The DNA Waiting Game Begins

Recently I was contacted by Babb who now lives in South Africa, but who was born in Devon, England. I’ll withhold the exact name to protect his privacy. He has been working on his lineage for a while now and has traced his family back to an Edward Babb who was born in Hatherleigh, Devon, England in 1675. This was the best documented tree I had seen for an English Babb line, and I offered to have the Babb Family Association pay for his test.

As a reminder, at this time, we have identified 5 distinct lineages of Babb’s in England; 3 of which came to America and the rest who still reside in England. This is the source of an upcoming Babb Unabridged book, tentatively titled “Made in England”, which will be volume 8 of the series. I plan to discuss all of these lines in detail in the book.

But today, I’m writing to say that the test kit is currently steaming it’s way across the ocean on it’s way to a DNA laboratory in Houston, TX. Once the test arrives at the facility it takes a few days for the kit to be logged and sent for processing, there will then be a 4-6 week window while we wait for the test results to come in.

SomersetbannerWhat do we hope to learn?

One of 6 things can happen. Our candidate will either match to one of the established 5 lineages (My money is on the line from Pitminster, Somerset, England which I’ve affectionately named the Dragons. A mere 50 miles separates the ancestral homes of these two lineages, so the likelihood of a match is great.

Alternatively, they might match to our second lineage, which hails from Devon. I don’t have many details on this line as the candidate was one of the first we did and I didn’t have good measures in place to track his lineage. The candidate has since passed away, but know that I’ll be working to find this info should the need arise.

Options 3-5 all revolve around matching to one of the US Babb lineages for Phillip of the Isles of Shoals (1), Benjamin Babb or Middletown, CT (3) or the Babb’s of North Carolina (5) & Eastern Virginia (4), which are covered in Volumes 1-7 of my Series Babb Unabridged available here.

The 6th option is that they will match to None of the Above and we will have identified a 6th line of Babbs in England. Obviously, I’m hoping on the Somerset option, which will prove a connection.

Whatever happens, our knowledge of this subject will never be the same. As we move this DNA project into the next phase, I hope to be able to start predicting matches with the same certainty that I’m able to do in the US. So, cross your fingers, say a prayer, burn some incense or whatever you can to blow some positive energy in the direction of Houston!


Picture: “Somersetbanner” by Somerset CC. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia –

15 responses to “The DNA Waiting Game Begins”

      • Sweet I just ordered it and can’t wait to read it over. I am hoping to get a copy of Jean’s work also at some point.
        Thanks Gregg for the great work and thank you for keeping us long long lost Babb’s in the loop. I hope soon I get down to Greeneville to Seth’s house, he is my grandfather also 🙂

    • Howdy Fam and Linda,
      Bertha was also my grandmother. I am still looking to see why my grandfather left Tennessee for Kansas in the early 1860’s, that was like the wild wild wild west at that time not even a state.I am thinking and hoping it was to get out of the south so they didn’t have to fight in the CW but unsure exactly. I did attempt to contact the Kansas Genealogy but no records are available only that a lot of people came to the territory for the railroad jobs and land. Anyone else have info on the KS Babb’s? They did not stay long half the family (my grandmother) went to Chicago (family still here) and her sister went to California and Washington state (I believe, might be Oregon)

  1. Dan, would a DNA test of my brother help? I know this is my line. I’ve had mine done but of course if only goes down my mothers line. My brother is a Seeber, grandmother Edna Mae Babb. And are there any kits left for him??

    • Unfortunately, that won’t do any good in the testing of the Babb line. The Y-DNA line of your brother would come from your father, so it is the Seeber line. Only a male born with the Babb surname would be eligible. Thanks for asking!

    • The Newfoundland Babbs are descendants of Phillip Babb. We were able to prove that through testing. But due to an oddity of DNA testing, each of the two candidates from that region ended up being closer to me genetically than to each other. DNA mutates over the generations and the rate of change is different in each person. So, we aren’t sure of the exact connection, but are able to say with certainty that they are of this same lineage as Phillip of the Isles of Shoals.

      • That’s interesting. I have Jean’s Book and none of my ancestors match any of the descendants of Philip mentioned in the book so I thought we would have connected back in England with Philip’s ancestors. I thought you tested a William Babb who would be the grandson of William John Babb my grandfathers brother. I can trace this family back to 1813 with a marriage. The other Babb family here in Newfoundland I believe to be related, but we cannot make a connection although my grandfather said that Eugene from that family was a cousin? I would be interested in purchasing some of your books, if you could send me the list. Rosalind

  2. My own research shows that the Philip who married Mary Plumlie November 19, 1629 Townstall, listed in the Dartmouth Register Book from 1568 wryten by Walter Roche, clerk vycaredge of Townstall and Dartmouth. (spelled as written) had son Philip born April 6, 1634, Foxes Lane and was buried November 16, 1640. This was posted by Elizabeth Babb, Yarmouth, Main from the burial register of Stepney, St. Dunstan “Philip sone of Phillip of Foxes Lane, mariner and Mary exor” death not from plague nor his brother John’s death in 1630 from the plague. Not sure what Mary “exor” means? Doesn’t this rule him out as Philip Isle of Shoales?

  3. My husband is a Babb from the line of Virginia Babbs and is sending his DNA test in to Ancestry tomorrow. I have created a family tree for him in ancestry which I’ve been working on. If you would like to connect with us you can write me at and I’d love to connect you and him since the family is very interested in the history back across the pond. Thank you in advance <3

  4. (edit to above comment, his surname is not Babb, his mother’s mother is a Babb so I’m not sure how that would affect your research)

  5. My Grandfather was a Babb. My Grandparents lived in the Johnson City TN area. My Grandparents had three daughters, all living, and one son that has passed. Their son has a living Babb son. Would his DNA help in your research?

    • Thanks, but we have all the DNA from US candidates that we need. Today we are focusing on Babb’s who can trace their lineage back to Cornwall & Devon, England and those with Caribbean roots. Everything else is mapped out nicely. 🙂

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