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For the Corson Cousins newsletter, October 2012

Corson Surname DNA Project

The project currently has 62 participants, 60 of whom have results.  The most recent results arrived for Divisions III and I, and results are pending for Division IV.

Recent Results

Division I

Participant #22 upgraded his results to 76 markers, and Participant #1 (me) upgraded his results to 111 markers.  Although these two participants are 7th cousins, once removed, they show no differences on the 76 markers they have tested in common.  This indicates that their most recent common male-line ancestor, Zebulon Corson (1712-1786), also had the same 76 marker values.  In contrast, it means that they have no marker differences that could be used to identify others as belonging to one or the other of their family lines.  Participant #22 is willing to upgrade his results to 111 markers, which will give these two participants an additional 35 markers to compare.

Division III

Participant #61, with the surname Corson, traces his descent from John Coursen (ca. 1810-aft. 1880) of Northfield, Richmond Co., New York.  His genetic signature places him in Division III, with a 35/37 match with the model genetic signature of Division III participants.  Subsequently, he was able to find documentation identifying his Corson ancestry back to progenitor Cors Pieterszen (1612-1655).  His results are particularly important because he is the first Division III participant to document descent from Corsís son Cornelis Corssen (1645-1692).  This pushes the existence of the Division III Corssen signature one generation closer to Cors, increasing the likelihood that Cors carried it.  It thus decreases the chances that the very different Vroom genetic signature, which has been traced so far only to Corsís grandson Hendrick Vroom (1683-1769), is the one that was carried by Cors.  To be able to put the Vrooms back on equal footing, we need to find and test a living male-line descendant of one of Hendrick Vroomís documented brothers, such as Cors, Hans, Ryse, or Alfred Vroom.

Participant #43, with the surname Corson, received DNA results that place him in Division III, also with a 35/37 match with the modal Division III signature.  He is currently asking his family about their Corson ancestors to try to connect his family into the overall Division III Corssen family tree.

Participant #9, surname Corson, upgraded his results to 111 markers.  He is the first Division III Corssen participant to do so, which will allow us to estimate even more accurately the number of generations that separate the common ancestor of Division III Corssen participants (Cornelis Corssen) and those of the other Divisions.  If other Division III Corssen participants upgrade to 111 markers, we may be able to identify differences in the genetic signature that are associated with a particular branch of the family.

Pending Results

Division IV

Participant #62 traces descent from Peter Corson (ca. 1660-1731) of the Cape May County, New Jersey, Corson family.  We look forward to his results, because Division IV has relatively few participants (6), and until now, only one of them had documented descent from Peter. If his results match those of other Division IV Corsons, it will bolster our confidences in the estimated genetic signature of their progenitor, Caersten Jansen (1634-ca. 1697).


My goal over the next year is to have at least one participant (ideally three) from each Division upgraded to 111 markers.  Divisions IV and VII currently stand at 48 markers, while Divisions II and XV stand at 67 markers.  When all Divisions have 111 markers, it will become relatively easier to find close matches, and as I mentioned before, we will be able to estimate more accurately how closely related to individuals are.  The CCFHA has subsidy funds to help existing project participants have additional markers tested.