DNA Project

The Warburton DNA Project

The Warburton Surname DNA Study has shown that a significant proportion of Warburtons are  (probably) descended from a Norman knight, Odard de Dutton, who was granted significant lands following the Norman Conquest of 1066. My paper The Cheshire Group (see links below) describes the results obtained so far.

Another large group of Saxon descent has been identified in Lancashire! and are described in  The Lancashire Group. We also have three smaller groups, and a number of results waiting to be matched.

Do you want to find out if you are part of these groups, or to use DNA to enhance your understanding of your past?  If you are a Warburton male, or have access to one, the Warburton Surname DNA Study offers a way to determine where you fit in the worldwide Y-chromosome family tree.

If you are interested please contact me by clicking on my picture to the right.

DNA testing does not replace traditional genealogical research, but it can greatly enhance it.  However before you join there are a number of considerations you should be aware of:

  1. Do you need a test? It may be possible to connect your family tree to someone who has already tested. Depending on the circumstances this could make your result unnecessary, or make it doubly valuable to the project. I would encourage you to discuss your ancestry with me before making a decision.
  2. Results are valuable when they can be matched with other Warburtons to indicate a common ancestor. Alas about 50% of results are unmatched. There could be many reasons for this, and matches may emerge in the future, but it must be recognised that an illegitimacy or infidelity, even some hundreds of years ago, will limit the number of Warburton matches, though it could uncover an affinity with another surname.
  3. There are many different DNA tests available. The Warburton DNA Project concentrates on Y-chromosome testing.  However there are also mitochondrial tests, and autosomal tests so you may wish to understand the role of each of these. My paper DNA Testing and its Uses in Genealogy attempts to explain these various tests, and I have included some book references (see sidebar) to help understanding. Also I am willing to answer questions to the best of my ability.
  4. DNA tests cost money, though costs are reducing. The objective of Y-chromosome testing is to match you and your family with other Warburton families that share a common paternal line ancestor. This is done by  finding your most recent, shared, Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP). A SNP is a single DNA base that has changed at some point. The sequence of your SNPs defines your ancient history, and the most recent one will define the whole sequence.  In early 2018 Family Tree DNA introduced the BigY500 test, a Y-chromosome direct paternal line test designed to explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree.  This test examines thousands of known branch markers as well as millions of places where there may be new branch markers.   It is all the test you are likely to need, but there are potentially cheaper, incremental approaches available based around Y37 test that has been the mainstay of the Warburton DNA Project for the last 12 years. Remember also that the result of your test will be relevant to your extended family, so the cost could also be shared.

I have written a couple of papers  to help you understand DNA testing. One called DNA and its Uses in Genealogy is intended as an overview of the subject. A Strategy for DNA  expands on the above considerations, and is designed to help you decide which DNA tests might be relevant to you. There are links to these papers below, and in the sidebar.

DNA Study Objectives

The objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. Matching. The primary objective is to link Warburton clans and families whose common ancestor is lost in the mists of time. Parish records were only introduced in the reign of Elizabeth I, and existing records usually start in the early 17th century. Unless you belong to the aristocracy there are no records before this time. Furthermore the records were pretty rudimentary. If like me you are lucky, your ancestors didn’t move very far so generations of baptisms, marriages and burials can be found in the same parish church. But if they moved from somewhere else your earliest ancestor will just appear in a particular parish with nothing to indicate where he came from. In these cases DNA may be the only solution.
  2. Deep History. DNA can also uncover information on your deeper origins. Autosomal tests can describe your genetic makeup. However the Warburton Project is focussed only on the history of the male line. Developments in testing, and the availability of more and more results, combined with historical and archeological research, are building an ever more detailed picture of how peoples migrated into Europe, and then to the British Isles. The same history is shared by whole families, clans, and groups of clans, so once you know where you fit in the general theme, you can sit back and watch the story develop.
  3. Structure. Where a number of families and clans are genetically linked it is possible to structure them into a type of family tree called a haplotree. This shows how the different families are related to each other. A long term objective is to achieve this for the larger groups of related Warburtons that the project uncovers.

The Test

The testing process is simple, though you must be male to take this test, and have the Warburton surname or variant to be included in the Warburton Project.

Historically the process of testing, payment, and notification of individual results has been  run by Family Tree DNA. However, for cost reasons I have begun to recommend some tests are purchased from YSEQ. In either case a numbered test kit is sent to your home. When the test kit arrives you simply perform the test, which involves taking a swab from inside your cheek, and mail the kit back. Family Tree DNA will set up a personal page for you on their website. This will show your results and matches when available, allow you to add information about yourself such as earliest known ancestors, and control what information is shown to others. When I  recommend a test at YSEQ you should inform me of your results when you receive them.

Family Tree DNA results will also be posted on the Warburton DNA Project website at Family Tree DNA, though you will only be identified by your kit number. You will be informed by email as each step happens. As project administrator I will also be informed of each step.

I may refer to your results in my Commentary on Results paper on this website. I will also identify which Warburton clan your profile is associated with. I will only ever refer to you by your kit number, and the name and dates of your earliest known ancestor.

 General Fund

I have established a General Fund  at Family Tree DNA so I can invite anyone to take a test whose profile is of more interest to the project than to themselves.  It is also a way several family members could contribute to a test for one of them.

Any amount is welcome. Every little helps. If you would like to support the project by making a donation to the fund please click here. This will take you to the appropriate page at Family Tree DNA where you can make your donation via credit card, or PayPal.


I have written several papers explaining the use of DNA in genealogy in general, and in the Warburton DNA Project, including the results we have obtained so far. These papers refer to several charts and tables providing background information. These can all be accessed from the list below, and from the DNA Project section of the sidebar.

Just click on the name of an item to access it. They are all in PDF format so you can download them if you require. There are also several articles in the Newsletters, though important information in also included in the papers.


  1. DNA and its Uses in Genealogy
  2. A Strategy for DNA
  3. Commentary on Results
  4. The Cheshire Group
  5. The Cheshire Group Haplotree
  6. The Lancashire Group
  7. New Approaches to Y-DNA Testing in the Warburton One-Name Study

Supporting Documentation

  1. Cheshire Group TMRCA calculations
  2. Mutations Table
  3. Warburton-Dutton TMRCA Calculations
  4. TMRCA Calculations from 5 Dutton and Warburton 111 Marker STTR Results
  5. A Comparison of Matching Warburton and Dutton Results
  6. Interesting Non-Warburton DNA Results

From the U106 Project (documents by Iain McDonald)

  1. U106 explored: its relationships, geography and history
  2. The Pre-History of the House of Wettin
  3. SNP ages for the Lancashire and Cheshire Groups


3 thoughts

  1. Is Mike Dutton connected here – I saw a post re

    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 3, 2013
    View Source
    Here is where I see myself right now:


    And waiting patiently for more results from the DF98 Group, along with some better explanations of all of the Chromo 2.0 SNPs.

    Britain’s DNA says I am R1b-S21
    S265 and they go no further.

    We also used Scotlands DNA and are S265

  2. Hello Ray
    Hope all is well I just came across this site while I was searching Warburtons of Jamaica and I am please I did as maybe u can help me to locate my ancestral origin and also to know my “clan”.

    peace and love.

    1. Hi Tanya,

      Your quest is one that has interested me for a while. I wrote a short article in issue 11 of my newsletter (they can all be accessed from the site). This just about exhausts my current knowledge, except I had recent contact from a lady called Annalise Kouns in Florida. Her husband is a Jamaican Warburton and he recently ordered a DNA test. Also her research suggests that the last Warburton slave owners were in fact mixed race themselves. Maybe his test result will answer your question, but it depends on his Y-chromosome being passed from father to son in an unbroken line from the first Warburton to arrive in Jamaica from England.

      I get loads of friend requests on Facebook from Jamaican Warburtons. I don’t in fact use it much. There was a time when I used it to form a private Warburton group, and there is a page to advertise my project and website. But when my site became a blog that people could subscribe to (for free – subscribing is just to get notification of new posts) I stopped using the private group on Facebook.

      I am hoping that someone will put all the Jamaican Warburtons into a family tree. I believe they must all be related with a common ancestor. I would not publish a tree with living people but it would be nice to have one of their ancestors. Also the full tree could be shared amongst all the living cousins.

      I’ll email this to you as well.

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