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Corson Surname DNA Project Newsletter - 29 December 2005

Hello everyone,
Since last month's report, one new participant signed up and two participants received their results.
Happy New Year!


20 participants, 20 test results reported
Genetic matches: 3 sets of three, 2 sets of two, 7 unmatched
Separate family lines: 12 (8 in haplogroup R1b; 1 each in E3b, I1a, I1c, and J2)
Average time for lab to process a DNA sample: 11 days
Average time from sign-up to receipt of test results: 33 days


DIVISION II (Sussex Co., NJ) - 3 participants and results

A participant (#19) with the surname Courser joined the project last month to test the hypothesis that he descends in a direct male line from Benjamin Fletcher Corsse (1692-1770), son of progenitor Jan Corszen (ca. 1649-1703). According to his test results, his genetic signature matches those of the two Corsa/Corson descendants of Jan Corszen (ca. 1649-1703) already tested. In fact, it matches theirs on all 43 markers examined. This result supports the paper-trail genealogy that documents Captain Isaac Corser/Corsa (1737-1840) as a son of Benjamin Fletcher Corsse (1692-1770). After the Revolutionary War, Isaac and his son John Courser (1765-1847), emigrated from New York to Nova Scotia, settling later in Prince William, New Brunswick. Another son of Isaac's, Andrew Corsa (1762-1852), an ancestor of Participant #14, remained in New York. More participants from this Division are welcome; their results could help strengthen the assertion that we know progenitor Jan Corszen's (ca. 1649-1703) genetic signature.

DIVISION III (Staten Island, NY) - 5 participants and results

A participant (#20) with the surname DeCoursey signed up and received his results this month. According to his documented genealogy, his earliest known DeCoursey ancestor was William DeCoursey (bef. 1720-1788) from Bensalem Twp., Bucks Co., Pennsylvania. It has been hypothesized that the Bucks County DeCourseys descended from Division III's Benjamin Corssen (1686-1740). At least for this participant, the DNA data do not support this hypothesis, since the participant's genetic signature differs greatly from Benjamin's (which was estimated from those of Participants #7 and #9). We don't yet know, however, whether this DeCoursey participant carries the genetic signature of all Bucks County DeCourseys. Consequently, we're working to contact distant relatives of his for testing.

We are still looking for male-line descendants of Benjamin Corssen's brothers Jacob (1681-1742) or Christian (1676-aft. 1764) and Hendrick Vroom's (1683-1769) brothers Cornelius (b. 1677) or Alfred to participate. Until then, we won't know if the Corson, Vroom, or DeCoursey genetic signature (if any) represents that carried by progenitor Cors Pieterszen (1612-1655).


DIVISION I (New England) - 3 participants and results - We are still looking for male-line descendants of Samuel Corson (1719-1810) (Div. I-D) and Ichabod Corson (c.1725-c.1800) (Div. I-F) who would be willing to participate.

DIVISION IV (Cape May Co., NJ) - 4 participants and results - We need to find just one more matching participant from this Division to resolve the uncertainty about progenitor Carsten Jansen's (1634- ca. 1697) genetic signature.

DIVISION VII (Hunterdon Co., NJ) - 1 participant and result - The participant from this brick-walled Division has yet to match anyone closely.

DIVISION VIII (Colsons not derived from Corsons) - 1 participant and result - The current participant descends from Adam Cols(t)on of Massachusetts, born ca. 1660. We welcome participation by those descended from him or other Colson progenitors.

DIVISIONS V, VI, IX, and XIII - no participants - We still wish to recruit descendants of Daniel Corson (1763-1849), who moved from Sussex County, NJ to Ontario, Canada. We're also searching for participants with ancestors from European Corsan / Courson / Curzon / Korson families.

UNCONNECTED - 3 participants and results - Two Corson participants and one Courson participant remain unconnected to other participants in the project.

In 2005 the project gained 15 of its 20 participants, who had the following surnames: Colson (2), Corsa (1), Corson (7), Courser (1), Courson (1), DeCoursey (1), and Vroom (2). Based on their results and documented genealogies, we were able to establish the genetic signatures of the following ancestors:

Cornelius Cursonwhit (c.1660-c.1719), progenitor of Division I
Jan Corszen (c.1649-1703), progenitor of Division II
Benjamin Corssen (1686-1740), Division III
Hendrick Vroom (1686-1769), Division III

One participant (#6) discovered that his brick-walled ancestor, William Corson (bef. 1765- aft. 1823), belonged to the same family line as participant #11, who traces his descent from Division IV.  As just reported, another participant (#19) confirmed that his ancestor John Courser (1765-1847) belonged to the same family line as participants #14 (surname Corsa) and #10 (surname Corson), who trace their descent from Division II.  In the coming year, our main priorities will be to determine the ancestral genetic signatures for Divisions III, IV, and VII. We'll also aim to establish ancestral signatures for the surnames Courson and DeCoursey.

There's a good article at the website entitled, "Have You Already Been DNA-Tested?".  You can read it at  It emphasizes that one person's Y-chromosome DNA represents not only that person, but all male-line relatives who descended from that person's earliest known male-line ancestor.


At least $495 remains in the subsidy fund to reimburse all or a portion of the test costs for eight participants from particular family lines in Divisions I, III, IV, VII, and X. You can see additional details at the project website:  If you have any questions about the project, interpretation of test results, or genetic genealogy in general, please contact me. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, please ask that person to send me an e-mail address to subscribe.  You can read back issues of the newsletter at

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