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About the study
Welcome to the Hellfritzsch One-Name Study
Please get in touch if you are a Hellfritzsch, are related to a Hellfritzsch, or would just like to know more about the project! My own interest stems from my partner, who's late mother was a Hellfritzsch from Pößneck, Germany. As my partner is fluent in German, ich kann auf E-Mails auf Deutsch antworten (forgive my own poor language skills!).
Progress Update - October 2017
The first results of a DNA test on a Hellfritzsch are below. I am running a series of extra analyses on the raw data via GedMatch to get more detail than Ancestry DNA provides. Already this has uncovered one 4th cousin who was not already in the family tree.The first round of extracting all of Ancestry.com's global Hellfritzsch records into a family tree, organised by city/state/country where possible, covers around 400 people including immediate relatives of Hellfritzsch's who have a different surname.
Next stage is to do the same for variants of the name. I've also added a number of living Hellfritzsch's listed on public websites, e.g. LinkedIn and Facebook, who are not yet on Ancestry's database, though I will only publish records for living people if they give permission to do so.
Variants on the surname include Helfritzsch, Hellfritsch, Hellfritsh... but even in Germany it seems to be a rather unusual name so I expect this to be a medium-sized study compared with my others I've undertaken.
The Hellfritzsch surname - so far as I can make out - has its origins in the state of Thüringen (Thuringia), the 'green heart of Germany' (das grüne Herz Deutschlands), but one of the aims of the study is of course to provide or disprove that. It could be that Thüringen simply had the highest concentration of Hellfritzsch's in the genealogical records available to me.
History of the name
I will add any historically notable family members here. So far I've found footballers, DJs, published authors and academics and soldiers.
Distribution of the name
There are Hellfritzsch's across Europe and North America and I will publish a map showing the distribution of the name around the world in due course.
In the USA the surname or similar variants can be found in Louisiana, Alabama, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In Europe I don't have a clear picture of the distribution yet. Hotspots seem to be Dresden (state of Saxony, Germany) and the German state of Thuringia. The smaller hotspots in Hamburg/Flensburg and Denmark seem to be of more recent ancestors. My guess is that the family spread north and west from its heartland in Saxony/Thüringen.
My primary data source is currently Ancestry.com. I also have a British Library Reader's Pass giving me access to FindMyPast and of course the library's records. Within reason I am happy to assist other guild members who are unable to visit the British Library in person.
The results of the first Ancestry DNA test of a Hellfritzsch are in! If you have a DNA report related to this project please get in touch.
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