Where’s My Irish?

Today is March 17th – St. Patrick’s day. In honor of the day, I was curious about whether I have Irish ancestry. Since my research hasn’t taken me beyond the borders of North America, I really don’t have any Irish lines identified. According to my Ancestry DNA results, my ethnicity % for Ireland is 3%.

DNA Ethnicityscreenshot from Ancestry.com

Out of curiosity, I decided to do some simple research on my family names using Ancestry’s tool to discover the meaning of a surname. Below are the surnames from my 5 generation pedigree with their probable origins. (chart printed with Family Tree Maker 2014)

surnames 5 gen

Crawford — Scottish, English and Northern IRISH

Foster — English

Hammond – English

Ralston – Scottish

Currey — Scottish or IRISH

Burke — IRISH, English, Norway,or German

Hutchinson – Northern English

Harding – English

Briles – German

Thompson – English

Ricketts – English

Christy – Scottish / Northern IRISH

Mentzer – German

Minnick – IRISH

Wells – English

Crandall – Scottish

According to Forebears, my Crawford line originated in Scotland: “Local. First assumed by the proprietor of the lands and barony of Crawford, in Lanarkshire, Scotland.”

Even though my Ancestry DNA ethnicity is only 3% IRISH, five of the lines from my 5 generation pedigree could be IRISH. Interestingly, I also have 5 Scottish lines but Scottish isn’t listed as an ethnicity.

A little searching of Ancestry forums revealed why my report doesn’t include my Scottish origins:


So, I’ll find some GREEN to wear today and celebrate my IRISH origins!


Found at Last!

In trying to help a fellow researcher with their Wells family, I’ve been going back thru my Wells line to make sure that I have the census records on the descendants of Ozias Wells from 1850 to about 1900. In the process, I have finally found Thurston Kennedy Wells in 1860 — AND — he is in Kansas! This supports family legend but I hadn’t been able to prove it before.

Tonight, I did a search for William Wells born in 1857 and lo and behold there is a William Wells born in 1857 and a Franklin Wells born in 1854 and a K T Wells born about 1830 living in KANSAS TERRITORY! They are living in a household with James Londers age 60 who was born in Pennsylvania and his daughters, Martha age 15 and Sarah age 17. Also in the household is Benj. M. White age 42 who was born in Indiana. My initial reaction is that James Londers and Benj White are not relatives but I will have to do more digging to verify that.

The census verifies that William Wells, age 3, was born in Kansas. It also indicates that Franklin was born in Michigan. Since many other members of the Wells family migrated to Michigan from New York, it makes sense that this family also was in Michigan.

1860 US Census Lykins Kansas Territory showing K T Wells and Franklin and William

Wells Residency 1775-1785

A fellow researcher is looking for proof of residency for Nathaniel Wells who was married to Alinda Swain to complete an application to DAR.  The son of  Nathaniel and Mary Thurston Wells, the family was living in Saratoga County, New York in 1790. George, a brother to Nathaniel, married Eunice White in 1784 in Hadley Massachusetts.

Reference to military service from American Ancestors

nathanielwells military

DAR Patriot Index Information for Nathaniel and Polly (Thurston) Wells

nathaniel wells dar