YDNA Roger
A yDNA Terry-Terrill Connection — part 2

by Conrad W. Terrill, DOR-Terrill, 24 July 2011

Additions & Corrections

Nearly two months ago, at the end of part 1 of this story, we mentioned that we had been pointed to three grandsons of James Ellison Terry, the youngest son of William E. Terry, and hoped to persuade one of them to get yDNA-tested in order to help prove that Darryl Lee Terry was a great-great-great-grandson of this William E. Terry. George Ellison Terry, one of the three, answered the call for help. His yDNA test results have just recently come in, and he is, as expected, a close match to Modal Roger1, thus confirming the connection for Darryl. (Note that although there are many Terrys in the FTDNA Terry Surname Project, Darryl (T-8) and George are close matches to none of them. They are close matches only to us Terrills.) George happens to know that William E. Terry's middle name was Edward, but he knows nothing more of William Edward Terry's ancestry than we ourselves already knew, and all we knew is that he was born about 1818 in South Carolina. George has heard, however, that the mother of William E.'s first two sons was not the mother of the rest of his children.

George's yDNA test results tell us that William E. Terry was a closer match to Modal Roger1 than we had thought, based on Darryl's results alone. In fact, William E.'s yDNA differed from Roger's at only one marker (not counting the unreliable CDYs), to 37 markers. We think William E.'s yDNA had a value of 28 at marker DYS 449, as opposed to a value of 29 for Roger. Thus there have been two mutations in Darryl's paternal line since William E., at markers DYS 460 and 570, and there has been one more mutation in George's paternal line at marker 449, which makes George the first of us to differ from Modal Roger1 by two at any one marker. Considering the closeness of William E.'s yDNA to Roger's, and the fact that a period of about 200 years separated their births, it's beginning to appear that William E. was a descendant of Roger, but this is not a certainty.

So we believe (see part 1) that the William E. Terry family was living in South Carolina from before 1838 (son John W.'s birth) to sometime after 1841, and moved from there to Georgia before 1849. And we know that William E.'s second wife, Rebecca A. (___), was born in North Carolina about 1822. Before 1850, U.S. Census records listed only the heads of families by name, while individual family members were enumerated in various age categories; so we can learn only so much from such records. There was a William E. Terry family in SC in 1840, with a female of age 15 to 19 and a male under 5 years old, but William himself was between 30 and 39 according to this record. It could be that his recorded age is erroneous and that this was our William E. (age 22) with his first wife and their son John W. (age 2). This William E. Terry family lived in Chesterfield County, SC. There were no other acceptable William Terrys in South Carolina listed in the 1840 census; however, it could be that our William E. Terry was not the head of the household in which he was then living. The head may have been his father, his mother, an elder brother, or someone else. This William E. Terry family was not in Chesterfield County in 1850.

Nancy Tyrrel Theodore has pointed out that, assuming the William E. Terry of Chesterfield County in 1840 is ours, and assuming he was in the same county ten years earlier and about 12 years old then, there is only one possibility in the 1830 census records
: There was a male 10 to 14 years old in the William Terry household. William (Sr.) was 40 to 49, and there were two other males under 5 and a female 20 to 29. This William Terry was apparently not in Chesterfield County in 1840, but we think he may have been a William Terrell who was living there in 1820 (one male of age 26 to 44 engaged in agriculture, two males under 10, and one female 16 to 25). And he was probably a William Terry who was there in 1810 (one male 16 to 25 and one female 16 to 25). There were no Terrys listed in Chesterfield County in 1800, but there was a William Tear, of age 45 or older, and his family, along with two Terral families. And we should mention that there were Terrells, Terrills and Therrells in that county in 1820, 1830 and 1840. Chesterfield County was formed in 1785, but before 1800 it was still part of the larger Cheraws District. In 1790 there were no Terrys in Cheraws District, but the William Teer family was there, along with two Terrall families and two Thirrell familes, all in St Thomas township (the only other township in the district was called St Phillips and St Michaels). We should mention also, since William E. named his youngest son James Ellison Terry, that there were three Ellison families in St. Thomas township in 1790, and one in Chesterfield County in 1820. Perhaps Rebecca A.'s maiden name was Ellison.

Assuming that the "William Terrys" of 1810, 1820 and 1830 were the same person, we can deduce that he was born between 1785 and 1790. It's possible that he was a son of William Teer/Tear, who in 1790 had two males in his household under 16, and who in 1800 had two males of age 10 to 15 and two of age 16 to 25. There were no Teers (or the like) of Chesterfield County listed in the 1810 through 1840 census records. William Teer was 16 or older (considerably older, actually) in 1790, and 45 or older (with a wife 45 or older) in 1800, so he was before before 1756.

The Chesterfield County courthouse was burned to the ground by General William Tecumseh Sherman's Civil War Union forces in March of 1865. A number of early Cheraws District and Chesterfield County wills and other records are nevertheless still extant and have been collected and transcribed over the years by historians. James C. Pigg's summary of these unfortunately includes none for Terrys or Terrells. 1 It is seeming to be very hard to find records which could serve to help us establish that William E. Terry of Chesterfield County, SC, in 1840 was our William E. Terry of Cass County, GA, in 1850. However, DOR-Terrill plans to continue to try. It may again require a yDNA test. We're hoping now to find a descendant of William Terry born circa 1785-1790 who is not also descended from our William E. Terry born circa 1818, and who is willing to get yDNA-tested. It would be interesting enough to know if the yDNA of any descendants of any Terrys (or Terrells or Teers) of early 19th or late 18th century Chesterfield County closely matches Modal Roger1. Contact me at cwterrill@comcast.net if you can help in any way and would like to know more.


1. Cheraw/ Chesterfield District Wills, 1750-1865, & Abstracts from the Court of Common Pleas 1823-1869, by James C. Pigg, 2000.