Allison/Ellison Family DNA Project

The project has over 120 members. Over 30 of these members have no DNA matches but as new members join we will find more matches. The rest of the members have been grouped together into matching groups and have arbitrarily been assigned a letter to identify them. We currently have Groups A to R. Those that do not have a match are Ungrouped. The largest group has 24 members the smallest groups contain just two members.

What is known of these groups varies enormously. Following is some commentary for some of those Groups

Groups Analysis

Group A

The participants in Group A trace their ancestry back to Ellisons/Ellysons/Allisons who lived on farms near Strathaven in Lanarkshire, Scotland in the 1600s. The DNA score of two ALLISON males (# 13358 & #20491) have ancestors who lived in Lanarkshire for many generations. An Allison ancestor of # 2659 in Group A migrated from Lanarkshire, Scotland, to New Zealand in the 1800s and # 2659 still lives in New Zealand. Participants #8913 & #20827 both live in the United States and trace their ancestry back to Lanarkshire, Scotland. Two of the participants in Group A #2659 and #13358 have received their 37 marker DNA test results. The 37 marker results show a 36/37 match, which is a genetic distance of only one marker, which proves that they do share a common ancestor.

Group B

Six of the eight Ellison/Allison DNA project participants in Group B have good paper trails which trace their genealogies back to Allisons/Ellisons in Orange Co., NY in the 1700s and two men believe that their early Allison ancestors were from Orange Co., NY. All eight have matching DNA scores, which is good evidence that they all descend from the same line of Allisons.

Two of the six men with good paper trails (# 2442 & # 5788) have genealogical proof which traces their Allison/Ellison lines back to Lawrence Ellison who was born in Yorkshire, England. # 5788 is a descendant of George Suffern Allison of New York, who was a G3 grandson of Lawrence Ellison. # 2442 lives in Canada. He is a descendant of the Lawrence Ellison/Allison group from Orange Co., NY who were Loyalists and went to Canada after the Revolutionary War.

Two other men in Group B (# 617 & # 2846) have paper trails which definitely trace their ancestry back to Joseph Allison. They descend from two different sons of Joseph Allison. # 617 & # 2846 have received the results of their 37 marker DNA tests. #2846 is a descendant of Richardson Allison, Joseph's son. . # 617 is a descendant of Isaac Allison Sr., who was also Joseph's son. Participants # 617, # 2846 & # 3182 match perfectly on markers 1-25. Participant # 3182 has a paper trail back to Benjamin Allison who fought in the Revolutionary War from Orange Co., NY and moved to Greenbrier Co., VA (now WV) by 1792. Researchers have believed that this Benjamin Allison was another son of Joseph Allison and the 37 marker DNA results of # 3182 has proven the accuracy of that belief, even though the documented proof is missing. Participants #2846 & #3182 match perfectly on all 37 markers. Participant # 617 (Isaac line) differs by one point on marker 442 from #2846 (Richardson line) & # 3182 (Benjamin line) , which seems to indicate that the mutation occurred in one of the generations of the Isaac Allison line.

Participant # 22004 does not have a solid paper trail back to Joseph Allison in Orange Co., NY, but research provides strong clues that such is the case. His matching DNA score with the other descendants of Joseph has provided good evidence that such is the case.

Two of the eight men in Group B (# 2165 & # 3182) trace their Allison ancestry back to Orange County, NY but do not know for sure if their earliest Allison ancestors belonged to the Lawrence Ellison or Joseph Allison lines. However their DNA scores are identical to the five men above, so we feel confident that they all have a common Allison ancestor. # 2165 knows that his first known ancestor was in Orange Co., NY, in the 1700s and then moved to NJ and later descendants moved to Botetourt Co., VA. # 3182 has a paper trail back to Benjamin Allison who fought in the Revolutionary War from Orange Co., NY and moved to Greenbrier Co., VA (now WV) by 1792. The interesting thing about Greenbrier and Botetourt Counties in VA is that they were originally all part of the same county in VA in the 1700s.

An eighth man (# 2442) has a DNA score that matches the seven men described above. # 2442 knows that his Ellison ancestor moved from Michigan to Pennsylvania in the early 1800s, but he does not have any information about his ancestor's parents. However we have evidence that Orange County Allisons migrated to Michigan in the late 1700s so there is an Orange County migratory geographical link for the most mysterious of these Allison/Ellison ancestors. It's also possible that he could have left his Loyalist Allison/Ellison relatives and migrated to MI from Canada. It seems likely that there were large families of Allisons that lived close together in NY and NJ in the 1700s. We know that some migrated to VA , some to MI, others to OH and the Loyalists moved to Canada. As these families migrated westward they lost track of their relatives, but DNA test results is helping us reconstruct our Orange County Allison/Ellison family.

The beauty of the DNA test results is definitive proof that all eight men have very similar DNA test scores and therefore all descend from a common Ellison/Allison ancestor. We still need to do more research and find out whether the Orange county Allison/Ellison line's common ancestor was Lawrence Ellison who migrated to New England ca 1632 or if both Lawrence and Joseph descended from an earlier Ellison or Allison who lived in the British Isles prior to Lawrence's migration to America.

The 25 marker analysis showed that participants in Group B have a genetic distance of 4 or 5 markersfrom the 5 participants in Group A who have definite Lanarkshire, Scotland roots. Most of the differences were on fast-moving markers and it appeared, based on the 25 marker results, that there was some possibility that the Group B Orange County, NY Allisons could trace their ancestry back to Lanarkshire, Scotland, albeit many, many generations in the past. The 37 marker upgrade seems to be a very valuable tool in confirming or refuting common ancestry of men with the same surname . Three of the Group B participants (#617, #2846, #2665) and two of the Group A participants (# 13358 & # 20491) have received the results of the 37 marker upgrade which show a big difference in genetic distance between the scoresof #617, #2846, & #2665 in Group B and the scores of # 13358 & # 20491 in Group A on the 37 marker test, which refutes the assumption that there might be a distant genetic connection between Group A & Group B . The 37 marker results of #2665 & #2846 in Group B show a 35/37 match, a genetic distance of only two markers, which proves that they do share a common ancestor.

Group C

Group C participants are Allison/Ellison men with closely matching DNA scores who also have Lanarkshire, Scotland origins. The DNA scores of Group C are very different from the DNA scores of the Allisons/Ellisons in Group A. DNA test results have recently revealed that there are two unrelated lines of Allisons/Ellisons whose ancestors lived on farms near the town of Strathaven in Lanarkshire, Scotland. All of the participants in Group C have very similar DNA test scores. Many of them did not know each other prior to becoming participants in the DNA project. All of them trace their ancestry back to Ellisons/Ellysons/Allisons in Lanarkshire, Scotland in the 1600s. They have traditional genealogical proof that their earliest Allison/Ellison ancestor migrated from Windyedge Farm near Strathaven in Lanarkshire, Scotland to the American colony of Virginia in in the early 1600s. Some of the men in this group learned about their Lanarkshire roots when they received DNA test score results that matched the DNA score of the Allison/Ellison men who knew that their Allison/Ellison ancestor was John Allison/Ellison from Windyedge Farm. The Group C participants have Allison/Ellison ancestors who lived in Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas and other southern states.

The following information was provided by Participant # 4221 who has written a book about his ELLISON/ALLISON ancestors from Lanarkshire, Scotland: Land and religion were vital in the life of John and others who lived in Scotland and it seems that land and religion may have led to their departure. The following information seems to shed some light on their life about 1600. "The Temporall land of the Archbishoprick of Glasgow are the Baronies of Glasgow, Carstairs, Ancrum, Lillisleaf, Eskirk, Stobe and Eddiston, with ye Bishops forest and other little things in Carrick, Lothicin, and elsewhere .... Carstairs was situated in the quitter district of Lanarkshire ... The Royalty embraced the city of Glasgow and a wide district on the north, east and west, comprising the Barony Parish, the Parish of Cadder, the Parish of Govan, and a large portion of the Parish of old Monkland. p. 24-25. (Land rental in Windyedge is mentioned in Oct. 1546, p. 134; April 1542, p. 120; 1526, p. 86.)" RENTAL BOOK OF THE DIOCESE OF GLASGOW 1509-1570, Vol. 1, Joseph Bain and Rev. Charles Rogers, London, 1875.

"The Township and barony of Carstairs belonged, from the middle of the twelfth century, if not from an earlier period, to the Bishops of Glasgow, the rents thereof forming part of their personal revenue. Their title to it was confirmed by Pope Alexander III in 1170, and by Honorius III in 1216." p. 453, THE UPPER WARD OF LANARKSHIRE DESCRIBED AND DELINEATED, Vol. 2, Alexander Murray, Thomas Murray & Sons, London, 1894.

The above records seem to indicate some difficulty that John may have had. However, there are records of land rentals to members of the Allison families. There was a John who rented land from John Gibson 3 Oct. 1549 in Glasgow Diocese (p. 142). John Alison rented land from John Alison, his father, 25 Aug. 1563 (p. 177). Robert Alason rented land from John Alason, his brother, 5 Dec. 1545 (p. 187 ). Jonat Allason rented land from William Alanson, her father, in 1545, and she was the wife of James Mylar (p.163). RENTAL BOOK OF THE DIOCESE OF GLASGOW 1509-1570, Vol. 1, Joseph Bain and Rev. Charles Rogers, London, 1875. Robert Ellison and his family sailed from Virginia to Charleston, SC. They traveled up the Black River and settled in Williamsburg District in 1735/37. Fifty acres of land were granted to each member of the family and each servant. A half acre was granted in the village to the head of the family. The name had been spelled Ellison or Ellyson for several generations in Virginia, but one son (also named Robert) left Williamsburg and settled in Pendleton District (Laurens County, SC.). He spelled his name Allison and his descendants are scattered over much of the southern andwestern United States.

Group D

These two participants have a recent common ancestor and their grouping, while to be expected, throws no light on the overall Allison/Ellison ancestry.

Group E

Participant # 13872's ancestor, Benjamin J. Ellison, was born in 1800 probably in GA. Benjamin was the brother of Jacob Ellison who was born in Stafford County, VA about 1788. Jacob is the ancestor of the matching participant #20318. Jacob and Benjamin were sons of Robert E. Elliston, Jr. who was born in 1762 in Culpeper County, VA and died in 1836 in Burke County, GA. The common ancestry of these two participants is now verified by documentation and DNA.

Group G

The common ancestor has not been determined.

Group H

A group that shares a common ancestor in John ALLISON who was born about 1772 in Orange County, NC.

Group I

This group contains cousins who have been discovered through this project's DNA testing.

Group J

This group contains people with an established recent family connection.

Groups K

This group contains people with an established recent family connection.


These ALLISON and ELLISON men have received their DNA test results and are waiting for a "cousin" to join the project and provide a matching DNA score. They are currently "orphans" but hopeful that they will soon find a genetic match. Participant #N4624 has been left in Ungrouped although he matches both Groups A & B with a genetic distance of one.

Three project members, #Anc001, #Anc002 & #Anc003 tested with another company. They have been assigned dummy kit numbers. They were tested for three markers which FTDNA do not test (DYS441=13 DYS461=12 and DYS463=24 in each member); these results are not shown in the table. They may be included in the future if others are tested for these markers.

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Last updated 20 Dec 2011

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