Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Surnames, DNA and Family History

The book I ordered, co written by Turi King, the scientist who worked on Richard III's DNA has arrived.


I purchased this book as an aid in helping me better understand who exactly I am. I was born in Cornwall, lived there on and off and spent the long summer holidays with my grandparents and I consider myself to be Cornish even though half of what makes me me originates from the Leicestershire and Yorkshire.

This fact has always fascinated me.

The book, whose two other authors are George Redmonds and David Hey is entitled Surnames, DNA, and Family History has a section on Cornwall, and piece on the Tre prefix.
My 5x great grandmother was Patience Tregilgas, whose ancestry I am hoping to trace to a small patch of land, just outside Mevagissy, the home of the "Tribe of Gidgas" or followers of St Gildas, a 6th century monk. Another ancestor, my 3x great grandmother's surname had the Cornish Pen prefix, she was Jane Pentreath, whose family member Dolly Pentreath, was one of the last fluent speakers of the Cornish language. So no doubt I will find this section interesting.


I am hoping too that the book touches on the subject of 'Nature verses Nurture', as my paternal ancestor Joseph Taylor was not who I thought he was.

His story can be read here.
I am hoping to start the book by next week, I'll keep you posted.
If you wish to know more here is a summary.
"This book combines linguistic and historical approaches with the latest techniques of DNA analysis and show the insights these offer for every kind of genealogical research. It focuses on British names, tracing their origins to different parts of the British Isles and Europe and revealing how names often remain concentrated in the districts where they first became established centuries ago. In the process the book casts fresh light on the ancient peopling of the British Isles. The authors consider why some names die out, and how others have spread across the globe. They use recent advances in DNA testing to discover whether particular surnames have a single, dual or multiple origins and whether various forms of a name have a common origin. They show how information from DNA can be combined with historical evidence and techniques to distinguish between individuals with the same name and different names with similar spellings and to identify the name of the same individual or family spelt in various ways in different times and places.
Clearly written and illustrated with hundreds of examples, this book will be welcomed by all those engaged in genealogical research, including everyone seeking to discover the histories of their names and families."

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