The Story of this Site and How to Use It

Richard McMurtry

May 2006, revised April 2022


The Story


Way back in 1895, Dr. Simeon Seymour Todd (1826-1899), a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln, wrote to the McMurtrys in Indiana telling them of the Todd-McMurtry family connections in colonial Augusta County, Virginia. One hundred and five years later, Richard McMurtry began searching for the lost manuscripts of Dr. Todd to see what light they might shed on the sources of the traditions Dr. Todd used. Along the way, Richard became involved with a group of Todd researchers who were exchanging information, trying to solve their own family origins puzzles. In the end, one set of puzzles was solved and the other remains a mystery today awaiting further research. Also, along the way, the scope of the website expanded to include all the Todd families encountered in the search which now number around 90 different Todd families from Georgia to New Hampshire and another 30 or so from Ireland, Scotland and England..


The crowning achievement of the cooperation was the Todd Genetic DNA Project started by Terry Todd in 2004 and built upon with parallel efforts by Cherie Ohlsson and Richard McMurtry. The DNA project enabled many Todd families to trace their known ancestors back to their previously unknown colonial ancestors and in some cases to find their ancestral homeland in Ireland or Scotland. The "new" Big Y DNA test has also enabled us to show genetic connections between families of similar STR DNA mathces prior to our genealogical data.


All the materials collected prior to 2006 were microfilmed and are available at the Mormon Family History Center in Salt Lake City possibly available online. .


Using this Site


The key elements of this site and how to use them are:


  1. Todd Family in America (Narrative)

Organized by state and county, this narrative discusses each Todd family that lived in each county.

Look under the state and county where you know you had ancestors and see if you can find a narrative about your known ancestors. Then see if your ancestors are labelled with a Todd Family Number. If so you can look up this number in the Todd Family Numbering System file and determine the earliest immigrant ancestor of your family. You can use the family number in the Todd Family Numbering System (see below) to locate the names and emails of family historians who have may have useful information for you.


  1. Todd Family Numbering System and Historians

This table is organized geographically first by American Families, then by Irish, Scottish and English families.

Use this to determine the origins of potential ancestors and whether the migration of their descendants matches your family. Use also to find email addresses of family historians that may help you make a connection with their family.


  1. DNA Project

The DNA project compares the DNA results of over 300 Todd individuals from over 80 families.

Use this by getting a DNA sample from your family and comparing it with those already analyzed. If you find a match, then the matching family shares a common ancestor with your family.

For more information, contact: Cherie Ohlsson ([email protected])

  1. Data by State and County

This section contains abstracts of original records from the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and a few Tennessee and Indiana records.

Use this to get documentary sources (deeds, wills, court records) for members of your family.


  1. Specific Families

This section has information about specific families. Considerable research has been done on various branches of the Todd family connected to Mary Todd Lincoln and families genetically connected to the Anne Arundel County, Maryland Todds. There is also information on numerous other Todd families posted in this section.


  1. Table of Contents

This Section contains the detailed table of contents for the 2004 and 2005 microfilm editions of the Todd Families in America Collection. It also identifies the number of the Mormon film that corresponds to each section in the table of contents.

Use this to find on which film you could find records on families you are interested in or which might connect with your family.