French Connections

European Links

As part of the search for the origins of my Newell ancestors I have reviewed Ancestry DNA matches for myself, my sister and two cousins (with a common Newell ancestor) to people with UK and European ancestors having Newell, Noel and related surnames (see the earlier section of this site on DNA Matches to the Old World). My search initially focused on matches from the UK since this area had the highest density of DNA matches; however, there were European matches. These European matches might be more significant than their numbers indicate since Ancestry DNA data has a bias towards the UK. The following Map shows locations in Continental Europe with matches (note: many of these locations have multiple matches).

Ancestry DNA European Matches to Knol (red stars); Noll (green stars); Noel (blue stars) and Canol (yellow star). Note some stars associated with multible matches.

This Map shows a cluster of DNA matches along the course of the Rhine River between Amsterdam and the Black Forest. West of the Rhine these are associated with the Noel surname while east of the Rhine they are associated with the Noll and Knoll surnames. There are two other clusters, one near La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast which has Noel and Canol (see more below) and one with the Noel surname in the Channel Islands (part of the UK but included here due to its links to France).

Emigration from France

Significant numbers of emigrants left France during the following periods:

  • 1538 to 1685:  Protestants flee religious persecutions in France.
  • 1632 to 1713:  French settle Quebec and Acadia (Canada).
  • 1722Alsatian colonies established in the Holy Roman Empire (Austria-Hungary).
  • 1749-1752: Montbéliard immigration to Nova Scotia,
  • 1764 to 1786:  Alsatians colonize Russia, Ukraine, and Banat,
  • 1785:  Some exiled Acadians shipped from France to Louisiana,
  • 1789 to 1791:  About 500,000 refugees flee the French Revolution for neighboring nations and the Americas. About half later returned (source).