Breaking News

For the latest results check the results page (nested under Patriarchs) and updated analysis on the DNA in Depth Discussion page (Posts are periodically revised or deleted as appropriate, some posts with relevant info are moved to other pages when deleted here )

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Most of our updates are being detailed in our Wheaton Wood private Blog. If you are interested please send me an email to be  included.

UPDATE 5/22/2013


If you are a direct male descendant of Christopher Wheaton of Hull, MA (Some descendants settled in Barre, VT) or a descendant of Robert Wheaton's son Obadiah Wheaton who lived in Boston, MA I will provide a FREE Kit for demonstrated lineage. I have two kits available for the first two men that meet the criteria.

UPDATE 4/1/2013

Just wanted to let descendants of the Robert Wheaton group (especially descendants of Ephraim, Samuel, and those with ties to the First Baptist Church of Swansea, MA about an upcoming book. More about the project here:

Baptists in Early North America—Swansea, Massachusetts Volume 1
Series edited by: William H. Brackney   With: Charles H. Hartman
Product Code: 
476 pages
Binding Information: Hardback 
Not yet published. Will ship on: June 30, 2013
Price: $60.00

To pre-order direct:

Or at Amazon

UPDATE 12/17/2012

Here's what we have accomplished this year:

  • WE went from 17 to 37 MEMBERS at FTDNA and many more overall!
  • WE went from a presumed 2 Wheaton groups to  SEVEN with FOUR of those Groups tracing roots to DEVON!
  • WE have proof the name had not a single origin but likely many.
  • WE have 3 members who are participating in the Genographic Project Geno 2.0
  • WE have sponsored a Walk Through the Y for a member of Group B
  • WE have been responsible for the discovery of a brand new SNP L1358
  • WE have located the earliest Wheaton of record in Devon in 1288!
  • WE have our first African American of Wheaton descent join us
  • WE have solved a few mysteries and uncovered many more
My wish list for next year:
  • More members especially from England
  • Descendants of Thomas Wheadon's son John
  • Descendents of Robert Wheaton's sons Obadiah and Samuel
  • Descendants of Christopher Wheaton of Hull, MA
  • An answer to Robert Wheaton's precise origins
  • That our new SNP and the results from Geno 2.0 help refine the origins of the various Wheaton Groups
  • That through this project we learn more about our place in the Greater Human Family

UPDATE 10/16/12

Please see the updated Devon Wheaton page. This page has all the earliest Wheatons (and Hancock) in Devon. Please note there are several1600's records for Wheatons in Wales two for Christopher one possibly a contemporary of Robert and perhaps the one that shows up in Hull, MA. Christopher was a sailor so this might make sense..

UPDATE 9/11/12

Further revisions on the Origins of the Surname Wheaton. A remote possibility that some Wheatons derive your names from the "meeting of wise men," now we are talking!

UPDATE 9/9/12

WE have reached 33 Members!

Updated DNA for Newbies page with new testing Recommendations.

Possibly but not likely birth for Robert Wheaton.

Robart Wooton bapt 21 Oct 1606 Plymouth St. Andrews, Devon,  father Anthonie

UPDATE 9/2/12

New web page here on early Devon Wheatons

UPDATE 6/19/12

Also, how rare is rare? I did a search over at for the Wheaton Group B Haplotype [In this case a Haplotype is a set of values on select markers on the Y-Chromosome]. The database has 101,055 Y-samples worldwide. Doing a search on 16 markers with the Wheaton group B values yields precisely "0ZERO matches. In a search of 44,707 European samples and only 7 markers the number of matches is a staggering "4". Yes FOUR. So when I say I can spot a Wheaton group B with only 5 markers I'm not kidding. So anyone bearing the Wheaton signature is going to be related and most likely in a genealogical time frame.

UPDATE 6/12/12

I have just concluded a major survey of all the extant 1641/42 Protestation Returns in Devon which tends to strengthen the Wheaton/Hancock match. There is one instance of Wheatons and Hancocks in the same parish of Topsham and many where they occupied adjacent parishes within 5 miles of one another.

UPDATE 6/6/12

Okay a little more on Haplogroups and what that all means. In simplest terms we have in our project representative clusters of the major Y-DNA Haplogroups of Great Britain. In overly simplified terms:

Wetton/Wheaton Group E: Haplogroup I1a: Norse or Viking origin

Wheadon Group C: Haplogroup  R1b U106: Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) origin

Wheaton Group B: Haplogroup R1b U152: Alpine Celtic (Either ancient Celts of Britain or from more recent Roman invasions.)

In the absence of Deep Clade testing I am not sure where Wheaton Group A or E will fall.

UPDATE 5/23/12

We have reached 28 MEMBERS!

UPDATE 5/10/12

Please see the DNA in Depth Discussion page for the latest Robert Wheaton cluster analysis.

Thomas Mallenby's Deep Clade results confirm the closeness of this match

Robert Wheaton from Devon After All?

Okay just when I've given up on Devon as the ancestral homeland of our Robert Cluster along pop's up a new match on Wednesday evening (some of you noticed!) so far perfect 25/25 match with all in the Wheaton Group B. And this gentleman has a solid paper trail back to South Molton, Devon in the 1800's. His surname however is Hancock. The Hancocks look to have as old  roots in Devon as the Wheatons and there are several intermarriages between the two. We won't know the answers to who came first without more testing. It is possible their common ancestor slightly predates surnames or a NPE somewhere along the line. South Molton is in Northern Devon and there are Wheatons in South Molton and surrounding areas! This area is closer to the north Coast of Devon and of course only about 10 miles across the channel to Wales!!!!! Which ties into the Bowens and our Howell match! So here are my 3 current possibilities to explain the Wheaton/ Hancock match.

1) Common ancestor predates adoption of surnames
2) Pre 1600 non-paternal Wheaton event (adoption, name change etc)
3) Post 1600's Non paternal Hancock event (adoption, name change etc)

Wheatons Elsewhere in England
So it is looking very promising that the Robert Wheaton group came from Devon after all. So it looks likely we will end up with 3 or MORE Wheaton/Wheadon clusters in Devon!!!!! Who would have guessed that one?

I am still interested in locating Weetons in Lancashire, Wheaton or Wetton in Northumberland or Staffordshire and Wheddons in Norfolk as they may hold the answers to our as yet unidentified Wheatons looking for company! So anyone having contact information for any of these please let me know. Also would like to get more coverage on some of Thomas Wheadon and Robert Wheatons descendants. Please send me any email addresses of folks who you think might like to be added to the list.

UPDATE 4/21/12

With the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic I found this Wheadon connection.

UPDATE 4/19/12

If you haven't checked out our Wheaton Specific Resources Page lately I have added lots more place names and info on various Weetons, Wheatons etc.

We have a Facebook page! Please like us on Facebook. Good place to post info ask questions and meet up with other Wheaton researchers.

UPDATE 4/1/12

Happy Easter! We have a new Robert Wheaton match! Altogether there are now 12 results in the Group "B" Cluster. I will be updating our Results page soon for those of you keeping track. His results are under William Miel (Jim) Wheaton. He is a perfect match with Jerry, Glen and David J. at 37 markers. Aside from Glen (of which line we aren't sure) these represent 2 of Robert' sons: John and Benjamin. This does not meant that those with one mutation off  at 37 markers can't be of either of these lines but just slightly less likely. However since the most common recent ancestor for all four is Robert and for Jim and Jerry is John 2 we know there have not been any mutations in three hundred years which is pretty amazing. So Glenn can take his choice John 2 or Benjamin 2!

We have some interesting results coming in shortly on a descendant of a Loyalist Wheaton from Canada and deep clade results from our matching Mallenby. We have also a couple of new Wheaton women descendants who can't participate in the Y-DNA but whose mtDNA or autosomal may match other eventually.

UPDATE 4/1/12

We started back in February of 2011---with 6 members that first month. We now have reached 21 members at FTDNA! And we really are international: Australia (2), China, Canada, England (many), and in the US: Texas, Virginia, Michigan, California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Massachusetts. We have identified 4 distinct Wheaton signatures with multiple members and a few others awaiting some company ;-) We have connected Many and yet one of our biggest mysteries continues: Where did Robert Wheaton of Salem and Rehoboth come from? I continue working on that conundrum.

UPDATE 3/28/12

Wheaton Group B is this home? Wheat fields in Weeton near Hull (Yorkshire, England).

UPDATE 3/17/12
We have established our Wheaton line in Devon which is fantastic!!!!
However it doesn't connect to the Robert Wheaton Group!

We have nearly 30 Results from various sources and 20+ members in our Wheaton Group at FTDNA Not bad for a project started last February. Thanks to all for your participation and patience.

Back on 6/2/11 Update I posted "I've had word from David Wheaton of Devon that he had a nice visit with Ben and Gemma Wheaton of Australia! Glad to be doing our part to make the world a smaller place!" Well we now have proof these two gentleman are related. Thanks to Jean for this kindly chart:




Joseph and Elizabeth DAVY


Thomas and Sarah GODFREY


John and Mary PRESTON


Peter and Sarah NORMAN


Nathaniel and Sarah BAILEY


William and Phebe ANSTICE


Nathaniel and Mary Bynon or Byron HALEY (Went to Australia)


Frederick and Eliza Caroline STACEY


Philip and Sarah Prior JACKMAN


Alfred and Belinda Mary DAVIS


Stanley Philip and Ruby Jemima HANCOCK


Harold and Sarah GRIFFITHS


Rex Prouse


Alfred Eric "Eric"


Benjamin Matthew


Alfred David "David"

Now Jean has asked could Joseph and Thomas be brothers? They both lived in Sidbury about 300 years ago so their father would have been born about 325 years ago (in this case 8 generations) FTDNA estimates their odds of being related within 8 generations as 15% but jumps to 50% in 12. I would guess they are brothers or cousins.  There is another Wheaton (first name unknown) who is also a match but he remains private. If he is reading this please contact me!

BACK on 5/20/11 this (updates in red):

We have proved a couple of other brick walls are related to Robert and we have begun to see some clustering which suggests which branch of Robert's tree folks belong to. We have also discovered a couple of unrelated folks suggesting NPE's. However as I caution everyone don't be to quick to jump to conclusions. It could be that Robert Wheaton was a scoundrel from England who changed his name from that of his birthright. Until we have a match on the English side of the puddle it is educated speculation.

Future We hope that future testing by Devon Wheaton will answer some of our really big questions. Which include:

1) Are all the Devon Wheatons related? No! There are at least four separate lines in Devon to date.
2) Are the Devon Wheatons and Wheadons related? Not the ancestors of Robert Wheaton and Thomas Wheadon.
3) Is Robert related to any of the Devon Wheatons? Still don't have confirmation. Not related to any of the tested Wheatons to date but does match a Hancock from Devon.
4) Can we take the Devon branches back in time through DNA? How far? Yes! And we can take results back to the 1500's.
5) Is the Staffordhire Whetton clan originally from Devon? There is no evidence of a connection.

So what to make of our Wheaton Group B (Robert Wheaton and relatives) ?

The following is a recap. I continue looking for clues to Robert's origin among our other matches. (Please see results page to see how closely related we are).

Mellanby (also spelled Mellanbie)(66/67 marker match)
Howell (also spelled Hoel) (64/67 marker match)
Raines (also spelled Reynes) (23/24 marker match)

Raines and Howell are in Devon same times and places as Wheatons. No Mellanbys so far however there are Raines in the same place as Mellanbys (Newcastle-upon the Tyne, Northumberland) So at least we have some plausible connections. Time will tell who came first and how they are related. But it is very likely they shared a common ancestor within the past 500-600 years and maybe much sooner.

Thomas Mallenby of England has 66/67 marker match with several of the Robert Wheaton cluster. Here's a example:

In comparing 67 results, the probability that Dr. Jerrold Levi Wheaton Jr. and Mr. Thomas Mallenby shared a common ancestor within the last...

Generations Percentage
4 71.86%
8 95.27%
12 99.32%
16 99.91%
20 99.99%
24 100.00%
28 100.00%

So knowing that Robert Wheaton came in 1636 to America. There is either an NPE along the line of the Common ancestor, either his father or grandfather OR Thomas is descended from one of Roberts offspring who returned to England. Most of the testers are within 9-12 generations of Robert.  So either all the Wheatons are Mallenby's or Thomas Mallenby is a Wheaton!

UPDATE 3/14/12

We have two new members with kits not yet logged in at the lab. Welcome aboard!

The latest SNP test keeps all the Robert Wheaton Cluster as shorthand L2+ (as all other terminal SNPs have come up negative) I have found one result for a Elliot in Devon with DYS 19=16. Why does this matter? Well R1b (R1b1a2a1a1b3c) has DYS19=16 at less than 1% frequency so any other DYS 19=16 are important and the fact that it is is in Devon helps to build my case that the Robert Wheaton cluster came from there.

UPDATE 12/9/11

Interesting article brought to my attention by Nancy and Jerry. Who Killed the Men of England

Also a new book out (I haven't read yet) Might make a great Christmas gift.

Surnames, DNA, and Family History

UPDATE 11/15/11

Link to Wheaton Cemetery Grave Photos in Swansea MA

Link to Burial Place Hill Cemetery Rehoboth, MA

UPDATE 9/21/11

In the 800 years Wheatons and 500 years for Wheadons have been living in Devon we can not know when and how many branches there might be. So until we either test more Wheatons with ties to Devon or get a match with others elsewhere we have an intriguing mystery on our hands.

There has been a bit of progress on the Haplogroup end---all of the suspected Devon Wheatons are part of Haplogroup R1b1a2 and the Wheaton / Wettons of Staffordshire are I12. These are the two most prevalent groups in Great Britain. With the recent discovery of more and more new SNP we may be getting close to connecting the ancient Haplogroups to what is referred to as genealogical time. (Close enough to bridge the gap where written records and surnames began). 

Having become a bit of a DNA junkie my husband's DNA is part of on-going testing to refine the origins of the Haplogroup Wheatons. So we may get answers one way or the other! Here are his results and all of the Robert Wheaton Cluster would be identical:

L2+; and negative for the following SNPs: Z49- M228.2- L562- L20- L196-. According to the current classification, you have been assigned to:
Haplogroup R1b1a2a1a1b3c. The shorthand parlance is L2

UPDATE 8/20/11

And congratulations to Mike in Denver for adding a new Wheaton to the Tree!

UPDATE 5/31/11

New results for Glenn are in for 68-111 Markers. Still waiting for Michael's last panel of Markers 103-111. The somewhat surprising news is that of the 43 additional makers (31 of which we can now compare) only one additional mutation has surfaced. This is a bit of a surprise as 11 of the 43 are categorized as fast mutating markers. Currently 106/111 :

Genetic Distance Relationship Interpretation                              Related in This Number of Generations or LESS
50% 90% 95% 99%
5 Related A 106/111 match indicates a genealogical relationship. Most matches at this level are related as 12th cousins or more recently, and over half will be 7th cousins or closer. This is well within the range of traditional genealogy. 8 13 15 18

We will also be getting Lori (Lawrence)'s and David J.'s 111 markers soon.

UPDATE 5/28/11

Results are in for Willard and we have another new Wheaton line---again with no matches. His values are normal and he has 27 matches of various different surnames at 25 markers. However once you add the next 7 he has no matches at all. Here's the reason which is similar to the Robert Wheaton Line: Multiple unusual values:

26 DYS-460=11  74%
27 GATAH4=10   20%
28 YCAIIa=18       2%
29 YCAIIb=23     81%
30 DYS456=17   19%
31 DYS607=15     7%
32 DYS576= 20    5%
33 DYS570=17   57%
34 CDYa=36       30%
35 CDYb=37      21%
36 DYS442=10     0% (less than .1%)
37 DYS438=13     3%

UPDATE 5/20/11

For those on my email list this is the same update I sent you. For any lurkers out there here's the latest news.

1) A True story. About a week ago, on a bit of a whim, I did a Google search for Wheatons in Devon and located a business email for a Wheaton there. I have previously found a couple of other Wheatons in England that I have emailed to no avail but I keep trying--- In case you haven't noticed, I'm not easily dissuaded from my mission ;-)

Well I got the most delightful email back from David of our ancestral Wheatons still living in the area that Wheatons  have lived for centuries. He is a cousin of John Wheaton of Wheaton Booksellers with whom I corresponded for many years.

On the same day Jean heard from another Devon Wheaton. To make a long story short I sent a joint email to them AND included a Wheaton descendant in Australia with a paper trail back to Devon. Now here's where the story gets really interesting. He wrote back that he was leaving that very day for a trip to France, England and Ireland. So I quickly wrote back, "Are you perchance visiting Devon?" to which he responded yes and that he was meeting with a archivist there! So I suggested that he contact David and he said he would when he got there. Within the hour I had an email from David telling me that he had been contacted. Kismet!

2) Another true story. 25 years ago and 38 years ago two frustrated genealogists trying to research their husband's lineage began collecting Wheaton information in hopes of resolving their brick walls. Jean in England and Me in the United States. A few years back we made contact. Then earlier this year I invited Jean to help me sort out the various stuck Wheatons into their proper clans and break down a few of these brick walls. Now how successful we have been so far probably depends on your expectations and perspective. I hoped to prove that my husband is related to Robert and I have! Jean hoped to prove that her husband (Dennis) was related to Wheatons in Devon. As yet that goal remains elusive. What we have proved is that Dennis is related to the Whettons/Wettons of Staffordshire and may have some relationship to the village of Wheaton/Aston in Staffordshire. So we now have 3 Patriarchal DNA lines established.

Robert Wheaton believed to be of Devon (not yet proved)
Thomas Wheadon born in Axminster, Devon
Francis (Thomas) Whetton of Staffordshire

What we know is that Francis is not related to either Robert or Thomas. We think Robert and Thomas might be very distantly related. (They share the same broad Haplogroup, further Deep Clade testing of a WHEADON descendant is necessary to determine how close) Francis is of a completely different Haplogroup.

What we don't know is if all the Devon Wheatons are related through a common male ancestor. If there were NO Non Paternal events in the past 500 years they would all share the same Y-DNA but that may be unlikely. If 400 years ago someone assumed the name or had a child out of wedlock---two or more distinct lines would be evident. It is still up in the air as to whether the Wheaton ancestral DNA is similar to Robert's or Francis or someone else. What we do know is that it is quite rare. We also have 8 results that match to confirm the baseline for Robert. If any of the known Devon Wheatons matches that of Robert we will know that he is of the same clan.

UPDATE 5/11/11

Updated Signatures

Red values are unusual for this Haplogroup

Wheaton Group B of Devon 14 24 16 11 12 Haplogroup R1b

Wheadon Group C of Devon13 24 14 12 11 Haplogroup R1b

Wheaton/Wetton of Staffordshire 13 23 15 10 12 Haplogroup I2a

UPDATE 4/28/11

Michael and Glenn have confirmed Haplogroups of R1b1a2a1a1b3c or shorthand R1b L-2. And everyone else is predicted R1b1a2a1a1b---so likely everyone is R1b L-2. This is just more confirmation of tight relationship ancient as well as recent. So even if the markers between the Wheaton and Wheadon were more mismatched the Haplogroup suggests a common ancestor 2,000-5,000 years ago. Sooner if the Wheadons test positive for L-2.

UPDATE 4/12/11

OH HAPPY DAY! 8 Wheatons all a perfect match at 25 markers! I love Science!!! Dave J.s next set of results are in!

UPDATE 4/4/11

This is a post I put up yesterday on DNA Forums and the reply about the rarity of the Wheaton Signature.

Q: I've been at this a short time but immediately noticed that the values on the first 5 markers in my Wheaton DNA Project (for Robert Wheaton descendants) didn't match anyone but other Wheatons, but then I took a look at several big projects including the Devon Project and the U-152 (both at FTDNA) and again no matches in the first 5 values so I looked at the stats on values for R1b

So here are the Y-STR markers and their values that are unusual for my Wheaton "type"

393 = 14 5
% occurrence for this Haplogroup
19 = 16 1%
391 = 12 4%
458 = 16 2%
447 = 26 1%
449 = 28 1%

SO MY QUESTION IS ---is this that unusual or not? The Tested Haplogroup is R1b1a2a1a1b3c
Two of the participants are testing for L-196

I would appreciate any perspectives---I'm too new to evaluate whether this is just slightly unusual or something more so.

A: Hello, the above values are rare indeed, however, the other markers are completely normal. It is usual that most people have some off-modal values. I would say that DYS 19=16 is the "strangest", all other occur here and there in the U152 project. Make sure you join the project. Relationship with non-Wheatons can be analyzed within the project, based on genetic distance calculations (especially on 67 markers) or off-modal matches. After you joined, we can try to do some calcs.

UPDATE 3/29/11

Big news day! Glenn, Lori and Michael (my husband) are related----perfect match at 12 markers. We are also related to Bonnie (Ralph) and Jerrold at 11/12 markers. Looking to be related via Robert Wheaton. Ralph and Jerrold each represent different sons of Robert and perhaps Glenn, Lori (Larry) and Michael are another son or another branch. We will know more as more results come in---and depending how close the match is with Glenn at 35 markers how closely we are likely to be related. This also means that Mary is related too as she traces back to Joseph of New Jersey. 

Have a look at that Photo Gallery again, and see if you can tell who is related.

PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS (I'll leave this up indefinitely for a remembrance of where we started)

I have looked at all the available Wheaton/Wheadon DNA results and have tentatively clustered them into three groups but this is only preliminary. Some data is posted but subject to verification. Current posting is tentative and only contains info from those who have given permission.

Of the 11 data sets four appear to be descendants of Robert Wheaton or of his clan. Of those 4, two are identical perfect matches and the other 2 are close matches. I'm still calling these of Robert (suspected) of Devon for want of a better term.

Of the remaining 4,  two are close matches and are of the Thomas Wheadon of Devon line.

The last 3 fall in between and are suspected to be of the Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire for now dubbed East England.

Kelly Wheaton,
Apr 2, 2011, 6:58 PM
Kelly Wheaton,
Nov 15, 2011, 7:13 PM