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Welcome to the Deaton Surname Y-DNA and Family Finder Project's Website


Welcome Cousin! If you’ve found this website you likely have Deaton or Deyton ancestry, along with an interest in family history, and a knowledge of (or curiosity about) genetic genealogy.  


The purpose of this website and the Deaton DNA Project is to provide a venue to exchange information among members and interested associates about DNA testing and genetic genealogy, to discover how we are related, and to explore our extended family’s origins, migrations and history.


Each project member and associate brings a rich family history and the opportunity to connect with new cousins.  I hope that the project will facilitate new discoveries of kinship and shared heritage, that it will help members understand their family lines and even make it possible for some members to move past ‘brick walls’ that have stood in their way, perhaps for generations.


The project has provided me with each of these wonderful benefits.  My own connection to the Deyton family was completely unknown. It was lost in a house fire during the civil war that orphaned my 2nd great grandfather and his siblings when they were children.  This inadvertent family secret would never have been revealed or solved without the advent of DNA testing.  In 2013 I took a simple Y-12 DNA test in response to a request  by a potential cousin.  After the results suggested that we matched, I quickly upgraded my test to Y-67.  At each testing level both he and I saw that our closest matches were named Deaton.  This is what lead me to the project.  Two years later I have met and become friends with multiple cousins who descend from the same 4th great grandfather.  


My autosomal DNA tests (taken at AncestryDNA, 23andme, and Family Tree DNA) have given me dozens of additional matches with Deaton family connections.  Similarly I have made new friendships and share interests and a passion for family history with these folks.


My vision is to expand the Deaton DNA Project beyond the typical Y-DNA surname group to include Family Finder autosomal DNA members and mtDNA members.  Anyone with Deaton family connections can join as a Family Finder member, or even as a project associate without a DNA test. I would like to see the project and this website become valuable resources for anyone with an interest our Deaton Family history.  I encourage you to peruse this site, including the Patriarchs, y-Results, Discussion and  Forum pages.  And I encourage you to register and use the Forum to ask questions and share your ideas and family history.


My name is Jim Phillips and I have been a volunteer project co-administrator for the past quarter.  I am happy to answer  your questions related to the project, DNA testing, genealogy and Deaton family history.  Please contact me at


Project Background and Goals


The Family Tree DNA Deaton DNA Project has historically been a Y-DNA Project.  The project was launched in January, 2006 and it’s website is hosted by at


The original description and goals of the project were outlined in 2006:


  • A Surname DNA Project is a group of genealogy researchers who share a surname, or a genetic link to the surname, and who join together to use yDNA testing, paper trails, and research to identify those with whom they share a common ancestor.
  • The aim for many participants is to identify a participant who "matches" their test results, and who can help them find the paper trail that leads further back up the family tree. When the DNA information is combined with family pedigrees and other relevant information, the full power of Genetic Genealogy is utilized. 


Y-DNA research remains a principal objective of this project.  


With the advent and growing popularity of autosomal DNA testing it is appropriate that our project includes and welcomes Family Finder members.  Now anyone with Deaton heritage and an interest in family history can join!


The following spelling variations are included in the project:

Deaton, Deyton and Phillips* 

*(Phillips is the surname of the descendants of Eldridge Deyton via his son Samuel C. Phillips.)


Project Goals - Family Finder 


As a group we have the opportunity to define the project goals in this area  Your ideas are welcomed  Please share them on the project Forum or send them to me via email.


FTDNA suggests the following guidelines for a successful Family Finder project:


Family Tree DNA would like every Family Finder Project to be a success. We ask that you consider these guidelines for planning and setting up Family Finder Projects.

  • The focus couple should be between four and seven generations in the past.

  • The administrator(s) should be able to explain their goals for the project.

  • The administrator(s) should have a descendant tree that shows potential test candidates.

  • The administrator(s) should be able to describe their plans for recruiting cousins to test.


Autosomal DNA is inherited by everyone and carries their genetic history from thousands of years.  Family connections are literally in our DNA.  Our recent cousins will share many of our DNA segments and potential relationships can be inferred by our matching results.  


Anyone who has taken a Family Finder autosomal DNA test at FTDNA and who has Deaton ancestors within the past nine generations is encouraged to join.  Anyone with AncestryDNA or certain 23andme autosomal tests can join by transferring their raw data to FTDNA Family Finder for free.  (This free transfer will provide the top twenty matches.  The full feature set can be unlocked by recruiting others or paying a nominal fee.)



FTDNA likely selected seven generations based on how autosomal DNA is potentially inherited.  In theory a person would inherit 50% of their atDNA from each parent, 25% from each grandparent, 12.5% from each great grandparent, etc. until the seventh generation (5th great grandparents) where the percentage would fall below 1%.  


Our extended family was founded by Thomas Elijah Deaton and Mary Corington.  Thomas was born in England in 1679 and migrated to Virginia in 1701.  Mary, born in 1680, followed her husband to Virginia in 1703.  The couple had at least one daughter, Elizabeth, born 1711, and seven sons; Thomas Elijah Jr., born 1710, James Elijah, born 1713; John, born 1716; William, 1725; Jabez, 1727; George, 1733; and Nathan, 1736.


Because most Deaton families in the United States can trace their pedigree to Thomas & Mary, I would put forth that the project principal focus couple is Thomas Elijah Deaton and Mary Corington.  For many of us that exceeds the seven generation limit suggested by FTDNA.  In my case Thomas and Mary were my 6th great grandparents. In theory I would carry only 0.39% of their atDNA.


For this reason I feel that an additional project goal will be to identify secondary focus couples based on emerging family lines as indicated by DNA results and family pedigrees. Using yDNA and atDNA together and in combination with member’s known family histories, it will likely be possible to establish family lines tracing back to each of Thomas and Mary’s children.  Y-DNA results in conjunction with known family histories have already identified family lines that hail from second generation patriarchs James Elijah Deaton and wife Obedience Jackson and his brother William Deaton and wife Sarah Jackson,  This same data can be used to define a DNA descendant tree.


Recruitment of new members can be accomplished by any project member.  Obvious candidates are close family members and distant cousins.  DNA matches that indicate a Deaton heritage can easily join, especially if they are already in the Family Finder database. Those who have atDNA results at AncestryDNA and 23andme can inform their Deaton matches about the project and invite them to join by transferring their raw data to Family Finder.  I can provide sample messages for contacting potential members and step by step instructions for transferring data to FTDNA.


Family genealogists who mange multiple DNA kits for their family members are encouraged to enroll each kit in the project.  Autosomal DNA is passed along somewhat randomly.  Even siblings will have different DNA matches.


Finally, by including rich material on the project website that relates to genealogy, family history and DNA results will surely attract the interest of potential members.



Project Goals - Y-DNA


Y-DNA is passed from father to son relatively unchanged.  Women do not inherit Y-DNA.   However they can recruit a male relative who is related on their paternal side to test for them.  


Traditional DNA testing for genealogy involves testing various known locations on the Y chromosome.  These tests are offered in ‘panel’s’ that look at 12, 25, 37, 67 or 111 Y-STR markers.  These panels include a mix of both stable, slow mutating markers and fast mutating markers.  Because they compare the same locations it is possible to use the results to gauge how closely related two males are to each other.  When a group of men are closely related it is often possible to see patterns in their Y-STR results that can be used to predict family membership and even branches within the family group. Y-STR markers are also used to predict the Y-DNA haplogroup of the tester.


There are currently eight Deaton descendants in the project who are very closely related.  These men have a nearly identical Y-DNA profile based on their Y-STR markers.  Standard Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) utilities indicate that they are likely related in 300-450 years.  This is consistent with the age of family patriarch Thomas Elijah Deaton.  These men, who define the project Y-DNA Lineage I, belong to the Y-Haplogroup R1b-L159.  This group is part of the Irish Sea Haplotype, found typically in coastal regions of the Irish Sea in England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as Norway, Sweden and France.  Lineage I members are likely to have the SNP R1b-Z16434.  Indeed at least five lineage I members have tested for this newly discovered SNP.


Project Y-DNA goals include recruitment of additional members with the objective of uncovering branch markers that my be useful in defining separate family lines.  Currently a mutation at CDYb shows promise as an indicator differentiating the line descended from James Elijah Deaton from that descended from his brother William Deaton.  Discovering and documenting this type of branch marker offers the potential to help other members with uncertain lineages determine their likely branch.


As with AT-DNA it is a project goal to define a family tree based on the DNA results of project members.


Project Goals - Big Y Next Generation Sequencing


With the advent of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) testing such as Family Tree DNA’s  Big Y, it is quickly becoming possible to identify new SNP markers that likely occurred in genealogical times, i.e. after the adoption of surnames in Europe.  It is a project goal to encourage Y-DNA Lineage I members to consider the Big Y in an effort to discover any such SNP that would help define our Y-DNA lineage.  To date two lineage I members have taken the Big Y and shared their results at the R-L21 Big Tree project.  Their results can be viewed at The Big Tree: R-Z255 page located at  Look for the Z-16434 section and the surname Phillips.


Project Goals - Genetic Genealogy


Ultimately it is a principal goal of the project to promote traditional genealogy using the tools of genetic genealogy along with standard traditional genealogy tools.  Genealogists have used the internet to exchange information for 15 years.  Many of the original message boards that family historians have used to exchange information, ask questions and make contacts are no longer active.  Our project website offers the ideal forum for project members and non-members to share information.  I encourage everyone to visit the project forum at


I hope that members will use this tool to further their research.  A simple registration is required to post to the board.  This is to prevent unwanted material from appearing on the site.


Project Goals - Member’s Deaton Pedigrees


It is impossible to overstate the importance of members sharing their Deaton pedigrees.  Providing this information will help define family lines as they relate to our DNA results.  For privacy reasons no one born after 2015 should be listed in your pedigree.  Pedigrees can be posted on the Pedigree page at the project website or can be emailed to


Here is a sample pedigree to demonstrate the format:


Pedigree for Kit 275787


Thomas Elijah Deaton, b 1679 England, m Mary Corington

William Deaton, b 1725 VA, m Sarah Jackson

Eldridge Deyton, b 1775 NC

Samuel C Phillips, b 1828 NC, m Matilda Gregory

James L Phillips, b 1853 NC, m Mary M Wyatt

Charles L Phillips, b1880 NC, m Laura M Merrill

Hardy K Phillips, b 1904 NC. m Cassie I Edge


Results – Y-DNA

Project Y-DNA Lineage I members are descended from Thomas Elijah Deaton & Mary Corington.  As of May, 2015 there are eight closely related men in lineage I.  All eight have tested to Y-37 STR markers, six have tested to Y-67 with a seventh waiting for results, and two have tested to Y-111.  There are two lineage I members who have taken FTDNA’s BIG Y Next Generation Sequencing test.  All lineage I members are predicted to be R1b-L159.  Additionally four members have tested positive for the novel variant R1b-Z16434.


Results – Autosomal DNA (Family Finder)

As of May 2015 the project has grown to include 34 Family Finder members who share Deaton ancestors. 

Emerging Focus Couples include:

  • Thomas Elijah Deaton & Mary Corington
  • James Elijah Deaton & Obedience Jackson 
  • Claibrorne Deaton & Amelia
  • William Deaton & Sarah Jackson
  • NathanDeyton  & Sarah Knight
  • John Deaton, Sr. & Isabella Brantley
  • Eldridge Deyton & Sophie Dobson
  • Eldridge Deyton  & Matha Philips
  • Burrell Deaton & Patience Melton


As more Deaton descendants join as Family Finder members and share their family pedigrees this list is expected to expand.


Other Families and Lineages

Families with similar surnames are also welcome to join the project. Examples include Denton, Dayton, Deaten, Dion, and Dotan, among others. As new members join it will likely be possible to identify other genetic lineages and family groups.


Your Privacy


The project respects the privacy of each member.  Your privacy settings are available on your FTDNA homepage.  Y-DNA test results as shown on the project website will include the project member’s FTDNA kit number to identify the results.  The member’s name and contact information is not available on the project results pages.  


Members who would prefer to not receive these periodic messages can let me know and I will respect their wishes.


The ability to post on the project Forum and Patriarch pages requires registration and a valid email address.  This is not revealed to anyone.  Individual members may elect to post their contact information with their Forum or Patriarchs information.


Thank you and Welcome!




This SURNAME DNA PROJECT WEBSITE is provided by  (About us)

•   A Surname DNA Project is a group of genealogy researchers who share a surname, or a genetic link to the surname, and who join together to use yDNA testing, paper trails, and research to identify those with whom they share a common ancestor.

•   The aim for many participants is to identify a participant who "matches" their test results, and who can help them find the paper trail that leads further back up the family tree. When the DNA information is combined with family pedigrees and other relevant information, the full power of Genetic Genealogy is utilized.  In addition, yDNA tests cost less when you order them through a surname project at Family Tree DNA.

•   Click on the links in the black bar at the top of this page to view every page of the project's website. 

•   Of most interest to you initially are the project's PATRIARCH and y-RESULTS pages. 

•   You do NOT need to be registered or logged in to view any page of the project’s website, but you will need to log in to post on the forums and to use the "Make this a Favorite Project" link in the left column to create a link to the project's website each time you log in.

•   Click here to order a DNA test in The Deaton DNA Project and become a member of this project.

•   Already tested at FTDNA?  Join the Project.

•   Were you yDNA-tested at another company?  Transfer your results to FTDNA to join this project. Learn how:


Information that will help you: 

•   Using your Project's Website

•   Logging in

•   Make this a "Favorite Project"

•   8 Things You Must Do If You're yDNA Testing

•   DNA the Smart Way, a Step-by-step guide to the whole process

• home page, with lots of DNA and project information

•   Answers to many of your questions:



Use this link to make a donation to your surname project Sponsorship Fund at FTDNA





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