Interpreting Non-YDNA Test Results

Several weeks ago I received a file of DNA test results from a biological male Whipple descendant of a disconnected biological male Whipple listed on the Disconnected Whipples page of the Whipple Website. The file had 668,961 lines of data from a test performed by a large genealogical company. I was unable to draw any conclusions from that file. (I lack the expertise necessary to interpret that file.)

Background: Y-DNA Tests for Whipples

The late Blaine Whipple of Portland, Oregon, first suggested the value of a specific DNA test to me in an email a number of years ago. At the time, he wanted to see if the Rhode Island Whipples and the Bocking/Ipswich Whipples were related.

He reviewed the elementary genetics that I had learned in college:

  • Biological males generally have one X and one Y chromosome—the X chromosome is received from their mother; the Y chromosome is received from their father.
  • Biological females generally have two X chromosomes—both received from their mother.

Blaine reasoned that Y chromosome DNA tests could be conducted as follows:

  1. Find a statistically significant sampling of biological male Whipples that can trace the male line of their ancestry to either Captain John Whipple of Rhode Island or Matthew Whipple of Bocking, England. (The “top” branch of these Whipples’ pedigree chart would all be males surnamed Whipple, connecting to either John or Matthew.)
  2. Test only DNA markers on their Y chromosome.
  3. Compare the results to see if the Rhode Island Whipples and the Bocking/Ipswich Whipples are biologically related.

Those tests have been conducted. The two Whipples aren’t biologically related.

Blaine also suggested that if the two branches aren’t related, male Whipples could use Y-DNA tests to see if they are descended from either of those two Whipple ancestors.

Non-YDNA Tests

During the years since Blaine Whipple first contacted me, DNA tests have made stunning advances. Companies have amassed huge DNA databases. At a conference I attended this summer, I attended a lecture by an executive who described the wonderful ways they could help individuals identify their relatives. I was impressed.

As I listened to the lecture, I quickly realized that determining biological relationships using Ancestry’s database should be left up to Ancestry.

Fortunately, I already know my Whipple ancestry. (I descend from the Rhode Island John.)

Which DNA Test(s) are for you?

If you are a biological male Whipple trying to determine your Whipple ancestry, a Y Chromosome DNA test is potentially a good choice. (I had my YDNA test from Family Tree DNA in Houston, Texas. Ancestry doesn’t offer a YDNA test.)

Otherwise, Ancestry’s DNA test might be helpful for you. Unfortunately, I’m unable to draw any conclusions from the hundreds of thousands of lines of output from their tests—depend on Ancestry for that.

Enjoy your genealogical research!


Y-DNA Haplogroup T Reversal

This past April 3-4 I wrote a negative post on the value of Y-DNA tests as tie-breakers for Whipples. In the additional thoughts on April 4 (at the bottom of that post) I suggested that male Whipples who reported their Y-DNA haplogroup as T were likely mistaken—that their T-haplogroup was likely a mitochondrial (mtDNA) haplogroup.

My opinions changed completely on August 26.  Raymond “Ray” Whipple of Hamilton, Massachusetts emailed me that day, reminding me that he is in the Y-DNA T haplogroup. (I actually helped him get the test several years ago through Family Tree DNA. [duh!])

How This Changes Things

As stated in my April 3-4 post, Y-DNA haplogroup T is extremely rare in northern Europe. Since The R1b… Y-DNA haplogroup is common among descendants of the Rhode Island Captain John Whipple (—as well as European populations in general, we can surmise the following:

  1. Any patrilineal male Whipple in the U.S. who is a member of Y-DNA haplogroup T is very likely a descendant of the Ipswich Whipples.
  2. Male Whipples in Y-DNA haplogroup R1b
    • are possibly a descendant of Rhode Island Whipple Capt. John Whipple, OR
    • are possibly a patrilineal descendant of some European male, OR
    • have a very slim chance of being a descendant of an adopted (or otherwise non-biological) son of an Ipswich Whipple.

So this realization radically alters my ramblings of April 3-4.

Ray’s Patrilineal Whipple Ancestry

In 2012, Ray published the 4th edition of his book entitled The Whipples of Ipswich and Its Hamlet. I have a signed (by Ray) copy of the book in my possession.

Ray traces his male genealogy back to Matthew Whipple of Bocking/Ipswich as follows—all his American ancestors lived in Ipswich Hamlet/Hamilton, Massachusetts:

  1. Raymond Arthur Whipple Jr. (
  2. Raymond Arthur Whipple (
  3. Arthur Eli Whipple, 1872-1926 (
  4. John Henry Whipple, 1831-1917) (
  5. John Whipple, 1807-1871 (
  6. Edward Whipple (Lt.), 1780-1861 (
  7. John Whipple, 1743-1832 (
  8. John Whipple (Capt.), 1695-1769 (
  9. John Whipple (Capt.), 1660-1722 (
  10. John Whipple (Lt.), 1632-1695 (
  11. Matthew Whipple, 1590-1647 (
  12. Matthew Whipple Sr., abt 1550-1618/1619 (

Note: The Whipple Website extends Matthew Sr’s ancestry two generations:

  1. Thomas Whipple, b. abt 1510 (
  2. Thomas Whipple, b. abt 1475 (

Observations about Ray’s Ancestry

  • Half of the ancestors in Ray’s lineage back to Matthew Sr. are named John
  • Two of the six Johns are Capt. John.
  • Neither Capt. John is the Capt. John Whipple of Rhode Island (
  • The Whipple Blog post entitled “Captain Who?” lists 11 Capt. John Whipples. (The list might be incomplete.) The two Capt. Johns in Ray’s ancestry are numbers 3 and 6 on that page.


Ray isn’t the only Whipple in Y-DNA haplogroup T. In a note inserted inside the book he sent me in 1912 (?), he states his relief at learning that there are other Whipples in Y-DNA haplogroup T. (Yes, there were other reports of Whipples in that haplogroup before Ray. If only I had kept better records! [sigh])

Feel free to question any information on the web sites of (I’m certain that many more errors are lurking among their pages.)

DNA Tests in the new Whipple Database

During the past few days I’ve upgraded the software of the former web site. In the process I changed it’s address to

I now notice a new section of that site called “DNA Tests” (currently empty). I’m contemplating entering my own DNA information.

Unless I become inundated with email, I’m willing to accept (and enter) information from individuals who are found in the Whipple Database (i.e. whose name is listed at (Send your information to Be sure to include your individual number …)

Here are the fields that appear on the Test Information page:

  • Test Type. One of:
    • atDNA (Autosomal)
    • Y-DNA
    • mtDNA (Mitochondrial)
    • X-DNA
  • Test Number
  • Vendor
  • Test Date
  • Person who took this test (linked to a person at
  • Number of STR Markers
  • Haplogroup
  • Significant SNPs
  • Terminal SNP
  • Notes. (This is a large, free-format field)
  • Relevant Links (probably for URLs of other sites/pages?)

Before You Submit Your Information

I haven’t had time to consider all the ramifications of posting DNA test information on the site. Before you send me your information, please think about whether or not you have privacy concerns (etc.).

The Whipple Genweb and Whipple Database already have a policy of not (intentionally) posting dates and places for living individuals.

We’ll see where this goes…

Recent Thoughts on DNA Testing

[On September 7, 2016, I revised my opinion of the usefulness of Y-DNA haplogroup T in identifying Ipswich Whipple descendants. You probably ought to read that post before reading this post further.]

Lately I’ve had second thoughts about the value of Y-DNA tests as a “tie breaker” in helping fill in a missing generation in one’s Whipple ancestral tree.

I’ll begin with these facts (from page 83 of the 2004 book entitled Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner, ISBN 1-59486-006-8):

Y-DNA “haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in Eurpoean populations. … This lineage is … the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype.”

My interpretation: In 2004 (when the book was written), if you were to take a cross-section of all European males—not just Whipples—and test their Y-DNA, the most common haplogroup of that cross-section would be R1b.

The I, I1, and I1a lineages are nearly completely restricted to north-western Europe. These would most likely have been common within Viking populations. One lineage of this group extends down into central Europe.

My interpretation: In 2004, a significant number of males—not just Whipples—living in north-western Europe belong to the I, I1, and I1a haplogroups.

Patrilineal male Whipples who have reported being in the R1b haplogroup have all been (as far as they can tell) descendants of Captain John Whipple of Rhode Island.

It was an exchange of emails last month that has gotten me to thinking:

  1. A patrilineal male Whipple descendant of a Whipple thought to descend from the Ipswich Whipples (which have heretofore been reported as being members of the T, T1, I2b1, etc. haplogroups), informed me that he is a member of the R1b1b2 haplogroup—the same as mine.
  2. Then that  Whipple’s cousin (or nephew?), who isn’t a patrilineal Whipple descendant reported that his haplogroup is also R1b1b2.

Then it hit me: Most male Whipples whose ancestors came from Europe in the past are probably members of the R1b haplogroup—regardless of who their ancestors are—just like the majority of all other (non-Whipple) males who trace their patrilineal ancestry back to Europe (including England).

Most of us who have traced our genealogy for a few generations have probably encountered:

  • a foundling ancestor, left on a doorstep and adopted by a non-relative.
  • an orphan, adopted by an aunt, uncle, or other relative.
  • out-of-wedlock ancestors whose father is uncertain.
  • other non-biological father-son relationships.

The majority of male Whipples—even those who have encountered the above situations (perhaps without knowing it)—are in the R1b haplogroup.

At this point I’m wondering if it was a mistake to create the Whipple DNA website. I don’t think I’ll delete it—not yet, at least.

What a relief that the Whipple Genweb and related site are open to anyone named Whipple, regardless of origin—whether or not they are related to ANYONE else named Whipple. (See Scope of This Site for the actual scope of the Whipple Website.)

If you have comments about this post, feel free to email me at … or perhaps say something on the Whipple Website Facebook page (you’ll have to join that group first), or tweet to @WhippleWebsite.

Feel free to enlighten me. (I’m still trying to update myself on the latest advances in genealogical DNA!)

Additional thoughts on April 4, 2016

In re-reading about Y-DNA haplogroups in Europe, many sources make no mention of the T haplogroup at all (in Europe). It now appears that the T haplogroup is found mainly in west Asia: only about 0.9% of European males (chiefly in the eastern Mediterranean) belong to the T haplogroup.

On the other hand, a female T haplogroup is common in Europe. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tests are a common method for tracing ones matrilineal lineage with DNA.

I now suspect that the report(s) I’ve received of membership in the T haplogroup are mtDNA reports … and should be omitted.

Unfortunately, the individual who first reported his ancestry as being in the T1 haplogroup is deceased, and thus not available to question about his original report.

Who Is Henry Whipple?

According to the Whipple Genweb, Henry Whipple (one of many Henrys in the database) was born on May 13, 1788, in Rhode Island. He died March 19, 1848, in Cumberland County, Illinois.

Until last month it was assumed that his parents were Ezra Whipple and Abigail Harwood. Ezra is a great great grandson of Matthew Whipple, born in Bocking, England, in about 1590. Matthew sailed from England to Ipswich, Massachusetts, with his brother John in 1638. The brothers were great grandsons of Thomas Whipple of Bishops Stortford, England, born in about 1475.

Last month I received an email from a relative of a direct patrilineal descendant of Henry. The direct descendant had just received the results of his Y chromosome DNA test, which showed  him a member of the R1b haplogroup.

A significant number of patrilineal descendants of Captain John Whipple of Providence, Rhode Island, have all belonged to the R1b haplogroup. Thus far, no confirmed patrilineal descendants of Bocking/Ipswich Whipples have been in the R1b haplogroup.

Several weeks ago I unlinked Henry from parents Ezra and Abigail. Some have suggested that Henry is the son of Luther Whipple—a confirmed descendant of Captain John—and his wife Eunice Gates.

… So who is Henry’s father?

Henry is likely a direct descendant of Captain John of Providence, Rhode Island. On the other hand, it is possible that Henry or one of his ancestors was adopted, or one of his descendants could have been adopted.

While Y-DNA tests can be a tie-breaker in helping to choose between two candidate Whipple ancestors—one a Rhode Island descendant and the other an Ipswich/Bocking descendant—Y-DNA tests aren’t foolproof.

Because the R1b haplogroup is the most common among European males in general, a random male (of any surname) in the U.S. or Europe is most likely a member of that haplogroup. Y-DNA tests are useful (for Whipple genealogists) only when a male of surname Whipple is trying to choose between two possible ancestors—one a Rhode Island Whipple and the other a Bocking/Ipswich Whipple.

Are Whipples Descendants of Scandinavians and Normans?

On the Whipple Website Facebook group this morning, a Whipple posted the following:

After watching the series “History of Britain,” it seems to me that Whipple’s may either originally be from the Scandinavian countries (viking hordes) or from Normandy in northern France, who were also from Scandinavia originally …..anyone who’s a direct line descendant, who’s had a DNA profile, did it show either of those ethnic origins, along with Britain?

I was about to post a long reply to the Facebook group, but decided it might be better to post it here (and refer the Facebook group to this post). … So here goes:

Sometime during the past 10 years (or so) I owned (and read cover-to-cover) a book entitled Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain by Robert Winder. From what I recall, it basically concludes that everyone in modern-day Great Britian is a “foreigner.”

Captain John Whipple ( is my 8th great grandfather. He is one of my (mathematically speaking) 1024 different 8th great grandparents. (If none of them are duplicates because of cousins marrying cousins, that could mean that I have 512 8th great grandmothers and 512 8th great grandfathers.)

Captain John Whipple immigrated to New England from England aboard the Lyon in 1632.

Thomas Whipple ( is the 12th great grandfather if my wife. He is one of her (mathematically speaking) 16,384 different 12th great grandparents. (If none of them are duplicates because of cousins marrying cousins, that could mean that she has 8192 12th great grandmothers and 8192 12th great grandfathers.)

I haven’t spent money on Ancestry’s DNA tests, which could potentially (?) find information from the origins of all 1024 of my 8th great grandparents.

I HAVE spent money on the Y chromosome DNA tests from Family Tree DNA in Houston, which showed my patrilineal YDNA haplogroup as being R1b1b2. Many other male patrilineal descendants of Captain John of Rhode Island have “similar” YDNA haplogroups (R1b…)

Purportedly patrilineal descendants of my wife’s 12th great grandfather have reported being from YDNA haplogroups T, T1, and I2b1. The “T…” haplogroups have been reported to me more frequently than the “I…” haplogroup. (Since my wife is female, she has no Y chromosome, so the YDNA test doesn’t work for her …) See to read more.

After reading Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain, I’m 99% certain that “most” Brits of the 15th and 17th century likely had ancestors from both Scandinavia and Normandy—and many other places.

Page 83 of the book Trace Your Roots with DNA (ISBN 1-59486-006-8) summarizes the origins of some YDNA haplogroups:

The I, I1, and I1a lineages are nearly completely restricted to northwestern Europe. These would most likely have been common within Viking populations. One lineage of this group extends down into central Europe.

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. This lineage is also the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype.

Just this past week I have been receiving emails from a patrilineal male Whipple who is a descendant of Henry Whipple ( His YDNA haplogroup is R1b, yet the Whipple Genweb shows him as a descendant of Thomas Whipple (my wife’s ancestor). Based on Henry’s descendant’s YDNA haplogroup of R1b, I’m guessing that the Whipple Genweb has misidentified Henry’s father. (Another task to add to my “to do” list …)

What’s the Advantage of Doing the Y DNA Test?

Recently a close relative asked me the question that is the subject of this post. I asked her to wait for me to answer the question on this blog. So here goes …

Until a few years ago I kept asking myself the question, “What’s the advantage of doing any DNA test?”  I want to know exactly who my ancestors are; I don’t want to take a test that will tell me who my ancestors might be. DNA tests won’t tell me that, I thought.

Then someone gave me a good reason for DNA tests–specifically the Y chromosome DNA test. Here it the one scenario where the Y DNA test can be useful (in my humble opinion):

Let’s say a someone named Sam Whipple wants to trace his Whipple ancestry.

  • Sam has heard that most Whipples in the United States descend from one of two Whipple families that immigrated to Massachusetts in the 1600s.
  • He can trace his Whipple line (going from father to father to father) until the 1700s in New York.
  • Sam’s earliest known Whipple ancestor is the son of two possible Whipples named Thomas who lived in the same vicinity as his distant ancestor.
  • One Thomas is a known descendant of the Ipswich Massachusetts Whipples; the other is a descendant of the Rhode Island Whipples.
  • Sam takes the Y DNA test and sees that it shows he is in the same haplogroup as other male descendants (“patrilineal descendants”) of the Rhode Island Whipples.
  • The Y DNA test results are a tie breaker between the two Thomases; he is able to trace his roots back to Captain John Whipple of Providence, Rhode Island.

Unfortunately, Y Chromosome DNA tests don’t always work out the way they did for the fictitious Sam Whipple above. Adoption, illegitimacy, and other stumbling blocks get in the way.

However, if your situation is the same as Sam’s, you might want to try a Y DNA test.

If not, then someone else needs to show me a good justification for a DNA test. (I’m sure  there are good reasons for them. I just don’t know of one that interests me.)

Y DNA Test not part of AncestryDNA

Yesterday I came very close to ordering a DNA test from, assuming that it would include Y Chromosome  test results.

Before clicking the button to place the order, I decided to phone their 800 number to verify that the test would include a Y Chromosome haplogroup if the person being tested is a male.

Unfortunately, Ancestry doesn’t offer a Y DNA test. Fortunately, I phoned before placing the order. Ancestry’s test is an “autosomal” DNA test. According to the customer support person I spoke with,  it uses the other 22 pairs of chromosomes, but not the X and Y chromosomes.

Why Y DNA?

For many individuals desiring to know their roots, an autosomal DNA test might be helpful. However, the Y Chromosome DNA test is particularly helpful for a Whipple trying to learn if they are descended from Captain John Whipple of Providence, RI or instead from the Ipswich, MA or Bocking/Bishops Stortford, England Whipples (Thomas Whipple or his great grandsons Matthew or John.)

Worth noting:

  • A “large” number of male Whipples that know they descend from Captain John of RI have taken the Y DNA test and found that they are in haplogroup R1b1b2.
  • Most male Whipples who know they descend from the Ipswich Whipples are in haplogroup I2b1. One who “assumes” he is an Ipswich Whipple based on records research has learned he is in haplogroup T.
  • If you are a male with surname Whipple with a missing link in your patrilineal Whipple line, a Y DNA test will tell you one of three things:
    1. You are a biological descendant of Capt. John of Providence if your haplogroup is R1b1b2 …
    2. You are a biological descendant of the Ipswich Whipples if your haplogroup is I2b1 …
    3. You are descended from some other Whipple line, or an adoption, illegitimate link may exist.

So a Y DNA test isn’t guaranteed to pinpoint your Whipple ancestry, but it might (in case 1 or 2 above) help prune your tree of possible ancestors.

Where to get a Y DNA test

I purchased my test from Family Tree DNA ( several years ago for less than $100. I just checked their web site, and at the time of this writing their cheapest Y DNA test is $169. In the past, they have periodically offered tests for considerably less than that. (I recommend waiting for a “special.”)

What if you are female?

Females don’t have a Y chromosome. However, their brothers, uncles and male cousins do. If one of them is surnamed Whipple and a patrilineal descendant of an incomplete Whipple line, you can invite them to have a Y DNA test.

If you have additional facts about DNA testing that I’m missing, please email me at!

Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in DNA Testing

Last evening I spoke briefly with a friend of mine who is a genetics professor at a local university. I asked him in passing if I’m missing anything new in genealogical DNA since I first read about Y DNA and mtDNA. He responded with the following in an email:
Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP’s) are now becoming the most commonly diagnosed markers for molecular genealogy due to sheer numbers and relative ease/low cost of doing the assays.  23andme is the biggest SNP analyzing company and they have a huge database (800,000+) of clients they have surveyed with over 900,000 genome-wide markers (not just on the Y and mtDNA).
Unlike Y DNA tests I’ve seen, which test fewer than 100 “markers” for $100 or less, (he writes that):
A simple saliva test for 900,000+ markers by 23andme now costs just $99.
Also, rather than be limited to a single chromosome (like the Y chromosome) …
… you can trace chromosome segments on the 22 pairs of non-sex chromosomes around in extended families.
As I learn more about SNP, I’ll blog some more.

Another Whipple in DNA Haplogroup T

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.

This past week I received another email from a patrilineal Whipple descendant whose Y chromosome DNA shows him in the T haplogroup.

Thus far, all but one patrilineal descendant of the Ipswich/Bocking/Bishop’s Stortford have reported being members of the T haplogroup. (Descendants of the Rhode Island Whipples have been members of the R1b or R1b1b2 haplogroup).

If you are stuck trying to decide between two candidate Whipple ancestors living in the same geographical area–one an Ipswich Whipple descendant and the other a Rhode Island Whipple descendant–a Y DNA test might help you choose between the two candidates.

If you are a male with surname Whipple and your Whipple ancestry follows the fathers’ lines back to the most distant known Whipple, a Y DNA test might prove to be a tie breaker in choosing between two possible ancestors.

If you are a female Whipple and have a brother or Whipple cousin, try to encourage them to have a Y DNA test. (All it takes is four swabs from inside the mouth, submitted to a lab for testing.)

The price of tests continues to drop. For the purposes described above, a minimal number of markers (a 12-marker test, for example) should be sufficient. Some labs offer a 12-marker Y DNA test for $49.00. Periodic “specials” by competing labs cost even less.

If you are a patrilineal Whipple descendants and your haplogroup begins “R1b,” you are likely a Rhode Island Whipple. If The haplogroup name begins “T,” you are probably an Ipswich Whipple. (Note: One Ipswich Whipple descendant has reported being in haplogroup I2b1. If you are in that haplogroup, then you are likely his cousin.)

Good luck in your research!

See last year’s post for a Whipple DNA Summary and Overview.

Ipswich Whipple Y-DNA … So Far

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.

This past weekend I received a report from yet another patrilineal descendant of Matthew Whipple (b. 1590). He reported his haplogroup as T1. Previous Ipswich Whipples had reported haplogroups T (without the 1) and I2b1. One disconnected Whipple also reported a haplogroup of T.

At this point I’m guessing that T and T1 are close matches. (Slight mutations can occur as generations pass. Might T1 be a mutation of T, I wonder?)

Here is what we have so far. (Each indention level represents one generation):

Last week we reported that a descendant of Joseph Marks Whipple (b. 24 Aug 1752 Greenwich, MA, d. 10 Jun 1843 Johnston, OH) is in haplogroup T. (We don’t know Joseph’s connection yet. We’re guessing he is a descendant of Matthew (b. 1590) or Matthew’s brother John (b. 1596 Bocking, Eng., d. 30 Jun 1669 in Ipswich, MA).

A significant number of the descendants of (another) John Whipple (b. abt 1617 somewhere in England; d. 16 May 1685 Providence, RI) are members of haplogroup R1b1b2.

To summarize: Of the small sampling of Y DNA from Ipswich Whipple descendants, most of them seem to be of haplogroup T (or a related haplogroup).

If you are a male named Whipple and are a direct patrilineal descendant of either of the two Ipswich Whipples (Matthew or his brother John), please consider having a Y DNA test and submitting your haplogroup to the Whipple Website.

Feel free to correct or comment on any assumptions made in this post!


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.

During the past 2-3 years (or more?), patrilineal descendants of the Rhode Island and Ipswich MA Whipples have been submitting DNA for testing. During that time, known Rhode Island descendants (descendants of Captain John Whipple at have belonged to haplogroup:

  • R1b1b2

During that same time, two descendants of Matthew of Ipswich ( have submitted DNA tests, with TWO different results:

  • T
  • I2b1

The Ipswich tests have been inconclusive …


This evening I received an email from a male patrilineal descendant of “disconnected” Jonathan Whipple (, who married Anne (maiden name unknown) and had a son named Joseph Marks Whipple ( (Jonathan and Anne apparently died when Joseph was two years old. That was when he was adopted by John Marks ( and his wife Mary.)

The result:

Haplogroup T

We can now fairly confidently conclude that Jonathan Whipple ( is a direct descendant of Matthew Whipple ( or his brother John (

As we search for parents of Jonathan Whipple (, we can now eliminate Whipples that are descendants of Captain John Whipple ( of Rhode Island!

(Note: Don’t be confused by the similar names of John of Ipswich and John of Providence. See Two Immigrants Named John. Also visit the two John’s pages at and Scroll to the bottom of their pages and read the notes …)

DNA Test Results … So Far

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.

The very small sample of Y Chromosome DNA test results submitted so far seems to indicate that the Ipswich (Massachusetts) Whipples and the Providence (Rhode Island) Whipples don’t share a “recent” common ancestor.

Rhode Island (Samuel, Eleazer), 3+ test results:
Haplogroup R1b1b2 (R-M269)
Ipswich (Matthew), 2 different test results 1 test result:
Haplogroup I2b1
Haplogroup T (T-M70)
If you are a patrilineal male descendant Matthew or John of Ipswich, or of John of Providence, we welcome results of your yDNA tests.

Another Match!

Four days ago I received another email with the subject: “Family Tree DNA Y-DNA12 Test Match 12 for 12,” indicating that yet another Whipple is a descendant of Captain John Whipple of Providence, Rhode Island. Because Family Tree DNA has a strict privacy policy, I’m not certain who that person is. (I do see, however, that there are five Whipples listed whose Y-DNA 12 Test matches mine.)

If you also received notification about four days ago–and you just recently had your DNA tested, feel free to email the webmaster— especially if you are uncertain of your Rhode Island connection!


12-Marker Y-DNA Test for $99.00!

This week Christopher Congdon reported a way to purchase a 12-marker Y Chromosome DNA test from FamilyTree DNA: Visit — it takes you directly to the page for the 12-marker test.

As I mentioned in an earlier post: the 12-marker Y-DNA test should be sufficient for the objectives of the Whipple Website’s tests — to see it the Ipswich MA and Providence RI Whipples have a “recent” common ancestor.
Before you run out and plunk down your $99.00: Make sure you are a male patrilineal Whipple descendant! (That means that your Whipple ancestry goes back through fathers’ lines as far as you know; it probably means that your surname is Whipple.)
I hope to see more test results from descendants of Ipswich Whipples, Matthew ( and John ( We’re still looking for common haplogroup trends among their descendants.
(Last time I checked, I THINK I saw about 49 tests of Rhode Island Whipple patrilineal descendants, all with a common haplogroup. All “Rhode Island Whipple descendants) trace their ancestry to the John Whipple at

Which Y-DNA Test?

Now that I’ve had time to look at the results of different relatives’ Y-DNA tests, I have formulated a new opinion about which Y-chromosome DNA tests are best. The tests with the fewest “markers” (which are also the cheapest) are probably sufficient–for starters, at least.

A 12-marker test ought to be sufficient to for a male Whipple to determine whether he is a biological patrilineal descendant of the earliest Rhode Island ancestor, Captain John Whipple (See Unfortunately, FamilyTree DNA doesn’t seem to offer a 12- or 25-marker test. The “starter test” advertised on their web site ( is the 37-marker test. (They also offer a 67-marker test–considerably more expensive.)

If you are a male Whipple and suspect that you descend from the Ipswich (Massachusetts) brothers John and Matthew, we urge you to have your Y-DNA tested and submit your results! (Thus far, we know of only two tests of Ipswich Whipple–and both are different. Even a 12-marker would help identify a trend!)

We also welcome test results from other Whipple tree descendants. Here are a few possibilities:

  • The Houma, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana (male) descendants of George Whipple of Baden-Baden, in the present-day state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. (George’s son, Charles Frederick Whipple, immigrated to the U.S. in 1844. He was living in Houma in the 1900 Census.)
  • Male descendants of the purported Robert Eugene Whipple of county Cork, Ireland, who died in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. His three grandsons, Joseph, John William, and James, were born in Virginia in the 1820’s and 1830’s.
  • Male descendants of anyone listed on the Disconnected Whipples page–including Whipples from the United Kingdom. (It would be interesting to see if/how they share ancestry with U.S. Whipples!)

We (the rest of us Whipples) look forward to learning about the Y-DNA results of any other male Whipples interested in participating!

If you know of a Y-DNA testing service that offers the 12-marker test, please contact the Webmaster (

(If you purchase a 37-marker test from FamilyTree DNA, they offer an upgrade to the “full-blown” 67-marker test–if you’re interested.)

Ipswich Whipple Y DNA: More Uncertainty

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.

A few days ago I posted preliminary results of an Ipswich Whipple Y Chromosome DNA test. That test indicated no close relationship between the Rhode Island Whipples and that descendant of Matthew Whipple (brother of John) of Ipswich.

Two days ago I received another Y DNA report from another descendant of the same Matthew. (Matthew is the nearest common ancestor of both individuals.) Those DNA results were also different from the Rhode Island Whipple DNA results. Unfortunately, the two Ipswich Whipples DNA tests don’t match each other: both Ipswich Whipples have different Y DNA results.

We can’t really conclude anything at the moment, except for the following:

  • If you are a male named Whipple and a Y DNA test shows that you belong to haplogroup R1b1b2 (R-M269), you are likely a descendant of Captain John Whipple of Rhode Island.
  • If you are a male named Whipple and a Y DNA test shows that you belong to either haplogroup T or I2b1, you are likely an Ipswich Whipple. (Well, at least you probably aren’t a Rhode Island Whipple.)
Feel free to submit your Y DNA test results to the Whipple DNA web site–especially if you don’t think you are a Rhode Island Whipple.
More later …
Weldon Whipple

Accessing Your yDNA Test Results on FamilyTree DNA

A fellow Whipple reported that he received an email in the past few days from FamilyTree DNA, informing him that some of his Y chromosome DNA test results were available. He indicated that he didn’t know how to access the results. I recalled that when I first received my test results, it took me several weeks to “discover” where the results were on the web site. With that in mind, I’ve decided to share how I accessed my test results.

Step 1. Follow the link to your myFTDNA account

The email has a section that says something like:

Follow the link below to access your myFTDNA account.
Your Kit Number is xxxxxx
“History Unearthed Daily”

Jot down your Kit Number and visit

Step 2. Log into FTDNA

On the left section of the page,

  • enter your Kit Number in the first field, then
  • enter your password. (The email you received when you ordered the test should have your password. If you can’t remember it, click on the “Forgot Your Password?” link.)

Step 3. View your Y-DNA Results

The next page should say “Welcome to your Family Tree DNA personal page!”

The first time I saw the page I was scared away. There are two places on the page that will show you the test results. On the left-hand “navigation bar,” scan down until you see “Y-DNA.” Beneath that heading, you will see these links:

  • Matches
  • Haplotree
  • Ancestral Origins
  • DYS Values
  • Print Certificate/Report/Data

(You will see the very same links a ways down on the main [right-hand side of the] page, with explanatory prose.)

The rest of this blog entry tells you how to click on the five links just mentioned. Feel free to skip the rest of these instructions, unless you need further help. (Hint: Your haplotree is on the page you view when you click the Haplo tree link.)

Step 4. Click on “Matches”

You should see the “Y-DNA Matches” page. Scroll to the bottom to see some test recipients whose tests exactly or closely match your results. (If you’re lucky, you might see some other Whipples. In my case, four other Whipples are listed. There is also one exact match with a different surname.)

My page shows four sections:

  1. 12 Marker – Exact Match
  2. 25 Marker – Exact Match
  3. 37 Marker – Genetic Distance – 2
  4. 67 Marker – Genetic Distance – 3

Step 5. Click on “Haplotree”

(The “Haplotree” link should still be in the left navigation bar, under “Matches.”)

After Flash finished drawing the page, look near the top, on the right part of the page. On my page, I see:

My Predicted Haplogroup: R1b1b2   Shorthand: R-M269

Those two values represent your haplogroup (and a shorthand identifier for it …). (Compare those values to what you see on the “Results” tab of this Whipple DNA blog.

If you’re interested in sharing, I’m very interested in your haplogroup and shorthand value.

I’ll not mention you by name on this blog–to protect your privacy. However, I’d like to include you in the summary numbers).

On the same page, you can click “Frequency Map” and “Migration Map” to learn more about your ancestors’ possible migration paths.

Step 6: Click on “Ancestral Origins”

(The “Ancestral Origins” link should be in the left navigation bar, under “Haplotree.”)
Read where they think your ancestors came from. (You may be very surprised!)

Step 7: Click on “DYS Values”

(The “DYS Values” link should be in the left navigation bar, under “Ancestral Origins.”)

You might want to print this page (clicking on the “Print This Page” button on the top right.”)

I’m not sure what all the values mean, but they’re useful if you want to search another yDNA database. I googled for some yDNA databases, and finally settled on Genetree, at
On that site, I clicked the “Sign Up” link at the top of the page (then used my signup when I return to that site).

After entering the site, I did the following:

  1. Clicked on the “DNA” menu item near the top of the page, then “Y-DNA Profile” on the drop-down.
  2. On the “Y-DNA Results” page, I clicked on “Markers” and then “Edit,” to get a page of Markers with blanks to enter the Values. The Markers correspond to “DYS#” on the FTDNA printout; the Values correspond to “Alleles” on the FTDNA printout.
  3. After I filled in as many blanks as I could (yes, I left some blank), I saved it.

On the Genetree site, it reported that I had 49 matches–many more than I did on the FamilyTree DNA site.

Step 8: Click on “Print Certificate/Report/Data

The page has two PDF certificates and one Migration Map. You can also download your Y-DNA Matches as CSV (“comma separated values”) files (for importing to a spreadsheet, etc.)

Well, that’s about all I have to say. Feel free to click around on other parts of the FTDNA site.

Feel free to add anything (as a comment) that you think I’ve missed. (I might even update this page if necessary …)

Good luck!

Preliminary yDNA Test Results: Ipswich and R.I. Whipples Not Closely Related?

Webmaster’s note 17 April 2016: There is reason to suspect that the haplogroup T reported below 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.

Yesterday I received an email reporting the results of Y Chromosome DNA tests of an 8th great grandson of Matthew Whipple (born about 1590, died 28 Sep 1647) of Ipswich, Massachusetts.

(Recall that Matthew and his brother John–both born in Bocking, Essex County, England–sailed from England to Ipswich, Massachusetts, in about 1638. John was born about 1596 and died 30 Jun 1669.)

The 8th great grandson mentioned above is of Haplogroup T (Shorthand T-M70).

My own Y DNA test results (received during the fall of 2010) show me to belong to Haplogroup R1b1b2 (Shorthand R-M269). I am the 8th great grandson of the other (younger) John Whipple, born somewhere in England around 1617. He landed at Dorchester (part of present-day Boston), Massachusetts in 1632 as a teenage indentured servant. He later married and moved to Rhode Island. Several other Whipples in the yDNA databases match my DNA. Those that I’ve been able to identify are also descendants of Rhode Island John.

So, to summarize what I’ve observed so far:

Ipswich Whipples: Haplogroup T (Shorthand T-M70)
Rhode Island Whipples: Haplogroup R1b1b2 (Shorthand R-M269)

If you are a male Whipple whose patrilineal line descendants directly from the Ipswich brothers Matthew and John–or from John Whipple of Rhode Island–we welcome a report of your haplogroup findings.

–Weldon Whipple, Webmster

Do the and the Whipple DNA project work together?

I just read the following question on the RootsWeb Whipple mailing list:

So do the and the Whipple DNA project work together or are they complete separate entities. What is the best way to do an DNA test? Would the National Geographic test work as well? I was interested in that project before I started researching my ancestry but have not done any at this time. Looking forward to seeing what develops.

Here is a response from the co-coordinator for the Whipple group (posted to the same mailing list):

For genealogy purposes the wisest choice is FTDNA or … FTDNA and worldfamilies cooperate closely. Worldfamilies sponsors a “surname group” for Whipple and others. Ordering your test through worldfamilies gives you an FTDNA test, and supports worldfamilies efforts in supporting surname groups and other efforts. I belong to three surname groups, two of which operate through worldfamilies, and serve as a co-coordinator for the Whipple group, a role I have only recently started and am learning.

The key issue is to to have ready facilities for sharing your results for genealogy studies. In this case there is a significant difference between “genealogy” as in the effort to find your specific relatives, and “genealogical” as in tracing the possibilities of your relationships before people had names. My opinions, of course.

Here is the Whipple Website’s response:

The Whipple DNA web site ( is more of a “cheer leading” site, focused on very specific objectives, the chief of which–at the moment, at least–is determining whether–or not–the two largest Whipple families in America share a “recent” common ancestor. Whether the answer is “yes” or “no” will help focus future Whipple genealogical research.

I used FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) for my own tests (mainly because so many others have done the same). I’m satisfied. For the present, I recommend the same test for other patrilineal male descendents who are interested in genealogical DNA. If you are a descendant of either Matthew or John of Ipswich, Massachusetts, I am particularly interested in results of your tests.

So, there you have it.

Weldon Whipple, Webmaster, Whipple Website

67 Marker Y Chromosome DNA Test Results Arrived Today

Today I received an email from FamilyTree DNA, informing me of the results from the 67 Marker DNA test ordered earlier. (This completes the tests I’ve ordered.)

In searching the Y DNA databases, I have found several other Whipples with 90% or greater matches to my DNA, all of them descendants of Captain John Whipple of Dorchester, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island.

Hopefully more results will be forthcoming from known descendants of the Ipswich, Massachusetts/Bocking, England Whipples. It will be nice if/when we can establish whether or not the two main families share a common ancestor.

If you are a male named Whipple and can trace your patrilineal ancestry to the Whipples of Bocking, England, having your DNA tested would help us nail down a Y-DNA haplogroup for that Whipple branch.

If you aren’t sure of your male-line Whipple ancestry, feel free to contact the Webmaster:

More later

Update: Trace Your Roots with DNA

Last night I finished reading the book Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner (Rodale, 2004; ISBN 1-59486-006-8). I strongly recommend it to anyone seriously interested in genetics and genealogy. Here are a few things I learned/concluded.

Y-DNA Testing

Of the two primary DNA tests used in genealogical research, the Y Chromosome DNA test interests me the most. It seems like a perfect match for determining whether the Whipples from Rhode Island and the Whipples from Ipswich, Massachusetts/Bocking, England share a common ancestor–or not. Learning that information can help researchers focus their pre-New World Whipple genealogical research.

mtDNA Testing

Just as Y-DNA testing is good for determining the patrilineal ancestry of male Whipples, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing is useful for verifying/validating a female’s matrilineal ancestry. For Whipples in general–the focus group of the Whipple Genweb–mtDNA testing seens less useful. (That doesn’t mean it isn’t useful for specific Whipple’s, however, in researching their own ancestry.)

See the DNA testing objectives suggested by the Whipple Website (which focus on Y-DNA tests). Their focus on Y-DNA tests need not exclude involvement of females that are Whipple descendants. Although our female cousins have no Y chromosomes, they do have brothers, uncles and male cousins to be recruited.

Other Y-DNA Databases

Page 192 of Trace Your Roots with DNA lists several additional Y-DNA database organizations:

  • (Y-chromosome Haplotype Reference Database), originated in Germany, primarily as a forensic database.
  •, sponsored by DNA Heritage, is the “first open-access database designed especially for genealogists.” It can “accommodate results from any genealogical testing company.”
  • is the database associated with Family Tree DNA–the organization that is testing my own Y-DNA and (perhaps?) the “official” organization for the Whipple DNA project.
  • GeneTree is associated with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation), associated with the database.

This morning I quickly visited all four sites in an attempt to learn of their searchability and availability to genealogical DNA newcomers.

One of the for probably deserves special note: When I visited GeneTree, I was immediately presented with a very simple (and compelling) registration page, which I “fell for.” After I registered (for free), the site sent me an confirmation email, which included a link to the GeneTree database. It offered an easy-to-use interface for adding my Whipple pedigree and entering my alleles from the Family Tree DNA test.

Within 5-10 minutes of submitting that form, an email arrived in my inbox, informing me of 49 matches–many of them Whipples. I spent the afternoon “clicking into” those matches at GeneTree.

I continue to recommend Family Tree DNA for participants in the Whipple DNA Project. However, I also strongly suggest that participants pro-actively search other available Y-DNA databases for matches.

I currently feel fairly confident about the Y-DNA signature of Captain John Whipple of Rhode Island ( I need to gain the same degree of confidence for the Ipswich/Bocking Whipples.

The future is bright for the Whipple DNA Project. I look forward to watching it unfold!

The Whipple DNA Project at

As proof that I’m still a “newbie” at genealogical DNA research, I realized this afternoon that the Whipple DNA Project has been around for at least two years at Even more surprising (to me) is that my pedigree is already online. (I recall uploading it somewhere a month or so ago. This afternoon I realized that it is posted–with a few others–at the URL mentioned above.)

Approximately two years ago Blaine Whipple submitted a document announcing the beginning of the Whipple Surname Family Tree DNA Project. (You can view the document at Although the offer described in that document has expired, prices of DNA testing have decreased since the document was created.

To join the Whipple Surname Family Tree DNA Project, I suggest the following:

  • Identify a living male relative named Whipple (perhaps yourself) who you think is a direct descendant of someone named Whipple, going from father to father, until the most distant male Whipple ancestor is reached.
  • Visit the FamilyTreeDNA web site and sign up for a Y-DNA test. (It will cost some money–but less than it did two years ago.) The instructions on Blaine’s 2008 invitation said to select the “37 Marker” test. Today many suggest selecting the “67 Marker”. If you aren’t certain of your ancestry, you might decide to request the less expensive 12 or 25 Marker test. (If either of those looks promising, you can request a higher-numbered Marker test after receiving the results of your test.)
  • FamilyTreeDNA will send you four mouth swabs and give instructions for swabbing the inside of your mouth at intervals specified in the instructions, then storing them in small containers. When complete, return them to FamilyTreeDNA in the envelope they send you.
  • FamilyTreeDNA will email the results to you, inviting you to upload your patrilineal pedigree for others to see for comparison.
  • When you upload your pedigree it appears on the web site.

I’ll share additional information as I  become aware of it.

Who Are My Whipple Ancestors?