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Most Common Surnames

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  • #16
    Here they go again! What use is this? If they were going to do it at all, they should have done it with the ancestral surnames your matches have entered, not with the surnames of the matches themselves! Many women list their kits under their married names.

    23andMe has a similar tool, but it does apply it to the ancestral surnames, not to the kit owners' surnames! And it gives you a whole page of such names, ranked with some sort of adjustment for how common a name is. Not sure how useful the feature is even at that, but it's certainly a hundred times more useful than this!

    I get the feeling that someone at FTDNA is trying to copy other companies, but without the vaguest idea of what the other companies are actually doing.

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    • #17
      Common surname???? What's the point?

      I see the numbers for common surnames. The one on the far left I recognize as the only other person I match to that is showing my surname. The next number and name is 12 Williams, so I checked and sure enough I have 16 people I match to that have the surname of Williams, but I also have 9 pages of people who have Williams as an Ancestral surname.

      Interestingly enough I don't have a Williams on my Family Tree or in my list of common surnames? Talk about a useless feature.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
        Here they go again! What use is this? If they were going to do it at all, they should have done it with the ancestral surnames your matches have entered, not with the surnames of the matches themselves! Many women list their kits under their married names.
        So true. You can put anything you want for your user surname (all the kits I have are either alias names or just first names). Matches to the ancestral surnames listed would be better.

        Also, I would like to mention that they need to hire people who are REAL paper trail genealogists with experience going back to when 'feet hit the pavement' was the norm.

        The gedcoms are horrible. They are practically useless because they are not easily viewed quickly which is what a genealogist needs. Genealogy even with electronics takes a lot of work and a lot of time. The gedcoms are only adding to that time.

        FTDNA, please hire people who can tell you what a true genealogist wants to see and use. If you are going to dabble in paper trail genealogy at least try to get it right. At least Ancestry has the tree thing going correctly...especially the 'pedigree' view.
        Last edited by Tenn4ever; 31 October 2014, 04:13 PM.

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        • #19
          My father changed his surname slightly to look more American. A lot of good it does on the accounts of my family members to show our own surname. I'm not very likely to get matches. If I do, they'll be descendants of one great-uncle who made the same change my father did.

          Yes! Hire some true genealogists!!!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Katydid View Post
            Not sure that this feature is really that useful, at least for those of us with lots of colonial Southern ancestors.

            My father's top surnames (excluding his own) are Williams and Smith; his brother's are Williams and Jones.

            Wish FTDNA would focus first on getting the trees fixed.
            We must have relatives from the same fine Colonial Southern ancestors.
            After the 1 real surname match I have and the 12 people names Williams, I have 9 Smiths, or 17 pages of people with Ancestral Smiths. Nary a one on my actual tree or list of common surnames. I'm going to have to check the Jones out on my brother's kit as I'm wondering if they'll show up there.

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            • #21
              The three names I get are my own surname, Smith, and Johnson. I do not have any Smiths or Johnsons in my family tree. And the numbers next to these names do not seem to correspond with any count of Smiths and Johnsons as either matches' names or ancestral names.

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              • #22
                I don't see "most common surnames" in mine. But since I'm tracing my direct maternal line with offshoots, the surnames change every generation anyhow. The rest of my tree are mostly relatively recent immigrants from Europe, which I haven't traced back beyond their arrivals and place of origin, etc. I too have Smith, Johnson, and other common surnames in my matches. But I look for rare names as indicators of a line. Then there are mirror images: surnames that pop up both from New England and Virginia (colonial roots). They probably came over during the "great migration" period in the 1600s, but went to two different destinations (having common ancestors back in England). Most of my matches are downstream from my target ancestress in NC (1758-1831). But I'm interested in her own ancestors, which are difficult to uncover (without paper trails back then).
                Last edited by PDHOTLEN; 1 November 2014, 06:21 AM.

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                • #23
                  Just more useless Garbage

                  to clutter up the screen. Absolutely no use for this whatsoever!

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                  • #24
                    Those who cannot see the Most Common Surnames feature yet will be able to see it soon

                    Elise

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                    • #25
                      I'd prefer to see this Common Name 'feature' added as an option on the MyDNA/FF drop-down menu as it's hardly something one needs to see all the time and, as it is now, takes up valuable screen space.

                      I don't find it useful anyway. (Mine currently shows three numbers but only two surnames, by the way.)

                      A list of ancestral surnames by frequency would be far more useful, but, I appreciate, far harder to code unless people were forced to enter their ancestral surnames and locations in a standard format, for ease of sorting.
                      Last edited by Caburn; 4 November 2014, 06:19 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by PDHOTLEN View Post
                        I don't see "most common surnames" in mine. But since I'm tracing my direct maternal line with offshoots, the surnames change every generation anyhow. The rest of my tree are mostly relatively recent immigrants from Europe, which I haven't traced back beyond their arrivals and place of origin, etc. I too have Smith, Johnson, and other common surnames in my matches. But I look for rare names as indicators of a line. Then there are mirror images: surnames that pop up both from New England and Virginia (colonial roots). They probably came over during the "great migration" period in the 1600s, but went to two different destinations (having common ancestors back in England). Most of my matches are downstream from my target ancestress in NC (1758-1831). But I'm interested in her own ancestors, which are difficult to uncover (without paper trails back then).
                        Speaking of surnames, along with the big election, I have an FF match with the surname "Ernst". Maybe that Iowa senator-to-be is a distant cousin?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Caburn View Post
                          A list of ancestral surnames by frequency would be far more useful, but, I appreciate, far harder to code unless people were forced to enter their ancestral surnames and locations in a standard format, for ease of sorting.
                          This is precisely what 23andMe gives you, and they adjust the surnames for frequency, so that Smith and Jones are not at the top of everyone's list. The problem I saw there is that places like "Holland" are counted in with the surnames.

                          My mother's top names here are her married name, Smith and Clark.

                          At 23andMe, where she has a long list (I haven't counted them, but maybe 50) the top surnames are Duncan, Boone, Kelsey, Hamm, Hampton, Brown, Foote, and Henderson. Two of those, Duncan and Hampton, are names of 2nd great-grandparents. Smith is way down the list and Clark is among the last 5.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
                            This is precisely what 23andMe gives you, and they adjust the surnames for frequency, so that Smith and Jones are not at the top of everyone's list. The problem I saw there is that places like "Holland" are counted in with the surnames.

                            My mother's top names here are her married name, Smith and Clark.

                            At 23andMe, where she has a long list (I haven't counted them, but maybe 50) the top surnames are Duncan, Boone, Kelsey, Hamm, Hampton, Brown, Foote, and Henderson. Two of those, Duncan and Hampton, are names of 2nd great-grandparents. Smith is way down the list and Clark is among the last 5.
                            The Hampton name pops up now and then in my perusals. I just renewed an acquaintance with a research tree I put together a while back, possibly years back. It's named the Ballinger-Wade research tree. The name Hampton pops up as a female along the way. Now that I've more or less rejected that King John line, I'm looking around for a replacement, hence another look at Ballinger-Wade. The Hampton (Virginia) attachment is to the Wade branch.
                            Last edited by PDHOTLEN; 6 November 2014, 10:30 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by PDHOTLEN View Post
                              The Hampton name pops up now and then in my perusals. I just renewed an acquaintance with a research tree I put together a while back, possibly years back. It's named the Ballinger-Wade research tree. The name Hampton pops up as a female along the way. Now that I've more or less rejected that King John line, I'm looking around for a replacement, hence another look at Ballinger-Wade. The Hampton (Virginia) attachment is to the Wade branch.
                              The Hamptons of VA, who married into the Wade family are an English line of Hamptons. My Hamptons are from the Scottish group, descendants of a John Hampton, who immigrated from Scotland in 1683. His children and grandchildren moved into MD, VA and NC (especially NC). The English and Scottish Hamptons belong to different Y-DNA lineages. Check the Hampton Y-DNA project.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
                                The Hamptons of VA, who married into the Wade family are an English line of Hamptons. My Hamptons are from the Scottish group, descendants of a John Hampton, who immigrated from Scotland in 1683. His children and grandchildren moved into MD, VA and NC (especially NC). The English and Scottish Hamptons belong to different Y-DNA lineages. Check the Hampton Y-DNA project.
                                Thanks for that. I'll take a peek later. I've been trying to decipher the Wade aspect of the intertwined Ballinger-Wade tree. There was a Col. Wade (first name?) who my Jacob Falconbury (1757-1844) fought under during the Rev. War in North Carolina. But I can't link him up to other Wades, although he must be from the Virginia Wades. And Jacob's wife Charity could possibly be connected to the Wades. But that's just my speculation.

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