Once bitten by the genealogy bug you're hooked! Mostly this site
is for fun because I have fun doing it. I include a lot of family
photos (apologies to you dial up folks for the slow down load) plus my
family pedigree diagrams as I know them. I welcome any comments,
additions, corrections, questions, etc. that you may have. Just drop me
an email from any of the site's email links.
In the course of doing genealogy, I came across a relitively new tool,
Y-chromosome DNA studies. This turned out to be really an exciting new
tool for me as it has been for many genealogists in helping to break
down the "brick walls" we all seem to hit sooner or later in our
research. If you have an interest in this tool, I recommend you get a
copy of "Trace Your Roots with DNA; using genetic tests to explore your
family tree" by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner. I got my copy
for under $10 on Amazon.com. Just about the right level of technology
for the non-technical reader.
Like many new things, DNA genealogy takes a while to catch on and gain
The number of genealogists using it is growing rapidly now that
testing has become reasonable priced. Unfortunately, there still exists
some resistance including the administration of some of the message
boards. To make certain the Hayden families didn't miss out, I
volunteered to administer the Hayden Family DNA Project through
FamilyTreeDNA. This web site has a page dedicated to updating progress
of this exciting project. Be sure to check it out while you are
My family's genealogy research has for several years focussed on two
ancestors. For both, I and other researchers had hit the "Brick
Wall". In both cases, Y-chromosome testing along with a lot of
traditional research and hard work broke through the wall. A summary of
the work on these two ancestors, James J. McCabe and Joseph B. Hayden,
Sometimes tracing your ancestors is relativey easy; sometimes
extremely difficult. My two maternal grandparents' lines are cases in
The easy one was the case of my mother's mother, Julia Estella Dewey.
The Dewey line is well documented in the publication "Dewey Genealogy
and Family History" compiled by Louis Marinus Dewey and published in
1898. Although out of print, several copies exist in the family and
even on the internet. I have both a hard copy and a electronic version.
The tough one has been finding the parents of James Japeth Mccabe who
was orphaned at age 9 and no records of his birth have been found. We
do have a transcription of his Civil War diary in which he makes no
mention of any family members other than two half brothers and by first
name only. In 1981, Earl L. McCabe published his "The McCabe Family
History" which he later revised in 1988. At that time there were many,
conflicting family legends including James's father had deserted his
family and gone west as a forty-niner. James' mother was unknown
but thought to be hard to live with.
The search for James' parents had gone on for many years. In the last
few years, another descendant of James J. McCabe and her husband, Judi
& Jim Freed, were, with a lot of hard work using traditional
genealogy techniques, able to determine James' mother and begin to
unravel this complicated family. I was privledged to play a minor role
in this work and learned a great deal in the process.
As a result of this work, a hypothesis was developed as to who might be
James' father. Many things had to be considered; did the hypothesized
father know the mother, was he in the neighborhood at the right time,
were there any other McCabe males around at the same time and so on. At
the end of all this work, the only way to test this hypothesis was to
use Y-chromosome testing which was organized after even more
traditional research to find male McCabe descendants of the
Well, the story has a happy ending. After many years of searching by
many researchers, we now know who were the parents of James Japeth
McCabe. You can read the story on the DNA testing at the McCabe link on
the Links Page. An important point is it took a combination of
traditional genealogy and Y-chromosome DNA testing to finally break
down the wall. Neither one by itself did or could not have yielded the
The success of the McCabe research was very encouraging. It also taught
a valuable lesson on how to best combine traditional and DNA genealogy
tools. Do the research to form a hypothesis for testing with
Three to four years of traditional research led me to hypothesize that
Joseph B. was the son of Ebenezer Hayden and Elizabeth Byron of
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. (See the Hayden Genealogy page for
some of the reasons why this hypothesis was formed.) The hypothesized
pedigree is shown below. Now, I needed volunteers to test. Stephen C.
was easy; that's me. I ordered the 37 marker test (Y-DNA37) from FamilyTreeDNA.
I had experience with FamilyTreeDNA on the McCabe study and was very
satisified with their work. However, Y-chromosome results from other
labs are just as valid and can be included in the Project results and
analysis. Now I needed some volunteers from other family branches.
The first volunteer was a documented descendant of Jacob Hayden.
Although no primary evidence was available, there was a great deal of
secondary evidence that Jacob was a son of Nathaniel, Sr., and, hence,
a brother of Ebenezer. The results of Jacob's descendant Y-chromosome
test supported the hypothesis shown below. However, it could not be
ruled out that Jacob was a cousin or other close relative of Ebenezer
other than brother.
Next, the project has received Y-chromosome results for a
documented descendant of Nathaniel, Jr. It is clear that three of us
are related and the results support the pedigree shown
below. Please read the full discussion of the results plus additional
results on the Hayden DNA Project page by clicking the link at the top
of this page.
in my own experience, Y-chromosome testing has been key in solving
mystries in two of my family lines. Clearly, DNA is an interesting and
valuable tool to have in your genealogy tool kit. The Hayden Family
Project is getting very interesting now. If you are a Hayden, Heydon,
Haydon, Heiden, Hadden, Haden, etc. researcher, why not join in? If you
are a Hayden, or variant thereof, male, become a test subject. If not,
recruit one in your Hayden line. We are just beginning to see what we
have to learn!