It’s hard to undo errors in history when, as the living, we’re out there unknowingly perpetuating untruths. Most people don’t have the understanding needed to sort the facts or don’t care and are simply happy just to be able to tell a story. Others, having gone long down the wrong path, are unwilling to make changes, even knowing that change is right and needed. We’re all a little guilty of this. Like Forest Gump, we run our race and when tired, we are ready to just end it where we stand. It seems the larger the family circle gets, the harder it is to keep the story intact.

For my ancestor Benjamin Thomas, it has been very easy for generations to believe that he was the son of Stephen Thomas whose family settled in Anson County after removing from Maryland. Blatantly wrong, this belief ignores deeds in which Stephen’s son Benjamin sold land in Richmond County NC prior to moving to Tennessee and on to Mississippi. It also ignores differences in naming traditions and hints of other possible beginnings.  And truth be known, we are just now learning about the ancestry of my Benjamin Thomas beyond his beginnings in Anson County NC. We do however know well of his male descendants and also of others who share our DNA.


The following two tables show the earliest known ancestor of two DIFFERENT families along with DNA markers attached to their corresponding haplogroup. By definition, a haplogroup is:

“a group of similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor having the same single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation in all haplotypes”

…whew, that’s a lot of definition!! In other words, these folk can be traced back through time, location, and migration collectively through their shared Y-DNA.

Y-DNA from descendants of Stephen Thomas indicates that he belongs to the I-M223 Haplogroup with early roots in northwest Europe. From results (family pedigree 187) found on the THOMAS FAMILY PROJECT at FamilytreeDNA, numerous members of the family descendants spanning well beyond the immediate descendants of Stephen share the same markers. The results validate family histories as well as much of their supporting written documentation.
Edmund Thomas 1549 Kent England
I M223-15/23/15/10/15/16/11/13/12/14/12/32

However, Benjamin Thomas, who first appeared in the late 1770’s Anson County, is also represented by numerous descendants who share a common Y-DNA. From results (family pedigree 100) found on the THOMAS FAMILY PROJECT at FamilytreeDNA, our Benjamin belongs to Haplogroup R-M269. With roots in sub-Saharan Africa, this group spread north and west through Spain and UK.
Benjamin Thomas 1778 Anson County NC
R M269-13/24/14/11/11/14/12/12/13/13/12/28

From the very different DNA, it’s clear and undeniable that Benjamin Thomas of Anson County is not a member of the Stephen Thomas family. Equally exciting are the results and implications from participants whose DNA match mine and who are not believed to be descendants of Benjamin Thomas of Anson NC. More on their stories later.

Keep on running!

2 thoughts on “WHO I AM

  1. Debra Thomas

    Do you have your dna contributed to ancestry.com? My husband’s family is the Thomas line and I get started in several different paths during the years to find out I’m on the wrong path it against a wall. His family we have traveled to the 1800’s and we have family stories about georgia and wales.

    1. geothos Post author

      It would be much better if your husband were YDNA tested with familytreedna.com ….Y DNA does not degrade and allows the male lines to be traced back many more generations. We have a facebook group for Thomas family with roots going back to northeast NC if interested.


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