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About the study
The Halbert One-Name study commenced in 2017. I began this study out of a desire to trace my Halbert ancestors and discover the origins of the Halbert name. I started my research by looking for the origins of my 3 x great-grandfather Thomas Halbert. Until I began my research we had 100+ year old stories about our Halbert origins. These old stories were published in a book and have been used by successive generations to explain where our Halberts came from.
No one had researched the origins of our Halberts and as a result these old stories were subject to more modern reinterpretations. Fortunately these stories contained grains of truth and provided linkages to other family members. Recent advances in DNA testing have enabled us to definitely link our New Zealand Halberts to the many families in Australia who are all descendants of William Halbert and Alison Potts.
Our Halbert name begins with the marriage of William Halbert to Alison Potts in Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland on 21 August 1763.
The name Halbert is infrequently recorded as Hulbert, Holbert and Halberd through early censuses. There are multiple variants but there are rarely ever found.
In Scotland the surname appears in the early 1600s in Canongate Parish in Edinburgh. George Black in his book 'The Surnames of Scotland' makes reference to the Halbert surname in Ayrshire in 1643 and the suggestion it might be of Norse origin.
The Halbert surname can be found in Bretagne, France in the 1640s. In England the surname occurs in Surrey, Wilshire and Kent in the 1630s. In the United States the name appears in the 1700s with Scottish immigrants. In Germany the name appears in the mid 1650s.
The origins of the name is scarce. Some have suggested the name is derived from the Halberd weapon. Others have suggested it is of English and French (Huguenot) origins. Others have suggested it is Anglo Saxon in origin dating to the early 1200s
The increasing use of DNA testing as a tool to determine genetic relationships has proved invaluable in my own family history and those bearing the Halbert surname. DNA testing can show genetic relationships which predate the use of surnames. A growing number of Halberts have tested their direct paternal lines via a YDNA test at www.familytreedna.com
YDNA testing should not be confused with autosomal testing through ancestry.com or the Family Finder DNA test at familytreedna.
I encourage those of you with the Halbert surname from Scotland, England, Ireland, the United States and other countries to DNA test to see if there is a common ancestor.