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For the Corson Cousins newsletter, July 2008

Corson Surname DNA Project

Since the last report (Oct. 2007), one participant signed up and received his DNA results.

Division II (Sussex Co., NJ) DNA

Participant #37, with the surname Corsa, received his test results in February. He traces his ancestry to the Division II progenitor Jan Corszen (c.1649-1703) via Andrew Corsa (1762-1852), who was described in detail in the previous issue of Corson Cousins (“Andrew Corsa, the Patriot”, vol. 28, iss. 2). Notably, he traces descent from Richard Corsa (1793-1852), who was raised in Andrew’s household but not invited to the reading of Andrew’s will (nor were his heirs). The will of Andrew’s sister-in-law Mary Bussing (1752-1828) named Richard as her son, but did so separately from the group named as “all the children of the said Andrew Corsa”. Thus, identification of Richard’s biological parents was uncertain (see the previously cited article for more details).

His DNA results matched those of the 3 other Division II descendants in the project (surnames: Corson, Corsa, Courser) on all 37 markers tested. These results confirm his descent from a male-line descendant of Jan Corszen, almost certainly a Corsa, though they do not definitively identify Andrew Corsa as his father, however likely.

Additional documentary evidence that would indicate a filial connection between Richard and a particular male Corsa would be useful. Alternately, testing additional DNA markers of at least 3 the 4 Division II descendants might reveal marker values shared only by Participants #14 and #37, both documented descendants of Andrew Corsa.

Sharing marker values that other tested descendants do not have would increase slightly the probability that Andrew could be considered Richard’s father.

Test Subsidies Still Available

The CCFHA is still offering 3 subsidies for 20% of the cost of a DNA test for descendants of the following:

· Christian Corson (1676-after 1764) or Jacob Corson (1681-1742), sons of Cornelius Corssen (1645-1692)

· Cornelius Vroom (b. 1677) or Alfred Vroom, sons of Hendrick Corssen Vroom (1653-1690)

· an earliest-known male ancestor with the surname "Courson" born in France

The first two subsidies aim to help resolve the current Corssen-Vroom split we see among the 7 documented descendants of Cors Pieterszen (1612-1655), progenitor of Division III, tested to date. Corssen descendants share one genetic signature, Vroom descendants another, but based on differences between them, the two families cannot have shared a male-line ancestor in common in at least 5000 years (see the DNA Project report, Courson Cousins, vol. 26, iss. 4 for details).

The third subsidy aims to identify the genetic signature of at least one Courson family from France, most of which lived in Brittany and Normandy. We would like very much to see if the genetic signature of French Coursons matches that of any North American participant in the project.

If you know anyone who may qualify for a test subsidy, please contact him or me.