Deep Ancestry 

The Journey Out of Africa

Haplogroup I1C(M223)

Looking for Me?

MapYour Y-chromosome results identify you as a member of haplogroup I1c.

The genetic markers that define your ancestral history reach back roughly 60,000 years to the first common marker of all non-African men, M168, and follow your lineage to present day, ending with M223, the defining marker of haplogroup I1c.

If you look at the map highlighting your ancestors' route, you will see that members of haplogroup I1c carry the following Y-chromosome markers:

M168 > M89 > M170 > M223

Your own haplogroup, I1c, is most common in Germany. About 11 percent of all German men belong to this genetic lineage.

What's a haplogroup, and why do geneticists concentrate on the Y-chromosome in their search for markers? For that matter, what's a marker?
Each of us carries DNA that is a combination of genes passed from both our mother and father, giving us traits that range from eye color and height to athleticism and disease susceptibility. One exception is the Y-chromosome, which is passed directly from father to son, unchanged, from generation to generation. Unchanged, that is unless a mutation - a random, naturally occurring, usually harmless change - occurs. The mutation, known as a marker, acts as a beacon; it can be mapped through generations because it will be passed down from the man in whom it occurred to his sons, their sons, and every male in his family for thousands of years.

In some instances there may be more than one mutational event that defines a particular branch on the tree. This is the case for your haplogroup I1c, since this branch can be defined by two markers, either M170 or P19. This means that either of these markers can be used to determine your particular haplogroup, since every individual who has one of these markers also has the other. Therefore, either marker can be used as a genetic signpost leading us back to the origin of your group, guiding our understanding of what was happening at that early time.

When geneticists identify such a marker, they try to figure out when it first occurred, and in which geographic region of the world. Each marker is essentially the beginning of a new lineage on the family tree of the human race. Tracking the lineages provides a picture of how small tribes of modern humans in Africa tens of thousands of years ago diversified and spread to populate the world.
A haplogroup is defined by a series of markers that are shared by other men who carry the same random mutations. The markers trace the path your ancestors took as they moved out of Africa. It's difficult to know how many men worldwide belong to any particular haplogroup, or even how many haplogroups there are, because scientists simply don't have enough data yet.
One of the goals of the five-year Genographic Project was to build a large enough database of anthropological genetic data to answer some of these questions. To achieve this, project team members are traveling to all corners of the world to collect more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous populations. In addition, we encourage you to contribute your anonymous results to the project database, helping our geneticists reveal more of the answers to our ancient past.

Keep checking these pages; as more information is received, more may be learned about your own genetic history.

Your Ancestral Journey: What We Know Now

M168: Your Earliest Ancestor

Fast Facts

Time of Emergence: Roughly 50,000 years ago

Place of Origin: Africa

Climate: Temporary retreat of Ice Age; Africa moves from drought to warmer temperatures and moister conditions

Estimated Number of Homo sapiens: Approximately 10,000

Tools and Skills: Stone tools; earliest evidence of art and advanced conceptual skills

Skeletal and archaeological evidence suggest that anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago, and began moving out of Africa to colonize the rest of the world around 60,000 years ago.

The man who gave rise to the first genetic marker in your lineage probably lived in northeast Africa in the region of the Rift Valley, perhaps in present-day Ethiopia, Kenya, or Tanzania, some 31,000 to 79,000 years ago. Scientists put the most likely date for when he lived at around 50,000 years ago. His descendants became the only lineage to survive outside of Africa, making him the common ancestor of every non-African man living today.

But why would man have first ventured out of the familiar African hunting grounds and into unexplored lands? It is likely that a fluctuation in climate may have provided the impetus for your ancestors' exodus out of Africa.

The African ice age was characterized by drought rather than by cold. It was around 50,000 years ago that the ice sheets of northern Europe began to melt, introducing a period of warmer temperatures and moister climate in Africa. Parts of the inhospitable Sahara briefly became habitable. As the drought-ridden desert changed to a savanna, the animals hunted by your ancestors expanded their range and began moving through the newly emerging green corridor of grasslands. Your nomadic ancestors followed the good weather and the animals they hunted, although the exact route they followed remains to be determined.

In addition to a favorable change in climate, around this same time there was a great leap forward in modern humans' intellectual capacity. Many scientists believe that the emergence of language gave us a huge advantage over other early human species. Improved tools and weapons, the ability to plan ahead and cooperate with one another, and an increased capacity to exploit resources in ways we hadn't been able to earlier, all allowed modern humans to rapidly migrate to new territories, exploit new resources, and replace other hominids.

The Mellers and Mellors of Staffordshire

The spelling of Meller or Mellor is of little significance - seemingly, it became fixed as and when individuals learned to write their names for themselves, each making their own choice, I default to the E variant.  I am told that one of the earliest spellings was 'Melior' and is distinct from the occupational name of 'Miller' 

I am fairly confident in starting 'my' Meller ancestry with John Meller b1791, a potter in Lane End (in the Potteries of course). Details of earlier forebears are being brought to light with the kind help of Laura Bowcutt who has researched this line over several decades.  John moved, with his young family, to Higham-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire around 1815 (many thanks to Celia Hornbuckle for helping with this) and many of his descendants either worked the land in the local villages or moved to the more industrial areas.  My great-grandfather Samuel, born in Higham in 1838, moved away in about 1860 - just before smallpox hit the village, claiming the lives of a number of his kith and kin - to work on the farms around Lichfield.  In 1885 his wife Sarah gave birth to my grandfather James who became a chorister in the Cathedral and a baker before moving to Compton, Wolverhampton at the end of the 19th century.

Here are the charts of my Meller grandparents:
James Meller b1885 & Annie Burns b1887

A contact from Roger Ward has taken me in an unexpected direction - to Chicago in the USA.  It would seem that one of John's sons, Charles b1844, decided to try his fortune in the New World and made the crossing to Cook County, Illinois, with his wife Ann Wheatley and two very young children,  in 1872.  Carol King, a descendant of Charles has done a goodly amount of work on his family on that side of the Atlantic and I have attempted to link him in to the family they left behind. Here are the latest results of that research, spanning over 235 years: 
Charles Meller's Family of Chicago, Cook County, USA.

I have been asked many times by my Meller relatives whether 'our' family is connected to that of John P Mellor OBE QSM, a prominent and very active figure in Wolverhampton.  In the summer of 2010, after reading a letter of his in the local Express & Star, in which he outlined his origins, I decided to explore his roots more fully and see if there was indeed a connection.  Alas, I have managed to get back to about 1750 in Abbots Bromley near Uttoxeter without finding one - but who knows - at this point the families were only 10 miles apart.  At John's request, I have now expanded my research to include more than just the Mellor line. John has his own website - a real treasure-trove of remembrances, musings and stories and I thank him for those relating to my grandfather, 'Jim the Baker', when Compton was one part of John's 'beat' as a village 'Bobby' back in the early 1950s.  Here in 'Pedigree' layout (so, some text will be small, be ready to use Ctrl-'+' to zoom in) are my findings:
John P Mellor OBE QSM

Yet another Meller connection: Erddig (pronounced Erthig), a stately home near Wrexham (NT), was in the possession of a John Meller in the early 1700's and his coat of arms can be seen there. He had no children of his own but there could still be a link with his wider family.

If you can help extend our venture then please send any information to me, Clive Egginton, here:

The Bishtons of Donington

My grandmother Annie Burns's grandmother was Tryphaena Bishton b1808 in Worfield and her father was Thomas Bishton but as yet we have no record of his birth or baptism.  Much work has been done trying to shed light on their ancestors and we know that there were many Bishtons in Worfield, Albrighton and nearby areas at the time.

The records of Bishtons take us back via Donington and the surrounding area to Shrewsbury and 1495.  One branch became quite wealthy rubbing shoulders with the likes of Abraham Darby with their coal and ironworks out at Dawley. Remnants of their industry can be found at Blists Hill Museum near Ironbridge and many prestigious properties were owned in and around Kilsall, near to what is now Cosford.  A group of their early C19th graves, set in a rather privileged position, can still be found at Donington Parish Church in Albrighton.  

As the precise link between Tryphaena's father, Thomas, and the wider Bishton family is not yet known, I am presenting these tentative results in a completely separate set of pages starting with Thomas's page and a link to a possible set of parents:
The Bishtons of Worfield & Donington
I am sure that there will be many errors here and I would love to hear from anyone who can help me build up a more accurate set of connections. For descendants of Tryphaena, or her siblings, the records in the main Egginton/Meller pages will be more complete.

Recently, I have had contact with another descendant of the Worfield Bishtons, giving me details of a relocation to Liverpool - thank you Emily.  This has prompted me to gather together some photographs of relevant locations and upload them to Picasaweb.

Burns of London - Help Needed

Tony Smith is the man!  My grandmother Annie Burns's father James Burns b1859 has been a bit of a mystery for me for the last few years with many hours spent trying to find his roots without success.  After trying, yet again, to discount an 1881 census return showing him in Salop Street, Wolverhampton, I stumbled across a reference by Tony to the 1871 census record. 'Ancestry' had read 'Burns' as 'Broms' and the enumerator had heard 'Sheward' as 'Shuara'  - no wonder it was so elusive.  That 1871 census records James's place of birth as 'Enfield, Middlesex' and his absent father as being a 'Gun Locksmith' these facts match exactly the informationn we find on his marriage certificate and the 1911 census.  This, along with recently discovered military documentation, seems to demolish the idea that he was the James Burns born in West Ham who previously had seemed to be the most likely candidate. There are still plenty of gaps, particularly regarding his father John and his whereabouts in 1861.

The Selveys of Wolverhampton

Selvey (or Selby) is a name that has cropped up a couple of times in connection with the Eggintons back in the early 1800s.  The strongest link being that of Rachel Selvey b1823 & Moses Egginton and  who were married in 1844.  At the end of 2009, I began working with Roger Szendy in Connecticut, USA, to bring some clarity to the relationships.  In 1870, Roger's great-great-grandmother Lucy Selvey b1836 & Henry Fletcher, her husband, left Wolverhampton for New York with their children.  Our working partnership has been successful and most enjoyable and the results are continuing to grow with contributions from Henry E.P. Pritchard of Philadelphia, USA.  We have recently made contact with some Selveys still living in the UK and I have to thank Sandie Morgan for some details of the family of Ellen Washbrook b1867, wife of William Selvey b1864..

The gaps in the on-line records of St Peter & St Pauls RC Church in the IGI and at Ancestry between 1830 and 1837 have required direct inspection of the registers on microfilm.  Enough work has been done, by Roger & myself, to paint a wider (but rough) picture of the descendants of William Selvey b1763 & Mary Gill who were married in St Peter's in 1790. 

It would seem that there were a few separate Selvey families in Wolverhampton around 1800 and at least one with Walsall/Bloxwich connections.  Here is a working document listing the records of all of Selveys in Wolverhampton at the time. Most of the individuals have been associated with their respective families but there are still a few unplaced ones. If you can help place the 'orphans' please let us know.

Whilst exploring the other famlies connected to the Selveys, new strands connecting them to the Eggintons have been uncovered.  As a result, a substantial number of Careless and Leek family members have been woven into this picture of Victorian Wolverhampton, however, a couple of mysteries still remain to be solved - in particular the precise connection of Ann Careless b1848 and Hannah Leek b1820 to their respective families.

Roger has a brilliant website covering his wider family circle and lots of charts and photos here:  Szendy Genealogy

The Shepherds of Willenhall

My wife's grandfather was Henry Shepherd a locksmith from Willenhall and his background is another tangle I'm trying to unravel, some of my preliminary findings are here. It is clear that there were quite a few Shepherd families and if they were linked, it was well before 1800. There were also numerous 'Josephs' born just before 1850, this marriage certificate has helped to determine that the father of Joseph Shepherd b1847 (husband of Fanny Cotterhill and Henry's grandfather), was William Shepherd b1822.

Brevitts and Cotterills

Henry's other grandmother was Ann Brevitt b1840 and with the encouragement and support of Edna van Genderen in Brisbane have included some of the Brevitt families in the area.  One Horatio Brevitt born in Darlaston became a solicitor and Town Clerk in Wolverhampton, a role for which he was knighted in 1915.

 A fair bit of work has gone into mapping-out the various Cotterill families that lived in Tettenhall and Tettenhall Wood throughout most of the 1700s and 1800s.  Much of that work has been done by Dr Richard A.Y. Jones and I hereby 'tip my hat' to him in gratitude.  We start with Joseph Cotterill born there about 1690

Other Families

In an attempt to map out some more of my closer connections, I've been looking at the stories of my cousins June Evans and Carol Brownsword's fathers (Edward Henry Evans and William Brownsword) and husbands (Eric Millington and Bryan Bayley).  Although there are a few mysteries unsolved, there's enough to warrant being included.

Other family names traced back are those of Cross and Allen of Blackpool and Bradford, look for them in the Surname List. A recent contact from a Meller descendant has resulted in an expansion of the Pugh branch of West Bromwich and Madeley.

Finally, I have been exploring the roots of a friend of mine (no connection to my tree as far as I can tell) and have a partial tree which inlcudes the names Bleakman & Dobson (located in and around Malvern, Worcester & Pershore) and those of Price & Meese (located in and around Brierley Hill, Kingswinford). The results can be found here: Gladys Beatrice Bleakman's Tree and here's her chart.

Table of Contents

bullet  Pedigree Chart for Thomas Egginton bullet  Family Group Record for Thomas Egginton
bullet  Pedigree Chart for James Meller bullet  Family Group Record for James Meller
bullet  Pedigree Chart for Henry Shepherd bullet  Family Group Record for Henry Shepherd
bullet  Surname List bullet  Family Group Surname List
bullet  Index of Names bullet  Family Group Index of Names
bullet  Family Portraits bullet  Individuals' Records Surname List

Pedigree Charts are attractive but use small fonts, to make the text bigger: hold down Ctrl and tap +
Family Group Records do not link to alternative spouses, move up to a parent and select required spouse in the list of children.
Individual Records are the plainest and easiest to read but lack some links.

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This Web Site was Updated 19 September 2011 with Legacy 7.4 from Millennia