The Renouf Surname Project

March 2009 [no 3]

Membership and Results

We now have seven members; six of these have Jersey origins and one is from Guernsey. Of the Jersey members four belong to the Il.Haplogroup three of whom come from St. Mary's parish and the other from Trinity, Jersey. One other Jersey result is for the R1a1 Haplogroup and originated in St. Martins.
One more Jersey result is imminent.
The single Guernsey result so far is R1b1b2a1b4 and is from St. Andrews.

What does this reveal about Renouf origins? It shows that there is no single common ancestor for all Renoufs. It shows that at least two Renouf families went to Jersey prior to 1500 and that another Renouf family went to Guernsey at about the same time. It suggests the early Renoufs who migrated came from different parts of Normandy.

The Phylogenetic Tree

The different names for the Haplogroups can appear confusing especially as the strings of letters keep getting longer. It is best to think of the first capital letter for the Haplogroup as an indicator for a major bough on the trunk of the Phylogenetic tree. All humankind fit somewhere on this tree. The second and subsequent numbers and letters for the haplogroup show the different branches and twigs [clades and subclades] which come off the major bough.

As you can see some haplogroups have become more defined than others, but work is ongoing on all the boughs. With that in mind I include in this newsletter the things we now know about the three haplogroups to which Renoufs so far belong . Undoubtedly there will be more to learn in the future.

Prehistory for the Haplogroups
1] RENOUF [Haplogroup R1a1]

I took the Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) test to determine my Haplogroup. I tested positive for M198, and negative for M157, M56, M64.2, P98 and PK5. This places me in the R1a1 haplogroup.

Haplogroup R1a may have arisen in the steppes of the Ukraine in the Kurgan culture (a proto-Indo-European group) during the last Ice Age about 15,000 years ago. After domesticating the horse about 5,000 years ago, they spread throughout Eurasia. The group spread from the Ukraine to Eastern Europe (Slavic) and Scandinavia (Vikings). My DYS19=15, is almost never seen in Eastern Europe, so I most likely belong to the Scandinavian branch of R1a1. The group also spread into Northern India and Central Asia.

My family was part of the Scandinavian migration. When Rollo and the Norsemen clashed with Charles the Simple, King of the Franks, the two leaders signed the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in 911 granting Rollo the Duchy of Normandy on the coast of France in return for buffering the Franks from further Norse attacks. My family settled in Jersey when the Norse settled the Channel Islands, becoming landed proprietors in St. Martin’s Parish. My earliest ancestor was Renauld Renouf, born around 1550 in St. Martin’s Parish. My family was in St. Martin’s Parish for nine generations until the death of Nicolas Renouf III in 1890.

Nicolas' third son, William Hélier Renouf, was unlikely to inherit the family farm, so he moved to St. Peter Port, Guernsey, with his younger brother George by 1881, and worked as a carpenter. All four of his children left Guernsey between 1910 and 1913, and immigrated to America, with his descendants living in the US (most in California) and Canada (most in British Columbia].

2] RENOUF [Haplogroup I1]

In order to try and ascertain the ancestry of my family tree (Renouf) I undertook the Y- DNA test. From my Y-DNA test with Family Tree DNA in 2008 my SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) results were positive for M253+ P30+, and negative for M21- M227- P109- P259-. This confirmed that I fall into Haplogroup I1 (old I1a)

The founding male ancestor with SNP mutation of M253 lived between 20,000 to 15,000 years ago in the ice free, Iberian Peninsula (Spain) during the last Glacial Maximum. As the Ice retreated his descendants re-populated Northern Europe.

"I1: The I1 lineage likely has its roots in northern France. Today it is found most frequently within Viking / Scandinavian populations in northwest Europe and has since spread down into Central and Eastern Europe, where it is found in low frequencies." (Provided by FT-DNA).

I have also confirmed with Ken Nordtvedt ( that my results fall into a further sub group I1-AS (Anglo-Saxon) generic classification. This accounts for between 40 and 50 percent of all I1. As new markers are discovered there could be further branching and/or division for the I1 Haplogroup, on the Phylogenetic tree.

It appears that the first Renoufs most likely arrived in the Channel Islands between 1274 and 1309 as they are first mentioned in the 1309 Assize Roll. Prior to this they may have originated from either England or Normandy or elsewhere on the Continent.

I have traced my Renouf ancestors back to Philippe Renouf baptised in St Mary, Jersey on the 25th November 1692, son of Philippe Renouf & Marguerite de Ste Croix. In summary there has been a Renouf presence in St Mary Jersey from about 1420. It is most likely that it is from here that my Renouf line has descended. I have been unable to take my tree back further at this stage however this may be resolved with further research. This is where I believe a minimum DNA test of 37 markers can not only inform as to our “Deep Ancestry” but also has the potential to connect the different Renouf families where records are lacking.

I mention that a test for a minimum of 37 markers is preferable as the greater number of markers tested the better defined the relationship within a group.

From earlier incidental information and the DNA test so far posted on this site, I believe the Renouf name is not a hereditary name - that is, not all Renoufs are descendant from the same ancestor. This is not necessarily a negative, but the more people taking the test will help not only bring together segmented/fragmented Renouf family trees but will also narrow down the Parishes of origin in the Channel Islands. This should eventually help ascertain where our ancestors originated from in Normandy and further afield.

See general introduction on Haplogroup at

Further information for I1 can be found at and More technical information and data concerning I1 can be found on Ken Nordtvelt's web site at There is also a VikingY-DNA Project @
3] RENOUF [Haplogroup R1b1b2a1b4]

I first began with the 12 marker Group test in 2005; the result came in that the DNA was that of Haplogroup R1b [ M342]. At that point I joined the French DNA project [] . There I found other people with similar surnames who belonged to the same DNA Haplogroup. These included people named Renard, Renaud, Renaudet, Reno, and Reynaud but no other Renoufs.

Since 2005 a number of more advanced tests for this Haplogroup and its subclades has become available and last year I ordered the 67 Marker test which has led to the new result and more knowledge about my earliest ancestors. From first knowing I descended from a male ancestor with the genetic marker M343 [who arrived in Europe as part of the Cro-Magnon culture about 35,000 years ago]. I can now trace a path via more recent ancestors to a man called U152 [sometimes called S28] who is thought to have lived only between 2,500 – 10,000 years ago. More analysis is needed to confirm these dates.

Recently two separate subgroups, or clades, have been distinguished for R-U152 and my results are consistent with the larger of the groups [named DYS492=12].

During the Ice Ages the Cro- Magnon Europeans [who were hunters- gatherers] were forced to flee southwards following the migrating game animals and many of those who survived this climate change congregated in ‘refugia’ on the northern borders of Spain/Portugal and Italy. When the ice sheet that had covered northern Europe melted, the people in the refugia began to migrate along specific routeways to repopulate northern Europe. It is thought that the people who show the majority DYS492=12 marker spread, during the 8th century BC,.from the Spain/ Portugal refugia up the Rhone valley to settle around the headwaters of the Rhine, Rhone and Danube where they became part of the Lake Dweller and subsequent Hallstatt and La Tene Celt cultures which were concentrated in the southern German and Swiss Lake country. [refer].

Anthropologist and archeologists in conjunction with geneticists will, before long, be able to give us clearer evidence and more details about the diffusion of the La Terne Celts out from their settlements in the German/ Swiss lake country westwards into France, the west coast of Europe, as well as south into the eastern Mediterranean. Written records exist about the exploits of some of the Celtic warriors from the third century BC.

The Romans, by the first century AD recognized the tribes living between the Garonne River and the Seine River of France as being Celts.

Of particular interest to me is the fact that one Celtic tribe, called the Unelli [or Veneli], had their base at Crociatonum, near to present day Volognes, in the Cotentin Peninsular of Normandy. The Unelli were involved in battles against the Romans as Caesar extended his Empire during the last century BC.

Information on my Renouf family, starting in the late 1500's is available at but briefly, they were farmers at La Monnaie in St. Andrews until the end of the 1800's.

Other useful References for information on Haplogroup R1b [Y-DNA]; and on the Gauls,La Tene Celts and the Unelli. for more scholarly information on the haplogroup

Kercher's R1b1b2h aka R1b [U152+] gives the names of people who are descended from U-152

Recruitment of Members to the Renouf Surname Group

As you can see from the cases above, information is advancing rapidly, spurred by the increased number of people doing their DNA test to build the general pool of genographic data. Family Tree DNA, alone, has over 149,000 test results in its Y-DNA database and sponsors 5,200 Surname Projects.

However, we also want to know more about our diverse Renouf origins. Were our ancestors Vikings or did they reach Normandy even earlier with the Celts? How many different Renouf families first migrated to Jersey and Guernsey? Where in Normandy did they live?

Please help us continue to build up our knowledge about our differing Renouf family origins by joining the Renouf Surname Group at We hope to discover the various pathways our ancestors took before they reached Normandy, France, and when and where they subsequently migrated, during the past 1200 years.

Have a look at the Renouf Surname Group Goals on the above website.

Then, I invite you, if you are a male named Renouf to join the group and to undertake the Y-DNA test; or if you are a Renouf daughter to ask one of your male Renouf relatives to be tested on behalf of your family.

Don't holdback till more is known as only by contributing now will further advances be made.

We greatly need some Guernsey and French Renoufs to join up... and undergo the Y DNA test

If you want any help or need more information about joining us please let me know.

If you do not want to receive this update please let me know.

Jacky Renouf Surname Group Administrator.