Dodson and Dotson DNA Testing

DNA Testing Dodson and Dotson

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DNA Testing and Genealogical Research


Dodson/Dotson DNA Testing

There are different types of DNA genealogical tests for both male and females, but the most common testing is the yDNA testing which is done with males who have a continuous MALE lineage from an ancestor with their surname.  All males who share a common surname can be tested to show their relationship or non-relationship to an ancestor with that surname or to other males of the same name.   In cases of adoption the surname may have changed but the DNA will not. 

If you are a male Dodson or Dotson with continuous Male Dodson or Dotson lineage from your most distant ancestor, then a Y-DNA test could help establish your heritage.  There is a current project with about 70 men who have already participated. See results for current Dodson/Dotson DNA Testing Here  These are grouped as people believed their ancestors to be but also with people matching with their various markers.  The more matches, the more likely a recent common ancestor.

 If you are interested in testing, good results can be obtained with a 37 marker test, but less expensive tests can be ordered for 12 or 25 markers, or more expensive testing for 67 markers.  For more details see:  Price for Y-DNA tests 

Groupings As DNA results are gathered, patterns of matching markers emerge.  People generally have a family history that suggests their lineage, but the DNA results show if they match others who believe they are of the same family line.  Although there are some documented early lines in American, it's rather surprising to see how many different early American Dodson/Dotson lines that are emerging.

Richmond County Virginia There are many people who claim descendancy from the Charles Dodson line which originated in Richmond County Virginia and is probably the best researched line.  The results show that several men tested share a common ancestor.  They believe that they have documented their lines back to Charles born around 1650, and their testing could be a 'benchmark' for others who believe they share this line.  In other words, if a person is tested and matches with their markers, then that would be a strong suggestion that they are also a descendant and their research is accurate.  Descendants of this line are found in many early counties of Virginia. John Dodson of this line was an early settler in Frederick/Shenandoah County, Virginia, but the DNA results of a second Dodson/Dotson line there at the same time shows they were not related. 

Charles County Maryland Based on those that have been tested, this line closely mirrors descendants of Charles Dodson from Richmond County, Virginia.  There were early immigrants to both Maryland and Virginia who could be ancestors.  Richmond County VA is across the bay from Maryland, so there could be easy access to both locations.  Since there continued to be Dodsons in Charles County in the 1700's, it's believed that the connection was probably in the 1600's or earlier and possibly in England with no direct connections in America.

Talbot County Maryland We have results from one person whose Dodson lineage originates in Talbot county Maryland. He does not match any other lines.  His most distant ancestor is Robert who died about 1745 in Talbot County.  His results are important because it has been claimed in the past that the Dodsons of Chester County PA and of Talbot County MD descended from two brothers.  Recent research and now DNA shows this is not the case.  Neither this line, nor any of the other lines appear to have connections in America, and their past connections are quite distant.

Pennsylvania/Maryland/Virginia Another American line is identified as "Thomas of Pennsylvania" .  There are several men in this group whose DNA shows a common ancestor.  There was a Thomas Dodson line in the early 1700's in Chester County, PA and it is believed that one or more of this line migrated to Maryland and also to Frederick County Virginia and later into other Pennsylvania counties and other states.  There are descendants of Dodsons in the Bedford County, PA area in the late 1700's who were from Maryland whose DNA matches the Chester County line.  But four descendants of Richard Dotson, who was born and lived in Frederick/Shenandoah County Virginia, also match this group.   We have confirmation of a link back to the Thomas Dodson/Dotson of Chester County for this group with a 100% match on 37 markers for a descendant of Richard Dotson of Virginia with a documented descendant of Thomas of Chester County, Pennsylvania.  The other men in this group are very close matches and are likely to share a common ancestor in America.  Discussion about this DNA Match

Greenbrier County (W)VA with NC and GA Connections:  One person tested can trace his lineage to a Richard Dotson who was born about 1799 in Virginia and who married Mary Kesler in Greenbrier County (W)VA 7 Feb 1821. A 2nd male descendant from Jacob, Richard's brother also matches.  Their father is said to be a Thomas Dodson and the brothers are said to have come from Virginia, perhaps the Rockingham County area.   This line is not connected to any of the above lines, based on DNA.  However, they match with another Dotson whose line that can be traced back to birth in Tennessee with a later migration to North Carolina after the Civil War.  They also match with a William Dodson, Revolutionary War soldier from North Carolina, who migrated to the Savannah, Chatham County Georgia area sometime after the war, and his descendants lived in that same area of Georgia. Discussion about the Greenbrier County Dotsons

Other Matches Another Dotson male unmatched line with any others can trace his earliest ancestry to Maryland with a migration in the early 1800's to Ohio.  And several others tested do not match any of the other men.

The DNA Denson-Dotson Mystery 5 men with a Denson surname are matches with the Dodson-Dotson males who share DNA with descendants of Thomas Dodson of Chester county, Pennsylvania. The Denson male lines are documented back to the the mid 1700's in North Carolina and possibly  back to Virginia. We have no record of men from the Chester county PA Dodson line in North Carolina, although it is possible. It appears that these Denson and Dodson/Dotson men share a common ancestor, and probably in America, but research has not shown any connections. Are the Densons really Dodsons - or - are the Dodsons really Densons? Early North Carolina Dodson males.

DNA Genealogy Tests - What do they prove or not prove?

People have always had reasons to establish an ancestral lineage whether it was pride or a desire to join organizations such as the Sons of or Daughters of the American Revolution.  But it's sad to see how many errors have been made over the years with scanty or no documentation.  DNA is now destroying some family myths about their heritage. There are complex DNA tests to solve crimes or establish paternity, but with DNA testing for genealogical purposes, the results will only show the probability of a most recent common ancestor.  

Since DNA testing only shows probable ancestors or relatives,  it does a better job of proving who is NOT your ancestor than who is your ancestor.  It does not remove the need for careful research to prove your line.  Also, because of the right to privacy, you will only learn of those that match, and only the amount of information that they wish to share with you.

Based on the number of markers tested and the match of those markers, the probability increases, as seen in the chart below, but again DNA does not prove ancestry, it only establishes a relationship to others who have been tested and shows that you and that person probably share a common ancestor at some point in time. With more matches, the odds increase that there was a common ancestor within a certain number of generations, but if you achieve a perfect match on 37 markers, the best you have is a guaranteed match within 400 to 600 years ago.  If 2 persons match on 67 of 67 markers, their common ancestor could be more recent. DNA testing can quickly suggest the possibility of relationships, or those you should disregard, but documentation is still the only way to be certain.  

Probability Charts for Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)

From Family Tree DNA Site

Number of matching markers 50% probability that the MRCA was no longer than this number of generations 90% probability that the MRCA was no longer than this number of generations 95% probability that the MRCA was no longer than this number of generations
10 of 10 16.5 56 72
11 of 12 17 39 47
12 of 12 7 23 29
23 of 25 11 23 27
24 of 25 7 16 20
25 of 25 3 10 13
35 of 37 6 12 14
36 of 37 4 8 10
37 of 37 2 to 3 5 7
65 of 67 6 12 14
66 of 67 4 8 9
67 of 67 2 4 6

Other statistical probabilities when there are NO mismatches i.e. 100% matching markers:

When comparing Y-DNA25 markers, with 0 mismatches, the probability of a common ancestor within:

... 4 generations is 61.17%.
... 8 generations is 84.92%.
...12 generations is 94.15%.
...16 generations is 97.73%.
...20 generations is 99.12%.
...24 generations is 99.66%. 

When comparing Y-DNA37 markers, with 0 mismatches, the probability of a common ancestor within:

... 4 generations is 83.49%.
... 8 generations is 97.28%.
...12 generations is 99.55%.
...16 generations is 99.93%.
...20 generations is 99.99%.
...24 generations is 100.00%. 

Dodson/Dotson DNA comparison of Lines - Matches and Mismatches

Below is a comparison of the Y-DNA testing of Dodson and Dotson males from different lineages.  It is clear from the results that these were distinct lines who were not likely to have a common ancestors in America.  With so many mismatches, any common ancestor would have been many generations ago, likely in Europe.

DNA of typical  descendants of Thomas of Chester County, Pennsylvania

39178 Dodson   14 24 15 11 15-17 11 13 12 13 11 28 17 8-10 10 12 25 15 21 28 14-14-15-15 10 9  19-19  14 14 16 17 33-34 12 10


DNA of typical descendants of  Greenbrier County, WV Dotson showing Mismatches with Thomas of Chester PA line

241989 Dotson - 13 24 16 11 11-13 12 12 10 12 11 29 15 8-10 11 11 23 14 20 31 13-15-15-16 11 12 19-23 15 15 18 20  34-37 12 11


DNA of typical descendants Charles County Maryland showing Mismatches with Greenbrier County WV line

35078 Dodson    13 23 15 11 11-13 12 12 13 13 13 29 16 9-10 11 11 25 15 19 28 15-15-17-17 11 11 19-23 16 15 17 17 40-40  11 12


DNA of typical descendants of Charles, Richmond County VA showing Mismatches with Greenbrier County WV line

25486 Dodson England   13 24 15 11 11-13 12 12 14 13 13 29 15 9-10 11 11 25 15 19 28 15-15-17-17 11 11 19-23 16 15 18 17 36-39   11 12


DNA of one descendant of Talbot County Maryland Dodsons showing Mismatches with Greenbrier County WV line

233504 Dodson England 13 24 14 11 11-13 12 12 13 13 15 29 17 9-10 11 11 24 15 18 30 15-16-16-16 11 12 19-23  16 15 19 17 39-40   12 12

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