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Name Change

Posted by DannieMS in Smith DNA on January 31, 2023 Views:(52Replies (1)
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I have heard that many people named 'Smith' started out with a different surname, for various reasons, and I would like to discuss the prevalence/importance of this when interpreting Y-DNA results.
I read Blaine Bettinger's book and watched videos on his site. He suggests that you expect to see a predominant surname amongst the Matches results, and that the most frequently-occurring surname will be your own, in this case, Smith.
My brother's results contained no Smiths, but there were a handful each of 3 or 4 other names and their variations, and a lot of surnames of Armenian origin.
Should I assume that the family name was changed from one of these to Smith?
Or is there another way to intrepret these results?
Have tested my Dad as well, with Big-Y, but still awaiting receipt of this by FTDNA, so results for him to compare are a way off yet.
Daniella McCarthy-Stewart, for Gary Austin Smith.

Posted by smithsworldwide on February 6, 2023 09:04:24 AM  
CommentID 505

Your question is a very good one. Wrote about this subject last year "Thoughts on YDNA versus Autosomal and NPE" 

When you look at the YDNA results, you'll notice that you can find matches, say, on 111 markers, but others may not have done 111 markers, but rather, say, 37. It might be that YOUR Smith line has not yet tested or there are not enough of other people with different lines to zero down into a particular surname. The methodology is to divide and conquer.For example, pick a point in the past where there are additional children to compare with. Without being too specific, suppose you have a Richard Smith from a particular location. Look to see who the children are, follow the lines down and see if you can find a male Smith that is a direct line to that Smith but preferably through another son, if one exists. Does that one match you or does he match Smith (or perhaps a third option). If that one matches Smith but not you, then you know that the variance to a different surname took place after that point in time.

Another action to take it to check locations. That depends on the people you match with having a tree where you can compare; if they do not, you need to write them and ask them for it. What you are looking for there is, is there a location in common at some point in the past. When people travel from one location to another (mililtary, business, etc) that is not a foolproof way to find a match, but it should not be ruled out.