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Thread: What Surnames Are You Working On?

  1. #11
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    Moffit/Dick
    Martha Moffit is a third great grandmother, and I'm not even sure Moffit was her birth name. She first shows up in the 1860 US census (NY) as an adopted grandchild of Michael Dick. Her mother was Christiane Dick.
    Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to her ethnicity? Irish? Scot? Something else?

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  3. #12
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    Almost all my surnames are common patronymic based names, and many adopted in around the 1700s, so I don’t usually get very far with any surname by itself. But with some of the less common names it can be worthwhile. Just hoping for some DNA matches too.

    Cunnick was my great-grandfather’s middle name. We traced it to his grandmother’s surname; she was born c.1819 near the Carmarthenshire/ Pembrokeshire border. The name was limited to so few families and in about ten parishes near the county boundary we have been reconstructing the family. It looks as if the name was Welsh patronymic passed on as a surname by perhaps one man living in about 1700.

    Pierce
    is far more common, although it is not a common name in Anglesey where I found them. Robert Pierce my grandfather was the great-grandson of Owen Pierce born 1797 who first adopted the surname. Owen was the son of Thomas Pierce, son of Pierce Morgan son of Pierce Morgan son of Morgan ap Richard Morgan and Jane Peerce his wife. We think Jane may have been of higher social class, although possibly illegitimate, so it is her name that survived in my family.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Moffit/Dick
    Martha Moffit is a third great grandmother, and I'm not even sure Moffit was her birth name. She first shows up in the 1860 US census (NY) as an adopted grandchild of Michael Dick. Her mother was Christiane Dick.
    Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to her ethnicity? Irish? Scot? Something else?
    When I was doing some volunteer archaeological work in northern Belize, it was near a Mennonite community, and half the surnames there were "Dyck" (pronounced "Dick"). Could be Flemish/Dutch ancestor?
    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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  7. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewsloth View Post
    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.
    Re "notorious wasps' nests of dissent" -- that rings true for me, as some of my 1630s Puritan migrant ancestors were from Rattlesden, Suffolk.

    Speaking of which, what do you know about German refugees there in the 1550s? That intrigues me, as my dad's mtDNA line goes to Rattlesden, mid-1500s, and he has a perfect match from Germany (also one from Norway). I assumed this just meant the matches went back to a very old MCRA, but the possibility of a more recent German connection is interesting. The last woman whose ancestry I do not know was born around 1550, though, so the timing might not work out anyway.
    Last edited by msmarjoribanks; 01-31-2018 at 07:09 PM.

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  9. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by msmarjoribanks View Post
    Re "notorious wasps' nests of dissent" -- that rings true for me, as some of my 1630s Puritan migrant ancestors were from Rattlesden, Suffolk.

    Speaking of which, what do you know about German refugees there in the 1550s? That intrigues me, as my dad's mtDNA line goes to Rattlesden, mid-1500s, and he has a perfect match from Germany (also one from Norway). I assumed this just meant the matches went back to a very old MCRA, but the possibility of a more recent German connection is interesting. The last woman whose ancestry I do not know was born around 1550, though, so the timing might not work out anyway.
    I've only just started to look, but I just found this:
    https://www.englandsimmigrants.com/

    Just off the top of my head, Martin Luther kicks over the Reformation apple cart in 1517 and things go sideways for 100 years in the German part of the Holy Roman Empire:
    ex.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schmalkaldic_War

    Henry VIII and Edward VI's England might have looked more attractive:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward...nd#Reformation
    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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  11. #16
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    My own (it's not Earle). Sorry am not sharing as don't require any help in researching it. What stands out? The literal translation is... interesting to say the least.

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  13. #17
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    Cole and Ayers. Both families come out of New York in the early 1800's and settled in Michigan right after statehood in 1837. Records in both states are rather sparse and oral family history says one or both were Scottish. Cole family may be as family was Presbyterian but haven't found anything definitive, and can't trace either family back before 1800.

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  15. #18
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    Harriston - around Glasgow.
    The trick is that there should be a baptism around 1777 in Glasgow under that name and I am not finding one.
    There are Hairston/Airston not too far away, and I'm thinking it might have been that.
    Especially with many DNA matches to people who have no possible geographic connection except nearby Ayrshire.

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  17. #19
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    I'm stuck on the surname Mattatall, I have an ancestor who was born sometime in the 1830s in Nova Scotia, she died sometime in the 1860s. I know the surname came to Nova Scotia from Montbéliard in France in the 1750s, however I've been unable to find anything on her family. However considering the community she and her husband lived in it is certain she came from the French-speaking families who moved from Lunenburg, NS to the areas on the shores of the Northumberland Strait (across from Prince Edward Island). Interestingly her husband (also an ancestor) also shared this Montbéliard ancestry as well as Gaelic-speaking Scottish ancestry, his grandmother was from the early Montbéliard families and his grandfather was a loyalist from Argyllshire.

    However my surname being a patronymic and subject to every spelling variation in the world and basically being Nova Scotia's version of the name "Smith" it hasn't been easy to dig for the right people, and has been especially difficult finding the appropriate records to get a definitive answer on the origins of my MDKA who came here circa 1820.
    Last edited by spruithean; 07-25-2018 at 02:54 AM.
    Y-DNA: I-A14097 [Big Y: Complete] (Scotland), Big Y: I-Z140>F2642>Y1966>Y3649>A13241>Y3647>A14097 (1,850 YBP)
    mtDNA: pending (Westeremden, Netherlands)
    Other lines:
    R-M222 x2 (Ireland), R-L21 x2 (Ireland & Scotland), I-M223 (Ireland), R-S1141 (Scotland), R-U198 & R-U106 (Netherlands), mtHg J1c3 (Ireland)
    Known ancestry
    Paternal: Britain & Ireland, France and Germany
    Maternal: Netherlands

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  19. #20
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    I suppose it's a bit much to say, "All of them". But I really can't see why I should feel a closer connection to one line than to another. The fact that I'm part of a culture in which children inherit their father's surname doesn't actually mean I'm more related to this line than to any other.

    I suppose to the extent that I do feel a bit closer to some lines that to others, it's simply a matter of who actually passed any DNA to me. From that standpoint, my surname line does carry a bit more significance because of my Y-chromosome -- at least until I run into an NPE on this line, or if I ever get back further than the beginning of the surname.*

    In some ways, I'm there now. My exact surname is much less than 300 years old. It first appeared only a generation or so after my Y-line ancestor immigrated to Pennsylvania from the German Palatinate, in 1749. The name is only different from the German version by two letters, though -- with the beginning part, "Buch-" having transformed into "Book-".

    It seems most likely that the origin of the name is simply with the town of Buchheim -- but which one? There are several in Germany, as well as one in Tirol, Austria. (There's also a Haus Buchhammer there, a chalet run by a family with the Buchhammer surname. Relatives, perhaps?)

    I perhaps feel an even greater connection to my mtDNA ancestors. I don't care about mtDNA so much, but this is the "line of mothers". It's amazing thought to me that each woman going back in this line gave birth to the one after her. All females, until my mother had me and I've broken the chain. I have my own daughter, but her mtDNA line is of course that of her own mother, and her mother's mother, and so on.

    And while it might seem odd to some, I suppose I also have a bit more affinity to those ancestors who are contributors to my X chromosome. As with the Y chromosome I inherited from my father, I only have the one. Of course, unlike my father's Y chromosome my X is a lot more subject to change. Yet it doesn't change quite so frequently as the 22 autosomes.

    I know, for example, the only a small part of my X chromosome came from my mother's mother. Just a roughly 20 cM segment from around 41M to 71M. All the rest of my X chromosome came from my mother's father, who inherited from his mother.

    Both mtDNA and the X chromosome, of course, can't really be traced by following surnames. These are constantly changing as you go back through the generations. But then, that's true with all DNA except for the Y chromosome.

    So I'm quite willing to pursue any and all of my surnames. Of course, there are a few -- like Smith and Jones -- that aren't especially helpful.

    *EDIT: I can infer that I have the same Y-DNA as the immigrant ancestor who brought the German form of my surname to America, based on having a 46/46 marker Y STR match with another person of the same very uncommon Americanized version. This is because all available evidence points to the immigrant as the most recent common ancestor in both patrilineal lines.

    Interestingly, Ancestry -- from whom we'd both ordered the test before the company abandoned such testing -- initially claimed a 44/45 marker match. But they did so by ignoring an accepted practice in DNA testing. Multicopy markers should be presented in numerical order from least to greatest. Both my match and I have three copies of a marker which is more commonly seen with only two copies: DYS459 a and b. We actually have a, b, and c.

    Ancestry showed all three copies in the download, but they ordered them as DYS459a = 9, b = 10, and c = 10 for me -- which is correct; but as DYS459a = 10, b = 10, and c = 9 for my match. Then they only showed the first two markers on the match page!

    The funniest part is that before they corrected their error (which they did as soon as I pointed it out), there prediction was that we were separated by about 6 generations. After the correction, the changed it to only 1 -- which would have made the two of us brothers, when my match was actually 12 years older than my father.

    "6" generations is also closer to the truth. We're 4th cousins twice removed. That is, my grandfather (only 7 years older than my match) would have been a 4th cousin to this man. Our MRCA on the Y line is my match's 3rd great grandfather and my 5th great grandfather.
    Last edited by geebee; 07-25-2018 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Add'l info
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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