Chasing Down My Wife’s Rooney Connections

My wife’s father is half Irish and half French Canadian. On the French Canadian side there seems to be  a lot of genealogy and a lot of DNA matches. On the Irish side, there is a not so much genealogy and a lot less identified DNA matches.

Mapping the French Canadian and Irish In Laws

I have used a method to map out my father in law’s DNA that he got from his four grandparents. To do this, I compared him to his two sisters, Lorraine and Virginia. Here is their Chromosome 14.

The good news was that I could map the Chromosomes by looking at the DNA results of the three siblings compared to each other. Then I could find many matches to reference the French Canadian side. That got me the LeFevre and Pouliot grandparents above. The problem was that I couldn’t find enough matches to reference the Irish side.

Gaby to the rescue

However, on AncestryDNA I found my wife’s 2nd cousin on the Irish side. Because of Gaby, I can now tell which of my father in law’s grandparents are Irish.

Any DNA matches that Gaby has in common with Lorraine, Richard or Virginia are Irish. Gaby and my wife Marie, share the same Butler and Kerivan Irish ancestors. The next problem is that we can’t tell whether these matches are Kerivan or Butler.

Working Gedmatch To Get Kerivan and/or Butler Matches

In order to separate the Butlers from the Kerivans, we need to find matches that are further out. To find these I looked at DNA matches at Gedmatch that matched both Gaby and Lorraine. I used Lorraine because she was tested at AncestryDNA. The matches would be on the Irish side. That was the first cut. Next, I hoped that some of these matches would have trees at Ancestry that would match my in-law’s tree.

For example, here is someone that matched both Lorraine and Gaby on our example Chromosome 14.

The above image shows how Lorraine matches someone with a Rooney name (#1) and Gaby (#2). This tells me that this Rooney match is on the paternal side or Irish side, so that is also good. The other good thing is that my father in law’s grandmother’s mother was a Rooney:

All I have to show is that the match indicated in yellow above with the Rooney name is related to Alice Mary Rooney above. There were other common surnames, so the match didn’t have to be a Rooney. However, I noticed that there were some Rooneys in Massachusetts which is where my wife’s Rooney ancestors lived. Based on that, I thought that it would be a good idea to start with Rooney.

Doing the Rooney Genealogy

Lorraine’s Rooney AncestryDNA match that is also at Gedmatch and matches with Gaby at Chromosome has a Rooney Tree:

However, these two trees seem a little out of whack. Maybe Timothy Rooney in my wife’s tree could be a brother of Terrance Rooney in the Rooney tree?

A third Rooney Tree

I found another Rooney tree as an Ancestry Hint. It looks like this in a different view:

This tree shows that Timothy Rooney had two wives. It appears that Margaret Gorman was the first wife and had a John Rooney born 1827. Apparently Ann Nancy Lilley was the second wife and had Alice Mary Rooney. That could explain why the two trees didn’t match up. This tree shows the Terrence Rooney from the Rooney Tree as the same Timothy Rooney from my tree.

Putting the rooney trees together

Assuming that the Rooney Tree reconciliation was correct, the Rooney DNA match on the bottom right in purple would be a 1/2 third cousin once removed to my father in law Richard and his two sisters.

Back to the Chromosome 14 Map

That looks better. We now have the paternal side thanks to Gaby and a Rooney match. When I check the Rooney match, he matches Lorraine and Richard, but not Virginia.

The yellow matches on the Gedmatch Chromosome browser correspond with the green in the Chromosome 14 map above. The crossover for Richard at 54M also shows up.

The other good thing about the new Chromosome map is that it shows where the Butler matches would be. This is like a spy glass looking into the past. A match on the Butler side is like a match with Virginia’s grandfather who was born in 1875. Matches to these grandparents should be helpful in straightening out my wife’s Irish genealogy.

Summary

  • Use a paternal cousin to find other paternal cousin matches that are more distant
  • Connect that further out cousin to a known ancestor
  • Use that further out cousin match to complete a Chromosome map
  • Use that completed Chromosome map to identify other cousins as they match in identified areas of the Chromosome map representing grandparents of my father in law.
  • Use those identified matches to focus on further genealogy and break down former research barriers.
  • This method works best with people that have DNA testing results at both Gedmatch and Ancestry.

One Reply to “Chasing Down My Wife’s Rooney Connections”

  1. Hi, I believe we have communicated previously though I don’t recall exactly what I shared. Possibly what I have now is new. Regarding John Henry Rooney born 1853 (my great grandfather through his son Francis V. Rooney-brother of Charles). All census showing John Henry with his parents John Rooney and Mary (McDermott) indicate that John was born in 1830. I have found one record that appears to indicate his birth was Dec 25 1830. His marriage application with Mary McDermott states his parents to be Terrence Rooney, wife Anne…no last name. I found a record of a young John Rooney joinin. g the British Navy at age 15. The John whom I claim and married to Mary McDermott received his naturalization papers the same day as his brother in law, Timothy McDermott. Both men have indicated that their place of birth was Leitrim, Ireland. I have found a blood connection through the McDermott line. Turns out the McDermott line has both Rooney and Travers ancestors. There are three Rooney lines trickling into the Travers in years since the late 1700s/line My Rooney may/may not have a blood connection with any of those. He may have been from yet another “Rooney” blood line but apparently did come from that region, somewhere near Manorhamilton, Leitrim, Ireland. Still struggling to figure it out. Since the census showing my John with his son’s John Henry (my great grandfather and father of my grandfather Francis) , Thomas, Timothy and deceased baby girl Mary all indicate a birth year of 1830 I am inclined to think John Rooney of 1827 is a different person. Still…I never say never until find further proof.

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