I started out with such high expectations, but I have to admit, my DNA test results have not yielded any genealogical breakthroughs. We have hundreds of matches, most of them in the U.S. or Australia, but few have so much as a surname in common with us. Even among the top twenty or so people listed, there is no one with a paper trail to a mutual ancestor - other than my already known relatives, that is. It’s a little disappointing, though I’ve not given up all hope, yet.
So, when I received an email from a lady on my mother’s list, I decided to investigate it further. Our matching segment is not that big – for those ‘in the know’, it is 13 cMs over 1,965 SNPs. GEDmatch predicts our most recent common ancestor as being 5.1 generations ago. Thus, we could share my mother’s third great-grandparents with this match, though there's no way of knowing which ones. These ancestors are in the upper echelons of my documented family tree, or probably just beyond. They’re exactly the ones I’m hoping to discover.
The match looked promising, initially. First, this lady has already identified who she believes are her ancestors in Ireland. Second, her nineteenth-century ancestors were in Dublin, where many of my mother’s people also lived. Third, she has identified a match with a probable third cousin, and my mother shares the same matching segment with him too - i.e. it’s a triangulated match. So, if we all share the same DNA, and they inherited it from a suspected common ancestor, then there’s a good chance we received it via the same person, or from someone closely related to them at least. Or, so the theory goes.
And, both these matches claim descent from James and Alice Fitzgerald, one via a son William born in 1835 and the other via a daughter Eliza born in 1828. James and Alice lived in Coles Lane in Dublin in the 1820s. James worked as a cabinet maker. The couple had a large family, all baptised in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. There is a suggestion too that Alice was originally born in Dublin, in 1796. She was supposedly the daughter of Anthony and Mary Hicks, from across the Liffey in the parish of St Nicholas. They all lived close to where my mother’s family were hanging out when I pick them up in the early 1800s.
Sadly, though, try as I might, I could not find a single connection between the Fitzgerald family and my mother’s known ancestors.
But, if the account of the Fitzgeralds sounds vaguely familiar to some of you, it may be from when I wrote about Laurence Coyle. Laurence was a wood turner, running his business from Coles Lane, and was probably my third great-grandfather. BUT, the Coyles were on my Dad’s side. Laurence operated from Coles Lane from the mid-1830s onwards, next door to Denis Newport who was also a cabinet maker. In 1851, Denis Newport witnessed the marriage of my second great-grandparents, John Donovan and Maryanne Coyle. And, James Fitzgerald’s daughter Alice married Denis Newport’s son Robert in 1858.
So, I’ve found a connection to James Fitzgerald, except it’s on the wrong side of the family. Perhaps, when more of our more recent cousins take a DNA test, I might be able to hone in further on which line these matches occur.
Have you found any new ancestors hiding in your DNA test results?
© Black Raven Genealogy