English / Français Corson Surname DNA Project

Interpretation of Test Results


Network Diagram


Family Divisions Disentangled

1. The progenitors of family Divisions I, II, IIIa (Corssen), IIIb (Vroom), IV, VII, and XV were not related to each other (in the direct male line) in a genealogical timeframe.

SNP results for Divisions I, II, IIIa (Corssen), IIIb (Vroom), IV, and XV, along with probable SNP results for Division VII (soon to be tested), show that Divisions belong to haplogroups (Hg) I (Div. II and IIIa), J (Div. XV), and R (Div. I, IIIb, IV, and VII). They indicate no common male-line ancestors within a genealogical timeframe.

Haplogroups of Corson DNA Divisons

Divisions II, IIIa (Corssen), and XV are the most distantly related from the other Divisions, with no male-line ancestors in common with them for at least the past 38,000 years (on average, based on the estimated date of origin of haplogroup IJ). This is particularly important for Div. IIIa and IIIb, whose ancestors Benjamin Corssen (b. 1686) and Hendrick Vroom (b. 1683), respectively, are documented as grandsons of the Division III progenitor, Cors Pieterszen (1612-1655). Thus, at least one of the two groups does not descend from Cors Pieterszen.

Within haplogroup I, Div. IIIa (Corssen) may not share a male-line ancestor in common with Div. II for at least the past 16,000 years. Within haplogroup R, Div. I's group split off from the others about 4750 years ago, as did Div. IV's group.  Div. IIIb (Vroom) and VII are the most closely related, but their most recent common male-line ancestor lived about 3150 years ago.

(Note: I previously estimated time back to the most recent common male-line ancestor (TMRCA) using only STR markers (see July 2013 newsletter article), but these estimates were far too low.)

2. Participant #16 comes from a Colson line unrelated (in a genealogical timeframe) to Division I Colsons.

Based on a genetic distance of 16, the most recent common ancestor to participant #16 and Division I Colsons lived no more recently than about 60 generations ago (95% confidence interval, assuming a marker mutation rate of 0.003).  Statistics source: Y-DNA Comparison Utility (an excellent tool!)


"Brick-wall" Ancestors Connected

To Division I

  • David H. Corson (1881-1962) (ancestor of Participant #64)
  • Levi Smith Corson (1825-1901) (ancestor of Participant #73)

To Division II

  • Benjamin Courson, Sr. (ca. 1740-ca. 1830), who migrated from New Jersey to Licking Co., Ohio (ancestor of Participant #57)

To Division IIIa (Corssen)

  • Daniel Corson (1763-1849), who migrated from Sussex Co., New Jersey, to Ontario, Canada (ancestor of Participant #34)
  • Fred W. Corson (c. 1895 - c. 1945) (ancestor of Participant #43)
  • Jeremiah Coreson (1812-1885) (ancestor of Participant #68)
  • Cassius C. Corson (1859-1948) (ancestor of Participant #69)

To Division IV

  • William Corson, Sr. (bef. 1765 - aft. 1823) (ancestor of Participants #6 and #35)
  • John S. Corson (1866-1917) (ancestor of Participant #40)

These participants now know to look for documentary evidence about male-line descendants of their Division's progenitor to find the parents of their "brick-wall" male-line ancestor.


Summary by Group (as of 30 November 2016)

79 participants, 79 STR results, 18 unique genetic lines

1. DIVISION I

14 participants (#1, 2, 12, 22, 25, 28, 29, 30, 44, 50, 64, 73, 75, 77) (chart of their relationship)

Surnames: Corson, Colson

Ysearch ID of ancestral haplotype: RZUVZ

Terminal haplogroup: R-BY4068 (beneath Z253, then Z17693/BY60/A494, then Z18132) (Two Big Y tests taken). Visible on The Big Tree: R-Z253 (search for "Cursonwhit") or R-Z18132.

Estimated age of R-Z253 haplogroup: 2500 years before present

Documented progenitor: Cornelius Cursonwhit (c.1660-c.1710)

Documented most-recent common ancestor (MRCA): Samuel Corson (c.1686-1764), documented son of Cornelius Cursonwhit

Collaborates with: R1b-P312 project, R-L21 Plus project, R-Z253 project, Scandinavian Y-DNA project

Branch-identifying mutations: Two participants (#29 and 50) share a mutation on marker DYS446. It is likely that both received this mutation from their MRCA, Isaac Corson (c.1770-1832); thus, this particular mutation can be used to identify individuals who descend in the male line in this manner: Cornelius-Samuel-Zebulon-Moses-Isaac.

Details: The closest European matches to the ancestral haplotype on Ysearch carry the surnames Campion (Ireland, 36/39 marker match) and Longacre (Sweden, 31/39 to 33/39 match). Descendants of haplogroup Z253 trace their male-line ancestries to the British Isles, Scandinavia, France, and Spain.  From their genetic signatures, their common ancestor appears to have lived about 2500 years ago.  Division I belongs to a subgroup of Z253 called "Z253-1121", after STR marker results for DYS 537 (11) and DYS 520 (21).  Division I has a value of 22 for DYS 520, but is still considered a part of this group.

Big Y results for two descendants of Zebulon Corson (1712-1786) who are 7th cousins, once removed, show that they have 10 novel SNP markers in common.  These markers were thus carried by Zebulon, and most or all of them would have been carried by his grandfather, Cornelius Cursonwhit.

Big Y results indicate that within this group, Division I matches most closely a man who traces descent from Svend Sivertsen Bøen (c.1617-1701), of Høland, Akershus, Norway (VWVJY at Ysearch.org).  Other of the closest matches trace descent from Timothy Heffernan (1790-1864) of Ireland and Samuel Moore (1816-1891).  A somewhat less close match is with men with the surname Carrucan (Irish, but thought to come from a Viking settlement) and Rawlings.

Next steps: Additional upgrades to 111 STR markers to look for mutations that will identify specific family lines.  Continue testing single SNPs.

2. DIVISION II

16 participants (#10, 14, 19, 37, 38, 39, 42, 48, 55, 57, 58, 60, 63, 65, 67, 72) (chart of their relationship)

Surnames: Corsa, Corsaw, Corson, Coursen, Courser, Courson, DeCoursey, Racer

Ysearch ID of ancestral haplotype: Z766A

Terminal haplogroup: I-A11141 (beneath CTS8647, then Z60; apparently positive for A14602 also). (Two Big Y tests taken

Estimated age of terminal haplogroup: 3500 years before present (for I-CTS8647)

Documented progenitor and MRCA: Jan Corszen (c.1649-1703)

Collaborates with: I1>Z58+ and I1>Z63+-Project, Coursey-Decoursey DNA Project

Branch-identifying mutations: Participants #58 and 60 share mutations on DYS 459a, 464a, and CDYb that arose sometime from the birth of their ancestor Benjamin Racer (1752-1823) to that of their MRCA (Thomas A. Racer, 1848-1914). Their mutations occur as duplicated values on these 3 markers, which is called "Recombinational Loss of Heterozygosity" (RecLOH) and represents only one mutation event instead of 3. This means that their match with the Division II haplotype is the equivalent of 36 out of 37 markers.

Participants #39, 48, 55, 63, and 67 share a mutation on DYS 635 that arose sometime from the birth of their ancestor Van Tuyle Coursen (1765-1829) to that of their MRCA (their father/grandfather, Eric B. Coursen, 1925-2005).

Big Y results for two descendants of Jan Corszen who are 8th cousins, once removed, show that they have 60 novel SNP markers in common.  The closest Big Y matches with other suggest a continental European origin for Jan Corszen's male-line ancestors.

Details: This Division has a 108/111 match with an individual with the Updyke surname; he traces descent from a Lewis Updike (1822-1875). Using a common range of mutation rates (0.002-0.0043), there is a 64-98% chance that their MRCA was born within the past 10 generations (ca. 250-300 years), well within a genealogical time-frame. Updyke family members are researching the possibility that Lewis Updike descended from Louris Jansen Opdycke (1605, Netherlands - 1659, Gravesend, Long Island, NY).

The closest European matches to the progenitor's estimated genetic signature on Ysearch carry the surnames Petersen (Denmark, 32/35 marker match), Schrenk (Poland, 32/34 match), Hendrix (England, 31/35), and Jensen (Denmark, 31/35).

Next steps: Additional downstream SNP testing. Additional upgrades to 111 STR markers to look for mutations that will identify specific family lines.

3. DIVISION-IIIa (CORSSEN)

12 participants (#7, 9, 27, 34, 41, 43, 49, 51, 61, 68, 69, 79) (chart of their relationship)

Surname: Corson, Coreson

Ysearch ID of ancestral haplotype: MG7G2

Terminal haplogroup: I-BY13707 (downstream of CTS1977)  (One Big Y test taken.)

Estimated age of I-CTS1977 haplogroup: 3500 years before present

Documented progenitor: Cors Pieterszen (1612-1655)

Documented MRCA: Cornelis Corssen (1645-1692), documented son of Cors Pieterszen

Collaborates with: I-M223 Y-Haplogroup Project (group Continental 2b), Netherlands Y Project, Scandinavian Y-DNA project

 

Branch-identifying mutations: Participant #34 hypothesizes descent from Benjamin Corsen, Jr., but he has no marker mutations in common with other documented descendants of Benjamin. He does, however, share a mutation on DYS 425 with #61, who documents descent from Christian Corssen (1676-1765). Although Particpant #34 also has two additional mutations that #61 does not, they occur on markers that mutate much more frequently than the average. In contrast, DYS 425 is one of the markers that mutates least frequently, suggesting that if two Division III descendants share it, that they also share a common Division III ancestor after progenitor Cors Pieterszen.

Details: The closest European matches to the progenitor's estimated genetic signature on Ysearch carry the surnames Sterling (Scotland, 26/32 marker match) and Sweeney (Ireland, 26/32 match).  Currently, the I-M223 project places Division IIIa Corsons in a group called “Cont2b Group 8/C29 - 565=9”. Compared to other members of I-CTS1977, this family has a value of 9 on DYS565, two below the mode.  Other surnames in the same subgroup of I-CTS1977 include Hansen, Von Doesburg (1604-1689), Steven (b. 1900, Scotland), Marr (1830-1907), Clement-Jones (b. 1710 in Wales), and Vine (b. 1734 in Sussex, England).

Individuals with the closest SNP matches (surname Bennett) have the more recent SNPs BY13208, BY13209, and BY13024. More interestingly, two other close matches (surnames Jonsson and Larsson) trace their male-line ancestries to northeastern Sweden (Piteå in the 16th century and Burträsk in the 18th century, respectively). These matches indicate the possibility that Cors Peterszen’s male-line ancestors, before living in the Netherlands for an unknown number of generations, lived in Scandinavia.

Note: This group and the group of Vroom participants (described next) both document descent from Cors Pieterszen but belong to two different haplogroups (I-CTS1977 and R-FGC12774).  Analysis of their ancestral haplotypes indicates that their MRCA lived no more recently than 3600 years ago. Consequently, at least one of the two groups does not descend from Cors Pieterszen.

Next steps: Downstream SNP testing, in particular of Y12335 and Y15912. Attempt to find and test a living male-line descendant of Pieter Corssen (1651-c.1756?). Additional upgrades to 111 STR markers to look for mutations that will identify specific family lines.

4. DIVISION-IIIb (VROOM)

5 participants (#13, 17, 21, 56, 76) (chart of their relationship)

Surname: Vroom

Ysearch ID of ancestral haplotype: ZYC8C

Terminal haplogroup: R-FGC12774 (downstream of R-U198)

Estimated age of R-U198 haplogroup: 1900 years before present

Documented progenitor: Cors Pieterszen (1612-1655)

Documented MRCA: Hendrick Vroom (1683-1769), documented grandson of Cors Pieterszen

Collaborates with: R1b-U198 Project (more detail at this R-U198 Project site)

 

Branch-identifying mutations: none identified

Details: This group and the group of Corson participants described previously both document descent from Cors Pieterszen but belong to two different haplogroups (I-CTS1977 and R-U198).  Analysis of their ancestral haplotypes indicates that their MRCA lived no more recently than 3600 years ago. Consequently, at least one of the two groups does not descend from Cors Pieterszen. Based on SNP results, descendants of this Vroom family are most closely related to individuals with the surnames Boyd (more detail at the Boyd Y-DNA Project), with whom they match on SNP marker FGC12774. One hypothesis is that this Vroom family and this Scots-Irish Boyd family share a relatively recent common ancestor; alternately, the Vroom family may even descend from the Boyd family.

Next steps: Attempt to find and test a living male-line descendant of Hendrick Vroom’s brothers Cornelius (b. 1677) or Alfred. Alternately, find and test male Vrooms in the US or the Netherlands who do not document descent from Cors Pieterszen.

5. DIVISION IV

10 participants (#6, 11, 15, 26, 35, 40, 62, 71, 74, 78) (chart of their relationship)

Surname: Corson

Ysearch ID of ancestral haplotype: 7PSAX

Terminal haplogroup: R-S3525 (beneath U106, then Z18, then DF95) (One Big Y test taken.) Visible as "Jansen" on The Big Tree: R-DF95 or this SNP tree. (under Jansen). Detailed U106 SNP Tree (MS Excel format).

Estimated age of terminal haplogroup: possibly less than 1500 years before present

Documented progenitor and MRCA: Carsten Jansen (1634-c.1697)

Collaborates with: R-Z18 and Subgroups Haplogroup Project (also at R-Z18, a North Sea tribe), R-U106 Project, Scandinavian Y-DNA project

Branch-identifying mutations: none identified

Details: The closest European matches to the progenitor's estimated genetic signature on Ysearch carry the surnames Old (England, 62/67 marker match) and Franklin (England, 38/42 match). The map of SNP Z14 shows a superfamily whose male-line descendants cluster in northern Europe, from Norway to the UK.  Participant #6 had marker DYS458 tested to see if it carried a so-called "microallele", which is a slight "stutter" in the repetition of the STR marker. It acts like an SNP marker, which can be used to subdivide large superfamilies. Participant #6 tested negative for this microallele (DYS458.2), as did only 30% of the 28 individuals in the same superfamily (Z14), thus separating Division IV from the 70% of subgroup with the microallele.  This group is currently called "Cumberland Cluster 0".

Results of Participant #74's Big-Y test revealed a new SNP called S3525, which identifies members of DF95 who are negative for DYS458.2.

Next steps: STR testing of additional descendants to confirm ancestral haplotype. Additional upgrades to 111 STR markers to look for line-identifying mutations that would identify from which branch of Division IV certain "brick-wall" ancestors descended.

6. DIVISION IVb (CORSON WITH LEE MATCHES)

2 participants (#8, 46) (chart of their relationship)

Surname: Corson

Ysearch ID of ancestral haplotype: NS56G

Terminal haplogroup: R-M269 (possibly R-CTS11567)

Documented progenitor: Carsten Jansen (1634-c.1697)

Documented MRCA: Daniel H. Corson (1828-1918)

Branch-identifying mutations: none identified

Details: Although documenting descent from Division IV progenitor Carsten Jansen, these participants do not descend from him in the male line. DNA results place the change in genetic signature in one of three documented ancestors: John Corson IV (b.c.1766), Hezekiah Corson (1802-1869), or their MRCA, Daniel H. Corson (1828-1918). The ancestral haplotype has a 65/67 marker match with an individual with the Lee surname, who traces descent from William Leigh (b.1687) of Shankill, County Armagh, Ireland. One of William's male-line great-grandsons, Thomas Lee, Sr. (1780-1856), moved around 1798 from Pennsylvania to Leesburg, New Jersey, just 3 miles from Heislerville, where Hezekiah and Daniel Corson lived. In 1805, Thomas Lee, Sr., moved to Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, 7 miles from Heislerville.  Once there, he and his wife Rhoda had sons named Francis (b.1808), Thomas Jr. (b.1809), Clement (b.1813), Lorenzo (b.1816), James (b.c.1817), Benjamin (b.c.1828), and Alfred (b.1834). Thus, there were Lee males with a genetic signature matching that of these Corson participants in the right place and at the right time to be ancestors of the Corson participants. If we assume that Thomas Lee was the first person to bring the Irish Lee genetic signature to southern New Jersey around 1798, then Hezekiah or Daniel H. Corson become the first candidates for having Lee ancestry.

There is a documented connection between Corson and Lee families in southern NJ: in an indenture of servitude to study "housewifery", one Hannah Corson, age 10, was bound to Thomas and Rhoda Lee from 1839-1847. She is labeled as from Cape May County, and her father, whose consent was won, was named as Acay/Acy (or Asa) Corson.

Next steps: Downstream SNP testing. Continue exploring potential Lee connections.

7. DIVISION VII

2 participants (#3, 24) (chart of their relationship)

Surname: Corson

Ysearch ID of ancestral haplotype: 58S6Z

Haplogroup: R1b (possibly R-Z326 and R-CTS2509)

Map of ancestral locations of R-Z326 (aka L48+/null 425)

Estimated age of terminal haplogroup: 3000 years before present (if L48)

Documented progenitor and MRCA: Jacob Corson (c.1755-bef.1822)

Collaborates with: R-U106 Project, Null 425 Y-DNA project

Branch-identifying mutations: none identified

Details: The ancestral haplotype has a 108/111 marker match with individuals with the Moore surname (see Group 5 of the Moore DNA project), which indicates that Division VII shares a common ancestor with them within the past 15 generations (95% confidence interval). According to Rev. John Moore of Newtown, Long Island, and Some of His Descendants (James Moore, 1903),  3 grandsons of English immigrant Reverend John Moore (1620-1657) appear to have moved to Hopewell Township, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey, in the early 1700s: Johnathan, Joseph (1679-1756), and Nathaniel (1687-1759). Joseph Moore had sons born in 1708, 1716 (twins), 1724, and 1728.  Nathaniel Moore had sons born in 1714, 1720, 1724, and 1732. Since Hopewell Township sits next to Amwell Township, the home of progenitor Jacob Corson, these particular English Moores were in the right place at the right time to be direct ancestors of Jacob Corson.  In a leap of speculation, one of these sons could have been of an age to father Jacob Corson or his father (b. c.1735).

Comparing the 111-marker genetic signature of Division VII Corsons to that of the English Moores, the three markers at which they differ are DYS576 (18 instead of 19), CDYb (39 instead of 38), and DYS504 (18 instead of 17). Finding a Moore descendant with 2-3 of these marker values would increase the probability that his particular family line is closely related to Division VII.

The ancestral haplotype of Division VII also contains a "null" value for marker DYS425, which occurs in less than 1% of men in haplogroup R1b. Based on STR matches with Moore descendants, results for STR marker DYF371X may be "10c-10c-13c-14c" (not yet tested).

Division VII has a 34/37 marker match with a "Wilson" descendant positive for SNP L48 and a 24/25 marker match with a "Rodgers" descendant positive for SNP CTS2509.

Next steps: SNP testing, in particular of L48 and Z326. Also consider testing DYF371X to determine type of null value at DYS425. Continue exploring potential Moore connections. Alternately, find and test male-line descendants of English Curzons or French Coursons to test the hypothesis of a genetic relationship. Additional upgrades to 111 STR markers to look for mutations that will identify specific family lines.

8. DIVISION Va (BRITISH ISLES)

3 participants (#23, 47, 66)

Surname: Carson, Corson

Haplogroups: R1b, T-L131

The Corson/Corsan/Corsane family has been recorded in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, since the 13th century. Participant #23 documents descent from William Corson (c.1735-1802) of Dumfries, Scotland, while Participant #47 documents descent from Alexander Corson of Scotland, born sometime in the 19th century. Although both belong to haplogroup R1b, their MRCA was born no more recently than 44-123 generations ago. Interestingly, several men in the Bell surname DNA project who match the genetic signature of Participant #23 have found a common ancestor in William "Redcloak" Bell (died 1628), the last Chieftain of Clan Bell, which had established itself in Dumfriesshire. Participant #47 has a 23/25 marker match with a man with the Carson surname, who traces descent to John Hazzard Carson (1752-1841) of Burke County, North Carolina.

Participant #66 (surname Carson, T-L131) descends from Samuel Corson, who was married in Trowbridge, England, in 1751.  His less common haplotype (in Europe) matches on 32/37 markers that of a man with the Carson surname who traces descent from Northern Ireland, colonized by many from lowland Scotland in the 17th century.

Next steps: Find and test other Corson descendants from the British Isles, notably Scotland.  Continue to explore genetic connections with Carson families from Ireland the U.K.

9. DIVISION XV

7 participants (#18, 31, 32, 36, 52, 59, 70) (chart of their relationship)

Surnames: Coursey, Courson

Ysearch ID of ancestral haplotype: 883MD

Terminal haplogroup: J-L26

Estimated age of terminal haplogroup: 10,000 years before present

Documented progenitor: none; currently unknown

Collaborates with: Courson DNA Project, Coursey-Decoursey DNA Project

Branch-identifying mutations: Participants #18 and 59 share mutations on DYS448 and DYS456 that arose sometime from the birth of their unknown progenitor to that of their MRCA (James Courson, c.1762-1834).

Details: These participants' documented male-line ancestries converge in South Carolina and Georgia in the mid- to late-1700s. The earliest documented ancestors are William T. (b.c.1760) and James (b. c. 1762) Courson from South Carolina, who may have been brothers. Most descendants of this progenitor appear to have lived or currently live in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas.

Next steps: Find and test other Courson and Coursey descendants from the southern U.S.  Search for documentary evidence of their progenitor and his immigration to North America.  Find and test descendants of French Coursons to test the hypothesis that their progenitor may have been a Huguenot refugee to South Carolina in the 1680s. Additional upgrades to 111 STR markers to look for mutations that will identify specific family lines.


Remaining Questions

Results of the DNA tests have raised nearly as many questions as they have answered.  Current and future research aims to answer these questions:

  1. Which family line, Vroom or Corson (if either), descends from documented Division III progenitor Cors Pietersz (1612-1655)?
  2. Do any of the family Divisions descend from French Courson or English Curzon families?
  3. How and in what generation did one branch of Division IV Corsons acquire a genetic signature carried by descendants of a Lee family from Ireland?
  4. How recent is the relationship between Division VII Corsons and a Moore family from England?
  5. Might Division XV descend from a Huguenot refugee to South Carolina in the 1680s?
  6. Do the genetic signatures of Corson Participant #5 and Courson Participant #53 represent previously unknown Corson/Courson progenitors?

 

Last updated: 03 août 2017