A lot of the information I had was from my grandmother who had inherited stuff from my father's mother. I used her basic outline and then made an account on ancestry.com (it's a bit expensive, though) and used it for about a month intensively to check birth/death/census records in the US. Then, since I knew my father's family was Catholic and came from England, I searched church records in England and eventually also went to a local library to find a copy of the Domesday Book to search through it. I would recommend, if you can, to ask your grandparents/great-grandparents. If they aren't living, try and ask great-uncles/aunts -- any family members; you'll be surprised what they know sometimes. And then work from there. I was amused to find that my Dad and his uncles all called their grandfather Jim Gib, and they didn't know his real name (Edward Gibbons W.) until I found it. So, you can definitely come across some interesting stuff.
I'm mainly English, but I have 1/8th greek, 1/8th spanish and some German too, but with being English, that means I have all kinds of blood anyway lol.
Whilst I don't know much of my actual blood ancestry, as not much is known at all about my dead generations, I have done quite alot of research on my family name itself, which is Olney.
I have never met anyone with the same last name as me that wasn't related to me, I live in a big town and have been many places all over the UK. I had known of a town that is the same as my last name here in England. I know that my last name was also used as a word that meant a 'glade' or a 'meadow' in olde english.
This indicated to me that it could be one of the old practices, i.e people being named according to either their profession or from which town they came from, which would explain why my last name is not very common at all. But it could also mean the town was named after who it belonged too, my family name would have not been spelt Olney back then, the spelling changed over time according to the language and how we pronounced our words to how we spelt them.
I was left wondering where exactly did my name come from. I researched about the town itself first and found out what was there hundreds of years ago would have been a Manor, a local village, a market and farmlands and it belonged to the Earls of Chester at one point, so an indication that it could have always belonged to someone of power and/or wealth and was perhaps established in the Anglo-Saxon era.
This gave me clue that my name must definately have been very old, I had researched more on my name itself and found it is written in Olde English in different variations like "Ollaneg" during the 6th century and earlier, it is definately Anglo-Saxon of origin. This also meant that the town could have gained its name from a man.
I searched more on the name itself with what knowledge I had already uncovered and found my ancestors were most likely from Scandinavia and the south of England itself where I reside now. A variation of my last name is also found in northern france, which indicates the name most definately derived from a Scandinavian word or name, seeing as 'vikings' also settled at the north of france.
I also read that in the 15th a century, a John Olney was the Mayor of London, which is where my family ( the living ones lol ) come from, only moved just outside of London after WW2 because all of their homes and schools were bombed to the ground.
Well, that is just my English blood, I don't have any idea about my spanish, greek or german blood, other than that my grandfathers father was greek and he died young, my other grandads mother was spanish gypsy of blood and one of my grandmothers had german blood, I don't know any of the names.
I think it's safe to say, we must all have so many ancestors that we can only dream of knowing stuff about. If you even managed to read all of this and aren't bored to death, I applaud you.
Last edited by Leesin; January 27, 2011 at 10:29 AM.
I am from a line of French noble. My family lived in Aquitaine, France. It is believed that my family comes from the famous Knight Roland, the favorite Knight of Charlemagne.
Later one, my family went to New France as land Lords. And later we became more common people
On the english side, probably anglo-saxon
SS 6.4, Eras 2.3, DotS ProjectThe first computer you had always was the best.R.I.P. 2001-2011
I know some information but not all.
Based off limited research i have done there aren't many of my family. We originate from Meissen, Sachsen.
My family does have a coat of arms. But it is hard too tell if it is exactly my family's and not one of the others.
Obviously we must have had something too do with propping up the then kingdom of Meissen until it was incorporated into the Empire.
I have a huge blank spot here until the 30 year war when the family shows up again, this time heading east too russia.
hmmm well on my Italian side, my great great grandfather was the son of a Habsburg Marquis that had land in Istria- i don't know his first name, but his last name was Von Waldenstein. And further back on my Italian side there is a Venetian ancestor who was in the Templar order. My mother's side is very interesting, as her city, Trieste, came under a lot of occupations that mingled with the society e.g. Byzantines, Franks, Austrians, Swabians and some Norman mercenaries, so really its a whole mix of very interesting peoples I would like to think that the majority of my ancestors were Italian, though.
My 'English' side is more or less Norman. One of my ancestors came here with William the Conqueror/Bastard and was given land in Somerset or Cornwall (forgot which one), and his descendants also became Templars for some reason.
To be honest, though, I think one has to be careful with ancestry. People all too often feel that they have to relate themselves to a great lord or something, when the truth probably is that most of use come from peasants. Now thinking about it, I'd rather descend from an honest, hard-working peasant than a corrupt and greedy noble.
Last edited by Aquila Romana; February 05, 2011 at 03:07 AM.
Well my aunt had a family tree passed down to her as a gift drawn up by a distant relation from the US that went back to Hastings, and according to that we descend from a man named Nicholas Pierrun - our name was then anglicised to Perring over the years. In the doomsday book he is recorded to have owned land in either Somerset or Cornwall, I've forgotten which, I think I'll look more into it. My grand-mother's maiden name is Edwards - I don't know whether that has Norman descent or not, however.
But that's only the direct descent of your surname which comprises a miniscule fraction of your English ancestry. All "native" English people are descended from Normans but it's not as if the Normans exterminated and replaced the Anglo-Saxons which no doubt account for considerably more of the English genetic heritage.
One half of my family were farmers in Worcestershire for as far back as anyone knows, the other half were clansmen fighting on a bog somewhere in the Western Isles.
Most recent genetic studies are showing that even the Anglo Saxons don't seem make up the majority of England's genetic makeup, with Mesolithic/Neolithic settlers believed to be the main component.
Well that's a complex issue, because by 1066 the Anglo-Saxons would have had mostly the genetic makeup of those Mesolithic/Neolithic ancestors. Logically if the Normans made only a small genetic imprint over the original British genetic substrate and those genes make up the majority of the modern English genes, then the same would have had to have been true of the original Anglo-Saxon invaders. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that there was more extermination and replacement going on during the Anglo-Saxon invasion than with the Normans. More comprehensive genetic tests support what you are saying, but tests that focus on Y chromosome haplotypes show that there is significant minorty of English men who are indistinguishable on paper from Dutch and Frisian men (when examined by Y haplotype alone). These haplotypes become less frequent the further one moves from East Anglia. This evidence suggests that the Anglo-Saxons killed a lot of the native men but kept the native women for themselves.
EDIT: This guy does a descent job of explaining it: http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2009/12/rom...on-britain.php