Looking for DNA testers!

I have been a bit absent lately with the blog as life has been busy, but I’ll try to keep on track and post one new post every two weeks, as there is still so much information to share.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been working on my own Bulgarian ancestors, and part of this has been using DNA to support the paper records. I’ve tested over 20 close family members and cousins so far and it has been really interesting – I’ve confirmed relatives and found new and sometimes unexpected connection! Thank you all!

So, I’m hoping to expand and do the same on the Irish lines – apart from confirming the paper trail, it will hopefully help breaking through the brick walls I’ve hit. For example, despite building trees for many Gallagher and McLaughlin families in Derry, I’m still not sure where did William Gallagher and Jane McLaughlin came from! And all experienced researchers I’ve asked have hit a wall too. Another line is the Keenans (all McManus cousins are also descendents from them) who moved to Scotland sometime around 1840s – have no idea where they came from in Ireland. I have built extensive trees in both Glasgow, and then Boston, yet they are still a mystery.

I hope DNA will help! So I’m asking anybody who is interested in testing – to please get in touch. I’m looking for:

  • testing oldest living relatives on any of the lines – Warren, McManus, Kavanagh, Gallagher, as well as any known 1st/2nd cousins to these.  The reason I’m looking for the eldest is because every child only inherits half of the DNA from their parents, so with every generation half of the DNA is lost. Testing any living 85-90 year old relatives is like having access to a golden mine!
  • testing any male cousins (age doesn’t matter) with the surnames Warren, McManus, Kavanagh, Gallagher, McLaughlin, Bradley, Cooper, White, or any of the other direct ancestral surnames. This test is a Y-chromosome test and follows the direct male line, and will show where the family came from and who else with that surname are they related. There is also a big Y-DNA Irish project, so you get the bonus to be part of a very interesting country-wide edge-cutting research! 🙂


(see Irish DNA Atlas project: https://www.familyhistory.ie/index.php/en/2012-04-22-23-12-47)

The tests are with ancestry and FamilyTree DNA and are saliva tests – either spit (ancestry) or swab (FTDNA). It takes few minutes and results come back couple of months later!

I can post a test, so no cost to you (apart from possibly return postage). Let me know, results are really interesting!

Here is an old post how I used DNA to crack through a brick wall:


Kavanagh descendants

My one hour of hobby-indulging today produced the following chart of the KAVANAGH descendants in Excel (click for a higher resolution image):


I’m still struggling to find any connection to other BEGLEYs in Derry, as well as death records for lots of people on this branch. I also have no idea what happened to Patrick’s brother – Joseph Kavanagh – it would be pity if the direct male line had ended with the three brothers.

An hour well spent – now back to “real” work 🙂

The importance of original records

… or Why not to trust an index!

Last few days I’ve been gathering some general information on the Hegarty records in Londonderry hoping to find clues as to Jane Hegarty’s family.

There was a  witness listed at Jane’s marriage in 1841 in St Columb’s by the name of Daniel Hegarty, so I was excited to come across a burial record for Daniel Hegarty in 1863 – could this possibly be her brother or a father? The burial record could potentially give more information on his residence, and I could also follow-up with newspaper searches looking for a death announcement.

An index entry from ancesty.com for Burial for Daniel Hegarty, 1863

I was quite surprised when I opened the actual image – after Daniel’s name were listed two sets of names – Charles Hegarty, Mary Bradley, John Hegarty and Jane Bradley. This didn’t look like a death record!

The original image of indexed record

The page had all the right column headings, but instead of age and late residence, there were names of what seemed to be relatives. These looked more like a bunch of baptism records.

Full page of the original image of the record indexed as “Burial”

I started flicking back and forth through the other pages in the collection, and on the previous page you can see the priest scribbling over the headings and writing “Names of parents” and “Sponsors” Looks like he had run out of pages in the book for baptisms, and decided to use the Registry of Deaths instead.

Headings on the previous page

Unfortunately, neither Ancestry, not FindMyPast seem to have noticed that when they indexed the records, so there is a whole bunch of baptisms in St Columb’s, Derry, currently indexed as ‘Burials’.

I will be revisiting those pages manually when I get a chance – hopefully I’ll get a clearer picture on the Hegarty families in Derry. And I’ll be looking into the Bradley surname that keeps popping up in relation to this line (Jane’s son Richard McManus married Catherine Bradley, whose parents I suspect may also be from Derry, but doubt they would be (closely) related for the two of them to marry. Maybe family friends or neighbours?)




The purpose of this blog is to gather and share all the genealogy research I’ve done over the last few years related to my husband’s and my own family trees.

The posts are organised in categories. So far I’ve written about the following lines (click on the links to see the relevant posts):


Below is the 4 generation ancestors chart for my husband’s maternal side.


Happy reading!