #217740)
These two kits are separated by five mutations over 37 markers. Despite both being of haplogroup R1b1a2, these samples have remarkably few matches in the large FTDNA database of almost 250,000 Y-DNA samples, and they are each other’s closest matches in that database, leaving little doubt about their shared ancestry. With a distance of 144 miles between Woolsthorpe and Frimley, and no information on the location of the Woolsthorpe Kingstons before 1780 or on the location of the Frimley Kingstons before 1819, it is very difficult, at this stage, to determine where the common ancestor of these Kingstons is likely to have lived. (kit #107117, kit #142045, and kit #190580)
The most distant known ancestor for kit #208587 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) was John Kingston born c.1790, but the family can only be first traced to Frimley, Surrey, England in 1819 for the birth of John’s son John. John William Kingston, son of John junior, emigrated to Queensland, Australia, where he was regarded as the founder of Aramac (a settlement in rural Queensland). Very little documentation has been discovered to date of the family in England. The most distant known ancestor for kit #217740 (37 markers tested with FTDNA), John Kingston, born c.1750, was living in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England by 1780 when his marriage was recorded in that parish. Interestingly, John spent many years in the service of the fourth Duke of Rutland, and he accompanied him to Ireland when the Duke was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. As mentioned earlier (see Group A), John’s descendant, William Kingston, settled in Northampton in 1856.
The most distant known ancestor for kit #107117 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) lived in Barnstable, Devon, England in the 1500s. Like the members of Groups A, C, and D, he is estimated to belong to haplogroup R1b1a2. The most distant known ancestor for kit #142045 (37 markers tested with FTDNA) is known to have been born in England in c.1863, but where exactly he was born is still under investigation. Kit #142045 is estimated to belong to haplogroup I2b1. Haplogroup I2b1 is relatively uncommon in Britain and it is said to have similarities in distribution within the Balkan states and Western Europe to haplogroup I1 (see Group B above) but with the important difference that haplogroup I2b1 is uncommon in Scandanavia. The most distant known ancestor for kit #190580 (67 markers tested with FTDNA) was born in Tennessee in 1814. In all likelihood the family originated in England, but documentation of their Old World origins has not been discovered. This sample belongs to the rare Haplogroup I.
The results of these three families neither match each other nor the families in Groups A, B, C, D, or E, and therefore represent three further independent Kingston families, bringing our total in this project to eight unrelated Kingston families. This supports our earlier hypothesis that the Kingston surname was probably adopted independently by families from different places called Kingston. The addition of these three families widens the spectrum of Kingstons represented in this project and increases the chances of future participant families finding a useful match.