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Results of the Pace DNA study

(See first Purposes of the Pace DNA Study. The remarks below are related to those purposes.)

This site is interested in all Paces and variant similar names. To date,  the Pace DNA study has received  submissions which can be divided into the following categories (click each heading to go to that page and see a full explanation of that particular category).

  1. Middlesex/Shropshire:
    a. Paces tracing ancestry to John Pace of Middlesex County, VA, late 1600s.
    b. Paces (at this instance, only one) tracing directly to Shropshire, England.
    ---DNA evidence indicates that the John of M Paces are of the Shropshire line.

  2. Paces believed to be descended from Richard Pace of Jamestown (groups 3a and 3b)

  3. Frederick Pace of Wales descendents - believed to descend from a Frederick Pace who came to the US CA 1768.

  4. German "Pees-Paces" descended from Pees of Baumholder, most of whom changed spelling to Pace in the US (but some apparently didn't).

  5. Italian Paces. The Pace name (with that spelling) originated separately in England and Italy. These appear to be the only points of origin of the surname Pace.

  6. Pais - descended from Sephardic Jews of Basque region of Spain

  7. Non-matching Paces. This group did not match with any other Paces in the study. There may be undiscovered Pace immigrants from whom they are descended.

Rebecca Christensen has prepared two excellent charts in .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format, a program that all computer of recent origin have. They can be zoomed to larger size for easy reading. Check them out! Just double-click and the chart will download to your computer in the correct format, then use the + to enlarge them to be readable.

DNA chart 1
DNA chart 2

The first goal of the study was to determine whether two major branches of American Paces could be related: The John Pace of Middlesex County, VA line, and the Paces of North Carolina line believed to be descended from Richard Pace of Jamestown. This purpose has been realized.  DNA results are so different that it is virtually impossible for these two groups to be closely related. They belong to completely different haplogroups (see explanation below). See the specific lineage charts for explanation.

With that purpose realized, the Pace Society has turned to the wider goal of serving Paces of all nationalities and surname variants. It is important to keep these within the Pace study, as quite often names were changes -- Pees, Pass, Pais, could become Pace on immigration to this country, and some who are named Pace may find ancestors with these surnames. We welcome all with Pace or similar surnames to the study.

Explanation of haplogroups and Pace findings:

HAPLOGROUPS: Anthropologists break down the Y-chromosome into branches called haplogroups or clades, indicating ancient common ancestry. Group 2 (John of Middlesex/Shropshire) is unique in that all the members fall into "Haplogroup I" while all the other Paces tested so far (except 11424, the only one that is in Haplogroup J, very rare, see below) are in "Haplogroup R1b1."

So far Paces are found to fall within three haplogroups. These groups are defined as follows:

"[Haplogroup I] lineages are nearly completely restricted to northwestern Europe. These would most likely have been common within Viking populations. One lineage of this group extends down into central Europe." Viking invasions of England were common, and Danes even ruled a section of England for a time, called the Danelaw. The Norman invasions after 1066 brought more Viking genes, as the Normans were Vikings who had previously settled in France. However, the lineage extending down into central Europe would also include the Angles and Saxons, who invaded England at the end of Roman times. The ancestors of Gordon Pace of Canada, whose DNA matches the John of Middlesex group, trace to near the English/Welsh border. A British study found heavy concentrations of Danish/Anglo Saxon genes in this area. (The Angles and Saxons came from an area bordering on Denmark and their DNA cannot be clearly separated from the Scandinavian DNA.)

"Haplogroup R1b1 is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is believed to have expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last glacial maximum 10-12 thousand years ago. This lineage is also the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype."

"Haplogroup J is found at highest frequencies in Middle Eastern and north African populations where it most likely evolved. This marker has been carried by Middle Eastern traders into Europe, central Asia, India, and Pakistan. The Cohen modal lineage is found in Haplogroup J." {Note: I find that some Italian Paces are in this haplogroup--comment by Roy Johnson)

Click here for an excellent explanation of haplogroups with good maps.

There is  need for many more entries.  While we have solved some problems, the entries have raised new questions that need to be solved.

Lineages of donors are the opinions of the submitters. It is very important to examine the lineages provided by these donors to see if there are possible errors that might explain the contradictions. To see the lineages contributed by these donors (with identities concealed) click here.

For those who want to go deeper--the FAQ for FTDNA is here.

Questions?  Email