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Working the Collaterals

   I wrote last week about collecting information on all the Dalys from Claremorris in order to determine relationships.   Since I had access to the birth, death and marriage certificates in Salt Lake City, I did the same for my other families. Obtaining those records in Ireland can be very expensive and you don’t know until you get the certificate if you have the correct one.  At $4.50 a pop, it adds up quickly so you might not order certificates unless you’re pretty sure of a relationship.  If you do that, you might miss out on additional information, such as a previous marriage, or a child who died young.   Even though death certificates don’t carry a great deal of genealogical information, the name of the informant or a location may provide confirmation of a relationship.

Daly, Sally (62) Death at Crumlin

    Sally Daly, age 62 died September 27, 1866, just two years after civil registration began.  The informant was John Daly of Crimlin.  I don’t know his relationship from the death certificate, it could have been her husband, or her son, but the location confirms that it is a person in the line I am tracing.  

Daly, John and Mary Kirrane Marriage 1873

   John Daly, my husband Brian’s great grandfather, was married three times.  I have not found a record of his first marriage which may have taken place prior to 1864, however his second marriage in 1873 to Mary Kirrane provided the information that John’s father (also John) was dead. (Church records for this parish don’t begin until 1870.)  I have not found a civil death record between 1864 and 1873 which may indicate a death prior to 1864.  This marriage is not in Brian’s line (he was descended from the youngest son of the third marriage), however, it still provides information about the family I would not have had, if not searching all the collaterals.

   The lack of records when doing Irish research make every tiny piece of information important.  As DNA becomes more prevalent, I hope that it will help identify relationships that cannot be proved on paper.  It is only in the past year have I started to piece together some of Brian’s DNA matches with research I have done, beginning with the Moughty connection.  I have both  “Y” and atDNA results for Brian done at FamilyTree DNA and I have uploaded the information to GedMatch.  Last year when I was in Ireland I also tested Jack Moughty, who I believed was a relative, but could not prove the connection on paper.  The Y-DNA results confirmed a common Moughty ancestor and the atDNA results showed they shared .781% identifying them as likely third cousins. Based on the paper trail it would appear that I am only one generation away from their common ancestor.  Brian and Jack are likely 3rd cousins once removed.  Unfortunately, I’m still trying to figure out which of the three Moughtys in the previous generation was the common ancestor.

   I receive emails each month from individuals with a match to my husband and only a few times have I been able to determine a relationship.  When connecting via DNA it’s important that your tree or research goes wide as well as deep.  A surname may have changed multiple times through female lines, so you need to know the married names of your female 4th cousins (and their descendants) to try and match on surname alone. This is a good reason to expand your research to as many of the collateral relatives as possible.  (Another reason as I have often mentioned is that the cousins got the good stuff, like the Family Bible so you need to find them <g>.) It is also a good idea to have DNA tests for as many family members as possible on both your maternal and paternal sides.

   Back in late June I was contacted by a person who thought he was connected with Brian through his paternal line in Westmeath.   Earlier in the Spring I had collected a DNA sample from Brian’s maternal aunt (age 90) and it turned out the individual who contacted me also matched her.  That meant the likely connection was not in Westmeath, but in either Monaghan or Mayo.  Convincing the cousins in Monaghan and Mayo to do a DNA test might narrow the search down a bit more.

   So as you’re connecting individuals into your family tree, don’t forget the collaterals!

   Happy Hunting!

For more information on DNA, check out Blaine Bettinger’s website, The Genetic Genealogist

Lots coming up!  I leave for Ireland on October 7th.  It’s not too early to reserve your place for next year’s Research Trip.  Also check my Calendar page for upcoming lectures.  On November 7th, I’ll be speaking at the  Irish Genealogical Society of Michigan.  There’s also still time to sign up for the Western Caribbean Genealogy Cruise in January (for those of you up North, think Island breezes instead of snow).  


© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018