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There has been a wonderful discussion on the Douglas dna forum regarding why so many family names seem to have the same dna as the Douglases. Piligaging and plundering might be one reason, says Julie.

Gordon, Marksberry, St Clair, Morton and Barrack are just some of the names that crop up.  The discussion has centred on 'fence jumping', but genealogist Belinda Dettman has put forward a number of other options: 

1. Death of a parent, so a child is brought up by another family (usually related to the mother, but can be all sorts of other relationships as well). Acts as an unofficial adoption, before these were regularized.
2. Official adoption (only available in the last century or so), sometimes of a relative, more often not.
3. Child fostered by a different family, for all sorts of reasons, but often economic.
3. Name change required to get an inheritance.
4. Name change to conform to that of the local Clan Chief (in Scotland).
5. Name change to avoid creditors, or a discarded spouse.
6. Father not married to the mother.

Another correspondent is wondering whether his ancestor was a bigamist - or a polygamist.

So, it is all good fun!

 

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?


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