Origins

A lane near Yarnscombe, Devon, much as it must have looked when our most ancient ancestors lived here.


This website organizes research I have done into the Shattocke ancestral family, including such name variants as Shattock, Shattuck, Shaddick, Shaddock, Shadduck and so on. 

You can use the search function above right to find a specific reference.

This "Origins" page explores the family's deep history, before 1500. 

The "Diaspora" page  describes family history after 1500 and the emigration of a major portion of the family to the British colonies due economic and technological forces in the 17th to 20th centuries. 

You can explore branches of the worldwide family tree under the "Branches" menu. You can also use the search function. If you do not find your branch of the family attached to our tree, DNA testing may help you find that connection. Contact me.

Note: When I am referring to the entire family I will use "Shattocke" as a generic reference to all the different spellings of the name found in the records, like Shattock, Shattuck, Shaddock, Shaddick, Shadduck and so on.

The Story So Far...

DNA testing has shown that Shattockes are descended from La Tène  Celts, whose ancestral grounds were in what is the modern day Swiss and southern Germany Alps. At some point they may have migrated to what is the modern area of western Netherlands or western Belgium, arriving perhaps with the Franks or the Romans. We think they became Flemish weavers who migrated to England about 1330 AD, taking up residence in the town of Taunton in western Somerset. Certainly a study of the early parish records indicates that Shattockes are found in an area of about 135 square miles roughly equal to the administrative district of Taunton Deane. See the Somerset Shattocks page for the study I did that shows the concentration of Shattockes in West Somerset when records began.

Etymologists without exception consider Shaddock, Shattock or Shaddick to be of German origin. It is possible that over the 200 years between the life of the common ancestor of all Shattockes (1330 AD) and the beginning of parish records (1538 AD), the name's pronunciation and therefore spelling changed, although it appeared to have preserved its Germanic etymology. It may have been a Low Dutch name if it is true our ancestors were Flemish weavers.

Although you will often see the name confused with "Chadwick, Shadwick, Chaddock" and other old English or Anglo-Saxon surnames, DNA testing has proven people who are genetic descendants with these surnames are unrelated to Shattockes. For example, Shadwicks come from Lancashire, in the far north of England. Shattockes are English "west country" folk.

We belong to a subclade of the human tree, named after a mutation we all share: Z36. This is solid proof that we descend from La Tène  Celts. Our common ancestor fathered a new branch of Z36 called Y16884. If you have the Y16884 mutation you are a descendant of this common ancestor. On the family tree maintained by YFull, the nearest branch to us, A7993, shares a common ancestor with us more than 4200 years ago or about 2200 BC. That makes Shattockes and our cousins the Parrishs exceedingly rare. Also, descendants of Z36 Celts are extremely rare among living Devon descendants. We are in fact the only ones found there. This argues for the immigration of a single individual male to England about 1330 AD.

Shattockes have a genetic cousin, the Parrishs. These are people with the Parrish (or variation) surname, who have the Y16884 mutation. Not all people with the Parrish surname are our genetic cousins, only those with the Y16884 mutation. They appear to descend from an individual who lived in 1585 AD. He might have had a Parrish mother or stepmother, but he definitely had a Shattocke father.

There are major branches of the Shattocke family. The West Somerset Shattocks are direct descendants of the  original Shattocke settler in west Somerset and spell their name closest to the one we first find in the records. The case for Shattockes being Flemish weavers is laid out on the Taunton Shattocks page. I discovered an old history of Taunton that provides a date when Flemish weavers arrived in Taunton at the invitation of King Edward III. It was after 1331 AD. Genetic results show the common ancestor of all Shattockes lived about 1330 AD. On the West Somerset page I present evidence that our earliest ancestors on record were involved in the sheep husbandry and cloth industries.

Sometime around 1640, a family of Shattockes left west Somerset as pilgrims and landed in the Massachusetts Bay colony. The most common way of spelling their descendants surname is "Shattuck." The Massachusetts Shattucks are the most numerous Shattockes in the world, about 8,000 strong out of a total Shattocke population of 13,000. DNA studies have so far confirmed they are descended from a single individual, William Shattuck (ca. 1622-1672). So far the evidence indicates a very large southern population of Shattockes, the South Carolina Shaddocks, might also descend from William Shattuck. If not they probably came from the same family in Somerset. William Shattuck was a weaver, and owned a loom, probably past down to him.

It is still a matter of study, but the evidence so far indicates the Virginia Shaddocks also left west Somerset about 1637 and settled in the Chesapeake Bay colony of Virginia. They are now found throughout the south of the USA.

The Shattockes of west Somerset appear to have migrated south to the neighboring county of Devon. When records began in 1538 Shattockes are found in North Molton, a border village with a thriving wool industry. See the North Molton page for a study I made of the history of North Molton and its place in the wool industry. Subsequently they spread south, occupying north Devon and branching off to the Yarnscombe Shattockes and its sub-branches the New Brunswick Shaddicks, the Tawstock Shaddocks, and the Burrington Shaddocks. Another branch of the North Molton Shattockes are the Instow Shaddicks.  

The village of Culmstock is just at the border of Somerset in the north east of Devon. It seems likely the village became inhabited by Shattockes from Somerset, although this statement waits for genealogical or genetic proof. A major branch of the Culmstock Shaddocks is descended from a female Shattocke.

There are other branches of the Shattocke family whose attachment to the family tree is unknown at this point because we have not found a descendant who we can DNA test, like the Mourambine, Australia Shaddicks

Currently in the lab for test are the Birmingham Shaddocks, who have branches that emigrated to New York and to Victoria, Australia. We are hoping the test will also reveal familial connections with the Chulmleigh - Bristol Shaddicks. It will also determine if they are descended from North Devon Shattockes or West Somerset Shattocks.

That is the summary of the research so far. For the rest of this page I will go deep into the details of our ancient origin.

The Earliest Records

The first occurrence of the name found in the historical record is Shattock. It is found in the records for the "Court of Star Chamber."

The Star Chamber was an English court of law which sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late 15th century to the mid-17th century (c. 1641), and was composed of Privy Councillors and common-law judges, to supplement the judicial activities of the common-law and equity courts in civil and criminal matters. The Star Chamber was established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts would likely hesitate to convict them of their crimes. (Wikipedia)

Alexander Shattock and Richard Shattock were probably farmers living on the manor of Lydiard, in the county of Wiltshire, who had been denied the use of land that was previously considered to be common land open to all. They rioted and were dragged into court by the defendants, who had laid claim to the land. (We know that enclosure was an issue on the manor. The Quarter sessions in 1579 ordered that the land in Lydiard, which had been staked out and measured, should remain as it was until the next assizes when 11 persons, all of Chaddington, were due to appear on a charge of riot, rout, trespass, and battery.) The manor is located in the county of Wiltshire, which is just next door to the counties of Somerset and Dorset where Shattocke descendants are found. 

The next time the name is encountered it is in 1524. At Bampton Parish in 1524 a tax payer called Thomas Shatok was taxed for ownership of goods. It appears that he or his son (John Shattocke) were taxed again in 1543, also based on ownership of goods. In all cases I have found that the double "t" version of the name (as in Shattocke or Shattick) is the most ancient spelling of the family name, preceding all other variants.

The Etymological Evidence: Shatticke and Shattocke 

If you do a web search for the origin of the name Shaddock, Shaddick or Shattock, you are told it comes from people who lived in Lancashire and Worcestershire with modern versions such as Chadwick, Shadwick or Chaddock and ancient forms as Chaddewyk or Cheddewic. But genealogical records firmly establish Shattockes in the English west country, primarily in the counties of Somerset and Devon. And DNA testing has shown they are not Anglo-Saxon but rather La Tène Celts who are found in Switzerland and southern Germany some 5000 years ago. Furthermore, reputable etymologists confirm this origin by giving the name a German origin, not an Anglo-Saxon origin.

Even Lemuel Shattuck, whose Descendants book chronicles Shattucks in the U.S. up to 1855 got it wrong about the origins of the name. Interestingly he says the name was rumored to be Germanic in his time (mid-nineteenth century) but he is firmly in the camp of people who believed all New England descendants from England were Anglo-Saxon in origin. Recent DNA, archaeological and etymological studies has shown this to be wrong. Read what Shattuck has to say here in this excerpt.

In fact the evolution of the spelling of the family name from its first appearance in the records as Shattocke or Shatticke is a key to figuring out where the Shattockes come from. It is very powerful tool along with DNA in trying to fill in the gaps in the record and in trying to peer farther into the past then the records allow. My own experience confirms this. One was hearing Robert Shaddock on the phone from Alabama pronouncing his last name like "Shaddick." Another was hearing on the phone Terry Shattuck, who lives in Georgia, pronouncing his name like "Shaddock." A helpful resource in deciphering the variations in the Shattocke name (e.g. Shaddock, Shaddick, Shattuck, Shadduck) is "Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America" (Oxford University Press, 1989) by David Hackett Fischer. What we learn from Albion's Seed is that the New England twang has its roots in the dialects of the original colonists home in Somerset and East Anglia. To wit, the Somerset dialect transformed "o" into "u" hence Shattuck rather than Shattock. They would say "Zumerset" instead of "Somerset." The sharp Yankee twang preserves the "tt" in Shattock from one of its origins as an East Anglia dialect, hence Shattuck. Meanwhile the southern drawl of the Virginia colonists (derivative of the south west of England) softens the "tt" into "dd" and preservers the "o", hence Shaddock, instead of Shattuck or Shattock. In the past I have assumed that the spelling of names is more due to the way the name sounds in the dialect of the local area in England rather than simply a misspelling...and this proves to be true. 

What complicates this is the fact that after settlement in English colonies circa 1640, the English dialects back in England continued to evolve differently from their colonial counterparts. The American spelling of "Shattuck" is an amalgam of Somerset and East Anglia dialects, the result of the influence of these two English local dialects. Back in England, the Somerset spelling preserves the original Somerset way of pronouncing Shattock. And Shattucks who migrated south in the U.S. gradually transformed the pronunciation of their name from "Shattuck" to "Shaddock" as it sounds in southern drawl. Back in England the Devon Shattockes who had migrated from Somerset, gradually adopted the pronunciation of the Devon dialect, and Shattock became Shaddock. 

The migration of Shattockes is accurately reflected in the way the name is locally spelled in the U.S. and Canada (which is largely populated by Shaddock descendants from Devon). This is a wonderful confirmation of the genealogies me and other people have worked out. Try saying "Shattuck" and "Shaddock." Notice how Shaddock is slower, more back in the throat, while Shattock is sharper and the tongue moves up to the front of mouth. What you are doing is reproducing the migration pattern of the original Somerset Shattockes. 

As descendants moved from their original home in Somerset, their children adopted the local dialect of English, and their children began to spell their names as they heard it pronounced. You can see this in the birth records in North Molton, Devon, where Shattockes are found in the earliest parish records. The records show their name spelled as "Shattocke" or "Shatticke," just as it was spelled in Somerset. But by 1600 the descendants of these Shattockes were speaking with a Devon accent and the spelling of their name changed to Shaddock.

It is the same case for the Massachusetts Shattucks. When they first arrived circa. 1635 in Massachusetts Bay, they spelled their name Shattocke, just as they had in Somerset where they came from. But the colony mixed people from East Anglia and Somerset and Devon in the English west country. The Yankee dialect that emerged resulted in the name sounding like "Shattuck." When some of those same people subsequently emigrated to the south (the Carolinas), the local dialect was closer to Devon than Somerset or East Anglia. So children of Shattucks began pronouncing their name "Shaddock." This is how spelling tells us where people came from. We assume people did not know how to spell. And that may have been true in many cases (although probably not early New England). But many of the record keepers were educated, and they were trying to spell the name the way it sounded at a time when there was little standardization in the way words were spelled.

My last name is Shaddock. I am descended from the Shattocke ancestor who lived in 1330 Somerset. My genealogy places him in North Devon around 1640. The name was spelled Shattocke. By 1700 the records of my ancestors started spelling the name "Shaddock." Then my 4th great grandfather Thomas moved to Ontario, Canada, among Devon people homesteading there. So the name Shaddock followed him over there and lives down to this this day as the most common form of the name in Canada.

Here is the record of the marriage of my ancestor Richard Shattocke to Agnes Strellin in 1659.

The last two lines record the marriage of Richard Shattocke to Agnes Strellin (?) in 1659. This is the oldest paper record of the Shaddock / Shaddick lineage that originates in Devon's Yarnscombe village and eventually disperses worldwide from nearby villages.

The document is in terrible shape. Richard Shattocke's name is also hard to read on the record. However other records of his name, that is baptism records of his children, consistently spell his name Shattocke.

His sons would have their names spelled Shattocke as well. It is not until the third generation, born between 1704 and 1726 that the name acquires its more modern spellings: Shaddick and Shaddock. 

The Shattick Version

"Shattick" does not seem to have survived as a variant of the  Shattock name as a scientific study between 2000-2005  (Onomaps) does not have a record of that surname.

The Shadduck Version

A version of the Shattuck name appears to be "Shadduck." DNA testing of at least one Shadduck descendant showed him to be a Shattuck descendant. The fact is the name occurs virtually exclusively in the U.S. The Onomaps study shows there were 885 people with this name variant in the U.S. and a small handful in Germany (3 or 4!).

The Chaddock Surname

According to Philip Chaddock (one letter removed from my name) who is an administrator of the DNA project for the FTDNA Chaddock project, the name probably derives from a medieval village, Chaddock, that once existed just west of modern day Manchester.  The original spelling was Chaydok , with variants such as Chaidok, Chaydoke and Chaidoke, among others. It stabilized as Chaddock in the late 1600s. 

Philip Chaddock traces his ancestors back to Staffordshire and he belongs to haplogroup R-CTS10893, which is a subclade of U106. It is thought U106 people descend from Germanic tribes that inhabited what is modern day Denmark and northern Germany. They are part of a distinctly different migration of early peoples into Europe. This makes Philip Chaddock very different in his ancestral origin than Shattockes.  The bottom line is that people who are descendants of Chaddocks and other variants in the north of England are not genetically related to West Somerset Shattockes.

The Chadwick or Shadwick Surnames

The Chadwick and Shadwick surnames have sometimes been mixed up with Shattocke variants in places like Dorset or New England. The Instow and Frithelstock branches of the family have Shadwick variations and Lemuel Shattuck mentions Shadwick as a version of Shattuck. But DNA tests of descendants of Chadwicks or Shadwicks from English areas north like Lancashire have proven that their ancestors are not even remotely related to Shattockes of south western England. The mix up in names occurs especially often in places like New York state where incoming immigrants in colonial times, arriving with heavy accents, often had their names recorded incorrectly. In two different cases I have examined, one Shaddock was actually a Polish immigrant and the other was a Chadwick from Lancashire. 

Captain Shaddock and The Forbidden Fruit

When was the first time you looked up "Shaddock" or "Shaddick" in the dictionary? If it was in the previous century you would have seen it was the name of a type of grapefruit whose parental seeds were brought to the West Indies by a Captain Philip Shaddock. However a couple of botany researchers published a paper in 1987 ( "Mystery of the forbidden fruit: Historical epilogue on the origin of the grapefruit, Citrus paradisi (Rutaceae) by J. Kumamoto et al.") that shows a paper trail back to the original spelling of the name, Chaddock, not Shaddock. It was also popularly known as the shattuck fruit, another variant name. The shaddock or shattuck fruit  should have been called chaddock, or perhaps chaddocke or chadock, since these are other spellings of Captain Philip Chaddock's name! 

See the narrative Captain Chaddocks and the Forbidden Fruit for the complete story.

Philip Chaddock's Y-DNA does not match any Shaddocks that have been tested against him. At this time we have not found a genetic link between Chaddocks and Shaddocks. I believe this is a case where two similar sounding names with completely different family genealogies have been confounded. 

Possible Etymological Origin of the Family Name

There is corroborative evidence for a German derivation of the name. It is in the form of a scholarly book that was written in 1857 titled, "An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. With an Essay on Their Derivation and Import" by William Arthur. He has an entry for the Shaddock name. Here it is on page 32:

SHADDOCK or SCHADECK. Local. The name of a lordship in Germany.

By "local" he means the name was derived from a place name. 

Clifford R. Shaddick, in his 1950 Shaddick history, quotes from yet another source, the respected "British Family Names" by Henry Barber, published in 1894. Apparently Barber consulted twenty-seven genealogical sources in developing his list of British surnames. For Shaddick, his entry is:

                                                                        Shaddick. G. Schadeck ; a p.n. 

The initials "p.n." stand for "personal name," suggesting the name is not derived like many names (such as "Smith" as a derivation of "blacksmith") but rather it is simply a family name.  

A search in a world database for surnames shows that in 2002 Schadeck is found in Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, France and the U.S. in that order. There are less than 1,000 people with that surname worldwide. The Schadecks are found in the same area that our remote ancestors originated from. At the Geneat genealogical website, a search in the database of people who traced their ancestry back to Schadecks in the period before the 17th century turned up the following very interesting statistics:

Switzerland 16
Luxembourg 9
Germany 8
Netherlands 2
Belgium 1

Almost half the people with the Schadeck name are descended from ancient families in Switzerland, with as many descended from ancient families north of Switzerland in Luxembourg and Germany. There is no record of how English etymologists in the 19th century identified this surname as the probable antecedent of the Shaddock and Shaddick names, but the DNA evidence of our origins points to the exact same area.

A German friend sent me a map showing the distribution of the "Schadock" name in Germany. Micheal Konther says the densest area where the Schadock name is found is Brandenburg, close to Saxony. 

The DNA evidence identifies Shattocke and our genetic cousins origins in the south of Germany with the hotspot in Switzerland, so an eastern Germany origin seems much less likely. A theory that suggest we have a common origin with modern German "Schadocks" perhaps shows how deceptive a similarity in the spelling and pronunciation of a surname can be. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that our ancient ancestors were a lot more mobile than we would prefer to think. 

What DNA Tells Us About Our Origins
Vital records began sporadically in England after 1538 and were not in wide use until a century later. Many records have become lost, badly damaged or inaccurately transcribed. Our family was not sufficiently illustrious, notorious or royal to warrant mention in historical documents before vital records were kept. The only way we can look into the deep history of the family is to read the genetic code stored in our DNA, passed down from one generation to the next unchanged. Or almost unchanged. Tiny changes to the genetic code, one letter in the genetic alphabet, do occur, very rarely. These one letter mistakes (called SNPs) are faithfully copied to the next generation and all subsequent generations. They can be used as markers that define new branches in the human tree. For our family that SNP marker is called Y16884.  

Y16884 branches off the dominant paternal lineage of Western Europe, R1b, also known as M343. Around 25,000 years ago our ancestors began a long migration to our ultimate home in the south of England. We carry the story of that migration in the male Y-chromosome members of our family. 

The journey of our forefathers begins in eastern to southern Africa with genetic Adam. But I will begin my story further down the line, with the migration of our forefathers into Europe from the western Asia steppes. There we find an individual who lived sometime around 25,000 years ago who had the M343 SNP copying mistake in his genetic code.  He is the oldest Eurasian grandfather in our family. He passed this change in his genetic code to his sons. And they passed it on to their sons. This means that in every male Shaddock, Shaddick, Shattuck or Shattocke and our genetic cousins, like the Parrishs and Byers or Byars, there is a tiny change in the genetic code of our DNA that sets us apart from billions of our fellow humans. Our family is descended from that man who had this single letter mistake, this marker of our shared ancestor. 

As time passed new copying errors in the Y chromosome happened by chance and were passed from a descendant to his sons. The sons and their descendants carrying the new mutation became part of a new branch of the family, defined by the name of the SNP mutation. This is how we know the path of migration of our family's ancient grandfathers. We find in them in our chromosomes and in the telltale code changes in the remains of prehistoric men buried in the places along the route. And in many cases we find them in the descendants who remained when their relatives moved on. This is how we can reconstruct the migration route for our family beginning with M343 man in far off western Asia.


Enlarge the map to see where your so very distant relatives are buried. Each point where you see a letter code (like M269) is the site where your direct male ancestor lived, farmed, fought and moved on. The map tells the story of the migration up to 1200 BCE (before the common era). Look for U152 in the Alps north of modern day Italy. That is where your 125th great grandfather lived, worked and died.

We know that is where he settled in Europe because he had a descendant who had a new SNP variant, called Y16884. And that variant is what distinguishes us from other European males, our cousins, such as the L21 males who were the first to settle in England. If you are wondering if you are biologically a true Shaddock or Shaddick or Shattuck (or our genetic cousins with other surnames like Parrish or Byars) than you can actually purchase a test kit, swab your cheek, and send the test kit back. A few months later the DNA testing company will confirm or deny your membership in this wandering tribe of humanity. 

Our La Tène Ancestors

So where was this ancient culture that we belonged to? We belonged to a tribe in central Europe, defined by modern day eastern France, Switzerland, Austria, southwest Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. For our specific ancestors "home" was probably Switzerland. Broadly described he was a Celt, speaking a form of the Celtic language. More precisely he belonged to what ethnographers call the La Tène (lä-ˈten) culture, named after an archaeological site on the shores of a lake in Switzerland where artifacts created by these people were found.  The La Tène elite power structure arose at the fringes of the early Iron Age Halstatt elite power structure, which collapsed between 450 and 400 BC. Where the Halstatt lived in fortified enclosures on hill sides, La Tène people lived in small, dispersed, self-sufficient settlements in the valleys and plains below. 

Reconstruction of the house your 93rd great-grandfather lived in.

By the 4th century BC the La Tène had become over-populated. They developed a warlike culture where warriors became the elite members of a society that was otherwise not stratified like the earlier Halstatt culture. They began raiding the rich Mediterranean communities they found south and east of them. They were considered barbarians by the Roman and Greek classical cultures. They were heavily influenced by Mediterranean culture,  and the Celtic culture north of the English channel. This map shows the original extent of the Hallstatt culture in yellow and expansion of the La Tène culture in green.


The growing power of Rome and the constant state of war that La Tène brought upon themselves, along with increasing social stratification, eventually led to their decline and defeat at the hands of the Romans by the first century BC. Some scholars even suggest their love of wine and feasting made them too fat and contented to live up to their warrior ideals.

The take-away from all this is that we do not belong to the tribes that inhabited southern Europe or northern Europe. We do not descend from the Vikings or the Angles or Saxons. We are La Tène Celts. If you are a Shaddock, Shaddick, Shattuck or a closely related genetic cousin (Paris, Parrish, Byars, Byers), have you been calling yourself an Anglo-Saxon all these years? You are not.  Call yourself a Celt or more precisely La Tène. (Sounds like "La Ten.") 

Parrishs (and Byars or Byas)
In Shaddocks, Shaddicks and Shattucks who have been Y-DNA tested, numerous individuals with the surnames "Parrish, Byers, Byars and Byas" show up as matches, meaning they are closely related to our family. By "closely" I mean in the past 600 years. They are our very distant cousins, people we are more closely related to than all the other human beings on the planet. Advanced SNP testing has shown we share a common ancestor with them who lived about 1330 AD. And it appears the Parrish ancestor split off from the Shattockes about 1585 AD. We do not have next generation SNP results for Byas or Byars and its variants, but the evidence so far is that they branched off of Parrishs. 

The YFull SNP interpretation service has assigned the Parrishs who have tested to the subclade R-Y16884, called R-A8033. It is important to note that the date of formation of this subclade (1585 AD) is estimated from Parrishs who have tested so far. If additional Parrishs or Byars do SNP testing that date will become more accurate.

I should make clear that only a small number of people with the surname "Byas, Byers, Byars or Parrish" are our genetic cousins. The majority of their descendants  actually come from a mixed background, meaning they are not genetic cousins. The Parrish surname arose from genetically unrelated people from different regions of England and France, who adopted the Paris or Parrish surname. The Parrish and Byars descendants who are our genetic cousins have the Y16884 mutation.

My best guess is that the Parrishs came from a NPE event in west Somerset. This guess is based on the fact they are a very old branch, and an examination of their DNA results shows that they are most closely related to West Somerset Shattocks. All Y16884 Parrishs have a unique genetic signature. They have 13 repeats for their DYS444 STR marker. This suggests a single common ancestor for all Parrishs and Byars or Byas descendants. 

The Rarity of the Shattocke Name and Its Variants

I did a study of the 1891 England Census. Using a family household as my basic unit, I counted how many Shaddicks, Shaddocks or other variant surname households there were in England in that year. There were 71 households in the entire England. Here are the tabulated results:

The surprise is that there were only 71 households in England. We know that a huge number of the families dispersed around the world from the 17th through the 19th century, particularly to North America and Australia. The largest number of households were in Devon, with 21 households, followed by London with 18, and 7 households in each of Dorset and Somerset. Fifty-four or just over three quarters of the family lived south of London, even after the industrial revolution in farming made farm laborers and cottage workers leave largely agricultural Devon and Somerset, literally for greener pastures in the new world. A study of earlier census records showed that Londoners who said they were born in London were from families that had relatively recently migrated from Devon or Somerset. Indeed there are Shaddock households in Yorkshire that originated from Burrington, my own branch of the family's departure point for Canada.

On following The Diaspora page of this site, I present a table that shows just how rare the Shattocke name, including its variants really are. A study at the University College London (UCL) shows that there were about 11,500 descendants of Shattockes in 2005. That is .00000017% of the world's population of 6.49 billion people. 

Is there an explanation for the rarity of the surname and the lack of a wide number of genetic cousins like the Parrishs and Byers? I decided to look elsewhere for an explanation. I researched populations dynamics between 1330 AD and 1550 AD. Here is what I found:

Pre-industrial populations had low reproductive capacities.
  • 20 percent of couples would have no children surviving them
  • 20 percent would have only daughters surviving them
  • 60 percent would have one son survive them
Estimates of the average family size is between 3.5 and 4.5. The consensus is that the smaller size was more probable. The practice of legal “maintenance agreements, “ where a couple beyond their reproductive years contracted with another person to look after them until their death in exchange for property rights yields an interesting statistic. Over half the agreements were with people unrelated to the retired peasants. This suggests over half of peasants had no surviving children.

This rate probably improved in the 12th and 13th century but in the early 14th century famines and diseases swept through the English countryside. The earliest recorded incidence of the bubonic plague was in 1348 in Dorset from an immigrant from Gascony. Dorset is next door to Somerset and Devon where our family originated. Estimates of mortality are 50% in the first wave of the plague and 20% in the decades that followed for a cumulative total of 60%. Two out of three people who would have descended from our common ancestor were wiped out.

I have not done the math for the expected expansion of the number of descendants from that couple who gave birth to the common ancestor between Shattockes, Parrishs and possibly Byars / Byers, but this might explain why our DNA results only show three groups of surnames, Shattockes, Parrishs and Byars / Byers. And it might explain why there are so few Shattockes in the early records. Finally it might explain why I have been having success recently connecting far-flung branches of the Shattocke families together using both genealogical and genetic research tools. I did explore an hypothesis that an immigrant family arrived in Devon / Somerset in the 15th or 16th century. But now it seems YFULL (the SNP interpretation service) analysis of the SNP evidence and my own analysis of the STR evidence is pointing to another immigrant to southern England whose presence explains the low number of Shattockes and our Parrish cousins in the world. That immigrant was was a seaman who arrived at Weymouth, Dorset, from Gascony in June 1348. He was carrying the bubonic plague. 

Here is something else to consider. The ancient form of the name, either "Shattocke" or "Shatticke," does not appear to be descriptive and cannot be traced by etymology to a place, occupation or other obvious human feature or activity, or a feature or activity of the natural world. Almost all etymologists consider it to be or German origin. We come from a very specific place, Devon and Somerset. So while the theory of a recent (i.e. around 1330 AD) immigration of a "Shattocke" family to England might is still plausible. However if it is not be the case, perhaps it can be said that the Shattockes that carry the name down to the present are members of a single founding family around the 14th century. And we are the handful of survivors of black plagues, of English civil war, of religious persecution, of crop failures and economic turbulence. Aren't we lucky to have such a rare and unique last name? It makes the job of re-establishing the family's shared history so much easier than names like Smith or London. 

On the following page of this site, The Diaspora, I discuss the modern distribution of the family throughout the world. 

Immigrants to England

There is additional evidence for a migration of a single family into Devon from our ancestral grounds. It comes from the analysis of the Devon DNA Project results at FTDNA (the testing company Family Tree DNA). The Devon DNA project is focused on surnames of people who have ancestors who lived in the county of Devon, England. There are 515 members of the Devon DNA project. I did a study of the frequency of the subclade we belong to, Z36, among Devon descendants. Among that group, only one individual could be identified as a Z36 descendant. Myself. See the study here

I have not been able to make the same study of Somerset descendants. But if there was an ancient influx of Z36 people, our ancestors included, into the west country of England, you would expect to find their genetic signature among Devon descendants. 


The Story Continues
The next chapter of our story unfolds on the next page. A majority of the descendants of the Shattocke Celts who arrived in England to participate in the wool and cloth industry would find themselves uprooted again by social and economic forces and scattered almost literally to the four corners of the earth. I call it The Diaspora.