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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


To view this site properly and access the spreadsheets and family tree charts, you will need Adobe Reader  installed on your computer - use the above link to download the latest FREE version of this application. If viewing on a mobile device, the standard view works best - though some of the images may be rotated, sorry I have not been able to overcome this problem.


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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!)

Willenhall Applebys

When I found several Applebys from Willenhall amongst the Probate records and noticed that they were all locksmiths, I decided to try to reconstruct their family tree.  However, I was astonished at just how many Applebys I discovered living in the immediate area around Willenhall in the censuses!  Most were involved in the lock industry - working as various types of locksmiths, key smiths, padlock makers and so on.


So far, we include four reconstructed Appleby lines from Willenhall (there are still several more to be completed) - I am sure there will be links between these lines, so if there are any Appleby descendants from the Willenhall clan out there who can help me with corrections or extra information please get in touch.  It is very likely that these lines are all connected, and probably descend from Humphrey Appleby of the Lane Head in Willenhall whose sons were born in around 1637 and 1643.


These trees have either been based on trees submitted by Appleby researchers or reconstructed using census information and such online parish records as I have been able to find (from Find My Past, freeREG, and the excellent Wolverhampton online archives). If you have ancestors in Willenhall, you will also find Andrea Hackney's transcripts of the Willenhall St Giles registers very helpful.


You can read about Willenhall at Bev Parker's fascinating website, Willenhall through the ages

Willenhall key

The first five Willenhall family trees can be viewed here:

  • Willenhall A: descendants of Joseph Appleby and Ann Mountfort

  • Willenhall B: descendants of Joseph Appleby and Charlotte

  • Willenhall C: descendants of Humphrey Appleby and Elizabeth Smith

  • Willenhall D: descendants of Edward Appleby and Marjory

  • Willenhall E: descendants of Edward Appleby and Phoebe Pool

these charts are very wide - you will need to use the zoom tool on your Adobe browser to enlarge to 100% or more and then scroll across and down

I have added Census spreadsheets for the years 1841 - 1911 showing all the members of these lines I was able to find, and also baptism, marriage and burial spreadsheets for a number of counties in the Midlands Region - I will continue to add to these over the coming months - any additional details you are able to provide will be most welcome!


The census and BMD spreadsheets are available in the Members Resource area of the website.


We now have two sets of DNA results from volunteers from Willenhall line A  and line D ... and they are an excellent match! They show that both testers belongs to a rare Haplogroup for the UK. These results  also show a distant match to those for a descendant of the London line of Joseph Appleby tin plate worker of Bethnal Green - we already had suspicions that Joseph's father may have originally come from the Midlands, so this could indicate this theory is correct.  


As the five lines which have been reconstructed to date comprise a HUGE number of Applebys from Willenhall, it would be excellent if we could recruit male Appleby descendants from the other lines to participate in the DNA testing programme.  Please contact me if you are interested.


The Name Index for the five Willenhall lines reconstructed so far has now grown too large to fit on this page - so please click here to open up a pdf listing all the Willenhall Applebys identified to date and the chart where you will find them.


There are still many more Appleby records in Willenhall which still need to be fitted in to one of the lines - all help in this mammoth task will be much appreciated!

Almost everyone who has submitted details of their own Willenhall Appleby lines, has traced their family back to Edward baptised in 1637, son of Humphrey Appleby of the Lane Head, Willenhall - but after that there are significant differences in the trees.  So I have taken the decision to leave off the earlier records and concentrate on the parts of the trees that can be confirmed.  But it does seem likely that in fact all the Willenhall lines can be traced back to a Humfridis, son of Thomas, who was baptised in 1540 just across the county border in Shopshire.  Perhaps with the help of yDNA, we can prove this!