Robert Courtney of “Onslow” 1695

Anyone wishing more information can email me at

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of pedigrees published that declare that Robert Courtney 1695-1751 of Onslow, North Carolina is the son of Reverend John Courtney and grandson of Robert Courtney 1640-1684 “The Immigrant” of Virginia. Most of these assumptions are falsely based on the book entitled King and Queen County, Virginia by Rev. Alfred Bagby 1908. Like so many genealogical books written around the turn of the last century many of the conclusions were in error and are gradually being corrected. For an excellent treatise concerning these early Roberts please refer to the article:

WHO WAS ROBERT COURTNEY’S FATHER? By Chuck Courtney – ©2016.

Enter DNA testing, specifically YDNA which traces the Y chromosome in males going back from son to father to father. The Y chromosome is very slowly mutating allowing a wonderful tool to compare men going backwards from today for thousands of years.

The first male Courtney received his YDNA results from in late August of 2002. The word has spread and DNA testing has gradually become a commonly used tool in the genealogists tool kit.

Sadly, the advent of YDNA did not immediately stop the false claims of Robert of “Onslow” 1695 parentage or of his supposed grandfather's Robert 1640 “The Immigrant” descent from the Courtenays of Powderham Castle. Articles have been published in the journal of The Courtenay Society by Robert Courtney of Onslow descendants claiming that their YDNA genetic haplogroup was identical to the ancient Courtenay family of England and France. It is unknown at this time if any descendants of Powderham Castle have YDNA tested. Another website, and another Robert Courtney of Onslow descendant, proclaims A Link to DNA of Long Ago, with text and photos to the ancient Courtenay family although it has never been proven what YDNA the ancient Courtenay family held.

Where do we stand today?

It has always been a goal of the Courtney DNA Project to gather together members of similar genealogies based upon sound DNA evidence. So, in reality, genetics trumps written histories.

There has been a concerted effort made by many members of the project to obtain DNA samples from descendants of Robert Courtney 1640-1684 “The Immigrant”. What was needed was to find descendants from all the sons of “The Immigrant” and to verify that the lineages were accurate and prove or disprove that Robert of Onslow 1695 was the grandson of Robert “The Immigrant”.

Robert of “Onslow” 1695 – YDNA Results

Seventeen members with written documentation of a descent from Robert Courtney of “Onslow” 1695 have YDNA tested and four have taken the Big Y test.

The STR mutation values are displayed on the Courtney DNA Project - Y-DNA Classic Chart, scroll down to Group 23a.

The SNP mutation that defines the descendants of Robert Courtney of “Onslow” 1695 is
R1b-BY27748 proven by Big Y testing from descendants of his five sons. The SNP BY27748 is estimated to have mutated in 1389 A.D., which is great for dating of descendants of this genetic group.