DNA Results for Rowden
The use of DNA testing for genealogical matching comprises the checking for certain markers in the DNA or 'genetic make up' of an individual. For each marker tested a numeric allele value is calculated as a measure of the pattern at that particular place in the DNA. The results from a set of markers may be considered like a genetic signature.
When the genetic signatures of two of more individuals with identical or similarly spelled surnames match, then it can be assumed that they share a common ancestor within a recent number of generations. The closeness of the match will depend on the number of markers used in the test and the degree of agreement between the results. A more complete description may be found at the FTDNA website.
The results of those already tested within the Rowden project are shown in the table below. These are first grouped into common regions of apparent geographic origin and then by similar genetic profiles. All those who have joined the Rowden DNA project have tested for 37 markers. The difference between each of the marker values for any two individuals may be summed to generate a 'genetic distance'. This is found for each group below by scrolling to the extreme right of the results table. Greyed cells highlight marker values which differ from the modal profile.
If you are a Rowden, a member of the Rowden DNA project and have received your test results they will be included in the list below. If you have also created a profile at this website, then when logged-in your own results line will be shown with a red background.
Region 1 - Group A
Those represented by this group have ancestors who lived in the region around north Dartmoor, near the village of Bow in Devon. The results of the first two individuals show an exact match on all 37 markers (genetic distance of zero) indicating that they have a common male ancestor in recent generations. The last three individuals have just one marker with a difference of one unit from the preceeding two. There is a 99% probability that the common ancestor of all individuals in these septs lived within the last 10 generations, in the time of the 17th century. Although the families of these fives males all originate in Devon, they currently appear in four separate septs. The next task will be to find the paper trail evidence for their common parent.
Region 1 - Group B
When comparing the results of group B with group A a significant difference is noted. This indicates that although the groups are from the same county there is a second family origin in Devon. The location of their common family ancestor is not clear at this stage.
Region 1 - Group C
These 2 results are from those whose ancestors came from South Molton in Devon. They show a significantly different result from the other two West Country groups, so there appears to be (at least) three different Rowden family origins in Devon.
Region 2 - Group A
The results of this group are particularly interesting. They show four almost identical profiles of Rowdens from geographically different counties in England, namely Herefordshire, Kent and Wiltshire. The results of the two Kent Rowdens are so close, giving us reliable genetic signature for this family. It has long been my theory that the Rowdens in Kent have their origins in Wiltshire and the evidence of another close match to a Wiltshire Rowden supports that proposition.
One of the oldest Rowden families traces its roots to the 14 century in Herefordshire so these 4 results have the potential to draw a number of families together. If you are a Rowden one of these counties, please add to the evidence and use the link below to joining the project and take a test.
Region 2 - Group B
With a family origin in Wiltshire this result was expected to have a link with the group above but there is a striking difference when comparing the genetic signature with those from that group. This could point to another ancestral origin in Wiltshire.
Region 3 - Group A
This is the result of a Rowden family which has lived in the USA for many generations going back to the 18th century. It appears that this family has a different origin from all the above groups. If your US Rowden family is not represented by any of the above groups then please consider joining the Rowden DNA project. This will help us learn more about the origin of early US Rowden families.
It can be seen from the profiles of the Rowdens from Devon and Wiltshire that they are significantly different. This reveals that the families from these two regions of England do not have a common ancestor. This is no particular surprise as the families received their surname from a topographical context, based on where they lived. See 'What's in a Name' For more information.
To visit or join the Rowden DNA project at Family Tree DNA follow this link.
For an introduction into DNA in Family History click here.