Family Tree, Genetics, and Finding Home (Part One)

I’ve been very interested in my ancestry, especially since my grandfather passed away and left me with his research on family history. He and my great uncle had worked out a family tree as far as they could (1800s), but that was without the resources of the internet.

St Peter's Episcopal Church

St Peter’s Episcopal Church

I took their research and began comparing it with what I could find online and was pleased to find other descendants from the oldest names who had taken their research farther. In fact, I was able to see the family tree all the way back to the 1600s in Colonial Virginia. I contacted an historian at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in New Kent, Virginia, and was able to get more information on my ancestor who had been a tobacco farmer and was mentioned in the parish registry.  However, there were no immigration records. There had been a fire where those records had been kept and most of them had been lost.

So, I turned to DNA. I decided to try Family Tree DNA to see if the results would give me any direction. I discovered that my Y-DNA (paternal) belongs to the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype (the most common haplogroup in Western Europe) and more specifically to the R-L1 haplogroup (found from Eastern Europe to its highest frequency in Central Europe and the British Isles).

But there was a wrinkle. My DNA did not match any other Byars who had been tested in South Carolina, North Carolina, or Virginia.


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