Thursday, July 2, 2009

Devon DNA Project

Debbie Kennett is writing an article for the October issue of the Devon Family Historian, which is the journal of the Devon Family History Society. I have requested that the HAM DNA Project be among the Projects that can offer partially funded DNA tests, which I hope to provide through the HAM DNA General Fund.

Debbie is also the Administrator of the Devon DNA Project at family Tree DNA. She has a brief overview of the long history of settlement in Devon, the meaning of the Celtic word "Devon" ("the people of the land"), artifacts, hill forts, and archeology findings from the area. She also has some helpful links at the
bottom of the web page:

In our book, "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC," the main records we have are from Collyton Parish, which also mentions the parishes of Ashwater, Cheriton Fitzpyn, Halberton, Halwill, Hartland, Hemyock, Honiton, Luppitt, Milton Abbot, Oakford, St. Andrew's Parish in Plymouth, Shepewash, Shute, Tiverton, Uplowman, Upottery, West Budleigh, and Wilhayes. We also have in volume #1 (Origins) Wills from Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) for HAM residents of Devon.

Parish is located near Plymouth. And, of course, there is a small town called "Ham" (or Ham Ward) near Plymouth as well. As many of you already know, the surname "HAM" is a place name, and locating the town of origin is a good indication of where the name was adopted after about 1200 AD.

A map of the area shows the area known as Ham, near Plymouth:,54192&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=795&ax=248899&ay=54192

The primary HAM lines that are researching the area of Plymouth are the HAM lines of Maine and New Hampshire. They have an interest there because the first HAM progenitor on this continent was William HAM of Maine, a member of the Trelawney expedition. William HAM of Maine arrived on the Speedwell in 1635 and was originally contracted to fish. Several of the Mayors of Plymouth (England) were named Trelawny:


Plymouth City Council
List of Mayors from 1600 to 1700


Some descendants of William HAM of Maine were mentioned in the book "The HAM Family Kith and Kin" by Rev. Ervin Charles Tipton (1977). L. Winston Hamm was a contributor to Tipton's book, and had listed his own line back to the William HAM who arrived in Maine in 1635.I have mentioned a short biography of Winston Hamm in the Appendix of our volume #1 (Origins).

The exciting thing about Debbie Kennett's October article for the Devon Family Historian and the Devon DNA Project is that I am hoping to see DNA participants from Devon. If they are native to Devon, we should expect haplotype "R1b." If their is a Norman influence to the HAM lines in Devon, then of course they should be haplotype "I." The problem is that we have no DNA participants here in the U.S. for the Maine HAM lines.

So, I am pushing for participants from Britain, and am hoping for some DNA participants from the Maine and New Hampshire HAM lines as well.

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