The Carsons and the O'Rourke DNA

DNA strand

As mentioned in the last article, First Thoughts on the O'Rourke Autosomal DNA, the results have come back for my cousin's autosomal DNA test at FamilyTreeDNA.com.

FamilyTreeDNA and other sites use the total amount of autosomal DNA shared with a person and the longest block shared to estimate your relationship with someone else who was tested. It gets pretty detailed and confusing, but their estimates seem to have held up in our case.

I've emailed three of the people that my cousin's DNA matched most closely and am posting the results.

Carsons

First off, my cousin shared the most DNA, 103.99 centiMorgans, with a man named Carson whose contact person lives in Canada. It turns out that he and my cousin are definite third cousins. Both are descended from Joseph Carson who was born in Ireland in about 1817 and lived in Waterdown, Ontario (now part of Hamilton, Ontario). His daughter Josephine married George Berry and their daughter Mabel was my cousin's grandmother.

The other person's family tree said that Joseph Carson was born in Eglish Parish, Armagh, Ireland. This might be true--there is a record of a birth for a Joseph Carson at that time and place--but it really should be verified by some record on this side of the Atlantic. There was probably more than one Joseph Carson born in Ireland in about 1817.

So what have I learned? Mainly that my research was correct. It is a bit more difficult for me to work on a family that is not my own because I just don't have the "feel" for what they would or wouldn't have done. And there are no family stories to corroborate the details that turn up. But I got the Carsons right, so that gives me some confidence that the rest of my cousin's maternal line, the Fitzgeralds and the Berrys, is correct also.

We'll save the best results for last, so next up are The Cunninghams and the O'Rourke DNA.

The image of a DNA strand comes from Wikipedia:File:DNA orbit animated static thumb.png.