There are over 370,000 digital images online from microfilm held by the National Library of Ireland, from parishes from the 1740s to 1890s. I did a quick search late last night and quickly found a record from my side, and also my husband’s. You see the actual marriage or baptismal record book pages. It helps if you know the parish that your ancestors attended. If you don’t, there is a wonderful map of Ireland, with each county, and it includes both the current Republic of Ireland, and also Northern Ireland. Each parish has a link that shows what records are online. You can pick the year and month, and that is a great time-saver. Many thanks to a genealogy friend, and distant cousin, for sending me the link to the article in the Irish Times last night.
Also, exciting news for our family, is that we have heard from another branch of our Doran Clan! She is the daughter of William John and Rosina Doran, our great-uncle and great-aunt. Many thanks to my sister for sending out a letter! Here’s a photograph of the two Belfast, Northern Ireland brothers – Bernard Doran, and William John Doran.
And lastly, I received back my autosomal DNA Family Finder results from Family Tree DNA last week. This test finds your relatives within five generations. As expected my ancestry was 100 percent European. The breakdown: 48 percent Eastern European, 47 percent British Isles, and 5 percent Southern Europe. The Southern Europe ancestry was the surprise. This area is from Spain, across to Italy, and on to Greece. We knew our maternal side was Polish, since our two grandparents on that side came from southern Poland, in the area of Poland that was Austrian Galicia until 1918. They both emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. On the Irish side, our grandfather Barney (shown above) was from County Antrim, and our grandmother was born in Brooklyn, New York, to two Irish parents from possibly County Cork and Dublin.
What is interesting with the test results from Family Tree DNA, is that the closest matches show ancestry in these exact areas. I’ve really enjoyed sharing family research, via email, with some new cousins, estimated to be 3rd to 4th cousins. As a disclaimer, I have no ties to Family Tree DNA. In 2005 I had sent my mitochondrial DNA to test with the National Geographic Genographic Project, which is attempting to trace our common shared deep ancestry to ancient populations. At some point my results were switched (with my permission) to Family Tree DNA, based in Houston, Texas. I thought the DNA sample could be used for the Family Finder test, but because of the age of the sample I was send a new test.
What is really interesting to me is that my 1st degree relatives – parents, children, and full siblings, will only share about 50 percent of my autosomal DNA. If my sister, or another one of my siblings, gets tested we can have some new cousin matches. I also could have matches from some scallywag ancestors, such as my Irish great-grandfather, Bernard Doran (1858-1920). My father’s cousin, Sal, had this quote about their grandfather, “Mama thought there were more illegitimate Dorans in Belfast than legitimate ones.” Good luck researching your family tree!