Discussion of Results To Date

Latest results:

December 23, 2016 - No new Y-DNA results have been received since the last update. Several Family Finder tests have been done, and these can be helpful in finding recent Westbrook cousins, but have limited use in establishing Westbrook origins. Current research indicates a possible connection between the Westbrook and Whitemore lines in the vicinity of Godalming and Guildford, Surrey, England. Confirming this link will likely require testing of families with documented connections to this area. If you are interested in furthering this research, please contact the project administrators.

June 23, 2016 W57 is a new Westbrooke whose family is from Hampshire, England. He is listed in the Miscellaneous Y-DNA group.

February 18, 2016 - Additional STR marker values were added for W42.

June 7, 2015 - W56 is a new member in Subgroup A1b1 from Jones County, NC. The SNP descendancy tree at www.geneticousins.com/L51xL11/SNPTree.pdf continues to be updated to show our closest non-Westbrook genetic cousins. To date, no other English families have tested who appear to be related to our Westbrooks within the past 1000 years.

October 13, 2014 - We have one more result for Subgroup A2 Westbrooks of Fauquier Co., VA. We are working to identify which of the private Westbrook SNPs identified by two Big Y tests are found in both Westbrook Subgroups A1 and A2, and which are found only in Subgroup A1 of Southampton Co., VA. This will help us know how closely the two Westbrook lines are related.

August 20, 2014. We have a very interesting match with the Group A Westbrooks in a Compton from Australia. This is our closest STR match with another English family. It is a promising lead to the English origins of our Westbrooks. Further information will be reported as it becomes available.

May 17, 2014 - Big Y testing is turning out to be an exciting new tool for genetic genealogical research. Big Y results are now in for W6 (Holcombe/Westbrook) and have resulted in many new SNPs for the Group A Westbrook line. A chart showing the new SNP results has been posted at www.geneticousins.com/L51xL11/SNPTree.pdf . These results are being confirmed with a Big Y test for W8 (Westbrook), which is due in mid-June and should help resolve which of these new SNPs are unique to the individual respective Westbrook lines and which are common to both Westbrook lines.

The new Big Y results have resulted in the assignment of R-CTS6889 as the current haplogroup for Group A Westbrooks and this is reflected in the latest results table. The SNP Tree shows our closest known kin at present are a Schoenwalder family from Switzerland, but it appears that these two families connect several thousand years ago. This is a clue to the early origins of the Group A Westbrook family before they were Westbrooks and before they were in what is now England. We hope to find closer matches with other surnames as more people are tested. For further info on our haplogroup cluster, see L51+, L11- results in the ht35 project:


January 20, 2014. New results on Markers 38 through 67 have been posted for W54 in Group B. Big Y test results are pending for W6 (Holcombe/Westbrook) in Group A. These results are expected to result in new SNPs that will help define the early ancestry of Group A Westbrooks.

May 12, 2013. New results for Participant W50 in Subgroup A1c show there is a mutation on Markers CDY that is common to all descendants of James Westbrook II who have joined the project. Because this same mutation also occurs in certain descendants of John Westbrook I, it cannot be considered as definitive for descendants of James II, but still should prove helpful in identifying descent from this line.

April 29, 2013. 111-marker tests previously identified 7 new mutations among descendants of John Westbrook I that we hope would help identify branches of descendants of John I. We have been able to test additional descendants for 4 of these mutations, and unfortunately none of the 4 mutations has given us an identifying mutation for a branch of John I. The other 3 markers with mutations are not currently available for individual testing. We have also conducted additional testing for Subgroup A1c to find identifying mutations for descendants of James Westbrook II. Results are not complete, but it appears that Marker CDY may give us an identifying mutation for this branch of the family. Participants W50 and W51 are new members of this subgroup.

February 9, 2013. After much waiting, we now have full results in for those members who upgraded to 111 markers. Our objective in upgrading was to look for specific marker mutations that would be helpful to us in identifying descendants of John Westbrook I and James Westbrook, sons of the immigrant James. (We had previously found such markers for descendants of their brothers William and Samuel.) At this point, we can say only that our search was partially successful---we have identified seven new mutations in the lines that were tested, but none of these is specific to ALL descendants of either John I or James. However, we do know that these mutations occurred in later generations of descendants of John I, and further testing of targeted individual markers will help us identify in which generation they occurred. We have begun this second phase of testing and should have results in a few weeks.

W48 is a new member who is a descendant of James, son of John I (Subgroup A1b1). Additional markers are being tested as indicated in the Results table.

October 17, 2012. New members W44 and W45 have been included.

July 19, 2012. New Group C has been listed. This branch of the Westbrook family traces back to Thomas Westbrook of Group B, but experienced a break in the Y-DNA line in the following generations, possibly due to an adoption.

March 13, 2012. W39 has been placed in Subgroup A1b2c. This is the third subgroup representing sons of John II, grandson of James, the immigrant. New results for W41 have been added in Subgroup A1c. W41 is thought to be a descendant of Samuel, son of James, the immigrant. Advanced marker results for 399X are pending to confirm this.

The intent of this website is to group the Westbrooks who participate into a family tree based on (1) each person's reported ancestry (if they have one) and (2) on Y-DNA results. Ideally, the DNA results for two people who report the same lineage will match up.

Sometimes we find particular mutations on an individual DNA marker that only show up in one branch of the Westbrook tree. When those are found, we can test those markers for Westbrooks who do not know their lineage. If one of their markers shows a distiguishing mutation, that is good evidence that the unplaced person belongs in the branch that has that same mutation. We can then direct and narrow the research to determining how they connect to that particular branch.

All descendants of James, the immigrant, are listed in groups beginning with "A1".

For example, we have results for four sons of James, the immigrant. They are shown in the groups listed below:

A1a William

A1b John

A1c James

A1d Samuel

Of these four, there are distinguishing mutations for descendants of William and descendants of Samuel. You can see these by looking at the results for Markers 399a,b,c and 710 to the right of the chart. Mutations are marked in a contrasting color.

Also, note the mutation on Marker 576 that all descendants in Subgroup A1 have.

Westbrooks of Fauquier Co. have DNA that matches the Subgroup A1 Westbrooks, but do not have this same mutation, so they are listed in Subgroup A2.

The Westbrook in Australia that traces to Rotherhithe matches Subgroups A1 and A2, but does not belong in either, so is just listed up top as part of Group A.

July 5, 2011 Groups and subgroups have been relabeled to better approximate birth order of the family branches. A new subgroup has been added for descendants of James III, brother of William, John I and Samuel I. Descendants of William continue to show a distinctive value for Marker 534.

March 27, 2011 All haplogroup designations have been changed to R1b1a2 in accordance with the latest terminology. New advanced marker results have been added for W34. These results show a couple of distinctive mutations, but the mutations are unique to this line and therefore do not change the placement of W34 as a descendant of John I. The newly found mutations may be helpful in placing in this same line any future testees who are found to have the same mutations.

March 19, 2011 W34 has been added as a new descendant of John Westbrook I in Subgroup A1a. These are the first results for John I's son James. W35 has been added as a new member of Group B. Group B Westbrooks seem to descend from a branch of the family in Amelia and Mecklenburg Counties, VA, in the 1700's and later in Person and Caswell Counties, NC. Research continues on their connection to Group A Westbrooks.

February 17, 2011 Participant W33 has been added as a member of Group B. This result indicates a possible connection between Group B and Group A Westbrooks in Southampton or Mecklenburg Co., VA.

September 24, 2010 Markers 399X and 710 continue to be our best guide for placing descendants of the Southampton Co. Westbrooks in the appropriate branch. We encourage all participants who might belong to this part of the family to include these markers in their testing. New results for these markers for W21 also place him as a descendant of John I. His paper trail indicates his descent is through John I's grandson John III. W13 and W31 have results that also indicate descent from John I. Finally, Subgroup A1a2, with the surname Holcombe, has been indicated to descend from Thomas III, great-grandson of John I through the help of Family Finder autosomal DNA results.

June 12, 2010 New results on Marker 399X for Participant W28 place him in Subgroup A1c, which is the line of Samuel Westbrook I. W28 shares the value of Marker 399c = 24.1t with W20, a known descendant of Samuel Westbrook I. Supporting this conclusion is the fact that paper research indicates that W28 is likely a descendant of Samuel Westbrook I. The best explanation is that W20 and W28 are descended from two different sons of Samuel I. If that is the case, then we can consider Marker 399c = 24.1t to be an indication of descent from Samuel.

Previously (see below), W13 had been placed in Subgroup A1c based on a shared value of Marker 399a = 22t with W20. However the match between W20 and W28 is stronger because there is paper research to support it and there are fewer overall mismatches between this pair. Further, new results for W31, a known close cousin of W13 does not share the value of Marker 399a = 22t. Therefore, we must consider W13's value of 22t on this marker to be a recent mutation and not significant as an indicator of a major family branch. W13 and W31 have been placed in Subgroup A1*. Their Marker 576 = 19 value places them as descendants of James I, presumed ancestor of the Southampton Co., VA, Westbrook family, but not through Subgroup A1c, the line of Samuel Westbrook I, or through Subgroup A1b1, the Wilkes/Franklin Co., GA, line. It may be that they are descended from the line John Westbrook I, Subgroup A1a, but the number of mutations indicate a possible earlier connection.

The Henry Holcombe line, previously listed as Subgroup A1H, has been changed to Subgroup A1a2. This line has a paper-trail close proximity to descendants of both Subgroups A1a and A1c. Since the new results for A1c indicate these Holcombes are not descendants of A1c, they have been placed under A1a.

March 13, 2010 As of this update, we have observed three distinct early branches of the family. The largest is the branch from Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties, VA. This branch is designated as Subgroup A1. The second branch consists of two descendants of William Westbrook of Fauquier Co., VA. This branch differs on Markers 439 and 576 from Subgroup A1 and so is designated Subgroup A2. It may be that this subgroup descends from a different immigrant Westbrook. The third branch is the Australian Westbrook family represented by Participant W17. Of these three branches, we note that only Subgroup A1 has Marker 576 = 19. This seems to be a distinguishing marker for the Southampton/Isle of Wight family, and so it is highlighted in olive green.

With this update, we have new results for Participant W2, who had previously tested only 12 markers and was not connected to a particular branch of the family. To these, we have added various individual markers that have been shown to identify particular branches of the family. Results on these new markers show Marker 576 = 19, placing W2 in Subgroup A1. Further Marker 710 = 35.2 placing him in Subgroup A1b, and Marker 534 = 16 placing him in Subgroup A1b1. These results indicate a strong probability that W2 descends from the Franklin Co., GA, Westbrooks, providing a focus for further research.

January 30, 2010 Results for Markers 399X have been received for a member of Subgroup A1c. These results show a distinctive value of 22t for Marker 399Xa. Since Participant W13 shares this distinctive value, W13 has been moved to Subgroup A1c. Matches such as these are not definitive, since the match can be based on parallel mutations. (Note that W13 shares a distinctive value with two other participants for Marker CDYa, and an alternate grouping could be made using that marker as a guide. Testing of Marker 399X by these other two matching participants would be useful in clearing up this ambiguity.) Though not definitive, groupings based on DNA alone can be very useful in directing further research.

January 5, 2010 New Group B has been formed based to two matching Westbrooks whose DNA does not match the DNA for Group A Westbrooks. These two families trace back to ca. 1800, but it is not known at this time whether this group represents a separate Westbrook family in England or is the result of an adoption in the the main Group A Westbrook line.

November 25, 2009 We have new results on Marker 710 for W17, the Australian Westbrook line, and for W7, an unplaced Westbrook line. On this marker, W17 has a value of 36.2, matching most of the other Westbrooks and indicating that this is the ancestral value for this marker. However, W7 has a value of 35.2, which only matches the Subgroup A1b1 Franklin Co., GA, Westbrook line. While a parallel mutation is possible, the most likely explanation is that W7 shares an ancestor with Subgroup A1b1 that other Westbrooks do not share. Since A1b1 members also have a unique value of Marker 534 = 16 that W7 does not have, this shared ancestor must be before the John Westbrook Sr. who went to Wilkes Co., GA. If the traditional genealogies are correct, the only explanation is that W7 descends from a different son of John's father William. Since our DNA results table groupings are based primarily on DNA results, they have been tentatively revised to show W7 as a descendant of William and a member of Subgroup A1b. We hope to be able to confirm this with future Marker 710 results for other known descendants of William.

October 30, 2009 Two new participants have been added: W21 is our first documented descendant of Samuel Westbrook, son of James II. His 67-marker results are an exact match to the modal values for the Southampton Co., VA, Westbrooks, so these results tell us that there is no distinguishing mutation shared by all descendants of Samuel. (We have found a distinguishing mutation for two descendants of a grandson of John, son of James II, but need more results for other descendants of John to know how many of his lines share this mutation.) W22 is our first documented descendant of Thomas Westbrook of Franklin Co., GA, son of John Westbrook of Wilkes County. He has what appears to be a distinctive mutation of Marker 458=20, but we don't yet have an explanation as to why this mutation is shared by W16 who does not claim descent from this Thomas.

October 7, 2009 We have now received 37-marker results for the Australian Westbrook family, and they confirm the earlier match at 12 markers. Subgroups in the project have been relabeled as a result of this match such that the Virginia Westbrook line is now Subgroup A1 instead of Group A.

We have also used these results to identify the ancestral Westbrook markers for the 34 of 37 markers that are a match. It is likely that for any American Westbrooks who do not match the ancestral values on these 34 markers it is due to a more recent mutation or an independent American immigrant ancestor. Testing of most distant KNOWN Westbrook cousins can be used to help determine which is the case. It is recommended that most distant known Westbrook cousins be tested whenever possible to eliminate recent mutations when comparing to other Westbrook lines.

September 4, 2009 Exciting news! We now have a Westbrook in the project who traces his descent back to England. Not only that, but the family is documented to have lived in the dock district of London, which is where the James Westbrook who came to Virginia in the 1600's is said to have come from.

In his book "B. F. McLemore, His Ancestors and Descendants: A History of the McLemore-Westbrook Family of Southside Virginia," James McLemore stated: James Westbrooke... "His importation has long been attributed by family tradition to his seizure on the London docks at the age of eighteen; there is, however, no record to confirm this."

The basic family info for Participant W17 is as follows: Henry Westbrook (b. 1756) baptized at Rotherhithe, London, England. Md. Sarah _____; Son Dr. James Westbrook b. 1790 London md. Elizabeth Chapel. Migrated to what is now Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

In reference to Rotherhithe, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotherhithe) says "Although the docks were closed and largely filled in during the 1980s, and have now been replaced by modern housing and commercial facilities, Rotherhithe is still given a large part of its character by its former maritime heritage... The ship, the Mayflower sailed from Rotherhithe for Massachusetts in 1620 with the group of emigrants that later became known as the 'Pilgrim Fathers'."

The fact that Rotherhithe was in the main area of the London docks in the 1600's, together with this DNA match, give strong support to the tradition above noted by Jim McLemore. Further research will be needed to learn how long the Westbrooks had been at Rotherhithe. Note that although the current DNA match is a strong one, it is only 11 of 12 markers at this point. An upgrade to 37 markers has been ordered for W17 and the results should be available soon.

August 15, 2009 With this update, Subgroups A3 and A4 have been reorganized. A3 has been replaced with AH with the recognition that the Holcombe matches will eventually be part of an identified Westbrook subgroup. A4 has been temporarily removed due to insufficient documentation that we have a participant who is a descendant of Samuel Westbrook, brother of John and William of Subgroups A1 and A2. Known descendants of this Samuel are being recruited.

With thanks to those in the project who have been agreeable to testing additional specific markers, we have now been able to identify a branch marker for Subgroup A1. Both members of this group show a mutation to 39 on Marker CDYb. This mutation could have occurred in one of three generations beginning with John, so we don't know that all descendants of John have it, but the probability is that any Group A Westbrook with CDY = 39 is a descendant of John.

We have also identified a new Possible Subgroup with CDYa/b = 38,38. Further advanced marker tests are pending, and it is hoped that some of these will help further refine our DNA matches.

July 15, 2009 We have now added members to each of the three Westbrook subgroups identified in the last website update plus added a new subgroup. Subgroups A1, A2 and A4 each descend from separate sons (John, William and Samuel)of James Westbrook (d. 1717). Subgroup A3 is a Holcombe line that probably descends from John or Samuel, since these families were in close proximity in the 1760's.

Also with this update we have been able to identify "branch markers" for Subgroup A2. We note that Marker 534 = 16 for descendants of both John and Stephen in this group but = 15 for all other Westbrooks in the project. This means that this mutation occurred sometime in two generations separating John and Stephen from the other subgroups. All Westbrooks descended from the Franklin Co., GA, branch of the family would be expected to have this value of 534 = 16.

Based on this, we can conclude that those Westbrook lines in the Miscellaneous group who have tested Marker 534 probably do not descend from the Franklin Co., GA, branch. Those in the Miscellaneous group who have not tested Marker 534 can tell whether they belong in Subgroup A2 or not by testing this one marker. We also note that Marker 459a = 8 may be another branch marker occurring only among descendants of John of Subgroup A2.

Looking at other subgroups, CDYb = 39 may be a branch marker for Subgroup A1, but additional testing of Participant W3 is needed to confirm this. The modal values for Holcombe Subgroup A3 are equal to the modal values for the Westbrook lines, so there no distinctive branch markers have been identiefied for Subgroup A3. However, we can say based on DNA markers that Subgroup A3 does not fit as part of Subgroup A2 with its distinctive mutation. Subgroup A4 seems to be decended from a Samuel, brother to John and William above. More markers need to be tested to see if an identifying mutation for this Subgroup can be found.

Marker 399X has been tested by several participants in order to identify additional branch markers that will distinguish branches of this family through DNA alone. 399X is a fast-mutating marker, and this experiment was something of a success in that two of the six participants who tested it found they had mutations. Based on early results, 399X may provide another branch marker for Subgroup A2. Subgroup A1 had no early mutation on this marker, so it doesn't help us there. It hasn't been tested yet for Subgroup A4. Overall, 399X is a good marker to include in our testing package because it has a higher rate of mutation than other markers. These mutations can help those in the Miscellaneous group determine where they fit.

Jan 15, 2009 With this update of the Westbrook DNA Project, results for all participants have been divided into subgroups so far as is possible with information that has been publicly released. Although results show a distinctive set of DNA markers for all Westbrooks descended from the Virginia family, it has not been possible to distinguish the subgroups based on DNA results alone. Instead, the subgroups have been formed based on genealogical information supplied by participants.

We expect to include several of the participants in the Miscellaneous categories in the other subgroups after they have released more detailed genealogical information either by supplying a project release form from this site or by posting the information on Ysearch.org.

Subgroup A3 represents descendants of Henry Holcombe II, b. 1768, probably Bute Co., NC, where several of his neighbors were families closely associated with the Westbrooks of Southampton Co., VA. The exact relationship with the Westbrooks is unknown, but DNA clearly indicates his Westbrook descent. ***