DNA Links to Lyme Regis

DNA Links to Lyme Regis & Uplyme (Under Construction)

The Newall surname is most common in the North of England (Lancashire) which is an area where I get distant DNA matches to individuals with the Newell, Newall, Nowell, Noel and Knowles surnames. Earlier when discussing DNA matches by town in England, I indicated that at the town/ village level when adjusted for population the towns of Lyme Regis in Dorset, Uplyme, Bidford, Brixham, Newton Abbott and Barnstaple in Devon had the highest density [of non name specific DNA matches] in England.   However, this might simply reflect the fact that many of my other ancestors from Newfoundland have connections to Devon and Dorset.

I do not have any distant Ancestry DNA matches to individuals with Newall /Newall ancestors from Lyme Regis or Uplyme; however, my research has indicated that this family may have started to move to other areas in the 17th century. In The History of Lyme-Regis by George Roberts published in 1823 the author states that the Newell name was “extinct” [in terms of Lyme Regis by 1823]. If the family left the area in the 17th century then I would not expect to get Newell DNA matches to this area. Earlier in this report (section on Links to New World) I found connections between people with connections to Lyme Regis and individuals involved in the 17th century settlement Colonial Virginia and Massachusetts. I get strong evidence of distant DNA links to individuals with Newell and similar names in these areas.

Even though I don’t have any distant DNA connections to individuals with the Newall or Newell surnames from Lyme Regis or Uplyme in their tree there were several surnames connected to Newells and Newalls of Lyme Regis that had distant DNA connections. These include the following surnames.

Jermyn / Germyn

Grace Jermyn / Germyn was the wife of the William Newall of Uplyme who died in 1610 ( Jermyn, Jarman, are common variants of the surname German). I get 30 distant DNA matches to the Jarman surname , including several with connections to Devon and Newfoundland. This is not surprising considering that there are numerous early Newfoundland references to individuals with the Jarman / Jerman surnames from Devon.


Elizabeth Paviott / Paviot married Nicholas Newell in 1684. I , my sister and several Newell cousins get a number of distant DNA matches to a Jacques Paviot Lapensee B:1648  Rochefort, Poitou-Charentes, France D:Jan 1674 Ste-Trinite, Contrecoeur, Vercheres, Quebec, Canada Daughter Marie Madeleine Paviot.

Elwell /Elwill

In 1588 John son of Richard ELWELL (linked name) was baptised at Whitchurch Canonicorum (4 mi NE of Lyme Regis). This location is linked to Sir George Somers, see previous discussion in connection to links between Lyme Regis and Colonial Virginia, who bought Berne Manor in Whitchurch Canonicorum in 1587. Elwell and Ewell are surnames where I get DNA matches linked to Colonial Virginia and New England. The Ewell connections link to Colonial Virginia where some genealogical researchers have linked the Ewell name to Youell which is a surname with Scottish connections. The Elwell connections link to Elwells from New England. Some of these Elwells trace their roots back to a Robert Elwell born c 1614 in Stoke Abbott , Dorset (8 mi NE Lyme and 4 mi NE of Whitchurch Canonicorum) and who died in Gloucester, Essex, Mass. In addition there is one DNA connection that links to a John Elwill born 1602 Exeter, Devon, England. John Elwill of Exeter was a merchants and in some sources the name of this family is sometimes recorded as Elwell.

Thornton, Thorne

Probate documents for 1637/37 link a “JoannÆ Thornton” née Newall who was the wife of John Thornton and daughter of a Richard Newall, mariner to a John Newell of Lyme Regis who died overseas in 1637. I suspect that her husband was John Thornton or Thorneton, Merchant of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, Dorset. I get several distant DNA matches to a John Thornton born 1740 in Blandford Forum, Dorset and a large number of Thorns and Thornes from Trinity Bay, Newfoundland with roots in Dorset,


In her Will, probated in 1755, Elizabeth Newell leaves her lands in Charmouth to her niece Elizabeth the wife of John Puddicombe surgeon. In the 1891 UK Census the Puddicombe name was most common in Devon (45% of individuals); however, the name does not appear in the Devon muster roll of 1569. BMD records from the early 1600 show the name being most common in east Devon (Drewsteignton, Cheriton Bishop, Bridford) near Exeter. My distant DNA matches show a significant cluster of Puddicombe matches linked to the towns of Bovey Tracey, Wolborough and Newton Abbot in the same area of Devon. Many of these matches are linked to members of the Puddicombe family that moved to Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in the 1700s.