Sunday 27 December 2020

DNA Diary: Calling all Cousins!

Are you my cousin? Are you related to anyone mentioned in this blog? Why not take an autosomal DNA test and find out?

Or, if you have already tested your DNA, and if you have not done so already, PLEASE consider downloading your DNA file and uploading it to GEDmatch and/or FTDNA and/or MyHeritage, where you will discover another list of DNA matches. You never know where your DNA cousins are hanging out. It’s easy and FREE and it only takes about ten minutes. (You cannot upload results from other companies to 23andMe or Ancestry, but you can download your DNA file from them, for upload elsewhere.)

My DNA was tested with Ancestry and FTDNA and I've uploaded results to GEDmatch and MyHeritage. Both my parents are also represented at FTDNA, GEDmatch and MyHeritage and my maternal aunt and uncle are represented on various combinations of all these sites too. During the Christmas break, I plan to investigate uploading our results to FindMyPast / Living DNA and Geneanet, as well.

Seems, one of the best ways to make progress in genetic genealogy is to identify known close cousins - i.e. second, third or maybe fourth cousins - in the lists of DNA matches. There's a good chance any DNA match shared in common with these cousins will be related on the same family line. The new matches may provide clues to further flesh out your family trees and even create a window in a genealogy brick wall.

For example, several of my maternal Wynne/Hynes cousins have done a DNA test and shared their matches with me, hence all the progress made on the Hynes branch of my tree during 2020, e.g. The missing piece of the jigsaw - Mary Anne Hynes. However, no discoveries have been made on either of my mother's Carroll or Devine lineages, where no known cousins have tested their DNA. And, I only have DNA matches on my father's paternal Byrne and Mahon lineages, while his maternal O'Neill/Donovan line remains a complete DNA mystery.

But, if more genetic cousins were represented in all the DNA databases, progress should be far easier, and working together with my newfound cousins, we might be able to extend both our family trees further back in time.

If you have not yet tested your autosomal DNA, you may be interested in doing so. Some of the testing companies even have Christmas sales on at the moment. It's fun, and I'm always happy to help my genetic cousins, as best I can, with any questions they may have.  

This post was updated from a version written in June 2017. Image courtesy of PhotoFunia.

Update 23 January 2021: Given the number of privacy breaches at GEDmatch in the past year or so, I no longer feel I can recommend it for genealogy purposes, and have deleted my kits from the site.

Sunday 20 December 2020

Nollaig shona duit! / Happy Christmas!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas
and a fun-filled 2021!

My Ancestors' Surnames

Sunday 13 December 2020

Signature Silhouette #11 ~ Michael Byrne

For many of my ancestors, we have no photographs, no treasured heirlooms, not even a funeral card to remember them by. But of those who could read and write, a few left their signatures behind. They often signed historical census returns, for example, copies of which still survive.

Apart from their descendants, a signature may be all that remains of them today. So, it's my intention to feature a Signature Silhouette for each of my ancestors, whenever their signature is found.

Here's one for my paternal great-grandfather Michael Byrne:-

Michael Byrne (1867-1927)

Idea courtesy of Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls and The Genealogy Girl.

Source of signature: 1911 Census of Ireland, Byrne household, Yellow Walls, Malahide, Dublin, The National Archives of Ireland.

Sunday 29 November 2020

Ancient Irish DNA (or lack of)

'Do you share DNA with any of the four ancient Irish samples on GEDmatch?' asked Margaret O'Brien of Data Mining DNA recently.1
Unlikely, I thought, given they lived four or five thousand years ago and I don't even share DNA with some known third cousins. But wouldn't it be fun to investigate!

GEDmatch is a 'free' third-party DNA site, where people who have tested with various testing companies can upload their results and compare them to each other. The results for the four ancient Irish people have also been uploaded, so it's easy to run the comparisons.

Ballynahatty Woman
DNA analysis on the bones of a Neolithic woman discovered in Ballynahatty, near Belfast, Co. Down, reveals that genetically she most resembles modern people from Spain and Sardinia - not Ireland. It is estimated this woman lived here over 5,000 years ago. Her ancestors originated in the Near East. I didn't expect to have any real matching segments with Ballynahatty Woman, so the normal minimum threshold level of 7cM was reduced to a just 3cM, so there might be something to see. And, here are the results:-

I have four matching segments greater than 3cM with Ballynahatty Woman, the largest being only 4.7 cM. Segments this small are notoriously unreliable, meaning they are most likely identical by chance. And it's a total coincidence I share any DNA with Ballynahatty Woman.

As you can see, neither my mother nor father share these matching segments with her, and I inherited ALL my DNA from them. Granted, like me, my mother shares a 3.1cM segment on chromosome 2, but her match is towards the end of the chromosome, and mine is near the beginning.

Obviously I received a bit of this, and a bit of that, which in total just happened to create these small matches. After all, we both have human DNA. But it's pure chance!

The Rathlin Island Men

DNA analysis on the bones of three Early Bronze Age men, discovered in a cist burial on Rathlin Island, off the Co. Antrim coast, reveals they shared the genetic ancestors of modern-day Irish people. Their ancestors hailed from the Pontic Steppe on the northern shores of the Black Sea. It is estimated these guys lived about 4,000 years ago.

There is perhaps a greater chance of finding legitimate matching segments with the Rathlin Island crew. Such segments would be small, and match solely IF they are prevalent among the Irish population today. So...

Perhaps I do share an ancient connection with Rathlin Man 1. I have no matching segments exceeding 3cM with Rathlin Man 2 (F999802) or Rathlin Man 3 (F999801), maybe because their genomes were not sequenced to high coverage. But, I have seven matching segments exceeding 3cM with Rathlin Man 1, and the largest segment is a whole 6cM. Tiny!

But look, my 4cM matching segment on Chromosome 4 was probably passed down to me by my mother. It would take a whole lot more work to investigate this any further, so I'm just going to take it as gospel, and say I'm related to Rathlin Man 1, haha!!! 😉  None of the other segments were inherited from either of my parents, rendering them truly false matches - pure coincidences - identical by chance, once again.

What do we really learn from these tiny matching segments? We learn not to rely on such tiny segments as genealogical proof, that's what!

But, isn't it mind-blowing to think we can compare our DNA with the DNA of those who walked the shores of Ireland two and three thousand years before Christ was born.

1. Margaret O'Brien, 'Do You Share Ancient Irish DNA? Find out with GEDmatch', 2020, Data Mining DNA.
2. Lara Cassidy, et al, 'Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome', 2015, PNAS.

Sunday 22 November 2020

A little research victory, with the help of an angel

This week, I received a copy of my great-great-great-grandmother’s death certificate. Jane Byrne died in Brooklyn, New York on 28 December 1901. A few years ago, I found a transcription of this death certificate. It revealed the names of Jane’s parents, William and Hannah Daly. Not wishing to rely on a transcription for this key information, I ‘needed’ to see a copy of the original certificate!

Jane (Daly) Byrne’s connection to my grandmother

Except it proved way too difficult to obtain from the New York authorities. And, having confirmed the name of Jane's parents with records back in Dublin, I reluctantly gave up on ever seeing the actual death certificate. Now, the document is said to be freely available at a Family History Centre (FHC) run by the Mormon Church. Only there is no FHC near me, at least not one that is seemingly ever manned.

Cue the ‘Parking-Lot Angels’ (they’d be called ‘Car-Park Angels’ in Ireland).

Blogging pal, Marian from ‘Climbing my Family Tree', introduced them, recounting how they helped her obtain a relative’s death certificate. Marian gave me the name of the Facebook group, New York City Genealogy, where the angel volunteers hang out, and explained they go to the 'parking lot' of their local FHC where they download records over wifi. Remember, the FHCs are all currently closed, due to Covid.

I joined the Facebook group and provided the information requested, and the very next day I received a copy of Jane Byrne’s death certificate. Simples!

The death certificate confirmed the details given in the transcription. In addition, the cause of death showed Jane got Pleurisy, which led to Pneumonia, which caused heart failure nine months later.

I am so grateful to these volunteer angels for their help!

Now, I wonder if records can be accessed from the car-park at the FHC opposite Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin, even if no one ever works there. Anyone?

Sunday 8 November 2020

Patrick Hynes: my great-great-granduncle, or not?

Pat Hynes, named as the son of John Hynes and Margaret Hayes, died in Victoria, Australia, in 1885. My third-great-grandparents were John Hynes and Margaret Hayes. The question is, was Patrick their son?

BDM Victoria, Australia, Death 4067/1885, Pat Hynes

John Hynes and Margaret Hayes married in Limerick city, Ireland, in February 1826, and had a daughter Bridget (my ancestor) baptised there in July 1830, followed by a son John in June 1833, and a son Edmond in August 1835. In addition, although their baptism records have not been found, they had a daughter Catherine, born about 1837, and a more recently discovered daughter Mary Ann, born about 1829.

Given Patrick was said to have been 51 years old when he died, so born about 1834, he'd fit right in. Unfortunately, his 'obituary' in a local Australian newspaper did not contain any information regarding his origins. It merely provided the date and cause of his death, and the time of his funeral.
HYNES-On 1st June [1885], Patrick Hynes, near Linton, of hydatids [tapeworms, according to Google]. Funeral Wednesday, 2 o'clock. 
In life, acording to a case taken at the Ballarat Circuit Court, Patrick Hynes came across as an unpleasant character, certainly not someone who'd make an attractive addition to the family tree. It seems, he stabbed a young bullock in the chest with a hay knife, so savagely it had to be put down. He acted either out of malice borne against his brother-in-law, one Patrick Maloney, or in annoyance at finding the steer in his farmyard. Who does that to a defenseless animal?

Argus, 18 April 1866, p. 5

The fore-mentioned brother-in-law, Patrick Maloney, or Moloney as he was more commonly called, married Hanora Kearn[s] in 1863. Hanora was presumably a sister of Mary Kearns, Patrick's wife. They lived near each other at Lucky Womans, in Happy Valley (though it seems it was anything but 'happy'!), a small post town in county Grenville, about 100 miles north-east of Melbourne.

Showing Patrick Hynes + Pat Moloney, near neighbours, in Argyle parish,
Co. Grenville (1889, Dept. of Mines, Melbourne)

Patrick Hynes and Mary Kearns, members of the Catholic church, married in the Presbytery at Ballarat, Victoria, on 21 January 1857. Both gave their birthplace as Co. Clare, Ireland, and not Limerick city. Patrick was a bachelor, 25 years old (so born about 1831), and worked as a miner. His father John was said to have been a farmer.

Co. Clare - now that's not the showstopper. Clare and Limerick are adjacent counties. There are already noted DNA connections between my Hynes ancestors and a Hynes family from Broadford, Co. Clare, going back as far as the 1820s.

BUT, by all accounts my third-great-grandfather was a carpenter, while Patrick's father was a farmer. A carpenter might easily pick up sticks and move county, but an Irish farmer has a particular affinity to his land. He wouldn't move county willy-nilly, now in Co. Clare, now in Limerick city. You'd completely understand if you've ever watched the movie, The Field?

My third cousin Phyllis, a whiz-kid on, built a 'dummy' tree for Patrick Hynes and his family. He appears in over 30 other online family trees on Ancestry, where there is an unproven suggestion he was from Caher, Co. Clare, 15 miles north of Broadford and 40 miles north of Limerick city.

Most notably though, not one known descendant of my third-great-grandparents, including three people in my generation and three people in my mother's generation, share DNA with the owner of any of these 30+ family trees - certainly an unlikely outcome for proposed 4th cousins, give or take.

There was no mention of a second 'John Hynes & Margaret Hayes' couple in the Catholic Parish Registers held at the National Library, and indexed by Findmypast. However, there could have been two couples sporting these same names, both of child-bearing age and both living in Munster at the same time. Agreed, this is not the most radical idea out there, but it's something to be borne in mind, nonetheless.

1. Death index, Pat Hynes, 4067/1885, Victoria BDM
2.Marriage register and baptism registers, St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick city, accessed Findmypast.
3. Ballarat Star, 9 Jun 1885, p. 2; Argus, 18 Apr 1866, p. 5; accessed Trove.
4. Marriage index, Moloney-Kearn, 392/1863, Vixctoria BDM.
5. 'Parish of Argyle, County of Grenville', Geologically surveyed by F.M. Krause, Melbourne Dept. of Mines, 29 July, 1889, accessedTrove.
6. Copy marriage register, Hynes-Kernes, 494/1857, Victoria BDM.

Sunday 25 October 2020

My first published genealogy article !

My article on the Baron Talbots of Malahide has been published in The Irish Genealogist.
The Talbots were one of my chosen families and the subject of considerable genealogy research, as I worked to obtain a Certificate in Genealogy/Family History, with the well-respected genealogist, Sean Murphy, at University College Dublin. The Talbot's family tree could be traced back to the twelfth-century Norman invasion of Ireland. Plus, the family’s place in Irish society ensured they featured far more prominently in genealogical sources than their tenants, my small-farmer ancestors.

The article is primarily a genealogical and heraldic account of the Talbot family, Lords of Malahide, through the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, together with an examination of their Norman origins. It also looks at the family’s relationship with their tenants in Malahide, Co. Dublin, over the centuries and thus encompasses elements of local and social history.

And, as I opened the package containing my copy of The Irish Genealogist, which arrived in my letter box this week, there it was, my name and research listed on the cover page of the journal. How exciting!

The Irish Genealogist is the publication of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS), issued annually since 1937, and renowned for its scholarly contribution to the field of Irish genealogy.

In the 2020 edition, my work is included. What a great honour!

If you are not a member of the IGRS, and would like to read my article, let me know and I'll happily email a copy to you.

Sunday 11 October 2020

Brian Mitchell's New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy

The Genealogical Publishing Company recently sent me a free copy of Brian Mitchell’s NEW Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy, to independently review.
This handbook is divided into three easy-to-read sections.

The first section includes an outline of Irish history and genealogy for those beginning their Irish research, as well as information on how to get started from overseas, and the first steps a researcher should take.

The second section covers Irish record sources. Here, Mitchell examines how to make the best use of his seven ‘major' record sources, which he claims enable all researchers trace their roots back six or seven generations, on most lines. My ancestor scorecard supports this, to an extent, though it must be admitted, despite nearly ten years dedicated research, the names of only 9 of my 64 ancestors in the seventh generation have been identified.

Still, the majority of people born in Ireland during the 19th century and late 18th century, are bound to be found mentioned in these seven sources:
  • Civil registers of births, marriages and deaths
  • Parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials
  • Gravestone inscriptions
  • Wills
  • The 1901 and 1911 census returns
  • Griffith’s Valuation
  • Tithe Applotment books.

Next, Mitchell examines a wealth of ‘other' record sources, including the pre-1901 census fragments, newspapers, directories, school registers, 17th and 18th-century census substitutes, plantation and settlement records, military records, workhouse records, memorials of deeds, and estate records. These sources should enable most researchers to fill in gaps and build a much more complete picture of their ancestors' lives.

The worked examples provided liberally throughout the section are especially valuable for anyone beginning their Irish research. They often illustrate how to construct two and three generational family trees, from the information contained in the record being examined.

Essentially, in the current COVID-19 situation, directions on how to access digital copies of the records online are provided.

The sources and worked examples reflect a distinct Northern Ireland flavour, an acknowledged bias perhaps, and probably irrelevant to a beginner, who might easily apply the principles involved to their own research. However, the more experienced researcher, whose ancestors are not from Ulster, may find themselves at a relative disadvantage. For example, the non-denominational burial registers in Dublin, which often prove indispensable in tracing Dublin city lineages back that extra generation, are not mentioned in this guide. But should the bemoaned gaps in my pedigree ever take my research to Northern Ireland, Mitchell's local knowledge might come in very handy indeed.

The final section generously shares the 'insights and strategies' Mitchell garnered over many years working as a genealogist in Ireland. It appears as a mishmash of unrelated ideas, yet a knowledge of each topic is often crucial to successfully tracing Irish roots. Subjects covered include Irish place-names and administrative divisions, the origin of Irish surnames, Irish passenger lists, an introduction to genetic genealogy, and a list of sources for tracing Scots-Irish ancestors. To conclude, Mitchell sets out two case studies demonstrating how to apply everything in practice - one that works backwards from a man who died during the First World War, and another that traces the origins of a Scots-Irish family who emigrated to the US in the 1700s.

With nearly 40 years’ experience as an Irish genealogist, Brian Mitchell is already the author of several notable Irish genealogy reference books. He currently heads up RootsIreland's Genealogy Centre in Co. Derry, Northern Ireland. This handbook is ideal for newcomers to Irish genealogy, providing them with everything they need to know, but its 122 pages, crammed full of expert knowledge and experience, will almost certainly contain something for everyone.

Sunday 4 October 2020

Signature Silhouette #10 ~ Francis Byrne

For many of my ancestors, we have no photographs, no treasured heirlooms, not even a funeral card to remember them by. But of those who could read and write, a few left their signatures behind. They often signed historical census returns, for example, copies of which still survive. Their signature may be all that remains of them today. So, it's my intention to feature a Signature Silhouette for one ancestor, here, until they are all are preserved.

Here's one for my maternal great-great-grandfather, Francis Byrne:-

Francis Byrne (c.1853-1912)

Idea courtesy of Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

Source of signature: 1911 Census of Ireland, Francis Byrne household, Jane Place Lower, North Dock, Dublin,The National Archives of Ireland.

Sunday 20 September 2020

Cousins connect ~ Mary Anne (Hynes) Rodoreda

Genealogy research is mainly a solitary pursuit, yet it is often at its most rewarding when cousins connect and work together to reunite two long-separated branches of a family. And this week, my 'new' 4th cousin Tom, and my unwavering research buddy and 3rd cousin Phyllis, both sent me their research results vis-à-vis Mary Anne (Hynes) Rodoreda, my recently rediscovered second-great-grandaunt.

Tom, who lives in Western Australia, visited the archives in Perth and obtained a certified copy of Mary Anne Hynes and Jerome Rodoreda's marriage certificate, as well as a certified copy of Mary Anne's death certificate. He also found the announcement of Mary Anne's death in a contemporary newspaper, not currently available online.

The certificate of their marriage on 14 January 1856 is especially informative, providing details not found in the church record of the event. It confirms Mary Anne was a milliner prior to the marriage. Presumably, she was an employee somewhere, as there is no sign of her advertising her wares in the newspapers of the day.

Her address was shown as 'Perth'—just Perth—with no street name mentioned. This rules out any further research on where exactly she may have worked. Can you imagine how small Perth must have been then, if a 'full address' was deemed unnecessary.

Excerpt from marriage certificate, Mary Anne Hynes, 1856

Note: the names Hynes and Hines were often used interchangeably, before spellings were standardised.

The best bit concerns Mary Anne's father, John Hynes, described as a carpenter by occupation. This agrees exactly with other records showing my third-great-grandfather's occupation. When his wife Margaret Hynes died in 1884, her death certificate gave her occupation as 'widow of a carpenter', while the register of her burial said she 'had been the wife of a carpenter'. So this is the final piece of the jigsaw confirming without a doubt Mary Anne's parent's, John and Margaret (HAYES) Hynes, were indeed my third-great-grandparents.

According to her death certificate, Mary Anne died of 'cancer' on 5 November 1881. Again, her address was listed as 'Perth'. We know from the Rate Books in 1880, the Rodoreda family lived at 12 Howick Street, Perth, in a four-roomed cottage, shop and bake house.

Mary Anne died young, aged 48 per her death certificate, though she may have been closer to 53 years old. She didn't have an easy death either, poor woman. How did cancer patients in the nineteenth century cope with the pain, without the benefit of modern medicines?

RODOREDA—Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of Mary Ann, the beloved wife of J. Rodoreda, who departed this life on the 5th November, after a long and painful illness, fortified by the rites of Holy Church—R.I.P.

Then, the facsimile copy of the civil marriage registers, which Phyllis ordered last July, arrived on the 'slow-boat from Australia'. These copies are barely legible in places, but they do eliminate the possibility of transcription errors in the typed-up certified copies. Plus, they are worth it just to see the signatures of Jerome and Mary Anne.

1. Certificate of marriage, Rodoreda-Hines, 910J/1856, no. 00047031035, issued 9 September 2020, Registry of births, deaths and marriages, Perth, Western Australia.
2. Certificate of death, Mary Ann Rodoreda, 11236T/1882, no. 00047030907, issued 9 September 2020, Registry of births, deaths and marriages, Perth, Western Australia
3. Jerome Rodoreda, 1880, 'Perth, Western Australia, Australia, Rate Books, 1880-1946', database with images, accessed
4. Death notice Mary Ann Rodoreda, The West Australian Catholic Record, 17 November 1881, p. 4.
5. Uncertified copy of original marriage record, Rodoreda-Hines, 1856, Registry of births, deaths and marriages, Perth, Western Australia.
6. Uncertified copy of original death record, Mary Ann Rodoreda, 1882, Registry of births, deaths and marriages, Perth, Western Australia.

Further articles about Mary Anne (Hynes) Rodoreda:-

Sunday 13 September 2020

Mary Anne Hynes meets Jerome Rodoreda

So, if my suspicions are correct, Mary Anne Hynes arrived in Western Australia, unexpectedly, on 24 March 1854, and realised she had no way of getting to Melbourne. What did she do then? Did she know someone in Perth? Probably not! Did she stay in an immigration depot while she looked for a job? How long was she looking for work? And, how did she support herself in the 21 months before she married Geronimo (Jerome) Rodoreda?

Too many questions, with no good answers. One online family tree suggests, she worked as a milliner before her marriage, not in domestic service. Maybe the copy of her civil marriage register will shed some light on this, if it ever arrives. But, no further evidence of her occupation has been uncovered.

Geronimo Rodoreda (given name anglicised as Jerome, in Perth)
Jerome Rodoreda, Mary Anne's future husband, was born in Barcelona, Spain. He became a panadero (i.e. a baker). Later he joined the Benedictine missionaries with a view to bringing Christianity to the Australian Aborigines. On 6 October 1849, he left Cádiz in Spain aboard the Spanish man-of-war La Ferrolana, with 39 other religious and lay missionaries. The frigate docked in Fremantle, Western Australia, on 29 December 1849 and the missionaries soon made their way to the Victoria Plains, where they were based.

Missionaries on La Ferrolana, Cádiz to Western Australia, 1849

On 15 November 1855, two months before his marriage, Jerome Rodoreda took over Mr. William Dalton's bakery in Perth. Having left the missions, he baked bread and cakes for the people of Perth for over 30 years.

Jerome and Mary Anne, both Roman Catholics, celebrated their marriage on 14 January 1856, at a Mass said by Venantius Garrido, one of the Spanish priests who travelled with Jerome from Cádiz. Jerome's best man was Juan Perejuan, who also arrived in Western Australia on La Ferrolana. Mary Anne's bridesmaid, Ann Maria Farmer, was Juan Perejuan's wife, not someone Mary Anne knew from home.

The couple had nine children recorded in the baptism registers of the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist and the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St Mary's Cathedral), in Perth.
  1. Isabella Mary Rodoreda, born to Geronimo Rodoreda and Mary Anne Hynes on 8 July 1857, was baptised on 12 September 1857, by Martin Griver, also a Spanish priest who arrived in Perth on La Ferrolana. Isabella's Godmother was Catherine Sheehy, the daughter of Terent and Virginia Sheehy. Isabella never married. In later life, she suffered mental health issues. She died from pulmonary tuberculosis, on 30 September 1909, as a state patient at the Yarra Bend Hospital for the Insane, near Melbourne. Her remains are buried in the Boroondara General Cemetery in Kew, Victoria, beside her father who died the following year.

  2. Christina Mary Teresa Rodoreda, born to Geronimo Rodoreda and Mary Anne Hynes on 26 February 1859, was baptised by Martin Griver on 26 March 1859. Christina's Godmother was Mary Hynes, daughter of George and Catherine Hynes. Mary Hynes was of no known relation, but travelled to Perth on the same ship as Mary Anne. Christina never married either. She died on 30 June 1938 and was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Karrakatta, in Perth.

  3. Francis Edward (aka Francis Edgeworth), born to Geronimo Rodoreda and Mary Anne Hynes on 12 September 1861, was baptised by Martin Griver on 11 October 1861. Francis' Godmother was Sara Campbell, daughter of George and Sara Campbell. Francis became a baker like his father. He married Margaret O'Mara in 1887 and they had three surviving sons and a daughter. Francis died in West Perth on 11 November 1939 and was buried at the Cemetery in Karrakatta.

    Baptism register, Franciscus Rodoreda, 1861

  4. Twins, Margaret and Mary Rodoreda, born to Geronimo Rodoreda and Mary Anne Hynes on 15 November 1862, were baptised by Martin Griver the following day. Their Godparents were Joseph and Ellen Reilly. Both infants died within about six weeks, first Margaret, then Mary. It is likely they were buried in the East Perth Cemetery. Perhaps they share a grave with Mary Anne, who died on 5 November 1881.

  5. Edward John Rodoreda, born to Geronimo and Mary Anne Rodoreda on 9 January 1864, was baptised by Anselm Bourke on 15 January 1864. Edward's Godparents were Isidor Oriel and Mary Anne Kenny. Edward became an auctioneer and a land and estate agent. He married Julia Down in 1891 and the couple had 15 children, 11 of whom reached adulthood. Edward died in Melbourne on 6 February 1928, following an operation at St Benedict's Hospital, and was buried at Springvale Botanical Cemetery in Melbourne.

    Baptism register, Eduardus Rodereda, 1864, Perth

  6. Joseph John Rodoreda, born to Jerome and Mary Anne Rodoreda on 7 May 1865, was baptised by Mat Gibney on 14 May 1865. Joseph's Godparent's were Ignatius and Mary Boladeras. Ignatius was one of the former Spanish missionaries that came to Western Australia with Jerome. No further information has been discovered concerning Joseph, who may have died in childhood.

  7. Charles Dolphus Rodoreda, born to Jerome Rodoreda and Mary Anne Hines on 3 January 1867, was baptised by Mat Gibney three days later. His Godmother was Helen (or maybe Ellen) Reilly. In May 1889, Charles took over his father's bakery business in Howick Street and opened a grocery store at Beaufort Street. In December that year he sold the bakery business to an established baker, with a view to concentrating on his grocery interests. Charles married Sarah Darch in 1892. The couple had three surviving sons. Charles died on 18 July 1942 and was buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery.

    The Daily News, 11 May 1889, p. 4

  8. Agnes Mary Rodoreda, born to Geronimo Rodoreda and Mary Anne 'Ines'
    on 19 April 1869, was baptised by Martin Griver on 25 April. Her sister Isabella was her Godmother. Agnes joined the Convent of Mercy and became a nun in December 1890, taking the religious name Sister Mary Alacoque. Sister Alacoque became a very successful music teacher at Our Lady's College, Perth. She died on 5 September 1957, aged 88 years, and was buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery.
I like to think Mary Anne had some communication with 'home' over the years. For example my great-great-grandmother Bridget (Hynes) Wynne, Mary Anne's sister, named a daughter Isabella, in 1863, and a daughter Agnes, in 1877. Isabella was not a common name among Roman Catholics in Ireland then, and Agnes was not that prevalent either. Perhaps Bridget followed Mary Anne's lead. Bridget also had two daughters, Margaret born in 1850 and Mary in 1860. However, these were such common names, little inference could be drawn from her choosing them. Plus, Margaret was the name of Bridget and Mary Anne's mother.

If you are related to anyone mentioned above, I'd love to hear from you: Email blackraven.genealogy[at]

1. 'Départes des Missionaires', Annales de la propagation de la foi, v. 22, Society for the Propagation of the Faith (Lyons), January 1850, no. 128, pp 71-72, written in French, accessed GoogleBooks.
2. Passenger ships arriving in Australian ports, Western Australia 1829-89, Rob Nelson, 2001.
3. The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News, 30 November 1855. p. 1, accessed on Trove.
4. Marriage register, Church of the Immaculate Conception in Perth, Rodoreda-Hines marriage, 1856, Catholic Archdiocese of Perth Archives.
5. Baptism registers, Church of the Immaculate Conception in Perth, 'Catholic church records of Perth, 1844-1967', Baptisms, 1844-1899, 547 unindexed images, Isabella image 80; Christina image 88 and 89; Francis image 106; Margaret and Mary image 112; Edward image 120; Joseph image 127; Charles image 147; Agnes image 166, FamilySearch.
5. Isabella Mary Rodoreda, 1 October 1909, 'Inquest Deposition Files, 1840-1925', Victoria, Australia, database with images, FamilySearch.
6. Isabella Rodoreda, 2 October 1909, Boroondara General Cemetery, Kew Cemetery Grave Archive.
6. Burial records, Metropolitan Cemeteries Board, Christina Rodoreda; Francis Rodoreda; Charles Dolphus Rodoreda; Agnes Rodoreda.
7. Marriage index, Rodoreda-Omara, 1887, Department of Justice, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Register of online indexes.
8. Death notice, Edward John Rodoreda, The West Australian, 10 February 1928, p. 1, accessed Trove; Burial records, Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, Edward John Rodoreda.
9. The Daily News, 11 May 1889, p. 4; The Daily News, 20 May 1889, p. 2; The West Australia, 24 December 1889, p. 2, accessed Trove.
10. Family Notices, Rodoreda-Darch, The West Australian, 9 May 1892, p. 1, accessed Trove.

Further articles about Mary Anne (Hynes) Rodoreda:-

Sunday 6 September 2020

Signature Silhouette #9 ~ My Granny, Annie (Byrne) Wynne

For many of my ancestors, we have no photographs, no treasured heirlooms, not even a funeral card to remember them by. But of those who could read and write, a few left their signatures behind. They often signed historical census returns, for example, copies of which still survive. Their signature may be all that remains of them today. So, it's my intention to publish a Signature Silhouette for each ancestor, until they are all are preserved.

Here's one for my grandmother, Annie (Byrne) Wynne:-

Annie (Byrne) Wynne (1910-1983)

My maternal grandmother was the only one of my grandparents who I knew in life, as opposed to in genealogy. Here is an example of her 'signature' when she was writing to her granddaughter.

Idea courtesy of Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

Source of signature: Last will and testament of Annie Wynne, Dublin, dated 16 March 1983, National Archives of Ireland.

Sunday 30 August 2020

Duped by the Emigration Commission!

Whatever possessed my newly rediscovered great-great-grandaunt to go to Western Australia? Presumably Mary Anne Hynes was looking for a better life than the one she saw before her in Ireland, but if she fancied Australia, why not go to one of the more established colonies?

At the time, Western Australia was not considered ideal for human settlement. Its sandy soil was completely unsuitable for feeding a population. But that did not deter the British from forming the 'free' Swan River Colony (now Perth) there in 1829, and when the inevitable happened, and labour was in short supply, they started transporting convicts there in 1850. When Mary Anne arrived a few years later, Perth was little more than a penal colony.

Travelling for family reasons?
On 28 December 1853, presumably having just celebrated their last Christmas with family at home, 237 passengers, including Mary Anne, boarded the 'Victory' at Plymouth in England. The ship sailed on a government chartered voyage, bound for Western Australia. Surprisingly, 13 of the passengers shared the surname Hynes or Hines. So initially I thought Mary Anne had gone with family, but after a little research, it doesn't look like any of them were her close relatives.

William Hines, his wife Mary and their five children were Church of England, born in England. Hugh Hynes, his wife Alicia and sister Ellen were seemingly Church of Ireland, born in Dublin, but Hugh and Ellen were the children of a Joseph Hynes. Then there was Catherine and Mary Hynes, both Roman Catholics. They were known to Mary Anne in Perth. Mary was even Godmother to her daughter Christina in 1859. But their parents were George and Catherine Hynes, not my third-great-grandparents John and Margaret.

The usual reasons for single women to go to Western Australia
It seems the British government was keen to assist the passage of young, single women to Perth. They wished to reduce the gender imbalance exasperated by convict transportation and increase the supply of potential wives. The premiss was the women would have a civilising effect on the men, and encourage them to settle down.

The Western Australian authorities apparently also sought young single women, but for a different reason. They were mainly looking for domestic servants to serve the free population. Seemingly, unlike in the other Australian colonies, those in Perth actually preferred the Irish, which may have been just as well. Living conditions in Perth were apparently so awful, they might only appeal to destitute girls from the Irish workhouse system.

It's unlikely Mary Anne was in the workhouse. She had the support of a large family in Dublin. It's also unlikely she travelled all the way to Perth in the hopes of landing a great job as a domestic servant. And I sincerely doubt she had her heart set on marrying an ex-convict. I suspect, she was duped into going to Western Australia.

The Emigration Commission
The Emigration Commission offered suitable candidates free or subsidised passage to Australia, with the government paying a fee per emigrant. Unscrupulous agents might say anything to potential travellers to ensure their participation in the scheme, in order to receive this bounty. And the young women might take them at their word, especially if they were illiterate. Though unproven to my eyes, there is an indication Mary Anne was illiterate, unlike her sister Catherine who could certainly read and write.

So, what if the agents told Mary Anne the Victory was sailing to Melbourne, and she believed them? Or what if they told her, once in Perth, she could easily catch a train to Southern Australia? Irish girls probably had no concept of the distance involved. And, once they landed in Perth, and realised their error, what exactly could they do to hold the agent to account?

This is not all pure conjecture on my part either.

Passengers disembarking from the Victory itself claimed the Emigration Commission had assured them they were going to South Australia!

The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News,
31 March 1854, p. 2.

And in a newspaper article written just two weeks later, emigrants, on arrival in Western Australia, were said to have 'expressed great surprise at not being able to take either rail or coach and be at once transported to Melbourne, in a few hours'.

Inquirer[Perth], 12 April 1854, pp 2-3

My guess is, Mary Anne was fooled by the Emigration Commission into going to Perth. Nevertheless, she married, raised a family and lived out the rest of her days in the colony. Some more about that soon.

1. Passenger list of the Victory, 1853, in the 'Western Australia, Australia, Crew and Passenger Lists, 1852- 1930', from the State Records Office of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, accessed at $
2. Burial of William and Mary Hines, East Perth Cemeteries.
3. Hynes-Halligan Marriage, 1853, Civil records on
4. Baptism register, Christina Rodoreda, 1859, Church of the Immaculate Conception in Perth, accessed 'Catholic church records of Perth, 1844-1967', Baptisms, 1844-1899, unindexed images, image 88 and 89 of 547, FamilySearch.
5. The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News, 31 March 1854, p. 2, accessed on Trove.
6. Inquirer [Perth], 12 April 1854, pp 2-3, accessed on Trove.

Further articles about Mary Anne (Hynes) Rodoreda:-

Sunday 23 August 2020

The missing piece of the jigsaw - Mary Anne Hynes

💙 Surprise, Surprise! 💙 My great-great-grandmother Bridget (Hynes) Wynne had another sister. Her name was Mary Anne. And with Mary Anne's recent rediscovery came confirmation of my great-great-great-grandparent's identity.

A few years ago, I set out my preferred theory for who my third great-grandparents were in The Hayes Theory. John HYNES and Margaret HAYES married in Limerick city in 1826, and christened a daughter Bridget there in 1830 and a son Edmond in 1835. They were the perfect candidates. Everything about them fit—the right names, in the right place, at the right time, and nothing ruled them out.

But we didn't 'know' the maiden name of Bridget's mother Margaret. Plus, there were no links between this young family in Limerick and the adult Bridget's family in Dublin city. It could easily have all been one big coincidence. So, much to the exasperation of my third cousin Phyllis, I never added 'Hayes' as Margaret's maiden name in my online family tree.

Just last month Phyllis asked again, 'You and Aileen [my first cousin] have continued to question Margaret Hayes as Bridget's mother and I've always wondered why'. But, it was hard to explain. In short, our hesitation can probably be attributed to Mr. Murphy, our genealogy lecturer at University College Dublin. His voice always echos in my head - 'it's a good theory, but where's the evidence?'

Then recently, as I was gallivanting down that rabbit hole in pursuit of what turned out to be my 'too deep' Hynes ancestry, I came across an exciting DNA match. My mother's first cousin Larry was the estimated 3rd-4th cousin of an unknown lady with the unlikely surname Rodoreda.

This lady also matches my Aunt Anne, her second cousin Paul, and a known descendant of Bridget's sister Catherine (Hynes) Tucker. Phyllis and Aileen, being one generation removed, have an estimated 5th-8th cousin match with her too. We also all match other members of the extended Rodoreda family. It looked like this match was definitely on our Hynes line.

Of course, the Rodoreda lady had no online tree. Still, her surname was so uncommon, in the English-speaking world anyway, it wasn't difficult to trace. It turns out, she was descended from Jerome Rodoreda of Barcelona, Spain and Mary Anne Hynes of Limerick, Ireland. Jerome and Mary Anne met in Perth, Western Australia, and married there in 1856.

Nothing is ever that easy though. Mary Anne's baptism was not found in the registers for St Mary's in Limerick, or elsewhere for that matter. And most of the online family trees claimed Mary Anne's parents were John Hynes and Mary—not Margaret—Hayes from Limerick. Close but no cigar!

Her mother's stated given name was obviously an error, right?

Except, not only that, 'Mary' was said to have died in Perth in 1880, with a source attached. Her father supposedly also died in Perth, in 1894, though no source was cited. Ok, so we don't know yet what happened to John Hynes, but we do know where Margaret ended up. She was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin with her daughter Catherine's family.

Sure enough, FamilySearch has a record confirming Mary [Anne]'s mother was Mary—not Margaret—Hayes. Except it's only a transcription, perhaps of the church register, without the image of the original document. The source details are not provided. How many times have you initially thought old writing of 'Margt' (with that little superscript 't' at the end) read Mary?

Phyllis did Trojan work proving the Mary Hines who died in Perth in 1880 was actually the wife of a William Hines, a convict from England, and not the mother of Mary Anne Rodoreda. So, there was hope. But, although images of the original baptism records for all Mary Anne's children were found online, her church marriage register was not available. We ordered the civil record, and are still waiting for it to arrive.

In the meantime, the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth Archives provided a requested scan of Jerome and Mary Anne's marriage, from the registers of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Perth. And, as clear as day, or at least as clear as it can possibly be for an old record written in Latin, Mary Anne's details were given as Marianam Hines filia in Joannis et Margarita Hayes ex Limerick in Hibernia. I read this to mean 'Maryanne Marian Hines a daughter of John and Margaret Hayes from Limerick, Ireland'.

There is still no 'documentary' evidence linking Bridget (Hynes) Wynne with John Hynes and Margaret Hayes, other than what was written in code and given to her in her DNA, which she in turn passed on to her descendants. I'm not 100% sure Mr. Murphy would agree with this 'scientific' approach, but for me DNA has provided that crucial piece of the jigsaw showing Margaret Hayes belongs in our family picture.

It's about time, I hear Phyllis say.😄

1.'Australia Marriages, 1810-1980', database, FamilySearch, Mary Hines in entry for Jerome Rodoreda, 1856, accessed 20 August 2020.
2. Marriage register, Church of the Immaculate Conception in Perth, Rodoreda-Hines marriage, 1856, Catholic Archdiocese of Perth Archives.

Further articles about Mary Anne (Hynes) Rodoreda:-

Sunday 16 August 2020

Signature Silhouette #8 ~ James Byrne

For many of my ancestors, we have no photographs, no treasured heirlooms, not even a funeral card to remember them by. But of those who could read and write, a few left their signatures behind. They often signed historical census returns, for example, copies of which still survive. Their signature may be all that remains of them today. So, it's my intention to publish a Signature Silhouette for each ancestor, until they are all are preserved.

Here's one for my maternal great-grandfather, James Byrne:-

James Byrne (1874-1948)

Idea courtesy of Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls and The Genealogy Girl.

Source of signature: 1901 Census of Ireland, James Byrne household, Jane Place Lower, North Dock, Dublin, The National Archives of Ireland.

Sunday 9 August 2020

A little about Joseph Teeling aka Fr Camillus

Born on 31 August 1908, at 7 Upper Jane Place, Dublin city, Joseph Teeling was the youngest of Sarah (McGrane, Daly) Teeling’s 15 children. He only ever knew his brothers Myles and Richard Daly from his mother’s first marriage, and Mary, Francis (Frank) and Elizabeth (Lily) from her second with Joseph's father, Christopher Teeling. All Joseph's other siblings died before he was born. He then lost his sister Lily to TB on 9 June 1918.

Joseph attended St Laurence O’Toole’s National School in Seville Place, and went on to study at O’Connell Christian Brothers Secondary School in Richmond Street. As boys, Joseph and his brother Frank joined O’Toole’s GAA club, though Joseph was never quite as talented a player as Frank.

Joseph Teeling, O’Toole’s GAA club

Joseph entered the Roman Catholic Order of Cistercians (Trappist) monks. The Cistercians were an enclosed order of strict observance. He joined the monastery at Mount Melleray Abbey, located in the Knockmealdown mountains in Co. Waterford. He was ordained a priest at St John’s Cathedral, Waterford on 8 June 1944 and celebrated his First Holy Mass at Mount Melleray Abbey, the following day. He became known Fr Camillus.

Fr Camillus, ordained 8 June 1944

Fr Camillus spent most of his life inside the monastery, though he was sent to England in later life. Supposedly, for a time, he was the chaplain at Brixton Prison. He died suddenly at ‘the Presbytery’, Warrick Road, Beaconsfield, in Buckinghamshire, England, on 24 March 1979. They brought his body home for burial and he shares a grave with his brother Frank and Frank’s wife Lily, at Glasnevin Cemetery.

Joseph was a first cousin of my maternal great-grandfather James Byrne, and a great pal of my grandaunt Kathleen Byrne.

1. Copy birth, marriage and death registers, accessed Civil Registers,
2. Michael Meehan, In the front gate and out the back, The story of Frank Teeling (2007, Dublin), accessed in the National Library of Ireland.
3. Souvenir of Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood, 1944, in family papers of Mary, Joseph's third cousin once removed.

Sunday 2 August 2020

Follow me down a rabbit hole: Hynes family of Broadford, Co. Clare

This is the fifth post in a series (starting here) concluding the investigation into a number of DNA cousins, all likely related to us on our 'Hynes' line. The origin of our matches' ancestors—Michael Rochford Hynes and his sister Anne Rochford Hynes, who emigrated to Queensland, Australia in the late 1860s—were traced back to the parish of Broadford, Co. Clare. Michael and Anne's father, Edmond Hynes, farmed there, in the townlands of Woodfield and Killaderry.

Church registers for the parish prior to 1844 have been lost, making the research more challenging. Yet, a number of probable siblings of Michael and Anne have been identified and traced forward, with a view to finding them named as associates in records pertaining to our own ancestors, or perhaps finding their descendants in our lists of DNA matches.

Patrick Hynes, the son of Edmond Hynes, was a farmer in Woodfield, when he married Mary Fennessy in Feakle parish, on 13 February 1866. They made their home in Woodfield, and had ten children, nine of whom survived infancy. His daughter Catherine said he was fifty-eight years old when he died on 28 March 1898, so born about 1839-40, or maybe earlier. None of his descendants appear among our DNA matches.

Edmond Hynes was a farmer in Broadford, the son of Edmond Hynes, according to the register of his marriage to Mary Kiely, in Killaloe parish, on 7 February 1869. The couple lived in Fahymore, near Bridgetown, not far from Broadford and also had a string of children. Records show Edmond was born between about 1839 and 1846, though he may have been born even earlier. None of his descendants were identified among our DNA matches.

Winifred (Winny) Hynes of Killaderry married Edmond Corcoran in Broadford on 12 February 1860, witnessed by Pat Hynes of Killaderry and Bridget Prendergast of O'Callaghans Mills. They lived in Springmount, in Fahymore, Co. Clare, where Edmond Corcoran was a farmer. They had six children. Two daughters, Bridget and Margaret, emigrated to Queensland, while the sons remained in Ireland. None of their descendants were found among our DNA matches.

Catherine Hynes and Edward Hickey from Killaderry/Woodfield baptised two children in Broadford—Mary on 27 April 1862 and Michael on 18 February 1865. Mary's Godparents were Michael and Anne Hynes of Killaderry, perhaps the same pair that emigrated to Queensland. Michael's Godparents were Pat Hynes of Woodfield and Bridget O'Grady of Feakle. All further record of this family currently escapes me.

Margaret Hynes of Woodfield married Denis Hayes in Broadford on 1 November 1859. They had one daughter Bridget born in Broadford village, and baptised in Broadford church on 26 August 1860. Bridget's Godparents were Patrick Hynes and Winny Hynes from Killaderry. Nothing further has been found relating to Margaret's family.

Bridget Hynes was probably an elder sibling too. She was living in Killaderry when she married John O'Brien, in Broadford parish, on 5 February 1854. She had one son, also John, baptised in Moynoe parish on 9 March 1856. Young John emigrated to Queensland, Australia, where his daughter Margaret Ann O'Brien was born in 1890. Margaret Ann had three sons, George Francis Williams, Margaret Edith Williams and Robert Arthur Williams.

Members of my extended 'Hynes' family are DNA cousins of Margaret Edith's grandson and Robert Arthur's son. The DNA segments they share are tiny, but they are probably further evidence of our distant connection with this family. They may perhaps be just noise.

Mary Hynes of Feakle was Godmother to Patrick Hynes' eldest son Michael, baptised in November 1866. The church records for Feakle don't start until 1860, which doesn't help, but members of my extended 'Hynes' family have DNA matches with her descendants—many of them in the 4th to 6th cousin bracket. Siblings J.B. and K.L. are the great-grandchildren of Edward Hynes Grady, the son of Mary Hynes that emigrated to New York. It's also apparent J.B. is related to W.M., a descendant of Michael Rochford Hynes.

(Click on image to enlarge)

There is no doubt we all family, but how far back?. If my third great-grandfather John Hynes was a brother of Edmond Hynes senior, that would make Edmond's descendants of the same generation my 5th cousins. Only about 30% of fifth cousin share any detectable DNA, and even less 6th cousins do. Our actual relationship is possibly more distant still.

None of 'the siblings' are apparent among my Hynes family's FAN club (Friends, Associates and Neighbours). And, given 'official' records have been lost, or never maintained in the first place, there's little chance evidence of our exact relationship exists today. Still, our origins and the origins of this family are the same, which may point to where my third-great-grandfather came from, before he ended up a carpenter in Limerick city.

1. Catholic parish registers, accessed on $ FindMyPast, $ RootsIreland, $ Ancestry, NLI, with the help of a transcript for Broadford Parish prepared by my cousin Aileen, and an online family tree prepared by my cousin Phyllis.
2. Civil records of births, marriages and deaths from 1864, on
3. Queensland Government, Family History Research Service.
4. 'New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949", database, FamilySearch, Edward H. Grady, 1931.