Gorham (Y-DNA)

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Status summary

Completed as of January 10, 2020:

  • Recruiting additional Gorhams for further SNP testing - anyone interested in submitting their DNA for testing should contact MayflowerDNA1620@gmail.com
  • Predicted to fall under I-M253 based on STR testing of two descendants.

Still to do as of January 10, 2020

  • NGS/WGS test for subclade under I-M253.


For more information see: White, Elizabeth Pearson, John Howland of the Mayflower, Vol. I (daughter Desire), Picton Press, Rockport, Maine, 1990, 2008

First Generation

John Gorum (as he consistently spelled his name) was likely[1] the "John Gorram Sonne of Ralph Gorram" baptized at Benefield, Northamptonshire, England 28 Jan 1620/1.[2] The family was found in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony in 1637, and likely were then fairly recent immigrants.[3]. John married Desire Howland (eldest daughter of Mayflower Passengers John Howland & Elizabeth Tilley) about 1643.[4] The family moved to Marshfield shortly after the first child was born, but was in Yarmouth (on Cape Cod) by 1652. They were found in Barnstable in 1658[5] They were still living in Barnstable as late as Jun 1674. John was a Captain in King Phillip's War and almost certainly his death (possibly due to disease) was due to his service. He was buried at Swansey (now Swansea) in Bristol County on 5 Feb 1675/6.

John & Desire had eleven chilren: Desire (1644), Temperance (1646), James (1650), John (1651/2), Joseph (1653/4), Jabez (1656), Mercy (1658), Lydia (1661), Hannah (1663) and Shubael (1667).

Second Generation

James Gorham was born Marshfield 28 Apr 1650 and died Barnstable in late 1707.[6] 0He married Hannah Huckins Feb 1673/4 in Barnstable, where they lived out their lives. They had eleven children (Barnstable): Desire (1674), James (1676/7), Experience (1678), John (1680), Mehitable (1683), Thomas (1684), Mercy (1686), Joseph (1689), Jabez (1690/1), Sylvanus (1693) and Ebenezer (1695/6).

(Lieut. Col.) John Gorham was born Marshfield 20 Feb 1651/2 and died Barnstable 11 Nov 1716. He married Mary Otis Feb 1674/5 in Barnstable, where they lived out their lives. They had nine children ([West] Barnstable): John (1675/6-1679), Temperance (1678), Mercy (1680), Stephen (1683), Shubael (1686), John (1688), Thankful (1690), Job (1692) and Mercy (1695).

(Ens.) Joseph Gorham was born Yarmouth 16 Feb 1653/4 and died there 9 Jul 1726. He married (prob. in Yarmouth) before 1678 Sarah Sturgis and they had eight children (Yarmouth): Sarah (1678/9), Joseph (1681), Samuel (1682), John (1683/4 d.y.), Desire (1685), Isaac (1687-1714 no ch.), Hezekiah (1689-1714 no ch.) and Josiah (1692).

Jabez Gorham was born Barnstable 3 Aug 1656 and died in Bristol (now part of RI) in 1725.[7] He married Hannah STURGIS Gray before 1677. They moved to Bristol, MA (now in Rhode Island) about 1682.[8] They had eleven children: Hannah (1677-1682), Elizabeth (c1680), Samuel (1682), Jabez (1683/4), Shubael (1686-1734 no ch.), Isaac (1688/9), John (1690-1717 no ch.), Joseph (1692), Hannah (1693/4), Benjamin (1695) and Thomas (1701).

Shubael Gorham was born Barnstable 21 Oct 1667 and died there in 1750. He married Nantucket Island in May 1695 to Puella (Priscilla?) Hussey and they had ten children: George (1696/7), Abigail (1699), Lydia (1701), Hannah (1703), Theodate (1705), Daniel (1708), Desire (1710), Ruth (1713), Deborah z(c1715) and Jonathan (d.y.).

Third Generation

James Gorham (II) was born Barnstable 6 Mar 1676/7 and died there in 1718.[9] He married Barnstable 29 Sep 1709 Mary Joyce and they had five children (West Barnstable): Thankful (1711 m Thomas Hawes), Isaac (bp 1715 m Mary Hallett & Mary Cobb), Hezekiah (bp 1715 m Anna ALLEN Davis), James (bp 1717 no children) and Mary (bp 1719).

John Gorham was born Barnstable 2 Aug 1680 and died (West) Yarmouth in 1729.[10] He married Barnstable 14 Feb 1705/6 Ann Brown and they had six children (Yarmouth): Matthias (1706 m Mary Davis), Mercy (1708), Desire (1710), Rose (1711/2), Elizabeth (1714) and Anne (1716/7).

Thomas Gorham was born Barnstable 16 Dec 1684 and died there bef Dec 1771.[11] He married Nantucket Island 7 May 1707 Rachel Trott and they had ten children (Barnstable): Benjamin (1708 m Sarah BAXTER Cobb), Reuben (1709 d.y.), Priscilla (1711), Samuel (1713 d.y.), Peter (1713 unm.), Paul (1717/8), Abraham (1720 d.y.), James (1723 d.y.), Gershom (1725 m Winifred North, but no ch.) and Abigail (1729).

Joseph Gorham was born Barnstable 25 Mar 1689 and is said to have died there, likely unmarried, in 1762.

Jabez Gorham was born Barnstable 6 Mar 1690/1 and died Fairfield, CT bef 5 Mar 1739/40. He married abt. 1718 _____[12] and they had four children (last three bp. Fairfield): James (c1719 m Miriam Hull), David (bp 1722/3 m Abigail Jackson), Jabez (bp 1725 m Mary Burbank) and John (bp 1728 m Mary ___ but no ch.).

Sylvanus Gorham was born Barnstable 13 Oct 1693 and died Stratford, CT bef 24 Sep 1747, likely unmarried.

Ebenezer Gorham was born Barnstable 14 Feb 1695/6 and died there 16 Nov 1776. He married Yarmouth 9 Nov 1727 Temperance Hawes and they had nine children (Barnstable): Ebenezer (1729 m Mary Thacher & Hope DOTY Carver), Prince (1730/1 m Abigail Gorham & Desire Clapp), Hannah (1733), Mary (1735), Sarah (1737 d.y.), Thankful (bp 1739), Sarah (bp 1741), Temperance (bp 1744) and Silvanus (bp 1746 m Anna Gorham).

Stephen Gorham was born Barnstable 23 Jun 1683 and died either Barnstable or Nantucket Island in 1743. He married Nantucket 25 Dec 1703 Elizabeth Gardner and they had twelve children: Mary (1704), Susannah (1705), Nathaniel (1709 m Mary Soley), Sarah (1711), Barnabas (1715 unm.), Zaccheus (1717 unm.), Elizabeth (1718), Eunice (1720), Stephen (1722 d.y.), Josiah (1723 m Deborah Lovell), Lois (1727) and Lydia (1729).

Shubael Gorham was born Barnstable 2 Sep 1686 and died during the military expedition to Louisbourg, Nova Scotia 20 Feb 1745/6. He married Barnstable 23 Dec 1708 Mary Thacher and they had ten children (Barnstable): John (1709 m Elizabeth Allyn), David (1712 m Abigail Sturgis & Elizabeth Stevens), Mary (1713/4), William (1716 unm.), Lydia (1718), Hannah (1720-1721), Hannah (1721), Shubael (1723 unm.), Joseph (1725 m Ann Spry & Elizabeth ___ Hunter) and Benjamin (1726 m Nancy Hinckley).

John Gorham (II) was born Barnstable 28 Sep 1688 and died there in 1769. He married Barnstable 2 Oct 1712 Prudence Crocker and they had fourteen children (Barnstable): Joseph (1713 m Abigail Lovell), Benjamin (1715 m Mary Sturgis), Ann (1716/7), Deborah (1718), John (1720 d.y.), Thankful (1721/2), Mary (1723/4), Nathaniel (1726 m Anna Lewis), Experience (1728-1728), Mercy (1729 d.y.), Naomi (1731-1731), Abigail (1732), Prudence (1734) and Rachel (1736).

Job Gorham was born Barnstable 30 Aug 1692 and died there bef 2 Nov 1762.[13] He married twice, first Barnstable 4 Dec 1716 Desire Dimmock, and second Fairfield, CT 25 Nov 2735 Bethiah STURGIS Freeman. By his first wife he had five children (Barnstable): Temperance (1721), Thomas (1723 m Hannah Gorham & Rebecca TAYLOR Jones), Edward (1725 d.y.), Desire (1727/8) and Job (1730 d.y.). By his second wife he had one more child: Sarah (bp 1736 d.y.).

Joseph Gorham (II) was born Yarmouth 15 Apr 1681 and died Stratford, CT 24 Apr 1742. He married twice, first Charlestown 9 Nov 1708 Sarah Kirk and second, Boston 20 Jun 1723 Temperance NORTON Adams. By his first wife he had five children: Mary (1709), George (1711 m Hannah Welles), Joseph (1712 m Anna/Hannah Curtis), Elizabeth (1716-1716) and John (1718 unm.). By his second wife he had three more children: Samuel (1724 m Ann Green), Hezekiah (1727/8 likely unm.) and Benjamin (1733 likely unm.).

Samuel Gorham was born Yarmouth Oct 1682 and died prob. in Bristol (now in RI) bef 27 Apr 1712. He married Newport, RI Elizabeth Hedge and had no children.

John Gorham was born Yarmouth 28 Feb 1683/4. He married abt 1706 Ann Brown but there is no further record of this couple.

Isaac Gorham was born Yarmouth in Oct 1687 and died Yarmouth bef 14 Jan 1714/5 unmarried.

Josiah Gorham was born Yarmouth 2 Dec 1692 and died there 1 or 2 Apr 1775. He married three times, first poss. in RI bef Jul 1717 Sarah _____, second Yarmouth 15 Mar 1721/2 Priscilla Sears and third Yarmouth 25 Oct 1761 Mercy GRAY Hallett (no children). By his first wife he had one child (Newport): Rebecca (1717). By his second wife he had eight more children (Yarmouth): Samuel (1722/3 m Abigail Hallett), Isaac (1724/5 Sarah Smith but no ch.), Joseph (1728-1728), Josiah (1730 m Hannah Hallett but no ch.), Hezekiah (1732 m Abigail Sturgis), Stephen (1735 m Sarah Freeman), John (1735-1755 unm.) and David (1738 m Rebecca Hamblin).

Samuel Gorham was born Yarmouth 15 Apr 1682 and died Bristol, RI 24 Nov 1735. He married Newport, RI 22 Jun 1708 Elizabeth Hedge but it is believed they never had any children.

Jabez Gorham (II) was born Bristol (now in RI) 31 Jan 1683/4 and died there 21 Nov 1745. He married twice, first Bristol bef 1707 Leah Littlefield and second Bristol 31 Jul 1744 Mary Maxfield (no children). By his first wife Jabez had eight children: Samuel (1707-1730 likely unm.), Elizabeth (1710-1726), Shubael (1713-1734 unm.), Hannah (1717), Mary (1721), Rebecca (1723), Nathan (1725 m Susannah Kelly) and Deborah (1732).

Shubael Gorham was born Bristol 12 Apr 1686 and died there in 1734. It is believed he never married.

Isaac Gorham was born Bristol 1 Feb 1688/9 and died New Haven, CT bef Mar 1739/40.[14] He married twice, first abt 1712 Mary ___ and second 6 Aug 1717 New Haven Hannah Miles. By his first wife he had two children (Bristol): Isaac (1712/3 m Jemima Potter) and Hezekiah (1714/5-1715). By his second wife Isaac had nine more children: John (1720 m Lydia Dorman), Mary (1721), Timothy (1723 m Mary Mable Punchard & Sarah Rowe Brown), [https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/74451455/person/330066210090/facts Hezekiah (1725 m Abigail Dickerman), Elizabeth (bp 1727/8), Samuel (bp 1730-1755 no ch.), Hannah (1733), Sarah (1735) and Richard (1737-b1740).

John Gorham was born Bristol 8 Nov 1690 and died there Jan 1717. He is believed to have married Sarah ____ but prob. had no children.

(Lieut.) Joseph Gorham was born Bristol 22 Aug 1692 and died Fairfield (now Westport), CT 19 Jan 1773. He married twice, first Fairfield, CT 11 May 1715 Abigail Lockwood and second Fairfield 13 Jan 1725/6 Deborah Barlow. By his first wife he had seven children: Hannah (1715/6 d.y.), Daniel (1717 m Jane Bates), Jabez (1718/9 m Mary Couch), Lockwood (1720 m Abigail Meeker), Joseph (1721/2 d.y.), Shubael (1723 d.y.) and Ichabod (1724/5 m Sarah Barlow). By his second wife Joseph had eight more children: Shubael (1726 m Rebecca Hollebert & Abigail Frost), Abigail (1728), Isaac (1730 m Anne Wakeman), John (1732 m Abigail Waterman), Hannah (1737), Mary (1739), Joseph (1741 m Mary Gray) and Abigail (1744).

Benjamin Gorham was born Bristol 11 Dec 1695 and died Providence, RI between 18 Oct 1771 - 25 Jan 1772.<Providence deeds.</ref> He married Bristol 1717 Bethiah Cary and they had seven children: Benjamin (1718 d.y.), Bethiah (1721), Sarah (1723), Jemima (c1725), Elizabeth (bp 1727/8), Jabez (c1730 m Abigail Field) and Samuel (c1732 no ch.).

Thomas Gorham was born Bristol 30 Oct 1701 and died bef 16 Mar 1724/5. It is believed he never married.

George Gorham was born Barnstable 29 Jan 1696/7 and died Stamford, CT between 28 Mar - 5 May 1772. He married New Rochelle, NY 20 Jul 1726 Hannah Banks and they had thirteen children: Shubael (1727 m Mary Selleck), Hannah (1728/9), Puella (1730), Abigail (1731/2), Mary (1733), Phebe (1735), Daniel (1737 unm?), Anne (1738), Jonathan (1740 m Mary Walters ), Sarah (1742), George (1744 m Sarah Stevens), Joseph (1745/6 unm?) and Deborah (1748).

Daniel Gorham was born Barnstable 14 Sep 1708 and died London, ENG in 1745. He never married.


  1. The "Wast Book" of Col. John Gorham (a great-grandson of Capt. John) stated his great-grandfather's father was also named John. In addition, Col. Gorham stated he found the arms of his Gorham family "from Huntingtunshear". See Mayflower Descendant 5:173-175
  2. Image of baptismal record found at Ancestry.com [1] Unfortunately the right hand side of the page (which includes the date) does not show up on this record.
  3. He may have been the John Gorham who was recorded on board the Philip on 20 Jun 1635 (White, John Howland vol. I:9)
  4. Based on the fact their first child was born 2 Apr 1644
  5. This may be due to a change in the town lines, or a recognition of an error in calling the property in Yarmouth
  6. Either November or December.
  7. Will 16 Mar 1724/5, proved 20 Apr 1725.
  8. After the birth of their third child, Samuel.
  9. Will 10 Sep 1718, proved 5 Nov 1718.
  10. Will 20 Jul 1729 probated 5 Nov 1729.
  11. Will proved 3 Dec.
  12. Her given name was NOT Molly, as many sources state. This error came from mis-transcribing a 1773 Fairfield church record as 1733.
  13. Will proved.
  14. Inventory of his estate presented to court.

Previous Y-DNA testing

Y-STR testing of two Gorham descendants give a predicted haplogroup of I-M253. NGS/WGS testing still needs to be done to determine where the family falls under I-M253.

DNA Results R1b-FT285492

Previous DNA testing

Currently, the Gorham surname DNA Project has one Y-DNA result for an individual with the Gorham surname. Unfortunately, this individual has discovered where there is a Non-Paternity Event (NPE) in their line so their Y-DNA does not go back to Capt. John Gorum.

An male Gorham who believes to descend in a straight paternal line from John Gorum has reported where they have done an autosomal test with 23andMe. 23andMe does test for a select number of Y-DNA SNPs and gives people a haplogroup assignment. 23andMe has assigned this individual to: R1b-P312>>DF27>Z195>Z274>Z209>FGC83504>Z295>Z270>Z211>Z297>CTS2608>Z278.

NGS/WGS testing

One individual has taken a Big Y test and been found to fall under Z278>Z697>FT285492. Once we have a second Gorham Y-DNA descendant take a Big Y test, we would be able to further refine the family haplogroup.

References & External Links