Over the years this blog has often brought up the mystery of Robert Francis Tapscott (see, in particular, the posting of 26 Jul 2014). The second edition of my book Henry the Immigrant, the First Tapscotts of Virginia, contains the following page about Robert:
This information remains essentially correct (though the birth name of Lucy Frances Wood’s mother may have been “Kirk” rather than “Kirtley”). We are still searching for Robert Francis Tapscott's origins. But thanks to DNA, we may be getting closer to an answer.
First, yDNA results for a descendant of Robert Francis Tapscott show conclusively that Robert Francis is not a descendant of Henry Tapscott, the Immigrant, by an all-male line. The name “Tapscott” may have come from Robert Francis’s mother, but apparently not his father. In fact, the DNA results provide extremely strong evidence that Robert’s father (or possibly his paternal grandfather, etc.) was a Holder. The male descendant shows strikingly close matches to many Holder descendants — genetic distances as close as 3 for 111 markers and 1 for 67 markers.
Second, two descendants of Robert Francis Tapscott show close autosomal DNA matches to descendants of Elizabeth Percifull (abt 1790 – abt 1855), daughter of Elijah Percifull of Lancaster County, Virginia. (See posts of 13 Jan 2015, 15 Jan 2013, 17 May 2013, 13 Mar 2014, 30 Mar 2014, 21 Jul 2016, 19 Oct 2016.)
Third, I have been working with an individual who is attempting to identify his paternal line. He shows an excellent yDNA match with the male descendant of Robert Frances and close matches with Holders. But he also shows an autosomal match with a descendant of Jenny Perciful/Percifull, who was married in Lancaster County, Virginia in 1805. With the right name and living in the right place at the right time, Jenny could well be a relative of Elijah and Elizabeth Percifull.
What does all this mean?
|Robert Frances Tapscott Marker, Old|
Chapel Cemetery, Clarke Co, Virginia.
Elizabeth Percifull was the wife of James E. Tapscott, son of Ezekiel and grandson of Edney. Of particular importance is that Elizabeth and James lived in Fauquier County, Virginia, where, according to his marriage record, Robert Francis Tapscott had lived. James E. is known to have been deceased by 23 Jun 1817, but could have died as early as 1812. After James’s death Elizabeth continued to use her married name and bore several illegitimate children, who were given the name “Tapscott.” Elizabeth’s known children, born (presumably) after James’s death, had birthdates between 1814 and 1820, near that of Robert Francis, who was born in 1817. It is not at all unlikely that Robert Francis Tapscott was a child of Elizabeth and a male by the name of “Holder,” several of whom were living in Fauquier County at the time. This would explain the DNA results.
What is needed now is a good paper trail genealogical study to connect the Holders of Fauquier County to the Holders showing yDNA matches to Robert Francis Tapscott’s descendant. The results of such a study may allow the identification of one or more individuals who could be Robert’s father.