GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2008-12 > 1228935626
From: Jim Bartlett <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Some thoughts about DNA survival
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 13:00:26 -0600 (CST)
Wouldn't virtually all the SURNAMEs we are studying today pass the 500
year test? Unless the SURNAME was changed somewhere along the line, the
one's we are testing today had to go back at least to the time when that
SURNAME was first used - usually more than 500 years. Three-fourths of
my ancestors were American Colonists over 100 years before the RevWar -
at least 350 years ago.
Wouldn't it be the case that for the (many?) SURNAMEs that have become
extinct, there are very few people researching them today? And, the
SURNAMEs which are being researched, and DNA tested today, have
lineages that have to go back to before SURNAMEs were used?
On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 7:07 AM, Janet Crawford wrote:
> Hi Vince, Doing genealogy in a limited area of Co. Tipperary, my gut
> feeling is that "most" Irish surnames in existence 500 years ago are
> still here in some form or another. I don't think that is true of the
> English names, but that can be do to other reasons. Most of the Norman
> names still exist. And this despite plagues, famines, wars and
> migrations of vast numbers of the population. A good support of this
> can be found in the book "All Ireland Surnames" by Seán de Bhulbh,
> where the origin of the name is traced back. Comparing the more
> ancient surnames of an area to the current phone book tells a lot.
> My own family surname, Quillinan" goes back to 835 AD in Tipperary and
> the name can still be found where it began in the form of Quillinan,
> Quinlan, Callinan, Cullinan and Collins, among others. Now one
> variation of it might die out eventually, but the others may just
> continue on. 1200 years is pretty good persistence. The Ryan's are
> going to outdo us all though, I would guess. They are at about 1,000
> years and still multiplying. The O'Dwyer's are not all that far
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Vincent Vizachero"
> To: <>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 6:32 PM
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Some thoughts about DNA survival
>> If "most" men living, say, 500 years ago, have living y-line
>> ancestors today then I'd be very surprised though I'll admit that my
>> "most lineages go extinct" comment comes from a vague recollection.
>> I would be interested in seeing the statement supported or
>> contradicted, if you feel so inclined.
>> On Dec 9, 2008, at 1:19 PM, Ken Nordtvedt wrote:
>>> I don't know about surnames, since they can perhaps not be
>>> created at a constant rate, but a sufficiently rapidly expanding
>>> population will not have "most" y lineages go extinct; or said
>>> another way,
>>> new ones will be produced by mutation faster than lines go extinct.