Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Dear Grandparents,
Tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day and many of us will be wearing green, celebrating with corned beef and cabbage and some with green beer. I have always felt an affinity for things Irish, the stories, the music, the dancing. As children, we had a wonderful babysitter who told tales of leprechauns, pots of gold and banshees. It was an affinity based more on emotion than on an identifiable Irish ancestor.
My paternal grandmother, Hazel Bynon (Allen) Cone, knew she had Scots-Irish roots and she certainly looked Irish with her fair skin, freckles and red hair. I was a little surprised when I had my autosomal DNA tested by and my ethnicity breakdown revealed 21% Irish.
Ethnicity Breakdown for Cecily (Cone) Kelly from
Doing research at the Pennsylvania Historical Society in Philadelphia, I discovered a McCowan family folder in their Vertical Files. It opened to the first page of a letter written by my 4th great grandfather and Hazel's great grandfather, William McCowan, stating,

                "My name is William McCowan and I was born in Dungannon, Ireland."

From the ethnic percentages, he is not my only Irish ancestor. I have brick walls with surnames Allen, Barnes, Beatty, Carr, Clarke, Colby, Gibson, Jones, Patterson, and Young. Any of those, or others could be Irish.

So, while we are all celebrating our Irish heritage tomorrow, real or emotional, any tips you can pass on would be most appreciated.

Erin Go Braugh!

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