I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

09 February 2017

DNA- I'm more Irish than I expected

Ancestry.com says I'm 42% Irish! My Ancestry DNA posted about a month ago. I previously tested (May 2015) with 23andMe, which My Heritage partnered with for the tree part. Now My Heritage is doing their own DNA. On 23andMe it grouped Irish and English together; On Ancestry, it listed Irish separately. I expected to be a lot more English, because I know several lines that came over from England. I expected to be mostly English, with some Irish, Welsh and Danish. The more I read about history though...there was a lot of back and forth in those countries, people moving and who was in charge. It appears further back, those English guys of mine might have been ethnically more Celtic. Or I just carried/inherited more of the Irish pieces of DNA.

My Grays, before their arrival in Mecklenburg worked at Colonel William Blacker's estate, in County Armagh. I was thinking our locality was Seagoe because of the church, but now I'm thinking that looks more like a parish area name not really a place name. I read that if you were at that estate, you were really considered part of Portadown. This month I purchased 3 books from Ireland with pictures and history. Was fun to see "Printed in Armagh" on the title page. I've found the history really interesting; I'm learning a lot of new things. One thing that surprised me is the place names and surnames. Many of those same names I'm familiar with from Mecklenburg and Brunswick.

I started looking more closely at other family lines to see if I could find more Irish lines. I found another side of my family immigrated from Ireland about 1860. I have no idea where from yet. I'm really looking forward to seeing where these DNA results can lead. I have matches to people who never left Europe, but it must be farther than either of us can document. I hope eventually DNA will give us more Gray DNA matches. A match back to Ireland would be extra cool. So would a match to Francis Gray's family that we still haven't been able to find.

I'm at home watching RootsTech videos this week. There's lots of the latest about DNA presentations scheduled.  Lots of DNA tests for about half price there, and drawings for free kits/tests. Ancestry recently reached 3 million tests. Will be fun to see lots more people testing, leading to lots more possibilities for matches. The Ancestry Insider blog did a recent post about the innovator awards finalists. I checked out two of them and they were really amazing and helpful, especially with older (colonial) records. I might do a post on those ideas soon. Yesterday I went to message someone on Ancestry.com. A message came up that I did not have a DNA match to the lady I was messaging, or she hadn't taken a DNA test yet. I can see that being a very helpful tool. On Ancestry.com I made a tree that's just my pedigree lines. No second spouses or other children. Just the pedigree line. In Mecklenburg I know my families are very connected. Everyone in a small geographical area is related by marriage or blood. I have more detailed trees I can direct people to with my sources. Looking forward to the new things in DNA and genealogy this year!

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