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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.

PLEASE NOTE: if you are viewing this site on an Apple device running IOS 13, you may experience problems with page layout, over-lapping text, etc.  Hopefully, Apple will resolve these issues very soon,

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

Newsletter - February 2011

Our website has a growing Resource section – please take a look to see what’s new and do let me know what sort of data you find most helpful.


Progress in our y-DNA test program

I am pleased to report that we have recently recruited two more volunteers for our yDNA test programme – one representative from the family line of Thomas and Frances Appleby of Embleton, Northumberland  and one from the family line of John Appleby, trimming maker, of London.  I am awaiting their results with great interest.  (The London line is a very large one, so it would be very useful to have at least one more volunteer from this line, but if you are thinking of volunteering, please check with me, to make sure you are from a different branch from the existing volunteer)


But more volunteers are needed – especially from lines originating in Essex, London and County Durham!  So if you are male, your surname is Appleby/Applebee and you would be prepared to join our test program – contact me as soon as possible to get hold of one of the last remaining 37-marker yDNA test kits at our special bargain price!


Remember – all the test involves is rubbing the special swab inside your cheek – no pain, no needles, no blood is involved and the results could help your own family history research as well as move our project forward.  And as a bonus, you get to discover more about your own ‘deep ancestry’:  where your ancient ancestors came from hundreds of thousands of years ago and what route they would have taken in their journey from the ‘cradle of civilisation’ in Africa before arriving in England.  Were they Vikings from Denmark or Norway?  Did they arrive with the Roman soldiers?  Or were they amongst the ‘western Atlantic’ tribes that sat out the Ice Ages in south western Europe?


And if you happen to be one of our members whose ancestors emigrated to the New World – a DNA test could help you discover where those ancestors lived back in the United Kingdom!

Just email with any queries.

Latest updates to the website

Two more trees have been added to the site since the December Newsletter:

  • George Appleby and Elizabeth Nice/Nurse from Ardleigh, Essex – as far as we can tell, all descendants of this line now live in Australia – but perhaps someone will come forward with information about descendants from the branch that remained in Essex?

  • Thomas and Frances Appleby of Embleton, Northumberland – Thomas was born in Long Framlington and in the 1841 census he was a miller, later becoming involved in stone quarrying.  It is possible that this line is linked to the Acklington Applebys, we could do with a DNA volunteer from the Acklington line to find out!

Plus – there are lots more Wills and lots more parish records (especially for Northern Counties) - see below for details

Appleby Wills

I have spent quite a long time in the past few weeks expanding the Appleby Wills and Administrations section of the Members’ Resources, and have now merged the two files previously labelled ‘Master Wills Index’ and ‘Probate Index’ so that there is now a single index to over 1,500 Appleby Wills and Administrations available on this site.  The Index can help you to locate the actual wills, which can provide lots of extremely useful information about our ancestors.   I have also checked the entries on the GRO Death Index for all those individuals who died after 1866 (when the age at death began to be included on the Death Index) through to 1899 and will carry on doing this for the remaining Probate Calendar entries, updating the Master Index regularly.  Now that the approximate year of birth is also shown on the Index for this block of people, it is much easier to work out exactly who they were.


A small selection of some of the entries, taken from the Master Wills Index, is attached, to give you an idea of the type of information contained in the entries.


The full Wills Index now covers the period from 1323 to 1941, and is sorted in chronological order of year of Probate.  Although I still have quite a bit more transcription work to do on the later entries of the Probate Calendar, I now need YOUR HELP!!


Reading the descriptions of the individuals, their occupations and where they live, it is obvious that many of the Wills listed in the new Master Index belong to people who appear in some of the Appleby Family Trees on our website.  But it would be far easier for each of you to find the entries for your own ancestors from your own Appleby Family Tree than for me to try to spot them amongst the hundreds of people in the index.  So I should be very grateful if each of you could let me know which of the entries belong to members of YOUR family tree. [NB  The Index runs to 57 pages, so I don’t recommend that you try to print it out!  Instead, if you scroll down through the pages, looking in the 3rd column for the county where most of your ancestors lived, and then jot down a list of names and year of probate for those people you can positively identify as belonging to your own line, I will add the details of the line in the final column.] If any of you have copies of any Appleby wills that you could send me, I will maintain a file of them, add transcripts/summaries to the website when available, and also add a note to the index saying ‘will held’ and hopefully we can share this information with others interested in your line.  It will take a little longer to update all the family trees with the year of death and any additional information which becomes available through the wills themselves!


As I mention Wills page, the release of the index to wills featuring in the North East Inheritance Project is very exciting.  As soon as the images of the actual wills themselves become available on the family search website, I will let you all know.

I keep updating these as new information becomes available, so do keep checking back.  I will also shortly start collecting census data for other regions of England and Wales where Applebys seem to be concentrated.


In particular – Find My Past has recently uploaded lots of parish records which cover Northumberland, so the Northern Counties BMD sheets are greatly expanded.  We now have a total of

• 1080 Appleby baptisms

• 657 Appleby marriages

• 724 Appleby burials

in Durham and Northumberland.  So, if YOUR Appleby line spent time in Northumberland, please see if you can find members of your family tree amongst these baptisms, marriages and burials – we could need to expand some of these trees considerably!

Northern Families and Essex families - Census and BMD spreadsheets

and finally ... Who Do You Think You Are?

Unfortunately, due to family commitments, I am unable to attend this year’s ‘Who do you think you are?’ Exhibition at Olympia in London – but if any of you are in London over the weekend of 25 -27th Feb, I can thoroughly recommend a day spent there.  Book your ticket now, because it is generally a total sell-out!  And make sure you attend some of the excellent workshops run by the Society of Genealogists, where you can learn more about all aspects of Family History.  And Family Tree DNA run continuous seminars on different aspects of DNA testing which are fascinating.


Details are at but hunt around for offers on ticket prices – you can usually find special prices on the main family history sites.

Sue Mastel

administrator @



LINKS:  Members' Resource Index

               Updated Master Wills Index