Same Last Name a Relative?

Don’t assume two individuals are related because they lived in the same proximity and had the same last name. In certain regions, some last names are extremely common and may have originated in ways that have nothing to do with shared ancestry.

Or the relationship may be so distant that it will require tracing the ancestry further back than is possible and was so far removed that the individuals were unaware of the relationship.

The last name of Janssen is common in my maternal families. It literally means child of Jann/Jans. There were many men named Jann and during the time period when surnames were derived from first name, many unrelated families ended up with the surname of Janssen.

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