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Thread: What Surnames Are You Working On?

  1. #1
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    What Surnames Are You Working On?

    Different from the origin or frequency of your own surname: what surnames are you working on and what strikes you about them?

  2. #2
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    My surname is Jones, so it's a frustration for me, and I've found myself gravitating toward less common names. What that means is that when I get a Miller or Allen I've tended to put off dealing with it, and getting obsessed with less common names or those that present a mystery. But some of the ones I am currently working on have been difficult for one reason or another.

    There are others, but a few that currently interest me or that I want to work on more than others (or find a way to do a YDNA test for):

    Detalente/Detillion -- I am interested in this one because it was changed early on and I don't know why, and because it's my only French ancestry.

    Craney -- this name surprised me by its rarity and I keep thinking there must be a really common alternative I've missed. Plus it represents a brick wall for me at the moment, and you'd think with it not being that common it wouldn't be so hard.

    Bristol -- this name is a pain despite being not that common because it's also a place name, so searches can be complicated by that.

    Craven -- I'd like to get it across the Atlantic, and also figure out how the various US families are related, or not.

  3. #3
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    Genetic testing has greatly influenced my research and specializing in YDNA really limits your focus:

    Casey (significant) - my surname cluster has 18 67 marker testers with two YElite tests.
    Brooks (probably Wade) - finding out my 1765 NPE adoption has slowed down this research
    R-L226 - Dalcassian surnames from County Clare, Ireland - although I am less than one percent Irish, most of my time is spent supporting this haplogroup (67 marker tester count):
    O'Brien (50), McCraw/McGraw/McGrath (28), Casey (27), Kennedy (23), Bryan(t) (23), Butler (18), Hogan (14), Mahon(e)y (12), Crow(e) (11), Lynch (11), Kelly (11), McNamara (10), Fitzgerald (8), Car(e)y (7), O'Malley (7), Hart (6), McMahon (6) and dozens of others. We now have 72 branches under L226, 635 67 marker testers, 100 Big Y tests and 100 SNP packs.

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     msmarjoribanks (01-30-2018)

  5. #4
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    My father was adopted so I am searching for my father's father. Thanks to YSTRs at FTDNA I think I have stumbled upon his probable surname: Moreau. I get 6 perfect matches at Y25 markers all with this surname, 5 with GD=2-3 at Y67, and 2 at Y111 with GD=3-4. I am lucky enough to have contacted an expert genealogist in the Moreau line (her husband is one of my matches), and she has built every one of these matche's trees back to our common ancestors Jean Moreau, b.~1630 France. My haplogroup branch DF27 -> CTS4065 also terminates in France around the same region about a couple thousand years ago.

    I'm not really working on the surname at this moment, but rather collecting autosomal DNA matches with the same surname somewhere in their trees and mapping out common ancestors.
    Mum = 50% Irish, 50% Ukrainian
    Dad = 40% French-Canadian, 10% Irish, 50% English
    Big Y + YTree.net = R M269 -> DF27 -> Z195 -> FGC34881 -> FGC34865 (SW France; ~500 ybp)
    FTDNA mtDNA Full Sequence = J1c2e
    Most Distant Known Ancestor = Jean Moreau b. 1630s Parthenay, Deux-Sèvres, France
    Surnames = Welch, Chibry, Moreau, Todd, Anderson, Bedford, Joncas, Basaraba

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     msmarjoribanks (01-30-2018)

  7. #5
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    I have a couple of Jones, so the usual difficulties there. My recent known ancestry is entirely in Wales and West Herefordshire.
    One that intrigues me is the surname Leith (female) which may suggest a Scottish origin?
    I have Newton on the maternal side, a surname common in Herefordshire. It appears they moved there from Banbury in Oxfordshire. I'm speculating it could be connected to cattle droving. Someone else tracing the same family suggests an early Newton was born in St. Barthomews Next the Exchange, London (parish) pre- Fire of London but I haven't found anything to support that claim.
    I suppose my biggest curiosity is how I may connect into the Cecil (Burghley) paternal line (shared ancestor around 1300) but I think I've had it with a paper trail pre the late 1600's. Even a very experienced professional has been unable to help out further. Part of the problem may be the change from the Welsh to English naming system and of course the Civil War around that time. My only hope is of a possible Y DNA match in the UK which may at least help to confirm the early geographical origins of the Cecil family which still remain debated to some extent. There appears to be a connection to Norway (TMRCA awaited) but I doubt there will be a paper trail to back that up.

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     msmarjoribanks (01-30-2018)

  9. #6
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    One of my fun ones right now:

    Waterbury. A surname that seems to start in Sudbury,* Suffolk, England around 1550. Evidence is pointing to German refugee/immigrants who were originally Wasserburgs.


    *
    Sudbury and the surrounding area, like much of East Anglia, was a hotbed of Puritan sentiment during much of the 17th century. Sudbury was among the town's called "notorious wasps' nests of dissent."[12] During the decade of the 1630s, many families departed for the Massachusetts Bay Colony as part of the wave of emigration that occurred during the Great Migration.
    R1b>M269>L23>L51>L11>P312>DF19>DF88>FGC11833 >S4281>S4268>Z17112 (S17075-)

    Y-cousin: 6DRIF-23 (DF19>>Z17112+, S17075+)

    Ancestors: Francis Cooke (M223/I2a2a) b1583; Hester Mahieu (Cooke) (J1c2 mtDNA) b.1584; Richard Warren (E-M35) b1578; Elizabeth Walker (Warren) (H1j mtDNA) b1583;
    John Mead (I2a1/P37.2) b1634; Rev. Joseph Hull (I1, L1301+ L1302-) b1595; Benjamin Harrington (M223/I2a2a-Y5729) b1618; Joshua Griffith (L21>DF13) b1593;
    John Wing (U106) b1584; Hermann Wilhelm (DF19) b1635

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     msmarjoribanks (01-30-2018)

  11. #7
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    Frederic, Abraham and Adelphine/Adolphine - Mauritian family lines that I've found so far.
    Chubb - I have a 2x great grandfather of questionable parentage on that line, named after the man his mum married a few months after he was born. Mum and I do have matches who are descendants of the suspected father and his first wife so it looks likely that he probably was the father. Can't prove it through the paper trail though, birth certificate no father named, marriage certificate lists suspected father as father.
    Hallett - My maternal grandmothers maiden name
    Kuipers, Koopmans, Buisman, Simons/Sijmons, de Liefde - Paternal dutch side mostly Noord-Holland and Friesland.
    3/4 European, 1/4 Mauritian Creole. Genealogy enthusiast and Wow nerd.

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  13. #8
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    Deed which should be straight forward as not too common yet search algorithms match to dead, 'deceased' (dec'd) and the document so thousands of returns. General view is the name derives from Dade/d'Ede and has origin in Netherlands. But I can't prove it. Distribution is scattered with two well researched lines but lots of gaps, one of which I fall into. Hence dna testing!

    Maternal line goes better. Abby is my most distant with a clear clustering around Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Dead end for now.

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  15. #9
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    Re Deed, I have the same kind of problem with my Reeve family in some kinds of searches.

    Oh, another one I like and have worked on some is Maund. That family is intermarried with my Shropshire Joneses and I switched to it with relief thinking it would be way easier, but it turns out that parish records can be weird and in the neighboring parishes my family tended to bounce between it was almost as common as Jones (which is the same factor that made the Jones more traceable than expected, to a point, but was funny). I think it's a Herefordshire name originally.

    On my mtDNA line I run into a Haws family, which relates to a common problem in some of the US records -- a name that could be German and changed or could be originally English, etc., and that may affect the spelling a lot. I currently think it was Haws and it later became Hawes in many cases, but it's not impossible it was Haw or Haus or Haugh or who knows, sigh. ;-)

    That's one I'd like to convince a relative to DNA test, as there's a few Haws families in the same area and I can't sort them out. Relatives of two of them (which may really be one) show up on my autosomal tests, but not close enough to confirm that's the connection vs some unknown one.

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     Jenny (01-31-2018)

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    I'm currently researching the surname Wholoham, my g-grandmother's maiden name. Not getting very far, but that's part of the journey.

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