Pugh Surname DNA Project - Goals

Over the past few years we have made many exciting discoveries but there is still much to learn through this study. We have learned quite a bit about how the various Pugh lines in America are related. This was one of our initial broad goals. DNA results have already shown us that there were many distinct Pugh lines in America—and more puzzles remain to be resolved there and elsewhere around the world.

While the specific goals and objectives for each of our participants may vary, we are all interested in gaining answers to genealogical questions that cannot be answered through conventional research. DNA is a very powerful tool. Used with evidence gathered along the paper trail it can tell us whether Pugh families living in the same area at the same time were related. It can indicate that two lines long thought connected were not—or vice versa. Matching someone who can trace his lineage back to the 1600s or 1700s can open doors for someone who has hit a brick wall in the mid-1800s.

At this stage we seek Pugh participants in Wales today, particularly in Merionethshire, Caernarvonshire, Glamorgan and Montgomeryshire.

We particularly want to learn more about the earliest Pugh lines in America. We need to obtain cheek swabs from some direct line male descendants of the early Pughs of southeastern Pennsylvania and southeastern Virginia, along with 18th century Pughs of North Carolina.

Among the earliest:

JAMES PUGH, b. before 1672, Wales; d. 7 Oct 1723-25 Aug 1724, French Creek, Uwchlan Twp., Chester Co., PA, widower; m. 23 Apr 1692, John Jerman’s House (Quaker), Radnor, Chester Co., PA, Joan Price, b. before 1677, Llanelyw Parish, Brecknockshire, Wales? Children: Hugh, John, Thomas, James, Joan m. William Williams; Sibble m. John Edwards. First found in PA in 1690, when he bought land in Radnor next to David Pugh. About 1714 he moved to Uwchlan, where his plantation became the nucleus for Pughtown, PA. He never lived there, but his son James, 23, helped set up the Coventry plantation. We need descendants of James Sr.’s sons, particularly Hugh, John and James.

DAVID PUGH, b. before 1662, Wales; d. by 14 Oct 1738, Radnor, Chester Co., PA; m. 1 unknown, possibly in Wales; m. 2 as a widower 26 August 1698, Merion MH, Philadelphia Co., PA, Katherine Price, b. before 1678, Llanelyw Parish, Brecknockshire, Wales?, sister of Joan Price who m. James Pugh. David’s will named wife Katherine and children Jonathan, Joseph, Hannah m. James Miles, John, Samuel, Mary m. Mordecai Morgan, and David. One of his descendants [through Hannah] was Evan Pugh, first president of what became Pennsylvania State University. David Sr. owned land in Radnor in 1690. David Pugh was the constable in Radnor in 1701, and supervisor in 1702. We have two descendants of his son Joseph Pugh, Esq. , who migrated to Lancaster Co., PA and Frederick (Shenandoah) Co. VA. We need descendants of David’s sons Jonathan, John and possibly David, Jr. , whose whereabouts after 1737 are unknown.

ELLIS PUGH, b. Aug 1656, Pen Rhos, Tyddyn y Garreg, Dolgelly Parish, Merioneth, Wales; d. 3 Dec 1718, Lower Gwynedd Twp., Philadelphia Co., PA; m. Wales, Sinah, b. c1660, d. 1745. A Quaker minister orphaned young, he wrote an autobiography, but did not mention the names of his parents or Sinah’s maiden name. He said they set sail for Pennsylvania in 1686 but were blown off course, stranded in Barbados and did not arrive in Pennsylvania until 1687. Children: Ellin, Ellis, Thomas, John, Elizabeth, Job, Abraham. His grandson Jesse Pugh-Alice Malin, son of Thomas Pugh-Jane Rogers, led the Quaker migration to Back Creek Valley in Frederick Co., VA. Jesse Pugh’s son Job Pugh, b. 4 July 1737, Orange (Frederick) Co., VA; d. c1810. Job Pugh formed a nucleus of a village near the old Quaker meeting house, then called a branch of Hopewell, about 1770 and gave it his name. The plat and chart of Pugh Town was dated 12 Jan 1797; it was surveyed by order of Job Pugh. Jesse Pugh of Winchester and George Rubel of Frederick Co., VA were appointed trustees. The houses were required to be not less than 16 feet square, with brick and stone chimneys. It became a voting place when politics waxed warm, with many drawn battles between the Old Whigs and Democrats. In that day the rum counter played a strong part in local politics; quiet elections are held now, the interest has subsided with the rum. (T.K. Cartmell, Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants: A History of Frederick Co., VA, 1738-1908, Berryville, VA, 1963, 237) Job Pugh founded Pughstown in Frederick Co., VA in 1797. (Wilmer L. Kerns, Ph.D., Frederick Co., VA: Settlement and Some First Families of Back Creek Valley, 1730-1830, 124) If you have a Sina/h in your Pugh line, you may descend from Ellis. We need descendants of his sons Ellis, Thomas, John, Job and Abraham.

ROBERT PUGH (ap Hugh) , was he b. 1670, Gwernefel, Llanycil, Merioneth, Wales?; d. 1717 Gwynedd Twp., Philadelphia Co., PA? m. c1695, Llandderfel Parish, Merioneth, Wales?, Sarah Evans, b. c1670 Ucheldre?, d. after 1710, Gwynedd? Legend suggests that Sarah’s family in Wales was of the Church of England. Robert and Sarah, however, had five children recorded at Gwynedd MM, Lower Gwynedd Twp.: Evan, 20 July 1699; Robert, 15 July 1702; Jane, 25 Mar 1705; Sarah, 24 Oct 1707 and Sidney, 20 July 1710. Births of Robert, Jane and Sarah also were recorded at Concord MM, Concord Twp., Chester Co., PA. Was Robert a son of Cadwalader Pugh and his wife Ellin Morris who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1698? He did name a daughter Ellen. An Evan Pugh of Gwynedd, Philadelphia Co., PA left a will 16 Jan 1725/6-2 Nov 1728 naming a brother, Robert, along with Evan's wife, Grate, and children Ellin, Cadwalader, Hugh and Evan Robert Pugh emigrated from Merioneth, Wales, to Pennsylvania in 1698, a yeoman and a member of the Church of England, according to family legend. He married Sarah Evans, daughter of Lloyd Evans of Velhedre and had four children. (The Pugh Family Papers, File 144 W FGHS, Handley Library, Winchester, VA) His children were Sarah, m. Sam Bell; Mary, m. Roland Roberts; Evan, m. Mary and moved to Virginia; Ellen, m. John Rogers 21 Apr 1717 and moved to Frederick Co., VA in 1744. The Evan Pugh whose birth was recorded at Gwynedd Monthly Meeting of Friends, Lower Gwynedd Twp., Philadelphia [Montgomery] Co., PA 20 July 1699 appears in John T. Humphrey, Birth Index: Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1680-1800, only as a child, not as a father. He married out of the Society of Friends before 12 May 1724 and moved his family to Virginia while his children were young. (Gwynedd MM, PA, Minutes) A.D. Pugh, attorney, of Des Moines, IA, said in 1927 he had found that a Robert Pugh and Evan Pugh of near Bala, County Merioneth, Wales, moved to Gwynedd, PA in 1698 and were freeholders there and members of the Church of England. (Quoted in Maud Pugh, Capon Valley, I, 31; Mr. Pugh referred to a Pugh pedigree book by Thomas Allen Glenn of Wales, out of print.) If so, there was an older and earlier Evan Pugh.

In the 1750s and again in the 1760s Evan's family faced Indian depredations in Virginia. During the Indian forays in 1754 and 1755, Evan and his last wife, Catherine, deeded their land in Virginia to William Wilson and returned to Pennsylvania. After the Indian troubles subsided, Jacob Pugh returned to Hampshire, as did Nicholas Pugh, who died in 1785; Jonathan Pugh went westward to Ohio Co., (W) VA; John Pugh to the Hawfields area of Orange Co., NC, and Evan Pugh, Jr. to North Carolina and eventually to Darlington, SC, becoming a Baptist minister. (Ibid.) Maud Pugh, in Capon Valley: Its Pioneers and Their Descendants, 1698 to 1940, listed the children of Evan Pugh, who married Mary, as John, who moved to Orange Co., NC, 1765-1770; Jacob, killed at Grove Creek in 1777; Capt. Jonathan, b. 21 Aug 1757, North River, north of Hanging Rock, married Mary Ellen Tansy; Evan, Jr.; and Robert, who married Mary Edwards. The Evan Pugh, Jr. diaries, 1762-1801 from Pee Dee, SC, however, clearly prove that Evan, Jr.'s brother Jacob was alive in the 1790s. Mrs. Grace Garner of Spokane, WA, an author and genealogist who studied the area, said in 1979 that it remained to be proven, but she reconstructed the family this way: Evan Pugh, Sr. and his wife, Mary, had Robert, Jesse, John, Jonathan, Daniel, Evan, Jr., Elizabeth and probably other daughters. Evan, Jr. married a Catherine and had Jacob, Nicholas, Michael, a daughter who married William Wilson, Jonathan, John, Evan, III and Bethuel. We need descendants of Robert Pugh’s sons Evan and Robert as well as Evan’s sons Jacob, Joseph, Evan, Jr., Robert, John, Jesse, Jonathan and Bethuel, b. 1725-c1740, the eldest in Matachin?, PA, the youngest in what became Hampshire Co., (West) Virginia.

It is our hope that through the use of DNA analysis, the relationships among and origins of the many documented Pugh lines may be more clearly defined.

Before the Pugh Project even existed, two of our current participants were tested, one through Family Tree DNA and the other though the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project. One of our participants tested early in 2002. We currently have over 100 people in this project with laboratory results coming in frequently. Some participants have requested refinements, e.g. additional markers, deep SNP, and specific autosomal DNA markers. The turnaround time for the Y-DNA tests varies but six weeks from receipt of the kit by the lab is a reasonable estimate. The Pugh Project appears to be growing at an average rate of about two new participants per month. All of our participants are represented in the Y-DNA group and several have tested for mtDNA relationships.

We encourage all participants in the Pugh Project to join the public website Y-Search. Y-Search allows us to post our pedigree charts and communicate with others outside of our group and those who were tested by other companies. This is particularly useful as our genealogical journey takes us back to Wales where the patronymic naming system confounds our research. To join Y-Search, just go to your personal page where you find your DNA results; click on the orange tab called Y-DNA Matches. Above the list of matches is a box outlined in blue that says Click here to upload to Y-Search.org. It is that easy!

The data is summarized on the Y RESULTS page.

A Website has been created to discuss our various Pugh lines; our successes and our brickwalls. This is also an excellent place for people who are considering DNA testing to ask questions. If you have not already joined, we invite you to do so. The Website is called Tracing Pugh Origins.