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Designing our own Adamthwaite DNA project

Background information on DNA Testing - how it can help our Adamthwaite research and answers to some common fears and misunderstandings

Family Finder - some background information to this NEW type of DNA test, and how it can assist in our Adamthwaite DNA Project

How you can help including full details of the individual branches which still have living male Adamthwaites

Funding the project 


ftDNA transfer offer

Have you already taken a DNA test?

If you have ADAMTHWAITEs in your ancestry and have already taken a DNA test with Ancestry or 23andMe, you can now transfer your results to Family Tree DNA absolutely free!!


Click on the image on the left to find out how to transfer your data, and then contact me to let me know so that you can join our Adamthwaite Group Project.

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contact details

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Adamthwaite Archive

"The website IS the one-name study!"



Have you been helped by the information on this site?  If you would like to contribute to the cost of our DNA project, just £10 would help towards the cost of DNA kits!

There is a link to DONATE on our Group Project page at Family Tree DNA (see below)

Adamthwaite DNA project

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For many years, members of the Adamthwaite mailing list have pondered on whether or not the different branches of the Adamthwaites all originate from families who lived at the same geographical location – Adamthwaite Farm in Ravenstonedale in Westmoreland, or whether, if we were able to see into the distant past, we should discover that all the branches descend from a person known as Adamthwaite.  Certainly, all the earliest records point to there being two main groups of families – one family group (or groups) based in Ravenstonedale  in Westmorland and another family group less than 10 miles away across the county border in Sedbergh in the West Riding of Yorkshire, with a few scattered individuals further east in Yorkshire and one or two in the City of London.  We are now fairly certain that the Sedbergh families also originated in Ravenstonedale.


In the first section of this website, you can see how we have reconstructed ten main family lines, and have been able to indicate how the vast majority of Adamthwaite individuals link in to these lines; and although we have recently demonstrated how two pairs of these lines link up, we just don’t have enough early paper records to find a connection between the others.  We embarked on our DNA programme because such testing can prove or disprove some of our theories in constructing these lines, as well as helping to establish whether or not any (or even all) of the lines are connected.


The main objectives of the DNA Project were: 

to validate the construction of the existing nine lines of Adamthwaites, as set out on the Adamthwaite Archive

to investigate possible links between the separate lines


After six years of testing, we have established that there are actually TEN lines of Adamthwaites and we have also found that three of those lines share a common ancestor (though we have not yet identified WHO he was!).  There is more information about our results on the 'Latest Results' page (link below).


You can read more about the advantages of DNA testing in genealogical research on Family Tree DNA’s website and visit our Surname Project page on that site.


Family Finder

Our DNA project is mainly based around yDNA testing - which is the type of DNA test traditionally used in Surname Projects (as yDNA is passed from father to son which in most western societies coincides with the surname).  However, we know that a third of our Adamthwaite lines have 'daughtered out' (meaning although there may still be living descendants of these lines, there are no longer any male Adamthwaites who would be eligible to participate in the yDNA test programme).


So, we have been experimenting with using a relatively new autosomal DNA test called Family Finder, which can be taken by males and females, and which analyses the 22 chromosomes of DNA which you have inherited from ALL branches of your ancestry.  This type of test can match results with any cousins within five generations.  To date, we have some interesting results. The first pair of results accurately matched my own results with those of a third cousin in my OLIVE Adamthwaite line.  Our closest common ancestors are our shared 2x gt grandparents William Adamthwaite and Sarah Mason, who married in Brough, Westmorland in 1841.  Then, surprisingly, we found a match between myself and a descendant of the PINK line - which was predicted to also be at third cousin level.  In fact, the two of us are SIXTH cousins and the match confirmed that the head of the PINK line was indeed the illegitimate son of a daughter of the couple who head the OLIVE line - this was a lucky fluke that the two of us both inherited a sizeable identical segment of DNA and a big boost to our confidence in this type of testing.  We are finding other connections between known distant cousins and also some very distant matches between different Adamthwaite lines - but these are probably the result of all the intemarriages which went on in Ravenstonedale back in the 17th and 18th centuries.


I have therefore opened up the Adamthwaite Surname Project on Family Tree DNA to anyone taking a Family Finder test who has Adamthwaites in their ancestry.  Because of the experimental nature of using this type of test for a Surname project, I do not think it would be ethical to use our General Fund contributions to pay for the tests (as we do for yDNA tests), but I can assure you that in my own case I am discovering new cousins on several branches of my ancestry - so it is something that some of you may wish to consider.


You can read more about the Family Finder test on a separate page below.  If you have taken an Ancestry DNA test (which also analyses autosomal DNA), please contact me so that we can discuss how to transfer your results to a website called, which allows direct comparisons between tests taken at the different companies.


See the following pages to find our more about the Adamthwaite DNA project:

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