Mallett Surname DNA Study — Results


Executive Summary

Our study now has 31 participants. All but 4 individuals belong to 1 of 2 haplogroups: either 'I' or 'R1b(1)'. 3 of the 4 participants that don't fall within 1 of the 2 groups have an undetermined haplogroup, but 1 of them shows a weak correlation to most of the others in the 'I' group and so has been included with them.

The 'I' group and the 'R1b(1)' group are clearly not related to one another. Some of the lines nominally within the two main groups and the 3 lines that fall outside of them do not appear to be related to anyone else in the study either. We therefore have 17 distinct lines, 9 that might be related to the others in their group, and 8 that are very unlikely to be related to anyone else.

The study results fall within the following 5 categories:

The phylogenetic network diagram above shows the two main groups, with the 4 lines that don't fit within the main groups identified by their acronyms. The distance between the 2 main groups represents 10,000 years.


Surname Variations

  • Malet (2)
  • Malette (1)
  • Maleth (1)
  • Mallet (4)
  • Mallett (19)
  • Mallette (1)
  • Maylett (1)
  • Mellette (2)

I - Normandy/Ireland

Within the I group there are 6 distinct lines, and there is a possibility that 4 of them share a common Malet ancestor. The length of time separating these 4 branches is anywhere from 900 to 1100 years.  2 of the lines in this group are unique, and don't match anyone else in the study.


R1b(1) - France/England

There are 9 distinct lines within the R1b(1) group, 5 of which may be related within the last 1000 years. One of the main lines is comprised of 4 separate lines that have no documented relationship, but whose DNA results show that they are closely related.


Other

The 'Other' group has 3 members with 2 distinct lines that are not related to one another nor to anyone else in the study. One of the lines is comprised of two East Anglia (EA) individuals who are closely related to one another, but whose haplogroup is undetermined.

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Background

Mutation Rates

All calculations regarding TMRCA (Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor) have been done using 25 marker results, using the average mutation rate for those 25 markers of .0044 per marker per transmission event made public by FTDNA at the First International Conference on Genetic Genealogy held in Houston, Texas on Oct. 30, 2004.


TMRCA Calculations

The Malet surname is one of a very few surnames that has been in existence for 1000 years or more. This opens the door to possibilities not open to other surname studies in that we can look for a common ancestor anywhere within the last 1000 years, but causes problems too. It is difficult to declare with certainty that two or more individuals are related over such a long period of time, and next to impossible to prove in a genealogical sense.  Most studies are looking for common ancestors "within a genealogical time frame" which is to say within a period of time in which it is possible to find documentary evidence of a relationship.  Since it is highly unlikely that any documentary evidence exists earlier than the 16th century, if that, then "genealogical time frame" really means 500 years ago or less.  As such, most DNA studies only allow 2 differences for 2 individuals over 25 markers to declare that a possible relationship exists.

The genealogical time frame for this study is no different than any other, but since the Malet name has been in existence for twice as long as that, we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water when the number of differences between 2 individuals exceeds 2, so we will allow 3 levels of "relatedness":

  • 2 markers or less, strong correlation, definitely related
  • 3 – 4 markers, medium correlation, probably related
  • 5 – 7 markers, weak correlation, possibly related

Within the 2 main groups that most of our participants fall into, the TMRCA calculations for the most dissimilar lines were made using all of the results as a whole, employing a modal haplotype to represent lines with many similar participant results so as not to skew the results in favour of those lines.


Probability of Relationship

A Poisson Distribution for each of the above scenarios gives, in the worst case, the following probabilities that 2 individuals are related within the time period that the Malet surname has existed (roughly 35 generations, or 1000 years):

  • Definitely related – 99%
  • Probably related – 88%
  • Possibly related – 50% 

It is important to note that a 50% probability means that there is an equal likelihood that the individual involved is descended from a different family altogether as from a common Malet ancestor.  Indeed, a comparison of many of the participants in the Mallett surname study to a random sampling of 'R1b(1)' and 'I' results from other studies shows several matches at the "possibly related" level. 


Participant Acronyms

The following acronyms have been used to identify individual participants. Each is comprised of 2 alpha characters to denote place of origin (as much as is known) of the participants' ancestors, with the addition of a numeral to separate one party from another when their ancestors came from the same place.

  • CE = Central Europe
  • EA = East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk, England)
  • IR = Ireland
  • LA = Louisiana (USA)
  • MI = Midlands (England)
  • ND = Normandy (France)
  • SF = Southern France
  • WC = West Country (Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and Dorset, England) 

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William Malet 1066

William Malet is an historical figure accepted by most scholars as being one of the few individuals who can be proven to have been at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 fighting alongside William of Normandy ("William the Conqueror").  He was the first known bearer of the Malet surname.

One of the goals of this Surname DNA study was to determine if all Mallets are descended from this William Malet.  We now know that this is not possible, because the study shows that there are several Mallet families that have obviously arisen from separate sources. Any one of those could be descended from William Malet — or none of them.

Let's consider for a moment the possibility that one of the two main groups (I and R1b) is descended from William Malet.

From the FTDNA website:

"The I, I1, and I1a lineages are nearly completely restricted to northwestern Europe. These would most likely have been common within Viking populations. One lineage of this group extends down into central Europe."
"Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is believed to have expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last glacial maximum 10-12 thousand years ago. This lineage is also the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype."

The I and the R1b haplogroups are separated from one another by upwards of 10,000 years, so there is no possibility that the 2 groups both descend from William Malet; but, if any group of participants might claim descent from him based purely on the DNA evidence, it is perhaps the I group. As stated above, the I haplogroup is associated with Viking populations, the Normans were originally Vikings, and William Malet was a Norman.

However, we don't know what William Malet's haplogroup was. R1b is common throughout Europe, including Scandinavia, and at the time of the Norman invasion of England, the Normans had lived in France for several generations, so William Malet could have had an "R1b" father — either Scandinavian or French.

The Malets of Enmore, St Audries, and Ash, part of the R1b(1) group here, have always claimed descent from William Malet, but a definitive link has never been proved. There is 1 member (ND4) of the R1b(1) group whose earliest known ancestor came from Normandy and who could be connected to the Enmore/St Audries/Ash line within the time period that the family split between the English and French branches. This lends some credence to this claim, but is by no means proof of descent.

The bottom line? We don't know who is descended from William Malet, if anyone.

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I Normandy/Ireland — Definitely Related and Possibly Related

  • Number of participants: 8
  • Number of haplotypes: 6
  • Haplogroups: I 
  • Number of distinct family groupings: 4
  • Surname variations: Malet, Malette, Mallett
  • Shared common "Malet" ancestor? Possibly
  • TMRCA: 950 to 1100 years
Normandy Phylogenetic Network

The above diagram demonstrates the relationship of each of the participants to the others. MV1 and MV2 are common ancestry points; MV1 probably represents the MRCA, or ancestral haplotype. The length of the lines separating the various participant nodes (e.g. ND1, ND5, etc.) is directly proportional to time.


John Mallett the Huguenot

ND1, 2, 3, 8 , and 9 are Americans that have established genealogies linking them to "John Mallett the Huguenot", who was born in La Rochelle, France (Normandy) c. 1673 (father David) and came to America c. 1694. He was an early settler in New England. The DNA test proves that they are definitely related to one another.  There are 9 generations since John Mallett, and their results only differ by 1 step on 2 markers, oddly both in the same line.  ND1 and ND9 are 4th cousins once removed, and each has a unique mutation — the only ones in the group. For more information on this family, visit "Mallett Genealogy".


Ireland

IR1 is an Australian who may possibly descend from another Huguenot, whose given name is not currently known, but who came to Ireland in the same time period that John Mallet went to the USA. Research on this line is a work in progress, and all that is currently known is that the family came from Ireland, thence to England , Canada, USA, and finally Australia.

IR2 lives in England, but has Irish roots. IR1 and IR2 show a medium to weak correlation with one another, suggesting that they might have a common Malet ancestor.


Nouvelle France

ND5 is an American who is a descendant of perhaps the earliest Malet to come to North America, who settled in the fledgling colony of Quebec circa 1650, and came from the St Malo area of Normandy. Many of the earliest French settlers in North America are known to come from Normandy and Brittany.


Test Results

I Group DYS Values

   Click here or on the graphic above for 37 marker values.

The following graphic illustrates the known relationships of the John Mallett the Huguenot group, and demonstrates the possible relationships of some of the "I" group participants to one another. Different colours represent different haplotypes. As stated above, the TMRCA for the 3 separate Normandy groups is possibly 900 to 1100 years.

Can't read it? Click here or on the graphic itself for a larger version…

I - Normandy/Ireland

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I — Unrelated

  • Number of participants: 2
  • Number of haplotypes: 2
  • Haplogroups: I, I1b
  • Number of distinct family groupings: 2
  • Surname variations: Maleth, Mallet
  • Shared common "Malet" ancestor? No
  • TMRCA: N/A

LA1 is descended from a family resident in Louisiana for many generations, with probable (but unproven) links to France. He does not match anyone else in the study.

CE1 is the one and only participant who has roots in Central Europe, Hungary to be more precise. His earliest known ancestor came from Germany, but the family may have ties to France. This surname variation is a very old form of Malet that has been found in 11th and 12th century texts in England, France, and Belgium. This family appears to have no link to any of the others in the study. More information can be found at the "Maleth Web Page".


Test Results

I Unrelated Group DYS Values

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R1b(1) France/England — Definitely Related and Possibly Related

  • Number of participants: 11
  • Number of haplotypes: 9
  • Haplogroups: R1b, R1b1
  • Number of distinct family groupings: 5
  • Surname variations: Malet, Mallet, Mallett
  • Shared common "Malet" ancestor? Possibly
  • TMRCA: 900 to 1100 years

There are 5 distinct family groups within the R1b(1) group that might share a common ancestor in the timeframe the Malet surname is known to have existed. 1 has origins in France, 2 originate in the West Country of England, 1 is from "East Anglia", also in England, and the 5th's origins are unknown.

The diagram above demonstrates the relationship of each of the participants to the others. The larger dots represent identical results over the first 12 or 25 markers: WC1 = WC1, 2, and 6, and WC4 = WC 4 and 5. The length of the lines separating the various participant nodes is directly proportional to time.


Malet/Mallet of Enmore, St Audries, and Ash + "North Devon 1"

There are 4 lines in this group that all originate in North Devon, and that the DNA results say are definitely related. 1 of those lines has a documented relationship to a 5th line that the DNA test says is probably related to the other 4.

WC1, 2, 6, and 8 collectively are referred to here as "North Devon 1" (see following graphic). WC1, 2, and 6 have identical results, but differ from WC8 by 1 step on 1 marker. WC3 represents a well documented family called the "Mallets of Ash" that can be traced back to the beginning of the 16th century in North Devon. The "North Devon 1" group has no proven relationship to WC3 (Mallet of Ash), but since they differ from him only very slightly — WC1, 2, and 6 by 1 step on 1 marker, and WC8 by 1 step on 2 different markers; it is reasonable to conclude that they are closely related.

WC1 and WC2 are Canadians who share a common ancestor in Humphrey Mallett, who lived that part of his life that is known in Langtree, Devon, and was born, possibly in Sheepwash, Devon c. 1756. They are separated by 6 generations and are a perfect match over 25 markers, but a recent upgrade to 37 markers has revealed a 1 step mutation on 1 marker in WC1's line.  This line can potentially be traced back 2 further generations to Henry c. 1690, who lived in Shebbear. 

WC6 lives in England. His earliest known ancestor was James Mallett, who was born c. 1678, and lived in Spreyton, Devon, not far from Iddesleigh and Langtree. He is a perfect match over 25 markers with WC1 and WC2 but there is no documented connection between the 2 groups. The 37 marker results show 1 difference on 1 marker, so it is obvious the two families are very closely related.

WC8 is an Australian who is descended from Robert Mallett who was born c. 1690, and lived in Dowland, Devon, very close to Iddesleigh. WC8 differs from WC1, 2, and 6 by 1 difference on 1 marker over 25 markers, so all 4 of these individuals must be very closely related to one another, though the details of the relationships remain unknown.

WC3 is an Argentinian who is a direct descendant of the "Mallets of Ash", a landed family that held the estate of Ash in Iddesleigh, North Devon, from the early 1500's to the late 1800's. This family has a genealogy that connects it to the earliest known Malets in the western part of England in Enmore, Somerset, who showed up there in the early part of the 12th century. More information on this family can be found here.

WC10 is a descendant of the "Malets of St Audries", another landed family who held the estate of St Audries, in West Quantoxhead, Somerset for several hundred years. They too are direct descendants of the Malets of Enmore.

WC3 and WC10 have a documented relationship — 11th cousins 3 times removed, and the DNA test supports this. WC3 is more closely related to WC 1, 2, 6, and 8 than to WC10, which suggests that these "North Devon" families must have split from the "Mallet of Ash" line perhaps in the early to mid 17th century.


Cornwall

WC4 and WC7 are part of the same family that can be traced to St Neot, Cornwall, in the mid 1700's

WC5's earliest known ancestor lived in London in 1680. All 3 participants are from England. They have no proven connection, but since WC7 differs from WC5 by only 1 step on 1 marker over 25 markers, and WC4 is known to be related to WC7, we can reasonably declare them to be part of the same family group. We've called it "Cornwall" because the family origins are much more likely to be there than in London.

This group is separated from the other West Country group by a significant margin, as is evidenced by the following graphic, but is still close enough that we can consider both groups to be part of the same family, because the TMRCA falls within a timeframe where there is documented evidence that the Malet family existed in the western part of England; primarily at Enmore, Somerset, as previously stated. Further, there is documented evidence that the Malet family at Enmore intermarried over a long period of time with various families in Cornwall, which could account for the presence of at least some of the Mallett families in that county.


Test Results

R1b Group DYS Values

   Click here or on the graphic above for 37 marker values.

The following graphic illustrates the relationships of the various family groups and suggests a TMRCA for the main lines as well as a TMRCA for the 5 individuals who make up the "North Devon 1" + "Mallet of Ash" (WC1, 2, 3, 6, and 8) subgroup.

The main "Malet" line, shown in dark blue, until it splits to form the "Ash" and "St Audries" lines is well documented and averages 30 years per generation. The red colored elipse in the main line (Gilbert 1050) is meant to indicate that there has never been a definitive link proven between the "Malet of Enmore" line and William Malet who accompanied William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.

To see a larger version of the graphic, click here, or on the graphic itself.

R1b France/England

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R1b(1) France/England — Unrelated

  • Number of participants: 6
  • Number of haplotypes: 5
  • Haplogroup: R1b1
  • Number of distinct family groupings: 5
  • Surname variations: Mallett, Mallette, Mellette
  • Shared common "Malet" ancestor? Unlikely
  • TMRCA: N/A

Normandy/France

There are 2 lines in this group with origins in France, 1 (ND6 and 7) from Normandy, the other from the southern part of the country (SF1). Each of them is descended from a different Huguenot who fled France in the mid 1700's and made their way to the American colonies via England. 

ND6 and 7 possibly have a common ancestor within the time period that the Malet surname is known to have existed, but there is only a 65% probability of this.


North Devon 2

This family, represented by WC9, comes from the same small geographic area as the North Devon 1 group, but is not closely related to them, nor to anyone else in the study.


East Anglia 1

EA1 and EA4 have a known relationship, and are a perfect match over 25 markers. They don't match any other family group.


Test Results

R1b(1) Unrelated Group DYS Values

   Click here or on the graphic above for 37 marker values.

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Other — Unrelated

  • Number of participants: 3
  • Number of haplotypes: 2
  • Haplogroups: N, Unknown
  • Number of distinct family groupings: 2
  • Surname variations: Mallett, Maylett
  • Shared common "Malet" ancestor? No
  • TMRCA: N/A

EA2 and 3 have roots in East Anglia; Norfolk to be more specific. They have a known relationship to one another and are a perfect match over 25 markers, but they do not match anyone else in the study. They are 1 of 2 distinct family groups from East Anglia — see also "R1b — France/England".

MI1 has roots in the English Midlands, and thought he might have a connection to the West Country Mallets (See R1b group), but he has a distinct haplotype that does not match anyone else in the study.


Test Results

Unrelated Group DYS Values

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The software used to produce the phylogenetic trees shown above was provided by: Fluxus Engineering.

Author:

Bob Mallett

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

Last update August 19, 2007