My FamilyTree DNA test results resulted in a new Haplogroup that contains both my results and two Singletons. The Haplogroup is defined as BY2574.Cotton R-ZZ7Cascading down from Z255 to L159 to ZZ7_1, Haplogroup BY2574 shares BY2573 with a Byrne and a Brabazon as shown on THE BIG TREE Chart for R-ZZ7. Thanks to the wonderful work of Alex Williamson, those who take FamilyTree DNA’s Big Y Test are able to see how their haplogroup is embedded in a broader DNA Tree.

As a result, a Singleton and I were able to make email contact with each other to establish a historical/genealogical nexus with DNA testing. Both families appear in English History during the 12th century in the Chartulary of Cockersand, Vol. I, Part II, p.263 states that Huck de Singleton was born c1100 at Little Singleton, Kirkham, Lancashire and died in Broughton, Preston, Lancashire sometime after 1170.

Three generations later, Huck’s grandson, Robert de Singleton, had a son named Richard (circa 1204) who purchased land in the village of Cottam and thus changed his surname to Cottam and became Richard de Cottam. Geoffrey de Glazebrook and Edith his wife released to Richard de Cottam an oxgang of land in Bilsborrow in 1227.” Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 47.

R-ZZ7 separates into haplogroups as detailed in Big Tree data for R-ZZ7 (above). The Big Tree data for R-ZZ7 above shows two Singletons and a single Cotton under R-BY2574 with a single Byrne under R-BY2573. Yet, R-ZZ7 is dominated by the Irish O’ Byrne Clan descended from Bran mac Málmórda, King of Leinster, of the Uí Faelain. The single Byrne in haplogrop R-BY2573 is Irish while the two Singletons and single Cotton in haplogroup R-BY2574 are English. As I am the single Cotton sharing haplogroup R-BY2574 with two Singleton cousins, I cannot help but be curious as to how and why our Irish DNA journeyed across the Irish Sea. Surprisingly, the answer appears that they were taken to across the Irish Sea with Vikings fleeing Dublin.

The Viking Kingdom of Dublin was established in Ireland in the mid-9th century. Early in the 10th century, however, a united Irish force from the Kingdoms of Brega and Leinster drove the Viking King Ímar ua Ímair and his warlord, Ingimundr, out of Dublin in 902AD. Ingimundr fled across the Irish Sea to the Wirral Peninsula in the far north of the Kingdom of Mercia between Wales and The Dane Law. King Ímar ua Ímair led his followers to Scotland where he confronted Constantine, King of the Picts, and was eventually defeated by Constantine at Strath Erenn. In 917, Ímar ua Ímair returned to Dublin and defeated the armies of Leinster. Ingimundr and his followers settled on the Wirral Peninsula between the Dee and Mersey estuaries and may have struck a deal with Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians and daughter of Alfred the Great, to safeguard the surrounding region from Viking raids. A study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution in February 2008 shows that up to 50% of men on the Wirral Peninsula are of Scandinavian ancestry.The Viking’s were notorious for capturing slaves and a large number of Irish slaves must have accompanied Ingimundr when he fled Dublin for the Wirral Peninsula in 902- including the ancestor of the Singleton/Cotton haplogroup R-BY2574. In Ireland, the King of Leinster, “Braen mac Máelmórda” was deposed in 1018 and the ClanO’Byrne was established. The time period between the Wirral Peninsula migration and the establishment of the O’Byrne line is about 100 years and coincides with the approximate separation of Singleton/Cotton haplogroup R-BY2574 from the older Irish O’Byrne haplogroup R-BY2573.

EnglandThe Lancashire Chartulary, Series XX. Charter No. II (A.D. 1153-1160 Stephen to Henry II)  contains the first historical mention of the surname “Singleton” as Ughtred, son of Huck de Singleton, of the village of Broughton in Amounderness. Just north of the Wirral Peninsula is what is now Lancashire. Historically it was divided into the Six Hundreds of Lancashire and included the Amounderness Hundred that was strategically important in the 10th century in the Dublin-York (Jórvík) axis of power. The towns of Singleton and Cottam existed in 10th century Amounderness and still lie just north of Preston in Lancashire.Lancs 1Lancs 2




Members of Family 11 of the Cotton DNA Project include the surnames COTTON, COTTAM AND COTHAM. The Cotton surname has been proven back to Roland Cotton born London, England 1558. The Cottam surname shows a lineage back to St. Michael on Wyre, Lancashire, England to a Thomas Cottam circa 1740 and a William Cottam born 1779.

The Cotton DNA Project attempts to bridge genealogical proofs with DNA Test results. Fortunately for Family 11, the Cotton surname genealogical proof has been confirmed by a large number of prestigious lineage and hereditary societies. In addition, the Family DNA Big Y test is the most extensive DNA test available. Shown above in yellow highlight, the Cotton line’s placement has been further defined several more subclades or subgroupings under Haplogroup R-ZZ7. To my surprise, a link between the Cottam and the Cotton surnames has been revealed in results of my recent Big Y Test and is displayed on the Big Tree .

The subclade DYS435=12 groups the Cotton line solidly with the Irish Sea or Leinister Modality as the group is dominated by Z16430 and the Clan O’Byrne. The Byrne family is named after the King of Leinster “Braen mac Máelmórda”, who was deposed in 1018. However,  along with the Clan Byrne subclade Z16430 is the subclade BY2573 containing a Byrne ,two Singletons and a Cotton (me). Further research seems to indicate that the Singletons took their name from the Lancashire township of Singleton. Later, in the early 12th Century,  a Singleton purchased land in the nearby township of Cottam and took the surname “de Cottam”. As a result, it seems that a potential nexus of historical and DNA data exists showing that Cottam and Cotton surnames derive from the Singleton family of Lancashire early in the 14th century.

“The Lancashire Chartulary, Series XX. Charter No. II (A.D. 1153-1160 Stephen to Henry II) shows the confirmation of William Warren, Count of Mortain, to Ughtred, son of Huck de Singleton, of the village of Broughton in Amounderness. “ A note by the Chetham Society, XXX. Page 5, in their Latin comments about the Charter state, “Broctun, now Broughton, in the parish of Preston, was assessed to Danegeld in 1066 as on teamland, and was a member of Earl Tostig’s great manor of Preston in Amounderness. Hucca or Uck is the Anglo-Saxon Hoc, a tribal name retained in the place name “Hucking”. The individual so named in the charter seems to have been the successor of the preconquest thane or drengh of Broughton, and Singleton. He was the ancestor of the Singleton family, which with its various offshoots at one time held estates in Amounderness. Ughtred, son of Huck, is frequently mentioned in charters and other records of the time of Henry II. At Michaelmas, 23 Henry II, 1177, he rendered account at the Treasury of 5 marks to have the King’s confirmation or warranty of land which he held by the gift of Geoffrey de Valoiness…” Based on this charter and the notes of the Chetham Society, the following lineage has been established.⁠1

Huck (Ecke) de Singleton (lived about 1125)

Ughtred (Uctred) de Singleton (lived about 1153)

Robert de Singleton (lived about 1180)

Richard de Cottam (lived about 1204)

Richard, son of Robert, owned land in the village of Cottam and thus changed his surname to conform to the common practice “of being from a place” i.e. Robert de Singleton and Richard de Cottam.  (Pipe Roll, No. 71, m.I.) From the Cockersand Chartulary it appears that Richard de Cottam was son of Robert, son of Ughtred, who was brother of Richard de Singleton (1180-1212)⁠1  Geoffrey de Glazebrook and Edith his wife in 1227 released to Richard de Cottam an oxgang of land in Bilsborrow; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 47. He is believed to be the Richard son of Robert who granted land to Cockersand Abbey (Chartul. [Chet. Soc] i, 269), Robert being son of Uctred and brother of Richard de Singleton, also benefactors of the abbey; ibid. 264, 268. John de Cottam was plaintiff in 1304 and William de Cottam defendant in the following year; De Banco R. 152, m. 22 d.; 155, m. 144. William de Cottam was again defendant in 1311; ibid. 184, m. 23 d. He contributed to the subsidy of 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 60. Sir Adam de Hoghton (as guardian of Thomas the heir of Sir Adam Banastre) gave Adam de Singleton the wardship of John son and heir of John de Cottam of Bilsborrow, the tenure being of Banastre by knight’s service; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 118. The Cottams then fall into obscurity, but from a pleading of 1570 it appears that in the time of Henry IV Richard son of William Cottam married Margaret daughter of John de Fleetwood and then had land in Bilsborrow settled on him. The descent continues: s. Oliver -s. Richard -s. John -s. Richard -sons Richard (who had a son John), Nicholas and Henry. Henry’s daughter Elizabeth married Christopher Parkinson, and these were plaintiffs in 1570, Joan Topping, widow, being defendant; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 228, m. 10 d. The duchy rent was claimed by the king’s bailiff in 1522; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 212.⁠4

† Geoffrey de Cottam

† John de Cottam

Richard de Cottam

Writ dated at Westminster, June 10th, 21st year of Edward I (1293), directed to the sheriff of Lancaster and his coroners, reciting the same terms as the previous writ (No. LXXI) the petition of the venerable father R. Bishop of Coventre and Lichfield respecting the lands and chattels of Richard de Cotton, clerk, which had been taken into the King’s hands owing to a charge against the said Richard, of the death of William le Paumere, and directing the sheriff to make inquiry as to the said Richard’s conversation and reputation….. By the oath of 12 free and liege men of the neighborhood of Amundernesse, who say that Richard de Cotton is of good and honest conversation and of good report nor was he ever a public or notorious malefactor except for the death of William le Paumere of which he was accused (arectatus) before the Justices in the last year at Lancaster, of which he afterwards solely vindicated (expurgavit) his innocence.⁠5

† John de Cottam (lived about 1344)


1 Cheshire, Record Society of Lancashire and. Record Society for the Publication of Original Documents Relating to Lancashire and Cheshire, 1903.

2 Farrer, William, and J Brownbill. The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, 1908

Singleton, Sam, Singleton Family Association. A History of John Singleton of American Fork, Utah, His Ancestors and Descendants, Spanish Fork, Utah: JMart Publishing Company, 1973.

Cheshire, Record Society of Lancashire and. Record Society for the Publication of Original Documents Relating to Lancashire and Cheshire, 1903.



ukmap_large-1Genealogical research can only go so far as it is based on written documentation. The farther back in time one goes written records become more and more scarce. Ultimately, written records are nonexistent.

DNA research now provides a means to trace one’s ancestry back in time by determining the most recent genetic mutation in your genome. Males test their yDNA to determine the heritage of their father’s line. Tests for 12, 37, 67 or 111 genetic markers are available. The more markers tested, the more specific the results. Once results are received, however, further research is needed.

For example, I tested R1b1a2a1a1b4f or L159.2+The R1b haplogroup arrived in Europe about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago and was the first culture in Europe to leave cave art. Today over 50% of Europeans are R1b with the highest number in the British Isles.

My test consisted of 67 markers and determined that my male line fits the L159.2+ mutation known as the Leinster Modal. This mutation is found in the ancient Irish kings of Leinster and most particular in Diarmait Mac Murchada, who was King of Leinster in the early 12th century.


The theory is that the R1b1a2a1a subclade is common to a number of British Celtic tribes migrated to southern Ireland and southwest England between 4th and 8th century.  Among these are the Dumnonii that settled Cornwall and in the southern Ireland.

Recently, I expanded DNA testing to 111 markers and have moved deeper down the L159.2+ haplogroup and now am classified R-ZZ7_1.

This places my DNA in what is termed the Irish Sea Modality as I share many traits of the Irish Clan Byrne. To dig even deeper, however, I am taking the ‘Big Y Test’.

The Big Y product is a Y-chromosome direct paternal lineage test. That has been designed to explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree. Big Y tests thousands of known branch markers as well as millions of places where there may be new branch markers. The test is intended for those with an interest in advancing science and may also be of great interest to genealogy researchers of a specific lineage. To learn more about the methodology and science behind the Big Y test Family Tree DNA has produced a Big Y white paper published August 28, 2014 and sells the Big Y product as a Y-chromosome direct paternal lineage test.

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 7.08.01 PM.pngRDNA testing is not only helpful in placing one’s family geographically in the history of human migration, it can determine a common ancestor in a range of 3 to 10 generations. For example, several Cottons who have no proven genealogical link to the Rev. John Cotton, who helped found Boston MA in the early 1630s have been linked to his line through DNA test results. (Family 11 on this link)