Germain Doucet and Haplogroup C3b

I love a good mystery, don’t you?  Well, the Doucet family has one and it’s a doosey.

Marie Rundquist, the founder and administrator of the Amerindian Ancestry Out of Acadia project at Family Tree DNA has recently written a new paper about the C3b results within the project.

Marie’s paper, titled “C3b Y Chromosome DNA Test Results Point to Native American Deep Ancestry, Relatedness, Among United States and Canadian Study Participants,” tells about the project and the findings relative to haplogroup C3b.  Her raw data is available within the project.  The Native American people involved are the Mi’kmaq and ironically, while we have found several Mi’kmaq men who carry haplogroup C3b, we haven’t found any carrying the much more common Q1a3a.

The Acadian people were French and settled in the eastern-most region of Canada beginning in 1605 in Port Royal, Nova Scotia.  They mixed freely with the Native people and intermarried.  Beginning in 1710 and continuing until 1755, when they were forcibly deported, they were in conflict with the English government and refused to sign an oath of loyalty to England. The families were highly endogamous.  Today, if you discover you descend from an Acadian family, you will discover that you descend from many Acadian families.  I have one cousin who discovered that he and I are related 132 different ways.

The map below shows Acadia just before the Acadians were deported.

Marie’s paper shows that 6 different families with different surnames carry haplogroup C3b and all are related within 16 generations, or between 400 and 500 years.  Many are, of course, related much more closely.

The Doucet family is represented by 8 different males who all tested as haplogroup C3b.  They descend from various sons of Germain Doucet, born in 1641.  Germain was always presumed to be the son of the French founder, Germain Doucet, born in 1595 in France, the commander of Fort Royal.

Hmmm, this is known as a fly in the ointment.  Indeed, the original descendants of Germain Doucet (1595) who had tested carried haplogroups of R1b1a2, clearly European, just as we would expect.  But then, there was another Doucet test and he was discovered to be haplogroup C3b.

Keith Doucet, the man who tested to be C3b, and Marie subsequently wrote about their discovery and the process they went through to find other men to confirm that DNA result in a story titled “Confirmed C3b Y DNA Results Test the Heritage of Cajun Cousin Keith Doucet.”

This of course, raises questions, none of which can be readily answered.  Doesn’t every genealogy find raise at least two new questions?  Well, this one raises a few more than two.

The other son of Germain Doucet (1595), Pierre tests to be R1b1a2, while “son” Germain (1641) tested to be C3b.  Obviously, these man cannot both be the genetic children of Germain Doucet (1595) and unless a Native American Mi’kmaq male made their way to France sometime in the distant past, Germain (1641)’s father was not from France and was not Germain Doucet (1595).

We know that Germain Doucet (1595) arrived in Port Royal in 1632, was noted as the commander in 1640 and returned to France in 1654 after Port Royal fell to the English, leaving at least two of his 4 children who had married in Port Royal.

So what happened?  Here are some possibilities.

  • Germain Doucet (1595) and his wife adopted an Indian child and named him Germain Doucet
  • One of Germain Doucet’s older daughter’s had an illegitimate child and named him Germain Doucet, in honor of her father.
  • Germain’s wife became pregnant by a Native man.
  • A Native person adopted Germain Doucet’s name out of respect.  When Native people were baptized in the Catholic faith, they were given non-Native names.

So, through Marie’s project and hard work, we’ve solved one mystery and introduce yet another.

58 thoughts on “Germain Doucet and Haplogroup C3b

      • Yes, it does.

        The man who started the whole Germain Doucet b. 1641 study rolling is a Louisiana native, now living in Texas. You can read Louisiana native Keith Doucet’s story by clicking the link in Roberta’s article, “Confirmed C3b Y DNA Results Test the Heritage of Cajun Cousin Keith Doucet.”

        He has kindly published his paternal line ancestry as part of the article, which was published originally in 2010 and inspired other Doucets who share the same paternal ancestry leading to Germain Doucet b. 1641 to test. Keith’s is only one of the lines leading to Germain Doucet b. 1641 that is represented in the test results we have today.

        Marie Rundquist

  1. Interesting read. Probably related to Germain Doucet, native and father of Francois Doucet who married Marie Pisnet in 1726. So the established lines to Germain Doucet (1641) might contain errors, as Germain Doucet is “proven” to be Marguerite’s brother through a descendant’s marriage dispensation.

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  6. I have a genealogy report prepared by my Aunt several years ago The report show Germain Doucet as a direct relation in Nova Scotia,in the 1500s so I believe I may very well part of the blood-line,I saw a site that test for Doucette DNA,, but it stares nine men were tested int he study, so as a woman would I be eligible to be part of the Doucette DNA study?* I am a Doucette from my fathers side*

    • You’re not eligible directly because you don’t carry the Doucet Y chromosome, but if you have a Doucet male relative who could test, that would work. Also, I don’t know how much the Doucet project is focused on autosomal DNA, but you could take the Family Finder test and participate that way. I suggest you contact the project administrators and ask.

      • These Doucet’s show up on my family tree many times both through grandma and grandpa. I am male. LeClerc-Vautour and Breau/Breau lines. At this time I just don’t have the funds to pay for such an endeavor.

      • Thank you, Emile, for your inquiry. So many have been interested in the Native American, “C P39,” Y Chromosome DNA finding for descendants of Germain Doucet born 1641. The numbers of Doucet descendants who have participated in Y Chromosome DNA testing in the past several years attest to the significance of these “game changing” results.

        The Y Chromosome is passed, virtually unchanged, from father to son. The Y Chromosome DNA results for known, (male) Doucet descendants included within the C P39 Y DNA project, along with the results of others of Native American lineages, are for those participants who trace their direct, paternal line ancestry, by way of documented genealogies, from father to son, in an unbroken line, to Germain Doucet b. 1641 in Nova Scotia. I hope this explanation helps you understand the concept of a “paternal line” ancestry, the concern of Y chromosome DNA tests.

        If you haven’t already done so, I welcome you to read the following article about the original Doucet DNA finding, in 2008, http://www.familyheritageresearchcommunity.org/doucet_dna.html.

        Also, please visit the C P39 Y DNA Project website where results, for paternal line descendants of several sons of Germain Doucet, b. 1641 are compared: https://www.familytreedna.com/public/ydna_C-P39/default.aspx?section=yresults.

        The Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia project hosts many of these same results: https://www.familytreedna.com/public/AcadianAmerIndian/default.aspx?section=yresults

        Thanks again for your interest.

      •     Hello   there, I would like to test for either side : is this possible?  Peter  Doucette.  Thank You.

      • Hello, Peter.

        Thank you for your inquiry. Please email me at mrundqui@shentel.net so I may follow up. Within the Germain Doucet b. 1641 study, that Roberta Estes and I manage by way of the C P39 Y DNA Family Tree DNA project, documented, paternal line ancestries have been as important to the research of this line as the DNA results.

        Please include any genealogy information that you may have about your paternal line, beginning with you, then your father, his father and so on and so forth as far back as you have researched.

        In addition to the P 39 Native American haplogroup finding, through advanced Y Chromosome DNA tests, repeatable trends for genetic distance have emerged and it’s been possible to group participants, genetically and genealogically, by way of their descent from the several of the sons of Germain Doucet b. 1641.

        Thanks again for your interest!

        Marie Rundquist

  7. I would like to have Keith Doucet contact me again. I am a descendant of Germain Doucet (1641). <carold@doucetfamily.org

  8. I’m a direct defendant of Germain and still reside on part of the original land granon St.Mary’s Bay Nova Scotia. I would like to be tested could someone tell me how or where I could get this done? This is very interesting to me for the simple reason my grandparent whole brought me up always said be proud of your native blood as well as your Acadian history. How ever after getting the family tree done I see no one who married native person.

  9. Hello, Michael!

    Roberta Estes kindly forwarded your post and I’m happy to reply to you.

    Please consider having a 12-marker Y Chromosome DNA test, which is now offered at a discounted price of $39.00 U.S. (this is the LOWEST price I’ve seen for this test since becoming involved with this project!).

    Please visit this link for details:

    http://www.familytreedna.com/landing/Y-DNA12-Promo.aspx

    We have found that the 12-marker Y Chromosome DNA test result (for males only) will qualify a match with our current database of results for descendants of Germain Doucet (1641).

    Please follow-up with me at mrundqui@shentel.net for an invitation to join the Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia Family Tree DNA project (http://www.familytreedna.com/public/acadianamerindian/) where you will find the C3b Y Chromosome DNA test results for Germain Doucet’s (1641) descendants.

    Thank you.

    –Marie Rundquist (Administrator).

  10. I have a genealogy report ( from my Aunt) that traces us back to the 1500s Nova Scotia , to one Germain Doucet. Very interesting read and shows how our family migrated to the U.S. My grandfather and his brother married two sisters from New England ( Maine)

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    • Hello, Mark,

      Thank you for your interest in DNA testing! This particular Y Chromosome, DNA test applies to MALE, paternal-line descendants of Germain Doucet (b. 1641) — typically having the Doucet / Doucette surname.

    • Hi Mark,

      Does your Mom have any brothers perhaps. You need to test the Doucette Y chromosome and that is through her brothers or uncles or a male in her line that carries the Doucette surname. You can do the autosomal test though if you would like or the yline for your surname or the mtdna which is also your mother’s and her mothers.

      Roberta

  13. One other extremely unlikely possibility, and it is unlikely but not impossible, is that Germain Doucet (1641) was from France and carried Haplogroup C3b. Haplogroup C3b actually does exist in the European gene pool at *extremely* low rates and is mostly found in Eastern Europe (Russia, for example), due to intermingling with Asiatic groups like the Tatars. But as far as I am aware, it is not present in France. …… I do love being a part of a good mystery, so I checked my family tree, however, despite my large amount of Acadian ancestry, the only Doucets I have in my family tree are Marguerite Doucet (b. 1625/wife of Abraham Dugas) and her father Germain Doucet (b. 1595). None of Germain (1595)’s sons are in my tree, so I shall assume that excludes me. :o(

    • Dave B

      The presence of the terminal P39 SNP distinguishes the Native American C3 haplogroup C3b. The descendants of Germain Doucet and the other participants whose ancestries also trace through Native American paternal lines have tested positive for this SNP in the study and therefore have the distinguishing P39 SNP which qualifies the result as Native American.

      • Does it have to be male tested only as I am female and was tested and show no native even though in Nova Scotia my family line says otherwise. My family names are vickers and Jesso, Wyse, Doody, Keigan. Probably a few more but this is what I remember. Grandfather was Doody, born in Placentia. Grandmother was Vickers but her mother was Lejeune/young born in Nova Scotia. I have been contacted by folks who hve told me they are relatives and they are Micmaq origin. I have been trying to find family and this is getting stranger by the minute.

      • Marie Rundquist, Administrator C P39 Y DNA Project, Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia Project on said:

        The test discussed in the article (as applies to the male descendants of Germain Doucet, born 1641) is a Y chromosome DNA test, available to men only.

        For women and men the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the Autosomal DNA tests are available. The Y DNA test referenced in the article, and others, are described here: https://www.familytreedna.com/products.aspx

        For more information about Autosomal DNA tests, please read Roberta Estes’ blog: https://dna-explained.com/2013/03/03/the-autosomal-me-rooting-around-in-the-weeds-using-third-party-tools/

        Thanks.

        Marie Rundquist

  14. Bob Arsenault’s family tree
    has Marguerite Doucet being married to Abraham Arsenault and not Abraham Dugas.
    who were the parents of Pierre Arsenault that immigrated to Arcadia
    he’s the ancestor of Hubert Arsenault who is Bob’s ancestor and my ancestor

    • Hi Raymond, if that’s a reference to Marguerite Doucet, daughter of Germain Doucet (1595), then it is an error. Marguerite Doucet, daughter of Germain Doucet (1595), was unquestionably married to Abraham Dugas.

      • Hi Dave,

        Do you have a family tree that I can check out?
        I am part of an Arsenault family line myself.
        I definitely want to know about my heritage.

        I found out that I am related to Bob Arsenault through matching 30.3 cM on Gedmatch.
        This was on my African American father’s side. My father was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both his parents were born in Louisiana.
        Before I met Bob, I got French Canadian matches at 23andme.
        One of them does have Doucet as one of her family surnames.
        Bob figures that 5 generations back, our most recent shared ancestor was Hubert Arsenault.

        I have been reading a lot of references about Marguerite Doucet being married to Abraham Dugas, and so I believe you

        Even on Bob Arsenault’s site, I noticed that he has Marguerite Doucet being noted as being married to both
        Abraham Arsenault and being mother of Pierre Arsenault
        and
        Abraham Dugas and being mother of Marie Dugas
        then Marie Dugas married Charles Melancon, and they were parents of Elizabeth Melancon
        then Elizabeth Melanson married Michel Bourg, and they were parents of Marguerite Bourg
        then Marguerite Bourg married Martin Richard, and they were parents of Marguerite Richard
        then Marguerite Richard married Claude Arsenault who was great grandfather of Hubert Arsenault

        I definitely would like to know if I am a descendant of Abraham Dugas and Marguerite Doucet.

        I have French on my mother’s side too.
        Huguenots that arrived in Virginia in 1610.

        Are we related?
        If so, that’s cool!

  15. I’m a 25 family researcher and very excited about this Doucet DNA. I have my Y-DNA67 kit in and will be submitting my dad’s DNA Monday. I share Keith Doucet’s ancestry for 6 generations back to Germain Doucet, Jr., where our branches split with two brothers here in Louisiana. My line of descent follows:
    Germain Doucet + Marie Landry
    Laurent Doucet + Jeanne Babin
    Laurent Doucet + Marie Pellerin
    Michel Doucet + Marguerite Martin
    Joseph Doucet dit Hilaire + Anne Landry
    Joseph Doucet + Celeste Bellard
    Joseph Julien Doucet + Josephine Fontenot
    Joseph Julien Doucet + Melaide LeBlanc
    Joseph Edmond Doucet & Josephine Thibodeaux
    Joseph Edmond Doucet & Laperle Bergeron
    Joseph Euclid Doucet & Lena Thibodeaux
    Lawrence Doucet & Joyce Smith
    Deadra Doucet Bourke
    The DNA is all very new to me and hoping I’ll have help figuring it all out.

    • Yes, it’s very exciting and there are lots of people to help. Doucet is one of my lines too. You know what they say about Acadians….if you’re related to one of them, you’re related to all of them:)

      • Roberta, I also descend from Maguerite Doucet and Abraham Dugas through their daughter Marie b. 1648. (That’s a second set of common ancestors between us!) I have read excerpts from a 2014 article on the Doucets of Acadia in La Revue L’Entraide by two researchers, which states that Stephen White had made some errors in determining relationships between the first Doucets of Acadia. First, that church dispensation records do not prove that Pierre and Germain were brothers, as they had married half sisters, creating the requirement for dispensations to their marrying descendants. The y-DNA evidence further proves they had different fathers. Second, that Pierre and Marguerite were not closely related due to no existing dispensations that would have been required by the church to their marrying descendants had they been siblings. Third, that Marguerite and Germain II were closely related, indicating a sibling relationship, as supported by Mr. White. (I’ve read elsewhere that there was another dispensation indicating more of a mother and son relationship.) If you put all these pieces together, it’s looking very possible that Germain was Marguerite’s illegitimate son with a Native man prior to her marriage to Abraham Dugas. It’s either this or they share the same mother, but that seems less likely to me. I wanted to ask if you’ve seen this article and to get your thoughts about all of these findings. I’m not sure how much weight to give this as I haven’t seen any follow-up discussions. Thanks!

      • Joan and/or Roberta, I am very interested in seeing this article that Joan mentions regarding Marguerite having an illegitimate son before marrying Abraham Dugas. Could you share it with me at wendybumstead@yahoo.ca Thanks and congratulations on all your hard work on this!

      • Wendy, the illegitimate son theory was a possibility I had pieced together based on the information from the article. The info was actually from a post I had seen referring to the article. I was never able to find the actual article, but I can send you the link to the post about it. It was suggested to me not to put much weight on these kinds of posts which try to refute things that have already been proven. Also, once I learned that Germaine II had been born in a Micmaq village, I no longer thought it made sense that Marguerite could be his mother.

  16. “robertajestes
    on October 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm said:
    I too an a descendant of Abraham Dugas and Marguerite Doucet through their son Claude”

    so we’re distant cousins
    awesome!

    Do you match with Bob Arsenault?.

  17. I believe I am a direct descendent of Germain Doucet, My lineage – starting with Captain Germain Doucet Sr., from Couprie Brie Provence, Champagne, France, arrived in Port Royal between 1632 and 1640, (married Marie Bourgeous) à Germain Jr (Marie Landry) à Charles Doucet (Hugette Guéron) à Jean Doucet (Marie Robichaud) à Jean Doucet Jr. (Madeleine Thériault) å Paul Marie Doucet (Félicité Michel) à Simon Doucet (Scholastique Cormier) à Francois Doucet (Suzanne) à Phillippe Doucet (Hélene LeBlanc) à Gabriel Doucet (Anglélique Deveau) à Joseph Doucet (Antoinette Doucet) à Gerald Doucet – my father. Is the test still available for one of my brothers to take?

    • Thank you for your inquiry. Male, paternal-line, descendants of Germain Doucet b. 1641 are testing currently with the Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia and the C P39 Y DNA Family Tree DNA projects, with the C3b (Native American) haplogroup result, 67 marker matches, and the requisite P39 SNP+ (positive) finding occurring in 100% of cases, thus far. New tests are under way, and at this time, the latest, “BIG Y” test results are beginning to arrive in the study. To view project results and find out about testing with the Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia or the C P39 Y DNA Family Tree DNA projects, where Doucet / Doucette, and other results, are hosted, please email mrundqui@shentel.net.

      Thank you.

      Marie Rundquist, Administrator
      Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia Project
      Co-Administrator, C P39 Y DNA Project

  18. I am related Germain Doucet Dit Laverdue b. 1595 he is my 10th Great Grand father on my mothers side and I also have his parents names which are Germain Theophile Doucet Dit Laverdue b. 1569 d. 1640 and Priscilla Mallison b. 1570 d. 1630. I’m also related to the Dugas, Denys, and Bourgeois also on my mother I’m sure the gene pool was rather low so I’m related twice over to many people who founded Acadia and the first town. If you would like to contact me I have left my e-mail address I also have an ancestry dna account and have had my DNA mapped as well.

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  20. Howdy ! I share Keith Doucet’s family line until our 3rd great grandparent, splits after Charles Doucet. Charles had a son Paulus, he is my grandmothers father. I am reaching out to Doucet cousins from my grandmothers brothers line, trying to get them to take the Y-test .. Sure hope I can ! Thanks

  21. Thanks for this thread. It looks like I have many more cousins than I thought as I am also a descendant of Abraham Dugas (on my mother side, Adele Marguerite Dugas) and Marguerite Doucette. My mother’s family is largely from Cape Breton and Brittainy, France.

  22. I have one Acadian line the Doucet family, and I descend from both Germaine’s but not in direct male lineage. my Doucet ancestors are women, a paternal ancestor who descends from the Native American branch and a maternal mitochondrial DNA ancestor who descends from the European branch. All very interesting.

    • Hi, Jeanne. I guess we are cousins. I, too, descend from both Germaines, but on the Doucet side. We have traced our lineage back to Poutrou, France and I am a 13th generation Canadian. I have recently received my Metis status, but on my maternal side from my Acadian grandmother’s side. She was an Aucoin. We believe that there is Aboriginal blood on the Doucet side too, but have not yet proved it. I now own land in the Acadian village of Grand Etang, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and am very proud to be a Doucet.

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