My DNA Results – No Big Surprises

I have held off on paying to have my DNA test done because I have most of our lines so far back that I really didn’t think it would tell me much that I didn’t already know. There were a few families that we know were from Ireland, but not sure exactly where. Those were the only facts that I wondered if a DNA test would clear up. My sisters and I discussed going in on the price of one test and having one of us take it. Shortly after that discussion, there was an article about how DNA tests can vary between siblings. My sister, Lois, volunteered at that time to pay for a test for herself. I looked forward to seeing her results.
Her results showed her ancestry as being 96% from British Isles. No surprise there at all. The company she used didn’t really differentiate Ireland from the rest of the British Isles. Nothing in her results made me think it was worth doing a test myself. Recently reduced the cost of their DNA tests, so in the hopes of getting more specificity, I decided to go for it.

Full Results

Click to Enlarge

I recently got my results back, and while I haven’t explored all of the information yet, I can safely say that while the results were more location specific than my sister’s were, there still were no big surprises.

The largest percentage of my ancestry, 64%, was from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Ancestry notes that we probably have ancestors from the Ulster area of Ireland. (*Note: All of what is now “Northern Ireland” is a part of “Ulster”, however not all counties in Ulster are a part of Northern Ireland) The “Ulster” connection makes sense since our Bannon family was from County Fermanagh (a part of current Northern Ireland). Our Stanford and Carroll families lived in County Leitrim (a part of Ireland) which borders Fermanagh. The Morgan, Bevan et. al side of my mother’s family was from Glamorgan, Wales. As for the 27% Great Britain, we have ancestors from Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Devon and Cornwall. Cornwall being another Celtic stronghold like Wales and Ireland. I’ve always said that while we were basically half Irish half British (including Wales in Britain), we are 99% Celtic. These results pretty much back that up.

Here is the “large” map showing all of the possible areas that my ancestors may have originated from. I’ll delve in to some of the “small percentage” areas later.
Full Map

Focusing on the British Isles for now, I decided to show how the known locations of our families lined up in comparison with where the Ancestry DNA map said they were. I took the results map and superimposed it on a map of the British Isles and put stars where our families lived. You’ll see that there are two stars that fall in what the map considers “Ulster”. The higher one is County Fermanagh (Bannon) and the lower one is County Leitrim (Stanford and Carroll).


Click to Enlarge

Now we’ll look at the “Finland and Eastern Russian” percentage. On my sister’s results this was listed as “Scandinavian”. The minute I saw that on her results I knew that it
would be connected to our ancestors who lived in Lincolnshire. I found this interesting article on called “The Viking in the Room”. They posted the graphic on the right that shows the highest concentrations of Scandinavian ancestry in Great Britain. I put a yellow star on Lincolnshire, which you’ll see is in one the “reddest” sections of the map.

The following quote is from the article:
Across Great Britain there is a clear pattern with higher Scandinavian genetic ethnicity in the north east of England decreasing as you get further from that region. From a high of 11.1% in the Northeast of England the average drops to a low of 6.5% in Southern Scotland.

When I had first viewed my sister’s results I found this map that shows the Viking invasion of Great Britain. As you can see from the yellow star, they landed right in Lincolnshire. The county still has many placenames with Scandinavian origins and there are many surnames, such as our Harrisons, with classic Scandinavian patronymic patterns.

Vikings Lincolnshire

Of course another source of Scandinavian ancestry could be from the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Great Britan. This quote is also from the Ancestry article:

As the Romans left Britain from 400 A.D., tribes from northern Germany and Denmark seized the opportunity to step in. The Angles (green) and Saxons (purple) soon controlled much of the territory that had been under Roman rule, while the Jutes (orange) occupied some smaller areas in the south.

This last bit of research in to my DNA results was the most interesting. My DNA results show 1-2% findings for parts of Europe, the Iberian Peninsula and “Caucasus”. My sister’s results had shown a small percentage in the area of Isreal. I believe that all of these locations have to do with the migration of the ancient Celts. The mention of “Eastern Russia” in the “higher percentage” results may also link to the ancient migrations.

One of the most interesting articles that I found concerning the migration of ancient peoples to Ireland was this one from the Daily Mail: Irish people originate from the MIDDLE EAST: Celtic DNA shows farming led to a ‘wave of immigrants’ entering Ireland 4,000 years ago”. Researchers compared the DNA of an early Neolithic farmer, a woman who is believed to have lived in the Belfast area 5,200 years ago and that of three men found in Rathlin Island in County Down, who lived 4,000 years ago during the Bronze Age.

The researchers now believe that many of the common genetic traits of modern Irish people were brought by those who migrated from the Pontic Steppe – a Black Sea region stretching across modern Ukraine, Russia and Georgia – to Ireland when the region became a farming and metal work hub. The map below shows this migration:

The map below, courtesy of (no longer a website) shows the migration of the ancient Celts to both the Iberian Peninsula and Great Britain. When the Romans invaded later, they drove the Celts to the West. They mainly settled in Ireland, Scotland Wales and Cornwall.
Celtic Migration

In conclusion I am happy that the DNA results match up so well with my genealogy research. I’d hate it if I was like the guy on the ad who finds out that he wasn’t German, but actually Scottish. I’d have to throw out years of research!!

I am disappointed that there are no real clues as to where some of the families for whom I have no definite location in Ireland came from. I may never know where our “second Carroll” line was from before migrating to New Haven, CT via Austrailia. I may not find out where Charles Smith’s parents were from before they moved to New York City. I am also in the process of contacting some of the people with whom I “matched” as cousins. I’ve already discovered that my Great Grandmother’s (Mary Elizabeth Kieft Ratcliffe) brother may have had an illegitimate daughter that we never knew about. While there were no other big surprises, I’m still happy that I finally gave in and had my DNA analysis done. I’ll keep you posted if it leads to any new exciting discoveries.

Other Resources:

Rundle Family Homestead Hole Farm Recently Sold Again

I was doing some random googling and came across an article from April 2017 about Hole Farm. At the end it said that the owners were selling for £795,000. I went to the actual listing and found that it has been sold.

Here is the pdf sales brochure for the property: (Click to download)Hole Farm Sales Brochure April 2017

And of course you can download the History of Hole Farm by Richard Crow HERE

Below is the article from

Hole Farm

Tuberculosis: Romance vs Reality


As a genealogist, I’ve poured over death records and sometimes they really get to me. I hate to see a family lose all of their children in infancy, or an entire family get wiped out due to illness. With that in mind, I couldn’t help but think of the members of my family who died from Tuberculosis over the years when I saw this article posted yesterday by one of my favorite Historical romance novelists, Candice Hern The article titled How a generation of consumptives defined 19th-century Romanticism got me thinking that there was probably a disconnect between the Romantic poets and artists and what the “common man” went through because of this terrible disease.

The article explains how women would actually try to look “consumptive”, thinking it was attractive. It also goes on to say that the great number of “Romantic writers, painters and composers with TB created a myth that consumption drove artistic genius.” . In my research I always imagined sickly, thin individuals with bloody handkerchiefs just struggling to survive.

In death records, you will find Tuberculosis listed by a variety of names including Phithisus, scrofulae and “Wasting Disease”. In my genealogy research, I often found that when one family member died of this disease, there was usually at least one other member of the same family who did as well. I have a member of my Stanford family, Peter Stanford was born in 1830 in Ireland. He died of TB in 1874 in New Haven, CT at the age of 44. The sad part is that he and his wife had nine children, of whom only one lived to adulthood, their son Peter. Peter died in 1902 of TB. It also seems as if he was probably very ill for over a year because his 3 year old daughter was in an orphanage when she died of TB in 1900.

Another branch of my family with a sad history of Tuberculosis was in England and closer to the “Romantic” period referenced in the article. My great great grandmother, Agnes Clark’s, sister Jane was born in 1826 in Cornwall, England. She married John Chapman in 1848 and the family lived in St. Neot, Cornwall. Jane’s husband, John, died of Tuberculosis on 7 May 1870 at the age of 46. Three of their children went on to die of the disease over the course of the next 4 years. Daughter Elizabeth died in 1872 at age 10, daughter Mary Jane died in 1873 at age 15 and finally, son, Nicholas, died in 1879 at age 14. I find it hard to believe that Jane Clark Chapman felt that the disease was “romantic” at all as she had to take care of sick family members, along with six other children as she watched four of her loved ones die in four years.

Updates on Morgans of “Moor Corner” in Glamorgan

Moor corner farm

Moor Corner Farm

I’m in the process of double checking all of my Morgan info as I get ready to put it all in book form. One of the biggest frustrations for me was not being able to find a baptism for John Morgan who was born c. 1730. Today I was at the local LDS FHC looking at some church records that are available online for free at the center via findmypast. I started doing some random searches for possible John Morgans and made a very promising find. There was a John Morgan baptized in 1730 (no date) in Reynoldston, Glamorgan. Reynoldston makes sense as a location, especially since John married Sarah Gammon and the Gammons were mostly from the Scurlage area. Scurlage is just a bit southwest of Reynoldston. John and Sarah named multiple sons William which makes sense if that was his father’s name. Also, in the early 1800’s, John and Sarah’s son William was living in Reynoldston. I also discovered siblings for John Morgan of Reynoldston’s. They were sisters Anne Morgan bp 1728 and Elinor Morgan, bp 1733.

I don’t have positive proof that this is our “John of Moor Corner”, however, it is the first record I’ve found that fits with data that I have proved. This means that John may have been the first of our Morgans to live at Moor Corner.

William Morgan Marriage

Click to Enlarge

I made another discovery today involving the son of John Morgan, William, “of Penrice”. Up until now I didn’t have a surname for his wife, Sarah. I found the marriage record (see image) for “William Morgan, of Penrice” and Sarah Smith on 11 January 1811 in Penman. I also found a baptism for a Sarah Smith, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth, on 8 March 1779 in Penmaen. William and Sarah named one of their sons “Richard” which would make sense if her father was also Richard.

I’ve updated information on my John Morgan of Moor Cornerpage.

Bannon Update: Info on Father of Catherine Bannon’s Son

In the mid 1800s in New Haven, CT, there was a Catherine Bannon and her son, Joseph, living in what I call the “Bannon Family Compound”. I was not sure about Catherine’s relationship to the family. She was either a sister or a sister in law. Recently I was going back over the Enniskillen, Fermanagh Parish Records and came across the baptism record for Catherine’s son, Joseph, on 26 January 1841. The father is listed as Robert Foster. The interesting thing is that while all of the other records list the parents with just their first names and only the husband’s surname, this record lists Joseph’s parents as “Robert Foster and Catherine Bannon”. In the screen cap I left a couple of other records so you can see the difference. To me, that fact coupled with the fact that Joseph used the name Bannon, leads me to believe that Catherine never married and is in fact a sister rather than sister in law.

Here is the screencap of the baptism record:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I’ve updated all of my Bannon information on this site today. It’s the most up to date info that I have, although it’s not edited nor is there any sources. If you want the sources or a full report, please contact me.

Harry Wallace Burnham and His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

H W Burnham

Click to view full size

I love finding these interesting stories that help round out what can be very boring genealogy research. In my current project of double checking and expanding my past Burnham research, I was looking in to the family of Wolcott H. Burnham who was born in Vermont in 1820 and whom moved his family west. Wolcott settled in Wisconsin, however, his son Col. William A. Burnham settled in South Dakota. William’s son, Harry, is the subject of this amusing tale.

Harry was married around 1890 to Edna Dean Foster. They lived in Groton, Brown, South Dakota where Harry was in the “Druggist” business with his father. They had two children, William Audley Burnham, b. 1891, and Marie, b. 1894. On July 4, 1894, while Edna and the children were away visiting in Wisconsin, Harry made the horrible decision to run away with a 17 year old girl. Harry and the two Hayes sisters (they never name either sister) checked in to a hotel in Aberdeen, South Dakota as “Mr. H. Wallace, wife and sister, Minneapolis”. Supposedly, the younger sister drove the carriage back to Groton. The article goes on to describe both fathers heading out in search of the couple. The term “fire in his eyes” is used.

At the end of the article, there is an almost anti-climatic paragraph announcing that Harry and his parents had returned to Groton. It seems that Miss Hayes had smartened up and left him on the road.

I found later small newspaper snippets that mentions that Edna and the children returned to an empty house in August 1894. It seems that Harry high tailed it to St. Paul, Minnesota. Later in August it was said that Edna and the children were following Harry and would attempt a reconciliation. I found Harry, Edna and the two children in Ramsey, St. Paul in 1895 Minnesota State Census. Harry was working as a druggist. So the reconciliation must have worked out for a short time. Harry was married to a second wife, Minnie, in 1903. They had one son, Clifford, born in 1904. The family lived in Groton, Brown, South Dakota in 1910. Harry was a druggist.

In 1920, Harry was divorced and living in Seattle, Washington. In 1930, Harry was married to his 3rd wife, Emma Hill, and living in Los Angeles.

It looks as if while Harry escaped real trouble from his “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”, he doesn’t seem to have had a lot of luck with the ladies from then on in.

Click here for ANOTHER wild story of Harry’s poor treatment of his first wife, Edna:H. W. Burnham Held at Gunpoint by Wronged Wife

Thomas Burnham: In Process of Updating

I just posted this on the page for the Descendants of Thomas Burnham of Windsor, CT.
The info on that page is a mess..and I’m happy to say that I’m going through it .. checking sources, adding info etc.

As always, I’m happy to hear from anyone with additional information with sources!

* Note: 14 June 2016
I am in the process of going over ALL of my Burnham info. I have found a lot of errors and /or missing info. I will update this page as soon as I get the review done (I’m up to 5th generation of Descendants of Thomas). Please don’t use any of this information, except as a starting point for your own research, until I update. Many thanks to Jim Burnham for spurring me on! I had lost a lot of info in a computer crash years ago..and he got me motivated to go back and re-do this entire line. I’ve found a lot of new info as well!