Jay/Gee/Joy DNA Study - Status

What has been accomplished as of April 2007

FOUR Distinct US JAY Lines have now been Identified by DNA

During 2005-2006, the JAY DNA Project specifically tested known descendants of William JAY (m. Mary Vestal). The purpose of this was to establish a control group for this line. This helped us better understand the DNA marker variances that could be expected in a 'typical' ancestral line. This control group also enabled us to specifically establish the exact DNA haplotype of William JAY.

In September 2006, we tested two descendants of Thomas JAY (b. 1753) of Bedford Co. PA. The Bedford Co. PA JAY group is very large and boasts of 1000s of descendants throughout the US. Of interest, the results of these donors DID NOT match the haplotype for William JAY.

In November 2006, we received the test results from a descendant of Peter JAY (b. 1790) of Sussex Co. NJ / Lycoming Co. PA. His DNA matched neither that of William JAY or Thomas JAY (1779).  It does however match the descendants of a VERY LARGE GEE family whose ancestor John GEE bca1635 came out of Westchester Co., NY

In January 2007, we obtained a breakthrough match from a descendant of the Rev. Patriot, Joseph JAY, born 1753 in NJ which connected him with the line of William Jay (m. Mary Vestal). This match will help descendants from both lines concentrate their research activities.

During April 2007, 3 more donors test results have been received...this data continues to help define JAY family relationships previously undocumented or incorrectly linked!!! For all the details concerning these results click here.

In 2012, we obtained another breakthrough match from a descendant of the Rev. Lorenzo Dow JAY of Ohio which connected him with the line of William Jay (m. Mary Vestal). 

The following are the current 13 Colonial JAY lines we are actively researching and testing...

  1. Augustus1655 = Augustus JAY born 1655, m. Ann Maria Bayard, died 1751, grandfather of Chief Justice John Jay.  DNA results have now confirmed this is a distinct line that has no relationship with any of the other Colonial lines listed below.
  2. William1711 = William JAY born ca 1711, m. Mary Vestal in Frederick Co. VA, died ca 1773 in Ninety-Six Dist SC.  See menu at left for link to latest on William Jay of Frederick Co., VA.
  3. Stephen1733 = Stephan JAY born ca 1733, m. Hannah Wilson, lived in Harford Co. MD, died 1796 in Harford Co. MD.  As of 2020, the DNA project is still looking for a donor from this line.
  4. Thomas1753 = Thomas Gee/JAY ca 1753, died 1815 in Bedford Co. PA, thought to be the progenitor of the Bedford Co. PA JAYs.  Also see link in menu at left...The Jay Family of Bedford Co., PA for more information and detailed report with sourced documention.
  5. David1752 = David Gee/JAY born 1752, Rev. Patriot, m. Polly, died 1833 Tioga Co. PA
  6. Joseph1753 = Joseph JAY born 1753 in NJ, Rev. Patriot, m. Eleanor Nelson, died 1835 in Bucks Co. PA. 
  7. Moses1760 = Moses Gee/JAY out of Sussex Co. NJ to Lycoming Co. PA is father of Peter JAY b. 1790 and probably John JAY of Lycoming Co. PA.
  8. Joshua1765 = Joshua JAY born 1765, m. Belcher sisters, died Erie Co. OH. As of 2020, the DNA project is still looking for a donor from this line; however, research points to him having a Gee connection.
  9. David1740 = David Gee/JAY born ca 1740, died 1813, m. Lydia. Also see link in menu at left...The Catholic Jays of Maryland…. the family and descendants of David and Lydia Gee/Jay  for more information and detailed report with sourced documention. 
  10. George1774 = George JAY born ca 1774 in PA, m. Mary Ann (Wisner) Burleigh, died in Mercer Co. IL, probable brother to John Frederick Jay 1777
  11. John F.1777 = John Frederick JAY born ca 1777 in PA, m. Sarah Mather, died ca 1846 in OH, probable brother to George Jay1774
  12. Martin W.1785 = Martin W. JAY born ca 1785 in NJ, m. Elizabeth Edwards in Cumberland Co. NJ, one of many Cumberland Co. NJ JAYs.  Also see link in menu at left...The Cumberland County (New Jersey) Jays for more information and detailed report with sourced documention. 
  13. John1745 = John Gee/JAY born 1745, d. 1823 in Broome Co., NY, married twice, Revolutionary War Patriot…the Broome Co. NY JAYs

Most of these particular individuals are known to be at least second or third generation US citizens (not immigrants)...several may be cousins of some sort. The majority of the JAYs (~36%) in the US descend from William1711 (#2 above). The color coded lines indicate those that have been tested. DNA testing has already proven #2 to be related to #6 and #12 through a common earlier ancestor. DNA testing has proven #4 to be related to #9 through a common earlier ancestor. DNA testing has also shown #7 and #11 not related to the other tested lines or each other. You may click on the underlined ancestor name of each line to learn more about this group.

What Does this Tell Us?

  1. Each one of the above ‘non-matched’ lines had separate, distinct and unique immigrant ancestors to the US. Who were they?
  2. The DNA mismatch is so great that a common ancestor would not have existed within the last 9000 years.  This predates the creation and use of what we today consider surnames.
  3. They are totally different lines.

Continuing Goals

  • Continue to identify and test descendants of the untested 13 Colonial JAY lines