I’d been meaning to get into this for a while but had put it off. I’ve tracked my extended male family — on paper — for 17 years now (see my book). But what if DNA testing showed I didn’t belong? Not that I fear skeletons in my closet (or my ancestors’ closets), but I didn’t want the quandary of questioning the value or applicability of something I’d spent so much time on, if it were to turn out I wasn’t actually biologically related. At any rate, others got feet wet first and, following a fifth cousin’s lead (and the persistent prompting of another possible distant kinsman), I signed up for a 37-marker Y-DNA test at familytreedna.com. Results are now in (for me, only partial results at this time), but they prove we are related, and show another Taylor, a seventh cousin, is also (we all share a precise 25-marker profile, and the other two subjects differ in 3 loci in the panel 26 to 37). Depending on what my last 12 markers (not yet back from the lab) show about these three divergent loci, we will hopefully be able to deduce a 37-marker Y-DNA haplotype of our common ancestor, John3 Taylor of Richmond County, Virginia (1703-41). Once other Taylors, descended from John’s brothers, are tested too, we can hopefully then confirm the Y-DNA haplotype for Simon2 Taylor, who must be considered the genetic founder of the family since there is no way to triangulate a non-mutated haplotype for his father, the apparent immigrant, Richard1 Taylor (Richard1 had another son, also named Richard, but the son Richard cannot be shown to have had a family). Here is a chart showing the the early generations of this family which left extant male issue, with lines down to the three subjects already tested (I’m the one in the middle):
John3 Taylor had twelve male-line grandsons who left further male issue. But for John’s brothers Septimus3 and George3, we do not know whether some of their sons left male descendants of their own (hence the question marks): other Taylors show up who may be their sons, but the documentation is too sparse to show it. This is precisely the area in which Y-DNA testing can aid this genealogy, once the haplotype is fully established.
Back to ‘paper genealogy’, the first of a two-part article of mine on the possible English origins of this Taylor family is slated to appear in the next number of The American Genealogist.