Monday, 31 July 2017

Next generation family DNA ethnicity discoveries

I was able to persuade my four adult nieces and nephews (there are no more, so I'm not sure why I stress that they're adults...) to agree to DNA testing. Okay, I paid for their testing when AncestryDNA had their amazing Ontario Genealogical Society conference-only price of $69 CAN all inclusive in June. All of their results are now in. So, what do we have? By order of oldest to youngest, here we go, with their DNA ethnicity estimates.....


2nd Oldest

3rd Oldest

As always, DNA test results are intriguing, and as I say, never lie. Two have no Scandinavian (or Viking, as I like to call it) DNA. Two (who are siblings) have Iberian Peninsula DNA--which could be ancient Celt. Two siblings have French Canadian and beyond ancestry. And because French Catholic priests kept incredible records, they both are breaking my research workload in terms of 4th cousins or closer, with 1,200 and 1,500 of those--and counting--respectively.

And now, to drill down to find out how, if any, of them match to new found DNA cousins.

The never ending story continues.....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Brick wall: Longford and Cavan roots

In addition to my Donegal origins, I also have undiscovered roots in County Longford and County Cavan.

At some point before 2 Jun 1834, my paternal second great grandparents Hugh Edward Caroline (abt 1798-1879) and Mary Donovan (abt 1807-1892) arrived in Montreal, for it was on this date that they were married there, in Notre Dame Basilica. I first wrote about Hugh and Mary here.

Did they meet on board the ship that brought them from Ireland or did they know each other before they left Ireland? The record of their marriage gives me the names of their parents:
  • Edward Caroline
  • Rose Sheridan
  • Hugh Donovan
  • Bridget Connor 
pg 69, parish register, Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, from Drouin Collection
The entry also gives us a few other pieces of information. Hugh was living in the small village of St-Césaire at the time of the marriage. St- Césaire today is about a half hour drive from Granby, where he and his brother Mick eventually farmed. Mary was living within the Notre Dame parish boundaries in Montreal. My 3rd great grandfather, Edward Caroline, was deceased by June 1834, but otherwise, the parents of Hugh and Mary were living in Ireland. The record tells us that Hugh was from County Cavan, while Mary was from County Longford, areas that border on each other in a small part. County Cavan is today in Ulster while County Longford is in Leinster.

Their marriage was witnessed by three men: John McCartan, John Cassidy and Patrick Murray. These names aren't at all familiar to me. Were the men friends of Hugh and Mary, or were they enlisted to act as witnesses?

The structure in which Hugh and Mary were married wasn't the first Notre Dame on the site. The majority of the construction of the new church it had only been completed four years before they were married.

I know that Hugh arrived in Quebec with at least his brother Mick, but who were Mary's travelling companions? Other Donovans or Connors? Did they come to Quebec directly, or had they arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick, as many ships from Ireland did in the first half of the 19th century? Or perhaps they had sailed to New York, and made their way up to Quebec. What drew them there? So many questions. Always.

AncestryDNA testing has recently connected two of my family members to people who have Sheridans in their own ancestry. I hope that this begins a new journey of discovery. This is a first. We've had no Caroline, Donovan or Connor DNA matches. So far.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Friday, 7 July 2017

About those English nobility linkages of mine

It was a few years ago over a heritage society lunch that I learned from someone who became a great genealogy friend that I descend from English nobility, royalty, several Magna Carta barons and sureties and Crusaders. This is a story that I didn't touch on when I wrote here about my Nova Scotia Newcomb ancestors.

The connection comes through my 13th great grandmother, Alice Gascoigne (abt 1521-abt 1559) who married John Newcomen (abt 1520-1589) of Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire in about 1547. Newcomen was the original spelling of Newcomb.

Alice's grandmother was Lady Margaret Percy (1446-1486), daughter of the third Earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy (1421-1461), described in this Wikipedia article as an English magnate. Lady Margaret married Sir William Gascoigne (1450-1487). The Gascoignes came to England at the time of the Norman invasion, from the Gascon region of France, and were Yorkshire landowners and more. The Percys are an ancient English family whose eldest sons have held the title of Duke of Northumberland since 1766. Women from some of England's most noble families, including Nevil, Mortimer, Stafford and Plantagenet (there's my John of Gaunt crush again coming through again) married into the Percy family for centuries.

It is through these families and others that I can trace several of my direct ancestors to Magna Carta barons and sureties. The Magna Carta came about of course because of the very bad behaviour of my 24th great grandfather, King John (1166-1216), who was not a nice man.

But never mind all that, and much more yet to be told. I like to think that I'm distantly related to the English actor Chris Gascoyne who plays Coronation Street's messed up Peter Barlow. I have a soft spot for him.

The never ending story continues .....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Monday, 3 July 2017

Happy first blogiversary to me!

Has it been a year already? Oh my. But the calendar doesn't lie. My blogiversary was even recognized here. This is my 122nd blog post. Not nearly as impressive an output compared to some other genealogy bloggers, but I'm proud of what I've produced, and look forward to many more posts to come. There are still so many stories to tell and discoveries to make.

This past year, I've enjoyed collaborating with new and old DNA cousins, meeting them either in person, or by FaceTime or just "meeting" them online. Sharing our respective research and finding new sources will never get old.

Thank you for reading about my genealogy interests and discoveries here.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved