DNA Project

Our DNA project hope to prove the links between the different variants of our surname, which is looking less and less likely, unless there were some non paternal events.

If you would like to join our project and see where you fit in go to our web site on Family Tree DNA

The biggest puzzle we would like solved is explained in the recent article in our newsletter;
Written by John Lawson Featherston and Elaine Featherston Boston.
An Appeal for members of the Featherston Family in the United States to submit DNA results: Currently, connections with all of the Featherstons that were listed in the Y-chromosome results from Family Tree DNA for John Lawson Featherston and Elaine Featherston Boston,’s brother and uncle include: Charles Ronald, James William, and Douglas Featherston plus a recent addition of Charles Keith Featherston . The common ancestor was in all four cases was William Featherston, son of the William the Elder of Virginia. William the Elder supposedly lived from 1642-1728 and was probably born in England and arrived in the American colonies in 1666. The second William lived from 1685 to 1718 although I think it is possible that, based on a 1720s land transaction that you showed me recently, the death dates for the two may be reversed. Charles Ronald and James William’s direct line go through the second William’s son William, Douglas goes through William’s son Charles, and I go through William’s third son Richard H. This is all good proof that the three sons commonly show in many family trees are correct for the second William. I worked with Elaine Boston on Charles Ronald and James William and Dana Shepherd on Douglas.
The problem remains how William the Elder connects with the Featherstons of England and how William is related to Charles Featherston who was in Virginia in the 1670s, the same time frame as William. From the Ancestry.com autosomal DNA results, John’s sister Mary has 10 distant matches with the 1600s Charles Featherston’s line compared to 6 with William. I am somewhat different having 7 with William and 4 for Charles. Elaine tells me she has a similar number of Charles cousin matches. This may be too many Charles matches for chance. William and Charles must have been related. The next step should be to Y-chromosome test descendent(s) of Charles to see if he has the J2 haplotype. The J2 haplotype is relatively rare in England and most of the other Featherstone’s in the Featherston data base residing in England have a different haplotype, indicating our Virginia line has a different male ancestor than some of the rest. John’s sister and John have ten Fetherstonhaugh and Featherston autosomal results leading back to England for people who are not identifiable on our tree. They seem mostly to center in the Durham, England area with others in Kirkoswald, Cumberland England. The dates for these potential DNA/Tree matches are in the period from 1600-1800. I’m not sure of the significance of these since some are not well documented with their respective family trees.
To advance the knowledge of our ancestral lines we are seeking three things:
Male members of the Charles(1710) line, to have a Y-DNA test. This needs to be individuals who carry the surname Featherston or one of the variations on the spelling. The test should have no fewer than 37 markers tested and more markers would be even better.
The current price at Familytreedna is 67 markers for $99. Ancestry.com no longer offers the Y DNA test.

2. Other individuals with known Featherston linkage to submit a autosomal DNA test. This can be purchased via Ancestry.com or Amazon.com. The current price is $99. Ancestry.com is the preferred test only because their database of possible matches have recently surpassed the one million mark. The larger the database, the more markers. Familytreedna also can be taken. Their autosomal test is called the Family Finder and the current price is $99.

3. Those individuals who have taken the DNA test need to fill out the branches of their Featherston tree. Ancestry matching requires both the DNA and a well developed pedigree chart. If you are uncertain what the correct lineage might be, help is available on the Featherston Family website and from Elaine Boston.