Who were James Colbert's ancestors?

+9 votes
Twenty-five years ago I wrote an article for The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal entitled: James Logan Colbert of the Chickasaws:  The Man and the Myth.  It appeared in the May 1994 and Feb 1995 issues.

At that time I said that James was not born in Scotland, as had been reported in books and magazines for over 100 years, but on Plumtree Island (now Mush Island) on the Roanoke River and opposite the town of Weldon, Halifax Co, NC.

My 4th GG Thomas Colbert was born on Plumtree Island and lived in the town of Halifax, Halifax Co, NC as a blacksmith until 1768.  At that time he moved west 50 miles and settled in Bute (Franklin/Warren) Co, NC to raise his family. 248 years later the family still lives there.

Furthermore, I wrote that James' father was the son of Joseph Calvert/Colbert (my 5th GG) and that the family was associated with Abraham Colson -- a registered Chickasaw trader -- and his brother Joseph Colson.

In addition, I wrote that there was a possibility that James Colbert was a descendant of Christopher Calvert of Accomack Co, VA.

Back then DNA had not advanced as far as today, but now I can conclusively state that James Colbert of the Chickasaw Nations was indeed a descendant of Christopher Calvert and that Christopher's haplogroup is R-Z16502 which is downstream of FGC5494 and belongs to the R-L21 Subclade group. [R1b>M269>P311>P312>R-L21>DF13>FGC5494>R-Z16502]  Further testing may show that he belongs to another subclade which is downstream of R-Z16502.

Christopher Calvert was born c 1611 and lived near Northampton, England. Around 1620 England decided to colonize the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Obedience Robins of Northamptonshire, England and Edmond Scarborough of Lincolnshire, England were appointed Commissioners of Accomack Co, VA. During the next thirty years, Obedience Robins made numerous trips back to Northamptonshire and recruited families to pack their bags and move to the promised land. He personally recruited over 300 families along with many individuals including Christopher Calvert and my 8th GG John Pannell/Panewell/Pinnell.

Christopher was transported to Accomack Co, VA in 1636 by William Bibby/Beebe.  John Pannell was transported to Accomack Co in 1641 by Capt. Thomas Harris aboard the Honour.

The Family Tree DNA SNP Map shows that there are only a few locations where the R-Z16502 haplogroup is now prevalent:  Northamptonshire, England and Accomack Co, VA are two of those locations.

I believe another location would be Ada, OK if the Chickasaw Nations required genetic testing to become a member.  Unfortunately, they don't.  And, so far, no known male descendant of James Colbert of the Chickasaws has come forward to test for either the y-DNA test or haplogroup.

If a male Colbert descendant of James Colbert comes forward, I would be willing to pay for his genetic testing.
WikiTree profile: James Colbert
in Genealogy Help by
I don't know much about genealogy and even less about DNA. Does the male descendant have to be through all male lines?

There are many male Colbert descendants of James Logan Colbert who are members or tribal descendants of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama.  I am not a patrilineal descendant of the Colberts, although many are.  My Great Grandmother was Hettie Colbert, her father William David Colbert II and her grandfather William David Colbert I.  I also am a Colbert descendant through Polly Colbert who married into the Moniac/Manac family.  My Colberts trace back to the Chickasaw Colberts of northwest Alabama, where Colbert County exists today.  My father was non-native and my paternal haplotype is I-B253.  My native identity is from my mother and her ancestors.  My maternal haplotype is B2.  If you can, email me at kenshivers84@gmail.com.

I am working with a male descendant of James Logan Colbert and he is open to Y DNA testing, although cannot afford it. If your offer still stands to assist with the Y DNA testing, please reach out to me and I will put you in contact. Thank you.

1 Answer

+1 vote
In order to be a direct-line male descendant of, say, James Logan Colbert of the Chickasaw Nations; or Christopher Calvert of Northamptonshire, England and Accomack Co, VA; or William Calvert Colvard of Chesterfield Co, VA, you must have the same y-DNA and haplogroup.

The same is true of every direct-line male regardless if he's a Smith or a Jones or a Wasolinko.

Direct-line male y-DNA descends from father to son to grandson to greatgrandfather, to great-greatgrandfather, etc.

With the exception of mutations between the genes, which occurs approximately every 200 years for some genes and thousands of years for other genes, the y-DNA should be the same.

by Richard Colbert G2G1 (1.5k points)
Richard, I encourage you to update James ' profile with your findings. Please include any sources you published in your article. Thanks so much.

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