DNA Proof That There Are Four Distinct Hendricks and Hendrickson Families in Colonial South-western and South-central Pennsylvania

In Colonial era south-central and southwestern Pennsylvania (1760s-1780s), there are at least FOUR lines of Hendricks/on families, all with different DNA.

Because migration patterns were similar for early Americans, it’s not uncommon for two families with the same name to be in the same place at the same time — and NOT be related at all.

Many of the descendants of these men have taken DNA test, and there is a Hendricks Family DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA.com that has sorted them into matching groups:

  • John Hendricks/Hendrickson (our forefather) – in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1760-1770, then in Fayette County between 1770-1786, then into Kentucky around 1786. We don’t know where he’s from originally (yet). My family’s haplogroup is R-M269 for the Hendrickson male line. 
  • Albertus/Tobias Hendricks – the family is originally Dutch and comes from Philadelphia to Chester, then Lancaster County and York County. Much of this is documented in the Frontier Hendricks books (you can find them for free on FamilySearch.org. But the author, Davenport, didn’t have access to DNA in the 1990s when he wrote it, so some of the family connections he suggested aren’t actually real family connections (see Adam Miller Hendrix). In Davenport’s defense, he does say that there seems to be a connection between certain families, but he’s not sure. Per FamilyTreeDNA Hendricks project, this family’s haplogroup is I-M223
  • Daniel/Abraham Hendricks of Springhill, Fayette  – This is likely the Daniel Hendrick of Haverhill Massachusetts line. Martin Hendrix, the administrator of the Hendricks DNA Project on FamilyTreeDNA, confirmed on August 11, 2018 that the Springhill, Fayette Hendricks family DNA matches the Daniel Hendricks of Haverhill, MA family. Daniel and Abraham are in Fayette County in the 1780s; no one seems to know where they’re from. Davenport, in Frontier Hendricks, indicates that he doesn’t know if Daniel is from the Albertus line. This is the line that Thomas A Hendricks, Vice President of the USA, is from. Even official Congressional/White House biographies at the time are vague about his background, only saying he grew up in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. This family’s haplogroup is I-M253.
  • Adam Miller Hendrix – has the same DNA haplogroup as my ancestors, but not close enough to ours to be a direct match. Adam is in York County, Pennsylvania. Davenport hints that Adam is related to Daniel of Springhill Township, Fayette County, PA, but he says he can’t prove there’s a relationship. Now we know there’s not a relationship between Adam and the Albertus line, because Adam Hendrix’s family haplogroup is R-M269

The Hendricks Family DNA Project, and the Hendrickson Family DNA Project, on FamilyTreeDNA are an in-depth tool to discover which Hendricks and Hendrickson families lines are truly connected by DNA.

FamilyTreeDNA has a special test called the Y-DNA37 test, which is taken by Hendricks/Hendrickson direct male line, as it tracks chromosomes that pass only from father to son. If you’re unsure which Hendricks/Hendrickson line you belong to, I encourage you to look into the FamilyTreeDNA site, especially if you are a Hendricks/Hendrickson male.

A special note: In 2021, four people took an mtDNA test, and these female lines will lead back to Eve Hendrickson’s birth family at some point. This is a special type of test that tracks DNA mother-to-daughter, much like the YDNA tracks DNA father-to-son. Through careful tracing of the female line backward, two of these kits lead back to John and Eve Hendrickson’s daughters. Remember, they were in Fayette County, PA from 1770-1787. The two other kits lead back along the female line to Greene County, PA (about 30 miles from where John and Eve lived) around 1780. At this point, I’m comfortable that I’m only a generation or two from finding Eve Hendrickson’s maiden name. The two kits end with these couples: Elizabeth Pratt married Joseph Grim, and Nancy Adams married Thomas Burnfield/Bunfill. We’re not 100% sure “Nancy” was her first name, but her descendants have many matches to the Jacob Adams family of Greene, PA. If you are from either of these Pratt/Grim or Burnfield/Adams lines and have done a DNA test (autosomal DNA test is okay), please contact me. I’d love to see if we can figure out Elizabeth Pratt’s and Nancy Adams’ mothers’ maiden names. John Pratt Sr might be Elizabeth Pratt Grim’s father OR grandfather. John Pratt Sr’s wife is Elizabeth (could be a second wife); John Pratt Jr’s wife is Mehitable/Dotty from New Jersey. Jacob Adams married a Mary. That’s as far as I’ve gotten.

2 thoughts on “DNA Proof That There Are Four Distinct Hendricks and Hendrickson Families in Colonial South-western and South-central Pennsylvania

  1. Tremendous work Karyn !

    I’m McMillan who reached out to you on Ancestry. Thank you again for your gracious reply on April 8th 2020. Looks like I may need to look into what haplogroup group I might be in.



    1. I’m glad you found the articles helpful. I have a handful of other articles I need to write and get on this blog. It really does help to know your haplogroup (one for your father, one for your mother). This will help you figure out which families you’re most connected with and the ones you’re definitely not connected with.


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