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therrien.joel
10-31-2017, 01:54 AM
So this is more a question just for curiosity's sake, not really expecting an "answer" but if anyone else has found themselves in this situation I'd love to hear about it.

I guess this qualifies as my first brickwall. I have been tracing back my ancestry, most recently driven by a desire to track down the source of my small Central/South Asian ancestry (discovered by genetic testing and, sparing you all the details, more or less confirmed). I have been looking at my father's side of the family to start with, partly because my maternal grandfather's side has been well documented by another family member. More specifically, I had been looking at my paternal grandfather's family because hey are French Canadian, so I expected to have a relatively easy time tracing that tree given the French Canadian catholic's penchant for documenting births. And that has held up; pretty much every branch can be traced back up to 400 years. Except... the patriarchal line. I can only reliably go back to my great grandfather and then it goes wonky. I have two possible names for my great-great grandfather and a fairly consistent name for my great-great grandmother. But I can't find any records, either in the US or Canada for either of them. Adding to the oddity here is that I tested with 23andMe and have uploaded my file to Gedmatch and MyHeritage. Out of all of these, I have literally only one pretty distant match with someone with the same surname. Now I realize it's not a hugely common name, but it strikes me as odd that I haven't found a match.

This is feeding my curiosity about the offhand remark my grandmother made years ago about the family name having been changed and then changed back. And yes, I did use a search that was phonetic based, since there are multiple legitimate spellings for Therrien.

How many of you have hit brickwalls like this? It certainly does complicate things when the genetic part doesn't give up any clues.

msmarjoribanks
10-31-2017, 05:52 PM
Are you finding that your Y-DNA matches up with some other surname or just no matches or no pattern?

I think it can be just one of those things. I have some branches with lots of matches and others with none. My paternal line is Jones, but yet none of the matches my father has are Joneses and in the Jones project he is a singleton, so though it's not the same thing -- millions of Joneses, obviously -- it's the same situation with apparently no matches on the paternal line.

Also, is it possible your paternal line came to Canada much later? If the matches are mostly in France, they wouldn't be in the testing population.

Pylsteen
10-31-2017, 06:01 PM
It is normal I think; possible matches I have date back to the Roman age and further, so before the advent of surnames in the west. From my surname line (probably introduced around 1600), I am the only one up to date to have had a test; maybe someone from the other ca. 100 men will do in the future.

Judith
10-31-2017, 08:48 PM
Also, is it possible your paternal line came to Canada much later? If the matches are mostly in France, they wouldn't be in the testing population.

This is probably the ley to your question. DNA testing is not allowed to be sold in France.

Have you enough paternal cousins that have tested to be able to identify certain lines?

I have a similar block on my maternal line, just no leads on the one which is most a puzzle, Murphy's law methinks!
Good luck

Saetro
10-31-2017, 11:46 PM
I guess this qualifies as my first brickwall.

How many of you have hit brickwalls like this? It certainly does complicate things when the genetic part doesn't give up any clues.

Every brickwall of this nature puts you in the same place as if your great grandfather was an adoptee.
Adoptees have strategies for this that could be helpful to you.

1)Fish in every pond.
Good on you for uploading at GEDmatch.
Why haven't you tried FTDNA as well?
There are certainly a few French testers there, even though DNA testing that can identify paternity seems to be forbidden by law.
Maybe they post from Belgium.
And there would probably be some cousins in the Americas who have tested at Ancestry and who might have some useful information, so that would be good too.
And you have not yet tested your YDNA, which would have to be at FTDNA and would enable you to join a haplogroup or regional group or surname group that might be helpful.
Which brings me to ..

2) Join a group
Collectives have greater total knowledge than individuals, and they have helped me heaps.
Is there one for your surname?
There is a big one for those of French Heritage - bigger than the corresponding German one to which I belong.

My all-paternal line goes back to Germany, where there is also some reluctance to test.
People who are serious about that line test their Y DNA and you may need to do that.
But as you have tested at 23andMe, you should already have a rough Haplogroup assignment.
Before testing YDNA, check with the administrators of the relevant project at FTDNA.
They might be able to suggest some short cuts that take into account what you have already. (But you might have to start from scratch.)

3) You seem to have been thorough in checking documentary sources and relatives.
But every time I challenge myself on this point, there is almost always something more I could do.
Although recent breakthroughs have been via DNA matches.
Even if their advice was ultimately incorrect, it helped me to organize my own research and thinking, to discover what was right.

4) What autosomal DNA matches do you have on that line?
If there are none so far, you may need to put bait on your hook, by testing another couple of descendants of your paternal great grandfather or his siblings.
Reasonably sized segments you share with a cousin or second cousin from that line can help you spot DNA cousins further away. If they share one of those segments and are on that side of your family, then they link with that line.

I have not been able to extend my all-male line past my gg grandfather for 40 years, but I know a great deal about my haplogroup and how they spread around the world.
I also know much about people like my ancestors in the generations before they left Europe, and in the generation or two after they arrived here.
And the autosomal techniques I mentioned above have been very successful for me recently on other lines.

Good luck

Celt_??
11-01-2017, 01:02 AM
....I have been looking at my father's side of the family to start. More specifically, I had been looking at my paternal grandfather's family because hey are French Canadian....Adding to the oddity here is that I tested with 23andMe....Out of all of these, I have literally only one pretty distant match with someone with the same surname.

Well, to cut to the chase as they say, if you are interested in your paternal line, it is most important to understand that surnames pass down father to son, father to son as Y-DNA passes down father to son, father to son. So the most appropriate test is a Y-DNA test offered by Family Tree DNA which offers matching with the largest Y-DNA data base on the face of the planet. Thus far, you have only tested autosomal DNA which is inherited from both the maternal line and the paternal line.

So your best bet is to order at least the Y-DNA 37 analysis from FTDNA which tests for 37 STR markers or preferably the Y-DNA 67 or Y-DNA 111 test at Family Tree DNA which would give more specificity in matching..

therrien.joel
11-01-2017, 01:25 AM
Are you finding that your Y-DNA matches up with some other surname or just no matches or no pattern?

I think it can be just one of those things. I have some branches with lots of matches and others with none. My paternal line is Jones, but yet none of the matches my father has are Joneses and in the Jones project he is a singleton, so though it's not the same thing -- millions of Joneses, obviously -- it's the same situation with apparently no matches on the paternal line.

Also, is it possible your paternal line came to Canada much later? If the matches are mostly in France, they wouldn't be in the testing population.

As far as I understand, my Y is very generically European, so I don't know that it would lead to much.


This is probably the ley to your question. DNA testing is not allowed to be sold in France.

Have you enough paternal cousins that have tested to be able to identify certain lines?

I have a similar block on my maternal line, just no leads on the one which is most a puzzle, Murphy's law methinks!
Good luck

The few paternal cousins all appear to match on my grandmother's line, which is quite easy to distinguish: Irish and Finnish.

Good points on the lack of tests from France. Though it is telling that there are a decent number of Therriens in Canada yet no matches.

I have gotten as far as finding the names that my G2-grandparents used when my G-grandfather was born along with a note that my G2-grandfather was born in Canada and my G2-grandmother was born in NY. It suggests they married in the US and would also suggest that a birth record for my G2-grandmother might be discoverable. But so far, nothing. Now it's worth mentioning that between the birth record for my G-grandfather and his marriage record, the name of my G2-grandfather changed. To be honest, I can't rule out the possibility that the family name was Therrien. Family lore, from my grandmother, was that the name was changed to "Taylor" to fit in better before being changed back, but I thought that was my G-grandfather who did that. Of course if it happened once it could have happened twice! That would certainly complicate things.

therrien.joel
11-01-2017, 01:46 AM
Every brickwall of this nature puts you in the same place as if your great grandfather was an adoptee.
Adoptees have strategies for this that could be helpful to you.

1)Fish in every pond.
Good on you for uploading at GEDmatch.
Why haven't you tried FTDNA as well?
There are certainly a few French testers there, even though DNA testing that can identify paternity seems to be forbidden by law.
Maybe they post from Belgium.
And there would probably be some cousins in the Americas who have tested at Ancestry and who might have some useful information, so that would be good too.
And you have not yet tested your YDNA, which would have to be at FTDNA and would enable you to join a haplogroup or regional group or surname group that might be helpful.
Which brings me to ..

2) Join a group
Collectives have greater total knowledge than individuals, and they have helped me heaps.
Is there one for your surname?
There is a big one for those of French Heritage - bigger than the corresponding German one to which I belong.



Main reason I have not tried yet is cost, even though it's not much. I hadn't understood the value in trying another test. Now that I understand the distinction, I might just try that. I'm also trying to see if I can get at least my mom to test, that would give me the benefit of phasing my genome. I'd love to have my dad do so, but I very much doubt he's be interested in doing it. I suspect they both think I'm a little nuts digging into this, but it's interesting to me.




3) You seem to have been thorough in checking documentary sources and relatives.
But every time I challenge myself on this point, there is almost always something more I could do.
Although recent breakthroughs have been via DNA matches.
Even if their advice was ultimately incorrect, it helped me to organize my own research and thinking, to discover what was right.



Yes indeed! I was back at it tonight, trying to see what other shred of evidence I could get a hold of. But, as you probably are well aware, people can lie, DNA, not so much (assuming we are being careful about our interpretation). That's what got this thing in motion; noticing discrepancies between official family origins and what I was seeing on multiple admixture calculators (Gedmatch, DNA Land, and Gencove). Ultimately finding a fully South Asian distant relative and identifying a number of SNPs that are very rare in Europeans moved this into the probably correct category. Sadly none of that can be traced backwards towards my family lines, so it doesn't help other than to say there is something waiting to be found.




4) What autosomal DNA matches do you have on that line?
If there are none so far, you may need to put bait on your hook, by testing another couple of descendants of your paternal great grandfather or his siblings.
Reasonably sized segments you share with a cousin or second cousin from that line can help you spot DNA cousins further away. If they share one of those segments and are on that side of your family, then they link with that line.

I have not been able to extend my all-male line past my gg grandfather for 40 years, but I know a great deal about my haplogroup and how they spread around the world.
I also know much about people like my ancestors in the generations before they left Europe, and in the generation or two after they arrived here.
And the autosomal techniques I mentioned above have been very successful for me recently on other lines.

Good luck

I think that is gong to be the key, I have enough large segment matches in Gedmatch, but there are no recognizable surnames or they belong to my G-grandmother's line, which is very well documented.

Thanks! Fortunately I am not the type of person to get frustrated by this type of barrier. It just makes me more motivated to see what I can do to knock down the wall.

msmarjoribanks
11-01-2017, 03:18 AM
As far as I understand, my Y is very generically European, so I don't know that it would lead to much.

The more specific tests (not sure how 23&me works, maybe you have to do FTDNA) will give you closer matches and it's common to see a surname pattern with the test, although we haven't seen that with my own father's results. It's nice because even if you aren't close enough in time to have an autosomal match, you will know your matches are on the paternal line somewhere. Especially with a potential name change it could be interesting.

Nive1526
11-01-2017, 10:57 AM
Have you already looked into public Y-STR results of possible relatives?
There are two Therriens in the ysearch database.

http://www.ysearch.org/lastname_start.asp

Celt_??
11-01-2017, 12:51 PM
Have you already looked into public Y-STR results of possible relatives?
There are two Therriens in the ysearch database.

http://www.ysearch.org/lastname_start.asp

The problem is that he hasn't Y-STR tested as he wrote in Post #1 - only 23 and Me autosomal DNA testing.

Nive1526
11-01-2017, 01:22 PM
If he can connect a tested person into his family tree, these public results are relatively safe to use. Otherwise it's just guessing.

therrien.joel
11-02-2017, 02:27 AM
If he can connect a tested person into his family tree, these public results are relatively safe to use. Otherwise it's just guessing.

Certainly worth a try. But yes, need to have a Y-STR test done.

Now one thing I wonder about and I realize these results are not in any way as good as what you get at FTDNA. 23andMe assigned my Y as being R-U152. Gedmatch also gave me an assigned group, but that seems a lot more detailed: R1b1b2a1a2d* are those the same? And if not, how did Gedmatch determine this since I don't recall entering that when I uploaded my kit?

RobinBMc
11-02-2017, 04:40 PM
Certainly worth a try. But yes, need to have a Y-STR test done.

Now one thing I wonder about and I realize these results are not in any way as good as what you get at FTDNA. 23andMe assigned my Y as being R-U152. Gedmatch also gave me an assigned group, but that seems a lot more detailed: R1b1b2a1a2d* are those the same? And if not, how did Gedmatch determine this since I don't recall entering that when I uploaded my kit?

I believe Y haplogroups have various names, which I think was an attempt to condense how long some of them were getting. If you google search for R1b1b2a1a2d it comes up with results that say "U152 / R1b1b2a1a2d" so they appear to be the same.

My autosomal DNA wasn't getting any matches on my paternal great grandfather side, even when I had my paternal grandfather take the autosomal DNA test too. So I did his Y-DNA and eventually (through a combo of Y and autosomal) determined my grandfather was not the biological son of his known father and was able to identify his bio father. I'm not saying that will be the case for you - it could just be no other direct male descendants of your surname have taken the autosomal DNA test.

msmarjoribanks
11-02-2017, 06:42 PM
Looks like there is a Therrien surname project on FTDNA: https://www.familytreedna.com/public/Therrien

Surnames (I guess these are all related in some way, or common name changes): Farmer, Lander, Tarien, Taylor, Terien, Terrien, Terrienne, Therien, Therrien

Might be extra incentive to go that route, but you might also want to browse the results, they are usually public, I think.

A Norfolk L-M20
11-02-2017, 06:46 PM
My surname in it's FT-DNA Project? Two of us. Myself and one other. I'm L and he is R so no link. I mentioned this at the 2016 WDYTYA event at Birmingham to Bennett Greenspan. Even he was surprised. My surname BROOKER isn't overly common, but neither is it exactly rare. It's a Southern English surname from Sussex, Kent, and Surrey that has hopped over to USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Best part of two years later, there's still only two of us.

therrien.joel
11-03-2017, 01:08 AM
I believe Y haplogroups have various names, which I think was an attempt to condense how long some of them were getting. If you google search for R1b1b2a1a2d it comes up with results that say "U152 / R1b1b2a1a2d" so they appear to be the same.

My autosomal DNA wasn't getting any matches on my paternal great grandfather side, even when I had my paternal grandfather take the autosomal DNA test too. So I did his Y-DNA and eventually (through a combo of Y and autosomal) determined my grandfather was not the biological son of his known father and was able to identify his bio father. I'm not saying that will be the case for you - it could just be no other direct male descendants of your surname have taken the autosomal DNA test.

Well as with many things, and particularly in genealogy, one ought to have as good a reason to rule something out as you have to rule something in. But, yes, I would agree it's the less likely scenario as of yet. And I have to say the universe does have a perverse sense of humor. Last night, I thought I had cracked it. Found a marriage record in Quebec for a man with the exact name of my g2-grandfather. Wife had the right first name but different surname... Ok maybe that was a mistake on the docs I had. Married at the right time and the right ages (based on when my g-grandfather was born). And... nope! They never moved to the US, show up in Canadian censuses when they should have been in the US. And I know the dates they should be in the US because I have a copy of the birth registry for my g-grandfather from Worcester MA. These two people are ghosts; no records at all. At this point I have been able to push every other line overseas and back to at least ~1850.

If they were lying about their names (and they would have had to been considering they recorded a birth for my g-grandfather including full names and places of birth) this will be truly difficult indeed. Certainly recruiting some cousins for testing will be in order. Hmmm now starting to imagine if a day might come when I end up telling my dad that our surname is wrong. That would be interesting. But then again, maybe records were simply lost. Just don't know how that would have happened for such a diverse set of records that one might expect to be able to find.

Opium
11-03-2017, 11:26 AM
You're looking at it a tad wrong. It isn't that there are no autosomal matches to the surname. It's there's no one with the surname who has tested. Bit different. But you can use relatives, maternal, etc. to verify what you know autosomally.

therrien.joel
11-04-2017, 02:27 AM
You're looking at it a tad wrong. It isn't that there are no autosomal matches to the surname. It's there's no one with the surname who has tested. Bit different. But you can use relatives, maternal, etc. to verify what you know autosomally.

But how would one know that? Gedmatch doesn't allow someone to randomly search for names. You need either a kit number, GEDcom ID or an exact email address. There could be many people with the Therrien surname, but don't match with me. Now it could be possible that nobody with that surname tested, but considering this is 23andMe and Gedmatch, that is a fairly large number of people. And as a previous post pointed out, there is a FTDNA group for Therriens. That having been said, you may well be right that no other Therrien has had an autosomal test done. And either way yes, that is the next step that I am planning, seeing about getting some relatives tested. I have a fair number of 2nd cousins that share the family line of interest and I'll bet I can get at least one if not a few to get tested.

AJL
11-04-2017, 02:28 PM
Are you B1756 in the French Heritage Project? If so, you can see many other surnames in the project are represented by only one or two people.

I suspect because the Québécois records are so good, there is smaller perceived need among people with French Canadian Y lines to test.

therrien.joel
11-04-2017, 04:49 PM
Are you B1756 in the French Heritage Project? If so, you can see many other surnames in the project are represented by only one or two people.

I suspect because the Québécois records are so good, there is smaller perceived need among people with French Canadian Y lines to test.

I'm actually not familiar with that project. Can you provide some more info on that?

And yes, wholeheartedly agree with you on the second point. It is almost absurd how well kept the Québécois records are. I have almost every other French-Canadian line traced back to the 17'th century! That was in fact the first thing that indicated something was up. How could two French-Canadian people born circa 1860 not have any trace of records? Especially since one specifically claimed to have been born in Canada (from birth record for g-grandfather).

Now this might open up a wider topic, but that's Ok by me.. According to family lore, the surname was changed at one time in order to "fit in" better amongst a predominantly Anglo-Saxon community. This supposedly happened late 19'th early 20'th century and was changed back only one generation later. This raises two questions: The first is does that make sense? (I could see the logic maybe, but would hiding a French name be worth the trouble?). The second is assuming this was done officially, would one expect to find some record of that?

msmarjoribanks
11-04-2017, 05:37 PM
And yes, wholeheartedly agree with you on the second point. It is almost absurd how well kept the Québécois records are. I have almost every other French-Canadian line traced back to the 17'th century!

I only recently learned about this, since I started helping out a friend with French-Canadian ancestry on one side. I was jealous! His line also goes back to the 1600s.


That was in fact the first thing that indicated something was up. How could two French-Canadian people born circa 1860 not have any trace of records? Especially since one specifically claimed to have been born in Canada (from birth record for g-grandfather).

Any chance they moved to another part of Canada before going to the US? For example, I've worked with Ontario records from that period, and they can be frustrating.


Now this might open up a wider topic, but that's Ok by me.. According to family lore, the surname was changed at one time in order to "fit in" better amongst a predominantly Anglo-Saxon community. This supposedly happened late 19'th early 20'th century and was changed back only one generation later. This raises two questions: The first is does that make sense? (I could see the logic maybe, but would hiding a French name be worth the trouble?). The second is assuming this was done officially, would one expect to find some record of that?

Depends where they were, I'd think -- and that's the mystery. Does the story address when in their lives this happened? If you look at the names covered by the Therrien surname project I linked, you can see that wasn't uncommon -- there are translations of the name (Lander, Farmer), as well as semi-anglicizations based on sound (Taylor), which I think is what you said your family story involved.

An aside, I have one line that goes back to France, came to Ohio around 1800, and I can't figure out any sense in what they did, as the name was Detelande originally and many lines went to Detillion, which doesn't look any easier or more "English" to me. Ah, well, probably a story I will never know.

therrien.joel
11-05-2017, 02:53 AM
Any chance they moved to another part of Canada before going to the US? For example, I've worked with Ontario records from that period, and they can be frustrating.

Could well be. The funny part is there should be some US records too. The wife was supposedly from a town in NY close to the Canadian border. So you would think a marriage would have been recorded or her birth? But maybe only in the church? It would be before 1890, so I don't know.


Depends where they were, I'd think -- and that's the mystery. Does the story address when in their lives this happened? If you look at the names covered by the Therrien surname project I linked, you can see that wasn't uncommon -- there are translations of the name (Lander, Farmer), as well as semi-anglicizations based on sound (Taylor), which I think is what you said your family story involved.

I'll have to check with my dad. Though it was not for these people's generation, but my g-grandparents. And yes, Taylor was what I heard it was changed to.


An aside, I have one line that goes back to France, came to Ohio around 1800, and I can't figure out any sense in what they did, as the name was Detelande originally and many lines went to Detillion, which doesn't look any easier or more "English" to me. Ah, well, probably a story I will never know.

Oh yes, every single generation spelled it slightly differently. Does make you wonder.

AJL
11-05-2017, 05:20 PM
I'm actually not familiar with that project. Can you provide some more info on that?

And yes, wholeheartedly agree with you on the second point. It is almost absurd how well kept the Québécois records are. I have almost every other French-Canadian line traced back to the 17'th century! That was in fact the first thing that indicated something was up. How could two French-Canadian people born circa 1860 not have any trace of records? Especially since one specifically claimed to have been born in Canada (from birth record for g-grandfather).

Now this might open up a wider topic, but that's Ok by me.. According to family lore, the surname was changed at one time in order to "fit in" better amongst a predominantly Anglo-Saxon community. This supposedly happened late 19'th early 20'th century and was changed back only one generation later. This raises two questions: The first is does that make sense? (I could see the logic maybe, but would hiding a French name be worth the trouble?). The second is assuming this was done officially, would one expect to find some record of that?

Gladly. Project info is here (French only):

http://cerbere.ca/ADNFRANCAIS/

It is a project for all people of French ancestry but largely because of testing policies in France it is Québécois, or composed of other people with ancestry from New France.

I've also encountered the opposite happening. I have Irish ancestors named Hamill: some of their relatives found their way to Québec and may have changed their name to Hamel, I still need to do more research on that.

geebee
11-05-2017, 09:52 PM
Could well be. The funny part is there should be some US records too. The wife was supposedly from a town in NY close to the Canadian border. So you would think a marriage would have been recorded or her birth? But maybe only in the church? It would be before 1890, so I don't know.

I found a source which says that the state of New York required registration of births, marriages, and deaths beginning in about 1880-81. However, the same source also states that "compliance with the law was incomplete until 1913 or even later". http://www.archives.nysed.gov/research/res_topics_gen_vitalstats.shtml


I'll have to check with my dad. Though it was not for these people's generation, but my g-grandparents. And yes, Taylor was what I heard it was changed to.

My wife also has some ancestors with the name Taylor. Hers were from Tennessee, and unlikely to be related. The reason I mention them, though, is that one of the spellings sometimes used was Tayloe (also Taylow). I'm not sure why.


Oh yes, every single generation spelled it slightly differently. Does make you wonder.

This, I can definitely relate to. My father's surname only underwent slight changes from the German original -- the beginning syllable "Buch" became "Book". However, it's also been spelled with "Buck".

The ending part, "-hammer", is unchanged. However, I have relatives that use "-hamer" (with just one "m"), and relatives that use "-heimer" or "-himer". Interestingly, if you look up the name in an online German telephone book, you'll find at least three different German versions: Buchhammer (the most common), Buchheimer (2nd most common), and Buchhamer (least common). Another version is "Buchheim" -- as in "Lothar-Günther Buchheim" (author of "Das Boot").

There are some other variants of the name in the U.S., as well, which is pretty amazing when you consider that the Americanized versions seem to trace to a single immigrant ancestor who arrived in Philadelphia 1749. You also can find the German spellings in the U.S. today, but they seem to reflect more recent immigration -- from about 1850 or later.

Also, I have some various ancestors who migrated from Canada and various parts of the U.S. to Louisiana whose first and last names at various times reflected Anglo, French, or Spanish influence. For example one who was variously known as "John Jacob Ryan" and as "Jean Jacques Ryan". On one occasion, I've also seen "Ryan" represented as "Rionne".

Plus, my Catalan "Canet" ancestors now use the spelling "Cannette". My guess is that since they settled initially in an area with a lot of French influence, that was the best way to ensure that the name was pronounced correctly. Otherwise, that final "et" may have been given a long "a" sound.

Names also frequently dropped or modified sounds that the locals had difficulty pronouncing correctly, or which required a special character or diacritical marks to spell.

But, as you've noted, there were also sometimes changes that didn't seem to have any reason at all.

therrien.joel
11-06-2017, 01:47 AM
I found a source which says that the state of New York required registration of births, marriages, and deaths beginning in about 1880-81. However, the same source also states that "compliance with the law was incomplete until 1913 or even later". http://www.archives.nysed.gov/research/res_topics_gen_vitalstats.shtml


That's very good to know. So, outside of figuring out if a church record exists, there won't be any record for her then. And short of knowing where the two of them met (did she move to Worcester and meet him there, did he cross over from Canada near her town...) finding a marriage record is sure to be spotty as well. Sheesh, to think of all these great aunts that I knew when I was younger who might have known something. Don't think my dad cared all that much, so I doubt I will get much from him and my grandfather passed two years ago.


But, as you've noted, there were also sometimes changes that didn't seem to have any reason at all.

We can only assume it made sense at the time. But, even then the explanation can be pretty incredible. My grandfather's name on his birth certificate is not his given name; my great grandfather forgot the name that he and his wife agreed on when he went to the town to record the birth!

Angriff
05-06-2018, 07:26 PM
I'm actually not familiar with that project. Can you provide some more info on that?

And yes, wholeheartedly agree with you on the second point. It is almost absurd how well kept the Québécois records are. I have almost every other French-Canadian line traced back to the 17'th century! That was in fact the first thing that indicated something was up. How could two French-Canadian people born circa 1860 not have any trace of records? Especially since one specifically claimed to have been born in Canada (from birth record for g-grandfather).

Now this might open up a wider topic, but that's Ok by me.. According to family lore, the surname was changed at one time in order to "fit in" better amongst a predominantly Anglo-Saxon community. This supposedly happened late 19'th early 20'th century and was changed back only one generation later. This raises two questions: The first is does that make sense? (I could see the logic maybe, but would hiding a French name be worth the trouble?). The second is assuming this was done officially, would one expect to find some record of that?

Perhaps he was born in a different province of Canada? Other provinces don't have the centralized records that Quebec has from what I've seen, and in my searches I've seen plenty of Quebecois born in New Brunswick and Ontario. I found the French-Canadian branch of my line pretty easy to research, but the part that came from New Brunswick took a lot of digging and contacting a local church archive.

My parents' neighbors have the surname Therrien, FWIW.

firemonkey
05-07-2018, 06:40 AM
Have you already looked into public Y-STR results of possible relatives?
There are two Therriens in the ysearch database.

http://www.ysearch.org/lastname_start.asp


I tried that for my surname Gatty but keep getting error message.





Your search pass has expired. Please respond to the challenge below.

Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.


Trouble is there are no words in the box to enter!

firemonkey
05-07-2018, 07:13 AM
Tried again with Ysearch. Got a grid where you have to tick where things appear. Do that. It verifies I'm not a robot. Then says search pass has expired!

Paul333
05-07-2018, 03:15 PM
I have traced my Paternal Line to around a birth that must of occurred around 1690-1710, or slightly after, in St Chads parish of either, Saddleworth/Rochdale area's of the Lancashire/West Yorkshire, borders of the UK.

Similar family surname's as mine are listed under Y R1B1a2, with FTDNA English Surnames, Saddleworth, where it is Haplogroup predicted as R M269. Yet my Paternal Y Haplogroup is Y H2. ( I have been informed by the college of Arms that the direct male descendants of this specific Family, died out around 1668 ). I know that this person was married at St Chads Saddleworth in feb 1731/2.

CKane
07-17-2018, 01:12 PM
Is it odd to find no genetic matches to my surname?

No. Why would it be?


I guess this qualifies as my first brickwall. I have been tracing back my ancestry, most recently driven by a desire to track down the source of my small Central/South Asian ancestry (discovered by genetic testing and, sparing you all the details, more or less confirmed). I have been looking at my father's side of the family to start with, partly because my maternal grandfather's side has been well documented by another family member. More specifically, I had been looking at my paternal grandfather's family because hey are French Canadian, so I expected to have a relatively easy time tracing that tree given the French Canadian catholic's penchant for documenting births. And that has held up; pretty much every branch can be traced back up to 400 years. Except... the patriarchal line. I can only reliably go back to my great grandfather and then it goes wonky.

Thing is, is very few French Canadians - except for certain areas (Maritimes, St Lawrence, Red River, Cajuns & descendants, cities) or with ancestral questions themselves - have done actual genetic testing. Almost no one in my home town (where family has lived since the early 1700s), as example, has because they see "no point" to it.


Now this might open up a wider topic, but that's Ok by me.. According to family lore, the surname was changed at one time in order to "fit in" better amongst a predominantly Anglo-Saxon community. This supposedly happened late 19'th early 20'th century and was changed back only one generation later. This raises two questions: The first is does that make sense? (I could see the logic maybe, but would hiding a French name be worth the trouble?). The second is assuming this was done officially, would one expect to find some record of that?

I'll be blunt. Even nowadays real French Canadians can face quite a bit of discrimination. A "charming" Ontarian, ironically a government official, once told my relative all about the "trouble" she'd get into if she moved to Ontario & kept her hyphenated name. This sort of behavior by Anglos was by far more common decades ago.

So to your question, does hiding a French name make sense? Yes, in a predominantly Anglo area, you better believe it. Germans, etc., did the exact same thing to "blend in" better.




I have two possible names for my great-great grandfather and a fairly consistent name for my great-great grandmother. But I can't find any records, either in the US or Canada for either of them. Adding to the oddity here is that I tested with 23andMe and have uploaded my file to Gedmatch and MyHeritage. Out of all of these, I have literally only one pretty distant match with someone with the same surname. Now I realize it's not a hugely common name, but it strikes me as odd that I haven't found a match.

This is feeding my curiosity about the offhand remark my grandmother made years ago about the family name having been changed and then changed back. And yes, I did use a search that was phonetic based, since there are multiple legitimate spellings for Therrien.

How many of you have hit brickwalls like this? It certainly does complicate things when the genetic part doesn't give up any clues.

Brick walls are not easy. By paper trail or DNA. If they were "easy" adoptees would be reunited with their biological families a month after receiving their DNA results.


But, out of curiosity, what have you done to try & find clues? Have you tried contacting closer DNA relatives?