There seem to be only yea many different Royce lines in the UK so I'm going to try and reconstruct as many of these lines as possible. Records for older generations ( pre-1600s ) aren't readily available and as a result most lineages will begin fairly late. The only real way to figure out which lineages tie together beyond that will be DNA. All males surnamed Royce are encouraged to submit a Y-DNA sample to the Edmund Rice Association ( http://www.edmund-rice.org/haplotype.htm ). The Y-DNA testing procedure itself involves 1) a mouthswab, 2) you mailing it back to the lab for analysis. I will try to find enough descendant lines for each lineage, in North America as well as in the UK, and to follow these through to about 1900-1910 where possible so that only a minimal amount of genealogical tracing is required on the part of descendants in order to figure out which line they belong to.
Lineages will be referred to by codes formed from the earliest known location plus the earliest known date, e.g.
LIN1606 – Lincolnshire, earliest known ancestor 1606 ( Robert Royse )
ESX1616 – Essex, earliest known ancestor 1616 ( Moses Roise )
NOT1787 – Nottinghamshire, earliest known ancestor 1787 ( Joseph Roys )
SFK1594 – Suffolk, earliest known ancestor 1594 ( Edmund Rice )
These lineages can tentatively be combined where Y-DNA shows they share common ancestry or where a shared ancestor seems duly implicit. Owing to founder effect Robert Royce and Edmund Rice have too many descendants in North America to chart through to 1900-1910, but if you or your Royce relative take the Y-DNA test and find that you have a match for the Robert Royce haplotype ( or that you have a match for the Edmund Rice haplotype but your surname is Royce ) you can email me your earliest known Royce ancestor and I will look for the connection. Likewise, if you or your Royce relative take the Y-DNA test and your haplotype is unknown, you can email me your earliest known ancestor and I will see what turns up. Several American Royce lines seem to have had their origin in France and Germany, so not all progenitors in the New World will necessarily link back to the UK ( several UK lines also seem to have had late roots in continental Europe ).
Only male ( surname ) lines will be followed through on trees since we are looking for Y-DNA descendants of UK Royces rather than descendants in general. Recent research has led me to believe that there are very few old Royce families in the UK; the goal now is to see how many there are, where each line began, and who was the progenitor of each. Y-DNA results should uncover what links there are between various lineages despite migrations in the past. An example in more recent times: Manchester and Lancashire were full of Royces by the 1880s, but 70% of this population had genealogical roots in late eighteenth century Derbyshire. The Derbyshire Royce population may in turn have had roots in Rutland, but as we go back further records become less available and connections are harder to discern. Y-DNA is essentially a static barcode that travels the same route as surnames, so if it can be established that e.g. the Y-DNA signature of Jeremiah Royse ( DBY1786 ) matches that of Allen Royce ( RUT1691 ) or Matthias Royce ( RUT1768 ), that would be a major development. While it's unlikely that many records will be found for the period prior to 1550 ( unless a line was particularly prominent in the regional histories ), decreased geographic mobility in the past may allow us to narrow down original haunts of the surname Royce and then use older sources, such as the Domesday Book, to discern who the progenitor of a given line and a given haplotype might have been.
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