The Brimberry Family DNA Project

The BRIMBERRY DNA Project was established to create a databank of DNA profiles of Brimberry males and their lineage from Christiern Brunberg (1684-1752) and Maria Peterson (1699-1750). For additional information about Y-DNA and mtDNA testing, see DNA test.


Y-DNA Model

Briefly, Y-DNA is passed down through an unbroken male lineage from father to son and changes very slowly over many generations. mtDNA, on the other hand, is passed down through the generations from mother to daughter and changes even more slowly over time. Sons also receive their mother's mtDNA; however, they cannot pass it down. Daughters though do not receive their father's Y-DNA.

Recognizing the immense value of DNA testing as a genealogical research tool, Marion E. Brimberry and this writer, Jerry L. Brimberry, initiated the Brimberry project two years ago. As expected, our Y-DNA matched although genealogical research shows our most common recent ancestor (MCRA) was Matthias Brymberry (1736-c1810), who wed Mary Anderson at Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church in Wilmington, Delaware in 1766.

Since then, we have confirmed two so-called adoption lines, i.e., Brimberry males who are not genetically descended from Matthias Brymberry but are instead descended from step-sons who were conferred the Brimberry surname more than 150 years ago by their adoptive Brimberry step-fathers.

We have also discovered several distant genetic cousins with whom we probably share a common direct male ancestor of Viking descent who lived between 1400-1600, possibly in the vicinity of Lübeck, Germany near the border of Denmark and only a short ferry ride across the Baltic Sea to the southern tip of Sweden. The coastal regions of modern Denmark, Sweden, Norway and northern Germany were all once inhabited by seafaring peoples we now call "Vikings", which means "sand people" or the people who live along the shores of the sea.

Suffice that results for Y-DNA project participants show that the ancestors of our most common direct male ancestor (MCRA) belonged to the Old Norse or Viking Y-DNA haplogroup I1a concentrated in northern Germany and Scandinavia. Likewise, mtDNA results for two female mtDNA participants (one descended from John Brimberry and Agness Beethe who wed in Bourbon County, Kentucky in 1796; the other descended from Isaac Brimberry and Mary Beethe who wed in Bourbon Co. in 1797) show that the ancestral roots of their most common direct female ancestress, Sarah Beethe (wife of Indian captive James Beethe and the mother of sisters Agness and Mary Beethe) were in modern Germany.

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