Sunday, 7 January 2018

Third great-grandparents, confirmed with DNA, again

Happy New Year, everyone.

The results of my new DNA test (thanks Aileen & Co.) came in on Christmas Eve, and I’ve been happily checking them out ever since. One of the highest matches, a predicted 4th cousin, is a man with the alias M.N.

Luckily, M.N. has an online family tree. It includes his GG-grandmother, Annie Burns, supposedly born in Ireland in 1863. The surname Burns, or more commonly Byrne in Ireland, stands out as the only surname we have in common. Except, I have Byrne on both sides of the family.

According to M.N.’s tree, Annie Burns, also known as Anna, married Walter Rogers, and lived in Chicago, in the United States, where she died on 23 October 1934.[1] Her parent’s names are not given, but according to the attached record of her death, Anna was born in Co. Kildare, in Ireland.

Dad's Byrne line came from Co. Kildare. My GG-granduncle, Andrew Byrne also made his way to Chicago, where he adopted the surname Burns. What are the chances that Anna (Burns) Rogers and Andrew Burns were siblings?

Looking at my own family tree, Andrew Burns, or Byrne as he was originally known, had a sister Anne Byrne, barely two years his senior. She was baptised in Newbridge, Co. Kildare on 23 May 1853, but then her trail went cold. She could easily have ended up in America, with her brother. The Chicago lady was also born in May. Her estimate birth-year was up to ten years out, but that's not unusual.

A quick search online revealed Walter and Anna had two children. Their daughter, May Rogers was born in 1889, and their son Charles Walter Rogers in 1890.[2] At the time of the 1900 census, Anna, by then a widow, was living with her two children, at 3400 Irving Avenue, Chicago.[3]

But, look who was living in the household next door. It’s my GG-granduncle Andrew Burns and his family! 

Andrew Burns household, Chicago, 1900 U.S. Federal Census
Rogers and Burns household, Chicago, 1900, U.S. Federal Census

Now, what are the chances, Anna Rogers and Andrew Burns were siblings!

This makes M.N. my 4th cousin, just as our DNA predicted.[4] Our most recent common ancestors are our GGG-grandparents, Andrew Byrne and Anne Clynch, from Athgarvan in Co. Kildare.

DNA chart showing 4th cousin relationship, Byrne, Athgarvan, Co. Kildare.
Relationship with DNA cousin

See also ‘Third great-grandparents, confirmed with DNA’ where I wrote about Dad’s DNA match with a direct descendant of Andrew Burns (1855-1900) of Chicago. 

[1] Death of Anna Rogers, 1934, in ‘Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994’, 
database, FamilySearch, citing records in the Cook County Courthouse.
[2] Death of May (Rogers) Marine, 1910, and Charles W. Rogers, 1920, in ‘Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994’, same.
[3] Anna Rogers household, in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Chicago Ward 6, Cook, Illinois, roll 250, p. 23B, Enumeration District 0166, accessed at ($)
[4] Denoted a high confidence match, sharing 43 centimorgans of DNA across 6 segments.  

© Black Raven Genealogy


  1. Yaaay!!! Love DNA confirmations!

    1. Yes, they're so much fun, thank you, Kat.

  2. DNA plus a confirming paper trail--this is great. I especially like following along as you explain the steps you took to think through the connection. Gives me ideas for my own research!

    1. Thanks Marian, I'm still only beginning to find connections via our DNA results, so it's very exciting.

  3. Good work. I also found a cousin with DNA. I was planning on blog post about the elusive Naughtons from County Galway. I would not have found her without DNA

  4. I'm looking forward to reading about your discovery, Claudia.

  5. Finding the (probable) siblings next door to each other is exciting! I think it must have been hard focusing on Christmas when your DNA went online Christmas Eve. :) Happy New Year!!! May this be a year of wonderful discoveries!

    1. Thank you, Dana, it was a little hard to put the computer away at times, especially when I started making breakthroughs ;-)

  6. What wonderful news! Like Marian, I appreciate how you explained your thought process and compared what you knew with what you discovered. Onward and upward!

  7. happy New Year Dara! What a wonderful way to start the year.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!