Searching for your Irish ancestors will be like attempting to place collectively a puzzle with solely half the items. Many Irish data have been misplaced or destroyed, and oftentimes Irish ancestors who got here to America left too few clues about the place they got here from. Fortuitously, DNA can now present much-needed puzzle items that may assist full the image of your Irish ancestor.

Once I began my seek for an elusive Irish lady who immigrated to Pennsylvania, I used to be working with solely a handful of puzzle items. Bridget Doherty braved the trans-Atlantic journey as a younger lady within the 1800s, and her 2x great-granddaughter – let’s name her Maggie- was keen to seek out out the place Bridget got here from in Eire. We scoured numerous data in Pennsylvania, however they stated nothing about Bridget’s origins. To make issues worse, Doherty is a standard surname in Eire, with many various spellings (Dougherty, Docherty, O’Doherty, and many others.). With a standard title and no good place in Eire to begin trying, it appeared our puzzle would keep half-done.

However then we checked out Maggie’s AncestryDNA outcomes. To our delight, they gave us an entire new set of items to work with. AncestryDNA linked Maggie to a area in County Mayo, Eire. This area was solely 12 miles broad! Additionally, Ancestry informed us that Maggie had over forty 4th-6thcousins with roots on this similar place; this implied Maggie had a current ancestor (inside 5 generations) who got here from that space. We knew Maggie had different Irish traces in her tree, however they got here from County Cork; none that we knew of got here from County Mayo. This 12-mile spot was doubtless the place Maggie’s 2x great-grandmother Bridget got here from.

Now that I had a spot in Eire to begin trying, I went by way of the baptismal data of the native Catholic church. Positive sufficient, I discovered a Bridget Doherty who was born in Lecarrow Townland, proper within the heart of these 12 miles. This Bridget and her household matched up with what I knew about Bridget’s household in Pennsylvania. I confirmed this was the appropriate Bridget Doherty. Because of DNA, Maggie now has a brand new connection to Eire and extra names so as to add to her Doherty household tree.

Lack of useful data could make the seek for an Irish ancestor’s origins tough, even irritating. The subsequent time you go searching for your Irish ancestor, strive together with DNA in your search. It could actually level you in the appropriate route and provide the proper items to finish your puzzle.

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