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the Appleby one-name study and DNA project

the Appleby one-name study and DNA project

Surnames covered in our DNA project:



plus any other variants


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The current banner shows Alnwick Castle, in Northumberland - a county in the far north east of England, bordering Scotland.  This region is home to a number of Appleby lines - and our DNA project has confirmed genetic connections between several of these, which also match lines in Canada, USA and Ireland.

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(Meanwhile, I suggest you switch to a PC!)

Cousins twice over

My interest in family history began many years ago when I set out to determine whether my wife and I were cousins.  My mother’s maiden name was Appleby (she was descended from John Appleby of Kelloe) and that was my wife’s maiden name (she is descended from John Appleby exciseman of Corbridge).  Despite my best efforts, to date I have no documentary proof that the two lines have a common ancestor.  However, this summer Sue Mastel, coordinator of the Appleby DNA project, was contacted by a lady in France whose father was William Appleby.  A little research by Sue and I showed that William was my 3rd cousin and we shared a common ancestor in another William Appleby, my great great grandfather on my mother’s paternal line.


I was happy to correspond with Yvette and her father took a DNA test.  The result of that test showed 35 of 37 markers the same as a test previously taken by my wife’s 3rd cousin in the United States.  So, finally, some concrete proof that the two lines do have a common ancestor, likely within 20 generations.


I promised to do some more research on Yvette’s grandmother’s line – Skelton.  Isabella May Skelton (1893 – 1932) was one of 5 children born to John George Skelton (1849-1917) and Isabella Patterson.  John George Skelton was the second of three children born to Thomas Skelton (1821-1900) and Susannah Dunn.  Thomas and Susannah’s youngest child was a daughter, Ann Dunn Skelton (1852 – 1936) and she married a coal miner, later a Deputy, named John Forster.  Their first child, Elizabeth Ann, lived with her grandparents and for a while I thought Ann Dunn Skelton had died but after some digging found she and John living elsewhere with 4 other (living) children, the youngest of whom was named John Thomas Forster.


In 1903 John Thomas Forster married Isabella Middlemas, my 1st cousin, 3 times removed on my mother’s maternal line.  The common ancestor is Johm Middlemas (1813-1891) my great, great, great grandfather.


So this happy contact through Appleby DNA has also shown Yvette and I are connected through both her father’s and her mother’s line to my mother’s line.  My Family Tree Maker relationship finder tells me that Yvette is 1st cousin, 3 times removed of my grandmother and 1st cousin 3 times removed of my grandfather.


Joseph Forsyth



Note:  We are still searching for the connection between the John of Kelloe line and the John of Corbridge line ... but knowing they  do share a common ancestor makes us even more determined to find out who that common ancestor was!


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