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England — East Anglia

  • Number of participants: 8
  • Number of haplotypes: 6
  • Haplogroup: R-M269, R-BY38768, R-DF103, R-M173
  • Number of distinct lines: 4
  • Surname variations: Mallett, Tanner
  • Shared common "Malet" ancestor? Some yes.
  • TMRCA: 900-1100 years
East Anglia is an area of England generally considered to be comprised of the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire. Robert Malet, the son of William Malet, both of whom are thought to have fought alongside William of Normandy, or William the Conqueror, at the battle of Hastings in 1066, was a major landholder in east Anglia at the time the Domesday book was compiled in 1086. Perhaps Robert's most notable possession was the "Honour of Eye", which was a large estate centred on the village of Eye, in Suffolk. The remains of a Norman Motte and Bailey castle built by Robert can still be found at Eye. At some point Robert ran afoul of the King (Henry I), and he lost all of his lands and was banished from England.

Although no-one carrying any version of the Malet surname claims descent from Robert, East Anglia, (especially Norfolk and Suffolk) is home to the largest concentration of Malletts in England today, which suggests that Malletts have lived in the area for a very long time.

There are 5 family groups from East Anglia respresented in this study, and 4 of them are in the R1b group.  3 of the 4 show a degree of relatedness that points to a common ancestor well within the time period that the Malet surname is known to have existed, but the 4th line does not appear to be related to the other 3.  The earliest known ancestor of one group is known to have lived in Bungay, Suffolk, a 2nd was from Dallinghoo, Suffolk, and a 3rd lived in Kessingland, also in Suffolk.  The 4th line does not carry the Mallett surname, but rather Tanner, and has no known connection to any Mallett family, or East Anglia for that matter, but the DNA results do suggest a relationship, though quite far back in time.

The 5th family, not part of the R1b group, is centred on Norwich, Norfolk, and is covered under the "Other" section.

"Mallett of Bungay" has 2 participants with a documented relationship, EA1 and EA4.  Their common ancestor was John Mallett, born about 1769 in Bungay, Suffolk.  John's father was Robert, born about 1734.  He was a Shoemaker who abandoned his young family before his son John was born.  This line shows no correlation with any of the other lines in the study.

"Mallett of Dallinghoo" has 4 members, EA5, EA6, EA10 and EA11 with documented relationships. Their earliest known ancestor is Thomas Mallett, born c. 1665.  Where exactly Thomas was born is unknown.  The Dallinghoo line shows a fairly strong correlation with the Kessingland line, and less strong but still significant relationship with the Tanner line.

As stated above, EA11 has a documented connection to the Dallinghoo line, but the DNA evidence doesn't support it.  In fact, EA11 doesn't match anyone else in the study, so, we've either got the genealogy wrong, or there was an NPE somewhere in this line.

"Mallett of Kessingland" has only one representative, EA7. Another Thomas Mallett, this one born about 1761, is the earliest documented member of the line.  As stated above, the Kessingland line has a fairly close relationship with the Dallinghoo line, and a relationship further back in time with the Tanner line.

"Tanner of Coleraine, Northern Ireland" also has only one member, EA8.  He is an American whose earliest known ancestor (Nathaniel Tanner, c. 1780) came from the area around Coleraine, in Northern Ireland.  He has long suspected that they were originally from England, and that they came to Northern Ireland as a part of the English "Plantation of Ulster", in the late 17th or early 18th century.  He is unaware of any Mallett connection to his Tanner family, and so was quite surprised to discover fairly close genetic ties to some of the Malletts in this group, closer than he found to any Tanners that had tested.