Descendants of William Carpenters of the Bevis (1638)
Carpenter Cousins Encyclopedia of Carpenters - 2023 Update

Briefing Page

The following briefs were done at different times and they slightly overlap in genetic genealogy terms and comments.They are provided to assist the reader to better understand the topics given. All 3 parts are given on this page.

Part 1
An introduction to the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project
Part 2
Basic Carpenter Cousins Project Genetic Genealogy
Part 3
Genetic Genealogy – Y-DNA testing & examples

Part 1 An introduction to the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project

The Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project – A surname project with 42 organized groups, one semi-organized group (98) based on R-M269 and a general catch all group (99). We accept Y-DNA testing from all DNA testing companies. We have identified some 127 unique genetic profiles for the project. This is as of December 2023.

We have a basic drop down pedigree for each group. Surname is Carpenter unless noted otherwise. See: - This is where you can get an idea of where their lines come from - aka Their Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCA). Please note the C# which is a record information number (RIN) from the main genealogical database.

On our independent web pages, such for the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project (since 2002) at:, Data Tables (1-4) will show the Y-STRs but not Haplogroup or surnames. Some groups have a name that is triangulated data for the primary group immigrant or the common ancestor for the group. Click on the member ID on Table 1 and that should take you to their position on the drop down pedigree.

FYI - We started our Project way before FTDNA started their online group efforts. Our genetic genealogy shows our Y-DNA markers (Tables 1-4) and basic lineages (drop down pedigrees) to show the genetic and genealogical triangulation of our groups. FTDNA groups do not allow such drop down pedigrees.

Many of our organized groups, but not all, have a descendant report that can be found on the left side of the main Carpenter Cousins web page. The number after the surname is the RIN (aka C# on the lineage page). Each report has a name index. Again, FTDNA groups do not allow such descendant reports.

While most groups are surnamed Carpenter, there are some Zimmerman(n) groups and Charpentier/Carpentier groups. Then there are lines that have both Zimmerman in Europe and Carpenter (angelized) in North America. Same for the Charpentier/Carpentier into Carpenter in North America.

The surname variants of Carpenter and Zimmerman seen in the genealogy include; Carpentier, Charpentier, Carpender, Carpendar, Karpendar, Timmerman(n), Simmerman(n), Simmer and Zimmer.

The surname Charpentier/Carpentier variants include Sherbondy, Sherbondeaux, Sherbonda, Sherbond, Sherbonby, Sherbundy and Sherbune.

This does not include the odd ball surnames from formal or informal adoptions (NPEs) that match specific groups genetically. See Groups 98 & 99 of the drop down pedigree charts on the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project lineage page. Scroll down or use the Contents index. See:

FYI - The Carpenter-1-Name Project is for all types of DNA testing done at FTDNA. While there are some overlaps into the Y-DNA Project, most members are not surnamed Carpenter. Often they have a Carpenter or two in their ancestry.

John R. Carpenter
La Mesa, CA USA
Administrator of the Carpenter Cousins Project

Part 2
Basic Carpenter Cousins Project Genetic Genealogy

In traditional Genealogy one documents the facts of person A connecting to person B, to person C and so forth back into time. Genealogy is based on the facts of birth, marriage death and the consecutiveness of marriages to confirm relationships. All is very logical and predictable as long as you have the documentation proving what you claim.

If one can not connect them in some manner with some sort of documentation then we are left with speculations and educated guesses. This is unless we find another way of documenting family members using genetic DNA testing. Specifically we can use a Y-Chromosomal (Y-DNA) genetic test, which has been proven and very successful in surname studies like the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA testing.

In Genetic Genealogy we have the hybrid of genealogical with DNA testing to help break down genealogical road blocks and to show genetically related individuals who have been DNA tested. This is done via triangulation. Simply person A matches person B genetically (the base of the triangle) and when they compare their genealogies they find the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) which forms the peak of the triangle. It is all very simple to show person A and person B are connected genetically and genealogically.

It is all very simple until you have person A matching person B genetically but NOT genealogically. There are books written on all of the above including things to do when the “very simple” is no longer simple.

One technique is using a Y-DNA surname study like the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project. There one collects the same or similar surnames using Y-DNA testing and sort them into genetic groups. These genetic groups are based on Y chromosome Short Tandem Repeats (Y-STRs) that form a genetic profile or genetic fingerprint. This is done by using the numerical value indicating the number of protein repeats of each specific DNA Y-Chromosomal Segment – aka DYS – marker. For example, if DYS19=14, which is the group mean in this case, and one member has DYS19=15 then that 15 value is considered a mutation to the group mean.

Another important item is the number of Y-DNA markers tested. The more Y-DNA markers one compares, the better. This is because it increases the probability of the genetic relatedness. With any group, our determination of genetic relatedness is often based on 37 markers. More markers up to 111 markers help narrow the genetic relationship between matches.

More than just Carpenter surnames

No doubt you will have observed that we are showing Zimmerman and Carpenter surnames in the Carpenter Cousins Project. For many immigrants to America, they Anglicized their surnames as they assimilated into their adopted homeland. In German, Zimmerman(n) is old German for a worker of wood which matches the word Carpenter in English.

In other Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA based groups we can see even more surname variants than this. Imagine the variant names like Charpentier, Carpentier, Carpender, Timmerman, Simmerman and even Sherbondy (phonetic of Charpentier) just to name a few.

NPE Events.

THEN occasionally we get those with a formal or informal adoption of another surname entirely matching our different Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project Groups.

Imagine a young widow with a very young son remarrying. The son bonds with his step-father and adopts his surname. In older times this was an informal adoption. In more modern times, society has more formalized this into a legal adoption process. But in olden times things were less formal and a husband was assumed by the community to take care of all children.

Are there other versions of this Non-Parental Events – aka Non-Paternity Events (NPEs)? Yes. This can include rape, child stealing and other similar things.

This can work towards a Carpenter Cousins family or away from a known Carpenter Cousins family. And can cause a situation where the genealogy is correct but you get unexpected DNA results.

In many Carpenter Cousins groups there are such individuals who become part of our general Y-DNA groups 98 and 99. On occasion we create a new genetic group and identify them as independent genetic groups. Please read the notes and explanations given within their notes.


Many groups are connected genetically through Y-DNA genetic profiles but have disconnected genealogy. And they can still be considered a close genetic family.
A disconnected genealogy indicates a roadblock in documentation or insufficient data to connect point A to point B.
It is important that DNA Projects show their work in triangulation of both the genetic DNA matches and how lineages fit together genealogically. Or how we believe they may fit genealogically. Disconnected or unconnected genealogy lines even with Y-DNA testing sometimes can not bring the parts together as a genealogical whole.

In Group 3 have a seperate sub-group called "Unconnected Lines matching Group 3." These are those whose genealogy is unknown or incomplete with enough documentation to connect them both genetically and genealogically.
In the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project and the general lineage page, we provide the basics of those who Y-DNA tested but who are disconnected or detached genealogiclly for one reason of the other. The following image expands upon and gives a clue whether they are in the "disconnected genealogy" section or listed in the regaular genealogy with appropiate notes.

Compare this image to the data posted at:


This brief was designed to help educate and encourage Carpenter Cousins to connect genetically and genealogically. Why? Because if you are related (genetically or genealogically) in any way, please be part of the solution! Help share your genealogy and please participate in Y-DNA testing!

In Genetic Genealogy there are many very well done books and many web pages that show how the genetics match up with the genealogy. The following links will provide a basic guide on DNA testing and a follow up on two advanced tests. Please remember that there are different DNA tests and that each DNA test is a tool with their own plusses and minuses.

The following links may be helpful. - NPE info. - A Carpenter Cousins DNA testing brief. This is more advanced but related to the above. It has two good charts. - This uses the two helpful images cited in the last link It shows examples of how to use them.'_guides_to_genetic_genealogy - ISOGG - Beginners' Guide to Genetic Genealogy - An excellent source!

If you have any questions about the Carpenter Cousins Project (genealogical support) and the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project (Genetic support), please see: The Carpenter Cousins Project webpage

FYI - Several years ago, I did a Zoom presentation for the North American "Guild of One Name Studies" on the Carpenter Cousins Project. The graphics and notes might help explain what I do. See:

John R. Carpenter
La Mesa, CA USA
Administrator of the Carpenter Cousins Project

Part 3
Genetic Genealogy – Y-DNA testing & examples

Genetic genealogy is the combination of DNA testing along with documented paper trail documented genealogy. The goal is to triangulate the paper trail ancestry along with the genetic matches back to the most recent common ancestor (MRCA).

Y-DNA testing of 12, 25, 37, 67, 111 or more Y-STR (Y chromosome – Short Term Repeats) markers allow us to have a genetic finger print or genetic profile of numbers to compare to others who have Y-DNA on similar markers.

Each of these markers has a name. In general they are called DYS (DNA Y-chromosome Segment) with a number after it. Next are a couple of examples.

DYS19 is a single copy marker and DYS394 is now merged with it. Single copy markers have a single number value like DYS19=16. This number represents the number of genetic protein repeats found in what is called an allele.

The DYS19 alleles are seen with the following numerical values; 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19.

DYS385 is a multi-copy marker, and includes DYS385a and DYS385b. Multi-copy markers have two genetic protein chain peaks given in two numbers like DYS385a=11 and 385b=14.

DYS385 alleles are seen with the following numerical values; 8.2, 8.3, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 10.1, 10.2, 11.1, 11.2, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 15.1, 15.2, 16.1, 16.2, 18.2, 19.1, 19.2, and 20.2. Most Y-DNA testing companies will round to the nearest whole number.

DYS464 is a multi-copy marker and is consider a fast mutator (mutating) marker compared to the previous two DYS markers cited. The first four copies are called: DYS464a, DYS464b, DYS464c, DYS464d. Marker DYS464 is also known to occur more than four times and they are cited with the alphabetical sequence.
DYS464 has an observed allele range of 9 to 20 inclusive. They are viewed similar to; DYS464a=11, DYS464b=14, DYS464c=15, DYS464d=17.

In the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project, Table 1 (marker set 1-25) and extracts for Groups 1, 2 & 3 provides an example of these and other DYS markers in use. Marker numbers shown in light grey boxes are mutations (aka differences) to the group mean.

When comparing the numerical value differences between Group 1 (Christopher) to Group 2 (William) the difference totals about 20. This large Genetic Distance clearly shows there is no close genetic (aka Y-DNA) relationship between these two groups.

When we compare the horizontal lines of Group 2A (Joseph) to Group 1 the Genetic Distance (GD) is 19. Still way too different and still not closely related.

When no ID number is given and a name is provided, that shows the common ancestor for that group and defines the Group mean or average of DYS numerical values.

But, when we compare Group 2 to Group 2A mean values, there is only one numerical difference (aka Genetic Distance of one) at DYS24. DYS24=25 for Group 2 compared to DYS24=24 for Group 2A.

This one numerical marker difference shows a Genetic distance of 1 at DYS24 in Group 2/2A has been determined to be a sub-group marker. Why? Because Group 2 and 2A have the exact same genealogical and genetic ancestor named William Carpenter-662 born about 1610 in England who came to America in 1635 and who settled in Providence, Rhode Island.

A mutation occurred on DYS24 making 25 a 24 for all male descendants of Joseph Carpenter-5312 (aka C#5312) born in 1693. See his drop down pedigree position among other Y-DNA testers of Group 2/2A at: – depending on screen settings you may need to scroll right and up a little bit.

The number after the surname above is a Record Information Number (aka RIN or a C#) from the Carpenter Cousins Project genealogical database. This RIN is an identifier used in all public reports in the Carpenter Cousins web pages, especially when it is not clear which genetic group the person is from.

Group 3 (William) has William Carpenter-584 born about 1605 in England. This Group 3 immigrant ancestor came to America in 1638 and settled in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

I want to make it clear that genealogically and genetically that the Group 2 William Carpenter and the Group 3 William Carpenter are not the same person. They have different named spouses and children. In addition we can tell their male Carpenter descendants apart genetically.

When we compare Group 2 (William) to Group 3 (William) there is a Genetic Distance (GD) of one (1) at 25 markers. The difference is at DYS464d. Group 2 has the value of 16 and Group 3 is 17.

Since DYS464 is a fast mutating marker, one would expect a closer relationship genetically than the Group 2/2A genetic difference with its more stable marker. And if we were only comparing 25 markers both have a Genetic Distance of one (1) aka GD=1. Then the answer would be yes, if we knew they had a confirmed common genealogical ancestor.

Sadly, many decades ago, the Carpenter Cousins Project disproved the speculated common ancestor after specific English wills were reviewed. The conclusion from 1976 was disproved with a better digital copy of the will in 2002. Their common genealogical ancestor was proven wrong and removed.

In addition, the 25 Y-DNA marker set is now considered inadequate or in other words too few DYS markers in comparison to using 111 markers. More markers matching over greater numbers of markers provide a higher probability of relatedness.

When we compare Group 2 to Group 3 mean averages over 111 Y-DNA markers we find THREE (3) differences. The Genetic Distance of 3 (GD=3) is on the following DYS markers. These differences, without a common genealogical ancestor, are indicative that they are indeed a separate genetic group.

Summary of discriminants between Groups 2 and 3:

DYS464d (13 to 25 marker set)
Group 2 = 16
Group 3 = 17

DYS413a (38 to 67 set)
Group 2 = 21
Group 3 = 22

DYS635 (68 to 111 set)
Group 2 = 23
Group 3 = 24

John F. Chandler, PhD, our DNA expert, wrote the following on the Group 2 and Group 3 discussion section.

“However, the remaining marker, known as Y-GATA-C4 (or more properly as DYS635), turns out to be yet another discriminant between the two groups.

Based on this now-confirmed discrepancy, along with the originally discovered difference at DYS464d, and the additional difference at DYS413a, we can state with 95% confidence that the most recent common ancestor of the two groups was more than 2 generations before the immigrants and less than about 20.

Therefore, the DNA testing has very nearly ruled out the often-repeated claim that the Williams were first cousins. The most likely estimate is about 7 generations before the immigrants, but that is a very rough estimate, and the 95% confidence interval is a more reasonable description of what the DNA is telling us.”

See the full discussion at:

Sadly, despite the best efforts of many Carpenter researchers over the last two decades, no common genealogical ancestor between Group 2 and Group 3 has been proven.

The following chart from Family Tree DNA shows the interpretation of 111 Y-DNA markers. A Genetic Distance of 3 (GD=3) is considered related with the same or similar name.

A GD=3 is also known as a 108/111 marker match. There is a 50% probability or confidence that Group 2 and Group 3 are related genealogically at about 6 generations. Then we see that at 11 generations, a 95% probability.

FTDNA on this chart is a little liberal in their mathematical formula of relationships. The key to remember is that if you change one factor in the calculations then the probability changes.

Regardless of what type of DNA you test with, most DNA testing companies want you to have more matches even if they are very distant. Thus the buyer needs to be aware of this and that all genetic probabilities of relationships or educated guesses need to be taken with a grain of salt or with a bit of skepticism to not interpret such dates/relationships literally.

A recap of Genetic Genealogy and the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project.

The Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project shows the genetic markers of each member in their respective genetic groups. We do this by result Tables 1 to 4 on the Y-DNA Project main web page. See: - See Table of Contents.

Then we show the drop down pedigrees of the members back to their common group ancestor if they are genealogically and genetically triangulated.

If they match their group genetically but not genealogically then they are shown with a detached or unconnected lineage.
The Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project lineage pages can be viewed at:

I, John R. Carpenter, have kit number 5734 in Group 3. When you go to Table 1 then Group 3 you will see my ID number. Click on 5734 and the link will take you to my position on the Group 3 lineage page. Or see the following link. – depending on your screen settings you may need to scroll right a up a little to see my red colored kit number.

By making the page image smaller you should be able to see my genealogical connection to other members of Group 3. Below my red kit number is some blue text. This blue text shows mutations to the Group 3 mean. When there is a question mark it is a marker we are watching for but not yet tested.

The picture below shows my basic lineage from the Group 3 ancestor along with the generations in which my mutations have occurred. This took some time in finding cousins to Y-DNA test and to triangulate the data. The picture is also on line at:

I have now explained how Genetic Genealogy is used in the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA project and provided some examples of how it is used.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

John R. Carpenter
La Mesa, CA USA
The Carpenter Cousins Project

Some helpful links can be found at: /

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