|free photo from pxhere
In my last entry, I had pretty much settled on Daniel McLaughlin as the probable father of John. In the meantime, a new Irish census record appeared on ancestry that had not been available when I had begun my search. When I came upon this record, it piqued my interest because it had a Daniel McLaughlin the likely age of "my" Daniel, and it also listed other children in the family with first names that were also used by Daniel for his own children, such as Rebecca, Dominick and Jane. I wondered if this family, from an 1851 census report, could be Daniel's family of origin.
Another match to my Dad's dna with Daniel McLaughlin as an ancestor also appeared on ancestry, a woman who turned out to be a niece of one of the other matches. I calculated her match, using the amount of dna she held in common with Dad, and she too fell within range to be a half cousin of Dad's in the generation she was from. In other words, Daniel McLaughlin could be the ancestor of both she and Dad, according to amount of dna shared between those two.
However, as with the other dna matches who have Daniel as an ancestor, the amount shared wasn't near the median amount expected for the given relationship. For most, the amount shared was less than the "average" amount expected for that relationship. This hadn't bothered me before, because the amount shared can vary so much that you can't really expect that they'll be "average", particularly several generations removed from the common ancestor. Still, I decided to take another look.
|photo by jimmyharris/flickr
Following the records, it became apparent that brother James married and had several children. He was a successful blacksmith, and he and his children remained in Ireland, as far as I could tell. Dominick, however, popped up in Neilston, Renfrewshire, Scotland!! The very town where Caroline is recorded as living prior to her 1871 admission to the poorhouse where John was born!
The main problem that remains is that I cannot find Dominick in the 1871 census, which was taken the very month of John Reid's conception, in April of that year. I have not been able to find Caroline either, but figured she may have been homeless and drifting from place to place at the time and the census missed her and her one-year-old son. Why Dominick isn't present in the 1871 census I don't know. Maybe he was newly arrived and staying at a boarding house or someplace else that wasn't properly counted. To find him in that census in Neilston would clinch it for me, but the fact that he married there 4 months later is good enough for me to assume that he is my mystery man.
I concluded that the Daniel in the census report was indeed "my" Daniel, even though I didn't have the baptismal record connecting him to the same parents as Dominick. I found that his wife's brother turns up lodging with Dominick in the 1881 census. So Daniel's family and Dominick's were connected. Not 100% certain evidence, but pretty darn solid.
The dna estimates match more closely with Dominick as father, though still, in most cases, not the "average". I am fortunate that two of Daniel's children emigrated to USA, because it was his descendants testing with ancestry that gave me the match to the right family. Though testing is available in Britain (and Northern Ireland, I think), it is apparently more expensive there, so not many have done it. However, I've also tested with livingdna, which is a British based company. They don't have dna matches yet, but intend to add that next year, so hopefully I'll get some Irish matches to Dominick's siblings' descendants then.
Dominick, you are on my family tree now. Rest in peace.