On FamilyTreeDNA.com there is now a WHITMORE group, whose goal it is to classify the various immigrant WITMER / WHITMER / WHITMORE / WETMORE families, and also those in other countries.
From my own (non-DNA) research, I have long put the WITMERs, et al, into four groups:
1) The WETMORE / WHITMORE line, which arrived in America from England in the early 1600's, and settled in MA, CT, and parts of NY. (This is the line of Hal Whitmore, one of the administrators of the DNA project, who, by the way, is extremely knowledgeable on this line and on DNA research.)
2) The WITMER / WHITMORE line of Mennonites, originally from Switzerland, who began arriving in the early 1700's and settled at first in the Lancaster, PA, area. (This is my line, and area of expertice.) Some of the WITMERs spent a few generations in southern France before arriving in the US in the 1800's.
3) The WITMER / WITTMER / WHITMER line of German Lutherans who immigrated in the 1700's, usually after 1730, to the Lancaster, PA, area. This would likely be your line if your ancestor was a Revolutionary War hero or if you have a record of him marrying in a Lutheran church.
4) The WIDMER / WHITMER line of Swiss immigrants who came to OH, IA, and the Pacific Northwest in the mid-1800's.
The WHITMORE project presently has two participants from each of the above groups (which at first glance is supporting my original guess), but we need to have MANY more to truely nail it all down. There is already enough information there for YOU to gain knowledge about YOUR line by participating.
Personally, I would love to see more descendants of John WITMER (imm 1717) and Benjamin WITMER (imm 1717) sign up. In particular, descendants of Herman WITMER (1753-1829) would provide very useful information for my own line. Any descendants of Benjamin WITMER (usually WHITMORE) would also help. How about any descendants of the Peter WHITMER of LDS fame? They are suspected to be of this line. Please join!
I know that Hal WHITMORE (of the English WETMORE line) needs more participants from his line. He has the possibility to demonstrate some relationships back in England, given enough samples.
More samples from group 3 above would be very interesting, and help to sort out the Lancaster, PA, mess of WITMERs. How about all of you who claim Peter WITMER, b 1737 in Hertzheim, as an ancestor? I'd like to see you participate.
In group 4, do we have anybody related to the WIDMER family of the Widmer Brewery in Portland, OR, around? They or any other WIDMERs would be very much appreciated.
To participate, the trick is that you need to be MALE. (Only the males have the y-DNA we are testing.) So for all you hard working female genealogists out there, please sign up your brother, father, uncle, or even second cousin (who has a WITMER type surname of course)!
It does cost money, and in fact a very discriminating test that I would recommend (Y-DNA37) would cost $189, but the definitive results we will get will make up for a lot of missing paper documentation. In cases where you would like to participate, but really can't afford it, we do have support funds available (contact a group administrator from the link below). Click on the link below to join. (Or go to www.familytreedna.com and navigate to the WHITMORE project.)