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Fortune Name Study

Privacy Level: Open (White)

Location: North Americamap
Surnames/tags: Fortune McFortune
This page has been accessed 481 times.


How to Participate

Please contact the Study's coordinator John Fortune or post a comment at the foot of the page. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks!


This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about one surname and the variants of that name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect.

Initially, a lot of research and information will be presented with obvious gaps in citations, and allegations of research that will require additional proof. Please be patient while the contributors build up this page. Even better, please make suggestions and comments and indicate areas that require improvement.

yDNA Groups

yDNA Group Name Group yDNA Haplogroup # of Men Results List see below
Native American yDNA Group AC-p394FTDNA Fortune Projectsee below
D. Fortune Group B R-m2691Ancestry's ydnasee below
Wm. Fortune (NC) Group C R-m2691Ancestry's ydnasee below
Wm. M. Fortune (McFortune) Group D R-m269 R-BY99438 2FTDNA Fortune Projectsee below
Joseph Fortune (Halifax)Group E unk 0 Need testers see below
John Fortune(Ireland > SC)Group F R-m2695 FTDNA Fortune Projectsee below
Francis Walter Fortune (OH)Group GR-m2691FTDNA Fortune Projectsee below
Spartanburg, SC FortunesGroup H unk 0 Need testers see below
Nelson Co, VA FortunesGroup I unk ? Need testers see below
Caroline Co, VA FortunesGroup J unk ? Need testers see below
Louisa Co, VA FortunesGroup K unk ? Need testers see below
Ohio Group #2 FortunesGroup L unk 1 Need testers see below
Clifton Forge, VA FortunesGroup M unk ? Need Testers see below
George Crosby Fortune, ScotlandGroup OR-M269 R-BY164620 1 Need testers see below
John Fortune, Monroe Ward, Richmond, VA 1830Group Punk0Need Testerssee below
Thomas Fortune Richmond, VA 1805Group Runk0Need Testerssee below

Group A

Group A consists of four Fortune males who appear to trace to the Nelson County family of John Fletcher Fortune. The ydna haplogroup is Native American and the men have a common male ancestor. Testers have tested at 37 or 67 markers.

Group B

Group B consists of one Fortune male, deceased, who appears to trace to Nicholas Fortune of TN. The tester had his ydna tested at ancestry before they halted and shutdown their ydna database. Firsthand account from his daughter indicates he didn't match any other ydna Fortunes on ancestry. His results were downloaded before database loss and his daughter might share them if you ask nicely. For various reasons including naming conventions, this family thinks they trace to Nicholas Hamner Fortune from Nelson County, Va. D. Fortune had 46 markers tested.

Group C

Group C consists of one Fortune male. The identity of the individual is unknown. They are believe to have tested at ancestry. Second hand knowledge identifies this person's haplogroup as R-m269, but the detailed STR results haven't been made public. The person traces to William Fortune. Several researchers trace this William Fortune to John Fletcher Fortune.

Group D

Group D consists of two Fortune males, including, John Fortune. The earliest record of the MDKA, William Macklin Fortune, is a military enlistment from 1847, in Richmond, Virginia. There are two male branches of this group, Jeremiah Fortune and his brother John Fortune. John Fortune traces to William Macklin Fortune in documentation, and since they have the same ydna, it is assumed William Macklin Fortune is their father. A direct male descendant of the John Fortune branch has been tested and matches John Fortune. This successful match confirms that Jeremiah and John have the same father, establishing a yDNA haplogroup for William Macklin Fortune . There has been significant analysis of aDNA matches in this group of the descendants of William Macklin Fortune’s children - two brothers and four sisters. Combined, there is a group of approximately 50 dna matches that trace to the children of William Macklin Fortune. His parents are unknown. There are no known siblings of William. At least three DNA Triangulation Groups (TGs) have been identified.

One of the TGs has many aDNA matches that trace back to Halifax Co, Virginia, suggesting a related ancestral branch in or from Halifax, Virginia.

Group D also matches the Walden Ravensworth yDNA haplogroup. BigY dna results from July 2021 places this Fortune yDNA branch in R-m269 and specifically in R-BY99438 which is a group related to the Walden ydna group. Further research required to understand the connection which should be between 1500-1700 but in the British Isles or Colonial Virginia.

Update 14 June 2020 John Fortune has identified four aDNA matches to descendants of James Dyer and Sarah Fortune Dyer, the daughter of Joseph Fortune. Additional research into descendants of Group D has revealed additional DNA matches between Group D aDNA testers and descendants of James Dyer. The Dyer descendants in turn have DNA matches to other Fortune families. At the time of this update, the members of these Fortune families have not been proven to descend from Joseph Fortune or his relatives. The three Fortune families discovered to match Dyers have three different yDNA haplogroups and do not match any of the other Fortune yDNA haplogroups. Further research is required. '’

Please free to contact John Fortune for updates and research details.

Group E

Group E is a hypothetical group with no ydna testers at this time. It is based on Joseph Fortune of Halifax, VA who lived from the 1750s to 1784. He had one son. It is unknown if his son had children. Some descendants of William Macklin Fortune have dna matches to some of Joseph's descendants. Due to extremely weak documentation, and knowledge loss, it is impossible at this time to prove the nature of the dna matches. However, two of the descendants of Joseph Fortune matches a known TG dna block of William Macklin Fortune.

Joseph Fortune had one son, born 1784. At this time, it is not known if he had children. Information on the father’s parents is missing. Conflicting information has suggested he descends from the Caroline Co, VA Fortunes as well as a family from Maine.

Update 14 June 2020 Please refer to update above for Group D. Group D and Group E may be related.

Group F

No updates or information provided here yet. Fairly well document Fortune family that traces back to Ireland.

Group G

Francis Walter Fortune

Group H

Spartanburg Fortunes. Inconsistent research has been discovered that purported links them to Fortunes descended from Fortune-261 as well as Joseph Fortune. Ydna testers are needed, as well as aDNA testers, to clarify and better describe this group.

Group I

Because of the number of different yDNA Fortune lines attributed to John Fletcher Fortune, additional DNA testers are needed to identify the yDNA of his line. He traces to the Fortunes of Caroline Co, Virginia.

Group J

Group K

Group L

Group M

Group O

Group P

John Fortune live in Monroe Ward, Richmond, VA in the 1830 census. He was between 30-40 yrs with four children between the age of 1-15 in his household and one female (possibly the mother), between 30-40 years of age. There were two boys between the age of 1-5.

Group R

Thomas Fortune married Martha Lunsford 02 April 1805 in Richmond, VA. No other information at this time. There are descendants that trace a daughter of this union. Unknown if there were male descendants.

YDNA Analysis

There are several ydna lines that attest to John Fletcher Fortunes. Some research indicates there may have been a few different families. Further research and dna testing is required to better clarify. They can’t all have direct paternal lineage to John Fletcher Fortune.

Autosomal DNA research has confirmed distinct Fortune family groups that trace to Virginia or still live in Virginia. More research and dna testing is required to improve understanding of the multiple families and their relationship to each other.

Triangulation Groups

This is a future placeholder for Triangulation Groups(TGs) by family groups. It will include gedmatch ids, segment information and the gedmatches(individuals) used to define a TG.

Task List

  • Document unique Fortune families in Virginia and surrounding states from the Colonial period to the mid-1900s with citations. There is a specific interest in Fortunes that settled and resided in these locales in the the Commonwealth of Virginia: Caroline County, Hanover County, Essex County, Nelson County, Amherst County, Albemarle County, Pulaski County, Montgomery County, Wythe County, Chesterfield County, Henrico County, City of Richmond (including Town of Manchester), and Halifax County.
  • Create Categories matching Locales to Fortune families and entities.
  • Document ydna lines of Fortune families that trace back to Virginia. Build a matrix or table of unique ydna lines, haplogroups, locations, researchers, and where to find or request access to detailed ydna str information.
  • Find more dna tested ancestors of Joseph Fortune. John Fortune matches several of his ancestors - one specific individual matches the dna block associated with Fortune families descended from William Macklin Fortune.
  • Find siblings or uncles, aunts, and kin of William Macklin Fortune. This also applies to his wife Margaret Bowen.
  • Search Poll Tax records for William Macklin Fortune to determine if he was in someone else's household and their identity.
  • Document the John Fortune who appears in the 1830 US Census, Monroe Ward, City of Richmond, Virginia. He has five other members in the household that could be his wife and children, as well as six free black persons. Where did he come from and is anyone in his household related to William Macklin Fortune. Monroe Ward is about 1.5 miles across the James River from old town Manchester, where William lived.
  • Document Thomas Fortune and Martha Lunsford, married 6 April 1805 City of Richmond, VA.
  • Document unique Fortune entities, with citations, not already documented here at wikitree.
    • document Thomas Fortune indentured servant 1705 Charles City County.
    • document Sarah Fortune (1761-1854 who died in Henry County). Her husband was named William Fortune. Possibly part of the Southern Virginia Fortune family group.
  • Document origin locations in the British Isles.
  • Determine how long McFortune has been used, and where. This variant has been seen in only a few locations in North America (Virginia, South Carolina, Quebec, North Carolina, Indiana). It is also found in Scotland and Ireland.
  • Encourage more Fortune men on both sides of the Atlantic - and around the world - to get ydna tests and share their results. It would be wonderful if some of the Fortune ydna lines could discover matching Fortune ydna haplogroups in the Scotland, Ireland, Wales, or England.

Transcription Errors on Ancestry

Ancestry has loaded a vast amount of data and executed transcription software against it. There are common transcription errors related to the surname Fortune. Known transcription errors are:

  • Fortin, Fortun, Fortune, Forton, Fartune, Tartane, Tortrim, and others.

Searching for transcription variants yields different results when you search ancestry.com's census records.

Spelling Errors in the Census

Some names get mispelled in the census, for example Surrender Lee Fortune has her named spelled 'Sorenda' in the 1870 US Census from Virginia. Citation required to prove example.

Fortune has also permutated into Forchin, which mirrors the pronunciation.

Major Brickwall

  • William Macklin Fortune first appears in records in 1847, Richmond, Virginia when he enlisted in the US Army. His second appearance in records occurs on 27 July 1848 and 28 July 1848, the dates of his marriage, the consecration and the marriage registration with the local county. He then goes on to to appear in many real estate deeds, vital records, US Census of 1850 and 1860. He died in 1869.

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Just a quick hello to everyone. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions. Recommendations and suggestions are more than welcome - John
posted by John Fortune