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.



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. John married Desire Howland (eldest daughter of Mayflower Passengers John Howland & Elizabeth Tilley) about 1643.[3] 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[4] 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 six daughters and five sons: James, John, Joseph, Jabez & Shubael.


  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. Based on the fact their first child was born 2 Apr 1644
  4. This may be due to a change in the town lines, or a recognition of an error in calling the property in Yarmouth

Y-DNA Descendants

Second Generation

James Gorham (1650-1707) married Hannah Huckins Feb 1673/4 in Barnstable, where they lived out their lives. They had four daughters and seven sons: James, John, Thomas, Joseph, Jabez, Sylvanus & Ebenezer

(Lieut. Col.) John Gorham (1651/2-1716) married Mary Otis Feb 1674/5 in Barnstable, where they lived out their lives. They had four daughters and five sons: John (died young), Stephen, Shubael, John & Job

(Ens.) Joseph Gorham (1653/4-1726) married Sarah Sturgis about 1678. They lived in Yarmouth, MA. They had two daughters and six sons: Joseph, Samuel, John, Isaac, Hezekiah & Josiah

Jabez Gorham (1656-1725) married Hannah STURGIS Gray before 1677. They moved to Bristol, MA (now in Rhode Island) about 1682.[1] They had three daughters and eight sons: Samuel, Jabez, Shubael, Isaac, John, Joseph, Benjamin & Thomas

Shubael Gorham (1667-1750) married Puella (Priscilla?) Hussey in May 1695. They lived on Nantucket Island and Barnstable. They had eight daughters and three sons: George, Daniel & Jonathan.


  1. After the birth of their third child, Samuel.

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 assinged 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

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

Gorham surname DNA Project (a Family Tree DNA Project)

Howland DNA tree which includes the Y-DNA line of John Gorham

Capt. John Gorham bio on Miner Descent blog

Familypedia wiki on John Gorham

Geni.com wiki on John Gorham

wikitree wiki on John Gorham

find-a-grave wiki on John Gorham