Monday, July 8, 2013

Our General Ancestry

    I've always had a savvy fascination with genealogy and ancestry.  Recently, I've simply been curious about the general origins of each family name that both Frank and I know about.  It was easier for me since a cousin of mine researched part of the Greve family history back to the 18th century (great work, Sarah!), so I knew a bit more about my family origins.

Frank and Jessica's Family Origins!
    After collecting the family names Frank's mom knew about, and looking over the family names I know about.  I was able to discover a few neat little things about our general ancestry!  Obviously, I don't know much more than general origin, so there's no telling how thick each lineage is, but I can at least go on the assumption that we have a little bit of everything in our blood!  This is what I found out about basic family name origins from my side of the family and where each name comes in:


Greve - Germany; also France and Italy have large groups of Greve surnames (so maybe?)
Collins - Wales and Ireland; Grandma Greve's maiden name.
Dibb - Scotland; Great-Grandpa Greve's wife's maiden name.
Metcalf - England; Grandma Greve's mothers' maiden name.
Francke - Germany; Great-Grandpa Greve's mothers' maiden name. (pronounced Fron-kee)
Frerking - Germany; Great-Grandpa Greve's maternal grandmother's' maiden name.
Roetger - Germany; Great-Grandpa Greve's paternal grandmother's maiden name.
Walte - Germany; Great-Grandpa Greve's great-grandmother's maiden name.


Alborg - Sweden or Denmark; Mother's maiden name - I don't know much more about that side of the family yet, although I do understand that some Dutch is in this side as well.
Ellis - Primarily England and Wales; Grandmother's maiden name - I don't much about this side of the family yet either.

And this is what I found about Frank's side of the family:


Brazell - Ireland; also France has a large population with Brazell origin.
Banks - England; also Scotland; Grandmother's maiden name.
Caughman - Germany; Grandmother's mother's' maiden name.


Stevens - England; Mother's maiden name.
Taylor - England; also found in Scotland and France; Grandmother's maiden name.
Dalton - Ireland; Grandfather's mother's maiden name.
Spiva - Czech; Also parts of Belarus and Serbia; Grandmother's mother's maiden name.
Brewer - England, originating from Normandy, France; Grandmother's grandmother's maiden name.

So overall, between the two of us, we have thick German heritage, while also a few little oddballs: Scandinavian, British of sorts, Czech, and even French!

Something I was able to settle within myself is that my dad's family is not completely German as I had always been told.  Even if by a few percentages, there is no denying that there is a good presence of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland in both of my Greve grandparents' families.  It would be silly to deny this, or even to down-play it as if it's hardly there - it is there.  So that made me feel like I wasn't crazy for thinking Collins wasn't German ;)

Also, because of the not-so-closeness of my mom's family in general, I don't really know a whole lot about them.  I know Aalborg, Denmark was a big port city way back in time when Sweden owned Denmark - that's probably where my family took the name from.

[ I do know that my Granddad's family history goes back to William of Orange, a Duke in the Netherlands who was cousin to King James II; when the King died, my ancestor William became King William III of England.  His wife was Mary and they co-ruled; this is where we get William & Mary College.  I also know that my grandma's family history also goes back to England; they were some of the first people in the New World and were granted land by the King at that time that basically makes up what is now North and South Carolina.  My great-aunt actually keeps the documents of the land grant and the wax seal and everything is still in tact! I theorize that my ancestor was either Sir Robert Heath ("In 1629, King Charles I of England granted Sir Robert Heath (the attorney general) the southern half of the English land in the New World between 36 degrees and 31 degrees north latitude from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean"), or he was one of the Eight Lords Proprietors of Carolina.  Either would be really neat ;) ]

I also learned some pretty cool things about Frank's family too - like the Czech ancestry!  That is so neat! And I wonder: maybe that's why so many people who meet him have asked him if he's from Spain or Italy?  I don't really know for sure the answer to that, but it makes sense!

Understanding that the genealogy process for either of our families may never be completed in my lifetime, I look forward to learning more about the depth of our ancestry, and about the deeper origins of each family name!
And yeah... that's us  ;)
I recently discovered that it's {possible} that some Greve ancestors may have resided inDenmark since there's a thick concentration of Greve's in Denmark back during the time that my ancestors could have been there; it would be in a 300-year range that makes it possible.  If only I could back that far in records!  Someday ;) For now, Greve family is from Germany, for certain, but possbly also from Denmark (Scandinavia).  This would explain why some of my cousins have such blonde hair; contrary to popular belief, blonde hair and blue eyes are common in Northern Europe (Scandinavia) not Germany - Hitler wanted dark-haired Germans to look like the 'Aryan' (Nordic) race.  And this still explains why my hair color is dark... the German...

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