11 November 2011

Terry Sackett's DNA test brings new discovery

DNA test results for Association member Terry Sackett have led to a significant discovery for descendants of the Vermont and New Haven lines.

We have been searching for some time for a Sackett descendant with a well-documented ancestry back to John Sackett of New Haven. Terry fitted the bill ideally as his ancestral line has good documentary evidence for each link back to John.

We had hoped that Terry's results would match those of descendants of Simon Sackett the colonist, thus proving a genetic link between Simon and John. This would have supported the family tradition quoted by Weygant in The Sacketts of America that John's father, also John, was Simon's brother. It would also have supported the theory that all Sacketts are related, originating in a single family in Thanet, Kent.

Terry's DNA does not match that of Simon's line. Instead, and rather surprisingly, it matches with several descendants of Joseph Sackett of Vermont. This means that Joseph of Vermont and all his descendants are in the line of John of New Haven. In the absence of other early immigrants, it is a reasonable conclusion that Joseph of Vermont (who is found there in the 1790 census)  was a great-grandson of John of New Haven.

This latest test result also makes it likely that Simon the colonist and John of New Haven were not related, despite the family tradition. Test results are not yet conclusive on this as John's DNA has not been determined. The common ancestor between Terry and the Vermont descendants is not John himself but is assumed to be John's grandson Joseph, now believed to be the father of Joseph of Vermont.

More DNA tests will be needed. In particular, we now need male descendants, with the Sackett name, of one of John of New Haven's  sons other than Lieutenant Joseph Sackett.

More explanation and charts are on the website at DNA project

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