How DNA Changed My Ancestry! Part 1

PEPPER, that is my maiden name, the name given to me at birth, inherited by my father, and his father and his father, etc.

Four Generations of John Pepper

So, for over 34 years, off and on, I have been researching my PEPPER family history! 🙂

Along the way I have had a lot of help by those that came before me. Over the years we have joined forces on this family history adventure! My distant cousin, Doris (McDuffee) DENTON, the daughter of Hazel (Pepper) MCDUFFEE, and granddaughter of William Henry PEPPER (the older brother of George Warrener PEPPER) shared a lot of her research with me beginning in the early 1980’s. In recent years I have enjoyed the pleasure of working closely with my Aunt Judy (PEPPER) CLARK. Together we have tried to find and document as many facts about the PEPPER family as possible.

We were able to trace the family line fairly easily back through my Grandfather John Prouty PEPPER (1908-2008), to my Great-Grandfather George Warriner PEPPER (1872-1930), to my Great-Great-Grandfather John Prouty PEPPER (1833-1904), and eventually to my Great-Great-Great Grandfather Porter PEPPER (1811-1864). The first real challenge came with trying to find the parent’s of Porter PEPPER.

Doris Denton was very active in searching for this bit of information. She spent many days at the Salt Lake City LDS Library looking for information on Porter PEPPER and his ancestors. After much searching and sorting Doris found a Thomas Pepper and Lucretia Magoon on a death record for Porter Pepper. From the Brimfield Vital Records, Microfilm #0223943:

“1864, 27 January: Porter PEPPER, 52 years 2 months 12 days, died Brimfield, male, married, shoemaker, born Palmer, son of Thomas Pepper & Lucretia McGoon (Mcgoon, Magoon, etc.), congestion of lungs, buried in Brimfield. (researched by Doris Denton and Judy Clark)”

From Thomas Pepper we could easily connect our line back to a well documented immigrant, Robert Pepper of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Robert Pepper, born about 1618, England, came to the new world about 1640 and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

There was a book published about him, Pepper Genealogy, Ancestors and Descendants of Robert Pepper of Roxbury, Mass; compiled by Emily Clark Langdon; Angola, NY; 1932. You can find the book at if you are a member:

We now had a VERY good paper trail back to our Englishman Robert. This was great and very satisfying but after learning a lot about this family we wanted to try and find out where exactly in England Robert had originated.

To be continued…:)

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