Jean Charpentier (b 1734 France) is NOT the same person as John Sherbondy (d 1798 Pennsylvania)

The Sherbondy Family Association undertook a 20 month, ambitious project to determine if the American Sherbondy ancestor/immigrant, John Sherbondy, was the same person as Jean Charpentier, born 2 August 1734 in Virginy, Marne, France, son of Nicolas Charpentier and Marguerite Frere.  DNA results prove, unfortunately, that they are NOT the same person.


Two male descendants of John Sherbondy (from two of his sons) have had Family Tree Y-DNA tests performed at the 111 marker level and they match.  Y-DNA is passed from father to son with no changes, except for occasional mutations every few generations.  The objective is to find one or more male descendants from siblings of Jean Charpentier of Virginy, France and test their Y-DNA to determine if it matches the DNA of the two Sherbondys.

Phase I Research (US research of On Line French records):

  • Legacy Tree Genealogists (Salt Lake City, Utah) were hired in Nov, 2021 for this phase. Research work began in March, 2022 by Paul Woodbury.
  • The websites used for this research were primarily the French Family History Research site Filae, and the Archives Departementales de la Marne site,
  • Paul found that Jean’s family did remain in the area in and around Virginy, He found no records of a later death or marriage for Jean Charpentier born in 1734. Nor did he find him mentioned as a witness in any of the marriage records of his siblings, burial records of siblings or parents, or baptismal records for his nieces and nephews.
  • Research was performed on the descent lines of Jean Charpentier’s four brothers: Pierre (1725), Joachim (1728), Louis (1732) and Nicolas (1739).  Louis died in 1757 without children.  Pierre’s descendants either “daughtered out” or had males who died, except for Jean Joseph (1785).  Nicolas descendants had males who died except for Nicolas (1787) and Jean Baptiste (1770), whose fates were uncertain. Joachim descendants had several males who could have progeny to the current time.  However, Paul was not able to find a descent line that traces to the modern day.  He was not been able to find a direct paternal line. There were a small handful of individuals whose fate could not be determined at this time who might have survived to adulthood and had sons of their own, thus passing on the Y-chromosome to their descendants.
  • The results of this research are available on line as follows:
    • Summary Report, pdf, 41 pages: Summary Report
    • French vital records documents, pdf, 20 pages: Documents
    • Family Group Sheet and Descendant List, pdf, 4 pages: Charts
  • Further research was recommended to be performed in France.
  • This phase concluded in July, 2022.

French Genealogists and Record Availability:

Genealogical research in France is very strictly regulated and limited.  The laws are designed to protect the privacy of every living individual but also designed to allow researchers and attorneys to find heirs for estates.  Each researcher must have the proper legal authorization and insurance to do this type of work in the archives (non-living individuals) and in the civil records (living individuals and records after 1945).  I contacted 4 professional genealogists in France for my project.  They all told me the same thing.  My project must proceed like an heir/probate search;  start in the archives records with the oldest relative, obtain copies of all birth, marriage, and death certificates for that person, then proceed to the next generation, obtain copies of all vital records for each son in the next generation, and continue this to the living generations.  The search then shifts to the civil records, and no copies of vital records are allowed from the civil records, only transcribed information is allowed to be taken from there.

French Genealogist Muriele Gadaut, whose company is Des Racines & des Actes, was chosen for the French (on location) research.   These phases began in September, 2022.


Phase II, French Historical Male Descendancy Records:

On line work in France was completed on 9/26/2022.  This work focused on the “easiest” lines.

  • For the line of Jean’s brother Pierre Charpentier (1725), no further information was searched for and/or found on the fate of Jean Joseph (1785).
  • The line of Jean’s brother Nicolas Charpentier (1739-1810) needed more research. He married twice, only children from 2nd  From Jean (1765), Nicolas (1787 – circa 1814) was wounded in March 1814 in Paris while he was a soldier with no further information.  The fate of Jean Baptiste (1770) remains unknown.
  • That leaves the best option as the line of Jean’s brother Joachim Charpentier (1728 – 1781) with possible living male descendants. Research needs to be performed on the grandsons Etienne (1787), who had two sons and three grandsons, Philippe Francois (1788) and Jean Baptiste (1795), who had two sons.

Further research was not performed until February, 2023.  Research at the physical archives (Archives Departementales de la Marne in Chalons-en-Champagne) was required for the next segment.  All of these results are from the Joachim Charpentier (1728) branch:

  • Etienne (1787) descendant research results: Two sons with descendants, Atienne Amedee (1818-1896) and Etienne Alexandre (1820-1892).  Etienne Alexandre had a son, Henri Louis Jules (1881-1935) had descendants who need to be researched.
  • Jean Baptiste (1795) descendant research results: Joachim CHARPENTIER (1826 – 1904) and his brother Arthur Joseph CHARPENTIER (1845 – 1886) died without any descendants.
  • Philippe François (1788 – 1814) died single.

Phase III, French Living Male Descendancy Records:

This work proceeded in February, 2023.  This research was conducted at the regional archives, at the local archives (for civil registers before 1948) and at the city hall (for civil registers after 1948). The results were as follows:

  • Etienne Amedee (1818-1896) had one son but no further male descendants (confirmed with census).
  • From the line of Etienne Alexandre (1820-1892) and Jules Arthur (1849-1921), Henri Louis Jules Charpentier (1881-1935) had several male descendants.
  • This phase was completed on February 16, 2023.
  • Muriele found a living male CHARPENTIER descendants of Henri Louis Jules Charpentier who was willing to take a DNA test.  The result of the test arrived early in July, 2023.  The Analysis of the DNA Results are explained below, after the Results of the Genealogical Research.

Results of the Genealogical Research by Muriele Gadaut:

Descendant Web Page.  The following web page has the genealogical results of the descendants of Nicolas Charpenter (1700-1759) as researched by Muriele Gadaut.  Some information about the parents of Nicolas and his siblings are also included.  The PDF link includes links to the original French records supporting the information.  The HTML link has url addresses that can be copied and pasted to access the original French records.
HTML link 
PDF link

Abbreviations used in the Genealogical results.  Certain French abbreviations are used in the source documents to identify the type of original record that was accessed.  The abbreviations are as follows.

Births in France.  During this era, the birth dates could be the same day as the baptism or could be done the next day after birth or few days later, or weeks later (rare).  Thus, births are shown as the same day as the baptismal record.

  • AB = Acte de Bapteme = parish baptismal record (before 1790).
  • AN = Acte de Naissance = birth civil record (after 1790).
  • RN = Releve Naissance = military birth record.
  • RM = Registre Militaire = military records of a man who entered the army.  Show his birthdate and birthplace.


  • AM = Acte de Mariage = marriage record.


  • AD = Acte de Deces = death civil record  (after 1790).
  • DS = Declaration de Succession = death declaration. This document is established by the tax department after someone dies, it is very valuable when working on descendance since it lists the dead person’s heirs (and first of them: his/her children).
  • AS = Acte de Sépulture = parish record (before 1790).  Same as Death record (the priest established a document saying that this day he buried a person).


  • RP = Registres Paroissiaux = Parish registers residence (before 1790).
  • RP = Recensement de Population = census residence (after 1790).

Fiche Insee:

  • This is the official data we can find on people, on recent time. It gives the day/place of birth and day/place of death for a person. Insee is the French administration in charge of this.


  • TASA = Table des Successions et Absences. This document indicates whether a person has left an estate or not. If yes, we go to the “Déclaration de Succession”. If not, “this is it, no more to say.”

Analysis of the DNA Results


The expected relationship between two individuals with matching Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) is dependent on both the number of markers you have tested and the genetic distance (steps). The higher the number of markers tested (111 vs 67, etc.) and the lower number of mutations (steps), then the more likely those two individuals are related.  For more information and an example with members of the Sherbondy and Carpenter families who match, please see this memo, DNA Analysis.  For more detailed Y-111 information, including confidence levels and number of generations back, see the DNA Y-111 Chart


DNA Results

The Charpentier (French) descendant (identified through the French paper records) only match the two Sherbondy descendants with 31 out of 111 markers.  Unfortunately, that proves that they are NOT RELATED.  For relation to be proven, 106 out of 111 markers are required to match.  For possible relation, 101 out of 111 markers are required to match.  You can see the DNA of Sherbondy family and Charpenter family (no first names) at this link.


Carpenter Cousins DNA.

This is a website with publicly available information while keeping identity of individual test subjects private.  The main page of the Carpenter Cousins DNA website is, Carpenter Cousins.  This website compares DNA (anonymously) of matching descendants of Carpenter, Sherbondy, Zimmerman, etc.  For example, the two Sherbondy DNA matches two Carpenter (descended from Zimmerman) DNA.  They match 107 out of 111 markers.  You can see the matches here, Group 17.


Family Tree DNA testing results.

Family Tree DNA keeps DNA information private except for those individuals who have tested and agree to sharing.  For those who wish to be tested, visit

Standard Disclaimer

Some of this information could change in the future.  New genealogical records are always being uncovered. This results in new and different results all the time due to new information that was previously unknown.  In addition, DNA / genetic records or genealogical records could have errors.  For example, when looking at a single direct genealogy lineage (like with our research, from Joachim Charpentier to Henri Louis Jules Charpentier), one of the wives in the ancestry could have had an affair and lied about the father on the baptismal record.  This can be validated with DNA from a descendant of another brother of Jean (other than Joachim).  We will have to wait for that until we have other Nicolas Charpentier descendants who agree to DNA testing.  For now, this is the most complete and accurate information known.

Background information

A large number of online genealogies report that John Sherbondy (aka in American records, Jean Cherpantier) whose will was probated 28 December 1798 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania was the same individual as Jean Charpentier, born 2 August 1734 in Virginy, Marne, France.  However, there was no proof supporting this connection.  Those online sites also show Jean’s name as Jean Francois Charpentier but the birth record from Virginy has no mention of Francois.

These results are actually not surprising.  The name CHARPENTIER in France is quite common.  The last name on the birth records of John’s children in Pennsylvania was spelled CHERPANTIER, with the ‘a’ and ‘e’ transposed.  There is no known record for John Sherbondy that indicates an age at any time or an estimated birth year.  The only data that linked the two individuals was the name “Jean” on records in both France and Pennsylvania.  If you do a search for Jean CHARPENTIER in France with a broad range of births around 1734 (+ and -), you get 5,413 results.  You can see the screenshot here.

The results are disappointing but the SFA needed to know for sure if this Jean was the ancestor of the Sherbondys.  There are other benefits.  This research provided a huge amount of documentation and records for the Nicolas Charpentier descendants in France.  The two genealogists who performed the research found records that corrected many errors that are reflected in the genealogical trees posted on line.  Also, some Charpentier descendants in the future may find their ancestors through this research or through the DNA match on the Family Tree DNA website.

Further European Research

The SFA will continue to do research on possible ancestors of the Sherbondys in America.  This includes leads in France but also leads in Germany and Switzerland.  We have some recent new leads in France that we are following up on.

We have a professional genealogist in Buchenback, Germany who is following up on leads in Germany and Switzerland.  Here is a summary of the leads we have in Germany and Switzerland on the ancestors of John Sherbondy and Jacob Zimmerman, German Ancestry clues summary.

We are always looking for help with research and funds to pay for research.  Thanks for any help, comments or suggestions that you can provide.

Jeffrey D. Sherbondy

Sherbondy Family Association

September, 2023


Links to other versions of this memo:

Adobe / PDF Version:     Adobe / PDF COPY

French language Version:     French Version