Knowlton (Y-DNA)

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Status summary

Completed as of April 4, 2021:

  • Recruiting additional direct male-line Benjamin Knowlton descendants for NGS/WGS SNP testing - anyone interested in submitting their DNA for testing should contact Raymond T. Wing (email: wing.genealogist AT gmail DOT com)

Still to do as of April 4, 2021

  • NGS/WGS test multiple Y-DNA descendants of Benjamin Knowlton to firmly place family clade as well as test descendants to discover any subclades unique to descendants lines


Early Family

The 1897 The History and Genealogy of the Knowltons of England and America; Charles Henry Wright Stocking, D.D.; the Knickerbocker Press indicated John Knowlton (father of Benjamin Knowlton see below was the brother of William Knowlton and they were the sons of (Capt.) William Knowlton & Ann Elizabeth Smith. However, Y-DNA testing see below indicates where Y-DNA descendants of John and William fall under totally different haplogroups, and cannot be related within thousands of years. In addition, Y-DNA testing has shown where some individuals who believed they were paternal line descendants of John Knowlton (based on the 1897 genealogy) were not genetically/biologically descended from John in a straight paternal line. This is a prime example of why Y-DNA testing is so vital to genealogical research.

First Generation

Benjamin Knowlton was born Ipswich abt 1674, the son of John Knowlton & Bethia Edwards. John died Ipswich Hamlet (now Hamilton) in Dec 1764. He married Susanna Dutch and they had three children: Susanna (bp 1714), Elizabeth (bp 1716/7) and Benjamin (bp 1718).

Second Generation

Benjamin Knowlton (II) was baptized Ipswich 23 Nov 1718 and died there 2 Apr 1781 ae 63. He married twice, first Ipswich 28 Feb 1738 Susanna Potter and second, int. Ipswich 22 Apr 1756 Abigail Dane. By his first wife he had seven children (born Ipswich): Ezra (bp 1739), Susanna (bp 1741), Benjamin (bp 1742/3-d.y.), Nehemiah (1745), Edmund (c1747), Moses, James (d bef 1781). By his second wife Benjamin had ten more children (born Ipswich): Ephraim (1758), Malachi (1759), Hepzibah (c1762), Abigail (c1764), Benjamin (c1766), Hannah (c1767), Esther (bp 1769), Annis (bp 1770), Betty (bp 1773) and Catharine (bp 1776-1778).

Third Generation

DNA results R1b-ZP129

Previous Y-DNA testing

The Knowlton surname DNA project does not list the Most Distant Known Paternal Ancestor (MDKPA) in their results. However, they did note where the descendants of John Knowlton fall under Haplogroup R1b. It is assumed the R1b - DF95 Group is the primary group for John Knowlton descendants. It currently cannot be determined whether descendants of Benjamin (son of John Knowlton) fall under this group, or whether they fall into a different group (and thus Benjamin NOT being a genetic/biological son of John).

The Haplogroup/clade for the R1b - DF95 group of the Knowlton surname DNA Project falls under: R1b-U106>>Z18>>DF95>ZP85>ZP121>ZP124>ZP129

Further needed testing

We need additional direct male-line descendants of Benjamin Knowlton to WGS/NGS test to both to refine the haplogroup further and delineate descendant clades.

References & External Links

  • Sherman, Robert M. & Verle D. Vincent (rev. by Robert S. Wakefield), Mayflower Families through Five Generations vol. 15, Chilton & More. General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, MA 1997, reprinted 2013