DNA Frequently Asked Questions

Webmaster’s note 17 April 2016: There is reason to suspect that the haplogroup T reported by at least one Ipswich Whipple descendant is not a Y-DNA haplogroup, but instead a mitochondrial (mtDNA) haplogroup.  As a Y-DNA Haplogroup, T is found primarily in southern Asia and Australia; it is extremely rare in northern Europe. As a mitochondrial haplogroup, on the other hand, it is very common in Europe.


  1. Question: What’s the advantage of a Y-Chromosome DNA test?
  2. Question: What is the Y-DNA haplogroup of Captain John Whipple of Providence?
    • Answer: R1b (based on Y-DNA tests of 50+ patrilineal descendants)
  3. Question: What is the Y-DNA haplogroup of Matthew Whipple of Bocking/Ipswich?
    • Answer: Most likely T or T1; possibly I2b. (This isn’t as clear cut. Definitely not R1b.)
  4. Question: Are non-Whipple males who are in the R1b haplogroup descendants of Captain John?
    • Answer: No. “Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is believed to have expanded throughout Europe as humans recolonized after the last glacial maximum 10 thousand to 12 thousand years ago …” — Source: Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner, Trace Your Roots with DNA (Rodale, 2004), p. 83. (See FAQ 1 above. Again, the Y-Chromosome DNA test is a tie breaker for known patrilineal Whipple males that need help with their patrilineal ancestors..)

Who Are My Whipple Ancestors?