Numerous messages have appeared on this forum and elsewhere seeking proof of relationship between the various Kepford, Gepford, and allied families in the US. Many have spent years researching this question without success. These include descendants of
John Kepford of Johnson Co IA, David Kepford of Noble Co IN, Frederick Kepford and Philip Kepford of Cumberland Co PA, Jacob Kepford of Crawford Co IA, John, Jacob and George Gepford families of Macon Co IL, Gepford families of Crawford Co PA, Gepfords of Stark Co OH and Allen Co IN, Gibfords of Jasper Co IA, Gepfer family of Lancaster and Lebanon Co PA, and probably others.
A new DNA project has been established which should finally put these questions to rest.
It is thought that most or all of these families are descendants of Johannes Goepfert, who arrived in Lancaster Co PA from Switzerland in the 1730's. DNA testing should be able to prove or disprove this. Other families with similar spellings came to the US from Germany in the 19th century. All are invited to participate in this project.
The test is based on Y-chromosome DNA. This means that to be a candidate for testing you must be a male descendant in the direct line, since the Y-chromosome is carried only by men and inherited from their fathers. Women descendants can participate by having a close male relative (father, brother, uncle, cousin) test.
Anyone interested can contact me for further information.
Gary Merrill (Descendant of Jacob Kepford of Crawford Co IA)