I am looking for male-line Morehouse descendants to participate in a new DNA project.
You have probably read about the recent DNA study linking Thomas Jefferson with several children of a slave.This study was based on the fact that fathers pass their Y-chromosomes, or “DNA fingerprints,” unchanged (or very nearly so) to their sons, from generation to generation.This means that men with identical or nearly identical DNA fingerprints can be genetically proven to be descendants of a common male ancestor.Reading about all of this made me think about how a similar project could help establish relationships among various Morehouse families I have been chasing along paper trails for thirty-odd years.
The Morehouse DNA project is now up and running in its initial phase.It has proven successful so far, establishing a link between two separate Morehouse families that could almost—but not quite—be connected through conventional research.I am happy to report that the tests showed that the DNA fingerprints of representatives of the two branches are exact matches, helping to confirm what the existing records suggested but did not prove—that the two branches share a common ancestor six generations back (Pierpont Morehouse, born say 1780, of Bradford County, Pennsylvania).
This initial success has led me to consider whether there might be wider interest among Morehouse genealogists generally.We believe Pierpont Morehouse to be a descendant of Thomas Morehouse, the 1640 immigrant to Wethersfield, Connecticut, though we have not been able to identify Pierpont’s parents.From my Morehouse family research, I know there are many stray Morehouses (mostly in “frontier” locations in the late 1700s and early 1800s) who also fit this description.
If you are a male-line descendant of Thomas Morehouse of Wethersfield, or of a Morehouse who you believe is so descended, I invite you to participate in the project.With enough participants, we should be able to determine Thomas Morehouse’s DNA signature, and also whether these stray Morehouses are related to him.
I am also interested in Morehouses with no connection to this line or whose origins are currently unknown.Although one of the 19th century Morehouse genealogies states that all Morehouses in the United States are descendants of Thomas Morehouse, I know from my research there were many later Morehouse/Moorhouse immigrants to North America from England and Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries.It would also be interesting to have participants whose families have remained in the British Isles.The DNA project could help us determine whether all Morehouses share a common DNA signature and hence a common origin (and perhaps help us determine a place of origin for the family).
The test itself involves nothing more than wiping the inside of your cheek with a cotton swab and then mailing the swab back to the lab.The test is not inexpensive, although any participant in the project can take advantage of the group discount offered for surname projects by the lab at which the project has been established.
Please contact me (by e-mail, please) if you have an interest in participating or if you have any questions.