CHART: American Milam Genetic Genealogy

I prepared this chart to better illustrate the genetic relationships between Thomas Milam and John Milam Sr and their sons as indicated by the FTDNA BIG Y sequencial analysis of a few of their descendants. I use blocks containing the individual’s name and their inherited terminal SNP. The lines of descent are shown by arrows and I indicate when a new Terminal SNP was created. ("Terminal" as in bus terminal where lines branch; not terminal as in final branch!)

The chart shows that Thomas Milam inherited the same terminal SNP BY33970 as their British ancestors - no new SNP was created at Thomas’ conception. Thomas’ sons Benjamin, John and Zachariah inherited his Terminal SNP BY33970 - no new SNP for them either. However, Thomas’ son, Rush, acquired a new terminal SNP BY34096 at the time of his conception. (link) estimated the TMRCA for Rush Milam's Terminal SNP R-BY34096 was about 200 ybp - around 1800 AD - again a rough estimate. By the way, his new SNP BY34096 defines a new genetic branch (subclade) in the Thomas Milam line and is referred to as a Terminal SNP.

Milam Genetic Genealogy Chart

The left side of the chart also illustrates that the two Enyart / Milam men are descendants of Rush Milam via an unknown descendant who was the first Milam to acquire the terminal SNP FT35833. Zack Daugherty, our Surname Project co-administrator, suspects this man may be his “brickwall” Milam, possibly Rush Milam’s son, John. Later the Enyart / Milam line acquired another terminal SNP FT114175.

The chart also shows that the John Milam Sr sons Bartlett, James and John Jr inherited his  two  SNPs: BY67643 and FT184340. However, the two alleged descendants of Samuel Milam have different results: one alleged descendant tested BY 67643 and FT184340; the other tested the a new SNP FT196122. The same is the case for the two alleged descendants of Thomas Milam. So we don't know which of John Sr's sons acquired the new SNP FT196122 at his conception.

These different Y-DNA results are NOT a Y-DNA testing error. Rather the error is in the descendants' genealogical "paper trails".  If we had two or more testees for other sons of Thomas or John Sr, we would probably see other inconsistencies in results due to errors in paper trails because it is very difficult to be certain of our ancestors from 6 or 7 generations ago.


Apparently my chart confused some because it shows Benjamin Rush Milam as a descendant of Thomas' son, Rush. Some thought that I was referring to Moses' son, "Ben Milam" of Alamo fame. But Thomas' son, Rush Milam, also named a son, Benjamin Rush Milam, most probably to honor his brother, Benjamin, who died in our Revolutionary War. And there should be no doubt that the name "Rush" pays respect to his mother, Mary Rush, the daughter of William Rush whose farm was less than a mile from Thomas Milam's farm in Culpeper County. Details here (link).

Please remember that Thomas Milam's sons would have known their Rush grandparents, aunts and uncles up till 1761 when they moved to Bedford County. Really they were the only family his sons knew since Thomas' family was in England.

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