I am Philip Converse, Director of the DNA program for the EATON Families Association here in the U.S. We have been operating since 2006 and have nearly 90 DNA samples by now. Most of these are U.S. Eatons, although we also have a sprinkling of samples from the U.K., Scotland and Ireland. We have so far isolated about 6 or 7 Eaton "sub-clans" residing in the U.S.
Our most urgent need is to find an Eaton male descending directly from the Richard Eaton, Vicar at Coventry, who went on to be Vicar at Great Budworth, Cheshire, in the years before his death in 1600. Two of his college-educated sons came to America. One of them, Theophilus, later founded a new colony in southern New England, where he became the first Governor of our State of Connecticut. He died in that role in 1658, whereupon his widow brought their children back to the Great Budworth area.
Actually. we think that we have DNA from a modern Eaton whose family has been in Ireland since before 1700, which traces to a Theophilus brother. However, his paper trail back to Theophilus is a bit weak in the early going. Therefore we are eager to find a current Eaton who has strong credentials back to Theophilus and his father. Cheshire seems a logical place to look, since from the 1600s to 1860, Cheshire censuses show an abundance of Eaton households residing in ithe general area around Great Budworth, who may or may not be descendants of the Vicar. Of course there has been fair residential mobility in the period since 1860, so Eatons may have thinned out considerably in this Cheshire micro-area. In any event, we are interested in interchanges with any males who have reason to believe they may be from this line.
We would be glad to hear from such Eatons. Ultimately, we would want to have a DNA sample drawn from any contestants, as the final proof positive. (The sample is simple and painless: our lab would mail a "kit" containing a couple of sponge swabs to be wiped on the inner cheeks, rewrapped and sent back to Houston, Texas.) The sample is, however, pricey: US$ 149. We would be glad to review paper trails presented, and if we felt they were truly strong, we would pay for the test. If we are reduced to somewhat weaker paper trails, we would consider another arrangement, such as sharing the costs equally.