My y-dna says that I am Italian but stories from family are that we were an Italian family from France when my ancestor John Pigman emigrated from France to Maryland around 1695. The surname was apparently changed from Italian/French to Pigman.
My question: Does the French suffix Pign(an)mean the people of Pigna such as a Bostonian is from Boston? Also, would the suffix Pig(man) mean a person from Pigna? The n could have been changed to an m either on purpose or accidentally by the English. Incidentally my research indicates that Pigna is a pine cone and of course the g is silent and I believe the g is silent in French in the context of the name/village Pignan? This would sound something like Pinyon if I am correct. In French would the name Pigman sound like Pijemon?
I have looked around for records from Pignan, Languedoc, France but I think the records were burned with the churches during the conflicts with the Vaudois (Waldenese).
It was thought that all Pigmans in the U.S. are descended from John Pigman from around 1695 when he bought a farm in Maryland and that he was from an old French family. He had to leave because of political troubles, leaving behind a mansion and two old maids living in it.
My y-dna is Italian and Just yesterday another Pigman's test results came back with a genetic distance of 5 meaning a 49% chance that we shared a common male ancestor 870 years ago-- so not really related. Other family stories are that we are Italian and came here with 5 servants. My earliest ancestor that I know for sure was Leonard Pigman sometimes spelled Pigmon who was in North Carolina and fought as a private in the Revolutionary was. His family was visited by General George Washington and French General Rochambeau just before the decisive battle of Yorktown. My wife found where there were Italian soldiers fighting under the French flag with the colonists against England some of them with names like Pignon, Pignatelli, Pigna, etc. Some of them must have stayed because there are NO names like Pigman on any ship passenger lists that far back.
At any rate I have been searched for around 30 years for my ancestor's roots (periodically) and I am getting closer but I will never give up!
I have been thinking of the pronunciations from the link you gave me and I have come up with all kinds of variant spellings in French and Italiano.
Some of these are: Pignon
Pigmans (a name found in Tilburg, Holland)
It could have been any of these with the different pronunciations and spellings from a person perhaps writing it down from the way it sounds.
There is a section from a book about the church in Pignan, France we are trying to interpret from old French I think. The Google translator doesn't work so well because of the transcription errors and the old French. If anyone can help I would be greatly appreciative. I can copy and paste it here or send you a link.
They could have been either elderly women from the family or housekeepers. The one story I have found says that John Pigman arrived here after living for a time in England and brought five servants with him. Another researcher in the 1800's found where our ancestor owned several estates and had to leave them and his money. This researcher was John C. Pigmon, a school teacher in Knott County, Kentucky.
I recently found out that the Kentucky Pigman y-dna does not match the Maryland branch of the family. The curious thing is that Leonard Pigman from the Rev war era owned property just next to Mason Pigman in Hillsboro N.C. and was a son of John Pigman and in his will. Unless of course there was another Mason Pigman. Some of the names I have noticed in our family are Gaston, French, and other French sounding first names.
Now I wish I had learned Italian and French in school!