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Y-DNA Patrilineal Ancestry - 3k+ spellings - 2k year history
  • 67 members

About us

Cyriac Family History Project - Our project here at Family Tree DNA is an attempt to connect all of the disparate branches of a presumed at least 2,000 family tree that has its origins in either ancient Greece/Macedonia "and/or" the equally ancient area of the Middle East where Syria now sits. Prior to the existence of ftDNA and for much of the 20th century, the project involved discovering everything and anything about our surname and the noteworthy people associated with it. Many pre-20th century encyclopedias had numerous references to Cyriacus (et al spellings) individuals. Prior to the internet, most discoveries had to be made by physically visiting libraries (public, legal and business) and tediously searching on various spellings of the name. Less than a dozen spellings were known in those days. The most recent origins of the family having managed this project since 1969 is in the Bremen area of Germany. Our ancestors migrated to the Bremen area before 1537 and are still represented there to this day - a 600 year record of stability that predisposes us to believe that that sort of stability was not uncommon even before 1537 in other area(s) of Germany and elsewhere throughout the Mediterranean. This project was originally named the Cyriac Family History Project in late 1969 in West Bend, Jackson County, Wisconsin by brothers Ruben James Ciriacks and John Alfred Ciriacks. That was when the brothers discovered why they never found any other Ciriacks in telephone books during their travels thoughout the country during WWII and later while serviing in the military, going to college and eventually landing jobs in private industry. At that time in September 1969, the brothers first discovered that the spelling of their family surname should have been Cyriacks with a 'y' after the 'C' instead of an 'i'. DUH!? Had they been raised in West Bend with the rest of their relatives, they would have learned that long before. As it was, growing up in Milwaukee away from those relatives, except of periodic mini-reunions with close cousins, they never know. So beginning IMMEDIATELY after discovering that surname spelling, Ruben began spending his lunch breaks at American Appraisal Company sitting on the floor in their research library transcribing the names, address and telephone numbers of every Cir... and Cyr... surnamed individual found. Oldest brother John used that information to 'cold call' those individuals to garner more information. When leaving American Appraisal to begin college, Ruben began researching all the written resources in the U. of New Mexico library and, eventually, wherever else he traveled. John continued contacting known and presumed relatives to obtain their oral family history before it was lost forever and created the 3 ring binder that became the very extensive and thorough family history for the most recent century of activities of all known branches of our family. That included the Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota branches founded by brothers as well as the various New York and New Jersey branches founded by cousins of those brothers. It also included the Cyriax branch of the family that had migrated from the Gotha/Erfurt area of Germany to England that were presumed to be cousins but for which the specific family connected had (and has) yet to be made. John specialized in dealing with LIVING relatives while Ruben concentrated on those LONG DEAD. The results of their research will be reflected here as time allows. The web site that used to reflect that research took two decades to create. It will take a while to replicate the more important and interesting aspects of it here. The more recent 100 years of the history of various branches of the family is privately published and will not be placed online. All possible variations of the spelling of the surname are included. Some oddball ones, like Kayes, are included because, as is the case of an individual named Kyriakakos who settled in San Francisco, that spelling was chosen in order to avoid all the confusion surrounding his birth surname that had to be translated from the greek alphabet to ours. Others, like Kirk, are derivative from other greek spellings and don't necessarily imply that all Kirk surnamed individuals are part of our DNA - only that some subset of them may be. Others appear odd until one discovers that they are the translations from one language into another. Many variations are due to the fact that not everyone knew how to read, write or spell before the 20th century. (The most continues, accurate spellings are in branches where such literacy did obviously exist.) Many scribes taking names for an official document or for some other purpose used whatever spelling conventions they knew - Cyriacks became Ciriacks or Ziriacks or Zyriacks or Zirjacks or maybe even (not yet proven but highly likely) Sierichs.