Month: June 2022

Evidence of RUDDLE ancestry of John SAINSBURY the younger of Urchfont

After years of documentary research and genetic genealogy, much of which has been documented in this blog, we concluded that the SAINSBURY family of north Somerset descended from the Richard SAINSBURY born in Urchfont, Wiltshire in 1708.

That research found significant genetic connections between the SAINSBURYs of north Somerset and the SAINSBURYs of Urchfont, Wiltshire.

In late 2021, however, Y-DNA results from a direct male descendant of Robert SAINSBURY, uncle of Richard SAINSBURY, indicated that the SAINSBURY family of north Somerset was not genetically related on a direct male line to the SAINSBURYs of Urchfont and area. If there were a genetic connection on a direct male line, Y-DNA tests from both SAINSBURY lines (Urchfont and north Somerset) would have matched. They did not.

However, a few weeks after all prior evidence was thrown into question by this result, another Y-DNA test result arrived from a direct male descendant of Richard Sainsbury’s brother, Francis (b.1706)⁠—and this time, they matched. Richard and Francis were sons of John SAINSBURY the younger of Urchfont (b.1664):

Y-DNA revealed that direct male descendants of Robert SAINSBURY (b.1676) are related to other SAINSBURY lines in the Urchfont area on a direct male line, but the descendants of his brother, John SAINSBURY the elder (b.1664) are not.

What, then, to make of all the triangulated autosomal DNA (atDNA) evidence we found that supported the theory that Richard SAINSBURY of north Somerset was genetically related to the SAINSBURYs of Urchfont?

And who, given this new Y-DNA evidence, was the biological father of his own father, John SAINSBURY the younger (b.1664)?

Is there still a SAINSBURY in this tree?

One way to make sense of this “non-SAINSBURY Y-DNA” result, and the seemingly contradictory presence of “Urchfont SAINSBURY atDNA” among the SAINSBURY family of north Somerset, is to theorize that the biological father of John SAINSBURY the younger was, himself, a descendant of an Urchfont-area SAINSBURY—but on a female line.

Such a relationship would explain the lack of “Urchfont SAINSBURY Y-DNA” on the direct male line while validating its presence in the atDNA of north Somerset SAINSBURY descendants.

Checking Urchfont and area parish registers for any possible man of child-bearing years who may have descended from a female SAINSBURY yielded one man: John RUDDLE, who was born in 1633 but who disappears from the records thereafter.

John RUDDLE was the son of John RUDDLE and Edith SAINSBURY, which could explain the SAINSBURY atDNA we discovered among north Somerset SAINSBURY descendants.

John RUDDLE was, in fact, the double first cousin of John SAINSBURY the elder (b.1634)—the man who (in the parish registers) is recorded as the father of John SAINSBURY the younger (b.1664):

This chart shows the “double first cousin” relationship between John SAINSBURY the elder (b.1634), the documented father of John Sainsbury the younger (b.1664), and John Ruddle (b.1633), the possible biological father of John SAINSBURY the younger. Thanks to Jen Sansbury for creating this chart.

To test the theory that John SAINSBURY the younger (b.1664) was the son of John RUDDLE (b.1633) we could look for a matching Y-DNA test among any direct male descendant of the RUDDLE family of this area (this would provide the best possible evidence), or we could look for triangulation groups of people who share an identical segment of atDNA that could have been inherited from a common RUDDLE ancestor—and no others on any other family line.

Y-DNA to the rescue?

Any male RUDDLEs whose direct male line traces back to this Urchfont-area RUDDLE family are encouraged to join the Riddell/Riddle/Ruddle Group Project on Family Tree DNA for Y-DNA testing to test this theory:

In the meantime, we’ve identified four individuals on Ancestry who share atDNA in a way that seems to prove this RUDDLE theory:

All four individuals at the bottom of this tree share a segment of atDNA. If that segment can be shown to be identical, we can conclude this family tree is correct, and the biological father of John SAINSBURY the younger (b.1664) was John RUDDLE (b.1633), son of John RUDDLE and Edith SAINSBURY of Etchilhampton, Wiltshire.

If at least three of these four genetic cousins share the same segment of DNA, they would form a triangulation group. Absent any other ancestral line to explain how they are related, we would have the best possible autosomal DNA evidence that this theory is correct and that John RUDDLE (1633-?) was the biological father of John SAINSBURY the younger of Urchfont (1664-1719).

To be continued. See: SAINSBURY-RUDDLE triangulation group established

Disclaimer: As with any research project, when new evidence comes to light, former theories may change. This blog post includes theories and conclusions developed from the best available evidence at the time this post was written. It may be corroborated or refuted by later research. This post must therefore be considered in the context of all information presented in earlier and later posts.