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Todds of Carson Fork, Rutherford and Cannon Counties, Tennessee
Genealogy and DNA

Rustic Tenneessee Log Cabin Porch | Todds of Carson's Fork

Genealogical-DNA of the Todds of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, Tennessee

  • Genealogy


Todd genealogy in Rutherford and Cannon has suffered much confusion over the years due to lack of original historical documentation.


Todds throughout America have been keeping family history records since prior to immigration. Early genealogists have earned admiration for their tireless and tedious pursuit of family history. Their searches were done the “ol’ fashioned” way, listening to relatives, asking questions, taking careful notes, writing letters of inquiry waiting weeks or months for their replies, making those costly long-distance telephone calls, traveling endless miles to search courthouse records and cemeteries, and keeping their precious collections in their home file cabinets. When good fortune prevailed, they were fortunate enough to be given a picture along the way, or an irreplaceable  family Bible, an old marriage certificate or will, or to track down and purchase a land deed, a probate or an old census, with the hope that their purchase pertained to their ancestor. Because of the investment of their valuable time and resources, for the most part, those early genealogists got it correct.


Not until the 1980s was there an exerted effort to pull together the relationships of the early Todd settlers in the counties of Rutherford and Cannon, Tennessee, an effort that resulted in the challenge of reconciling multitudes of researches.


One of the challenges facing today’s researchers of Todds of Rutherford and Cannon is a conclusion reached by early family researchers some forty years ago based on compelling information, but the conclusion was not supported by historical documentation; the conclusion was that two pioneering Rutherford County Todds of Carson Fork, James Todd (1788 NC) and William Todd (1793 NC) were sons of Benjamin Todd (1759 PA). Later, compounding the confusion, a 2003 Todd family research book was published including James and William, sons of Benjamin.


  • DNA


But in 2005, DNA revealed differing DNA results within two family lineages of Rutherford and Cannon, (early DNA donors who claimed descent from Benjamin did not match later DNA donors who claimed descent from the same Benjamin); two different DNA lines, each with its own distinct Y-DNA profile, claiming descent from Benjamin constituted a challenge. The author of the Todd family research book later deleted from subsequent publications the Y-DNA group that included James and William. But the end result was the understandable confusion of deleted James and William descendants at being cut from the only family roots they had known through their decades-long research. Those uprooted were hearing they could not be Benjamin descendants because their DNA was different from Benjamin DNA; and proof was not easily accessible.


No one took on the daunting task of making available, for all to see, the case for the Y-DNA of Benjamin Todd …


… until now. Through the generous time and toil of Richard McMurtry, a familial line, sourced with primary original historical documents, ascending from a son to father, descendant to ancestor, all the way from Y-DNA donor up to Peter Todd (documented brother of Benjamin), along with this donor’s Y-DNA results, is now accessible. No one must any longer take the word of another on the results of this research. Now, for the first time, this page of Todds of Carson Fork is dedicated to making accessible … to everyone … the opportunity to make an informed decision concerning the Y-DNA of Benjamin Todd, a decision based on included links to primary sourcing of original historical documents.


Two familial lines are presented here:

1) a line from son to father, donor to ancestor, documented with primary source original historical documents from a living Y-DNA donor to Benjamin Todd 1759 (each link below connects son to father)



2) a line from son to father, donor to ancestor, documented with primary source original historical documents from Charles H. Todd to William Todd 1793 (each link below connects son to father)


The Y-DNA of Benjamin Todd and the Y-DNA of William Todd have been identified and sourced with primary documents from son to father, from descendant to ancestor; Benjamin Y-DNA and William Y-DNA do not match.


So how does the research by descendants of James and William go forward from here?


Currently, there is no primary sources documenting a familial relationship between James and William, nor documenting parents or siblings of either; the names of the fathers of James Todd (1788- ), William Todd (1793- ), William Todd (1816- ) and Micajah Franklin Todd (1817- ) are undocumented by primary sources.


This opens a path to new and exciting research by descendant-researchers of the Todds of Carson Fork. Y-DNA and original historical documents, up from son-to-father, generation-to-generation, from Y-DNA donor descendant to ancestor, have proven a familial relationship among four of these Todds: James Todd (1788-), William Todd (1793- ), William Todd (1816- ) and Micajah Franklin Todd (1817- ), all of Carson Fork and all related to their kin, Joseph Todd (1798-1879) of Northern Ireland. Joseph was a U.S. immigrant from County Derry. There is one common male ancestor somewhere in their pasts. As yet, that common male ancestor has not been identified, their exact relationship one-to-the-other is still being researched.


Conclusion: Genealogical-DNA


Genealogical-DNA is the end product of the combination of both genealogy (using Guidelines for Sound Genealogical Research, recommended by the National Genealogical Society) and DNA. Today’s family researcher has the awesome responsibility of utilizing their family DNA in tandem with genealogy, to systematically and accurately identify exact relationships, generation-to-generation, all the way back, from descendant (DNA donor) to ancestor (DNA source).

Having been exposed in the past to the perils of accepting circumstantial evidence and hypothesis as fact, James and William descendants understandably and justifiably can be cautious about conclusions in the absence of primary sourced-lineages. Even then, as additional original historical documents continue to surface, family history can change along with the DNA conclusion.


​This site will continue to change as advancements are made and with the postings of readers' contributions of original historical documents connecting the Todds of Carson Fork, Rutherford and Cannon Counties, Tennessee.

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