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Thread: Are your 23andme "Top Relative Surnames" interesting?

  1. #1
    Registered Users
    Youngstown, Ohio
    NW European
    United States
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1b-L21 (DF21, L720)
    mtDNA (M)

    England Scotland Germany Palatinate France-Ile-de-France England North of England

    Are your 23andme "Top Relative Surnames" interesting?

    Hi there. Just curious if anyone had anything to say about the "Top Relative Surnames List" that appears on "My Ancestry Overview" at 23andme. You can get an expanded list by clicking on it.

    Obviously this list reflects names that are significant to your family tree, but also common among people you are related to but having nothing to do with your family tree, as well as also names that are simply generally common. The names have some sort of weighting applied to them relative to their commonness, although I'm not sure of the methodology behind the weighting.

    My first two listings are dead on.

    Caudill is number 1, but heavily "enriched." Definitely confirmed in my tree via a couple of different lineages, it logically shows up because though a rare surname spelling overall, it is very thickly distributed in certain places (Wilkes and surrounding counties in North Carolina, much of Eastern Kentucky where it is hard to read a newspaper without finding distant relatives both on the crime watchlist and the academic honors list). It also points out one of the problems with the list, which is that it doesn't have a soundex equivalency or something of the like incorporated in it (it would be nice to have the Caudills and Caldwells linked, for example, or for that matter something as simple as another one of my instances, Daniel and Daniels).

    My second listed surname is White, which makes since because I have two separate and presumably unrelated White lineages and in addition probably a number of people with the relatively common name in their list aren't related at all but simply coincidental.

    The next three surnames, Howard, Carnes, and Kilgore, seem to have nothing to do with my family tree (and with at least Kilgore it seems that it is a result of regional or sub-regional commonness of the name rather than relation, because I have more likely surname connections with most who list that name).

    Then with 6-9, Prater, Summers, Witt, and Cox, we are dead on the money again. From there it trails off with occasional "hits" here and there.

    What are your experiences?
    architectural historian/material culture historian
    specialty: East/West interaction 17th to 19th centuries

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  3. #2
    Registered Users
    Korean & Anglo-American
    Y-DNA (P)
    mtDNA (M)
    mtDNA (P)

    United States of America Sweden South Korea United Kingdom
    Hmmm....interesting. I haven't looked at this feature in a long time, and it seems to have changed since then.

    My top 5:

    1) Foote -- This one shouldn't be #1 on the list. It's there because 7 people have it, but 5 of them are from the same immediate family.
    2) Phillips -- ?
    3) Howell -- Exists in my known family tree
    4) Thompson -- Exists in my known family tree
    5) Morrow -- ?

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  5. #3
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    Y-DNA (P)
    mtDNA (M)

    Finland Sami
    If I were adopted, I'd have a good clue as to my heritage, all of the top 108 surnames are Finnish and then the Anglicized versions start showing up for the last 17.
    Genographic Project: N52850
    GenBank: EU784076
    Z62+ Z60+ Z59+ Z58+ P38+ P30+ P19+ M307+ M258+ M253+ M170+ Z73- Z140- P37.2- P259- P109- M72- M26- M227- M223- M21- M161- L803- L573- L338- L22- L211- L1248- L1247-

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  7. #4
    J Man
    Finnish names are at the top on my list. Strange how ''Maternal Surnames'' shows up at number 5.

    1.) Laitinen
    2.) Seppala
    3.) Koskela
    4.) Saari
    5.) Maternal Surnames

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  9. #5
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    I have only one frequently occurring surname. A common name among Assyrians (Yonan = Jonah):

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  11. #6
    Registered Users
    Mixed Euro/Near East
    Y-DNA (P)
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    Canada Franco-Manitoban European Union Ottoman Empire Russia Imperial United States Grand Union
    Mine aren't -- I've posted why here. For my mother's kit, two of them are:

    Harvey - name of 7th great-grandmother
    Baxter - common near Glasgow, perhaps distantly related
    Walsh - probably just shows Irish ancestry
    Gilliam - ?
    Calvert - surname tightly linked to ancestry near Teesdale

    Other ancestral Y lines:

    E1b-M81 Ukraine (Ashkenazi)
    E1b-V13 England
    I1-M253 Ireland
    I2-M423 Ukraine
    R1a-L176.1 Scotland
    R1b-L584 Syria/Turkey (Sephardi)
    R1b-L20 Ireland
    R1b-L21 (1)England; (2)Wales?>Connecticut
    R1b-L48 England
    R1b-P312 Scotland
    R1b-FGC32576 Ireland

    Other ancestral mtDNA lines:

    H1b2a Ukraine (Ashkenazi)
    H6a1a3 Ukraine
    K1a9 Belarus (Ashkenazi)
    K1c2 Ireland
    V7a Ukraine

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  13. #7
    Registered Users
    Korean & Anglo-American
    Y-DNA (P)
    mtDNA (M)
    mtDNA (P)

    United States of America Sweden South Korea United Kingdom
    It seems mine have drastically changed again. They seem to be a mixture of almost all British Isles, but some Dutch surnames. No Korean ones yet.

    Top 5:

    1) Turner
    2) Thompson
    3) Foster
    4) Gill
    5) Hoover

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  15. #8
    Registered Users
    Y-DNA (P)
    mtDNA (M)

    England Ireland Wales Scotland England North of England European Union
    My top ten surnames (using the default list, rather than by count, as I'm not sure which one people are using). Most of the surnames are of British Isles origin with some German surnames, although I have quite a few American cousins with some German ancestry, so that's probably the source of those -

    1. Armistead (I did have an Armistead in my direct matrilineal line who married a Berry, which is number three in the list, but that line is incorrect)
    2. Chapman (There's only one Chapman in my family tree, a 9th great grandmother)
    3. Berry (I do have Berry cousins, but they're related to me on my dad's side, rather than being related to the Berrys I've already mentioned)
    4. Billington (There's only one Billington in my tree, a 5th great grandmother)
    5. Savage (A wife of a third cousin three times removed has this as one of her middle names, but apart from her, there are no Savages in my tree)
    6. West (I have cousins with the surname East, but no Wests)
    7. Russell (The only Russells in my tree are a 5th great grandfather and his children)
    8. Davies (No Davies in my tree)
    9. Hatcher (No Hatchers in my tree)
    10. Sutton (There are two Suttons in my tree, an 8th great grandfather and his daughter, my 7th great grandmother)

    If I go by count, my top ten looks like a list of common English surnames.

    My brother's default top ten -

    1. Eccles (I have no Eccles ancestors, but there are a couple of Eccles families who are related via marriages to fairly close relatives)
    2. Coffey (No Coffeys in my tree)
    3. Constable (No Constables in my tree)
    4. Sutton (There are two Suttons in my tree, an 8th great grandfather and his daughter, my 7th great grandmother)
    5. Blanton (No Blantons in my tree)
    6. Gibson (I have some living Gibson cousins via a close cousin)
    7. Sumner (Along with a 7th great grandfather and 6th great grandmother, another Sumner married a cousin from the same area as the other Sumners, so they might be connected)
    8. Hatcher (No Hatchers in my tree)
    9. Storey (surname of my earliest known direct matrilineal ancestor)
    10. Nichols (No Nichols in my tree)

    If I go by count, my brother's top ten is also basically a list of some of the most common English surnames including our own surname.

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  17. #9
    New Zealand
    New Zealander

    Bulgaria New Zealand
    I'm Bulgarian of English descent . My great-great grandfather was from England and all of my surnames are British.

  18. #10
    Registered Users
    Oregon, U.S.A.
    Y-DNA (P)
    mtDNA (M)

    Northern Ireland Ireland Scotland Canada Quebec
    All the names on my list are common names in the north of Ireland, Scotland, and England, yet only Campbell is of Gaelic origin. My Dad was adopted/fostered in Belfast and my Mom's Dad was also from Belfast. Only one name on my list (Martin) is as close as 2X Great grandparent. My Y-DNA line is Doherty, but they also used the name Steele. Neither name is on the list.

    Also, I'm 25% Quebecoise , yet no French names appear on the list. "Martin", my 2X Great grandmother was from County Antrim not Quebec.

    Smith (44)
    Brown (32)
    Davis (31)
    Johnson (26)
    Anderson (25)
    Last edited by MacEochaidh; 10-16-2019 at 11:42 PM.
    Y-DNA R-DF23>ZP149>ZP171 MDKA Thomas Doherty, b. 1825, Three Trees, Donegal, Ireland.
    mtDNA T2g1 MDKA Francoise Arguin, b. 1698, Camaret-Sur-Mer, Bretagne, France

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