Sadie’s Nicholson DNA

Recently, I’ve been in touch with a new DNA relative on my mom’s Nicholson side. Sadie showed up at AncestryDNA as many matches do. Sadie, however, also showed up as a Shared Ancestor Hint. These are good. As long as the genealogy on both sides is good, this shows how you connect to your DNA match by common ancestors.

Emma above is my grandmother and Martha is Sadie’s great grandmother. That makes us third cousins once removed to each other. Speaking of Emma, I found a photo of her online that I hadn’t seen before. My cousin Judy in the chart below had posted it:

Emma is holding her Lentz niece. However, they are both Nicholson descendants. The niece was born in 1918.

Here is how Sadie fits in with some of the other Nicholson DNA-tested relatives:

I’ve chopped off some of my unrelated Rathfelder ancestors on the left. Sadie descends from Sarah who represents a new daughter of William Nicholson and Martha Ellis. Actually Sarah Nicholson is new to this DNA project and the eldest child of William and Martha Nicholson.

Sadie’s Nicholson DNA

Sadie matches me and my 4 siblings as well as my mom by DNA. She matches my cousin Rusty. She doesn’t match Judy and Joshua. She matches Joan and Joan’s sister Linda. She matches Carolyn but not Nigel. The largest Nicholson match that Sadie has is on Chromosome 6:

Here she matches:

  1. Joan
  2. Me
  3. My mom
  4. My sister Heidi
  5. My sister Sharon
  6. My Brother Jonathan
  7. Another Nicholson relative that hasn’t gotten back to me
  8. My cousin Rusty
  9. My sister Lori

It looks like a lot of people, but it could be reduced to Joan, my mom, the other Nicholson relative and my cousin Rusty. That is because my siblings and I got all our Nicholson DNA from our mom. These matches form a Triangulation Group:

The theory says that these four people got their specific matching DNA from either William Nicholson or Martha Ellis. However, because we don’t know which, I’ve circled them both. This doesn’t mean that the other people that didn’t match on Chromosome 6 don’t descend from William and Martha. However, it does give solid evidence that the ones that do match do descend from the couple.

A Chromosome Mapping Side Trip

In Sadie’s matches, I noticed that Sadie had a shorter match with my sister Lori who is #9

This means that Lori likely has a crossover where her match stops around 56M. Here is Lori’s match with Sadie:

It looks like chromosome mapping would go beyond the scope of this Blog, so I’ll address this later. My assumption is that Lori’s maternal Chromosome 6 switches from her Lentz grandmother (whose mother was a Nicholson) to her Rathfelder grandfather at about position 56M.

Sadie’s Nicholson X Chromosome Matches

The important rule about the X Chromosome is that it doesn’t travel down from father to son. That means if there are two males in a line going up from a DNA tester to a common ancestor, then there can’t be an X Chromosome match there. This applies to only Nigel in my chart. Nigel is from a long line of Nicholson males.

Here are Sadie’s top three X matches:

The first match is Joan. I don’t know who the second match is. Probably a non-Nicholson match. The third match is to Judy in the chart above. The pink zero means that Judy shares no autosomal DNA (Chromosomes 1-22) with Sadie but does share a sizeable X Chromosome match. Here are Sadie’s X matches with these two Nicholson cousins on the Gedmatch Chromosome Browser:

#1 is Sadie’s match with Joan and #2 is her match with Judy. Again, we can’t know if this DNA is from William Nicholson or Martha Ellis. This is because Sadie, Joan and Judy descend from daughters of William and Martha. If one of them had descended from a son, then we would know that the X Chromosome they got would have to be from Martha Ellis.

My Chromosome Map

I almost forgot to update my Chromosome Map based on Sadie. This is the one based on all my identified cousins that match by DNA. Kitty Munson developed the software for this:

Sadie shows up on my map as maroon on Chromosome 2 and 6. The 2 is important as I had no maternal match on that large Chromosome prior to the match with Sadie. Here are the specifics of my match with Sadie:

 

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.

The Frazers of North Roscommon, Ireland: STR Tree and Signature STRs

Now that a DNA sale is on at Family Tree DNA, my mind has turned to Frazer YDNA. I had thought that I had mentioned STR Trees and signature STRs for the Frazer family before. But after looking at my old Blogs, apparently I have not. I have talked about STR signatures, but will go into more detail here.

Present YDNA Testing of North Roscommon Frazer Descendants

At this time two male Frazer descendants have tested for YDNA. They are Paul and Jonathan.

Paul is two generations below on the left side and Jonathan is one generation below on the right side. If I have this chart right, that would mean that Paul and Jonathan are 6th cousins once removed. Their common ancestor was probably another Archibald Frazer born around 1690 who married a Mary. Both Paul and Jonathan have tested their YDNA for 67 STRs. YDNA tests male only lines – in this case if focuses on the Frazer Line .

A Signature STR

It would be interesting to know what the signature STR is for this Frazer ancestor born in 1690. How could we discover that? If we had  many Frazer testers, we would like take the most common STR values and assume that those would be the oldest values. However, we only have two testers, so that would be difficult.

The problem with STRs is that they could go up or down. We would like the older STR signature to go to our 1690 Frazer. That means we have to go back in time a step to try to see which way the STRs are moving. The other thing is that we hope that they are moving in one direction only!

Jonathan represents the older Frazer line

In my past Blogs on the subject, I have assumed that Jonathan’s STRs represented the common Frazer ancestor more than Paul’s STRs. My reasoning was that Paul had very few matches at all levels. Usually at a lower STR level one has more matches. That said to me that Paul’s line’s STRs had mutated away from the ancestral signature. Here are the three differences between Jonathan’s and Paul’s STRs:

Jonathan’s results are on the top and Paul on the bottom. None of these STRs are very slow moving STRs. CDYa is a very fast moving STR. So fast, that some genetic genealogists don’t like to use this STR in their analyses.

The L664 Mode

It is my assumption that our Frazers are part of the R1a-L664 Haplogroup. That is based on the fact that usually this group has a value of the 388 STR of 10. That is the case for Paul and Jonathan. The mode is the STR value that is the most common. The mode is also assumed to the be representative of the oldest values. The L664 mode for the 391 STR is 10 and the mode for 576 STR is 18. That confirms my hunch that Jonathan has the oldest STRs. The mode for the CDYa STR is 33-39, which is a little more like Jonathan than Paul. However, as I’ve noted that STR can be unreliable – especially over long time frames.

Here are some of the other SNPs under the L664 Haplogroup:

This is to give the reader an idea that there are many SNPs under this Haplogroup. It looks like there are 4-7 levels below L664. More SNPs could be discovered by the Big Y test.

How old is L664

It’s quite old. Here is the YFull Tree with dates:

Note that a common ancestor with another L664 person could go back 4100 years. That’s a long time. And our Frazer testers are not even confirmed to be L664. That means that their Frazer SNPs are still in the cave man ages. That is one reason why Big Y tests are needed. This YFull Tree above follows one branch down to where the common ancestors are 300 years ago. That is closer to where I would like to see our Frazer SNPs. Note that the YP1168 is also shown on the pink tree above. So while these SNP trees look quite innocent, it is not always obvious that they could represent close to 4,000 years.

The North Roscommon Frazer mode based on the l664 mode

In order to get our Frazer mode, I would just have to look at the STRs that the Frazer have that are different than the L664 Mode. The L664 is the going back in time Haplogroup that I mentioned above.

Above, I left out those Frazer STRs that were the same as the L664 mode. Of these STRs, the 450 is likely the most significant as it has the lowest likelihood of mutating. That is shown in orange with a value of 0.200.

Putting It All Together In a Simple Frazer Tree

Here is a simple tree:

A few comments:

  • There may be some refinements to this Frazer Ancestor Signature STR, but this is the main idea.
  • It seems odd that Jonathan would have no STR mutations between 1690 and when he was born. It is likely that he has had mutations – probably with one of the faster mutating STRs
  • A new Frazer descendant has ordered a 67 STR test. He is on the Archibald line, so that should clarify things there as far as where the mutations happened.

Keep an Eye on the Grants

By YDNA, the Grants seem related to Frazers. I am assuming the relation goes back in time in Scotland. I don’t know if this break happened before the adoption of surnames or after. Here is a Grant/Frazer Tree I had made some time ago:

  • The Frazers could be related to other Scots Lines. However, this one seemed to stand out.
  • I took the STR signature concept I brought up in this blog and applied it further back in time and have a Grant/Frazer Ancestor signature at the top.
  • In this scenario, the only genetic difference between a common Grant/Frazer ancestor and a Frazer ancestor is the 447 STR.

Things to Come

  • Pat has ordered a 67 STR test for her male cousin and a Family Finder test for his sister
  • Joanna and I have ordered BigY tests for Jonathan and Paul.
  • With all this YDNA testing we are coming from the distant past into the less distant path. The goal is to confirm our Frazer Lines and connect with some as yet unknown Frazer Lines.
  • The three pronged attack is: genealogy, autosomal DNA testing for the last 250 years, and the Big Y to cover from perhaps 2,000 years ago to as recent as we can get. We will wait and see.
  • The advantage of having two Big Y tests is that we should discover new SNPs that are unique to our branch of Frazers.
  • I plan to use YFull to analyze Paul’s BigY results to get dates for the SNPs.

Gaby’s Butler and Kerivan DNA

My wife’s cousin Gaby recently uploaded her AncestryDNA results to gedmatch. That is good news for my Butler and Kerivan research. My wife’s father is a Butler and a Kerivan on his father’s side. However, because he is also half French Canadian on his mother’s side, he gets a lot of French Canadian matches. Those matches make if difficult to find the Irish Butler and Kerivan DNA matches.

Gaby’s Overall DNA Matches at Gedmatch

Here are Gaby’s top DNA matches at Gedmatch:

  • Already, there are a few interesting things. One is that Gaby has some X Chromosome matches with Virginia and Lorraine. Virginia and Lorraine are my wife’s aunts. We will look at that later.
  • The next point is that Gaby shares about the same amount of DNA with my wife Marie as she does with Marie’s Aunt Lorraine. Such is the randomness of DNA inheritance. Gen in the Chart above means generations to a common ancestor. For example, first cousins have 2 generations to their common or shared grandparents. Marie’s ‘Gen’ amount should be 3.0 (on average) to Gaby as those two are second cousins. Aunt Lorraine should be 2.5 from Gaby as they are 1st cousins once removed.

Butler/Kerivan Genealogy

Here is a brief genealogy as it relates to those close relatives DNA tested and uploaded to Gematch:

Those that have DNA tested and are listed at Gedmatch are in dark bold. Marie, John and Gaby are each 2nd cousins to each other. The 5 testers on the left will share French Canadian LeFevre DNA with each other. However, now with Gaby, the left hand side above will share only Butler and Kerivan DNA. Likewise from Gaby’s point of view, her matches take her Melsis ancestors out of the matching.

Kerivan X Chromosome Matches

I mentioned above that Gaby matches Lorraine and Virginia by X Chromosome. My guess is those matches are Kerivan and not Butler matches. Why do I think that? The important thing to note about the X Chromosome is that the son inherits no X Chromosome from the father. However, Lorraine and Virginia inherited an X Chromosome from their father, Edward Butler b. 1904. That Edward inherited no X from his dad, but did inherit X from his mother Lillie Frances Kerivan, born 1874.

Here is Lily Kerivan’s X DNA that is shared between Gaby, Lorraine, and Virginia:

gaby’s additional X Chromosome DNA

But there is more. Gaby gets more X Chromosome DNA than those on the left side of the Butler/Kerivan genealogy chart. Gaby gets some Crowley X Chromosome DNA.

Following up the tree from Gaby, she got X DNA from her mom, who got it from her mom Lily Butler. Lily got her X DNA from her mom and dad Edward Henry Butler. Edward got all of his X Chromosome from his mom Mary Crowley, b. 1838 in St Johns, New Brunswick. So Gaby may have some of  this old X Chromosome DNA. I say she may as we don’t know for sure. Perhaps it dropped out along the way. However, the potential is there.

Finding other Butlers and kerivans

One way to find other matches on the  Butler and Kerivan sides is to run a utility at Gedmatch. The utility is called ‘People who match one or both of 2 kits’. We are interested in those who match both my father in law Richard and Gaby.

If I choose Richard’s kit number first, I’ll get those in common with Gaby that match Richard. If I choose Gaby’s kit number first, I’ll get her matches that are in common with Richard. I’ll choose Richard’s kit number first as I already have a spreadsheet of a lot of his matches. Here are the results:

I left out the kit numbers on the left and the emails on the right. Also on the right is a check box to choose all the matches where they can be compared. The first three columns are for Richard and the second three are for Gaby. When I pick a lot of the check boxes, I can then compare them in a Chromosome browser.

This is an example of one of the Chromosome’s results. #1 on the browser is a Rooney. There are Rooney’s on the Kerivan side, so this is a good sign. #2 is Gaby. It looks like she is related to #3 also. Now I can go to Richard’s match spreadsheet. I can make an educated guess that both these matches are on his Paternal side.

The first entry in blue above is the Rooney person. The second in blue is Gaby. Others in blue are likely related along that Kerivan or likely Rooney line. The blue means a paternal match. Notice that there are a few other matches with known relatives above that are maternal matches in the same area of the Chromosome. I have them in pink for maternal. Knowing if your matches are paternal or maternal is one of the most important things to know about autosomal DNA matching. If you get that wrong, you will be chasing DNA down the wrong road.

Cousin Holly’s Hartley DNA Results

I have many 2nd cousins. Over 100 I’m sure. My Hartley great grandparents had 13 children. All their descendants in my generation are 2nd cousins.Holly is one of those 2nd cousins. My first recollection of Holly is that she was creating a bit of commotion at our Town’s ball field. I was probably about 5 years old at the time. I had an impression that she may have been a relative but I wasn’t sure. Holly was challenging the local boys in a foot race and beating them. I was thinking that she was one cool girl.

So far on my Hartley side, those in gold below have tested and uploaded and uploaded to Gedmatch.com:

Note that Patricia and Beth are also first cousins to each other.

Here’s Holly’s grandmother Grace Hartley. I borrowed the photo from Holly’s Ancestry Tree:

Does she look like Holly? I think so. Except I don’t picture Holly as looking as serious.

All the Hartley cousins in the chart above have James Hartley and Annis Louisa Snell in common. But we won’t know which – easily. Another point is that everyone has eight great grandparents. So all the second cousins get 2/8 or 1/4 of their DNA from these two great grandparents. That is, on average. Here are the numbers of how Holly matches the tested Hartleys:

The Gen is how far it seems that the common ancestors are away based on the DNA match. James, my dad’s 1st cousin seems 2.5 away. That is just right for a 1st cousin once removed. Holly should match her 2nd cousins on average at a level of three. That is because our great grandparents are 3 generations away from us. Because of the random way we get our DNA, however, Holly is more closely matching Joel, Beth and Patricia and is further away matching on my four siblings.

The X Chromosome Rule

There is a rule that the X Chromosome does not pass down from father to son.

That means that no X Chromosome from Greenwood Hartley got passed down to any of us. That also means that no Hartley X Chromosome got passed down to anyone in my family. That is why Holly matches James, Beth and Patricia on the X Chromosome and only incidentally matches Lori and Heidi from my family.

Here is how Holly matches James, Beth, Patricia and incidentally my 2 sisters.

Holly and Jim have a longer match as they are more closely related (1st cousin, once removed). As a rule, the more closely you are related, the longer the segments.

Shared Autosomal DNA

Holly and I share this much DNA:

By comparison, here is my overall Chromosome map before I add in my DNA matches with Holly:

On my map, the James Hartley/Annie Snell part is shown in darker blue. It looks like Holly’s DNA could add quite a bit to my map. Ideally, if I could test enough relatives, the dark blue whould fill up 1/2 of my paternal chromosome. The other half should be from my paternal grandmother who was a Frazer.

Here is Holly’s DNA added in. I also added a maternal first cousin who contributed to my first substantial X Chromosome match:

Remember I get no X Chromosome from my dad (top part of each line). So that has to be blank on the X Chromosome.

Next I’ll add in 1st cousin once removed Jim to Holly’s map:

Jim’s contribution to our great grandparents is in blue. Notice that now the X Chromosome is kicking in.

Adding beth’s DNA to Joel and Jim

Here is the addition of Beth’s DNA:

Note that Holly has a lot of matches on Chromosomes 5 and 9. That must mean that Holly got most or all of her paternal DNA on that Chromosome from her Hartley grandmother, Grace May.

Kicking it up a notch

Next I’d like to add my siblings’ results to ‘the other matches on Holly’s Chromosome map. My siblings’ results plus mine should be similar in size to Holly’s matches with Jim, my dad’s first cousin. It takes 5 siblings to get about the same DNA as you would have for one parent. While I’m at it, I’ll add Patricia.

This is all Holly’s DNA that she got from James Hartley and Annie Snell, her great grandparents based on the matches that we’ve looked at so far. I probably should have lumped Beth and Patricia together as they have the same Hartley grandmother [Mary], but I didn’t.

Separating the Hartley and Snell DNA

One thing I would like to do would be to separate the Snell DNA from the Hartley DNA. If I could do this I could find matches that were just Snell or just Hartley. The DNA matching is about narrowing down the possibilities. The best way to do this would be to have a match that is known to be a Snell but not Hartley or a Hartley but not Snell. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any such people. The next best thing to do is to guess. One way to guess is called phasing by location. So, say I have a match with a lot of ancestors from colonial New England, but not Lancashire. And I would need to know that I match this person on my Hartley side (not my mother’s side). I would say that this would likely indicate DNA from the Snell Line. That is because the Snell ancestors go back to Colonial New England and the Hartleys came later from Lancashire, England.

My Chromosome 16

Here is a section of the first part of my Chromosome 16 matches (without the matches’ names) in spreadsheet form:

Each line represents a different match with someone. About half way down this list I have a match with Ned at 39.93 cM. I don’t know who our common ancestor is, but Ned has a lot of colonial New England ancestors, including the Warren Pilgrim family. I also am descended from the Pilgrim Warrens, but it is generally thought that a DNA match that large would be likely to last that long.

Triangulating with ned

Triangulation shows what common ancestors unknown DNA matches may have. Triangulation is when you match someone’s DNA, they match another person’s and you and the other person all match. Successful triangulation shows that all the DNA came from the same ancestor.

Here is my match with Ned:

Here is Holly’s match with Ned:

To close the loop, I have to match Holly in the same area of Chromosome 16:

No problem. This shows that Holly, Ned and I share an ancestor. By Ned’s Ancestry Tree, we think this is a New England Colonial ancestor, but we aren’t sure which New England Colonial ancestor it is. However, as Annie Snell has New England Colonial ancestors and James Hartley doesn’t I am pretty sure I can assign this segment to Annie instead of James.

This means I can update my Chromosome map with my first New England Colonial piece of DNA represented by Annie Louisa Snell on Chromosome 16. This is shown in light blue:

The other interesting thing about this piece of DNA, is that it not only is from Annie Louisa Snell, it is also from some New England Colonial person – the one I haven’t figured out yet that we have in common with Ned.

Other New England Colonial Connections Between Holly and Me

AncestryDNA recently came out with a new feature called Genetic Community. That feature lumps you into a group with a bunch of other people based on your DNA testing. One of those groups is called Settlers of Colonial New England. Here are my Genetic Communities (or GCs).

Notice I get a Likely rating for those Colonial Settlers. Holly, on the other hand, has one Genetic Community:

She gets a Very Likely. That means she is super Colonial New England. Holly has a Connection Link under her Settlers of Colonial New England. Under that link is another link that leads to “…a list of all 238 of your DNA matches who also belong to this Genetic Community.” Under my similar link I have 110 DNA matches. However, Ned that I mentioned above matches me under Settlers of Colonial New England. He doesn’t match Holly in her list for some reason – even though I showed that we triangulate. In addition, Holly and I match each other on our lists of DNA matches under Settlers of Colonial New England.

Summary

There’s plenty more I could have written about, but I’m a gonna wrap it up:

  • Holly is more Colonial than I. I expect her other non-Snell ancestors contributed more in this area
  • I looked at a way to separate out ancestral DNA when other reference matches are missing
  • We are getting a good group of Hartley/Snell descendants that have had their DNA tested and have uploaded to Gedmatch.com for comparison
  • I never knew Holly looked so much like her Hartley/Snell grandmother.

Double Visual Phasing

Many articles have been written lately about visual phasing. This is a method developed by Kathy Johnston. I would like to write about double visual phasing. Previously, I had tested my father in law and his two sisters and tried visually phasing them. Here is the result of my attempt to visually phase their Chromosome 15:

Chromosome 15 – Richard and Sisters

I can tell that I did this a while ago as it was done in MS Word which I don’t use now for visual phasing. L is Lorraine, R is Richard and V is Virginia.

What is Double Visual Phasing?

This is a term I made up. I’m guessing that others have tried this, but I have not seen any Blogs on the subject. Richard has a second cousin named Fred. He is related on the Pouliot side (in orange above). Fred has had his sister Sleuth tested and his brother Don. If I phase Fred and his two siblings who are related to Richard and his two siblings, I’ll have double phasing. As they both share a Pouliot grandparent, it will be interesting to compare the results.

A Brief Genealogy

For the purposes of this Double Visual Phasing, here are the people involved:

Let’s Visually Phase Fred and His Two Siblings on Chromosome 15

The first step is to compare the three siblings to each other at Gedmatch.com using the Chromosome Browser:

I used MS Excel for this and I adjust the columns to the segment changes. Note that all the segments don’t line up perfectly, but I’ll say they are close enough. Next I add locations in millions:

I also put in darker vertical markers. I’m hoping that the places where the segments don’t align perfectly do not indicate additional crossovers.

Next I need to show who the crossovers belong to:

From this, it looks like Fred has four crossovers, Sleuth has two and Don has only one. Fred’s first crossover is at position 22M.

Next, I can assign colors based on Fully Identical Regions (FIRs). In these regions, there will be a match on both one maternal and one paternal grandparent. These grandparents will be represented by two of the same colors in that region extending to the person’s next crossover.

Where there is no match, I can assign two different colors and extend those to each persons’ crossover.

I make sure that the boundaries for each person line up with their crossovers. So on Fred’s map his first FIR with Don is short as it is within Fred’s two crossovers.

Mapping Half Identical Regions (HIRs)

Here I get one chance to map an HIR. My inclination is to map the HIR on the right between Sleuth and Don. My reasoning is that Sleuth is already at her last crossover at that point, so I’ll extend her segments all the way to the right. I already know from my previous map for my father in law’s family that Fred has some matches with my father in law and his two sisters on the left side of Chromosome 15 shown in Orange. So that information may help me map the left side of Chromosome 15:

Chromosome 15 – Richard and Sisters

Here is Fred and family’s partially completed Chromosome 15 with the HIR added for Sleuth:

However, there are blanks. Also we haven’t figured out which side is maternal and which side is paternal.

Two other testers

There are also two other testers: Patricia and Joe. They are my father in law’s first cousins. They are related like this:

The next thing I do is to compare all these eight people in gedmatch.com to each other. I download the results into a spreadsheet. Here are the matches on Chromosome 15:

I have the matches between siblings filtered out so they don’t show. I have Fred, Don, and Sleuth in the first column and the others in the second column. Every match represents DNA from Joseph Pouliot (or his wife Josephine Fortin – let’s not forget her). The way I have it mapped right now, the most important match is Joseph to Don and Sleuth. The only place that match could be is on the blue portion:

This is good news, because this sets the paternal and maternal sides for Fred, Sleuth and Don. It also sets where their paternal grandparents are. Here are Fred’s grandparents:

That means that blue is Pouliot and pink is Ford. Like my father in law’s family, Fred has a French Canadian side and an Irish side.

Next, we should be able to fill in the left side of the puzzle using the other matches:

A few observations:

  • The same match that Fred had with my father in law’s family helped finish my father in law’s visual phasing and Fred’s visual phasing.
  • All four of Fred’s grandparents DNA is represented between the three siblings. The one exception is a small portion of green from 22 – 27 M on the maternal side
  • The purple segment that Fred has from 22 – 27 seems quite small. It is a little unusual to have a small internal segment like that. By internal, I mean a segment that is not right on either end of the chromosome
  • Without the match between Joe, Sleuth and Don, I don’t know if I would have been able to complete this Chromosome
  • I don’t know about Fred’s maternal [Irish] side. He may already have matches that would identify the Halloran and Drennan DNA.

Comparison of the Double Visual Phasing

  • Unlike Fred’s results, my father in law’s family does not have good Pouliot coverage (in orange) between the three siblings.
  • This explains why Richard’s family matches Fred’s family in the beginning of the Chromosome and not the end. Pouliot DNA is missing between 60 and 95M.
  • It appears that Sleuth and Richard could have matched between 95 and 100, but I didn’t find a match over 3cM. Could this be because one received DNA from Joseph Pouliot and one received DNA from his wife, Josephine Fortin? Perhaps this is also an explanation of why the match between Don and Viginia (V) stops at position 38M.

Summary

  • Double visual phasing has benefits in that there are at least six people to compare matching DNA results with each other.
  • Double visual phasing should result in a crosscheck for the visual phasing of each family and better Chromosome maps of contributing grandparent DNA.
  • There are benefits in noting which group has the better coverage of DNA of a shared ancestor.
  • Comparison of results appear to indicate deeper crossovers between ancestors

Next Up

There are matches between Fred and his two siblings and the other five tested people on every chromosome except for 18, 19 and 22. That should make mapping the chromosomes with matches relatively easy.

I would like to try double visual phasing between two sets of siblings where the siblings are from different generations. However, it may take a while to get the additional samples done.

Breen Genealogy: Part 3

In my last Blog, I corrected some mistakes I made in my first Blog on my cousin’s genealogy. In this Blog, I’ll follow up on some Breen genealogy issues.

Too Many John Breens

A search at RootsIreland for births of John Breen from County Tyrone shows this:

It turns out that none of these are the my cousin’s grandfather John Breen. He shows up as Alexander Breen. However, the next to the last John Breen appears to be one shown as in the military in Hong Kong:

Here’s Tattyreagh

Our Hong Kong John Breen in 1911 said he was born in Drumragh:

This looks like basically the same place to me. However, I am guessing due to similar names and closeness geographically that this John could have been a cousin to our John Alexander Breen.

More On John Breen and Mary Quin(n)

In my previous Blog, I had surmised that John Breen and Mary Quin(n) were the grandparents of John Alexander Breen. This was based on the fact that the 1911 Census for Recarson showed that John Breen had an Aunt Isabella:

RootsIreland showed one Isabella Breen born in that time period in County Tyrone:

Here is her birthplace of Kilgort:

a marriage for John Breen and Mary quin(N)

I have found a marriage for this couple. Let’s see if the dates fit. In Ancestry.com, the marriage looks like this:

At RootsIreland, the marriage looks like this:

If this information is right, this will push the genealogy back another generation. Based on the above, we would expect that John was born about 1831 and Mary was born about 1832. The first thing I would fact-check would be the age of Mary when her last child was born. I have this child to be Joseph Wilson Breen:

Joseph was born January 1876, so perhaps Mary was 44 when he was born. This is surely possible. Also note that in 1911, Mary gave her age on the Census as 76. Based on her age at marriage, she was probably a few years older. All the dates seem to be within reason. This is a good record to have, because the older the record, the more I trust the dates. Now I can update my Ancestry Tree and push back this couple’s birth dates yet again:

This is starting to look like a proper tree. At the top, I added rough birth dates in the early 1800’s for our new John Breen and Andrew Quin – Rusty’s third great grandparents.

Still, no parish records

I have still not found any Catholic Parish records for the Breens. I find the RootsIreland Civil Marriage record interesting. It shows that John Breen lived in Creevan, Parish of Donacavey. However, Mary Quin lived in Creevan, Parish of Drumragh. The note at the bottom of the record says “Fintona C.O.I Parish of Donacavey”. C.O.I means Church of Ireland which was the established Protestant Church. This leads to a few possibilities:

  • Is the record trying to say that Breen was from the Church of Ireland and Mary was Roman Catholic?
  • Is the record just giving the two different Parish boundaries (Church of Ireland and Catholic?)

Here is one reason there is no Donacavey Catholic Parish record for this marriage:

The National Library of Ireland Parish records begin in 1857 and this couple married in 1854. I also checked the Drumragh Parish, but there were no entries between February and May of 1854. So either there were no marriages during that time, or there was some sort of omission.

Fast Forward to 1912

In a recent email, Rusty tells me that his grandfather met his grandmother for the first time on the ship to New York.

One thing I don’t think I mentioned to you involves the ship passage.  According to Margie, my grandfather met my grandmother on the California.  They were from the same area, but had never met before.  She was traveling with her sister.  Apparently the two sisters had been to the United States before, and may of had family here already. 

Here is the outbound ship record for the two McCullough sisters:

I imagine that a long trip to the US would be good time to get to know someone and swap stories. Here is Anna returning to New York on about page 726:

I’m guessing that Anna wasn’t really a machinist.

Here is their nearest relative:

From what I can tell, here is where the McCulloghs lived in Ireland:

For reference, as I recall, I had that John Breen’s Aunt Isabella died in Beragh. At townlands.ie, this place is called Altdrumman:

This is where Anna and her sister were born.

More on the McColloughs

Here is Anna’s civil birth record:

But wait, there’s more:

From this, it looks like Anna was baptized before she was born. How could this be? From what I understand, there was a penalty for late registration of births. That resulted in some births being recorded later than they actually happened! In this case, obviously, trust the baptismal record.

I expanded my search at RootsIreland and came up with this extended family from Altdrumman sometimes known as Streefe (but apparently not Streffe).

Michael McCullough and Ann Henry

I couldn’t easily find a marriage for this couple. A search for Michael McCullough resulted in two people born closely together. One was from the parish of Ardboe or Arboe which seemed further away. So I went with this one:

This appears to be Fernagh:

IF first you don’t succeed….

I tried another marriage search for just Ann Henry and came up with this:

Silly me, I was looking for a McCullough marriage instead of a McMullaw marriage. Even though I entered McCull in my search, this didn’t show up. So, good thing I found this as I may have had Michael’s birth wrong. This time I searched with the father as John and found the Michael from Ardboe Parish again. So I expanded the dates and found an older Michael here:

Here the places sound more familiar and even the spelling of the last name is similar. However, I wouldn’t trust the spelling of McSoarly. I believe that McSorley is a more standard spelling.

I had given up finding Ann Henry’s birth record, but now that we have her marriage record, it should be easy to find.

Actually, I was leaning toward this record as the Parish sounded most familiar. Here is a new McCullough family tree:

Here is a summary of Rusty’s dad’s Breen ancestors as far as I can tell now:

Breen Genealogy: Part 2

In my last Blog, I went over my cousin’s YDNA results and some of his genealogy. The genealogy focused in on Rusty’s grandfather John Alexander Breen. A key document I found lead me to believe that John Breen was in the Royal Innishkilling Fusilliers in 1911:

Here was a John Breen who was the right age and was born about the right place. I then supposed that this was the same as a John O’Brien who enlisted twice. However, at the end of my elaborate story I found a document showing John Breen in the 1911 Irish Census that contradicted the above Census:

Here was apparently another John Breen, the same age, in the same census who was living in Recarson. This was significant as John’s ship records from the following year said that he and his mother Mary Breen were from Deverney. According to townlands.ie, “Deverney is in the townland of Recarson.” Now a Townland is usually a fairly small area. So a portion of a Townland is very specific.

That means that I have to prefer this Census above over the Military Census. There is a clear chain of custody. John Breen ended up in Philadelphia. His ship records say he was born in Deverney (part of Recarson). So we have to go with Recarson. The good news is that now we have extra relatives that we didn’t have before.

From Rusty’s YDNA test, we are pretty sure that he is not of the male line of Breen. However, now with a Breen grandmother, we cannot tell where the line was broken. Before I was assuming that it was Rusty’s grandfather John Breen’s mother that was the Breen. However, that is not as clear now. The family story was that John Breen was orphaned. This could very well be the case, as his mother and father are not in this Census.

Isabella Breen, 39 in 1911 – Born in County Tyrone

I would like to find the grandmother, but finding a Mary that married a Breen would be difficult. Isabella should have been born around 1872. Perhaps she can be found in a Parish Register. I was able to find Isabella in one Ancestry Tree from an Irish researcher:

From the above tree, the parents of Isabella, are referenced in this 1901 Camowen Census:

Here is a map depiction of Camowen Townland:

Here is part of a Cappagh Parish Map showing Recarson and Camowen at the Southeast part of the Parish:

It appears that Isabella was working in Beagh in 1901:

This is likely Beagh:

Assuming my fellow Irish researcher got Isabella right, I searched RootsIreland for siblings:

This is putting a lot of pressure on Isabella to be Rusty’s relative. Fortunately, she has a less common name than John or Mary. It looks like the family of John Breen and Mary Quinn had at least five children. The first four were born South of Omagh and the last one was born to the North of Omagh. Here is Tullyvally:

A Breen Breakthrough

After coming up short several times searching for John Breen, I decided to search for Alexander Breen. Here is what I found at RootsIreland. This one document should straighten out a few things:

For one thing, it shows John aka Alexander being born in 1889 – not 1888. This is likely the place where the male McFarlane line comes into the picture. On John’s ship record to New York, he named his mother as Susan and here she is.  Now we have John’s birth name, his mother, grandparents and likely Aunts and Uncles. Thanks to the YDNA test, we likely had the last name of John’s father, before we didn’t know that we didn’t know his last name! This means that Rusty is still descended from the Breens – just not the male line of Breens.

Here is the picture I get of the family so far. I had to push back the birth dates that I had for John Breen and Mary Quin. I would guess that they were born around 1845. And I also pushed John Alexander’s birthday ahead a year.

Questions to Follow Up On and Other Items

  • I couldn’t find a birth record for Susan Breen. Could she be the same person as either Mary Jane, Isabella, or Margaret?
  • What happened to Susan? Isabella seemed to hang around. Is this because she was the same as Susan?
  • I haven’t yet found Parish Register entries for any Breen family births or for the marriage of John Breen and Mary Quinn.
  • I’m still not sure if John Breen was in the British Army
  • The John O’Brien of my last blog cannot be the same as John Breen as John O’Brien’s mom was Annie and I have shown that John Breen’s mom was Susan
  • It doesn’t appear that John was orphaned. In 1901 when he was 12, he was with his grandparents. However, he may have lived with another family before this time that I didn’t know about.

 

Cousin Rusty’s Surprise YDNA Results

First, my first cousin Rusty surprised me by ordering an autosomal DNA test. I saw his results and it was the first, first cousin autosomal match that I’ve had. Next, Rusty decided to order a YDNA test of 37 STRs. His results surprised us both a bit. He found out that he had no matches to the last name he grew up with. Instead, his matches were predominantly variations of the MacFarlane surname. Since the test results came in, Rusty tells me his grandfather was adopted which could account for the surprise.

In this Blog, we’ll look at Rusty’s YDNA results and some of his genealogy.

YDNA – The Male Lineage Indicator

YDNA is good for surname studies. It follows the DNA that the father passes down to the son. This passing down has been going on since genetic Adam. Little changes in this YDNA account for the various YDNA branches that are in the world today. In addition, there are other branches that have just died out.

R1b – The Common YDNA for europe

Rusty and I share an R1b heritage. We are both on a branch of the R1B tree called L21. I was glad when I was first testing my YDNA to find out that I was part of the L21 group. This represents a group of people that aren’t identical to, but are associated with what has commonly been called the Celts. These would be the older people of the British Isles prior to invasions by the Danes, Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. The dark red indicates the older L21 people being moved over to the Northeast by the later invaders.

This map shows the highest concentration of R-L21 in the NW of Europe. The map shows the association with the Celtic cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Normandy.

The R-L21 Tree

Here is an outdated R-L21 Tree

The main reason that the tree is outdated is that the tree grew so much, there was not room to put all the branches on it. There are two main branches under L21. I believe that Rusty is on the smaller branch of DF63 at the top right of the image above. I am on the larger DF13 Branch. Below that I am in the L513 Branch with a rectangle around it.

R-DF63

Why do I think that Rusty is DF63? Let’s take a look. Rusty recently upgraded his 37 STR test to a 67 STR test. The STRs are markers that can change in two different directions. These STRs are used to estimate how close someone else may be related. They are also used to estimate SNPs. DF63 is an SNP. This is a more marker that is more stable than an STR that indicates a specific branch of mankind.

Here are Rusty’s two closest STR matches.

Both these matches are a Genetic Distance (GD) of 3 from Rusty. That means that out of the 67 STRs compared, there is a difference of three for both of these men to Rusty. Both these men have McFarland ancestors. Note that the first one had an ancestor that was born in Northern Ireland and died in PA. Rusty is from PA, but his grandfather was from Ireland. This means that this particular person could not be Rusty’s ancestor, unless he left children in Ireland.

Here is the TIP report for these two as they compare to Rusty. This report shows the probability of how long ago Rusty and Rusty’s match had a common ancestor:

This is showing that it should be pretty likely that either or both of these matches should predict a common ancestor in the last 8 generations. When I check 8 generations in my tree, that brings me to about 1680. So that is in the range of the first ancestor shown in the list above.

This is interesting, but I still haven’t shown how Rusty could be DF63. Let’s look at Rusty’s top two matches again. On the right are their Terminal SNPs. The first Terminal SNP is R-CTS6919. The second is BY674. These are both under (or children of) DF63 as shown by the FTDNA Haplotree:

So it stands to reason if Rusty matches two people who have SNPs that are below DF63, then he would surely be DF63.

BY674 – Mostly McFarlanes

A lot of McFarlane descendants have taken the BigY test. This is a test that discovers new SNPs and helps to build new branches of the SNP tree (or Haplotree as FTDNA calls it). Those that have taken the BigY test, have been put into something called the Big Tree, created by Alex Williamson. Here are the McFarlanes in that Big Tree:

Note that there is a McFarlane or similar name in every branch of BY674. The one exception is the McAfee/Givens branch. Based on this, I could argue that Rusty is not only DF63, but also BY674. Rusty plans to take the DF63 panel. With that test, he should be able to tell which branch of McFarlanes he is in. Here is what the DF63 Panel looks like:

So if Rusty takes the SNP pack, it should tell him that he is positive for DF63, CTS6919, A92, Z16506, and BY674. From there, Rusty could be in 7 different branches. One of those branches could be that he would remain in BY674 with McFarland and McKinnon. If he is in one of the other 6 branches, there may or may not be branching below that.

The MacFarlane family ydna project

Rusty also joined the MacFarlene Family YDNA Project. He was placed in this group:

I think that the Cadet Lineage refers to the idea that the MacFarlane Clan may be an offshoot of the House of Lennox. That sounds like a big deal.

So that covers Rusty’s YDNA pretty well. He is related to McFarlanes by STRs and SNPs. Next, I’ll look at Rusty’s genealogy and see how he is now apparently a Scotsman where before he thought he was an Irishman.

Rusty’s Paternal Genealogy

Rusty is related to me on his mother’s side. I’ll be looking at his dad’s side. And specifically, I’ll be looking at his dad’s dad’s side. We are interested in how the Breen turned into a McFarlane going from now to then. Or how the McFarlane went to a Breen. So far the tree looks like this:

However, I won’t be following the McCullough line. Rusty says that his dad told him that his father was orphaned young and joined the British Army at age 14. Rusty further got in touch with his cousin and found this out:

She thinks it is probably due to my grandfather being adopted.  I knew this, but always assumed he was older and retained he biological fathers name.  Actually I knew he was orphaned.  Margie says he was brought up by a Other than Catholic minister, but that there was some sort of agreement that he was to be raised Catholic.  Maybe he never knew his biological fathers name.

What an interesting story. It looks like Rusty’s grandfather may have been brought up by a non-Catholic Minister that raised him as a Catholic. How did that work out? What was the minister’s name?

Barriers of distance and time

Distance and time tend to erode family stories. Traveling from Ireland to the United states as well as the loss of parents results in the loss of a lot of family history. Where did John Alexander Breen come from?

Naturalization records

John left some paperwork behind when he came to the U.S.

In this document, John said in 1917 that he was 29 and wanted to become a citizen. It shows he was 1/2 inch short of six foot tall. His residence in Ireland was what looks like Omagh, County Tyrone. At the time of the application, he was a steel worker in Philadelphia. He came into the port of New York on the Ship California in what looks to be September 29th, 1910. This document from Ellis Island on the Declaration appears to correct his arrival time:

According to his 1923 Petition, he was born in County Armagh:

Here’s a simple map of Northern Ireland:

From the Naturalization records, it appears that John Alexander Breen was born in County Armagh and later lived in Omagh in County Tyrone before coming to live in Philadelphia. However, based on the research that follows, perhaps Count Armagh got mixed up with Omagh. I’m not seeing other evidence of County Armagh.

Sailing on the s.s. california

I have the an image of the ship records when John sailed to the US from Londonderry. Here is some information from the top of the ship record:

I included last address and nearest relative for John Breen on the bottom. Then I included three other people near him as they had an Omagh/Philadelphia connection. Here are the names, in case there is any connections:

Of course, this raises a few questions. Who is Susan Breen if John was orphaned and adopted? Was that her maiden name? Was that her married name, and if so might she have been married before? From what I can tell, Susan was living in Deverney:

According to Townlands.ie, Deverney is a part of the Townland of Recarson.

The second page of the shipping record says that John was also born in Deverney. Also that he planned to stay with a friend, rather than a relative in Philadelphia:

Here ‘s the shipping record from the UK side showing that folks kept the same order. Now John is a mechanic.

1911 British census

One year before John sailed to New York, he was indeed in the military.  He was a private with the 1st Battalion Royal Innishkilling Fusiliers.

I highlighted his birthplace. It would be nice to know where this is. I am not getting Deverney out of it. Apparently, this is Drumragh, which is both a Civil Parish and Townland near Omagh. Here is where townlands.ie shows the Townland to be:

This looks to be fairly close to Deverney.

Other Irish census results?

I am having trouble finding John Breen in the 1901 Census. I am also having trouble finding Jane Breen. So I will look at the women that were traveling with John on the Ship to New York.

The first I’ll look at is Mary McGinn. I see her in 1911:

Her story holds together as she is a seamstress. She was likely closer to 29 than 25 when she sailed to Philadelphia. Let’s say that John was watching over these women on the way to Philadelphia. After all, he appears to have been a world travels already from his British Army experience.

Here’s Tattyreagh where Mary McGinn lived:

Next is Mary McGaughey:

Here is the seamstress connection. She is shown in 1911 in Aughtermoy (Ballyneaner, Tyrone). On the ship, she gives her cousin Charles McGinn as the closest relative for some reason. I’m not positive I have the right person above as on her ship record, she says her last address was Philadelphia. Also this family was Presbyterian.

John in the 1st Battalion Royal Innishkilling Fusiliers

Rusty mentioned his grandfather’s military service. From the census, I found John in Hong Kong in 1911 with the 1st Battalion Royal Innishkilling Fusiliers. After some searching I found an enlistment record dated June 29, 1908 for a John O’Brien:

This could explain why it was so difficult to find John Breen in the 1901 Census. Now, when I look up the Breen surname online, I learn that the name comes from O’Brien if I understand it correctly. This military record is interesting as we found out in the 1911 Census that John was with the Fusiliers. The age of this person is very close to the John we are looking at.  20 years and 4 months from this time would put us at February or March of 1888 and John was born March 1888.

Are John Alexander Breen and John O’Brien the same Person?

The enlistment paper above shows that O’Brien was born near Drumquin, Parish Longfield, County Tyrone. If nothing else, I’m learning a bit about Northern Ireland geography.

The 1901 Census shows a John O’Brien as a servant in Doogary:

Here is townlands.ie rendition of Doogary near Omagh.

Under the scenario, John O’Brien would have been orphaned and became a servant. Probably soon after 1901, he joined the army. Note that when O’Brien signed in 1908, he was already part of the armed services.

O’Brien’s re-enlistment showed that he was already part of the Innishkilling Fusiliers. I am guessing that at some point in the Fusiliers, O’Brien changed his name to Breen.

More military papers for O’Brien

Under O’Brien’s 1908 enlistment papers, I found other military records. This is O’Brien’s initial enlistment from [February?] 1905:

Assuming O’Brien and Breen were the same, the age would be very close, as he would have been 17 within a month. Interesting that in 1905 they asked about O’Brien’s present (or former) Master. This appears to be M. McNulty in or near Dromore.I’m a little curious as to the term Master. I assume that this means that under a certain age, you were under the control of a Master, be it your father or someone else.

Dromore is shown on the previous Drumquin map:


On O’Brien’s Military History Sheet, I find this:

So if Breen and O’Brien are the same, then I have to work out why the mother was Susan Breen for one and Annie O’Brien for the other.

Annie O’Brien

Going with my Breen/O’Brien theory, it would make sense to look for Annie O’Brien in the Census. The oldest Annie O’Brien I found in the 1911 census in County Tyrone is here:

She is listed as 37 which would make her 14 in 1888. However, ages are quite unreliable in the Census. She could have been much older in 1888. I find it odd that a single woman would be the head of household, by herself and a dairymaid. Here is the Townland of Ballyard where she is shown as living:

Let’s try 1901. Now there are a lot of people listed with Annie. She is in the same Townland of Ballyard, though perhaps not the same house.

Look at all the company she has now. Annie’s age is consistent with the 1911 census as she is now 27. Following out on my house of cards theory. What if this was the family that raised John Breen/O’Brien? Annie is the only Catholic in the house.

Summing It Up

I could tell a story about what I’ve found so far. I’m not sure it’s right yet, but it’s a start.

Annie O’Brien was born in County Cork and made her way as a teenager to County Tyrone. While there [probably Deverney], she had a child John Alexander O’Brien. She was apparently a single mother and was taken in by a protestant family. Perhaps this is the same family of Funstons in Ballyard where she was a dairymaid in 1901. Perhaps the father was a McFarlane. John went to work as a farm servant in Doogary. John enlisted twice in the Royal Ennishkilling Fusiliers where he apparently traveled to Hong Kong as he was there in 1911. In 1912, he sailed from Londonderry, Ireland to New York. From there he made his way to a friend’s house. The rest, is history.

Postscript: 1920

However, there is a little more. There always seem to be with genealogy. Fast forward 8 years to when John Alexander Breen is married with two children. Here they are on 1208 Eleventh Street, Philadelphia:

I notice a boarder named Felix McAnulty. This reminds me of John O’Brien’s Master M. McNulty when John first enlisted in 1905. Also next door is John Cassidy. Remember, John was going to stay with an Eliza Cassidy in Philadelphia when he sailed from Londonderry to New York.

I wasn’t able to find Felix in the Irish 1901 Census, but I did find a Falix:

This place is very close to Deverney which is one of the places where John was supposed to have been born:

Actually, it seems like I’ve covered almost everywhere around Omagh. So that seems to be it for now. If my story is right, Rusty is still a Breen, or rather an O’Brien through Annie. And he is a MacFarlane.

Late Breaking News

I just checked the 1911 Census again. This time, I see that there is a John Breen listed there in Recarson. This is quite confusing but may be good news.

This will certainly change the story. It is not now clear if the John O’Brien in the military is the same one as the one in the Hong Kong Census or the one here (or neither). The interesting thing about the document above is that this is for Recarson. Recall that Deverney where John was from is part of Recarson. My understanding is that the Census was to be taken at the same day for everyone, so unless there was some mistake, John Breen could not have been in Recarson and Hong Kong at the same time.

My, this is embarrassing. Now I have two competing stories for Rusty. Let’s say that this should be more accurate. The best part about the census above is that there is a grandmother. That means three generations are represented as well as other relationships. That is always good. I’ll leave it to the reader to adjust the story based on the Census above. I’ll continue this story in a subsequent Blog.