Journal of Genetic Genealogy

Enriching our world
through citizen science.

Y-DNA Testing of a Paper Trail - The Fox Surname Project

Combining conventional genealogical research with Y-DNA testing offers a powerful tool for confirming male lines of descent. One prominent American Fox family of Colonial Virginia had been well studied, but some relationships remained unverified. For example, was Henry Fox 2nd (1674–1750) actually the son of Henry Fox 1st (1650–1714) and Anne West? Some genealogists had denied the connection based on a lack of evidence in his grandfather’s will. We analyzed Y-DNA short tandem repeat (STR) results from selected descendants of this Colonial Fox family to answer this and other outstanding questions. The DNA evidence agreed with traditional research identifying Henry Fox 2nd as the true son of Henry Fox 1st. Henry Fox 1st belonged to the R1b-L47 haplogroup, and we inferred his 37-marker STR haplotype, giving us a firm basis for comparison. DNA testing of other Fox men was able to confirm or refute proposed relationships to this family and, in the process, expand on other genealogical research efforts. Most unexpectedly, a connection to a well researched Colonial Philadelphia Fox family was uncovered.