Francois Joseph Savoie SOLVED

Started by Joseph Bolton on Saturday, September 15, 2018
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10/4/2020 at 4:33 PM

Hello everyone, I'm reporting in as another descendant of Francois Joseph Savoie. I recently got the results of my DNA through, and I guess my next step is figuring out a reliable way to get a paternal haplogroup from it.

What is the evidence pointing to a relationship to Italian royalty? Everything I have seen indicates the opposite. Francois Joseph is likely to have come from Martaize, France, which is quite a long way from the Italian border. And my DNA results indicate 36% French, but no Italian or Spanish DNA whatsoever. Of course that's not conclusive, but points in a different direction.

10/4/2020 at 4:42 PM

By the way, here's the line from Francois Joseph to me....

Francois Joseph Savoie -> Germain -> Francois Xavier (~ 1684) -> Francois Xavier (1710) -> Louis Hypolite -> Francois Valcour -> Ozeme -> Desire ....

Desire is my great-grandfather.

10/10/2020 at 7:37 PM

I agree Shane. There is no proof of a connection to Italian royalty, simply wishful thinking.

10/11/2020 at 8:36 AM

Hello Cousin Shane, My mother and her siblings have a small amount of Spanish and Italian. However, Since it was several generations ago not every descendant is going to show markers for Italian and Spanish. The other point is that the Savoys in Italy were a mix of several European nationalities, a large part of was French. Also unless you are 100% French Canadian, you have other nationalities in your background besides French that will show up in your DNA test.

10/11/2020 at 8:46 AM


There is substantial evidence that Francois Joseph Savoie is who he claimed to be: a son of Tommaso Savoy, Prince of Carignano. On the other hand there is NO evidence that it isn't true... none what's so ever. No records of an alternative story... none

I have clearly layout the evidence of the House of Savoy connection at the very beginning of of this discussion. Feel free to refute it but make counter arguments, not blanket statements like "simply wishful thinking." Show me Francois Joseph Savoie's birth certificate showing he came from Martaize, France? Show me any evidence that it isn't true.

The other point I would make is that current genealogical research has shown that decent from Royalty is far more common than originally thought. Therefore, there is nothing extraordinary that Francsois Joseph Savoie would be descended from Royalty.

So Glenn, So, I'm calling your hand refute the evidence I have.

10/11/2020 at 8:48 AM

For Glenn and others, I am reposting my first post laying out the case that Francois Joseph Savoie is from the House of Savoy.

n genealogy research, oral family traditions have more than just a grain of truth in them and quite often will point in the direction of historical truth ahead of the more traditional “paper” evidence. A notable example of this was the case of the descendants of Thomas Jefferson’s slave, Sally Hemmings. The Hemmings family for centuries have maintained that Thomas Jefferson himself is the father of her children and by extension, they too were descendants of the 2nd president.

The claim was hotly contested by the more traditional Jefferson descendants while the Hemming family remained firm in their oral tradition even in the face of intense opposition. Finally, DNA evidence was discovered that supported the Hemming’s family claim as Jefferson descendants. The Hemming’s oral tradition is now accepted as true.

A similar situation exists with the North American descendants of Francois Joseph Savoie. Many of his descendants found in Canada, New England and Louisiana have long claimed in for centuries that Francois Savoie was the son of Tommaso Francesco Francois Savoia di Carignano (di Savoia), Prince of Carignano, an Italian Prince of the House of Savoie of Turin Italy. For simplicity, he will be referred to as Tomaso. Tomaso’s father was Charles Emanual, Duke of Savoy, his mother was Princes Catherine, the daughter of King Phillip II of Spain. Through both his parents Tomaso has ancestors from the House of Savoie, the French Royal houses and the famed Medici family.
Although Francios Savoie’s descendants have stood by their oral family tradition, the story has it’s detractors who cast doubt on the story asking “where is the paper trail”. So far, no one has found any baptismal records stating that Tomaso is Francois’ father and it’s unlikely that any have survived the four hundred years since his birth. Can DNA evidence prove the claim that the north American Savoie’s are from the House of Savoy from Turin Italy? DNA tests taken from Fancois Savoie descendants with strong signals of Spanish, French and Italian are consistent with the assumption that Francis Savoie is the son of Tomaso. On a side note, many Savoie males also have a weak signal of East Asian ancestry. As compelling as the DNA results are, they are not the smoking gun. What is needed is a DNA sample that would serve as a “rosetta stone” bridging the North American Savoies to the European House of Savoy.

That rosetta stone may have been found in a Mr. Bill Gabunia Debuque. Bill, as he will be referred to, is only about three percent European. His European ancestry DNA is from Spain, Portugal and Italy. His European ancestors come from the House of Savoy from a generation before Tomaso. It is his only European link. What Bill has discovered, and this is the key, is that he matches the DNA sample from three of my mom’s sibling, who are Savoies through their father. I will refer to them as the 3 Savoies.

As Bill explains: “The extrapolated MRCA of the average match size on the 3 Savoies is exactly 17 (8.5/3.4x6.8) and not 16.8 as initially calculated. The individual extrapolated MRCA of the 3 Savoies would be as follows: Savoie A (3.0 cM) = 19.3 MRCA, Savoie B (3.3 cM) = 17.5 MRCA, Savoie C (3.9 cM) = 14.8 MRCA. My paper MRCA of 15 with Charles Emmanuel I and 16 with Felipe II fall exactly within this range.”

This match to Bill has been found only among Savoie descendants and not among other French Canadians.
Bill further explains: “The extrapolated MRCAs are now within or very near the estimated paper MRCA ranges (not more than 16 for me; not more than 13 for the Comeau and Boucher descendants). This strongly supports the possibility that these Acadian descendants have a common Acadian ancestor who descended from the Habsburgs and/or the Bourbons. And currently, the Acadian who has the most well-supported claim for the same is Francois Savoie, who is supposed to be a grandson of Felipe II's daughter.”

And Bill’s conclusion: “I have a 6.8 MRCA autosomal match with a Comeau descendant at Gedmatch. And I have no other known possible connection with Acadian descendants other than through the Savoies. I am both a Bourbon and Savoy descendant through the Ponce De Leons who got exiled to the Philippines. So I am inclined to believe that Francois is also a blood descendant of both the House of Bourbon and the House of Savoy.”

Bill has no ancestors from North America, they only way this DNA match to the 3 Savoies is if they share a common House of Savoy ancestor and the only way that could be possible is if Francois Savoie is the son of Tomaso. Add this evidence to the strong and persistent centuries old family tradition and it becomes beyond reasonable doubt that Francois Joseph Savoie is the son of Tomaso.
Now I know this conclusion will still have its detractors, even now the Hemming’s family has faced a few hardline hold outs to their claim of Jefferson ancestry. However, there is no such thing as 100% certainty in genealogical research! Like a good detective, you build a case from ALL the evidence and accept the most likely and the simplest conclusion. In the mystery of Francios Joseph Savoie, the strong evidence is that he is the son of Tomaso.

10/12/2020 at 8:06 PM

Joseph Bolton Hello there, cousin.

It was me that stated Francois Joseph is likely to have been born around Martaize or Loudon, based on some of the speculation I have come across, as well as this from wikipedia: (link:

In the early 17th century, Martaizé, along with the nearby village of La Chaussée, was one of the seigneuries of Charles de Menou d'Aulnay. Several of the earliest settlers of Acadia including the Babins, Gaudets, LeBlancs, the Bourgs, the Terriots, and the Savoies are believed to have been recruited by d'Aulnay from their original home in Martaizé to colonize New France.

It's not proof, just more speculation, but that's all I have really seen. It's not a big deal to me either way really, I just want to learn as much as I can about my ancestors.

If all my records are right, I am the last of an unbroken paternal line of Savoie's (Riddle is my adopted name) back to Francois Joseph. That means that if I take a Y-DNA test, I could find out for sure, I think.... I've taken the Ancestry autosomal test, which has ended up being somewhat useless for this type of research, but I do plan to take a Y-DNA test. While we're on that subject, any recommendations are welcome.

10/13/2020 at 2:55 AM

Hello Cousin Shane,

I have never seen any supporting documentation that Francois Joseph Savoie came from Martaizé. Although I have seen it repeated, I cannot find where it started from. That is part of the point I was making: there is no documentation supporting any alternative theory of Francois Joseph Savoie origins outside being from the House of Savoy (most likely illegitimate though).

10/13/2020 at 3:15 PM

Just like you have never seen documentation that Francois came from Martaize; we also have no Documentation that he is from the house of savoy. It’s speculation either way.

10/13/2020 at 7:09 PM

Glenn Laffy I tend to agree with you in terms of which is most likely. But it wouldn't matter either way, I'm more interested in finding out the truth. I will definitely report back any new info after taking a Y-DNA test, although I'm not even sure if that would solve anything if there's nothing to compare it with.

10/13/2020 at 9:43 PM

Shane, the difference is that we dont have a centuries old oral tradition that Francois Joseph Savoie came from Martiaze, or a deathbed confession that he came from Martiaze, or DNA test that links him to someone through no other way but through a link that goes through Martiaze.

Howwever, we do have those things in support of his origin with the House of Savoy. We have no evidence of any kind linking him to any other place or origin. None.

10/14/2020 at 6:22 AM

I am just interested in finding out the truth as well, if that is even possible.

Private User
10/17/2020 at 2:52 PM

FIrst, I think professional researchers have dispensed with your claim that Catherine Lejeune is Miq'Maq .

Catherine Lejeune was born in France around 1633. For almost a century, researchers speculated that Lejeune had been Mi’kmaq. This theory, based on a French historian’s faulty argument in the 1880s, led to a number of fanciful stories about her origins among genealogists. The most common, which continues to circulate widely today, claims that Lejeune is the granddaughter of Mi’kmaw Grand Chief Henri Membertou. There’s no evidence to support this claim.

Over the past 20 years, a number of historians of early Acadia have provided compelling documentary evidence that she was born in France. Plus, the results of genetic ancestry testing of nearly a dozen of her present-day descendants have consistently pointed to her French origins. There’s no longer a debate about Lejeune’s origins among historians.

As for Francois Savoie, the only evidence we have is speculation - The source for his origin being Mataize, France is here:

However Massignon[3] speculates that he may have come from Martaizé, near Loudun, France because the name Savoie is among the many Acadian names that are found in the nearby Seigneury d'Aulnay (comprising of the villages of Angliers, Aulnay, Martaizé and La Chausée).[4] However, Francois' birth record has not been found.

The citation is: Massignon, Geneviève. "Les parlers français d'Acadie, enquête linguistique", Librairie Klincksieck, Paris, 1962, 2 tomes. p32 (first French families in Acadia; p36. Savoie is found in the Seigneury of d'Aulnay in France; p49 Savoie family

Simply put, Menou who was the Governeur d'Acadie and who brought many settlers from France, was Seigneur d'Aulnay, and many of the original Acadians came from that region of France. And given many Savoie's can be found in that region, its logical to presume Francois Savoie also came from that region.

The Bill Gabunia Debuque evidence presented, on the surface, is underwhelming. First, he claims he is only 3% European. However, his ancestry on this website shows it is largely European, if not 100%. So that in itself is confusing.

One would have to prove that his matches to Acadian descendants of Francois Savoie are unique and at the exclusion of any other descendant of any of the various Quebec/Acadian royal gateways of which there are several: See

Given the Acadian diaspora to Quebec, Louisiana, and the entire east coast of the US, we have Lavoie DNA in many lines in those regions. Even if one accepts his personal documented lineage to the Savoie's of Italy, and matches to some Acadian/Quebec descendants, that does not prove the link is through Francois Savoie.

Beyond that, I'm not seeing anything to support your "overwhelming" "strong" evidence. Oral tradition is notoriously bad evidence. You reference a "deathbed confession". If it was documented contemporaneously, that would be compelling. Even if it was documented 2 or 3 generations later it would be worthy of further investigation. However, its been nearly 400 years. A 400 year old oral tradition of a deathbed confession is hardly compelling.

Lacking further evidence, I think your theory is speculation at best. And Acadian genealogists like Stephen White, Lucie Leblanc Constantino, and Denis Beauregard who I linked to above, are not willing to step up to your theory. In fact, they would say its highly unlikely given the stronger evidence that Francois Savoie was a simple plowman, probably from Martaize France since that is where most of his contemporary Acadians came from.

Private User
10/17/2020 at 2:59 PM

I should have added - If Shane Riddle can document that he is indeed a direct male line descendant of Francois Savoie, then an Y-DNA test would give you the overwhelming evidence you are looking for, either supporting the fanciful notion that Francois Savoie is the son of Tommaso Savoy or that he is not. Perhaps you'd be willing to pay for Shane Riddle's Y-DNA test.

Private User
10/17/2020 at 4:54 PM

And, autosomal DNA accuracy is only good for 5 to 6 generations. Most living descendants of Francois Lavoie are 12 or more generations away. For example, he is my 10th gg.

"In fact, autosomal DNA tests can accurately predict your ethnicity background going back 6-10 generations." After that, they are useless.

Private User
10/17/2020 at 6:22 PM

I failed to see this earlier:

A patrilineal descendant of Carlo Alberto di Savoia (a member of the same House of Savoy) took a DNA test on FamilyTree DNA and got haplogroup EL-117. See:

Two patrilineal descendants of François Savoie took yDNA tests and belong to haplogroup R (

The two families cannot be related with different y-DNA results. François' descent from royalty is a myth.

I agree. Very strong evidence. R1b is the haplogroup for Francois Savoie. EL-117 for the Savoia royal male descendants. And, R1b happens to be the predominant haplogroup in the western region of France and the many Savoie descendants in that area.

10/18/2020 at 4:25 AM

Raymond Lafleur,

- The parents of Catherine Lejeune is irrelevant to the parentage of Francaois Savoie
- The fact that he was a farmer in Quebec has nothing to do with who is parents are
- Citing a wiki page that he was from Martaizé, sheds no light on his parentage. Even if Francois Savoie lived there for a time before he left for Canada that does not disprove that he was a a son of Tommaso Savoie
- No one making a death bed confession to his children in the 17th century would even consider having it documented they way you require. Why would he? There was no inheritance.
- Even so, the oral traditions have persisted over centuries since the Savoies were expelled from Arcadia. The oral tradition was passed down to Fracncois Savoie's descendants in Quebec, New England and Louisiana. All before the age of mass communication.
- DNA tests: I don't know what you saw of Bill Gabunia Debuque's DNA tests that he manages. Until he joins this conversation, I stand by what he says about his own DNA test results.
- As for Carlo Alberto di Savoia You need multiple DNA tests among muliple decendants.

Where is your interest in all this? Are you a descendant of Francois Joseph Savoie?

As for me and many others, we still stand with Francois Savoie being a descendant of Tommasso Savoie.

Private User
10/18/2020 at 11:08 AM

As I mentioned on here before, I am descended from the Belgian branch of the Savoie/Savoye line...I have a few DNA matches with others with the Savoie name, & also d'Entremont, who are also on the Savoie line..I would love to see if someone from the Belgian line has the same YDNA as the one you are following..Given that my line was based in Ath Belgium, & many of us believe we are descended from Jacques de Savoie, Comte de Romont, who was living in Ath at the time, & also connected to Tomasso, through the Savoie line, I think that would clich it...

10/18/2020 at 11:34 AM

Raymond Lafleur makes excellent points, the idea that Francois is related to Italian Royalty is not supported by facts, just a few stories (no way to tell that the stories go back for many generations) and the claim of a death bed confession- do we have written documentation of that from a person who actually witnessed him saying it? The far more likely story is that he was an ordinary Acadian settler. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be thrilled to find out that I, as a descendant of his, am descended from the house of Savoy... but there is scant supporting evidence for that.

10/20/2020 at 6:13 AM

I have simply been procrastinating on the Y-DNA test.... I just recently got the results of my autosomal test, and have been spending more time than I should just tracking down things on my maternal side.

But reading this discussion is motivating me to get on this.... I love a good mystery, especially when I might be able to participate in solving it.

I'm fairly sure about he lineage back to Francois Joseph. My Savoie's are all Cajuns and there are many family members with many records. Even if they're not all 100% accurate on the path back to Francois Joseph, I'd bet they ultimately all lead back to him.

Anyway, a Y-DNA test would prove or disprove that as well. In the next 2 weeks I'll be ordering one.

I can do the research myself, but if anyone has recommendations based on your own research or experience, please share....


Private User
10/20/2020 at 3:42 PM

Shane,If you want to do a YDNA test to see if it connects to the Savoie line, it will only tell you that if your surname is Savoie..It has to be your father's father's father's, etc line...My direct link was lost through my last direct ancestor being female..Which company did you do the autosomal test with, as we might be a match..I belong to another branch of the Savoie family..

10/20/2020 at 4:32 PM

Private User

Well, my last name was Savoie at birth. I have a good relationship with my birth father, whose last name is Savoie, and the chain to Joseph Francois is all male.

I took my test on Let's compare. My Gedmatch # is HN3011029.

10/22/2020 at 7:38 PM

Well as far as I can tell, it doesn't look like a Y-DNA test would tell us anything right now. Someone listed in this link would have to take a Y-DNA test for something to compare with.

Private User
10/23/2020 at 2:58 AM

Hi Shane, Well I have finally got onto Gedmatch, & yes, we share quite a bit on there...I tend to use from 3cms, as I have a known distant cousin, with whom I share that sort of percentage..I share higher amounts with his siblings..Anyway, I tend to stick with Gedmatch T317135..(I have a few others), so have a look!

10/27/2020 at 5:01 PM

Thanks Danielle. I'm thinking our relation must be very distant if it exists at all, but I'm not an expert on this. I normally go with the default 7 cM to filter out random state matches, but even dropping down to 5 I get no matching segments.

10/27/2020 at 5:07 PM

I meant to include, we only break 4 cM once, on Chromosome 22. I don't think it's significant enough to say one way or the other. And we already knew we were Savoie's.... if only we could go past Francois Joseph.

Private User
10/27/2020 at 6:12 PM

Joseph Bolton,

Yes, I am a descendant of Francois Savoie. As I said in my post, he is my 10-gg.

*****- The parents of Catherine Lejeune is irrelevant to the parentage of Francaois Savoie ******
True. However, it is indeed a claim you made in your original post.

****Even if Francois Savoie lived there for a time before he left for Canada that does not disprove that he was a a son of Tommaso Savoie *****

The fact that most Acadians are from the Seigneurie of Aulnay and its villages and the fact that there are many Savoie's in that area is a pretty strong argument that Francois Savoie is from that area. And, if he was had just "lived there for a time", that would not explain why there are so many other contemporaries of his in that area with the same surname. Yes, its weak evidence. However its much stronger evidence than a fanciful claim that he is the son of Tommaso based on a 400 year old oral tradition that wasn't ever documented in the course of those 400 years until recently.

And you seem to completely ignore the DNA evidence we have obtained recently. As I posted - Francois Savoie is R1b. Descendants of Tommaso de Savoia are EL-117. There is no relationship between the two.

10/31/2020 at 3:30 PM

Your argument makes perfect sense. Well stated!

11/29/2020 at 2:28 AM

Hello all, not interested in argument of legitimacy of a claim. I've seen enough from multiple persons on genii, ancestry, familytreedna and gedmatch to say yeah he's the son of tommasso, but so what if he is or isn't? That line lost all but titles and are living in exile for those that do currently hold the titular duke or duchess. I'm a desendand all the way down to Therese " effie" Savoie and Joseph roland allemond, then my mother elizabeth estelle allemond married a Click and then I came around. I won't carry ydna markers but can tell you from what I have learned in extrapolation tools is that I carry the R1B1A2 haplotype, which is the haplotype for.most european royal houses on make lines so.... Whatever. Just interested in seeing who my distant relationship relatives are

11/29/2020 at 2:46 PM

Daniel... lol what the hell are you talking about? You're seeing people copy and paste mindlessly from unvetted sources.

Also based on what I've read about the current people in that Tomaso line, they seem more degenerate than royal and certainly nothing to brag about. I never gave a shit whether there was a link there for any reason other than fact gathering.

But whatever. Princes gonna prince, I guess.

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