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DNA testing of Plant and related names

Plant DNA

Introduction to Y-DNA testing and the Plant project

Plant is the 617th most common surname in England and Wales, where it represents 0.022% of the total population, and it is the 5729th most common name in the USA, where the figure is 0.002%. In North America, there may be some confusion of spelling with the French-Canadian name Plante, but this also is being tested in this study.

The Y-DNA evidence is already quite persuasive that Plant is an `effectively single origin' surname, despite being populous. However, by extending the number of Plants tested to around 50, we can expect to be able to make firmer pronouncements on whether Plant has single-ancestor (modal) origins, or is a multiple-origins surname as was previously held. A sufficient number of results is now avaiable at the 37-marker level to begin to piece together closest matches between the different Plant branches for which the documentary evidence does not provide genealogical links. A 37-marker test will help to reveal, eventually if not immediately, the closest Plant matches to your own ancestral Plant line.

If you are not suitable to be tested yourself, you can recruit suitable relatives for the Plant project.

You may be a female who is interested in a Plant line of descent. If you are familiar with genealogy, you will already be accustomed to the idea that you often need to look for collateral relatives (brothers, cousins, etc.) in order to make progress with tracing back your family lines. Only men have a Y-chromosome, which descends purely down the paternal line (i.e. from his father's father's father's etc. father): this carries information about this male-line of descent (which usually coincides with the descent of a surname).

Click here to see how to sign up yourself, or someone else, for the test.

The person whose address is entered in the on-line form will receive a testing kit with very simple instructions (for him painlessly to take a swab from inside his cheek). You may, for example, select the 12-marker Y-DNA12 test and, if necessary, upgrade to more markers later. Taking the 37 marker Y-DNA37 test, however, will more probably identify your own particular branch of the family more uniquely. Payment (e.g. by invoice) goes direct to the testing laboratory: I take no payment myself. I am available to offer advice, however, and to help with analysing the results - click here for further advice for participants, such as about how to contact me.

Open to all `Plant like' names

Some preliminary results are becoming available for various surnames, including Plant. Given a few characteristic Y-line DNA signatures for Plant, Plantt, and Plante, the study may be extended to other `Plant like' names such as Planty, Plenty, Planta, Plantard, Planterose, and names such as Somerset which are believed to have descended from Plantagenet.

Early planning for a Plant Study

Starting in 2001, volunteers were sought for studies on Plant-like names (any spelling). It was initially unclear what to expect. The earliest study for the name Sykes had shown it to be essentially a single-ancestor name despite the fact that it had been held to be a multiple-ancestor topographical name. Some have since questioned the reliability of this early Sykes study however.

An early focus for a DNA study of the Plant name related to:-

In Britain, the R clade (Celtic regions) is found mostly down the western side, with Scandinavian clades (Anglo-Saxon and Viking regions) found more to Britain's east. The `offspring' or `children' meaning of Plant can be associated in particular with the nearby Welsh language, though similar meaning is found in early English. The ancestors of the main Plant family have been found to belong to the R-P312+ sub-clade (all currently know sub-clades beneath it testing negative), which is rare in England but more common in Spain and Portugal. This sugests that, in past millennia, the ancestors of the Plants might have migrated from Spain through France to England.

Y-DNA testing does far more than just identify the clade, or haplogroup, of the person being tested. It identifies a unique signature for the particular branch of his surname, and so helps with the genealogy of the different branches of a surname.

Volunteered Plant-like and possibly-related name branches so far

As well as adult male Plant volunteers from further branches, additional adult male Plant volunteers from the same branches are sought in order to check the branch genealogy. The study was also opened to Warren/Waring-like names, though these have now gone their own ways with their own separate projects. Volunteers called Somerset are welcome as these may add further insights to the possibilities of Plantagenet descents.

Branch/spellingCode for Earliest known ancestor of branchTesting company,
volunteerkit number
Main matching Plant family
Sheffield, England. PlantP1aThomas Plant of Clowne, ?b 1745 Sutton-cum-Duckmanton in NE Derbyshire son of William Plant of Duckmanton. Descent apparently through William (bap 1772), William (b 1803)OA + FT 11830
Humberside, England. PlantP1b?ditto - i.e. ?Thomas Plant of Clowne, as above, but descent apparently through Benjamin (bap 1782) and John (Bark) Plant (b 1812)FT 18329
Sheffield, England. PlantP1c?ditto with descent from John Bark Plant through George PlantFT 141186
London, England. PlantP2aWilliam Plant of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, c1720 (born 1716 Tur Langton).OA + FT 277384
dittoP2bdittoOA
Northants, England. PlantP3aJoseph Plant, b c1794 Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, subsequently of Duckinfield (1815) and Denton (1821-35).OA
South Cheshire, England. PlantP5aEdward Plant of Siddington, c1565; with a line possibly from 15th century Rainow in east Cheshire.OA + FT 11858
Livingston, NJ, USA. PlantP7aJohn Plant, b c1646 England, d 1691 Branford, Ct, USA (married Betty Roundkettle). FT 7818
Austria. PlantP7b ditto FT 105871
Houma, LA, USA. PlantP12aJames Plant, b c1839 Ireland, moved to New York City. FT 22839
Vancouver, Canada. PlantP14aRichard Plant bap 27.4.1740 Brewood, son of Richard Plant of Chillington, Brewood, Staffs.FT 43911
Davis, California. PlantP19a Edward Plant b 1787, Birmingham, England FT 96105
York, England. PlantP20a John Plant, b 1700, Old Swinford near Stourbridge, Worcestershire FT 119000
Hampshire, England. PlantP23a Alec P Plant; b 1914 Sheffield, EnglandFT 144948
Waterford, Ireland. PlantP25a John Plant b c1808 Donoughmore Parish, Co Wicklow, Ireland (likely related to earlier Plants in parish register dating back to 1720)FT N83079
Dudley, England. PlantP26aEdward Plant, b 1779, Brewood, StaffordshireFT 182593
Texas, USA. PlantP27a AN
Queensland, Australia. PlantP28a Samuel Plant b 1768 m Mary Dignan b 1776 County Cavan, Ireland. Descent through James, Samuel, Sidney. FT 230023
Queensland, Australia. PlantP28b Samuel Plant b 1768 m Mary Dignan b 1776 County Cavan, Ireland. Descent through Samuel (ca.1800-81), Samuel (1836-1917). FT 248032
Narellan, NSW, Australia. PlantP29a James Plant b Buglawton/Macclesfield circa 1830 Cheshire, m Mary Ann Colyer and moved to London. Earlier descent possibly from William Plant (son of William) bap 2.3.1777 Knutsford, Cheshire. FT 232765
Gosford, NSW, Australia. PlantP30a Benjamin Plant (Master Potter) 1754-1823 at Lane End, Longton, Staffs, m Ann Clewlow 1762-1828 on 9 Jul 1781 at St Giles church in Newcastle, Staffs - had seven sons at Lane End; descent through 4th son John Plant b.1796, another John 1833-99, James Bradley Plant b 1858, John Thomas Plant 1885-1959. FT 273914
New York state, USA. PlantP31a FT 280105
Florida, USA. PlantP32aWilliamson Plant b 1763 m Frances Watts b 1760, a grandson of John Plant of county Caroline, Virginia who was possibly a son of William Plant resident of the "Pamunkey Neck" territory of Virginia prior to 29/1/1677. FT 280384
Davidson, NSW, Australia. PlantP33aWilliam M Thomas Plant b 1871 Sheffield, Yorkshire, possibly son of William b 1841 Sheffield who was possibly son of Benjamin b 1819 Clowne Derbyshire d 1861 (cf. P1a).FT 295512
USA. Plant(t)PT1aWilliam Plantt, b c1655, lived in Virginia, USA. Descent through John, William (fought with brother Williamson in the 1775-83 Revolutionary War and then moved to South Carolina), Lewis Henry, Wesley Henry, James Henry, Joseph Enoch, Robert HenryOA + FT 18227
Ontario, Canada. CarrX1aNow believed to be a lost son of the late PT1a aboveFT 40279
Florida, USA. PlanttPT2aFT 60092
Ontario, Canada. PlanttPT3a Robert Plant, b circa 1780 County Longford, Ireland and son Thomas; Thomas and his family emigrated to Orillic area of Ontario in 1855 FT 235642
Matching south-Lincolnshire Plant
Brough, Yorks. PlantP9aWilliam Plant b 27.5.1832 Leake East Fen Allotment (south Lincs, England) to John and Eliz (b 1791) FT 17015
NSW, Australia. PlantP18a Robert Plant m Isaat Warner 1.7.1650 at Winthorpe, Lincolnshire, England; descent through Thomas Plant, bap 25.3.1666 Winthorpe, will 2.10.1734 Sibsey, Lincolnshire; ...down to James Plant b 5.6.1792 Sibsey, son of Richard Plant and Sarah Waltham; James's sons emigrated to Australia FT 86357
Other Plant
(P4a, P10a and P15a are non-Plants who thought they might be descended from Plants)
London, England. Not Plant.P4a?James Plant b 1806 Cheadle, Staffordshire.OA
Ohio, USA. PlantP6aGeorge Plant, b 1819, Stafford England, son of Richard. Living in Finney Green, Keele, Staffordshire in 1840 when he married Dinah Grocott. Migrated to USA in 1882.FT 6948
Manchester, England. PlantP8aJonathan James Plant born of Martha Plant (spinster) at Leek on 25.10.1852; descent via Mark Ernest Plant b 1.May.1877 d 1.May.1951 Manchester (i.e. probably not a Plant by genetic male-line descent but by descent from Martha) FT 16102
Bedford, England. BrownP10a?John Plant b c1813 Laxfield, Suffolk (hitherto uncertain whether a Plant by genetic descent) FT 19112
Norwich, England. PlantP11aJoseph Plant father of Alfred Plant b 1839 Lichfield, Staffs. FT 22831
London, England. PlantP13aEdmund Plant, b Yorkshire c1900FT 32239
Anglesey, Wales. BoothP15a?Henry Plant b 1814 Bidulph son of John Plant - descent through his son Daniel Plant b 1860 Astbury, Cheshire who married Mary Ellen Booth (nee Harding). FT
Newport, Wales. PlantP16a Charles Plant, b 1916 Birmingham, England. FT 59162
Stamford, Lincs. PlantP17a George Plant b 1670 Wrangle, Lincs m Ann Skelton, descent through: Thomas b 1695 Wrangle; Thomas b 1720 Greetham, Rutland; John Plant b 1741 Gretham m Sarah Barsby at Morcott Church Rutland 31 March 1761. FT 67159
Portland, Oregon. PlantP21a Uriah Edward Plant; b 1849 Cork, Ireland; d 7.9.1911 York, Canada; possibly a son of Uriah Plant b 1821 Cheshire who was a merchant involved in a lawsuit in Clare in 1849, possibly coal merchant Uriah Plant b 1821, d 1868 Poplar London, son of Uriah Plant b 1768, lived in Leicester, 5th son of Samuel Plant of Lach Dennis near Northwish Cheshire, moved to Wicham, son of William Plant of Winsford, Cheshire FT 124512
Melbourne, Australia. PlantP22a John Plant (labourer) emigrated unmarried, aged 17, to Australia in 1868 from County Cork, Ireland; son of John Plant (labourer) and Johanna Keiley FT 133135
Cheadle, Staffordshire, England. PlantP24a Thomas Plant, b c1699 Leek who settled with his wife Margaret (nee Walker) in Cheadle c1722. Descent through John (1726-98), Thomas (1750-??), William (1783-1862), James (1806-59), James (1831-89). FT 165936
Reading, England. PlantP34a Evidently, Thomas Plant, b c1585 Bucks, descent through: John b 1632 Wooton Underwood, Bucks; William b 1677; Charles b 1704 Marsh Gibbon, Bucks; William b 1727; Edward b 1771 Charndon, Bucks; James b 1816; John b 1849; Thomas James (or James Thomas) b 1879 Appleton Whisk, Yorks; James Herbert b 1913 ManchesterFT 299895
Aukland, New Zealand. PlantP35a George William Plant, b 1875 Madeley, Shropshire, England; descent through George Geoffrey Plant, b 31.5.1910 Aukland, NZ. Earlier descent evidently from Francis Plante, b Jul 1626 Sheriff Hales, Shrops; via John Plant (1659); John (1695); William (1725) Stanton upon Hine Heath, Shrops; William (1758); Joseph (1794); James (1843) Wrockwardin Wood, Shrops.FT 332860
New volunteer currently awaiting results from lab
Canada. PlantP36a Joseph Plant (1840-1919). Descent through his son Harry Campbell Plant, who emigrated to Canada with his brother Joseph Eugene Plant in 1910.FT 372698
Matching Quebec Plante family
Quebec, Canada. PlantePE1bJean Plante, sailed to Canada in 1647 from La Rochelle-Laleu, France, landed at Quebec City, settled at Chateau Richer just to its east. (Descent through Francois b 1668 C.R. and Jos- Ambroise b 1697 C.R) FT 5420
Idaho, USA. PlantePE1cditto (Descent from Jean through his son Jean, then Louis, Joseph Marcel, Antoine, Jean Baptiste, Thomas, etc.) FT 13484
NJ, USA. PlantePE1efrom Quebec FT 101225
New York, USA. PlantePE1fJean Plante, sailed to Canada in 1647 from La Rochelle-Laleu, France, landed at Quebec City, settled at Chateau Richer just to its east FT 232920
Richmond, Virginia, USA. PlantePE2aErnest Plante (1918-91) Burlington, Vermont FT 76595
Illinois, USA. PlantePE3aJoseph Plante father of George Plante b 1871 Kanakee, Illinois FT 116202
Ames, Iowa, USA. PlantePE4a?France FT 62516
Other Plante
Ontario, Canada. PlantePE1aJean Plante, sailed to Canada in 1647 from La Rochelle-Laleu, France, landed at Quebec City, settled at Chateau Richer just to its east. (Descent through Francois b 1668 C.R. and Pierre b 1702)FT 5469
Michigan, USA. PlantePE1dAdolphe Ovide David Plante of Quebec (3.5.1841-1907, son of Louis Plante and Marie Anne Gingras); descent through David's 10th child Wilfrid Nazaire Leopold Plante (24.2.1880-1924)FT 92735
Indiana, USA. PlantePE5a?from Quebec FT 168281
Other Plant-like names
Zaragoza, Spain. PlanterPR1aRamón Planter (Goser) b 17 Dec 1844 Zaragoza (Descent through Antonio Planter (Sangorrin) b Jun 1905 Zaragoza) FT N11991
West Virginia, USA. PlantsPS1aChristian Plants, b 21 Apr 1747 Bavaria, Germany; descent through Jacob Plants, b c1807 Washington County, Pensylvania, USA.FT 71599
Warren/Waring-like names
Illinois, USA. WaringWG1aJohn Waring, father of Emanuel Waring, bap 4.Oct.1807 Dewsbury, W.Yorkshire, UK. FT
NSW, Australia. WaringWG2aWilliam Waring, b Lancashire, England; d Kilkenny, Ireland, will 1709 proved 1713. FT
Jacksonville, Arkansas, USA. WaringWG3aSampson Waring 1617-68, born in Shropshire, England, died in Maryland, USA.FT
Memphis, Tennesse, USA. WaringWG4aThomas Waring, Essex County, Virginia, USA, early 1700s. FT
Cornwall, England. WearingWEG1aHenry James Wearing, b Whitechapel, Middlesex, England 1828, d Nova Scotia 1909, son of James Wearing m Sarah Bignold 1824 St Mary, Whitechapel. FT
Columbia. WareingWREG1aHarry Wareing, b Gainsborough, Lincolnshire 1899FT
Suffolk, UK. WarrenW1aJames Warren, b 28.12.1716 Marnhull, Dorset FT
Warren (VNFSM, 66386)W2aGeorge Warren, EnglandFT
Warren (70059)W3a FT

Each volunteer has been given a code (e.g. P1a, P2a, etc.) and the above table relates each code to an "earliest known ancestor" based on documentary evidence.

The DNA Results

Results for those marked with the Testing Company "OA" (Oxford Ancestors) in the above table of volunteers are summarised under Initial Results. Some of the results for those with the Testing Company "FT" (FTDNA) appear under Futher Results where there is also included one tested with the company "AN" (Ancestry).

Standard Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) presentation of most of the Results

A kit number is given in the above table of volunteers for each FTDNA testee (i.e. for most of those who have been tested) and more complete FTDNA Y-DNA results (Y-SNP and Y-STR) for each kit number appear here.

The quality of the matches to the main English Plant family is tabulated in terms of genetic distance and discussed here.

Matching diagrams for Plant

I am grateful to Prof Richard E Plant for producing the diagrams and maps in this section, from the available FTDNA data.

Early volunteers (OA) had only 10 markers measured and the following Network diagram includes only Plant volunteers who have had at least 12 markers measured (with FTDNA). It shows differences in the measured values of these 12 markers. The labels correspond to the different volunteers who are identified in the table of volunteers above though, where more than one volunteer matches exactly (larger circles in the following diagram), only one label is shown.

12 loci Network

The largest red circle above shows that many of the Plant volunteers have exactly matching DNA signatures, at the 12 marker level, with other smaller red circles almost matching it. The red circle labelled P33a might be thought borderline but further testing shows that it belongs to the main English Plant family along with the other red circles. The yellow and green circles do not even nearly match for one of two possible reasons: because of false paternity events, also called non paternity events (NPEs); or, possibly instead because they descend from entirely separate medieval origins. The two green circles almost match one another and might be from a separate south Lincolnshire origin of the name. The yellow circle labelled P16a corresponds to both P16a and P21a.

NPEs arise when the DNA signature has not been inherited from a Plant ancestor but from a different father, perhaps because of a wifely infidelity, or adoption, or any other mechanism by which the Plant surname is passed on in a different way from that of the y-chromosome signature of the true father. Though there is only about a 2% chance of a NPE at each generation, this can accumulate to around a 40% chance when all the generations of descent are taken into account throughout Plant surname history and this can explain most, if not all, of the significant number of yellow and green circles.

When 37 markers are compared (see diagram below), the large red circle is differentiated into closely matching smaller red circles though those who have had only 25 or less markers measured do not appear in this diagram. Imprecise matching of the red circles to the ancestral Y-DNA signature can be expected because of occasional harmless mutations to the marker values down the generations. The yellow and green circles are more distant from the red and are due to NPEs or distinct medieval origins. The green circle corresponds to one of the pair of volunteers with geographically close ancestry in south Lincolnshire as well as a close genetic match at the 25 marker level.

37 loci Network

The above diagram was obtained using the Flexus Engineering Network software package and the following diagram is for the same data using the MEGA6 software package. The labeled volunteers in the top right corner correspond to the yellow and green circles of the Network diagram and their large distance to the right indicates that they are distant from the main English Plant family - as already indicated, this large distance is explained by NPEs or separate origins. The scale at the bottom of the diagram indicates a genetic distance of 2 in going from left to right with PMH at the left indicating one possible estimate of the ancestral DNA signature of the main English Plant family, as discussed a little further below.

37 loci MEGA6 tree

For the red circles at the 37-marker level, an ancestral descent tree can be inferred, though further results might lead to some revisions. There is some ambiguity about whether, for example, the ancestral value of the marker CDYa was 36 or 37 and only the CDYa=36 case is illustrated below, as well as above for the MEGA6 tree. The numbers against the descent lines in the tree below represent the numbers of harmless DNA mutations that have occurred randomly down that descent line.

Descent Tree assuming CDYa=36

Based on the locations of the earliest known ancestors of each of these volunteers, the following schematics outline the matching volunteers' connections to the evident ancestral homeland of east Cheshire for the main English Plant family. There may of course be missing detours in the implicit migrations of this schematic map.

Descent Map assuming CDYa=36

The following diagram zooms in on the west-midlands homeland to show the detail there more clearly (A denotes the fourteenth-century homeland).

Descent Map core assuming CDYa=36

The above 37-marker diagrams show, for example, that the DNA-tested Plants whose earliest-known male-line ancestors were near Sheffield (P23a, P1a, P1c, P33a) are not only geographical neighbours on the map but also are genetically linked by the computed ancestral network. This suggests that a particular branch of the Plant family found its way to that region fairly early, as was already suspected for the genealogically-linked P1a and P1c but not necessarily for P23a or P33a. The more recent addition, P33a, has since been considered to have a similar genealogical descent to P1a. On the other hand, the genetic network is also spread across the Irish sea and indicates that PT3a links back to England through a different branch of the Plant family from that of P28a and P28b, despite the geographical proximity of PT3a to P28a/b in Ireland.

Some caution is needed, however, in interpreting all of the details of the network for the descent tree and maps. The lines do not necessarily imply direct migration paths in the maps. This is especially so when the genetic distance between linked neighbours in the network is large, since it is possible that there were substantial meanderings on the map while the genetic mutations were taking place. The lines can also be misleading when the Y-DNA signature of a volunteer approximates that of the medieval ancestor of the main Plant family. With few genetic mutations down the centuries for a particular line, there is then nothing to tie the descending generations of the volunteer's unchanging Y-DNA signature to any particular time since the fourteenth century. For example, P20a evidently seems to have no mutation from the Plants' ancestral signature, in the model of the above descent tree. It just happens that P20a's earliest-known male-line ancestor was near Birmingham, in 1700. However, the overall documentary evidence makes it more reasonable to suppose that the geographic focus of the lines should not be placed near Birmingham but, rather, at the evident fourteenth-century ancestral homeland, marked "A" in the map, near the Cheshire-Staffordshire border.

We can expect a better definition of this ancestral tree as more Plant volunteers come forward to be DNA tested and as more tested makers become available beyond the 37 used above to infer the above descent tree and maps.

The genetic network for those who have had at least 67 markers measured is shown below. The red circles represent the different Y-signatures that have diverged from the ancestral signature in their various ways, by the occasional mutations down the generations. As before, the yellow circle might have arisen from this same Plant family, through a female link (NPE) rather than down an intact male line, or it could alternatively have arisen from an entirely different origin to the Plant surname. The network is computed, as above, using the median joining algorithm of the Network software package. The details of the network are sensitive to the relatively-few off-modal mutations in the DNA results; this can be expected to improve as more markers are measured so that the computed network is not as substantially affected by one or two extra discovered mutations. This sensitivity, for the limited-marker data, can be seen in particular by the very different juxtapositions of P1a and P30a in the following 67-marker diagram as against the 37-marker diagram above. The overall picture is hampered also by the fewer volunteers participating, as against the slightly better Plant participation in the above 37-marker diagram, such that significant gaps can be expected in the Plant descent tree about which the algorithm has to try to make guesses.

67 loci Network

More Plant volunteers will determine the network with more certainty. So far, only a few Plants have had 111 markers measured and no corresponding network diagram is shown for that marker level.

Some of the Plant volunteers have traced their paternal origins back only as far as ancestors overseas, such as in Ireland or the USA. However, for those who have traced their ancestry back to around the main Plant homeland in Staffordshire, England, the following map shows the location and date of their earliest known male-line ancestor. The colours of the circles have the same significance as in the above Network diagrams. The darker the brown of the background colour, the higher the proportion of Plants to the general population for each county, as derived from 1881 Census data, with the highest proportion being in the county of Staffordshire. The DNA data shows that a single Plant family (red circles) extends beyond the county boundaries of Staffordshire by the eighteenth century.

Local distribution of matching Plant ancestors

Some statistical considerations

Y-DNA test results are often clear cut; but, in some cases, it is appropriate to consider their statistical basis:

Summary of Results for Plant-like names so far

A characteristic Y-line DNA signature has been found for 26 of the 39 Plant volunteers tested so far and different results have been obtained for 1 volunteer called Plants and for 10 volunteers called Plante (though 7 of the 10 called Plante match one another). Largely consistent results with at least half of the volunteers matching, such as has been found so far for Plant (and separately for Plante), can be considered to be expectable provided that one supposes each name, Plant and Plante, descended mostly from its own single family. The Canadian Plante family is of different male-line stock from the main English Plant family. Either might be fantastically imagined to have descended from the fictionally-supposed 7th century Plantard family in France; or, fiction aside, from Eimeric de la Planta (alias de Plant') in Anjou in 1202. Alternatively, the main Plant family could be just an English family from around 1200-1400; other evidence, taken with these Y-DNA findings, suggests that the name of the main English Plant family may have originated as that of perhaps polygynous children in the Welsh Marches in the 13th or 14th centuries and have the Welsh meaning `[many] children' or the surname might have been ascribed to several related men with the topolgical meaning `living near the newly planted vaccary of the Black Prince'; more certainly, this single medieval family has grown to an unusual extent.

A further preliminary comment is that the characteristic signature for Plant (so far) has been found to agree with one for Plantt. Plantt appears in early records in England and it is sometimes written Plantt. This might be fancifully imagined to point to a possibility that Plant was an abbreviation of a French surname such as Plantinet (rare) or even Plantagenet (see also further details about Plantt). The Plantagenets can also be associated with Warren/Waring-like names (see also evidence for a Plant-Warenne affinity) but, so far, only one of the Warrens/Warings tested matches with the Plantt/Plant family. Indeed, further Warren results appear in the Y-search database; and, so far, few named Warren or Waring have matched any other Warren or Waring, such that it is beginning to look as though, unlike Plant(t), Warren and Waring are multiple-ancestor surnames, perhaps mostly descended from various unrelated individuals with the common Norman personal name Warin. There has been a close match of one Warren (W2a), at the twelve-marker level, to the main English Plant family; but, further evidence would be needed before it could be claimed that the Y-DNA signatures of this Warren and most Plants descend from the yet-unknown Y-DNA signature of the Plantagenets. Any connection to the Plantagenet name is hence more likely cultural, relating to the nutritive, augmentative and generative powers of the (royal) plant soul, such as at the above mentioned vaccary of the Black Prince.

Grossly inconsistent results, unlike those found so far for Plant(t), could have been expected if there had been many false paternity events down the centuries or if there had originally been many different Plant families. The DNA results so far tend not to confirm particulalry such suppositions as ones that there were many different Plant families who happened to be called Plant simply because they were (a) all `gardeners' or (b) all influenced into calling themselves Plant out of respect for the Plantagenet name. It is possible of course that they all descend largely from one family that was so influenced, with most other Plant lines having died out. Our computer simulations indicate that there is perhaps just a handful of surviving Plant families, with in particular one dominant one that has grown abnormally as indicated by the DNA results. Another possibility that can not yet be discounted is that the English Plant name was sanitised from Plente (meaning abundant or fertile) - no DNA result is yet available, for comparison purposes, for the surname Plenty which may have derived from Plente.

Further Y-line testing of Plant-like names, such as for the Plante family of Gascony (SW France), or the Plantard family of Brittany (NW France), or the noble Planta/Von Planta family of Switzerland, might shed further light.

The Plant project was begun in late 2001 and initial accounts of its implications for the Plant and Plantagenet names have been published as:

Further advice for participants

The test involves the volunteer simply taking a swab of cells from the inside of his mouth. A summary of the results may be published here, with the personal names of each testee being kept anonymous.

The Plant Family History Group has offer prices with the FamilyTree-DNA (FT-DNA) Testing Laboratory. The standard FT-DNA test measures 12 markers for 49 US dollars, though 25 markers can be measured instead for 124 US dollars or 37 markers for 149 US dollars or 67 markers for 239 US dollars. You can take the 12-marker test and then subsequently upgrade to more markers if appropriate though measuring (or upgrading to), for example, 37 markers can be beneficial in the long run.

If you are interested in participating in the Plant DNA Testing programme, you can either:

It would be helpful to the project if you could supply me with the earliest known male-to-male Plant ancestor of the intended testee and that ancestor's historical location.

You may send your message with questions and/or comments to me by whatever method you prefer..

(email: john.plant@one-name.org or by postal address: Dr J.S.Plant, 7 Ontario Close, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 8TG, England).


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