Laymon/Layman/Lemon DNA Project 


The Results


This project to date has helped solve a number of Laymon/Layman/Lemon geneological mysteries and has helped lead many in new directions in their family research.  It has linked families whose origins had not been known and in several cases it unlinked families that were thought to be related.

The seven original participants in this study proved to be from two distinct families.  The four Laymon participants: Stephen, James, Randall, and Quentin, all share the same Y-Chromosomes.  This indicates that we have a recent shared common male ancestor.  A change (mutation) on the Y-Chromosome takes place, on average, every 25 generations (about every 625 years).  There have been no changes since these four had a shared male ancestor.  Recently, we have added three new member of this line, Cecil Layman, John Layman, and Todd Layman. This group is descended from a known common ancestor, Joseph Laymon who was born between 1720 and 1730 and lived in Rockingham Co., VA, Boutetourt Co., VA, and Sevier Co., TN.  Spelling for Group 1 include Laymon and Layman. You can go to the Laymon Lines page to see their decendency from their earliest known ancestors.  Recent additions, what I call Group 1A, is John Reese Layman and Paul Layman.  They are descended from Benjamin Layman who lived in Shenendoah Co., VA in mid 1700s.  It is not certain if Group 1 and Group 1A are related.  On average they would have had a common ancestor about 1875 years ago.

The three original Layman participants, Earl, David, and Jerry, are placed in two closely related groups.  Earl and David have a known common ancestor 140 years ago.  In the DNA study, they are separated by one genetic change (mutation).  This genetic change occurred in a shorter time than average (140 years vs. 625 years).  Earl and Jerry are separated by 2 changes, a difference that on average would occur every 50 generations or 1250 years.  If this change occurred "on schedule", Earl and Jerry had a common ancestor in southwestern Germany and/or Switzerland about 750 AD.  A recent addition to Group 3 is Meryl Lemen who traces his ancestry back to Nicholas Lemen in Northern Ireland in the 1600's.  At this point we are considering them to be separate lines.  We now have 23 member of  Earl's Group 3 and 26 members for Jerry's Group 2.  Spellings for these lines now include Layman, Laymon, Lehman, Laman, Lemen, Lamon, Lamont, Lemon, Lemmon, Lemons, Lemonds, Leaman, LaMance, and LeMond. Go to the Layman Lines page to see this family line.

We also have a 4th Group with 2 participants, one from a long line of French Huguenot watchmakes and the other from a family from 18th century Pennsylvania.  

We also have a 5th Group with 4 participants.  One recent participant, Artur Lehmann who lives in Germany, has traced his ancestory back to 1500s in Switzerland.

There is also a 6th Group from Tennessee and South Carolina who may also be French Huguenots.  Go to Other Lines to see these groups.  

The other question that we hoped to answer was, are all the Laymons and the Laymans in this study related?  The answer is a resounding no.  The Laymons and the Laymans are separated by 7 - 13 genetic changes.  This genetic difference would occur on average over 4000 to 8000 years ago, an era prior to the use of surnames in most if not all of Europe.

We now have tested a total of 70 participants and so far, we have seven distinct DNA lines, and two individuals that are different from any of these lines.  How many more lines of Laymon/Layman/Lemon/Lemmon/Lehman etc. are there?  Only time and a great deal more testing will tell.  To see how you can participate, check out the "how to participate" page.  To read more about the two predominant lines, check out the Laymon Line and Layman Line pages.


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