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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.

  • #2
    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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    • #3
      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
        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
          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
            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
              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
                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; 30 June 2018, 08:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  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
                    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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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rhonda Hatton View Post
                      I understand that DNA testing is banned in France.
                      It is not quite true that DNA testing is banned in France. I did my first DNA test 13 years ago while living in France.

                      It is true that there are no DNA labs operating in France, but FTDNA and the other US based firms send kits to France and there are no problems either receiving or returning them - apart from the possibility that the "facteur" will demand custom duty on the delivery!

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                      • #12
                        THANK GOD!!!!!

                        Now, where are the French people? What do we need to bait our trap with? LOL

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                        • #13
                          Hello,

                          I am french, living in France, and did test with FTDNA without any problem.
                          That said, I have to say that, currently, its forbidden...
                          Genealogical web sites like https://www.geneanet.org/
                          just did a petition to try to explain to politicians that the current law is stupid, but you know politicians ...

                          In France, 93 out of 95 departements (the local admin structures) did put all archives related to civil state on line, free. That is civil state from the revolution on, and catholic, and sometimes protestant, registers. So a bit long to dig, but no main problem to find info up to 1730 if you are not lucky, 1580 if you are..
                          If you want to dig more, you must go into each departement archive building, and ask for notary registry. Very interesting, but a bit long...

                          One paid site, www.filae.com is trying to index all data from the civil state, ie. from the revolution up to somewhere around 1920. As reading old registers is not always easy, there are holes, but it does help, very often.

                          Have fun with french genealogies

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was just at the IAJGS Conference in Warsaw, and saw Ancestry ships Tests to Poland, but Geni treats Poland as a place where it is illegal to test DNA.
                            Was trying to get more info on what seemed like a discrepancy, was directed to talk to one of the folks who works at MyHeritage - and was told they still regard it as illegal in Poland, but MYHERITAGE STARTED SELLING DNA TESTS IN FRANCE ABOUT 3 MONTH AGO.

                            France, Poland, and Israel are the three places I had heard DNA Testing is illegal - but have now also been told, for each by different people, that no, it is not. Would greatly appreciate clarification.

                            Is DNA Testing illegal in France? If so, why can MyHeritage sell DNA Kits there now? Can anyone provide more info on the Law about DNA Testing in France?
                            Does FTDNA ship tests there?

                            Can anyone provide more info on the law with regard to DNA Testing in Poland? in Israel?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by loobster View Post
                              I was just at the IAJGS Conference in Warsaw, and saw Ancestry ships Tests to Poland, but Geni treats Poland as a place where it is illegal to test DNA.
                              Was trying to get more info on what seemed like a discrepancy, was directed to talk to one of the folks who works at MyHeritage - and was told they still regard it as illegal in Poland, but MYHERITAGE STARTED SELLING DNA TESTS IN FRANCE ABOUT 3 MONTH AGO.

                              France, Poland, and Israel are the three places I had heard DNA Testing is illegal - but have now also been told, for each by different people, that no, it is not. Would greatly appreciate clarification.

                              Is DNA Testing illegal in France? If so, why can MyHeritage sell DNA Kits there now? Can anyone provide more info on the Law about DNA Testing in France?
                              Does FTDNA ship tests there?

                              Can anyone provide more info on the law with regard to DNA Testing in Poland? in Israel?
                              The DNA Geek blog has a chart at http://thednageek.com/genealogical-d...und-the-globe/, showing which companies ship to which countries (as of May 2017). It does not show the legality of DNA testing in any country, however. It includes these companies: Ancestry, 23andMe, FTDNA, MyHeritage and LivingDNA.

                              Note that the chart needs updating, if, as you say, MyHeritage can sell kits in France now. It also shows MyHeritage as the only one of the five companies in the list that does not sell in Poland.

                              I believe each company must work out an agreement with each country to sell their DNA kits, so perhaps MyHeritage hasn't been able to do that yet with Poland, as other companies already have.

                              As far as FTDNA specifically, the DNA Geek chart does show that they ship to France (as do LivingDNA and 23andMe) and Poland. In the Learning Center, at Shipping DNA Tests World Wide, under "Does Family Tree DNA Ship Internationally?" part of the answer says:
                              There are some countries where shipping requires special processing. These countries are Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. There are two countries, Sudan and Iran, whose customs restrictions prevent us from shipping to them.

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