Several descendants of John & Hannah Stroud have had DNA testing. The results have answered some questions, but have also raised some questions we never would have thought to ask. In a nutshell:
• Descendants of Albert Gallatin Stroud of Izard Co. AR and James L. Stroud of Van Buren Co. AR have tested and match very closely. They are both descendants of John Stroud’s son, William, through his sons William and Peter. A descendant of Merritt Stroud of Webster Co. MO also matches very closely with these two. Merritt is believed to be a descendant of the same Peter Stroud, so this is a case where the DNA has helped confirm an ancestry where the documentary evidence, by itself, was not very strong.
• A descendant of Samuel & Hazey Stroud of Fulton Co. AR also matches the above group, although not quite as closely as they match each other. These are my Strouds. We know Samuel was in SC in the 1820s, when his older children were born, but don’t know if he was just passing through or was a member of one of the established SC Stroud families. I always suspected Samuel came from the Greenville or Spartanburg Strouds, until the DNA tests came in. Of course, he may be related to these Strouds and to John & Hannah, too. I really hope there are other South Carolina Strouds out there who will take the DNA test so we can start figuring out how or if we all fit together!
• All of the above Stroud DNA profiles match closely with a large Griffin family that showed up in southern North Carolina (Mecklenburg, Anson, & Union counties) in the late 1700s. We also match fairly closely with descendants of a Richard Griffin who was born ca. 1700 in Prince George Co., VA, where John & Hannah Stroud lived. At this point, we do not know whether we have a Stroud family with a large Griffin branch, or vice versa, but it appears these families have been genetically intertwined since the 1600s.
• A descendant of Sherwood Stroud of Oglethorpe Co. GA has also taken the test. Sherwood is believed to be another descendant of John & Hannah’s son William. However, this DNA result does not match at all to the above Strouds, but matches extremely closely to the Chester Co. SC Stroud family that immigrated to SC from Ireland in the 1760s. We don’t know yet whether this means that the Chester Co. SC family and John & Hannah’s family were related back in England, or whether there were unrelated Sherwood Strouds in Georgia; or perhaps there is some other explanation no one has thought of yet.
• We do know there were unrelated John Strouds in Virginia and Orange Co. NC early on. A descendant of the John Stroud who married Sarah Morris and died in 1776 in Mecklenburg Co., VA, has taken the test and is not related to any of the above Strouds. Traditional genealogists have told us for a long time that there were unrelated John Strouds in southern Virginia and NC early on, but the DNA confirms it, and also gives us a way to sort out who belongs to which of these Stroud families.
I hope more Strouds will get DNA testing! Right now, Family Tree DNA has a very good sale on their standard 37 marker test (ending June 30). Most of the Strouds who have been tested so far have tested with this company, although some have tested with Ancestry.com. I’m really not a shill for either company – just a strong advocate for this form of genealogy, that holds the ability to solve some of the Stroud mysteries that have been plaguing our research for generations.
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