Contacting the DNA Matches to My Irish Forebears

I originally had the AncestryDNA test performed in an attempt to learn something about my Irish immigrant ancestors, Samuel and Ann (Murphy) Neill. The Neills were my great-great-grandparents–not all that far removed from me. They were born in Ireland in the 1830s/1840s, probably in different locations as they married (and apparently met) in New Brunswick in 1864. Samuel was from the NewtownLimavady area in County Derry and is known to have had one brother. Ann’s birth place is only known as specifically as Ireland. Other things have distracted me from actually working the matchesof my only Irish immigrants. In an attempt to actually complete something I start, I’ve decided to focus the matches that have a connection to this couple.

Fortunately there are two other AncestryDNA submitters who descend from this couple that are not related to me in any other way. This is a concern as three of Samuel and Ann’s children married into the same family (including my great-grandfather).  I descend from one of the Neill-Rampley marriages. The two other AncestryDNA submitters who are descendants of Samuel and Ann are not Rampley descendants–that’s fortunate.

For purposes of discussion, I’ll refer to those submitters as SonofSamuel and DaughterofSamuel to denote their gender and the fact that they both descend from Samuel and Ann’s son Samuel.

The matches I share with SonofSamuel and DaughterofSamuel should also have a connection to either Samuel Neill or Ann Murphy. This is something of a shot in the dark, but we will see how it goes. I’m crafting the email I’m going to send to these matches in hopes of getting a response.

We’ll have an update with the email that I end up sending and, hopefully, information about connections as well.

While the hope is that these matches are related to me via an ancestor of Samuel and Ann, it is possible that they are all also descendants of Samuel and Ann.

[suggestions are welcome in the comments area].


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