The Winchester Surname Project
The purpose of this project is to use DNA analysis to sort out the various Winchester groups in America and to link them back to their likely source in the United Kingdom. Winchesters first appear in records of the American Colonies over a 150 year span in the early 1630's in New England and Jamestown, VA and continuously after; in 1729 in Baltimore, MD; in the mid 1700?s in the Ninety Six District of SC upcountry, the later 1700's in the Haw River settlement (now Guilford/Rockingham counties) and in Mecklenburg County, NC (now Union County); and in the early 1800?s settlements of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada. DNA results thus far show these Winchesters to be grouped in two Haplogroups: R1b1b2 and I1. Haplogroup R1b is the most frequent group in western Europe found in 60% of all men in England. R1b (R-M269) is highest at 70-80% in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Brittany and Basques. Haplogroup I is found generally in 20% of all males in Europe, but highest at 60% in Denmark and Norway and 40% southeastern England. Haplogroup I1 (R-M253) highest at 40% among inhabitants of the North Sea regions of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Of particular interest is the higher 30-40% concentration of I1 (R-M253) in three relatively small areas: 1) the Scottish Counties of Bannff, Moray, and Nairn facing Moray Firth, and the Shetland Islands; 2) Lancaster and York; and 3) a swath of 13 southern English counties from Kent in the east to Devon in the west and north to Oxford. The 1841 census of England, the earliest countrywide, lists Winchester individuals concentrated in three primary areas, with virtually none elsewhere: 168 in the Scottish Counties; 20 in Lancaster/York; and 415 in south England. Winchesters appear in civil, court and cemetery records in these areas as far back as the 1500's.
Other surnames in Project
Join the Winchester surname project
If you want to join the Winchester project please order your DNA test here.