Captain Thomas Pitman Y-DNA Study

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: After 1600 [unknown]
Location: Virginiamap
Surnames/tags: Pitman Pittman Wall
Profile manager: Jef Treece private message [send private message]
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This profile is part of the Pitman Name Study.


Captain Thomas Pitman Study

This page is a focal point for DNA research of Captain Thomas Pitman of Colonial Virginia (CTP). The DNA study augments the genealogical research, using primarily Y-DNA to demonstrate biological connections of suspected patrilineal descendants of Captain Thomas Pittman (CTP) and others who match the DNA but have not yet established a connecting pedigree.

Executive summary as of 17 Mar 2023. The study connects a large number of Walls and Pittmans back to a common ancestor who likely lived in Colonial America circa 1600-1650AD. The ancestral surname is presumed to be one of these two. All testers, regardless of surname, are welcome in the study, both helping the project results and adding to individual ancestry. There are currently 110 testers with Big-Y results, plus additional results, including Y-37 and autosomal DNA tests. The project is actively seeking new testers, both from European roots and from within existing discovered branches to discover new relationships and improve the time estimates. There are on average 4.52 DNA markers per tester that we are using to determine branches, and new testers tend to discover additional branches. The resulting chart is published with a Creative Commons license so that all genealogists and researchers are free to use the results. DNA results are viewable at the Pittman DNA Project and Wall DNA Project at Family Tree DNA. Visit the projects at Wall Project URL and Pittman Project URL. Everyone is welcome to add to this wikitree page.

A patrilineal Y-DNA connection means a male and his biological father, repeating back any number of generations to a common ancestor. Only males have Y-DNA, it's passed strictly from father to son, and a matching Y-DNA result means that the two testers share a common ancestor who lies on this patrilineal line. Since the beginning of surnames, with families typically adopting the father's surname, it's very common for the Y-DNA to align with the surname and its variant spellings. Other surnames can get mixed in, with events such as adoptions, orphans, cuckoldry, and unwed mothers.

The primary source for Y-DNA results as of 27 Oct 2021, more than 150 matching males, is the Pittman DNA Project at Family Tree DNA about the DNA project (external link). Combining the genealogical research and the DNA results implicates CTP at or near the top of the tree; however, it must be stated that there is currently no firm proof that he himself is the most-recent-common-ancestor (MRCA).

Another source of DNA for the project is known descendants of this male lineage. The project welcomes related Family Finder, AncestryDNA and other testers. Though autosomal DNA matches do not generally reach back enough generations to confirm tree branches, these results are useful for more recent confirmation and DNA segment identification. Such testers need not be male, but since they don't have a matching Y-DNA result, they do not show up on the project's DNA matches page.

Who's this guy CTP?

Captain Thomas Pitman showed up in Colonial Virginia around 1649. His origin is thought to be Monmouthshire. Nobody has made a definitive link to his ancestry.

Over the years, a great deal of genealogical research pointed in the direction of Captain Thomas Pitman, and when DNA results started becoming available, it seemed he was at the nexus. CTP is just a guy, but he has become a convenient place to "hang our hat" and is the prime suspect for an early immigrant who had our DNA. Was he the Colonial progenitor of the DNA observations we see? How did he come by the title "Captain"? From where in England did he originate? Was he biologically related to his son by marriage, Joseph Wall? Was his ancestral surname Pitman or something else? These, and more, are questions we hope to answer some day.

There were multiple Pittman/Pitman families in early Virginia and other early colonies, and with similar names and scarce records, it is difficult or impossible to determine the lines of descendancy. Y-DNA helps with this problem.

Please note that the CTP grouping is one of many Y-DNA types in the Pittman DNA project, and those Pittmans who do not match the CTP clade may match some other Pittman line.

A goal of the project is to connect CTP to Europe. To this end, researchers on wikitree can document the germane records and research notes. The project also seeks and offers to subsidize testing for Pittmans in Europe. See the project for more details. Please help the project connect with testing candidates.

Wall or Pittman?

There are many Walls in this clade, and there are many Pittmans as well. In short, we don't know the ancestral surname for certain. If we assume there is a single Wall branch (consistent with the data), current time-to-most-recent-common-ancestor (TMRCA) estimates are similar to the overall clade. This can't be taken as conclusive evidence that either the Wall or Pittman branch happened more recently. TMRCA estimates can be thrown off by skew in testers and/or population growth rates. We continue to gather evidence that will hopefully take this branch back further in time, beyond a possible Colonial America immigrant.

Related work

See also:

General page, not specific to DNA: Pitman Name Study
Related facebook page
Y DNA results


Y-DNA is passed patrilineally, from father to son. Typically, this is tested at Family Tree DNA. Y-37, Y-67, Y-111, and Big-Y are examples of Y-DNA test results.

Autosomal DNA is passed from all biological parents to their children. Examples: AncestryDNA, Family Finder, 23andMe, MyHeritage.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed from mother to child. This is used in few instances in the study, due to sparse results and not having the precise research questions in our study that mtDNA can help answer.

We utilize all types to study CTP. Y-DNA forms the backbone for the project, as there only one inheritance path - from father to son.

Help - your DNA!

The purpose of the study is to learn everything there is to know about this clade of Pittman, Wall, and other descendants, including how precisely is CTP himself related and where he came from, how the Wall surname is related to the Pittman surname in this clade, and how all of the branches within the clade related to each other.

To that end, your DNA might help. If you are a male Pittman or Wall, or you otherwise think you're part of this clade, and no close relative is already a participant, we'd like you to consider joining. Your DNA may unlock new information. This need definitely includes non-USA participants. If your ancestry is in England or some other country, all the better!

The project typically pays for or subsidizes new tests where the lineage is provided and is not currently represented in the project. Contact the project administrators for more information.

Even if your result does not end up matching this clade, you will have learned something about your ancestry through the Y DNA matching results.

You can jump in any time by joining the appropriate project at Family Tree DNA (Wall or Pittman, as appropriate). If you are a male and don't know where your Y DNA would fit, an easy first step is get a Y37 test and join the project. The project admins can help you with more specific advice. Feel free also to contact Jef Treece for more info.


Y-DNA testing, especially Big-Y, provides a means of determining branches and estimating when those branches were formed. Males who have tested SNPs will test positive for FGC48870 if they are part of this clade (biological patrilineal descendants of the common ancestor here). Briefly, this works by comparing individuals and seeing which SNPs they share and which ones they don't share. The counts of these SNPs form the basis for a TMRCA estimate, and the shared SNPs constrain the shape of the branch tree.

The haplogroup of all matching testers in the CTP study so far is FT82227. It is downstream of U106: R1b>U106>Z381>Z156>Z306>Z304>DF98>FGC51008>FGC48870>FT82227. FT82227 is actually a large block of equivalent SNPs, including Z4303.

Previously the top block was FGC48870, but as of 24 Feb 2022, a new tester arrived, outside of the CTP clade, who matches FGC48870 but not many of the other SNPs, breaking up the FGC48870 block. The new toplevel name for CTP is FT82227.

More information about selected SNP markers and branches:

Name years ago other
R1b, M343 20,000 M343 path
R-M269 13,000 M269
U106 4,800 U106 geni:U106
Z2265 4,700 Z2265
BY30097 BY30097
Z381 4,600 Z381 geni:Z381
Z156 4,500 Z156 Block 1322 geni:Z156
Z306 Z306
Z307 Z307
Z304 4,400 Z304 Block 1321
DF98 4,100 DF98 Kings Cluster PDF
FGC51008 3,100 FGC51008 Block 4333
A13622, FGC48881 3,100 A13622 Block 4336 Genetic Homeland
FGC48870, A13620, ... * FGC48870 Block 4337 Genetic Homeland, FTDNA tree
FT82227, Z4303, A13610, ... ** Genetic Homeland, FTDNA tree

(*) the block above the CTP clade has roughly five indistinguishable age SNPs, likely representing a timespan of several hundred years prior to the FT82227 block.

(**) the block above the CTP clade has roughly thirty-five indistinguishable age SNPs, likely representing about 3,000 years. The start of the CTP clade is estimated to be ~400 years before present (i.e. circa early Colonial America).

As of 30 Oct 2021, most of the testers (positive for FGC48870) in the project have a Pitman/Pittman surname. There is a very significant group of testers with a Wall/Walls surname, and there are some others among the test results that are neither Pittman nor Wall.

See also this page, based on FTDNA's SNP tree: FT82227 block

Clade chart of CTP Big-Y testers v1.57
Image:Captain Thomas Pitman Y-DNA Study.pdf
Clade chart of CTP Big-Y testers v1.69

You can download the latest version (1.74 as of 24 Feb 2023) of the above chart in high-resolution from either the Pittman DNA Project referenced on this page or from one of these links:

view PDF in dropbox
download PDF
download an image

FTT68, FTT69, FTT70, FTT71 SNPs

As of 22 Feb 2022, some new SNPs showed up in the results. The names begin with FTT. These SNPs are from "Telomere to Telomere" consortium, which gains results from tests such as Big-Y by sequencing the Y chromosome in total and using that result as the genome reference, rather than hg38.

This page has additional information about this effort: ISOGG external link

Around the same time, the FGC48870 block got broken up a bit, so FGC48870 is no longer the name of the block immediately above the CTP clade. The SNP that FTDNA is now using as the name of this block is FT82227. This does not alter anything known about CTP genealogy, as the FT82227 SNP was, like FGC48870 on this line, formed well before any genealogical timeframe.

Based on what is currently known about the genealogy of the testers, FTT68 is a SNP near the top of the current tree, at about the same level as BY57632, with FTT69 below FTT68, likely below the FTY550=8 level (refer to the branch chart linked earlier on this page). FTT70 is another high level SNP. Evidence says that these SNPs are under a Wall ancestor.

FTT71 is a SNP near FTA58795, occuring in a Pittman ancestor.

FTDNA reports that these SNPs were checked for a subset of the roughly one-hundred-ten (as of 10 Sep 2022) Big-Y testers. These SNPs and the age estimates will be further refined with additional testers.


As a "quick test" for some male who is thought to be in this clade is to test a parent SNP at yseq, e.g. FGC48870. If you are part of this clade and you test at yseq, please let the project administrators of the Family Tree DNA Pittman project Pittman DNA Project (external link) know, and join group 310 at yseq (R1b-U106-DF98-Z4303). Otherwise, nobody may be able to notice or look at your results.

If you have results at 23andMe, and you think you are a Y-DNA descendant in this line, check your predicted haplogroup. In recent 23andMe results, it should show as DF98. If this is true, you may wish to consider a Big-Y test. Check with the Pittman Project Administrators.

The best way at present to participate in the study is FTDNA's Big-Y test (see Big Y-700). This way, you find all of the relevant SNPs, including new ones unique to the tester's own branch and counts that help refine the TMRCA estimates. This test is always useful to the project results, but it may not be necessary if the tester already has a reasonably close relative who has tested and is in the project.

Any "next-gen sequencing" test can be used for this study, if the results include the Y chromosome. This includes full-genome sequencing and Y-specific testing products, even if the testing was done for some other purpose. Some processing of the results may be necessary, which the project admins can help with. If you have results anyplace other than FTDNA, please let the Pittman Project admins know so they can help try to get your results included in the study, if technically feasible.

Contact the group admins at the project if you need advice on whether or not to test.

Kit numbers and lineages

DNA testers are assigned kit numbers associated with the Y-DNA supplied. On the project page at FTDNA, go to the "results" page to see what is known about the Pittman lineages for the kit numbers in the project.

Note that the DNA project generally does not vouch for the lineages. They are generally supplied by the participants of the project. The project can analyze the DNA results and determine whether or not there is a match and generally where the person belongs on the SNP tree, but the genealogy involved still requires proper research and citations.

Pittman lineages

There are presently (5 Feb 2022) two highest-level branches for Pittmans: BY57632 and A11777. To date, no Pittman has been found via Big-Y testing not on one of these two branches. No current Wall tester has been found on either of these two branches.

Wall lineages

There are Wall and other surnames still at the top level, a sub-branch of FGC48870. It is currently presumed that these people are descendants of a theoretical Wall ancestor. Additional test results will shed light on this half of the tree, but it should be noted that no common top-level branch has been found among the current testers.

Improve and reference this page

Feel free to edit this space and add additional information related to the Captain Thomas Pitman DNA study.

Please link to this page from relevant wikitree profiles. For example, if you have a Research Notes section on the page, mention [[space:Captain Thomas Pitman Y-DNA Study|CTP DNA Study]] in that section (see how it's coded here as an example and copy it to your page as appropriate).

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