Langley Surname DNA Project- Background



Langlee, Langley, Langlie, Langly, Longley, Longly


The Langley Surname DNA Project was originally established to identify Langley family related to John Langley, Sr. (b. 1771-1780) who is first found in Shelby County, AL in 1820 and 1830 census data. As the project has grown, a number of distinct Langley lineages have been identified. We invite anyone with the Langley surname or one of its variants (LANGLY, LONGLEE, LANGLIE, etc.) to join us. The DNA sample must be from a male carrying the surname to be of genealogical significance to this project. Participating in the Langley Surname DNA Project will provide: • A report of the participant's genetic genealogy, which will be very similar to that of his earliest known male-line ancestor, • A classification of the participant's "deep" ancestry, which gives insight into the ancient origins of our male-line ancestors, • A sense of camaraderie with all who participate in the Project, • Encouragement toward further research and sharing of information, • A wider sense of identity and relationship, as we begin to realize how we are all connected, • A chance to compare our genetic ancestries with those of our surname and its variant spellings, and • Genetic matches that demonstrate kinship with other surnames, giving further insight into our deep ancestry. With 36 participants and the emergence of at least 13 distinct Langley lineages we have a strong base to begin building on. We have already concluded that the various theories of the last century, namely that we all shared a common British ancestor of historical significance, can be discounted. We have all come across some of the ancestral theories, such as Geoffrey de Langley of the Third Crusade (who never existed in any case), a clan of Anglo Saxon Langleys in Durham; or an illegitimate son of Henry II. There may be some truth or some clues held within these theories but this Project has shown that it is not likely that we all connect to one of these historical figures. So, where did all the different Langleys come from? In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries surnames were in little use. However, for the purpose of deeds and other reasons, people had to have an applet added to their Christian names. This meant that you ended up with names such as; Richard Nick's son, Jimmy the Carter and Abraham from Lincoln. This last is what is called a territorial name and in early history we find Richard de Langelega in Shropshire in 1191, Thomas de Langley of Wichwood in Oxfordshire in 1216, Geoffrey de Langlee of Siddington Langlee in Gloucestershire in 1240 and Richard de Langeleige from Lancashire in 1330. The Dictionary of American Family Names (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4) lists the following three potential sources for the LANGLEY surname: 1. Habitational name from any of the numerous places named with Old English lang ‘long’ + leah ‘wood’, ‘glade’; or a topographic name with the same meaning. 2. English: from the Old Norse female personal name Langlíf, composed of the elements lang ‘long’ + líf ‘life’. 3. Americanized spelling of French Langlais. There are many places of the name LANGLEY in England. One can find them in the following Counties or Shires: Buckinghamshire Cheshire Durham Essex Gloucestershire Hampshire Hertfordshire Kent Norfolk Northumberland Sussex Warwickshire Some places may be too small to mention in many current publications or have disappeared altogether. Amongst them are Langley in Lancashire, which has been swallowed up by Manchester, and the following that have been found mentioned in old deeds: Derby Leicestershire Oxford Shropshire Somerset As the Project grows, we will learn more about our ancestry. We have found much similarity among the data of some participants and a significant amount of diversity in the overall Project. You can gain information on the status of the Project by paging through this site or join our Langley Surname DNA Project discussion group at Yahoo. There is much more information available at our Yahoo group site through our LINKS and FILES pages. There is no cost to join the discussion group and we welcome everyone who has an interest in the Langley Surname DNA Project to join. If you would like to become a participant in the Langley Surname DNA Project, you can click on the “Join This Group” link at the top left of this page. The historical discussion provided on this page was contributed by Peter Langley. Peter’s article can be found in the FILES section of our Yahoo group site. Thank you for your interest in the Langley Surname DNA Project.

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