DNA in Northampton – Synchronicity and Sculptures

A cousin I discovered through DNA testing, Lisa, decided to embark an on adventure in England, but little did she know what an adventure it would be.

Her first day on the ground was unexpectedly spent in the hospital and her second day was spent having surgery.

However, she’s now on the mend but can’t return home until she recovers – so she is relegated to sightseeing – although that’s not exactly what she intended to be doing. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!

I knew in my heart she would be roaming around England with DNA kits in her purse, hoping to find male Franklins, given that she is one of the administrators of the Franklin Y DNA Project.  Project administrators almost ALWAYS have a DNA kit someplace handy, especially when traveling.

Then. she proved me right by posting this photo of an establishment she found in Northampton on her Facebook page.

When she asked about the whereabouts of the proprietor, she was informed that “he’s not alive just now,” followed by something about cricket.  Apparently John Franklin was one of the local founding fathers…which…knowing the unbounded tenacity of genetic genealogists, assuredly sent Lisa on a mission to find a local phone book.

I imagine an ensuing conversation might go something like this:

“Hello – are you descended from John Franklin?”

“You are?  Will you DNA test?”

“What do you mean ‘who am I?’ I might be his 5 times great-grand-niece, which is why I need you to DNA test.”


I know every genetic genealogist is laughing at this hypothetical conversation, knowing they would do the same, maybe a little more tactfully than my madeup example.  You know, a few more pleasantries first and hopefully no “click” at the end.  At the same time, we’re all quite envious of Lisa’s lucky find!  See what unexpected surgery will net you. Talk about synchronicity.

Lisa was kind enough to post a couple very interesting DNA-related photos taken in Northampton where she discovered John Franklin, which she has given me permission to share. Given this sculpture, the Franklin descendants in Northampton should have at least a passing familiarity with DNA already.

I love this piece of very public art. Utter beauty.  This speaks to me of elegance and grace and of the human spirit that soars.  We are at once united and completely unique.

Thanks for sharing, Lisa.  Oh, and good luck with John Franklin!!!



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8 thoughts on “DNA in Northampton – Synchronicity and Sculptures

  1. My 7th GG Christopher Calvert also came from Northamptonshire, England. One thing I found out about Northampton is that the predominate male y-DNA haplogroup/SNP is R-Z16502. This haplogroup is also found in Bedford and Derby counties. R-Z16502 is believed to be only in England and is now in the USA in Accomack Co, VA. R-Z16502 is believed to have formed somewhere between 1500 BC and 2500 BC. In the early 1600’s Accomack Co, VA was first settled by individuals and families that came from Northampton, England. That is because four of the County Commissioners of Accomack Co were born in Northampton. Commissioner Obedience Robins traveled back and forth from Northampton, England to Accomack Co, VA for over 35 years to bring in more settlers. Accomack Co eventually split in two and became Accomack and Northampton cos, VA.

  2. Why not contact the Borough and City Council who commissioned the piece- they might be interested in helping locate a person willing to test.

  3. I have a cousin (I found him through DNA) in Rushden, Northampton, Northamptonshire. If she needs a local to give her any info, I’m sure I could put her in touch.

  4. Very interesting and as an aside I am descended from Glendenning’s who immigrated from England /or Scotland to VA and NC but I haven’t found exact locations.

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