I've been asked about a DNA project for the Rigsby family. I am willing to act as coordinator if we can get enough participants.
The testing company I'm familiar with is Family Tree DNA. We're using them for the Hinds project that I'm participating in. I would vote we use them for the Rigsbys too.
The test works by testing the Y-chromosome for several "markers". Since the Y-chromosome is passed only from father to son, two men who share a common ancestor should have identical Y-chromosomes. However, mutations occasionally occur among these "markers". Thus two brothers can have Y-chromosomes which match at all but one "marker". By mapping out these mutations, an approximate tree can be determined.
Since the test is on the Y-chromosome, all participants would have to be males named Rigsby or some spelling variant. Taking the test is very simple: you just rub this little plastic thing against the inside of your cheek, then put it in a special container and mail it off. After 6 to 8 weeks or so, the results are ready.
The company does different versions of the test, measuring 12, 25, or 37 "markers". I would recommend we do the 25- marker test. People who match exactly on this test should have a common ancestor about 7 generations back, and if they are off by one the ancestor should be about 18 generations back. In the Hinds test, I matched exactly with someone whose common ancestor with me is 8 generations back. The 25-marker test currently costs $169. Note that participants do not all have to take the same test.
I have a web page for the Hinds project, and could do one for the Rigsbys. Take a look at this:
Now, one thing I have to warn everybody. There is a possibility that the test won't help us much. As far as I can tell, there have been fewer than 20 Rigsby immigrants to the US up to 1900. The Rigsby name is pretty rare in England too, and they pretty much all live in the same area. So there's a good chance that all the immigrants are fairly closely related, and will have virtually identical DNA. We may find that every Rigsby who takes the test matches exactly. Then again, we may find that everybody falls into a small number of groups differing by only one "marker".
On the other hand, there is at least one branch that definitely will benefit from the test: the Allen Rigsby of the two Rigsby books is supposed to have been given his mother's last name, and really be a Taylor. If his descendants are completely different from the other Rigsbys, that will lend strength to the story. There were also several Rigsby women who had children out of wedlock. Descendants of their sons should also be completely different from the others.
We need at least 6 participants to get started. I have been contacted by descendants of Lewis Rigsby c1784 who married Lucinda, and I think I can get a descendant of my James Rigsby c1755 who married Susannah. So we need at least 4 more participants.
I personally hope we could also get descendants of:
the above Allen 1770, Jonathan c1801 who married Mary Sanders and is supposed to be a brother of the above Lewis, James c1763 who married Rebecca Moore and lived near my James in Wake Co NC, Jesse of Orange Co NC who married Elizabeth Pickett and is supposed to have a brother James, Luke c1767 whose descendants used the Riggsbee and Rigsbee spellings, Isaiah 1778 whose descendants also used the Riggsbee spelling, Thomas c1760 whose descendants were in Cannon and DeKalb Cos TN, William Rigsby of Goochland Co VA who married Susannah Adams, Thomas 1775 who married Aggie Smith and Diana Deboard, Jacob c1856 who is supposed to be Thomas' son, William c1800 who immigrated from England about 1835,
and, for that matter, all the other Rigsbys I haven't been able to connect up.
If you're interested in participating, email me. You can get my address by clicking on the link for my name above.