The World Families Network Terrell Surname Project
by Conrad W. Terrill, 8 Feb. 2010
This article is in serious need of updating and we hope to update it soon. The FTDNA Terrell Surname Project is, since May of 2018, no longer hosted by World Families Network. At that time, not up to the Herculean task of bringing 1500 surname projects up to the new data privacy standards, World Families called it quits, and the Terrell surname project reverted to FTDNA hosting. DOR will try to bring this article up-to-date as soon as possible.
This occasionally updated article summarizes all the results posted to-date at the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Terrell Surname Project. The objective of the Terrell Surname Project is to sort out worldwide Terrells, to determine which are descended from which common ancestors, and to give those Terrells who do not well know their paternal line a means of tracing it back further, by connecting with those who do. DOR-Terrill utilizes the Terrell Surname Project to discover new descendants of Roger1, who are thereupon invited to join our Modal Roger1 group.
In the past week or so there has been a change in the administration of the Terrell Surname Project. I have volunteered. World Families Network, a Barton family organization, has up to now been administering this project along with many many other FTDNA surname projects. World Families nurtures FTDNA surname projects until someone comes along who is willing to take over, and then supports that new administrator to whatever degree is necessary. I plan to handle all the day-to-day operation, and to add an analytical perspective, something that World Families cannot afford to provide to each and every surname project under its care. World Families will be backing me up as long as I need them. If you happen to notice that what you read below is not quite in accord with what's on the Terrell Surname Project chart, the most likely reason is that I have made changes there since this article was published.
Take a look at the Terrell Surname Project
You'll notice a menu bar across the top which you can use to navigate to the different pages of the project. The most important, right now, are y-Results and Patriarchs. Click on the y-Results tab to see a color-coded chart of the yDNA test results for all the "Terrells" who have joined the project so far. And notice how easily the color-coded results can be grouped into "lineages." (You might want to click on "Open in new window" at the top left corner of the chart so that you can see more at one time.) Right now the color reference is the R1b haplotype. This is good for all the R1b's (16 of the 19 members), but not so good for I1, I2b1 and E1b1a members. It is just because the R1b's are so prevalent in most surname projects that R1b is used as the reference. Other haplogroups are given a uniform color, with mutations in a contrasting color. Since there is only one member in each of the three other haplogroups in this project right now, there are no mutations.
It's certainly easy to pick out all the descendants of our Roger (Haplogroup R1b - Llineage II). This group is discussed in detail in our article Modal Roger1, so we won't discuss it any further here. The only other defined lineage on the chart is Haplogroup R1b - Lineage I, with three members. If you check the Patriarchs page you'll find that member 65244 is a descendant of a Joseph Terrell (born between 1760 and 1770 in North Carolina) who married an Anna Hewitt. The two well-tested members of this group are separated by a genetic distance of 3 (for 67 markers), so their most recent common ancestor (MRCA) might well have been an ancestor of this Joseph. Members 132849 and 170409 have not yet posted patriarch information. You might have noticed that three of the members grouped under Haplogroup R1b - Not yet assigned to a Lineage appear to belong to this lineage. However, it has been World Families Network policy not to assign 12-marker results to a lineage, since they consider 12-marker results not very reliable for genealogical purposes. It's true that they are not, but it's also rather likely that these three members would fall into R1b lineage I if they upgraded to 25 or more markers. I'll be sticking to World Families policy on this issue, for the time being. This is also why N24647 (DOR member Bill Terrill), who should certainly be in R1b lineage II (since he's my 4th cousin), will have to remain in the unassigned group, for the time being (Sorry, Bill).
If we remove those four members from consideration, that leaves four others in the R1b unassigned group, none of whom look closely related. But we do have patriarch information on three of them: Member 100776 (T-10, 67 markers) is believed to be descended from William Tirrell/Therrell of Massachusetts Colony, who married Rebecca Simpkins in Boston, 29 Jan. 1654/55. We're waiting for more descendants of this William to get yDNA tested so that we can define this lineage. Likewise for member 60055 (12 markers), who is believed to be descended from a James Tirrell, born before 1810 in Ireland. Member 114093 is BH Terrell, whose patriarch information is related to that submitted by member 110356 concerning the Terrell who adopted his father (more below).
Member 110356 is a relatively new Terrell line (in the era of surnames). His grandfather, a McPherson, was killed in a hunting accident when his father was seven years old. His father was soon adopted by a William Rivey Terrell, whom 110356 believes was descended from Robert Terrell b. 1594 in Berkshire, England, who married Jane Baldwin. This is interesting because Robert and Jane are the progenitors of a very large number of Southern U.S. Terrells. Member 114093, who has tested to 12 markers, is 110356's cousin, but 114093 is believed to be descended from Robert and Jane. So we may have Robert Terrell's YDNA to 12 markers. We're patiently waiting for more descendants of Robert and Jane to get tested, to verify and extend these results.