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Corson Surname DNA Project Newsletter Ė 2 May 2005

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the first issue of the e-mail newsletter for the Corson Surname DNA Project, sponsored by the Corson/Colson Family History Association (CCFHA). I plan to send out the newsletters as plain-text e-mail messages approximately once a month. Iíve added all project participants to the distribution list, as well as a few others who expressed an interest in the project. If youíd prefer not to receive the newsletter, just ask me to unsubscribe you (I wonít mind). If you prefer, the project website will contain current and back issues of the newsletter that you can browse. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, please ask him or her to send me an e-mail address to subscribe.

Michael Corson


Project Statistics

12 participants, 11 results reported.

Genetic matches: 3 sets of 2; 5 unmatched.

Genetic lines: 8 (5 in haplogroup R1b; 1 each in I1a, I2*, and E3b)

Next results expected: late May for a Division I Corson

Average time for lab to process a DNA sample: 9.6 days.

Average time from sign-up to receipt of DNA results: 35.9 days

Status by CCFHA Division

This status is based on the April 2005 report in Corson Cousins, with some additions. Corson families are divided into the Divisions established by the CCFHA.

Division I (New England) - results from two descendants of Zebulon Corson (1712-1786) (Div. I-A) match on all markers, establishing the signature for this subdivision and placing it in haplogroup R1b. Results from a documented descendant of Zebulon's brother Ichabod (c.1725-c.1800) (Div. I-F), however, do not match as closely as expected. We need to find another documented male-line descendant of Ichabod willing to join the project to determine this subdivision's signature. A descendant of Hatevil Colson (1714-1798) (Div. I-B) just joined the project; his genetic signature should help us determine the ancestral (original) genetic signature for this Divisionís progenitor, Cornelius Cursonwhit. We also encourage descendants of Samuel Corson (1719-1810) (Div. I-D) to help us find direct male-line relatives willing to participate.

Division II (Sussex Co., NJ) - a descendant of Jacobus Corsen (1690-1756) received his test results about 3 weeks ago. His genetic signature places him in haplogroup I1a. At least one other Corson from Division II needs to participate to establish the ancestral signature for this Division. In particular, finding a direct male-line descendant of Benjamin Fletcher Corsse/Corsa (1692-aft. 1718) would be helpful.

Division III (Staten Island, NY) - results from two descendants of Benjamin Corssen (1686-1740) match on almost all markers, establishing a signature for his descendants and placing them in haplogroup I2*. A Vroom descendant of Hendrick Corssen Vroom (1653-?) recently expressed interest in the project; we hope that he will join. We also are looking for descendants of Benjamin's brothers Jacob Corssen (1681-1742) and Christian Corssen (1676-aft. 1764) who might wish to participate.

Division IV (Cape May Co., NJ) - most recently, a descendant of Thomas Corson, Sr. (1790-c.1822) received his DNA results; they match almost exactly those of a descendant of the unconnected and brick-walled line of William Corson, Sr. (bef. 1775 - aft. 1823) who lived in Maurice River Township (MRT), Cumberland Co., NJ. The closeness of the genetic match (40 of 41 markers) and the participants' documented genealogies (no relationship within at least 5 generations) indicate that there is about a 50% chance that their most recent common Corson ancestor was born within the past 6-12 generations. Their genetic signatures do not match closely that of one documented descendant of the Cape May Corson family (Caersten Jansen -> John Corson I -> John II). However, we won't know how much this participantís genetic signature represents the entire Cape May Corson family until at least one more Corson from this Division joins the project and has a similar genetic signature.

In his book (300 Years with the Corson Families in America), Orville Corson wrote that Thomas Corson, Sr. was the son of Levi Corson, Jr. (c.1770-?) of the Cape May Corsons. In contrast, more recent research by Glenn Bingham suggests that Thomas Corson, Sr. was instead the son of the brick-walled Joshua Corson, Sr. (1770-bef. 1824) of MRT. So, does the genetic match between descendants of Thomas Corson, Sr. and William Corson, Sr. mean that both are related (a) to the Cape May Corsons, (b) to a Corson family that also includes Joshua Corson, Sr., or (c) to a third family, unrelated to the other two? We won't know until more New Jersey Corsons participate in the project.

Division VII (Hunterdon Co., NJ) - the participant from this brick-walled Division has yet to match anyone closely. If he does not match the ancestral signatures of other Divisions (once they are established), weíll need to test another descendant from this Division to improve our estimate of its ancestral signature.

Divisions XIII, V, VI, and IX (Candadian and European lines) - We're working with Corson Ellis to recruit living male-line 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 Ė a participant descended from a Corson who appeared in Maurice River Township, Cumberland Co., NJ has yet to match anyone closely. We're currently performing "reverse genealogy" to identify other living male-line descendants of the progenitor of this line who might agree to participate.

Subsidy Fund

The CCFHA is still offering $40 reimbursements of test costs for the next 5 participants. We may be able to find additional funding for participants from particular family lines that would help us establish ancestral genetic signatures. Those unable to submit a DNA sample directly (e.g., not descended in the direct male line) can participate by helping to subsidize the test cost for someone else, such as those in the same family line. For most people, the test cost ($195) is the greatest barrier to participation. Please contact me if you would like to help subsidize a portion of a participantís test cost.

Web Site

If you have any questions about the project, interpretation of test results, or genetic genealogy in general, please contact me.