Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

When Your Genetic Ancestor and Surname Don't Match

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • When Your Genetic Ancestor and Surname Don't Match

    Hi! I'm new to the forums, but not to Family Tree DNA. This is my first post here.

    My name is Stephen Rhodes. When I first tested myself, I did so to help with my search for Rhodes ancestors. I was surprised when much time went by and did not match any other Rhodes closely - if at all. I contacted Family Tree DNA and asked about my results and the lack of matches. I vividly remember the conversation with a helpful women who told me as nicely as she could that, genetically-speaking, I was not a Rhodes, but a Hudson. I had been in the wrong surname project for matches. She reassigned me to the Hudson family group and, sure enough, I had lots and lots of matches. So it seems that one of my great-grandmothers bore a child by a Hudson, but raised as a Rhodes. Needless to say, it took me a bit to get my head around this new revelation. But I began to wonder how common this situation is.

    My question to the forum - how many of you who have tested only to find out that you aren't who you thought you were? That your given surname is different from your genetic surname?

    Cheers,

    Steve

  • #2
    Could be patronymics at play?

    Comment


    • #3
      That's the case with me, though my NPE took place on the British side of the Atlantic 400 years or more back. Many people with the Wyatt surname and early Colonial American ties want to be linked to Rev. Haute Wyatt of the Jamestown settlement and his ancestor's the two Sir Thomas Wyatt's. The genealogists in my family for a couple of generations said that they knew we were related to Rev. Haute Wyatt, if only they could find the missing link. When I finally got around to the question, I thought that I could solve it. I did with the help of DNA and it was not even close.

      At this point I would say that following what really was has been a lot more interesting than if I had found the link to Rev. Haute Wyatt.

      Jack Wyatt
      Last edited by georgian1950; 22 December 2015, 07:56 AM. Reason: typo

      Comment


      • #4
        Some of the ways a family name/surname would become not continuous in the male line

        A. A voluntary name change due to religious or personal reasons (e.g. not wanted to be associated with own family, starting a new life). Nowadays, a child may want to start a new life using his or her mother maiden family name, and that was happening in the past centuries too. Although mostly for males.

        B. Family alias becoming the family name (some very good examples can be found in the forum).

        C. Taking wife's family name upon marriage. That was rare, but not incidental, and is well documented to happen. It is known to occur quite frequently in at least England, Germany and Poland. This about a custom predating the 19th century bureaucracy with its strict rules. Then it became again legally possible in the 20th century, albeit at different times in various countries. In the 19th and 20th century, when changing the family name of a male upon a marriage was not possible, there are known cases of men legally changing their surname to that of his future wife, while still bachelors.

        An easy to understand example: a man marrying the only daughter of an established innkeeper.

        D. In Spain rules were different, so if the family branch spent some time there...

        E. Migration.
        • Migration to the US...
        • Language change. For example, many Scots migrated at the beginning of the 16th century to Europe. Their names were adjusted to conform to the rules of the local language, or translated into the local language or sometimes simply changed.
        • A family name at first being written in an alphabet derived from Latin, then in a non-Latin alphabet, and then again in the original alphabet. In the example of a Polish singer Anna German, her father family name was Hörmann, in Russia his family name was being written using the Cyrillic script as Герман, upon transliteration back into the Latin based Polish alphabet that became German.


        F. Entering military service under an assumed name was happening through centuries for a variety of reasons. Even today, one enters the French Foreign Legion under a new name.

        G. Posthumous child receiving family name of his mother new husband. I have never fully researched that angle, but it appears to me that the prevailing rule tended to be that when a child was born within 6 months from the date of the marriage, then it was a legal child. And given that a widow with a farm often married after 30 days, that would not be anything uncommon.

        H. People changing names to escape prosecution (for example peasants, servants, slaves or soldiers running away).

        I. Uncorrected clerical error (and that is a very broad category).

        and more...

        Mr W
        ______________________________________________
        The above is a repeat of my earlier post http://forums.familytreedna.com/showthread.php?p=414164 with some minor corrections.

        Comment


        • #5
          My male cousin I tested autosomal and Y for has no matches with our surname. Of his y matches, none have the same surname as one another at all. Dang Eastern Europe and their "young" surnames!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by chelli11 View Post
            My male cousin I tested autosomal and Y for has no matches with our surname. Of his y matches, none have the same surname as one another at all. Dang Eastern Europe and their "young" surnames!
            Well...
            • Youngest surnames are in Nordic countries, not in Eastern Europe.
            • If you add Austria and Germany to Eastern Europe, then yes: Jews living there (now and then) have young surnames.
            • You could be from the haplogroup I (you did not state your haplogroup!).
            • Eastern Europe, regardless how you define it, is underrepresented at FTDNA, as compared to the Western Europe. Although that statement is not 100% correct (France, French)...
            • Did you read my post above and realize that one of the scenarios I wrote about could have happened in your family?

            Mr W

            Comment


            • #7
              It happened to me. I had my cousin's Y-DNA tested and his results came back matching Hampton, not Mobley as expected. I noticed a Hampton enumerated next to my great-great-grandfather Mobley's household on the 1870 census. My mother had already done the Family Finder test. I located a descendant of the brother of the Hampton on the 1870 census. He was willing to do the Family Finder test and his results showed him to be a predicted 3rd cousin of my mother. So my great-great-grandmother had a child by one of the two Hampton brothers.

              Just today my mother got a very close match at Ancestry who is also descended from one of the two Hampton brothers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Recorded Surnames vs Biological Surnames

                "My question to the forum - how many of you who have tested only to find out that you aren't who you thought you were? That your given surname is different from your genetic surname?"

                My paternal line includes at least two different NPE's (non-paternity events, where the recorded father was not the biological father). The most recent NPE was in 1906 (the birth of my father) and an earlier one most likely occurred in 1787. I had no inkling of any of this when I started my DNA-based genealogical research three years ago.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dna,
                  I generalized when I said Eastern Europe just to keep my post light, apologies. Latvia to be specific. Peasantry acquired surnames in the early half of the 1800's. I have traced my family back to just before that surname acquisition point, so i didnt really expect to find any Y matches with a matching surname. Coincidentally, the male cousin I tested IS I-P37, though I understand thats a less common haplogroup in Latvia. Other Y matches are scattered from Russia to Germany to Romania, Croatia, Hungary, all with different surnames.
                  Mind you our closest Y match is 2 steps at 37 markers...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chelli11 View Post
                    Dna,
                    I generalized when I said Eastern Europe just to keep my post light, apologies. Latvia to be specific. Peasantry acquired surnames in the early half of the 1800's. I have traced my family back to just before that surname acquisition point, so i didnt really expect to find any Y matches with a matching surname. Coincidentally, the male cousin I tested IS I-P37, though I understand thats a less common haplogroup in Latvia. Other Y matches are scattered from Russia to Germany to Romania, Croatia, Hungary, all with different surnames.
                    Mind you our closest Y match is 2 steps at 37 markers...
                    Thank you for clarification. I am sorry, if I sounded too harsh.

                    Yes, I-P37 is very old, so those men are spread all over the Europe. And looking at STRs might not be as rewarding as tracking using SNPs (Big Y test). After watching R1b results for many years, I was totally confused when a Y-DNA67 test of I-P37 family member resulted in tens of clearly unrelated matches. That looked like a result of back-convergence (I think there is a proper term for that, it just escaped me; I mean a situation when after some very long time, after a mutation an STR value can go back to its old value).

                    Since I is a less common haplogroup in Latvia, if you find a Latvian match you might be very closely related.

                    For my family, we had ordered Big Y (it gave no close matches), and now realizing that not everybody goes for Big Y, I used the current sale to order an upgrade to Y-DNA111.

                    Good luck with your research!

                    Merry Christmas - Mr W

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stephen Rhodes View Post
                      Hi! I'm new to the forums, but not to Family Tree DNA. This is my first post here.

                      My question to the forum - how many of you who have tested only to find out that you aren't who you thought you were? That your given surname is different from your genetic surname?

                      Cheers,

                      Steve
                      Not only are we not genetic Grahams (my surname) but we are not even Scottish or English. We have been marching to the wrong set of bagpipes! We joined the Clan Graham, got the kilts, etc...

                      Our Y-DNA is actually tied to the P-109 Haplogroup, to an even more specific subgroup in England, but the DNA is not English, but more nordic. We match the Wests, Rushings, Chisholms, and more.

                      I am suspecting adoption in y grandfather's case, since his parents never lived in Fall River MA, and there is no record of his birth there.

                      One word of advice: the NPE may have happened centuries ago.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The NPE may have happened centuries ago!

                        Originally posted by rmm0484 View Post
                        [----] One word of advice: the NPE may have happened centuries ago.
                        I will add that remainder next time I am posting my list.

                        Mr W

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I certainly think I have an NPE. I have one match, y67, with a distance of 2. I have one match, y67, distance of 1. Both have different surnames. My surname is Hays and I originally did the y testing to try and figure out who my GGGrandfather was or at least where he came from. The surname Hays is found in several different areas of Europe and spelled a couple of different ways. I joined the Hays project and I don't remotely get close to matching anyone there.

                          But looking at the family trees of my matches and gathering more information I have determined that an NPE may have occurred in the early 1800's. At one time one of the ancestor families of my matches lived within two miles of our old family farm for 30 years or so. A brother of the patriarch of this family lived next door to my other match three counties away. I think another may have occurred there.

                          Its still possible that this happened a long time ago. We are all three Irish type 4 and that group contains many surnames.

                          I'm in the process of using some 2nd cousin matches to see if thy could help me a bit. I am building trees on them to see how we are connected. Its not obvious based on the current tree information I have.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm actually expecting this

                            In my case I'll be surprised if this isn't the case for me. My Marshall/Machado family name was actually my great-great-great-grandmother's family line because my great-great-great-grandfather was Pai Incognito, in the Azores (A classification for "Father Unknown").

                            Now, of course, they might be another Teixeira Machado. But, it's probably not going to be the case.

                            When I discovered where my family name came from, it did knock me for a loop, and made me wonder what the name should actually be. But, in the long run, I couldn't imagine not being a Marshall.

                            We'll see in Feb/March, which road it does take me down.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              @Robertjm, your post has remained me about different surname scenarios for children of unwed mothers. Here are some I have encountered:
                              • Even when the father was known and acknowledged, but had married mother of his son (or daughter) after the birth, some jurisdictions enforced the rule that the child had to have mother's surname.
                              • Mostly applicable to men in a position of power... They could recognize their child and give them their family name, although if there were children in their marriage, they gave some different family name in order to avoid succession or inheritance consequences, while never marring the mother and staying in their marriage.
                              • Whatever was an equivalent of social services at the time was devising a surname, often a stigmatizing one and enforcing it being entered into all the documents. (Mostly the 19th and 20th century scenario.)

                              Mr W

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X