Virginia Winns Part 1: YDNA and Some Colonial Virginia Winn Families

Y-DNA continues to be an amazing boon to family history researchers, and some of the Winn (Wynne/Winne/Wynn) families of colonial Virginia are no exception. This article summarizes Y-DNA results for a few Virginia Winn lines:

  • Daniel Winn (b. by 1723, d. 1799) of Lunenburg County, Virginia, whose wife may have been Sarah Tench.[1] Call him Daniel Winn, because there is no one else with that given name in this article with whom we might confuse him. He had 10 children, nine sons and one daughter.
  • Thomas Winn (b. abt. 1715, d. 1781), also of Lunenburg County. He had children by at least two wives, according to a 1797 chancery lawsuit there.[2] Let’s call him “Col. Thomas,” his militia rank, because that is how Winn researchers usually refer to him.[3]
  • John Winn (d. 1795),[4] also of Lunenburg. The conventional wisdom is that his wife was Anne Stone, although I haven’t found conclusive proof of his wife’s identity. Call him “John Winn d. 1795.”
  • Minor Winn Sr. of Fauquier County, VA. No nickname is needed, let’s just call him Minor Winn.
  • Richard Winn of Middlesex County, VA, whose childrens’ births were recorded in the register of Christ Church Parish in the 1690s and first decade of the 1700s. Call him “Richard of Middlesex.”
  • Robert Wynne (d. 1687) of Charles City County, VA, who was the Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses during the “Long Parliament” of 1664-1674. His grandfather was a Mayor of Canterbury, Kent, England. Call him “Speaker Robert.” No wonder that many, many Winn family trees on the web and at Ancestry.com claim him as an ancestor.

To begin with, this article summarizes the Y-DNA results for descendants of these men. After that, we will take a big leap from science into old-fashioned county records to see what we can conclude (if anything) about the relationships among them.

I have taken Y-DNA results from a public post (there is no personal information) at the Winn Surname DNA Project. Here is the chart of DNA results at the project website.

Here, briefly, is what the chart tells us (assuming I have read it correctly).

  1. The modal allele (marker) values for 9 test participants descended from Daniel Winn are a perfect 67-marker match with the following: (1) the only test participant descended from Col. Thomas; (2) the modal values for the six participants descended from Minor Winn; and (3) the modal values for the four participants descended from Richard of Middlesex. We can conclude with considerable confidence that the descendants of Daniel Winn, Col. Thomas, Minor Winn, and Richard of Middlesex share a common Winn ancestor. 
  2. The modal values for the two test participants descended from John Winn d. 1795 are a 67-marker match, genetic distance = 1 (only one mismatching marker), from the descendants of the four men listed above. It is safe to say that John Winn d. 1795 is also a very close genetic relative of Daniel, Col. Thomas, Minor and Richard of Middlesex.
  3. I must put this in red boldface type: the Y-DNA profile of descendants of Speaker Robert conclusively establish that he was NOT a genetic relative of Daniel, Col. Thomas, Minor, Richard of Middlesex, or John d. 1795.

One caveat, which calls for upper case: THE ANCESTRY OF THE DESCENDANTS IS SELF-REPORTED. For example, it is possible that the descendants of Richard of Middlesex have made an unproved (and possibly unprovable) leap of faith from their last conclusively proved Winn ancestor back in time to Richard of Middlesex. More on that later.

As for Speaker Robert being a different line than the other Winn families: this is a BIG DEAL FINDING from the Winn DNA project. Many (apparently most) Winn researchers continue to believe that Speaker Robert was the progenitor of numerous Winn families in the Virginia Southside in the 18th century, including some of the Lunenburg Winns.[5] In fact, all of the family trees I have found online show Daniel and/or Col. Thomas as descendants of Speaker Robert (if the tree identifies their ancestry at all).[6] I am sure there must be some researchers out there who have gotten the clear message from the Winn DNA Project about these relationships, but I haven’t run across their trees yet.

DNA doesn’t lie. Speaker Robert is simply not the ancestor of any of the other Winns in our list of five.

That’s all well and good, but where do we go from there? The other five Winns in our list are obviously closely related, but how?

For this, we have to do it the old-fashioned way: paper genealogy. This won’t be easy, so we’ll have to take it one at a time. Because this will undoubtedly be long-winded and difficult, I will wait to tackle it until the next article.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas, y’all, and Happy New Year!

* * * * * * * * * * * *

 

[1] Daniel’s birth date (born by 1723) is based on his first appearance in the records, as a witness to a Surry Co.,VA deed dated 13 Jun 1744; I’m assuming he was of full legal age as a witness. Surry Co. Deed Book 8: 831. Daniel’s death date is based on the probate date of his Lunenburg will, dated 23 Apr 1789 and proved 14 Feb 1799, abstracted by June Banks Evans, Lunenburg County Virginia Will Book 4 1791-1799 (New Orleans: Bryn Ffyliaid Publications,1991).

[2] Lunenburg Order Book 17: 292, 293, viewed by the author at the Lunenburg courthouse in March 2004. See also FHL Film #32,410.

[3] The death date for Col. Thomas is based on the probate date of his will, dated 18 Sep 1779 and proved 12 Apr 1781. See the original of Lunenburg Will Book 3:75 (viewed by the author at the Lunenburg courthouse in March 2008). His birth date is based on his first appearance in the records in Hanover County in the vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish, a procession order of 3 Mar 1743 listing Thomas Winn as “Page’s Overseer.” C. G. Chamberlain, The Vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover County, Virginia 1706-1786 (1940).

[4] Will of John Winn dated 17 Aug 1793, proved 12 Feb 1795, Lunenburg Will Book 4:83b-84, viewed by the author at the Lunenburg Courthouse in March 2004.

[5] See, e.g., http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/charlescity/wills/w5000001.txt.

[6] See, e.g., http://www.thefourwinns.net/winn.html.

19 thoughts on “Virginia Winns Part 1: YDNA and Some Colonial Virginia Winn Families”

  1. It’s a Christmas treat to wake up and read this on Christmas morning, Robin. It’s so clear and logically argued — a case set out by a skilled barrister. I also learned something I had not known: that there was a Richard Winn of Middlesex Co., VA, fl. 1690s, and the DNA of his descendants is a match to that of the Lunenburg Winns who are my ancestors and yours.

    Your wonderful research had already pointed us back from Lunenburg to Hanover — and now this DNA finding may point us from Hanover to Middlesex. Buried in some of the things that Richard Dickson Winn of Gwinnett Co., GA, wrote about the Winn family (his father was Elisha, son of Thomas, son of Col. Thomas) is a statement that another Wynne family found early in Gwinnett County, which clearly descends from Speaker Robert Wynne, was NOT related to the Winn family from which Richard D. Winn came.

    This makes me think that some members of the Winn family in the generation of Richard D. Winn did definitely know something definite about the early history of their family in Virginia — enough to know that their family was separate from that of Speaker Robert Wynne.

    1. Bill, thank you for the kind comments! I’ve been digging around in Middlesex before, and in Gloucester, where there is what looks like a related family in the parish register. I’ve never been able to prove anything, and have labeled as “speculation” a lot of the trees linking Richard of Hanover back to Middlesex. There is definitely plausible evidence in the Christ Church Parish register, but I get hung up on the fact that THREE Winns appeared in Hanover County at the same time — two John Winns and a Richard. They appeared together in one deed, and I haven’t figured out what to do with the two John Winns (one of whom described himself as John Winn, “carpenter,” as did your Thomas Winn, son of Colonel Thomas. Either the two John Winns are cousins, or one John is from an earlier generation. With the DNA evidence, I’m going to give the records a fresh look. Am working on articles (probably a series of articles) drawn from the 4 emails I sent you years ago.

      Happy New Year!

      1. Robin, I’ve learned so much I did not know about our Winn line from your careful research. I had long ago convinced myself that several researchers who did very good work on this family and thought there was a link back to Col. Robert Wynne were right about that link, so I had long looked from Lunenburg over to Charles City and Prince George Counties for our roots — until you showed me and others that the roots of our Lunenburg Winns track back to Hanover County, and now very likely to Middlesex. What we have as a very valuable tool that that previous generation of researchers did not have is DNA evidence.

        I’m excited about the possibility (probability, it seems to me) that our Winn line goes back to Christ Church parish in Middlesex County. I know from another of my family lines — my Brooks-Beaumont family line — that even when there’s strong, plausible evidence that folks who have moved to another area in Virginia were previously in Christ Church parish, it can be difficult to establish ironclad proof of this. Some of the best ways to shore up the evidence you have is to look at the migration patterns of closely related families, and see if you find those families connecting to your own in some other part of Virginia — in the Brooks case, Frederick County; in the case of the Winns, Hanover and Lunenburg — previously in Christ Church records.

        A happy new year to you and Gary!

  2. Hello
    Thank you for posting your information about the Hanover Co VA Winns. I came across your blog while researching Richard Winn of early St. Paul’s Parish Record. I’m in the process of trying to locate the general location of where Precinct 6 of the 1731 precinct procession record was located.

    I’d also like to add that some of the early White family of Hanover Co VA migrated to the portion of Lunenburg that became Charlotte County. AND we have made some Middlesex County connections as well. So, I enjoyed reading your ponderings about Middlesex County.

    If you have anything further to share on Richard Winn of Hanover County VA, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Deborah

    1. Deborah, are you a White researcher? Have you found White/Winn connections?

      Thank you for your comment. And if you want further Winn posts, I’m working on one that is likely to turn into two. These guys aren’t easy!

      Regards,
      Robin

    2. PS please subscribe to the blog and you’ll automatically get the next Winn post! I’m in Salt Lake City now, finding out that the LDS library doesn’t have anything more to offer on Hanover, New Kent, Gloucester, Middlesex and other burned counties than does Clayton Library in Houston. But it’s fun to look …

      1. Robin,

        I’m so happy to have found this info WOW ! So much to digest here let me explain I’m a Wynne/Wynn/Winn of the YDNA K Group or the so called Winn/Puleston Group . I myself have paid for up grades to several of the FTDNA Winn/Puleston Group . I too have been searching the Wynne/Wynn/Winn family for about 30 years . I live in the U.K.
        If you can contact me via email it would be much appreciated.

  3. I’m Judith in Richmond, Va. I am descended from the Hanover Winns (father) and Fluvanna Winns through my maternal grandmother. Does anyone have information about where the Winns of various spellings came from? Wales was an option, but there doesn’t seem to be any proof of that. They just seemed to have turned up in Middlesex County. I can only find immigrant information for Jon. Winn, 1653, sponsored by Henry Lee (Virginia Lee’s??) Yorke Co.; Anne, 1652, sponsored by Nicholas Waddilow of Northampton Co., Elizabeth 1656, sponsored by John Billiott, Northampton Co., Eliza. 1652 and Anne 1652 both sponsored by John Robbins of Northampton Co. and Thomas Winn, 1654 sponsored by John Watson and John Bognall of Westmoreland Co. There are also one male Wyne and 3 male Wynn’s and 1 female Wynn who entered between 1636 and 1652 into the Norfolk / Isle of Wight areas. (Early Virginia Immigrants by George Cabell Greer, 1912) My earliest Winn is John Winn – the “Middlesex” Winn.

  4. My GED.com # A548817. I would like to see if I am a match to Mourning Winn and John Hix supposedly my 11th grandparents.

    1. Mary Jo, I’m guessing an autosomal test wouldn’t be helpful for ancestors that far back in time. Do you have a living male Hix relative who might take a YDNA test? Good luck! The Winns are an interesting bunch.

    2. Hi Mary Jo, Major Mourning Winn is my 5th great grandfather. He came from Virginia to Middle Tennessee where he settled his family in what was at the time Sumner Co., before they split Summer Co. into two counties, Sumner and Trousdale counties. At that time the Winn farm was partly in Sumner, and partly in Trousdale. One of Mourning’s sons was named Richard, who then had a son named Thomas Jefferson, who had a son named Hiram Lewis, who had a son named Warner Albert, who had 5 sons, and 3 daughters, one daughter was named Betty Ruth Winn, who was my mother. I own the family bibles of my grandparents and Thomas Jefferson’s daughter ,Lucy. My Y-DNA kit is actually the DNA from my cousin Lewis Albert Winn Jr., he is the son of Lewis A Winn Sr., son of Warner Albert Winn, son of Hiram Lewis Winn, son of Thomas Jefferson Winn, son of Richard Stone Winn, son of Mourning Winn.
      Valerie Winn (dropped my father’s name, my birth middle name was Winn, which was my mother’s maiden name).

      1. Valerie, where in VA was Major Mourning Winn from? My Winns were in Lunenburg Co. I’m just wondering if I’ve found a new Winn cousin. I’ve got several nice ones!
        Robin

        1. You are referring to Maj Mourning Winn and I believe he is the same man that I have as Mourning Winn, the Tailor. He was b 1767 Lunenburg d.1816 Sumner Co.,TN. He m]1786 Nancy Sarah Jones 1767-1805 and they had 11 children.
          Mourning was the son of John Winn, Sr. 1726-1795 Brunswick & Lunenburg Co.,VA and Ann Stone 1728-1805 Richmond & Lunenburg Co., VA.
          John Winn was the son of Col. William Winn, Sr. 1705-1778 & Frances Reade 1707-Aft 1778, both b.Prince George Co., VA & d.Pittsylvania Co., VA.
          This same John Winn was the brother to Thomas Marion Winn b.1731 Brunswick Co., VA d. c1795 Wilkes Co., GA. Thomas Marion Winn m]1753 Mary Echols 1734-1798. [Thomas b.Brunswick Co., VA & Mary b. Caroline Co., VA] They settled & died in Wilkes Co., GA.
          Thomas & Mary Echols Winn were the parents of Obediah, Rhoda, Sarah Patricia, Mary Chrisiana ‘Kitty’, Lucy & Thomas Marion Winn [my ggg grandfather].
          This has been some interesting reading, thanks. Laura

          1. Laura, thanks for the explanation. I have never been able to place John Winn m. Ann Stone in the Lunenburg Winn family. What records have you seen that help establish his parents as Col. William and Frances Read Winn of Prince George and Pittsylvania? If my memory is right (it might not be), YDNA establishes that John m. Ann Stone is genetically related to the Lunenburg lines of Col. Thomas Winn and Daniel Winn. Is that right? If so, I can count you as a new Winn cousin! Always happy to find one …
            Regards,
            Robin

          2. Robin, I really am impressed with your site. I keep going through it and it’s full of treasures. In answer to your last question.
            John Winn who m] Anne Stone was from the family of Winns who lived at Hounds Creek and that’s Col. William Winn & Frances Reade. Anne Stones’ father and brothers were also mentioned in Hounds Creek deeds with the Winns. Here are my notes for Anne Winn’s father, John Stone b.c1702 Prince George, VA d.30 Jul 1782 Mecklenburg Co., VA. m]Elizabeth Roberson b.3 Dec 1709 York Co., VA d.1775 same place.
            BOOK:Historical Southern Families, vol. VI, “Winn and Stone of Virginia and Tennessee” by Allen Cabaniss; John Stone, Sr. of Mecklenburg Co., VA sold to John Winn, his son-in-law, also of Mecklenburg, 141 acres in that county beginning at the mouth of Buffaloe Creek along the Roanoke River in exchange for which John Winn sold to John Stone, Sr. similar land which he had purchased in 1768 (Mecklenburg Deed Book 2, p.73, 13 Jun 1768; ibid.5, p.46,47, 12 May 1777).
            DEED:8 Apr 1862 Daniel Winn witnessed the sale, by John Winn and wife, Ann, of 250 acres on the south side of **** (now Modest Creek), to John Stone. Also witnessed the sale of 762 acres from Thomas Winn to John Winn that contained the above land; [This is Daniel 1715, remember that his maternal grandmother is Hannah Winn and she is also his aunt, she being his father’s sister.
            This sister, Hannah marries Jarvis Wingfield and has a daughter, Martha Llwellyn Wingfield….who marries her mother’s brother [i.e.uncle] Thomas Wynne/Winn.
            DEED:On 8 Apr 1762 Thomas Winn sold 450 acres at Lunenburg Co., VA (Deed Book 7, p.227-228) on both sides of Little Hound’s Creek, adjoining Daniel Winn, John Stone & Richard Stone, witnessed by Daniel Winn and (3) three John Winns’;
            MILITARY:His Patriotic Service in the American Revolution is recorded in the Public Service Claims, Certificates, Mecklenburg Co.,VA, No.239, 1 Oct 1782.
            WILL:Dated 5 Feb 1782, prob.8 Apr 1782 (Mecklenburg Will Book 1, p.408), mentions his wife Elizabeth and his children Ann, John Jr., Eusabus, Elijah, Stephen, Hezekiah, Elizabeth (married to Nathaniel McLaughlin and also mentioning son-in-law John Winn who was married to the daughter, Ann Stone.
            Anne Stone’s brother, John Stone was m]to Millender Winn…..whoa…is that his niece? It is, it’s his sister, Anne Stone Winn’s daughter. O Dear…
            Laura

          3. Laura … you lost me on Hannah Winn, as I haven’t seen the evidence of a Hannah Winn in the line of Daniel. And I’m still at a loss as to how John Winn m. Ann Stone relates to Col. Thomas Winn and Daniel Winn (also John Winn of Amelia and his sisters Susanna and Phoebe). I need to go muck about in the Amelia, Mecklenburg, and Lunenburg records I have. That will take awhile: my Lunenberg data file is about 90 pages and Amelia is about the same.

            Thanks for giving me some puzzles to chew on.
            Robin

  5. Sorry, this was so complicated I thought I was going to have a stroke! I will try to explain it better.
    If Daniel Winn 1715 is the son of Thomas Winn 1678-1744 and Martha Llewellyn Wingfield 1695-1759, then his mother in law is Hannah Winn 1682-1731. Hannah Winn is also his aunt because she is a sister to his father.

    Now, I have always had Hannah Winn 1682-1731 as the daughter of Thomas and Agnes Stith Winn. I have reread the wills, and Hannah died after her father and she’s not mentioned in his will….. The Wingfields were neighbors of Thomas Winn [above.] They were quite well off and possibly there was no reason to mention Hannah because she was financially secure. I am open to any suggestions…we are all just looking for the truth.

    Capt Thomas Winn 1657-1718 m]1675 Agnes Stith 1659-1720.
    They had 8 children b. Charles City County, VA:
    1. Mary 1677-1731 m]1692 Nathaniel Burwell Malone
    2. Thomas 1678-1744 m1]Anne Bolling? m2]Martha Llwewllyn Wingfield
    3. Joseph 1680- went to Surry, VA [his 2 daus m] Mr Carter & Mr Martin]
    4. Hannah 1682-1731 m]Jarvis Wingfield *** parents of Martha L Wingfield [above]
    5. Maj. Robert m]1705 Martha Jefferson d/o Thomas & Martha [Branch] Jefferson.
    6. Sloman 1686-Bef 1761 m]1710 Elizabeth Stith d/o Thomas & Agnes [Parsons] Stith.
    7. Lucretia 1687- m]John Cox of Lunenburg
    8.Cornelia 1690-

    ***Hannah Winn & Jarvis Wingfield had daughter Martha Llwewllyn Wingfield who was Hannah’s brother’s Thomas Winn’s 2nd wife…. actually his niece.
    I am comfortable with Daniel Winn belonging to Thomas Winn & Martha Llewellyn Wingfield because they were all landowners in the Hounds Creek area. I may be mistaken, but I believe with the creation of Lunenburg in 1747, this is why we see Daniel in Lunenburg because the borders changed around him.

    So, Hannah would also be a sister-in-law to her own daughter……..far fetched, but not an uncommon theme.
    —–
    As for the Winn-Stone connection:
    1.Col.William Winn/Wynne of Pittsylvania Co., VA made Deed of Gift to son John Winn in his will dated 8 Oct 1777 and proved in Pittsylvania Co., 26 Mar 1778.
    2.John Winn/Wynne remained in Lunenburg Co., VA near the Brunswick line instead of moving with his father’s family.
    3.Relationship is established when we see that John Winn is mentioned as the son-in-law of John Stone in his Will [Will Book 1, p.409, Mecklenburg Co., VA] Name: John Wynne Parents: William Wynne & Frances, Birth: Brunswick Co, VA Birth Date: 1726 Death: Lunenberg Co, VA;
    4.John Winn received a grant of land in Brunswick on the south side of Tucking Creek adjoining the land of his brother Thomas Winn in 1746, just before the change in county line placed that land in Lunenburg (Land Patents of Virginia, Book 24, p.275). Fifteen years later Thomas Wynne received almost 3,000 acres more on both sides of Hounds Creek and also on the southern branches of Tucking Creek adjoining the land of Richard Stone (Lunenburg Co. Patent Book 33, p.1047, 7 Aug.1761). Twice in the following year Thomas Wynne sold some of this particular land to John Winn (surname spelled Winn in both cases and both described as “of Lunenburg County”; Lunenburg Deed Book 7, p.231, 8 Apr.1762 and p.338, 30 Jul.1762). In 1765 John Winn (designated as ‘Senior’) conveyed to John Winn, Jr. 381 acres on the south side of Tucking Creek in Lunenburg adjoining the lands of William and John Stone (Lunenburg Deed Book 10, p.165, 9 May 1765).
    5. 1777 John Stone, Sr. of Mecklenburg Co., VA sold to John Winn, his son-in-law, also of Mecklenburg, 141 acres in that county beginning at the mouth of Buffaloe Creek along the Roanoke River in exchange for which John Winn sold to John Stone, Sr. similar land which he had purchased in 1768 (Mecklenburg Deed Book 2, p.73, 13 Jun 1768; ibid.5, p.46,47, 12 May 1777).
    6.John Winn was in Lunenburg County, VA as early as 1740 by Land Grants and sales of this land and witnesses in 1752. He is thought to have been married twice because he named 10 children in his will, written 1793; proved 1795 in Lunenberg… but only eight of these children (no heirs of other two) sued for their share of his widow Ann Winn’s estate in Sept 1805.
    7. So Ann Stone must have been his only wife??
    8.John Winn held deed to land on the mouth of Buffalo Creek on the Roanoke River in Mecklenburg County which he purchased from John Stone. This land was directly across from Skipworth Island which was formerly part of William Byrd’s Bluecastle property on the Roanoke River. “Mary Reade, as Assignee of Clement Reade,” was granted land on the branches of Buffalo Creek in Mecklenburg County adjoining lines of William Vaughan. John Wynn is named “friend” in William Vaughan’s will. Col. William Wynne of Danville was married to Frances (said to be Frances Read and a relative of Clement Read). If Frances was a Read, then John Winn can be placed living in proximity to persons who were probably his Read relatives. [source: Stefanie]
    9.This puts a crinkle in the paper: Then which John Winn/Wynne was found in Brunswick Co.,VA Land Records as purchasing land there in 1740. This one would have only been age 14. Carl Lynch writes this: “….Many have John being born in 1726, however, John would have had to born much earlier that, because of his Crown land grant that he purchased on the 05 Dec 1740. Under Virginia Law no one could purchase such land until he had obtained the age of 21. And he did purchase this land under the name of John Wynne….”
    When looked at in context, it seems that George Lewis was in the household of John Winn who married Ann Stone — the same John Winn who fathered sons John and Peter. These sons, John and Peter, are named in John Winn’s will along with his wife, Ann, and other children. So George Lewis, it seems, was perhaps apprenticed to John Winn of Lunenburg; and it seems the Winns of Lunenburg and Winns of Amelia had a close relationship through business, kinship, or both. [source: Patrick]

    Laura

    1. Laura, I will have to check the YDNA again … but I am 99% certain it has established that Daniel Winn of Lunenburg, whose son Joseph Winn married Elizabeth Winn (daughter of Col. Thomas Winn and his first wife) is NOT genetically related to the line of Thomas Wynne and Agnes Stith. The Thomas who m. Agnes Stith was a son of Robert Wynne of Prince George Co., the speaker of the VA “Long Parliament;” Robert Wynne was a son (perhaps a grandson? I cannot remember) of the Mayor of Canterbury.

      In all fairness, almost EVERYONE thought the Lunenburg Winns were descended from Speaker Robert Wynne’s son Thomas and Agnes Stith. Then DNA came along and proved us all wrong!!!

      Regards,
      Robin

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