Taking the DNA Plunge in Hopes of an Irish Discovery

After years of hemming and hawing, I’ve finally decided to have the DNA work done at Ancestry.com. The combination of a St. Patrick’s Day Sale and my desire to know something a little more about my Irish family made me finally take the plunge.

While there’s always the chance that new relatives will “pop up,” my real reason for the test is in hopes of connecting with the one-eighth of me that is of Irish extraction. My direct paternal great-grandfather, Charles Neill,  was born in 1875 in Hancock County, Illinois, to Irish immigrants Samuel and Anne (Murphy) Neill. The Neills are known to have originated in Newtown Limavady in County Derry. That’s where Samuel Neill was born in the 1830s along with his known brother Joseph and his probable sister Roseanne. If there were other Neill siblings, I am unaware of them.

Samuel’s wife Anne Murphy was born in Ireland, but no specific location is known. She and Samuel married in New Brunswick in the 1860s. I know nothing about her heritage.

There’s always the chance that the test will help me establish some new connections on other families, but my real interest is in my relatively recent Irish immigrants. My maternal families have been fairly well traced to the late 1500s, but there’s the chance that some connections will be made in a few paternal families that I’m stuck on, particularly a 3rd great-grandmother from Pennsylvania and a 3rd great-grandmother from Ontario.

But the Irish lines are where I’m really hoping to make some contact.

We will have updates–hopefully.

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5 thoughts on “Taking the DNA Plunge in Hopes of an Irish Discovery

  1. Cookie Carlson says:

    Michael, you may want to check out Legacy.FamilyTreeWebinars.com to view their Irish webinars on file. I was watching one yesterday by John Grenham that went into a lot of detail about surnames…..Neil was specifically mentioned. He provides a lot of Irish history as well.

    • I saw that webinar, too, and it is superb! Well worth watching a couple of times. It gave me new hope that I might be able to find something after all. I was not even trying because of the roadblocks that seem to be in the way researching Irish ancestors. I thought the same about German ancestors, too, but discovered even though I’m an old dog I am capable of learning new tricks.

    • Patricia Regan says:

      I’ve done an extensive amount of Irish Research for over 30 years without DNA and managed through the tough years of Irish research to complete a great deal even back to my familiies who were brought to the Mohawk Valley by Sir William Johnson. But I always did my research starting with them in the US and Ontario Canada before crossing the sea. There are a great deal of records out there but it takes time to review them.

  2. Pat Meisinger says:

    After doing the DNA on ancestry and getting results, I am still at a loss as to what this tells me. I know that three of my ancestral lines are German and the fourth is Irish. My DNA said about 1/3 Ireland, 1/3 British Isles, 1/3 Scandinavian and a couple % others. I can accept the 1/3 Scandinavian as my Germans were all from Northern Germany near the Danish border but 1/3 British Isles??? Good luck!

    • I’m not so interested in the ethnic percentages as I am in hoping to connect with someone researching the same Irish lines that I am. We’ll have updates as things progress. I’m not expecting to make huge discoveries, but time will tell.

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