Saturday, January 29, 2011

Comstock DNA Project

In December, I accepted the job as administrator of a new Comstock DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA.  You can read more about it here:

Comstock DNA Project

In order for a DNA test to be part of this Project, it would have to be ordered through the above webpage.  There is a link for "Join Project".   To be meaningful, the person being tested must be a male still carrying the surname Comstock, who can trace his Comstock heritage back several generations, ideally back to one of the Comstocks listed below.

The immigrant William Comstock [recorded as being in Connecticut in 1641, died about 1683 in New London] has been assumed to have been the father of five younger Comstocks found in Connecticut - John, Samuel, Daniel, Christopher, and a daughter Elizabeth who married Edward Shipman.  William's wife was Elizabeth - thought by some to have been Elizabeth Daniel although I've found no documentation that proves her name.  Nor can it be proved she was mother of all his children. 

Documented proof exists only for John and Daniel, whose sons sold 20 acres in 1694 which had been given to their grandfather William Comstock by the town of New London in 1647.  Samuel and Christopher have been associated with the others probably as much because the Comstock surname is rare in that place and time and there isn't anyone else available to serve as their parents.  Daniel and Samuel did go to Rhode Island where they appear in records about the same time, although Daniel did not stay, returning instead to New London - Daniel named a son Samuel, and Samuel named a son Daniel.  Christopher was of similar age and among his children can be found a Daniel and a Samuel and even a daughter, Elizabeth.

Another viewpoint of Christopher Comstock's origin as being German was discussed in an earlier Blog post and can be found here:

Comstock Family Origins - Part Two

Although DNA will not reveal that William Comstock was definitely the father of the four younger Comstocks - John, Daniel, Samuel & Christopher - testing would reveal whether or not descendants of each of these younger Comstocks share similar DNA.  If Christopher's and Samuel's descendants share similar DNA with those descendants of proved sons John and Daniel, that would certainly indicate that if they were not all brothers, they shared a close kinship. 

And, should the DNA of any of the four differ considerably, it will be obvious they do not have have similar origins.  Descendants would want to explore other possibilities.

There are also Comstocks here and there that have never found a connection to any of the above.  DNA testing could tell them if indeed they share a common heritage, or should be looking elsewhere for family roots.

Email me direct for more information about the project.

At this time only two DNA tests are in progress.  Both are descendants of Samuel Comstock of Rhode Island.  Results will not be meaningful until enough Comstock males have been tested to indicate conclusions.

Contributions of any amount can also be accepted if there are those female descendants or male descendants who do not carry the Comstock name but would like to help fund testing for those who do qualify but cannot afford the cost.  Again, email me at the above address for more information, if you would be interested.

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