Cone DNA Study

By William G. Cone, Jr., Major retired GaARNG

November 2010


Special thanks to Al Louis Cone, Jr., retired professor, University of North Dakota, Bismarck, ND, and all of the Cone participants.


History of the research done by the Cone participants:

     In the late 1990’s, a group of individuals interested in determining the ancestors of the Cone family began to participate on an internet group started by Al Cone at the University of North Dakota.  This interaction continued for almost ten years.

     The Genealogy information was slowing down when several participants were encouraged to do some DNA testing. Gene Tree, Inc. in San Jose, CA was selected to administer the Y-chromosome test.  Individuals were drafted that met the requirements for a paternal Y-chromosome test and Gene Swab Specimens were sent to Gene Tree, Inc.  Each participant submitted their known ancestors which was compiled and listed on a group website confidential to group members of the site.  Gene Tree, Inc. made the first test result available in 2001. It was not long after when Gene Tree, Inc. got out of the genealogy business and turned all of the results and the account over to Relative Genetics in Salt Lake City, UT.  All of the data was converted to a new format and added to the Relative Genetics website.

      In 2007, Relative Genetics sold out to and the data was converted again to the system and website.  The haplogroup designations and marker designations have been updated since the original test, and the number of markers on new tests has increased to allow more interpretation.

     The participants of this study were always encouraged to draw their own conclusions from the data.  This article reflects my analysis and conclusions from the information shared by these participants. The individuals that started and participated in this study are no longer a group, but the DNA data is still maintained by  Hopefully, genealogy researchers and families will take this information, improve on it, and use it to help find their ancestors.  Remember to use this information as a guide to enhance your search.  Hopefully, new updates in DNA research will improve and make it easier to determine the facts.


The Study:

     The following study was conducted to determine the DNA factors that were common to (4) four documented ancestors of the Cone family.  Any participant not submitting documentation traced to one of the 4 ancestors was put in the “Unknown” group. All participants were separated by more than 3 generations. 


Ancestor Groups which the study is based on:

“PeeDee” William Cone Tree (7 participants with ancestors traced to “PeeDee” William)

William Cone said to be the son of William (possibly Aaron) b. abt. 1745, m. Kesiah Barber, lived on the Pee Dee River in NC, removed to SC, Effingham Co., GA, Camden Co., GA., buried at Ivanhoe, Bulloch Co., GA, children: Aaron, Jane, William, Joseph, Sarah, Nancy, and Mary. 

 “Sandersville” William Cone Tree (2 participants with ancestors traced to “Sandersville” William) William Cone b. possibly about 1758, tradition says in North Carolina: d. in Sandersville, Washington County, Ga., in 1820. Descendants claim that he served in the Revolutionary War. Removed early in his married life to Columbia County, Ga., and his children were born there. m. Miss Beacham, d. 1812.  Children: Levi, Thomas, Mary and John Washington Cone b. 1780 in Columbia county m. Nancy Wadsworth.




“Martin” William Cone Tree (2 participants with ancestors traced to “Martin” William) 

William Cone b. 1734 in Halifax Co., NC, d. abt. 1795 in Martin Co., NC, m. Elizabeth Morris abt.1754, b. abt. 1737 d. 1796 in Martin Co. , 2nd m. Cloannah (Chloe) Dugan b. abt. 1744 in Bertie Co. NC, d. abt. 1795 in Martin Co. NC.  Children:  William, Jesse, Lewis, Neal, Levi, Oliver, Martha, Isaiah, Chloe.

“Haddam” Daniel Cone Tree (2 participants with ancestors traced to “Haddam” Daniel)

Daniel Cone b.1626 d. 24 Oct 1706,  b.  Edinburgh Scotland, emigrated to USA around 1651.  Died in Haddam, Conn. Married Rebecca widow of Richard Walkley of Haddam.  2nd marriage to  Mahitable Spencer.  Children: Ruth, Hannah, Daniel, Jared, Rebecca, Ebenezer, Nathaniel, Stephen, Caleb.

“Unknown” Cone Tree (5 participants with ancestors traced to other Cones but not excluding the above groups).


The following is a chart based on the results of the Y-Chromosome Test.


Explanation of DNA Profile Analysis:

     Eighteen participants were tested. Each participant submitted lineage documentation for their families and was assigned to one of the above groups. The Y-DNA genetic test was based on twelve discrete locations on the Y-chromosome which will construct a DNA profile for each participant.  The 12 locations are designated by a locus or marker number. Combinations of the marker numbers determine a haplogroup which tells us the locations and origins of the individual. Haplogroups are determined by ongoing test data and are subject to change as discovery takes place. An example is the I1c haplogroup has been changed recently to I2b1. Individuals of a like haplogroup share a common origin.

     Kinship of father to son can be determined by comparing the 12 markers of the participants.  A 12 to 12 marker match would be 100% match and indicate a paternal match within 15 generations. A 11 to 12 match would be 92% and indicate paternal match within 50 generations. A 10 to 12 match would be 83% and indicate paternal match within 75 generations.

      To maintain validity, each participant was selected with a generation gap that would assure results with no duplication of closely related direct lines. Each groups’ designated forefather is generation one (1). Each generation is numbered 2, 3, 4, etc. consecutively.  The test results chart and the generation profiles show where the generation splits with other participants and how many generations the participant is away from the first (1) generation.



DNA participant’s haplogroup analysis:

P -“PeeDee” group had 7 participants and all participants were in the I1c haplogroup. I2b1 is the new designation for this haplogroup.

S - “Sandersville” group had 2 participants and both participants had a haplogroup of – R1b.

M - “Martin” group had 2 participants and both participants had a haplogroup of – R1b.

H - “Haddam” group had 2 participants and both participants had a haplogroup of – R1b.

U- “Unknown” group had 5 participants and 3 had a haplogroup of R1b and 2 participants had a haplogroup of I1b. U-40 and U-150 from the lineage of Acey/Jesse b. 1773 NC match the “S” group. U-180 from the lineage of Greenberry b.1805 NC had a 92% match with “S” group.


DNA participants 12 locus or marker analysis:

P- “PeeDee” group had 3 participants with a 100% match and 4 with a 92% match. All participants in the other ancestry groups were less than a 75% match to the “PeeDee” group.

S- “Sandersville” group had 2 participants with a 100% match.  “Sandersville” group matches 92% with M-50 a “Martin” group participant.

M- “Martin” group had 2 participants with a 75% match.  M-50 in the "Martin” group has a 92% match with the “Sandersville” group. M-160’s closes match is 75%.

H- “Haddam” group had 2 participants with a 100% match. All other Groups were 75% or fewer matches.

U- “Unknown” group had 5 participants. 2 match the “Sandersville” group 100%.  1 matched the “Sandersville” group 92%.  U-60 and U-140 match 100% and represent a separate haplogroup. 


      Haplogroup I1c, I2b1 indicates lineage of the “PeeDee” William group.  Haplogroup R1b indicates the lineage of “Martin”, “Sandersville”, and “Haddam” groups.  Therefore, based on haplogroup the “PeeDee” group has a different lineage from the other groups and the “PeeDee” group is not closely related to any of the other groups.  Matches of individual markers indicate that the “Sandersville” group and the “Martin” groups could be related and the “Haddam” group is not likely to be closely related. The generation split of all participants is great enough to expect a high degree of accuracy but only the “PeeDee” group has enough participants to be assured of a high degree of accuracy. The generation profile is based on participant family information and a father to son determination could be determined more accurately if the number of markers tested could be increased.

   The conclusion gained from this article is that the “PeeDee” family line has a different Haplogroup (lineage) from the other family lines tested.  Why is this conclusion important for the Cone family?”  Because many researchers are concluding that “PeeDee” William is the same person as William Cone b.1758, from Columbia/Sandersville. This research shows this not to be true. Many publications have concluded that “PeeDee” William is related to one or more of the other groups tested. Based on this research, this is not true.  Articles have been written based on general analyses of the time frame and locations which conclude a direct family line between “PeeDee” William and the other groups tested.  This research shows this not to be true. Some name analysis and rumors have tied these groups together.  The rumors are turning into acceptance by many, and this article should dispel this direction of thought.


Reference: SOME ACCOUNT of the CONE FAMILY IN AMERICA, by William Whitney Cone, Crane Co., Topeka Kansas, 1903.


Copyright 2010 by William G. Cone, Jr.         ISBN 978-0-578-07417-7

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any other information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the author.