In search of your Irish ancestors could be like making an attempt to place collectively a puzzle with solely half the items. Many Irish information 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. Luckily, DNA can now present much-needed puzzle items that may assist full the image of your Irish ancestor.
After I began my seek for an elusive Irish girl 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 girl 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 information in Pennsylvania, however they stated nothing about Bridget’s origins. To make issues worse, Doherty is a typical surname in Eire, with many alternative spellings (Dougherty, Docherty, O’Doherty, and so forth.). With a typical title and no good place in Eire to start out 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 extensive! Additionally, Ancestry advised us that Maggie had over forty 4th-6thcousins with roots on this similar place; this implied Maggie had a latest ancestor (inside 5 generations) who got here from that space. We knew Maggie had different Irish strains 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 probably the place Maggie’s 2x great-grandmother Bridget got here from.
Now that I had a spot in Eire to start out trying, I went by way of the baptismal information of the native Catholic church. Certain sufficient, I discovered a Bridget Doherty who was born in Lecarrow Townland, proper within the middle 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 suitable Bridget Doherty. Due to 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 information could make the seek for an Irish ancestor’s origins tough, even irritating. The subsequent time you go searching for your Irish ancestor, attempt together with DNA in your search. It could possibly level you in the suitable path and provide the proper items to finish your puzzle.