We Are Babcocks

This page originally gave the history of the Babcocks beginning with a James Babcock (Badcock at the time) arriving North America between 1630 and 1640 and the first records in 1642 of him in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. A Babcock family also appeared nearly the same time in Massachusetts. In 2022, the administrator of the Babcock-Badcock group of Family Tree DNA set out to get as many Babcock men as possible to have their Y-DNA tested with the goal of sorting out how the first Babcock settlers were related. As part of the Babcock effort, I submitted my sample to Family Tree DNA for Big Y-700 analysis.

With Eaton Ancestors

Imagine my surprise in early January 2023, when my closest Y-DNA matches all had the Eaton surname! This means that one of our Babcock ancestor’s father was an Eaton. For now I’ve archived the pages about Babcock history, heraldry and notables. You can still see them by clicking at the bottom of this page. In time, I will add Eaton history, heraldry and notables.

What Are Y-DNA, mtDNA and atDNA?

There are three main types of DNA tests: Y-chromosome (or Y-DNA), mitochondrial (or mtDNA), and autosomal (atDNA).

Y-DNA is passed virtually unchanged from fathers to their sons and mtDNA is passed virtually unchanged from mothers to their children. Those two tests can trace back thousands of years along direct paternal and maternal lines respectively.

But atDNA is a sampling of all of ones ancestors, diluted each generation. You can find short segments of DNA that match fifth or sixth cousins, at best.

When Was the Transition?

My closest Y-DNA cousins are descendants of Mayflower passenger Francis Eaton and their direct paternal lines are known. The earliest that an Eaton of that Y-DNA line lived within a few miles of a Babcock on our atDNA line was about 1770. Amos and Zerviah Babcock had moved to Petersburgh Township, NY. Benjamin and Sarah Eaton had moved to the bordering Pownal Township, VT.
My siblings and I have hundreds of atDNA cousins with known shared ancestors, many with Babcock ancestors. Over fifty of our atDNA cousins have an Eaton ancestor in common with my Y-DNA cousins, namely Benjamin Eaton (1742-1825). He was the first Eaton who lived anywhere near a Babcock in our line and the youngest Eaton ancestor of all of our Eaton cousins, so he must be the biological father of Benjamin Babcock.

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Last update: February 3, 2024