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The RODRIGUE surname can be found today all around the world, but one can say quite rightly that most of those who bear the surname live in North America (Canada and the United States). The reason is simple: many ancestors, originating from the Iberian Peninsula, Rodrigues from Portugal and Rodriguez from Spain, have settled in North America and have had a numerous descendancy. From the beginning, the surname has been altered into Rodrigue, undoubtedly to facilitate their integration to the majority of the population. The RODRIGUE surname thus seems to have originated in North America with this spelling, and consequently most of the bearers of the surname live there.

But is it really true that this RODRIGUE surname originated in America? Not really. In Turkey today, there are some Rodrigue; from email contacts with members of this community, I have learned that these Rodrigue were Jews from Spain who fled the Inquisition and settled in Turkey in the XVth and XVIth centuries. And there, in Turkey, they have modified their original Rodriguez surname into Rodrigue, dropping the final "z". There were also some Rodriguez who, having settled in Belgium when this country was part of the Spain-occupied United Provinces, who changed their surname in the same fashion. Finally there are also some Rodrigue in Argentina and Brazil, descending from a French Rodrigue whose origin was in Portugal.

So the question of the origin of the Rodrigue surname is more complex than it seems. And this Surname DNA Project has been set up to try to find answers.