Babb DNA

Occasionally, I receive questions about where we stand on the DNA project and wanted to give an update. We verified large portions of the descendant tree of Phillip (1) of the Isles of Shoals and Christopher Babb (5) of North Carolina. the Bavarian Babb’s have their own known lineage back to Bavaria and thus there is no need to test them for matches. Keep in mind this is Y-DNA only, which tests only along the Male Babb surname. This is different than other types of DNA testing.

Distinct US Trees:

  • Phillip, of the Isles of Shoals (1)
    Babbs of Maryland (3)
    Babbs of North Carolina (5) – Immigrated circa 1700
    Bavarian Babbs (6) – Immigrated late 1600s

Who we still need:

We still need volunteers who trace their ancestry back to Phillip’s son Philip (1-3), but all other descendant branches are already tested.

  • 1-3 (Phillip-Phillip), we have no test subjects from this branch
  • Decendants of Benjamin Babb (2)  of Middletown, CT -Immigrated by 1750
  • Babbs of East Virginia (4) – Immigrated circa 1635
  • New York/New Jersey line from London (7) – Immigrated circa 1800
  • Devon, England area Babbs who have known Babb lineages back to 1600. If they can provide the tree we will pay for their test. We get a copy of the results. As they will be doing us a favor we are offering to pay for the DNA test for them. If our theory is accurate they should show up with just a few more generations than we do for each other. This may not give us an exact name of an ancestor, but it will prove/disprove if we are in the right place. At that point, it’s like playing Marco Polo.

What have we learned thus far?

DNA 1We also attempted an alternative approach to pinpoint our location in England by looking at the Ancestral Homeland of the other surnames with which we share genetic matches. The theory is that we are related, just not in a genealogical timeframe. Since most in agricultural areas tended to remain on their land for centuries, this gives circumstantial evidence to help pinpoint where your family lived. Typically, this should be done with at least 37 Marker matches. The only 37 Marker matches we have are Babb Family Association members that we have tested ourselves. So, we moved down to the next level which is the 25 Marker test. With that we find this set of surnames. The method was invented by Tyrone Bowes and I’ve dubbed it the “Bowesian Method”. He has outlined the method on his site

Thompson is our highest quality match, but is also too common to be of much use. So, we move down the list to Morrell, Dickey, Drake, Couch and Hawkes. Here are distribution charts for each of those surnames and also for Babb. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of that surname in a shire:


You can see that all but the Dickey lineage overlaps in or around Devonshire. So, although the match quality is low, we can say that our homeland appears to be in Devon. We await additional test candidates from England in order to refine our results and improve upon our hypothesis.

I hope this helps to give a basic understanding of where we stand on the DNA project.

One response to “Babb DNA”

  1. Babb DNA: My grandfather Horace Edwin Babb comes from Devon, where all of his family originated. What do I do next to participate in your DNA project please?

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