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Lopsided Matches?

If, like me, you’ve embraced genetic genealogy as a valid way to advance your family tree, then you may have found that one side of your tree has yielded a lot more matches than the other. This is certainly true for my maternal lines versus my paternal lines. In this post, I take a look…

The Importance of Reviewing your own Research

I’d been aware for some time that the parents of my ancestor James Lawless (1857-1920) were called Thomas and Bridget but didn’t know much about them or her birth surname. When James married in 1876, the church just recorded his parents as Thomas and Bridget Lawless. By playing around with records* a few years ago,…

Brexit

Politics and genealogy don’t often collide but the advent of Brexit, now apparently only 3 weeks away, has led a lot of British people to explore their ancestry as a means to retain EU citizenship. If you’re one of the alleged 1 in 4 British people with Irish ancestry, you may be able to obtain…

Playing around with DNA Painter

I’ve been playing around with DNA Painter, which is a nifty little tool to help triangulate DNA matches. You create a profile and then paste in the chromosome matches from FTDNA or Gedmatch (or any of the others, except Ancestry). The latter is still lacking a chromosome browser so unless you can persuade a match…

New Spring term in Malahide Community School

Booking is now open for the new term of my beginner’s genealogy class in Malahide Community School. Walk-in enrolment will take place on Monday 21st January 2019 and I’ll be on site to answer any questions you may have. Classes will start on Tuesday 28th January and run for 10 weeks. Lots of people will have…

The proof is in the pudding

There’s been a lot of negative press recently about DNA testing and at least some of it is ill-informed. Personally, I don’t feel it’s any more “dangerous” than posting on Facebook or any other social media. The value for me far outweighs the risk. Just look at this family mystery I solved with the help…

Christmas Genealogy

Christmas is often said to be a time for family but I say it’s a time for family history. Getting the family together often leads to great discussions and stories about people now gone, or maybe it’s time to get a DNA sample? Why not buy someone in your family the gift of a voucher…

William George Kent 1888-1915

William George Kent is, to the best of my knowledge, the only member of my extended family to die in World War I, though many others, closer to me, fought and lived. He was my first cousin three times removed, or to put it another way, he was my maternal great-grandfather, Frederick Walters’ first cousin.…

Remembering the RMS Leinster

The story of the sinking of the RMS Leinster on 10th October 1918 is one that always loomed large in my family because my great-great grandfather, Michael Joyce MP, was aboard when it happened. He survived the disaster but more than 550 people lost their lives. The figures are not exact because travel between Ireland…

Perseverance is worth it!

One of the common problems for the family historian exploring the new world of DNA testing is people not replying to your messages. I tested my great-aunt (now 92 & going strong) in the summer of 2015 with Family Tree DNA. As one of only two remaining in my grandparents’ generation, I thought it was…