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  #1  
Old 28th June 2018, 08:36 PM
Rhonda Hatton Rhonda Hatton is offline
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To anybody FRENCH

I understand that DNA testing is banned in France, but to anyone who came originally from France yet now lives where they can have their DNA tested, or whose parents came from France, if I may be so bold, please share your ethnic origins results. I love France quite deeply and would like information if I can find it.
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  #2  
Old 29th June 2018, 06:40 PM
John McCoy John McCoy is offline
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I'll second that! France has an amazingly complicated history, especially around the edges, and I feel we're missing out if we ignore it. A huge number of actual French who happened to be protestants ended up scattered to the four winds as a result of the wars of religion and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, so actual French ancestry is very widespread by now (and probably an unknown part of the ancestry of people in many other countries, as far away as South Africa and maybe even Indonesia!)
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Old 29th June 2018, 09:22 PM
PDHOTLEN PDHOTLEN is offline
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Smile

Yeah, I'm in the process of deciding whether or not an alternate line with French input back in colonial Maryland is the most likely in one of my maternal branches. Anyway, if you have roots in colonial Maryland, you ought to look closely. The original French names are usually anglicized. How about this website:

http://www.huguenotsocietyofamerica.org/
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  #4  
Old 30th June 2018, 08:55 AM
Rhonda Hatton Rhonda Hatton is offline
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Thanks for the replies, I had to wait a long time on this one!

Sadly, I have no definite surnames in my family tree
that are French (even though I intend to dig deeper and search for them someday) but I don't let it change things any; if I can't study my own French ancestry ( which I might not have) then I'll study someone else's! I actually know a lot now about France's ethnic structure.
The one thing I've got going for me is that FTDNA ethnic origins says I'm 41 per cent Western European, which is cool, but with a father whose ancestry is either Dutch or German, I can't be sure if there's any French in that or not!
Thanks for the reference to French Huguenots too, I think they're very overlooked sometimes. They married into a lot of bloodlines all over Europe and other parts of the world.
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  #5  
Old 30th June 2018, 10:07 AM
John McCoy John McCoy is offline
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One advantage if you have Huguenot ancestry, their relationships and migrations have been researched in depth at least since the early 19th Century, and a huge number of primary sources and indexes are available.

There is also, unfortunately, a lot of colorful but unreliable lore about how some Huguenot families made their escape from France ("in a basket of vegetables" is one of the more popular legends), possibly invented in the early 20th Century when colorful pedigrees were extremely fashionable and professional genealogists obliged their clients by coming up with ever more sensational claims. In other words, I would tend to believe the scholarly accounts published in established periodicals, over the anecdotes attached to individual pedigrees and published family genealogies.

However, there is another odd complication, having to do with the difficulty of reading certain French scripts, both ancient and modern. In one case, an actual 17th Century French manuscript was seriously misread to the extent that a protestant minister named Jaques Fattet at St.Marie-les-Mines was transformed in a long, published account into Hugues Fallot, coincidentally the actual name of one of my ancestors. The surviving church books had no Hugues Fallot at St.Marie, but fortunately the actual manuscript was eventually tracked down in Paris, so I could solve the mystery.

In another case, biographical details were published repeatedly on a man from the Poitou region, under the name of Jean Vinet, until one historian pointed out that in ONE of the surviving manuscripts, the first letter of the last name was very definitely an N -- and the actual name was then determined to be Jean Nivet. This was not merely a typographical error, the problem was an esthetically pleasing but often illegible script that was popular in France in the 17th Century. It's something you get used to, eventually -- big round uppercase letters with no distinguishing features, and lowercase letters that are mostly a series of identical short strokes. Even more baffling, there are instances where it seems that some French historians, or perhaps their type-setters, were unable to read their own writing, resulting in odd discrepancies when their original notes are compared with what got published! But we are still lucky to have so many sources that it is usually possible to get to the bottom of the inconsistencies.

While most of the church records concerning the Huguenots after their migrations have been photographed, digitized, and often published or indexed, there are still some parishes in Germany where the records seem to be in private hands or still held by the individual churches. Even so, at least the family names have been published somewhere.

But we all wish we had a better genetic profile to identify "French" ancestry!
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  #6  
Old 30th June 2018, 12:50 PM
Tomero Tomero is offline
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One of my great great grandfathers was French. His surname was Morel, and he was born in France in either 1830 or 1845 (different U.S. census records show different ages). The rest of my ancestral lines go back to Spanish Colonial New Mexico, so most of my matches that have FTDNA family trees show Spanish Colonial roots also.

I have about 30 matches that all share between 20 and 34 CM with me, and they all match me on the same spot, on the same chromosome. These matches (the ones with family trees attached, anyway) are all of New England/British Isles ancestry. I am thinking that they are my link to my French ancestor.

I have read that the French Morels were Normans that participated in the Battle of Hastings, conquering the British Isles. My original 'My Origins' breakdown gave me 3% British Isles, but when FTDNA changed it last year, the British Isles percentage went away and was replaced by 4% Scandinavian. This has me thinking even more that my Morel great great grandfather is why I match with the 30 or so matches I mentioned above.

I also agree with you; we need more French people tested. I'd really like to find out more about my Morel great great grandfather's French family.
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  #7  
Old 30th June 2018, 12:54 PM
MoberlyDrake MoberlyDrake is offline
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I see two of my ancestors on the Huguenot ancestors list - Vincent Runyon and Poncet Stelle. I've seen OLD genealogies claiming they were French Huguenots and even claiming that Poncet Stelle was a nobleman, but I don't think I've ever seen any reliable modern scholarship.

But when I think of my French ancestry, I think of my maternal great-grandfather, Adolphe Mangeot from Scy-Chazelles (near Metz). I remember him a bit. I was eight when he died.

At one point, my mother contacted a cousin in France who sent us a genealogy of the family, but she had only researched the direct male line.

I also have French Ancestry on the side of my maternal great grandmother, whose father was born in Surbourg. I've traced his family tree back beyond 1700 in most branches and most of my Bas-Rhin area ancestors came from Switzerland after the 30 Years War. The Bas-Rhin records happen to be online and free.
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  #8  
Old 30th June 2018, 08:25 PM
PDHOTLEN PDHOTLEN is offline
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I don't see the names on the Huguenot website that are given at Ancestry that I'm looking for; Peregois (later peregoy), Paris (that looks phony to me), Pellecuer, Bouthcer or Bouchon, Guin. On the other hand, colonial Maryland was at first set up for Catholics. And the Greene line that these are connected to were originally Catholic, although at least some of them later converted to Episcopal in Baltimore. These all came from Auvergne and old (pre-revolution) Languedoc.

Last edited by PDHOTLEN; 30th June 2018 at 08:28 PM.
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  #9  
Old 1st July 2018, 11:15 AM
John McCoy John McCoy is offline
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Paris and many other spellings that are pronounced the same (Parix, for example) are authentic French surnames, and there may or may not have been protestant families bearing those names. The absolute best (but certainly not exhaustive) source for family names of French protestants is a huge collection of extracts (on tiny slips of paper, the precursor to file cards) from church and civil records from many of the places where French protestants lived, both before and after the exodus of 1685, generally known as the "Leiden Collection", from the Bibliothèque Wallonne in the Netherlands. The collection was microfilmed, although the quality of some parts was not very good. The microfilms have been digitized by FamilySearch.org, and the collection, more or less in alphabetical order (but with similar spellings grouped together, thus not entirely and consistently alphabetical), can be browsed at https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2134301 . This is only one of an enormous number of finding aids that exist, but they are not all in one place and may be very difficult to find. Remember that not all French emigrants were Huguenots, and not all French-speaking families originated in France (e.g., some are from French-speaking Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, etc.). Follow up on all the evidence you have, before concluding that your French-speaking ancestors were Huguenots!
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  #10  
Old 5th July 2018, 02:44 AM
PDHOTLEN PDHOTLEN is offline
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My problem is, which of three brothers is one of my maternal g-g-grandfathers descended from back there in Baltimore. It now looks to me that the brother connected to those French people is an alternate second choice. I've been looking at DNA matches to surnames involved, and the most are to Hale/Haile, which is not the French line. Another problem is that, while Maryland has excellent records, when those Green/Greene relatives decided to move westward during "manifest destiny", many of them disappeared from the records. So I have gaps.
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