Are you a Descendent of this Illustrious
Robert Overton was of noble birth. Born
in 1609 in Easington, he later lived in London
England. A Puritan, he was one of Oliver
Cromwell's officers, and commanded a brigade of foot at
in the cause of the Commonwealth. After
a disagreement with Cromwell, Overton resigned his command and was subsequently
demoted to the rank of Colonel. Because
of his strong political beliefs, he was twice imprisoned in the Tower
and later on the Isle of Jersey. His
Majesty King Charles II eventually signed a release, ordering that Robert
be turned over to the custody of his brother-in-law.
Among the many offices held by Overton were Governor of
Hull, 1647, Governor of Edinburgh, 1650 and Governor of Aberdeen, 1652.
Robert Overton was a confidante of Milton, the great English poet and
Based on documented research undertaken by one of our
Overton DNA Participants, any male Overton whose DNA results put him into our
Overton Clan 2, may state with relative certainty that he is related to this Robert
Overton. Contemporary genealogists suggest that Robert Overton had
eleven children by his wife Anne Gardiner.
least two of Robert’s children (William and perhaps Robert) made their way
over to America
and thus began the long line of Overton descendents who exist to this day in
Additional Overton Genealogical
There are many excellent resources for extended research into the
Overton surname. The following three are recommended for Overton genealogists with an eye toward improving their knowledge within specific clans:
website contains detailed genealogical information on all the
known Overtons in the United States. Currently there are 25 family lines
(called Trees) identified on the site with more Trees to be added.
Information on this site is a accumulation of years of research collected by
Nevel Overton-Slack and being made available to any Overton researcher.
Nevel is well known as The Overton expert, and he is always willing to help
another in their family quest.
Family Tree website contains detailed genealogical information on
Clan 3. This Clan first appeared in Virginia in the early 1700s with the
appearance of Moses, Aaron and John Overton in Amelia County, Virginia.
Moses and John died in Mecklenburg County, Virginia in 1810 and 1809
respectively and Aaron died in Franklin County, North Carolina in 1823.
The site is managed by Steve Randall Overton, a member of Clan 3 and an Overton
DNA project administrator.
The Childress/Mathis Photo website contains considerable information about Overton lines within Clan 1. Moreover, the website is a repository for many historical family photographs in addition to providing external links to research articles on the Jesse Overton families who were pioneers in the early establishment of townships in East Texas during the Republic (later to become a state) of Texas. One of the most interesting aspects of the research covered in this website is the exhaustive introspection of Dr. Samuel Egbert Overton's 19th century medical practice in the small town of Omen, Texas. Patrick Childress administers this website.
The OVERTON surname in America
The 1990 Federal Census listed about 20,000 Overton
citizens in the USA, making Overton the 1,542nd most popular name.
We have no idea how many family lines are represented in this number.
Surnames have been used for only about 800 years and were oftentimes
chosen as a reflection of an occupation, a location or a personal
characteristic. Thus, an Overton
male may be more closely related to a “Smith” male, for example, than
another Overton male living in the same neighborhood.
Several of the above Colonel Overton’s descendents assumed the
mantle of greatness in the early days of the American Colonies. Overton Clan
2 members (and their relatives) may also lay claim to being a cousin
to the following notable Americans:
Thomas Overton (1753 – 1825) was the second great-grandson of
Colonel Robert Overton. Overton
served throughout the Revolutionary War in the Continental Army.
He was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati
and served in the legislature for many years while living in Moore County,
North Carolina. Thomas was an intimate friend of
Andrew Jackson and served as his second in the duel between Jackson and Charles
Dickenson in 1806.
(1766 – 1833), brother of the above Thomas Overton, also
was a friend of Andrew Jackson and served as his closest advisor through most of
Jackson's presidency. Judge Overton
owned much of the real estate where the city of Memphis, Tennessee
was founded. He is known as the
“Father of Memphis.” His home, ”Traveller’s
Rest,” is now owned and operated as an historical site by the
Colonial Dames of America.
Of course, we're hoping that through the administration of this project, we'll be able to identify and document many more illustrious Overton ancestors!
Determination of OVERTON "Clans"
"Clans" are by definition "groups of people who have a
common ancestor." The intent of this project is to place
individual Overton DNA participants into their proper Clan. This will then
allow others in the same Clan to compare notes with one another and move forward
in finding the most recent common ancestor.
NOTE: In order for
an individual to be assigned to any Clan, their 25-marker DNA test results
must demonstrate at least a 25% probability of
having a Common Ancestor within the past 24 generations with any other
individual in a Clan.
Currently, we have eight (8) different clans, with each one containing as few as two male Overtons and as many as nine male Overton participants.
Participation in the Overton Y-DNA Project
All Overton males are
welcome to participate in this study! Many surnames cut across traditional boundaries of race,
creed and/or color. We welcome
participation of all Overton males regardless of racial or ethnic background.
Black Overton males may wish to explore their heritage
amidst the confusion that arose during slavery.
Likewise, rumors abound in the Overton history concerning Native American
blood and we welcome the opportunity to document these cases.
Administration of this Project
The Overton DNA Project is an all-volunteer endeavor
dedicated to identifying the various Overton lineages existent today in
the USA and abroad. The DNA
technology used in this project is state-of-the-art and in some cases, cutting
edge. An 8-marker test for the Y-chromosome DNA was used to confirm
the probability of at least one child born out of a relationship between
Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings. We will use a much
higher resolution 25-, 37- or 67-marker DNA test for our project.
We have initiated this project under the auspices of
FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), a Houston-based company specializing in the
commercialization of DNA technology. FTDNA
will provide us the tools of analyses and the internet web space to facilitate
this search for our Overton ancestral lines.
Click here to review FTDNA’s overview of the value of DNA
testing as it relates to our genealogical endeavors.
Pay particular attention to the interview with Professor David Roper and
his quest for the descendents of Benjamin Franklin.
Want to join the project? Click here to go to the FTDNA website for the Overton
project. Review the Overton material online to decide if you (Note:
the Participant furnishing the DNA sample MUST
be a non-adopted male with the surname of Overton, or derivative thereof!)
participate, then place your order for your kit (25-, 37-marker or 67-marker
recommended). The kit will be mailed to your home address the next
day. Payment will be due only upon your return of the kit to FamilyTreeDNA
in Houston, Texas.
Results will be posted on this web page and/or the web page
on the FTDNA website. Individual DNA results will be posted only if the
participant has agreed in writing to divulge his DNA test results.
Complete data sets on all the Y-DNA markers on all the
Participants in the Overton DNA Project may be viewed by clicking
You can download
these values into an Microsoft Excel
spreadsheet or to a pdf file. The results you see on the above-referenced
website should be identical to those on this website, other than a possible
time delay in posting the results on this website. On this same page,
you'll also see a Google map image of where each participant's most distant
Call for Your Support!
If you, or some other Overton
family enthusiast would like to contribute any amount of money to our
Overton DNA General Fund, please
click here and you'll be directed to the secure FamilyTreeDNA web
page that will allow you to contribute via credit card,
PayPal or a mail-in check. Your donation will be used to subsidize
future DNA sampling and could well provide the impetus to some reticent Overton
male to submit their DNA for testing.
Another Overton line may well be proven to
exist due to your consideration!
Contact information for content corrections and for Project Administrators
For additions, corrections or comments regarding this specific website, please send an e-mail to:
Childress, website author & Overton DNA Project Co-Administrator.
You may also e-mail Overton Project Co-Administrators Steve
Overton or Dot