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Edward Doty’s Ancestry

The International Genealogical Index, which was first published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1973, is a database of genealogical records from various, unverified sources The IGI lists dozens of entries for the birth or baptism of Edward Doty. None of these claims have been substantiated, and possibly all of them are erroneous.


Genealogical Research Studies

Over the years, the Society has commissioned professional investigations in Britain into Edward Doty’s ancestry. The first series of studies was conducted by Debrett Ancestry Research, Ltd. A subsequent study was conducted by John Titford, who since has appeared on the reality TV series, “Who Do You Think You Are”.

No American source that recorded the date and place of Edward’s birth in England ever has been found. Also, the names of Edward’s parents are unknown. The best clue about Edward’s origins is that he was a servant of Stephen Hopkins. Unfortunately, no English records about Hopkins that link him with Edward have been found, either. This is an avenue for further research.

The only other clue about Edward’s early life is William Bradford’s statement that Faith Clarke was Edward’s SECOND wife. However, we do not know the name of his first wife, or whether they were married in England or Plymouth.

With so few clues to follow, all of our investigations of Edward’s ancestry have been inconclusive. The genealogists have found records for a few “Edward Doty”s – and their possible parents – but they have been unable to link them decisively to our immigrant ancestor. Of course, it is possible that none of these men is our ancestor, at all: The candidates that have been identified so far were older than some surmise our ancestor to have been. Edward might have been just a poor boy whose birth and baptism went unrecorded, or whose records were lost over the centuries.

Dedication of Edward Doty Plaque
Pilgrim Fathers (Mayflower) Memorial Park
Southampton, England – 1992


Here are links to pdf copies of these studies, in chronological order. The Society owns the rights to these reports, so please do not re-publish them in any way without our permission. Some of the attachments to the original reports are copies of portions of other copyrighted publications. Therefore, we have not included those attachments.

  • Debrett Ancestry Research
    • Jun 1989
    • Mar 1990
    • Oct 1990
    • May 1996
    • May 1998
    • Jun 1999
    • Jun 2006
    • Mar 2007
  • John Titford Genealogy
    • Nov 2007

As Titford stated in the heading of his report, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast . . .” (Alexander Pope). New records are being discovered, scanned, and indexed every day, so perhaps one day we will have the clue that solves this mystery!


DNA Project Reports

Genetic genealogy is a new field that – in concert with traditional, records-based genealogy – might one day provide an answer to Edward’s origins.


Preface to the Doty Doughty DNA Project – Y-DNA Colorized Chart

For genealogy within the most recent fifteen generations, STR markers help define paternal lineages. Y-DNA STR markers change (mutate) often enough that most men who share the same STR results also share a recent paternal lineage. This page displays Y-Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) STR results for the project. It uses the colorized format. The columns display each project member’s kit number, paternal ancestry information according to project settings, the paternal tree branch (haplogroup), and actual STR marker results.

The Doty-Doughty DNA Project on, a sister organization, shares the Society’s interests in unraveling the Doty lineages and in tracking down Edward’s origins. Recently, they published a Project Update (3 Dec 2016) of an investigation that was conducted by some of their members. This Update is based on their Project’s growing yDNA database. Although these researchers have not yet succeeded in determining from where Edward was likely to have come, their methodology shows promise.