Phelps/Felps DNA Project - Results


Please scroll down to view these topics.:
  • Links to Paternal lineages of tested Phelps/Felps
  • What have we discovered through DNA testing?
  • Comment on three YDNA-matching  lines with a common ancestor: James of Caswell Co, NC, Thomas of Albemarle Co, VA, and Thomas Felps of Baltimore Co, Md. 

Links to paternal lineages of tested Phelps/Felps

To view the YDNA tested lineages, provided by the tested men, click any of the following Phelps lines. Other than the three lines in RED, none are ydna related to the other.

What have we discovered through DNA testing?

The four traditional Phelps lines of New England were not biologically related in recent historical times.
There is no biological relationship between William and George Phelps of early New England. Three southern lines, previously considered unrelated, are definitely biologically related and have a common ancestor: 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. 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. 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.

The Y-DNA marker values of the tested members may be viewed by clicking "Y-DNA Results" above. Each test kit is identified by the earliest known Phelps ancestor. They are grouped by close matching ydna values, indicating a common ancestor in recent times.

Comment on three lines with a common ancestor: James of Caswell Co, NC, Thomas of Albemarle Co, VA, and Thomas Felps of Baltimore Co, Md.   Opinion by Douglas Phelps

UPDATE 11/02/2013 but will be revised again soon.   Temporary comment:  I placed new kit B6124 as shown in with the Albemarle Phelps line based on the ydna.  His lineage goes to GA with no common ancestor with any others and could represent a new major line. Looking at the ydna of these lines  6a-6d  at  what jumps out to me is the 34 in  DYS449 in this new line (B6124),  in the James of Caswell line, and in the Albemarle VA line .  ONE exception is kit 67919 of the Albemarle line.      The Felps of Baltimore has a mix of 34 and 35.  It is extremely likely that when an ancestor of  slow mutating marker like this has a mutation, 34 vs. 35, the mutation will remain in that branch for a long time.  It is unlikely but possible that it would mutate then mutate back.  So it would appear there is a separate branch in the Felps line with a 35…. Or that the branch is not of the Felps line…. And that the Albemarle kit 67919 is either in the wrong branch or line.   Because of this some time back I pulled 67919 out of the integrated lineage at     Therefore  IF the genealogy is correct for the Felps of Md line  AND   IF John’s line (B6124) is a NEW branch with a new patriarch from GA, then this would tell us that the common ancestor of ALL these Phelps had a 34 in that marker dys449…. And that some branch of the Felps line had a mutation to 35 at some early point and that those with the 35 are from a common ancestor who himself had the mutation to 35.    IMO, That is what the ydna tells us although I am not going to argue genealogy. So much of the Felps of Md line is unclear at this point.


Revised 9/1/2013:  These Phelps who have tested for E1a1 may join thenew e1a1 project and the associated E1a1 private google group.


Revised 11/25/2010:  After considerable discussion and review of the Y-DNA results for the lines of Thomas Felps of Baltimore Co, MD;  Thomas Phelps d 1751 Albemarle VA; and James Phelps d 1786 Caswell Co, VA;, one Licklitter/Creed line; and the Pond lines (confirmed by three tests but removed to the Pond YDNA Project), it is evident from statistical data provided by FTDNA that they all share a common ancestor in genealogical time.  This conclusion is quite remarkable considering countless hours of research over the years were not able to arrive at that conclusion using paper trails.  We should all congratulate ourselves for a true breakthrough!!   Another common indicator for these men is that have dual Y-DNA values of 19 and 20 at DSYS marker #448.  The value to report was chosen by Familytreedna to be 20 - however as of 11/2013 FTDNA is reconsidering the default..   This anomaly is found in all these men (and may be in all E1a1 haplogroup men of which these Phelps men are).


Hypothesis for the common ancestor of these three lines   Revised 8/30/2010

Assuming the paper trails are valid, and because of the solid research of the majority of the lines and a highly matching YDNA, we can consider some possibilities  ( NOTE: As of early 2010 some of the Thomas Felps Line lineages were removed.  Previously merged lineages were unmerged ).

If one looks at the ydna pages for each of these three Phelps/Felps lines, we find that the modals (the marker values seen most often) for all three lines is identical.  In other words, the earliest patriarch of each of the three major lines all had the same ydna values.  So clearly these lines have a common ancestor in genealogical times.   We see the same values for the modal when we put all the lines together as seen below. 

At present the provided lineages date three lines to a Thomas Felps, in Baltimore Co, Md. d. 1758; a Thomas Phelps d. 1751 Albemarle CO, VA, and a James Phelps d. 1786 Caswell Co.  We might assume a birth of these men  as early as the late 1600s.      At present there is no evidence of any genealogical links between these three lines after those three patriarchs, so we must assume he was before these patriarchs.   There is some  evidence (click to review)  that the Caswell, NC James Phelps may have been  in nearby Anne Arundel, Md in 1776, although this remains unclear.   The Thomas of Albemarle line is seen to have a common ancestor with these two lines further back in time, perhaps several generations. Several possibilities of relationships could be suggested. 


Halpogroup E1a1 Discussion (revised 7/2013) with frequent revisions)

Please visit the E1a1 Haplogroup web site containing much E1a1 information.   ClickHere

Haplogroup definition:    A genetic population group associated with early human migrations and which can today be associated with a geographic region. It is important to note that even though female and male haplogroups may have the same letters, their definitions are different.     While our understanding of our origins is often thought of in 10s of thousands of years ago, much thought is now being given to much more recent times. As an example, a theory by your administrator is being developed which might suggest an origin of an immigrant to America or to the British Isles/Europe, then to America,  originating from one of a number places during the UK surname period of 1000-1600.  Various other somewhat recent origins have been considered by enthusiasts and include a Semitic connection, African slaves, and Mediterranean origins among others.  Please contact the project manager for more information.

Members of these three lines are designated by FTDNA as E, E1a or E1a1 depending on testing choices. Kits 250539 and 108456 of the Thomas Felps line, and 172111 of the James line were deep clade-E tested and designated as E1a1 which is a more defined haplogroup "breakout".  In 2010, the project admin, 41549, of the Caswell James line, was tested at 23andMe and designated also as E1a1. (He is listed at our project as E1a because FTDNA did not do the deep clade-E test.)   And in the past a few members were partially tested and found to be E1 at a time when the test could not be used for a finer breakout. Members of these lines with no haplogroup testing are predicted by FTDNA as E .   Should you test for Deep Clade E if you are match these kits?  Familytreedna says this:  "We recommend against testing everyone for the Deep Clade. If some are confirmed E1a1 and everyone in the group in question is matching or very similar at 25 or 37 markers, we feel confident that everyone in that group is also E1a1. Therefore the only true value in everyone testing the Deep Clade is getting the physical confirmation of E1a1 and having everyone's haplogroup listed in green as E1a1 on the group site. This does not necessarily tell you anything that you can't already conclude given the results you already have."

These varying breakouts of E for the tested men of these lines cause some confusion on FTDNA reports.   For example, FTDNA reports that E1b , a breakout of E, is the usual haplogroup of current day African-Americans.  Members of these three Phelps lines will see for their haplogroup"This haplogroup is restricted to Africa where it occurs in intermediate frequencies.  It is less common than its brother lineage E1b1a"  It is viewed by clicking "Migration Maps", then "Frequency"  NOTE:  The small pies showing "your haplogroup" apply ONLY to the general E haplogroup.


Those of these three  lines those who are shown to be E1a or E1a1, you will see  "This haplogroup is restricted to Africa where it occurs in intermediate frequencies.  It is less common than its brother lineage E1b1a"   This note of origin should will be seen by all  members of these lines who are deep clade-E tested (or the new M44 test).  However, other researchers have gone beyond that origin generalization.

Therefore, as we search for the common immigrant ancestor(s) of these three lines continues, we should remember that he (they) had the relatively unusual haplogroup ofE1a

These Phelps who have tested for E1a1 may join the new e1a1 project and associated E1a1 private google group. Much more about E1a1 is now found at a new public web site     Members of that group now include a Phelps descendant from each of the three lines here.  Of the E1a1 members there, only one appears to be of African-American black ancestry (a major change from previous comments here).  Many have English surnames and some have Ashkenazi dna.  Unfortunately few have triangulated their genealogy with ydna as done by the three Phelps lines here. .