Houghton DNA Database Results
by Charles J. Vella, PhD (c)
The Houghton DNA database has 35 volunteers who have donated their DNA sample for the following 17 Houghton and Haughton lines:
1 Ralph Houghton of
2 John Houghton of
3 John Houghton of
4 Elijah Houghton of
5 Thomas Houghton of
6 Matthew Houghton of
7 Frederic S. Houghton of
8 William Guy Houghton of
9 Robert Houghton of
10 John Houghton of
11 Charles W. Houghton of
12 Frederick B. Houghton of
13 Asa Houghton of New York (England) (1)
14 Stephen Houghton of England (1)
15 Richard Haughton of
16 Alfred Haughton of
17 Joseph Haughton of
evidence that the 4 major American Houghton
Ralph Houghton of
Genealogical research has begun relying on the biological fact that the Y chromosome (the male sex chromosome) is passed virtually unchanged from father to son down through 250 generations. It is possible to do a simple DNA analysis on two men and learn whether the two are related on the paternal side or not. By testing direct male-line descendants of the early Houghton/Haughton immigrants, we can learn whether the immigrants were in fact related. It is necessary to test several descendants for each immigrant in order to get accurate results. The DNA test measures the lengths of 12 (or 25 or 37 or 59) specific markers (often called loci) on the Y chromosome. These markers don't have any genetic function, and so the test will not reveal any physical characteristics, genetic diseases, or innate tendencies. It will only reveal whether the test subjects are related to each other. Since this test applies to the Y chromosome, the test subjects have to be male and, in particular, have to have the Houghton surname (with a few exceptions due to adoptions, name changes, and such).
The goal of all of this is to initially come up with (collectively) at least two male-line descendants of each identifiable Houghton or Haughton "founder," (i.e. Ralph or John Houghton of Lancaster, MA, John Houghton of New Jersey, Alfred Haughton, Joseph Haughton) preferably through at least two different sons of the founder. Assuming that the DNA test results agree for the documented descendants of the progenitor, we can "reconstruct" the haplotype (DNA pattern) for that progenitor and then compare against the haplotypes of other progenitors to see if they were related.
The goal of all of this is to initially come up with (collectively) at least two male-line descendants of each identifiable Houghton or Haughton "founder," (i.e. Ralph or John Houghton of Lancaster, MA, John Houghton of New Jersey, Alfred Haughton) preferably through at least two different sons of the founder. Assuming that the DNA test results agree for the documented descendants of the progenitor, we can "reconstruct" the haplotype (DNA pattern) for that progenitor and then compare against the haplotypes of other progenitors to see if they were related.
The following are the current tested results of the volunteers who have given permission to publish their results:
The rough rule, genetically, is that if you have only 10 of 12 markers matching, the individuals are unrelated; and certainly unrelated if they have only 9 matching. If you have either 11 or 12 of 12 markers matching, you are related. 12 of 12 is an exact match, meaning you are descended from the same common ancestor.
James Lowell Houghton is the only descendant of John Houghton of Stoney Brook, NJ and has a set of 12 alleles which are 1 allele different from James Robert of Canada, whose ancestor Stephen Houghton was from England. This is first DNA evidence that John Houghton of NJ had English ancestry. Rex Edward Houghton is also 1 allele different from both James Lowell Houghton and James Robert Houghton, implying that Rex's ancester, Robert Houghton of England, is also related to this group.
Houghton II, Albert Leroy Houghton, Steven Philip Houghton, Dana
Edward Houghton, John Darrell Houghton and Ralph H. Houghton are
descendants of Ralph Houghton of
Lancaster MA and have a set of 12 alleles which are clearly different
unrelated to the other volunteers. Rick Jackson is a 36 out of 37 match
with Ralph H. Houghton, indicating a common ancester within the
last 12 generations (97% chance).
Thomas Roger Houghton is a descendant of Elijah Houghton of Virginia and has a set of 12 alleles which are clearly different and unrelated to the other volunteers.
Jeffrey Russell Houghton is a descendant of Thomas Houghton of Bolingbroke, England and has a set of 12 alleles which are clearly different and unrelated to other volunteers.
Jeffrey L. Haughton is a descendant of Alfred Haughton of England and has a set of 12 alleles which are clearly different and unrelated to the other Houghton volunteers. Ken Haughton, with 11 of 12 alleles matching, is related to Jeffrey L. Haughton.
Daniel Houghton, Jr. is a descendant of Matthew Houghton of Liverpool, England and has a set of 12 alleles which are clearly different and unrelated to the other volunteers.
Frederic James Houghton is a descendant of Frederic Sydney Houghton of Norwich, England and has a set of 12 alleles which are clearly different and unrelated to the other volunteers.
is a descendant
of Richard Haughton of England and has a set of 12 alleles which are
different and unrelated to the other volunteers.
Peter James Edward Haughton is a descendant of Joseph Haughton of Ireland and has a set of 12 alleles which are clearly different and unrelated to the other volunteers.
William Wells Houghton, Walter Herbert Houghton, Gary Amer Houghton, Reed Richard Houghton, and David Barclay Houghton are exact matches of all 12 alleles. ALL are descendants of John Houghton of Lancaster MA through his son John, except for David who descends from his son Robert.
This implies that descendants of Reuben Houghton and Jonathan Houghton are actually descendants of John Houghton of Lancaster MA. Walter Vernon Houghton and Leland Devere Houghton are identical with this group except for their twelfth marker; they are descendants of John Houghton of Lancaster MA (and, for Walter Vernon, of Ralph Houghton of Lancaster MA).
Raymond, Larry, and George F. are exact matches and are also descendants of John Houghton of Lancaster MA, but through his son Robert; William D. Houghton is also an exact match, but through son Jonas. Raymond, Reed, Walter, William, Gary, Robert, and Michael are all related, sharing a common ancestor, John Houghton of Lancaster MA. Even though Walter, Reed, William, and Gary have a 10 in DYS 391 while the other share an 11, they all share an unusual result at DYS 389 and 392. Most men in Haplogroup R1b have a 13 in DYS 392 while these men have a 12. Additional the spread in distance from DYS 389-1 versus 389-2 is typically 16 in males. These men have a spread (31-13 = 18) longer then normal by 2 points, so when FDNA used those 2 facts and parsed through their database of 22700 people only 1.16% of the entire database shares those combinations...and 7 of the men are these 7 Houghton volunteers. [Family DNA, Bennett Greenspan, Jul 8, 2004]. Michael J. Houghton and Robert G. Houghton are less tightly linked to this group and more tightly linked to one another due to their results on markers 19 and 391. They share a common ancestor with one another more recently than the rest of the group. The following table gives the statistics for the time period to the common ancestor in this group:
R1b: Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is believed to have expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last glacial maximum 10-12 thousand years ago. This lineage is also the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype. For more information on the haplogroup R1b, see the following Wikipedia article: R1b
I: The I, I1, and I1a lineages are nearly completely restricted to northwestern Europe. These would most likely have been common within Viking populations, found in Scandanavia and parts of Ireland, Scotland, and England, where it's thought to denote descent from the Viking invaders. One lineage of this group extends down into central Europe. For more information on the haplogroup R1b, see the following Wikipedia article: I1
These DNA results imply that we now have preliminary evidence for sixteen separate, unrelated Houghton and Haughton lines:
Ralph Houghton of
John Houghton of
John Houghton of Stoney
Elijah Houghton of
Thomas Houghton of
Matthew Houghton of
Frederic Sydney Houghton of
Robert Houghton of
Frederick B. Houghton of
John Houghton of
12 - Stephen Houghton of England
Charles W. Houghton of
Richard Haughton of
Alfred Haughton of
16 - Joseph
Eventually it would be ideal to have participants from as many Houghton/Haughton ancestors as possible, preferably from two and ideally from three different sons of the most distant known ancestor of each line where available, which would allow the establishment of a baseline DNA signature for the ancestor. Do you have your Houghton line represented? If not, volunteer!
If using this material please use citation: "Houghton Surname Project, authored and compiled by Charles J. Vella, PhD"