My DNA Playground Expands

My great grandfather Ned Dillon - Genetically and probably culturally 100% Irish despite being a third generation Australian
My great grandfather Ned Dillon – Genetically and probably culturally 100% Irish despite being a third generation Australian

I have had a very good November.  Not only did I receive a tax refund, but both my parents and my parents in law have agreed to test their DNA, and ftDNA at the same time began their sale!  It’s almost as if it were meant to be.

Yes, I’ve spent a fortune and I’m too scared to add up the totals.  I keep a word document with kit names and passwords, and it has become a bigger document than I ever dreamed I’d see.  My kit, my son’s, a kit purchased for our friend who has decided not to test (read – spare kit), my daughter’s kit, my father, my mother, my father in law and my mother in law.

I have also upgraded my son’s kit and purchased the Y67 test for him.

However – I don’t regret any of it.  I felt a momentary twinge when the electricity bill came in, but there are other ways to handle that bill.  I’m quite ecstatic that my family are fine with the DNA testing – even after the discovery of the unexpected very close relative.

What’s more – they are interested!  They are logging in to their profiles, updating their details, uploading a photo, speculating on their Origins and pondering on where their matches might come from when they eventually have them. Here I was thinking I was imposing my personal hobby on them and feeling a little bad about it, but it has all turned out well.

Of course, we are a long way from the truly fun stuff.  FtDNA will send the kits to us – overseas – in the midst of Christmas mail, and if we receive them before December is over, the kits will be sent back in the thick of the same, only to be batched with the extra FtDNA test load after the sales.  I’m anticipating March before we have all results.  Maybe April.

Still – exciting times ahead. I’ll be able to see if my theorising was correct over which side a match was on.  If I was right a majority of the time, I’ll be able to proceed with greater confidence.  If I was only correct for 50% of the time or less, I’ll be forced to recognise how much I still have to learn.

I’ve noticed some interesting things through the initial setting up of their profiles. Firstly, I learned a new name – my father-in -law’s earliest known female ancestor, who was Susan Welman of Merriott in Somerset born in 1740.  New records have come online in my subscription sites and I haven’t visited that branch of research for quite a while.

I have also realised that on the Dillane/Dillon side, although they left Ireland in 1856 they only married other Irish born persons and my great grandfather Ned Dillon, born 1878 in Tasmania and died 1958 in Tasmania, might be said to be 100% Irish despite never having left Australian soil.  In fact, even despite his mother having been born and died in Tasmania, her parents were Irish born and she married an Irish born person – her first cousin.  Ned Dillon married a woman descended from English stock – my great grandmother – and introduced the first non-Irish blood in his line.

My grandfather, their son, then proceeded to marry a woman of principally Irish descent so my father is about 70% Irish if not more, despite being a fifth generation Australian.  I really hadn’t noticed this before.   My mother is about 50% English, 25% Irish and 25% Scottish.  Assuming the paper trail is correct and of course depending on whose DNA they have inherited most of.  The results of the DNA test will tell us more.

I also noticed that my daughter’s X-line includes one of my favourite ancestor couples on her father’s side – Robert Appleyard Fitzgerald and his wife Isabella Stevenson.  One day I’ll blog about them.

In the meantime – I’m taking the role of teacher and helping my family navigate their profiles. Luckily, they are quite happy to keep me in the loop and leave me as the principal contact.  This has all worked nicely.

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