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The Matthew Grant DNA facts and hypothesis
Posted by: geoff grant (ID *****0609) Date: March 13, 2012 at 16:54:41
  of 7880

I said I wouldn't do it, but I'm going to drop one last post on here.

First off, don't believe everything you read. That includes what I write, although I wouldn't write it had a felt it wasn't

true (and I as well as others who have viewed my research feel that it is VERY accurate). The LDS site is an amazing jumping

point for genealogical research as they have a ton of info. But accuracy is not a concern, baptising the dead is. Keep that

in mind when you look over the info on that site. There is no fact-checking going on. Log in, upload your GENCOM, and go

make dinner. Anybody can post anything. Same thing with and the other sites. Sources are great, and if

someone can site where they found the info that's definately better than nothing. But use it the same way you would - check the sources!! Church records are good, public records are best, and Uncle Frank's dying words claiming

decendency from the Capatian Kings of France are worthless.

We have to remove emotion when looking for the facts. We all want Uncle Frank to be right, but he isn't. Nobody is going to

knock on your door tomorrow and apologize for the oversite while handing you the crown. Remove the emotion from your search

and you will end up with better research material.

I'm sure there are people on here who think I have something against Scottish ancestry. Far from it!! I am very proud of my

Scottish ancestry on my mother's side. I am 50% Muir. My gr-gr-great grandfather was a coal miner in Kilmarnock who

emmigrated to America in the 1880's. Our family has many cousins that emmigrated from the Ulster Plantations even earlier,

and the best to all of our knowledge is that we were the product of a very early (distant) younger son of a Mure of Rowallan

or Auchindrayne.

I grew up thinking I was Scottish on my father's side too. We had the Clan Grant mugs, ties, crest on the wall. So where

did the MG descendents get the idea that we were Scottish? I believe it was from this guy: Arthur Hastings mentions in his book the theory that during

the Revolutionary War the Grants ran into other Grants that were not family members. This lead to conversations about

ancestry and it turned out all the other Grants were from Scotland. The before mentioned James being the most famous of them

(in the War of course). From there a Scottish ancestry may have been embraced by many sides of the family (see bottom for

actual AH theory).

But Matthew was a Puritan living in either Dorsetshire or (probably) Devonshire in SW England before he came to America.

This was during a time when Scotland and England were not getting along (imagine that!) and a Scotsman living in New England

in those times would be a marked man to say the least. He was a member of Rev John Warham's congregation, which was located

in Exeter before the migration. These are facts. The Puritans paid there way over to America, either with their own money or

with the promise of servitude for a number of years upon arrival. Matthew came as a free man. He was no peasant, but

neither was he the Lord of a manor or a member of the gentry. He was basically English middle-class. I have two theories

about where his money came from, but I don't know for sure and want to stick to the facts here.

There is often an ancestry of Matthew's shown on various family trees connecting him to a family from Roxby in Yorkshire.

There never was any proof of this connection, and it appeared first during a MG family reunion in NYC around 1901. This was

during a time when genealogy was a big craze and people often paid money to "professionals" who traced them back to either

Charlamagne or the Magna Carta signers (these were the two most popular destinations). Throw it out. I have been in contact

with a descendant of Thomas Grant (1601-1643) who immigranted to NE around the same time as Matthew, settling in

Massachusetts (Rowley, in Essex County). We have compared notes, and DNA results, and there is no connection between the two

families. I have no reason to doubt his research as it has been well thought-out and appears to be thorough. Funny thing is

his DNA doesn't match that of the Clan and it appears these Grants are also of Anglo-Saxon origin. Amazingly, we have at

least two Grant families that do not descend from Scotand! And for those who want to mention the other Thomas Grant (1630-

1690) who ended up in MA in the 1600's, yes they are two seperate people with seperate descendants and ancestry. That Thomas

Grant was Scottish and I'm fairly sure of it. The last New England Grant I want to mention, and one of my favorites, is

Peter "the Exile" Grant. Definately Scottish with definate living descendents who DNA is definately different than all of

the above. Both Peter and the second Thomas were forced to relocate in Colonial America, but I for one am happy to have them


DNA!! It was mentioned, so let's run with it. The Grant DNA Project is a work in progress, and it is a wonderful thing!!

Because of this project we are getting a clear picture of the different Grant families that are running around and their

origins. Is it perfect? NO! But its improving at every turn and I really think they will have something wonderful to share

with us by the end of this year. John, Alastair & Allen Grant all deserve much praise for the hard work they've put into

this project. I know first hand how much time and effort goes into the kind of research they are doing, as I have had to do

much of my own research with the same DNA material they are using.

The DNA doesn't lie. It is the single biggest scientific breakthrough in the past 50 years and has changed so much about how

we do research and what we understand about human migrations & origins. DNA research has made it possible to identify common

ancestors between people seperated by hundreds of years based on the mutations of the DNA. I don't have the time or energy

to explain everything about DNA here, so below you will find links for future reading. Educate yourself! That's what I did.

But what I will tell you is your DNA is made up of markers (alleles) that mutation slowly over time. Some markers are

identified as changing more rapidly than others. Rapidly means every 200 years or so versus every 400 or so years. It

doesn't happen quickly.

My father has had his DNA mapped at the 37 marker level and also had a deep clad test done. The deep clad test is key for

understanding ancestry & origins. The results were R1b1a2a1a1a4a which is often called L-47*. This is not the most common

DNA signature. (And for those who want to know, the Grant DNA project has identified the Clan DNA signature as being

R1b1a2a1a1b which also known as R-P312 and is a very common Celtic-origin DNA signature found in Western Europe. It is very

different than my DNA signature, and a common ancestor would be no less than 3,000 years ago. You can find more info on the

Grant DNA Prject here: We have a tremendous amount of

matches at the 12 marker level, which is a very distant match level suggesting the a common ancestor probably 2000 years ago.

This would suggest a powerful figure living no less than 1000 years ago who had enough sons to have several lines survive up

to modern times. 1000 years ago, you had to be a powerful figure just to live long enough to have this many offspring and

feed them all. But the number of close matches we have is very small. There are a few MG descendants (Thank God!! Could

you imagine the difficulty if we didn't match?? So happy to avoid that problem) but there are also some some matches at the

25 marker level that raised some questions. We have 9 Cloud matches with a difference of 2 mutations. I spoken to Tom Cloud

at the Cloud DNA Project via email numerous times (They have a fantastic website by the way - and he is 100% sure his Clouds are not related to the Scottish MacLeod family. And he's

right, the DNA is drastically different. The earliest known ancestor for the Cloud family is a William Cloud born in

Wiltshire circa 1502. They are also L-47* and Anglo-Saxon in origin. The earliest Cloud on record in a Simon de la Cloude

who lived in the late 13th century in the Warwickshire area. Google search him in parenthasis for more info on that guy

(there isn't a lot, but he is real). I am willing to accept that my Grants may descend from this individual although I don't

know for sure. The area of Warwickshire he lived in is also close to were a Grant family of decent standing once resided.

You may be familiar with a John Grant who has hanged for his part in the Gunpowder Plot. His family can be traced to

Snitterfield in the early 15th century. One of those Grants married a Knight named Spencer who was the ancestor of Winston

Churchill & Princess Diana.

Now regarding these Grants of Snitterfield in Warwickshire. Their family crest is documented in Burke's heraldry books as

the Grants of Norbrook, which is the manor they moved to after Snitterfield and the manor which was confiscated from John

Grant by the crown. Here's what I found:

According to Sir John Bernard Burke (
Grant (as borne by Roger Grant (, esq. Oculist to George I.) rm. on a

chev. gu. five bezants.
Grant, or Graunt (Northbroke, со. Warwick). Erm. on a cher. gu. five bezants. f>e.fiA fleur-de-lis az.
(both above according to


A "chev" is a chevron, a V-like line going across the shield. bezants are small circular looking things, usually suggesting

a connection to the Crusades in the family's history. An ermine is a pelt, but on heraldry it looks like a blue-ribbon

shaped thing, like you would win at the fair for having the smelliest hog or whatever (farmer Grants, help me out here!) A

fleur-de-lis is a french symbol, three lillies tied together. See the logo for the New Orleans Saints for reference here in

the States.

Now I will go back to Hastings and the single most important thing he says in his book (for my research at least):

"The only known use of arms was by Samuel Grant (1103) in 1739
in witnessing a will. Beside his signature is a seal on which is impressed the following coat of arms : On a chevron between

three fleur-de-lis, five ermine spots. These are not the arms of any Grant family given by Burke; but it is significant that

they should
have been used by the representative of the senior male line, to whom any seal ring belonging to Matthew Grant would have

been most likely to descend."

Here is where A.H. may have been wrong, as this seal is somewhat close to the two seals I have found in Burke's books. Also,

notice how drastically different this seal is to that of the Clan's different family branches, all of which have 3 crowns.

They are very consistant with this crown theme, and you can see for yourself using the link I included to Burke's books

above. Based upon this seal, I was ready to put the pen down and declare us the product of the Snitterfield Grant family.

The only problem is that these Grants were strictly (and violently!) Catholic, the absolute opposite of Puritanism. This is

were my research is headed right now - trying to find some sort of feasible explanation to how a family can go from one end

of the spectrum to another in the course of one generation. I promise to share the results if & when I get them.

Ok, still in Warwickshire. MG's wife was Pricilla Grey, daughter of Anthony Grey. But which Anthony Grey?? Was it the one

who was a rector in Aston-Flamville who later inherited the Earldom of Kent on a fluke when a distant cousin died without

offspring?? The Earldom was a bit of a mess at the time, and he inherited it as an old man, long after his suppossed

daughter left for the Colonies. I do not know nor am I even confident of the idea of this connection, and there is almost no

way that I know of to prove it. But IF, then there's more evidence of a possible Warwickshire origin for MG's ancestry.

Still in Warwickshire, we also know of a Smith/Smythe family that lived in the area. I believe they originally come from the

Chester area before heading into Warwick. They are a branch of the well-known and ancient Nott family that can trace itself

deep into the Middle Ages and is of definate Anglo-Saxon origin. There are no less than thirty-five 12 marker matches from

this family in our DNA results. 35!! But no 25 marker matches. This suggests and ancient link to this family, long before

the use of surnames. They lived for eons in a parish called Oldhaugh in the Chester area. Chester is something I will

return to in a minute.

The other common 12 marker DNA matches are the Beal/Veal/Vail family, Blood/Flood family, Bonnell/Brunnell, Crenshaw, Finch &

Stephens families. Again, we are talking about distant matches, long before surnames. All of these families have origins in

the West midlands area of England. As do the Smith/Smythes & Clouds mentioned previously. What is missing from all of our

DNA matches is any Scottish connections. None of my 37 marker matches are of Scottish descent, nor are any 25 marker

matches. Of the 12 marker matches, over 95% are families of Anglo-Saxon descent mainly in the West Midlands. Over-whelming

evidence suggesting Anglo-Saxon descent. Also, keep in mind this DNA signature of L-47* is VERY rare in Scotland (and non-

existant in the Highlands), to the point where it isn't even mentioned in the various Scottish DNA books I've read. Is not a

Celtic DNA signature either, but a German one instead. The origin is just North of the Rhine River. The most likely source

is the original Frisians, known as the Frisii, a tribe just outside the Northen borders of the Roman empire.

Again, I have given facts where available above and I welcome anybody to either try to pick a part my theories or find

someone that can. 4 years of research has gone into this project. I have had several people look at it. I have only had

two people argue against it, and I respect the tenacity of the one who has done it here although her argument is flawed. The

US Grant Association has also been privy to my research and has a file of my info, and they have not argued against a word of

it. MG's ancestry is also US's ancestry, as we all know. The Clan doesn't argree with my assessment, however they offer no

counter argument nor can they prove me wrong. I would assume they need to sell memberships and the "every Grant is a

Scottish Grant" theory is good for sales. I wish them well!!

Here's my hypothesis. This is where I admit I am guessing, and I do not want anyone to think this part is confirmed fact

because it isn't. The original Frisians were on the border of the Roman Empire and for the most part co-existed with the

Romans with little problems. see for a nice map showing the areas I

am talking about. The Romans were known to accept German barbarians into their Legions, and these people were called "laeti"

(aslo see "peregrini"). They were conscripted from communities that settled on lands that Romans conquered. Roman

Legionaries served in the Army for a set amount of time, and then retired on free land given to them upon their retirement.

The source of this land was often conquests. I have seen research suggesting Frisii members of the Roman Legion XX called

"Frisavones." This legion was based in Deva, now known as Chester, where there was a very large Roman fort. When the Romans

pulled out of England in the 5th century, they took with them the active Legion XX, but not those who retired to work the

lands in and around Deva. They were left to fend for themselves, which they did successfully until the Angles & Saxons

pressed up against them 200-300 years later. MG's descendents are these Romano-Britons who made up Sub-Roman England before

the Anglo-Saxon invasion. One of them, or a descendent of a Romano-Briton living properously during the Anglo-Saxon era, had

nuermous male issue which survived and pro-created on their own. This is the source of the Matthew Grant ancestors, as well

as those of a Smith/Smythe family, Cloud, Crenshaw, Blood/Flood, Brunnell/Bonnell, ect., that were mentioned above and have

origins in the Chester & Warwickshire areas. Again, this is my hypothesis and is not a known fact nor accepted fact by

anyone including me. I think MG's family is probably the same as the Snitterfield Grants, and comes from a branch that made

their way from Snitterfield to SW England before John tried to blow up the King.

However, the before mentioned research regarding Matthew Grant's ancestry & DNA signature can be taken as fact. I have

presented the evidence here for all to see. I encourage one and all to do their own research with the material I've

presented. Other than my hypothesis, which can't be proven right or wrong, I don't expect anyone to find valid argument with

my research or conclusions. Please, share this info with Historians or DNA experts, Antropologists, Scientists, Seers &

Seekers, whomever you like. But please don't argue with oral traditions or un-substantiated web postings. Cite your work!

Don't let emotion control your theories or research. You will see no evidence of a Scottish connection for Matthew's

ancestors, and this is not because I tried to cover one up. I never found one. 4 years of research, and not one sliver of

evidence pointing towards the Highlands. I am sorry if this is upsetting to anyone, and in no way do I think this lessens

the greatness of my family nor does it lessen the greatness of the Clan Grant.

If anyone has questions, feel free to post them below and I will answer as I find time. Please don't offer any counter

arguments until you've read the above at least three times (it is condensed and I'm no poet) and have used many of the links

above or below to check your theories. I relaize General Grant resembled a Scottish Grant when he was visiting Scotland on

his world tour. I look just like Brad Pitt, but I don't think we are related.

Geoff Grant

Further reading:

This source claims to have traced US Grant's ancestry back 1000 years:

culture/chau1/pdf/grantrd/2/brochure.pdf and pre-dates the Roxby lineage. I don't agree with the geography, although I have

heard the Cambrige theory before and it does hold water, but it is another non-Scottish theory worth sharing. Rev. Roland

Dwight Grant's lineage is through Matthew's eldest son Samuel (MG->Samuel->John->John->Edward Chapman Grant->Naaman Grant-

>Rev. Roland. He was a character to say the least!

Arthur Hastings' theory on ancestry:

"It will be a surprise to many to learn that nothing is known of the
origin of our Family. Although numerous writers have stated posi-
tively that we are descended from the Scotch Clan of Grant, no
proof has ever been forthcoming. It is true that in several branches
of the Family there are traditions of Scotch descent, but they are
vague and contradictory, while in at least one branch there is a par-
ticularly clear tradition of English origin. None of these tradi-
tions can be traced to a period earlier than the Revolution, and it is
probable that the prevalence of our name among the Scotch soldiers
who came over at that time is responsible for their origin. Few if
any Scots emigrated to New England as early as 1630, and they
would have been marked men. On the other hand it is known that
Matthew Grant sailed from England in a ship that bore a Puritan
church gathered in the extreme south of England, that he was, or
soon became, a member of this church, and was one of its most
prominent members after the removal to Windsor. None of his
children or grandchildren bore typical Scotch names, and the only
one in the fifth generation can doubtless be traced to the presence
of Alexander Allyn (see 152) in Windsor. Instead they bore the
names then common among English Puritans, and which are still
borne by a Grant family residing in the south of England. The
Family Association might well take up the investigation of this
problem, some clue to which may possibly be found in Matthew
Grant's diary, long hidden among the papers of the late J. Ham-
mond Trumbull, of Hartford."

Online version of Hasting's book on MG:

A great source of experts talking DNA, anthropology, origins, ect. Please go here and spend at least 10 hours reading if you

want to understand DNA and the migrations of different peoples, ect. It is advanced, so many of you may get lost. Don't

worry, just back up and read again - it will make sense!!:

Rev. Roland Dwight Grant's brochure which includes his ancestry thoery:

The Mary & John, the boat MG was on:

A crazy site regarding the Nott family that we link to. 75% of this is BS but still worth looking at if you are bored. Also

a great theory about not believing everything you read online....:

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