Saturday, November 2, 2013

Are our Long ancestors really Longs?

This was the question that arose after DNA tests indicated that the Y chromosome inherited by all the male Longs in our family was not related to ANY other Longs who had done the same test. But within the past year, another kind of DNA test, autosomal, which is inherited from all of one's ancestors, suggested an interesting twist. The results provided strong evidence that we really our Longs, but perhaps in a somewhat non-conventional way.

In the page on "Identifying The Parents of Jackson Long", I summarize the information about Jackson's early life and his parents. The remaining pages focus on Jackson's maternal side, which includes one of the largest and most widespread Long families in the United States. Their origins are from England, running through Greene County, Pennsylvania back to Queen Anne's County Maryland. The page on the Bearmore family represents a recent discovery that answers a mystery that goes back for several decades. We still do not know the real story behind Jackson Long's paternal line, but eventually additional Y-DNA results may answer that question. In the meantime, this research has been able to break through the usually more difficult problems of discovering the maiden names for Jackson's mother and his maternal grandmother.

In the meantime, here's a key to the family of Jackson's maternal grandfather, which shows our Long origins can be traced well into the 17th century.


  1. This is absolutely amazing work. Who knew there would be such a twist? So we are related to the other Longs, only through Mary and her family. Thomas appears to pop up out of nowhere? Thank you so much for this work and making it available to us.

  2. Yes, we have nothing on Thomas other than his DNA and his name given by Jackson. Did Jackson know who his father was for sure? We can't say. It is perhaps meaningful that Jackson did not name any of his sons Thomas despite having so many opportunities, and that being a custom in the family. I suspect that Jackson did not know and/or have much affection for his father. There is a Thomas Long or Lang in the 1820 census back in Greene county, although that individual appears married with a young daughter. Meanwhile, our Mary appears to have been born no early than 1805, and she is accounted for in the 1820 census in the household of James Long. So Thomas remains a mystery. It is an amazing story, and one that could only be told through the combination of paper genealogy and DNA.