ROM DNA Project

By Donald G. Locke Jr.

I trace back to Richard Lock b. about 1675 in England. Richard Lock and family are first found living in Calvert County Virginia in 1728, likely a bit earlier. For the last 10 years, we had no clue where in England Richard Lock came from. There were thousands of Locks in England and no one source proved to whom he connected.

In 2005 I started the Lock / Locke DNA project in hopes of identifying all blood kin of the Lock(e) families of the USA. Very recently, I had a Mr. Locke in England participate in a DNA test, and he is a 65/67 DNA match to me. That is a near perfect match! Mr. Locke in England traces back to Henry Lock of South Cerney, Gloucestershire, England in the 1750s. And both families are in a rare DNA group called Haplo Group H.

It is rare regardless the surname. Haplo Group H in England clearly has a close association with being Romany or Travelers. (note by FOC: Irish Travellers are not genetically related to Indian Roma, they are Celts.) My English Locke cousin has very close blood ties to the Smith, Boswell, Perry and Hall families, of which Smith and Boswell are known Romany families.

Matthew Lock, son of Henry Lock, married Memberance Boswell, as revealed by DNA tests, Henry Lock of South Cerney did share a common male ancestor with my Richard Lock of the USA. To date 5 Richard Lock descendants have DNA tested and one Henry Lock descendant has DNA tested. We all DNA match each other.  A second Henry Lock descendant has just ordered his DNA test.

So we now know Richard Lock had to have been fairly closely related to Henry Lock and that Richard Lock also had to have been a Romany who came to America early 1700's.

Because of our rare DNA, and even the DNA company had very little information about our rare DNA, I started the Y chromosome Haplo Group H DNA project in early 2007.

As expected, several men of (FOC: Asian) Indian descent joined this project. That was to be expected because Haplo Group H is found in larger numbers in India then anywhere else in the world.

But as the project gained more men in the project who are in Haplo Group H, we found seven different surnames in the USA who share this rare DNA with each other. They are Lock(e), Hite, Bailey, Carter, Jewell, Ruffin, and Campbell. All but Campbell, can trace our lineages back to early Maryland and Virginia 1700's - 1800's. It would have beaten all the odds to have found two or three families from early Maryland and Virginia in this rare DNA group, yet here we find six, possibly seven, surnames with direct ties to early America, who can trace back to Maryland and Virginia.

Several Romany experts have told me they know for a fact that Lock(e), Carter, Campbell are old Romany families and that Bailey is thought to be a Scottish Traveler family, though not thought to be Romany. Other Romany researchers believe they have seen the surnames Hite and Jewell also as Rom families.

For further information, contact:

Donald Locke

American Gypsy Records Home Page

SCGenWeb Home Page

We will add to this page as we obtain these records and manuscripts.

Anyone with information on this family please contact me.


Copyright ©2004, Dr. Frank O. Clark. this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.