Why a DNA Project?

There are several reasons for DNA projects. I’m not an expert so I won’t even attempt to go into an explanation for the various projects that exist.

The reason I think there should be a surname project for males with the surname Knopp/Knipe/Knipp/Knepp/Nipp/Nepp/Nipps etc., is to find out if all these families are related to each other.

I’ll be honest, I don’t even know if this surname is one of my lines, although I suspect it is. I’ve mentioned several times that my great grand-father, David Brazille Plunk, is not biologically a Plunk. In an attempt to find out who his biological family is, I had two of his great grandsons do the YDNA test. One man descended from David through his son, Orvan O. Plunk, and the other man descended through his son, Ira Brazille Plunk. They match each other 37 markers to 37 markers, giving me a solid YDNA line to my great-grandfather.

Their YDNA is rare, I’ve been told, because of some unusual mutations within those markers. I’m not even going to try to delve into what that means at this point. But, it’s also rare because of the hundreds of thousands of males who have submitted their DNA, there is only one man who matches them exactly at 37/37 markers and thus the reason I started researching the surname Nipps and all its variations.

This man was a descendant of J.M. Boatwright born 1857, AR, married to Mahala Johnson. Great news because we finally had a match, but no help in finding the biological family of David Brazille Plunk. Why? Because this tester that matched my Plunk didn’t match any of the other Boatwright men who had tested. So did that mean J.M. Boatwright wasn’t a Boatwright? Apparently not. The Boatwright tester descended through Thomas Lee Boatwright, a son of J.M. Boatwright. Luckily, another descendant of J.M. Boatwright, through his son, Lawrence Boatwright, did the test as well. This descendant does match the other Boatwrights which means, for now, it appears that Thomas Lee Boatwright is the one that was unofficially adopted.

By now you’re wondering how I got the Nipps surname out of this, aren’t you? J.M. Boatwright was the son of Thomas Boatwright and Lucinda Coker. Prior to her marriage to Boatwright, Lucinda was married to Henry Nepp/Nipps. Boatwright is apparently an English surname and Nepp/Nipps, from what I’ve researched, is apparently a German surname. The two Plunk men and the Boatwright man are also apparently of German descent based upon the findings of their YDNA tests.

Henry Nepp/Nipps had a brother, Aaron Nepp/Nipps, and I found one of his descendants who agreed to do the YDNA test. To date, this is the only male I know with any variation of that surname who has his test results in and thus I am unable to say without a doubt whether he is biologically of the Nepp/Nipps line.

However, there is a possibility that this man is actually a descendant of Margaret Nipps, the sister of Henry and Aaron. And yes, as you’ve surmised, he is not of German descent, but is apparently of Scottish descent through his paternal line. It’s possible that his ancestor, John Henry Nipps, was actually the son of Pew/Pugh Anderson and Margaret Nipps and was unofficially adopted by a member of the Nipps family when Margaret Nipps died.

Also, I manually entered the Plunk YDNA markers at genetree.com and they matched a man who claimed to be a descendant of Christian Knipps. (genetree is now closed).

It appears to me that however you want to spell the last name Nipp the families came through Pennsylvania to North Carolina and Virginia, on into Tennessee then Arkansas. From there, they have migrated to Missouri, Texas, and everywhere else.

There is a descendant of an Edmund Knipp who has ordered the test and I’m hoping that will help put more of the story together. Eventually, I hope there will be enough men to test that will help put genetics, family folklore, and paper together.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Martha Caswell
    Feb 14, 2014 @ 03:15:59

    Can you tell me who you descend from that leads back to John White and Rebecca Cathey. I see many errors in your tree and would like to help you out. I do not think Coleman White was the son of Benjamin White and Amy Needham. Matilda White was not married to a Burney.


    • Carla Wallain Davis
      Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:44:41

      Hi Martha,
      According to Missouri Marriage Records:
      Name: Matilda White
      Marriage Date: 7 Mar 1859
      Marriage County: Ripley
      Spouse Name: William Burnley

      I descend through their daughter, Mary Jane Burnley.


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