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The ultimate purpose of this page is to discuss our DNA results.

Participating in a Surname DNA Project provides:

  • A report on the participant's genetic DNA, which is very close (and sometimes identical) to the earliest known ancestor
  • A classification of the participant's "deep" ancestry, which gives insight into the prehistoric origins of your surname ancestors
  • A sense of camaraderie with all who participate in the Family Project, which is particularly strong for those who share a genetic ancestry
  • Stimulation to family research and sharing of information
  • A wider sense of identity and relationship, as we begin to realize how much we are a World Family.
  • A chance to compare your genetic ancestry with those of the Surname and the Variant Spellings
  • Locates the genetic matches that do not share your common surname



What have we accomplished through our project?

We have accomplished a lot through our project.

One major accomplishment is discovering that there were many immigrants who passed on the name Norwood−and that they were not all related. By this we have confirmed our suspicions that work connecting the American Norwoods to earlier research in England was in part inaccurate. This forces us to look beyond that research into Norwood families who have been overlooked in the past.

We have learned a number of things:

We have learned that it is entirely possible that Francis Norwood of Gloucester, Massachusetts, changed his name for political or religious or other reasons, something E. Pool considered in the mid-19th century.

We have learned that there is a good likelihood that the Norwoods in America who are most likely descended from English Norwoods who lived in Kent are those from Maryland, probably descendants of Captain John Norwood.

We have learned that the ancestry of the descendants of Theophilus Norwood is different from that of the descendants of William Norwood of Surry Co, Virginia.

We have learned that there were quite a few adoptions or illegitimate births that went unreported within families.

We have learned a great deal more about early Virginia and Maryland and the interconnectedness of the families who first settled there.

And we have learned a lot more about migration patterns of the Norwoods of Maryland and Virginia into Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and beyond.

We have confirmed that Norod and similar variants in some cases are indeed various spellings of Norwood based on an old pronunciation.

Many of our old questions have been answered, and where questions remain, we must come up with an economical and efficient way of getting answers for them.


Detailed Discussion of our results to date:

Francis Norwood of Massachusetts has three documented descendants, whose common ancestor was his son Joshua (1683-1762), with two-step and three-step differences in 37 markers and in eight to nine generations.

Richard Norwood, the mathematician and engineer who mapped Bermuda and settled there, has three documented descendants, two with a clear paper trail and one with a brick wall. Interestingly, this Richard Norwood should be related to any number of Norwoods whose descent can be traced back to the Barons of Kent, England; however, other participants who have such pedigrees do not appear to be related to his descendants.

Theophilus Norwood, Sr., is widely believed to be the grandson of William Norwood, the immigrant to Virginia, from the Norwood family of Leckhampton Court, Gloucestershire, England.  The results we now have confirm that our participants submitting pedigrees back to Theophilus Norwood, Sr., are closely related, no doubt descended from him as their research has already shown.

Two participants descend from Theophilus Norwood, Jr. (1725-1791) and in their first 25 markers, match exactly.  The third participant is a descendant of Theophilus Norwood, Sr.'s, son, Samuel (1724-1789), and differs in only one marker from the others within the first 25 markers. The fourth participant matches the first two exactly in the first 12 markers. It would be good to have 37 markers tested for all of them.

It is interesting that the other Norwood participants do not match each other, and more interesting that the descendants of Theophilus Norwood are in the I1a haplogroup, while the majority of the others are R1b1 or R1b1b2.  This was an unexpected result.

The most recent results have come from England, and these results were unanticipated. The first tested in haplogroup E1b1b1. His pedigree traces back to Kent in a line very close to that of G. Marion Norwood Callam, who authored Norwoods I, II, III. Another descendant in this line tested R1b1b2, so these results were unexpected. The second participant from England tested in haplogroup I2a, a haplogroup that has its epicenter in the Balkans, but whose “Western” haplotype is common in Germany with “appreciable amounts” in the British Isles. For additional information about the E1b1b1 haplotype, try the following link to “Haplogroup E3b1a2 as a Possible Indicator of Settlement in Roman Britain by Soldiers of Balkan Origin” by Steven C. Bird:

An American Norwood participant has recently also received results placing him in E1b1b1, but his haplotype is different from that of our English participant mentioned above. The surprise in his results is that he is a documented descendant of William Norwood of Surry County, Virginia, through his son George. This haplotype fairly closely matches that of a group of people of the name Blevins or Blevens. The majority of American Blevins I was able to find were in Ashe County, NC, in the 19th century. We don’t have enough data to understand these results yet.

There is more to be said about the results out of Maryland, but we need to wait on that for the time being. We can just say that it appears that a branch of Noreds with roots in Maryland have the same Y-DNA as a branch of Norwoods in Kent, England, and with a branch of Dorseys of Maryland. The greatest likelihood is that the Noreds and Dorseys in these families descend from a Norwood immigrant to Maryland.

It is exciting to see more men join the project. At this point we have a growing collection of unique haplotypes, so little can be said about our relatedness; however, it would appear that the surname Norwood does not descend from a single progenitor but was adopted by a variety of unrelated families in different parts of England and elsewhere at the time that surnames were adopted. Because at least one Norwood family, the Barons of Kent and their descendants, can be traced back to the 13th century, we wonder if over such a long time (in genealogical terms) enough mutations could have occurred to create such a diversity of haplotypes (within each haplogroup) among men with a common ancestor. Everything that I have read implies that the y-dna won’'t have changed that much since the time surnames were adopted, but we are trying to keep an open mind as we try to keep up with the science.

As participants from various lines join the group, we can hope to learn more about the various lines of Norwoods in our time and how they are related to each other.  It is too early, however, to draw any conclusions regarding this larger question now.

We should all try to encourage other Norwood males from various lines of our families to participate in this project.  This is especially true of the many R1b1b2 members.  We know we are all related at that level, but those who have had the deep clade test can see how far back the relatedness holds and whether or not we can expect a common ancestor within genealogical time. It is advisable to test 67 markers now, but if not, 37 should be the least number. At 25 markers, there are just too many matches among many different surnames.

A hearty “Thank-you” goes to all who have participated thus far!



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