The Search for my McCarthy Line by Rita P.: DNA the Winner!
I will try to keep my story short, but I do want people to understand that my first impulse was not to do DNA. I have been researching for 30 years and had not succeeded with this line by regular means that genealogists use. I even visited Ireland and spent most of three days researching church and civil records in Dublin. I found my Burke line, but not even a lead on my McCarthy's.
As family legend had it, four McCarthy boys left southern Cork between the early 1880's and early 1890's. Each boy came individually and helped the next make the trip. Two came before their 18th birthdays so naturalization records were of no help. They left their unhappy memories behind and left little for the proceeding generations to find.
After returning from Ireland I was very discouraged, but I did attend a workshop in Eugene where Emily Aulicino spoke about DNA. It took me about a year to ask one of my brothers if he would do the Y-chromosome test for me, and much to my delight, he was willing.
We did a 25 marker test, and when I got the results I listed the results through the Family Tree DNA site with the McCarthy surname project. I found a couple of close matches, but no one with 25 identical markers.
I watched and waited, hoping more people would take the test and someone would match up perfectly, but truly, I figured this was going to be something for later generations.
Then one day out of the blue came an e-mail from a gentleman living in England, Nigel McCarthy. He was one marker off, but he thought it might be worth a try to see if we could connect our family lines. Our McCarthy's were from the same general area so off he went on the hunt for my relatives with me supplying him with the little information I had.
Nigel has been able to find the birth records of my grandfather as well as his three brothers and a sister we did not know about. He as found the death certificates for my great grandfather and his two wives. One was the Mother of those four boys and the other his second wife and their family. I now know that my ancestors came from Bealad, County Cork, Ireland. I passed within several miles of this area on my trip. I would now love to return to Ireland and visit this village.
Through both civil and church records, he has also determined the name of my great, great grandfather. After many hours on his part in the London Family History Center and a trip to Dublin to look at records, he continues the hunt. I have received 54 e-mails from him with many attachments and more information than I can handle some days. I now continue to add information about my McCarthy family to my database with great joy.
I believe this is not the end of the story, but only the beginning.
We have now decided to try the 37 marker test and adding a distant cousin of Nigel's to the mix. This is to try to determine where the one marker changed, or if we are further apart than we first thought.
No matter what happens I now have a person that will continue to help me with my McCarthy genealogy and be a lifelong friend.
Thank you Rita for your story.