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  Last Updated: 21 May 2015


The purpose of this page is to discuss our Y-DNA results as shown in the Y-Results page of this web site. 


We now have eighteen participants whose DNA results are shown in the Y-Results page.  All live in the United States and are currently grouped in two separate lineages (plus one 'unassigned' lineage) as shown by the colors in the Y-results page.  


Lineage I includes twelve participants:

  • The baseline for Lineage I has been established back to Philip Pendleton who arrived in Virginia in 1674  
  • Seven of the twelve participants have known pedigrees back to Philip Pendleton.  These are PS-2, P-3, P-12, P-7, P-6, PS-3, and P-1.
  • PS-2 is descended from Philip's oldest son Henry and grandson James.  His Y-DNA is two markers different than the baseline Y-DNA.  These are at markers 426 and 439.  These markers are likely indicators for the Hardin Co., KY Pendletons. 
  • P-3, P-12, and P-7 are descended from Philip's middle son John and his grandson William.  Their DNA is is identical with the baseline Y-DNA and are representative of the Scott Co., VA Pendletons.
  • P-6 and PS-3 are descended from Philip's middle son John and his grandson Henry.  The P-6 Y-DNA is one marker different than the baseline Y-DNA. This is at 570 (18). This marker may be an indicator for the Spotsylvania Co., VA Pendletons.  Unfortunately, the Y-DNA test of PS-3 does not include the 570 marker!
  • P-1 is descended from Philip’s youngest son Philip Jr.  His Y-DNA is two markers different than P-3 and P-7. These are at 389-2 and CDY-b. These markers may be indicators for the Buckingham Co., VA Pendletons.
  • P-14 and P-15 had claimed descendancy from Micajah Pendleton (b. 1790) but Y-DNA test results indicate that is not the case.  Their earliest known ancestor James William may instead be descended from a Scott Co., VA Pendleton.   P-15 DNA is identical with the baseline Y-DNA and that of the Scott Co., Pendletons (P-3, P-12, and P-7).   P-14 is only one marker different than the baseline Y-DNA. This is at 570 (20).   This difference occurred in the P-14 line after James William.
  • P-13 may be related to the Scott Co. Pendletons (P-3, P-12, and P-7). If so, the two marker differences at 385a & 534 occurred in the P-13 line sometime after their most recent common ancestor.
  • PS-5 may be descended from Philip's son Philip and grandson Benjamin but the link has not been found.
  • P-2 is descended from Micajah Pendleton (b. 1790) through his son Wyatt.   Because the Y-DNA of Micajah's descendant (P-2) is four markers different than the baseline, it is highly unlikely that Micajah is descended from Philip Pendleton.  (The different markers are at 385a, 437, 449, and 442.)   An intriguing possibility is that  P-2 and Micajah are descended from the Pasquotank, NC Pendletons.  Some have claimed that the Pasquotank Pendletons are descended from a relative of Philip.  If P-2 is indeed a descendant of a Pasquotank Pendleton then these DNA results support that claim.  


Lineage II has five participants:
  • The baseline for Lineage II has been established back to Brian Pendleton who arrived in Massachusetts in 1634.
  • Four of the five (except for P-10) have known pedigrees back to Brian Pendleton.
  • P-10 does not have a known pedigree back to Brian but the fact that his Y-DNA is identical with that of PS-4 clearly establishes his descendancy from Brian.  
  • The single mutation at marker 439 that separates P-5/P-11 (uncle/nephew) from PS-4 and P-10 likely occurred at William Pendleton (b. 1727) or later generations in the P-5/P-11 line.
  • Three mutations (at markers 458, 447, and CDYa) for P-16 occurred at Caleb Pendleton or later generations in the P-16 line.


The 'unassigned' lineage of PS-1 is apparently very different from Lineages I and II.   

  • However, PS-1 is evidently descended from the Brian Pendleton family line.  The difference in this family line Y-DNA is apparently a non-paternity event that occurred at Nathaniel Pendleton or after in the PS-1 line.  
It should be noted that there are three known Pendleton lineages in early Colonial America. These are the descendants of
  1. Philip Pendleton
  2. Brian Pendleton, and
  3. Thomas and Henry Pendleton who are found in Pasquotank, NC records as early as 1697.  It has been surmised that Thomas and Henry are closely related to Philip. At present we have no Pendleton participants who are known descendants of these early NC Pendletons.
The descendants of Philip and Brian have been determined in considerable detail. A study of the Pasquotank Pendletons has apparently not been published. Of course, others with the surname Pendleton may have arrived in early Colonial America and still others came later.


What is a baseline Y- DNA? This is the Y-DNA of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA). In the case of Lineage I this is Philip Pendleton, the immigrant. In other words, if we could somehow test Philip Pendleton, his Y-DNA would be the same as P-3, P-12 and P-7 for the 37 markers tested.
What does one, two or four markers out of 37 different from the baseline mean? For example, P-6 is eight generations removed from Philip and is one marker different. That means that in eight generations only one change (mutation) occurred in the 37 markers as the Y-DNA was passed from father to son. For P-1, who is nine generations removed from Philip, two mutations occurred.
What is the likelihood of a single mutation in the 37 markers in a single generation? The odds of a single mutation in the 37 markers is estimated to be a little less than 10%. That is about the same as the odds of drawing an ace out of a well-shuffled deck of playing cards.

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