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For the Corson Cousins newsletter, April 2007
Corson Surname DNA Project
In the last quarter, the project gained two
participants. Participant #32, with
the surname Coursey, joined with his results already determined from his
participation in the Coursey-DeCoursey
DNA Project. He matches Courson Participant #31 on 36 of 37 markers in the
relatively rare haplogroup (in Europe) called J2. Given that they have 5 generations of no known genealogical
relationship, this result indicates that their common ancestor lived ca. 6-30
generations ago (95% confidence interval).
Their male-line Courson and Coursey ancestors both lived in Tattnall
County, Georgia in the 1840s, suggesting that their earliest-known ancestors
(born between 1760 and 1788) may have been closely related.
Participant #33, with the surname Raisor, believes
that he may descend from Teunis Corsa (ca. 1702-aft. 1763), grandson of Division
II progenitor Jan Corszen (ca. 1649-1703). According to extensive research, Teunis, also known as Teunis/Dennis
DeCoursey, changed his name several times, apparently in response to increasing
hostility toward those with French-sounding names in the years leading up to the
North American colonial wars of 1753-1763.
One of his surnames was “Racer” (an English translation of the French
word “coursier”, according to one source).
Thus, Teunis is credited with leaving behind descendants who now have the
surnames Corsa, DeCoursey, Corsaw, and Racer.
The results, which will arrive in April, will indicate whether the
participant’s Raisor family descends from Jan Corszen, who belonged to
haplogroup I1a, most common in northern Europe.
In the last project report (October 2006), I listed
the six ancestors, some of them Division progenitors, for whom the project has
been able to estimate a genetic signature.
I incorrectly stated that one of them was Cornelius Cursonwhit
(c.1660-c.1719), the Division I progenitor.
In fact, the project has identified the genetic signature of his son,
Samuel Corson (1686-ca. 1765). Because Cornelius had no other known sons, we cannot test a
second line of descendent from Cornelius to see whether it would have a genetic
signature that matches Samuel’s. Consequently,
unless documents reveal a second son or a male-line ancestor of Cornelius, and
we are able to test a descendant of the second line, we will only be able to
guess (and hope) that had the same genetic signature as Samuel.
Now that you have the status to date, I’ll describe
the most important topics that remain to be addressed by the project:
The European origin of Division progenitors.
Can we find men in Europe who have genetic signatures that
match those in the project? Will
their genealogies suggest where in Europe our progenitors came from? I’ll take the lead.
The Division III Corssen-Vroom split. Male-line
descendants who document descent from two different grandchildren of progenitor
Cors Pieterszen (b. 1612) have two very different genetic signatures.
At least one of them cannot descend from him.
Only additional participants from this large Division can provide an
Connecting “orphaned” branches. Several
Corson, Courson, DeCoursey, and Coursin ancestors are categorized in Division X
because we are unable to find documentation to connect them to a particular
family. Participation by male-line
descendants of these families could answer some of these questions quickly.
In the meantime, if you have Internet access and would like information about the DNA Project between issues of Corson Cousins, you can visit the project website: http://www.geocities.com/misccorson/dna/