Y-DNA Success Stories
I am descended from Benjamin Bennett of Groton, Massachusetts. Most published family trees have shown his birth date as circa 1703, but no birth records have been found to determine his parentage or exactly where and when he was born. I believe he was born earlier, perhaps 1696. We have a well researched line of descent from Benjamin to the present time. Over the years, since 2000, I’ve built on the research of my cousin, Pat Corey, and my father’s sisters, who spent about 30 years researching our family. Their research culminated in the publishing of “The Carr-Bennett Heritage”, 2001, by Marjorie Bennett Baker, and before that, “Six New England Families”, 1987, by my cousin, Patricia Corey. Other family members have shared their work with me, and that provided an excellent foundation for me to begin.
From a database of about 2,000 family members, at the turn of the 21st century, our family tree has grown to more than 40,000 people, including spouses’ families, and “internet cousins”, and their families. These cousins, I’ve met on line, have shared much of their own family histories, and together we’ve patched together a very large family tree. Along the way, we’ve added many famous kin and found connections to the Royal families of Europe. I’ve proven Mayflower ancestry through connections through other surname lines. Other recent family surnames branching off the Bennett family are: Carr, Springer, Tubbs, Stinchfield, Cook, Rogers, Coates, Getchell, McFarland, Harding, and many others.
After all our research, we still had not found any tangible evidence of Benjamin Bennett’s ancestry, and our elusive immigrant ancestor. We do know that Benjamin and his brother, Moses purchased farms in Groton on the same day, in 1718; but we find no earlier record. There were many Bennett immigrants to America, and today our surname is the 7th most numerous in the U.S. I developed a theory, based on circumstantial evidence, that Henry Bennett of Ipswich is our most likely Bennett family progenitor in America. This was contrary to some published works, so a lot of doubt still remained.
Finally, I saw a promotion for FTDNA through my subscription with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. I ordered a 25 marker test in December 2007, and got results in January, 2008. I had an exact match on the 1st segment of 12 markers!!
When I contacted my Y-DNA match, Robert Bennett, of Texas, I found he was the Bennett Y-DNA donor, but not the researcher. That turned out to be Jeanie Kvach (wife of Bennett descendant, David Kvach), with whom I already had a long internet correspondence, but had no idea we both were having DNA tests. Robert Stephen Bennett, was an exact match on 12 markers, and I encouraged Jeanie to have Bob upgrade his test to 25 markers, which he did. There, we still matched on the 1st 24 markers, but had a distance of 1 away from a match at DYS464d (I had 17; he had 18). FTDNA told me that this “distance” was insignificant in that frequently mutating marker, and that we would likely have a common ancestor within 12 generations or so.
Jeanie Kvach’s research had a good paper trail directly back to Henry Bennett of Ipswich, through Henry’s son, Jacob. Meanwhile, another “internet cousin”, Fred Bennett of Ottawa, Ontario (a fifth cousin, once removed), decided to join in the fun, and ordered a 25 marker test, too. We waited…and he matched 25 for 25! Since then, we’ve been joined by Randy B. Bennett and Philip Bennett, descendants of two different sons of Moses Bennett (brother of Benjamin) and Anna Blanchard. We were next joined by William Randall Bennett and Jay Allen Bennett . Jay Allen Bennett is descended from a third son of Moses Bennett, Thomas. His results were also matches, except for two mutations in the 13-25 marker test segment, but match exactly in the 26-37 marker segment. Finally, Franklin Pierce Bennett has added his Y-DNA test results to our study, and he matches closely with Jay.
The matching results of 8 distant cousins have thus helped us determine our most recent common ancestor (MRCA), Henry Bennett of Ipswich, b. 1629. See chart .
Learning from a Mis-match
We did have one mis-matching test participant, Thomas D. Bennett, whose connection to us seemed tenuous when we looked into his documentation, and his test results proved indeed that he did not match with us. Further research indicates he is likely descended from Samuel Bennett and Rachel Linton of Watertown or Lancaster, MA. So, even the mis-match is very useful, because it enabled us to determine his more likely ancestry, and eventually Thomas may also find a Y-DNA match as the Bennett Group grows.
My Y-DNA test has broken down a former “brickwall”, and I now know that Henry Bennett of Ipswich is my eighth great grandfather, and immigrant ancestor in America. His son, Benjamin Bennett (1670-1722) lived and died in Ipswich; then his son, Benjamin (c1696-1757), removed to Groton, MA, where his children were born; then Benjamin, Jr.(1723- ____) lived and died in Groton. Benjamin’s son, Samuel (1747-1825) was born in Groton, and removed to Pittsfield, Somerset, Maine between 1810 and 1820, Subsequent Bennett generations of my family were all born in Maine.
Lee Bennett was Y-DNA tested in late 2007, and found an exact Y-DNA match on all 25 markers tested in comparison with Robert Stephen Bennett. Later, in 2008, seven other presumed Bennett cousins were tested, and six of those have also matched exactly. Currently, there are 13 of us who’ve been Y-DNA tested for at least 37 markers, and several have upgraded to 67 markers.
Lee’s own Bennett research had reached a dead-end with Benjamin Bennett, born circa 1696, in Groton, Massachusetts, before his Y-DNA test opened the door.