Eric H Albright
The other day I was thinking about "Punctuated Equilibrium". What the heck is that you might ask? Punctuated Equilibrium is the idea that biological populations can just plod along for a long time with little or no apparent change. Then along comes something, like a meteor smacking into the earth and killing off the dinosaurs, and blam... all of a sudden theres a lot of changes. Thats a rather extreme example of punctuated equilibrium, but there are many others on a smaller more recent scale. Climate is a big one. Remnant populations holing up in ice free refuges during the last glacial maximum is an example. Populations become isolated from each other because of distance and reproductive barriers, and each begins to adapt to its own unique circumstances, becoming less and less like its ancestors. Size of the available population is also a factor. The less fish there are swimming around in the gene pool, the more homogeneous and alike they will become. War and migration both represent punctuated events.
During the early 18th century, a lot of Albright's left Europe and came here. A lot of them came to Pennsylvania, New York, the Carolina's. Moving across the ocean isolates related family groups much the same as an ice age would. As access to the gene pool is restricted, change begins to happen.
There was a second wave of Albright immigrants that came in the mid 19th century. An observation is that unlike the earlier palantine migration, this second group of travelers didn't change from the German spelling Albrecht. And right up into the 1920's and 1930's, Albrechts continued to come to America.
Don't worry, they apparently haven't run out in Germany, but you have to ask yourself "Who are all these people and why do they keep following me?"
I guess the message with this is that we all stand to learn a great deal about ourselves and our relations by having these types of studies done.