This is a long post, but for the bottom line, please look here:
There are many Frith family lines which cannot be connected by historical documentation. Still they may be connected. Moreover, the surnames Frith and Firth were often interchanged in the 18th century & earlier, as were Frith and Thrift. I hope we can eventually work out all the connections. I am working on two things to help.
1) I would like to assemble a list of online family trees for ALL the various lines of the related surnames Frith, Firth, & Thrift. (Most family trees go back to only the 1800's, some to the 1700's, a very few earlier than that; a particular goal is to make the older trees easier for others to find.) This will be very helpful for people trying to see where they fit in, which lines are they related to, and who their earlier ancestors were. There was a version of this type of collection started for the Thrift surname here
but it is not being updated. If you are interested, please send me a link to your online family tree. (If it is not online, please post it, or contact me if I can help.) If there is enough interest I will compile the list and try to keep it updated.
2) The other thing that will be helpful is to have a way to show which lines are related even when the paper trail is not clear. DNA testing can do this. This is not DNA testing for genes related to medical issues, it is specifically for genealogy. I have started a Thrift /Frith /Firth surname DNA project here:
There are only two family lines showing up there at this moment (a third is being tested and will appear soon), but I hope eventually to get enough volunteers that we can show which families are related by showing that they have similar DNA patterns. I hope people will volunteer.
Only males descended in an unbroken male line from a Frith, Firth, Thrift, or related surname can contribute DNA that will be helpful to this project. (Adoptions or other "nonpaternal events" such as "illegitimate" births are part of life and should certainly be included, if you share the surname and don't mind having the info public.) The DNA patterns that are used for this are only on the Y-chromosome -which, conveniently enough in our culture, tends to be passed on with the surname, since it is carried by males only. If you are a female and want to help, round up a male with the surname and get him to volunteer, or help pay for his test.
One research foundation (SMGF) is excellent but very slow and will test you for FREE. It does take quite a long time to get results back from them. A for-profit company (FTDNA -they sponsor the website) is excellent and quick, but charge $150 to $270 for the test. Do one or both! If nothing else, PLEASE use the free research organization to be tested and get your results into this project.
See the website and contact me if you are interested. My Email address may change in the future but it is kept updated at the web site
For an example of what can be done if enough people who share similar surnames contribute DNA for testing, see here:
http://www.mumma.org/dna/MummaDNA67.html The summary at the bottom concludes that the American MUMMA and German MOMMA families are closely related, and that in some cases other similar-sounding surname groups are closely related, but surnames such as Mumme, Mummey and Moomey do not descend from the same genetic tree. In addition, cases of surname spelling errors between the Mumma & Mummey families were uncovered.
Administrator for the Rootsweb Thrift Email list and for the Thrift /Frith /Firth surname DNA project
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