Do you live in the United States? If so, do you know where your ancestors lived prior to migrating to the United States? I live in a community where a large portion of the population can trace their ancestry back to Germany. These immigrant ancestors migrated to the U.S. between about 1860 and 1920. While everyone might pretend to be Irish today, most of my neighbors likely don’t have any Irish ancestry.
When asked where my ancestors came from, I will often jokingly respond, Kentucky. That’s because several of my lines become brick walls in Kentucky. While I haven’t sought out immigration records, I do know some of the country origins for a few of my ancestors.
- Germany — Briles line traces back to the Germanna colony when Conrad Broyles, his brother and parents arrived in 1717.
- England — Many of my New England lines trace back to early Massachusetts. My Hammond line likely goes back to Thomas Hammond who was born and married in England but died in Massachusetts.
- Dutch — While I was aware that my Ostrander line was likely Dutch, it is only recently that I found that thru my Harris line, I have several lines going back to the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam
- Scottish — I’m fairly certain that my Crawford line and several other lines go back to Scotland. However, these are the lines that are currently stuck in Kentucky
So do I have any Irish ancestry? Possibly. My Ralston line may be my Irish connection. According to Find a Grave, David Franklin Ralston was born in Ireland.
So, what does my DNA tell me? Am I Irish? According to my current Ancestry DNA, nope, I don’ have any Irish ancestry.
I’m fortunate to have also tested my brothers and my mother. These tests provide slightly different ethnicity results.
So, brother1 has a tiny bit of Irish ancestry and my mother has slightly more Irish ancestry. My mother’s Irish results are surprising since the RALSTON line is on my dad’s side of the tree. Also surprising is the fact that my mother’s results only show 10% Germanic Europe while brother1 shows 12% and I show 26%. This is surprising because my mother’s father was a Briles (my known German ancestry).
For me, these varying ethnicity results indicate that I might have a little Irish in me. However, when I see these varying results, I see data that reinforces the fact that my tree is deeply American. I see data that supports the concept of the melting pot.
Below are posts that I’ve written in the past about my Irish (or lack of Irish) ancestry.
- Where’s My Irish (2022)
- Irish Roots (2021)
- Are We Irish (or Not) (2018)
- Where’s My Irish (2016)