Luck of the Irish! AncestryDNA Results

Well, the verdict is in. I’m Irish. After waiting for 3 weeks, my AncestryDNA results arrived via a message from an AncestryDNA Relative who is definitely a 3rd cousin, on my father’s side from the Palmer/Boyles line.

But the most exciting thing was seeing the chart below and having to do a double take on the ethnicity percentages:

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 3.42.55 PM

I’m not only Irish, I’m 57% Irish!  I thought that would be impossible, that my father’s side who had both Irish and English roots would dissipate my results to maybe 23% if I was lucky, but it turns out I’m IRISH Lucky – over half! And that’s an average. Some of my DNA strands or markers tested as high as 71% Irish, while others were a lower 41%.  So I’m “above average” Irish at 57% and quite happy to see my Irish roots declared in writing based on scientific evidence.

Here is a more detailed breakdown:

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 4.10.28 PM

(Note: Europe West includes German/France/Netherlands and Scandinavia includes Norway, Denmark and Sweden.)

Also astonishing was that I had about 18% French/German and over 17% Scandinavian! My Norse roots may come through my mother’s Scottish line, as the Anderson/Andersen  clan may have come over with the Vikings. These are also averages, and can be lower or higher depending on the DNA strand/marker they are testing.  For example, Scandinavian tested anywhere between 1% to 33% depending on the strand/marker; the average helps us know overall just “how much” of our genetic make-up is from that region overall.

My motivation for doing all of this was to find my Irish ancestors and living cousins. I have already found many potential cousins, and I am quite amazed how AncestryDNA has managed to match them to my family tree on ancestry.com with specific matching surnames and in some cases actual common ancestors.

This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship… And, this will make my Moore “plus” family reunion a whole lot bigger!

It feels good to be Irish.

Thanks AncestryDNA!

Krista

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DNA May Solve Family History Blocks

Hello everyone!

It has been almost 3 years since my last confession! Seriously, it just tells you how time flies when doing family history research. I hit a roadblock in my search for the Moore Family, and kind of put it aside.

Just this spring, I decided to have my DNA test done with ancestry.com and am now awaiting the results.

In the meantime, it is important to follow the trail. I have reached out to 3 possible cousins so far that found me via ancestry, one in Ireland, one in Australia and another here at home, only a stones throw away.

Next is a family reunion. Perhaps that will pull us all together, and reveal some threads that have long been awaiting completion.

I will let you know as soon as the results are in!

Krista

Welcome to Maberly

Tay River, Maberly

This past weekend my husband and I ventured to Maberly, Ontario to visit my long-gone relatives: the ancestors I have been researching for nearly 20 years.  Needless to say, it was a quiet visit. But quite reflective, tangible and fulfilling.

Local kids in Maberly

Local kids in Maberly 1950s

Maberly used to be somewhat of a “Mayberry” in its time.  Once a thriving pioneer village of  sawmills, blacksmith’s shops, a general store (or two), school houses, local churches and a town hall (still in operation), and the men’s local tavern – a favourite up until 40 years ago – Today, Maberly is crying out for some reinvention.

Entering Maberly

For sale, Maberly 2011

Although, there is a very good restaurant when you come in to town, the Fall River Restaurant on the corner of Highway 7 and Maberly/Elphin Rd. which officiated our visit with happy taste buds (who would have imagined gourmet Mole chicken pizza in rural Ontario?) and a Guinness, perfect after a dreary day of traveling.

Fall River Restaurant & Gift Shop, Maberly

Our proprietor Ian was the perfect welcoming host, dousing us with a local history (the structure we were standing in used to be the general store), and fascinating me with their awards as the “Greenest Restaurant in Canada”.  In Maberly?  Yup.

Falls Inn Restaurant

“Greenest Restaurant in Canada” – Maberly

Adventures in Maberly

To be continued…

Keeper of the Flame

I am cross-pollinating today… this is my blog re-posted from “Little Book of Miracles” which continues the story…

I am back from Kingston, home of my birth, and feeling quite reflective on what I found there…  Not only did I find my grandmother in a new hospital by the lake, doing relatively well (see Let Sleeping Lions Lie);  I found myself with my mother, and countless photos and letters dug up among boxes and boxes of stuff in my grandmother’s sun-porch…

In these boxes, we found my great-great grandparents Lawrence E. Moore and Emma Belle Deacon staring out from their front porch rockers in Haileybury…

…and their seven daughters (my great aunts), girls and women in tranquil Georgian-style dresses lounging on the front swing with flowers in their hair, or leaning with snowshoes and warm-mittened hands against the family’s seemingly chicken-wired fence;  my gr-great grandmother Emma standing solidly with her youngest one wrapped around her skirt, she looking quite tired but still strong in the heat of days… and another where she smiles brightly to camera, which delighted me beyond measure.

Moore women in Cobalt

These are The Moores I had always wanted to know: to play cards with at the dining room table (which is now in my mother’s dining room); to tell stories with, to laugh with…  I see Emma playing the  mouth organ (which is now in my grandmother’s hall closet); I hear their old Irish twang and crazy war-time songs (I shall never repeat them here – we were Protestant Northern Irish, if that says enough).

I feel I know them. I am bonded to them. I am proud to be one of them. I see myself in their tall languid frames, the way they hold their hands, tilt their heads, play to camera. The Moore Women.

I am a part of a long, and timeless heritage of self-assured women. Of strength. Of beauty. And of rebuilding. Death after death has taken them. But their faces tell me another story; they are still here, in my blood and in those whom I love now.

My grandmother had protected and shielded these treasures for years and years. She didn’t have the heart to go through them, or dispose of anything. I’m glad she didn’t. I’m glad I had the opportunity with my mother to get on my hands and knees and know this family I inherited.

The details won’t matter so much. The garbage bins will go out; the trinkets will disappear. But their eyes, their hands, their laughter and their tears will never go out in me.

Me in my red boots in Nanna’s backyard

 I am blessed to be here, the Keeper of the Flame.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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SOUL LIVES: A Date with Destiny?

I admit, I never thought I would be broaching this subject on a blog about family history. But since I started with the premise that all of the lives on a family tree are “relative” and that our relativity to each other passes the veils of time and circumstance – meaning, we are all interconnected – I got to thinking…. if this is true, does it matter if this perspective is coming from my current life or a past life?

Let’s assume for a moment, that there is such a thing as a past life. If I existed prior to my birth, and existed in time and history before this time, is that not relevant to who I am today? And am I  not still connected to this memory, this moment in history? My purpose in bringing this up here is to include it in my vast quest to understand where I come from, and where I’m going – and to appreciate my relation to all others who share the path.

So I went to do a past life regression

She was a professionally trained hypnotist/past life regression therapist, so not a tarot card reader or party game host.  It was the real deal. I lay on a couch with a blindfold over my eyes. We did all the prep work: My current family history, relationships, needs and desires. Certainly nothing prior to my birth.  Then she put me under. I won’t go into how she did it, you can look that up elsewhere.

Here’s what I remember:  I was standing in the most beautiful countryside of a nearby village.  I approached a stone house that I decided was mine and went in.  She asked me to look at my hands. I told her, or asked her, “Am I old?” And then I laughed, “I’m old!”  I saw an old man sitting at a kind of bench-like table by the window, and a boy to my left sitting at a different table. Neither was speaking or moving, kind of like a picture in time. I got a sense that the man was my husband, and the boy was my grandchild.

Later she asked me to explore what was happening and I got the impression there was a war going on.  I saw or felt a large rush of men riding by the house on horseback or in carriages. She asked me why and asked me to go the village and find out.  I saw men yelling and slamming down their cups, and got the impression they wanted to fight, go to war, up North somewhere. I didn’t know the details of why or what. All I could come up with was: Austria 1836. Village name? Something that sounds like, “Silvenvost”.  I could not verify the spelling.

Then she asked me about my family. And as I answered questions more specifically, I began to cry. I was afraid I wouldn’t see my son again; and I was left to raise my grandson without any help.  His mother had been burned in a fire.  I was 80 and my husband was useless since he lost all  his animals and ability to work the land.  I died reasonably peacefully at the age of 82-3. I was cold and my hands buzzed numbly. Then she brought me back  “home”.

Well, I can’t tell you if all of that is true. I can’t prove that I existed at that time, or that the events I refer to really  happened. All I can tell you is that emotionally, there was resonance. In those moments I was “Barbara”, my secret identity that came to me through this deliberate but elusive process. And the tears were real.  So was the voice, which sounded a bit Scottish, but I could not decipher my accent.  I did not speak a foreign language. Does it matter?

Sometimes reaching through the veils of the past is the only way to heal it.

I felt the boy in the picture I was receiving was like my son now. And whether he existed prior to this life as well, and whether we have met before or not, I knew that the message of trusting and letting him grow was enough.  I had something to learn.

Whether the war and the village and the little stone house were real to me then, I don’t know.  Between the annals of history and subconscious make belief, there is a very thin line.  What matters is how does it affect me now?  Can I learn from this? Can I grow?

I’m happy I did it. And of course I’m curious to know more. I googled like a mad woman when I got home and couldn’t confirm a thing.  Other than Austria exists and there were many a war going on at the time.  But what I do know is, I feel richer for having the experience, and the story that it brings to my life now. It  makes me hungry for more:  more knowledge, more understanding, more experience. And whether it’s mine, yours, or someone else’s, I guess I have to conclude…  That’s Relative!

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Historical Matters: Famous Moore Clash with Sir John A MacDonald

Sir John A MacDonald – 1st Prime Minister of Canada


What is the term for the expression, “famous by association”? Well, that is what has happened to me in my pursuit of my family history.  Little did I know that a prominent scholar would contact me about a relative of mine and his association with a famous Canadian, Sir John A MacDonald.  Well, I can’t tell you the details – yet – I posted some earlier, as I promised the fellow that I would keep  my trap shut.

But what I wanted to say was sometimes history does matter. And sometimes shedding light on it in the present can turn the facts into fiction, or fiction into facts.   These links to the past, sometimes glorious, sometimes downright embarrassing, can illuminate our origins and why we think, feel (or vote) the way we do. The hand-me-downs of the past include beliefs engrained in our ancestor’s lives, often political, religious; even prejudices.

The said historian was surprised that another source of his on the case was angered by his questioning of her family’s illustrious past.  She was frightened, likely, that he might shed some light on it, and shake the firmament of family legend and her own belief systems thereby.  But why not?

Often those who have not done for themselves rely on legend to tell their own stories. And I am guilty of that. Again, why not?  Are we really the sum of our family/nation/creed’s stories? Or are we searching for meaning within ourselves through connection to our rich past?

These are a lot of questions without answers, I’m afraid. But I admit to the crime of loving to hear about it. Tell me all about what so-and-so did in 1834, the court case fight, the tavern brawl, as well as the mighty things they did to build this country and put bread on the table. I love it all. I am guilty as charged for loving my family history and riding on its coat-tails all the way.  Why not tell the world how you (your family) had a hand in building one of the greatest nations in the world (Yes, I speak of Canada)? And yes, they were human too, with mistakes (and scars) to boot.  Even these are fascinating fodder for our lives.

I’m just like them. Infamous – or famous – by association. Sometimes visibly, and sometimes quietly living a life of extraordinary measure.  I have my own stories too. Undocumented at times. And Unapologetic. And I can’t wait to write my way to the finish line. Or by-line.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

– Helen Keller

Living history – or making it – is far more satisfying, but resurrecting one can be just as much fun.

Published in: on December 13, 2010 at 8:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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A Captive Audience

This past weekend I had the pleasure of sitting with my father in his ravine-side gazebo overlooking a canopy of trees, with tea in hand, and many folders full of material from our family history.  I had never sat with him before in this manner or read to him aloud.  It was “very Chekov”, a friend of mine pointed out.  I thought it was sublime.

On one of his birthdays past, I gave him a family history with all of the information in it, including a picture of his great grandfather. It did not seem to spark his interest.  Something was missing in my pursuit to inspire him, or hook him, into the past as I had been many years before. I lacked the confidence to convey to him the importance of it to me, or to engage him in a way that he could understand.

This time was different.  I had collected some new facts, and found a nugget that really interested him.  Our grandfather was a Reeve and owned his own land.  He had many properties.  My dad smiled at me as I read aloud, himself a business man with property.  He challenged me on a couple of things.  His questions peaked my interest and we sparred over whether or not such and such was true or not, or if we were related to so and so at all.  I believed we were, which fascinated him more. As he lay there on his lounger, head leaning back, eyes closed, I thought he fell asleep, only to arise with another question, “Do you think they were drinkers?”  I laughed out loud.

And…

“When are you going to find out more?”

I smiled. He was hooked.

Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Playing What If…

What if that one event we thought so pivotal to our life never happened?…

After watching Shrek Forever After today, I had to wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t taken with my husband or moved close to the city.  I would not have become an actor when I did, I would not have joined a band (certainly not), I would not have had my daughter; nor would I live in this house, care one bit about gardening and keeping up with the weeds, or what schools to go to.

Then I look at the events in my family history, each ancestor’s life merely a time-line to me.  And I wonder, what don’t I know?  Why did this person do such and such?  Why did they marry this person and not that person?  What if they hadn’t?  And here I am, in the present, a live vestige of their every decision, now making my own decisions that will affect the lives of everyone around me.  What if I weren’t here?

Everybody wonders that at some point.  But this has come alive for me in the context of sorting my family history, and my life, all at once.  In the papers of old, I have asked myself where do I fit in, do I matter in this infinite time-line of events?  What difference do I make?

Maybe I am being hard on myself.  But I didn’t punch Sir John A. MacDonald in the nose, or build a railroad (my great grand-uncle did).  I didn’t leave my native Ireland and start all over again (my forefathers did).  Or did I?  In some small way, did I not leave my own native country – my childhood, the little city I called home, my family of origin?  I left all of that behind to go to university, earn a living in the big city, incite a passion long wanted, and eventually have a family of my own.  We all make choices and take leaps in our own way.  We all have our stories.

But what if we hadn’t?  This is not a question for regret, but for appreciation.  No matter how ugly it gets, there is benefit.  There is something or someone who wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for you.  You may not know it yet, but 50 or even 100 years from now, when someone is fishing through your papers or photo album, or remembering something you had said, they will be happy you were here.  They will be grateful that you did what you did, even if it was to give them something to write about!

One more thing:  And this is sentimental.  Since doing a time-line of my family of yesteryear, I decided to do one for myself.  Looking at the events of my life, I see not much at all.  Yet knowing myself and my life as I do, and how rich it really is, I have to realize that my approach to my family’s history (and the perspective of my life) has been very, very thin.  Amidst all of those dates – births, marriages and deaths – and great escapes – was a life, many lives, intertwined.  And what were they intertwined for?  Love, hatred, war, forgiveness, personal battles, contentment, building a home, building a country, building a Life.  In between all of the things I thought were important, the signposts and milestones we may consider noteworthy, a real live person breathed.  A real live person kissed their husband for the first time.  A real live person lost their innocent child and grieved.

There is so much more to family history than names and dates.  And, so much more to my life than meeting deadlines or phantom expectations.  If only I realized now what I have already done is build an incredible life – not only noteworthy, but rich with possibility and creativity, with people I have loved and lost along the way, yet all in the very same boat with me.  And a generation to come, or two, may not know or care, but I do.  I will never know all of the people I affected along the way, or what ripples I made – all I know is, like Shrek, I am very glad it did.

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 1:40 am  Comments (1)  
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Why Research My Family History?

Sometimes I wonder if I escape to the past to discover my ancestors when I am feeling the most lost in my own life.  Is that such a bad thing?  In the absence of elders, in the absence of a community that we once felt vital to our existence, tribal even, we create our own connections across the cosmos – sometimes virtual, sometimes spiritual, and sometimes ancestral.  These connections are vital, though the people may be dead.  It is my belief that they do live on in us, and that they fashion our existence out of their own.  Their dreams and wishes become our own, remodeled for the 21st century.  There really is no difference between us – only flesh and mortar.  The building blocks change.  The desire to change does not.

Why research my family tree right now, in the middle of everything else a  “suburban” wife, mother and creator needs to do:  Make lunches, pack bags, walk the dog, kiss the kids goodnight, connect with my spouse…  Not to mention the other things:  goals and passions, work-related material, new business ventures, mistakes, travels, wonder, newness.  Why invite the old into something so vitally new and different and now?  Why invite question into what is already so questionable?

Perhaps we invite our families in, past and present, because those questions invite real answers.  Though everything else, the present and the future, remain quite uncertain, the past invites reflection, comfort and meaning, and gives us a sense that we are not alone – that we are well connected to our roots, and that we can yet blossom to fully aware and alive human beings.  This tree is good.  This tree is where we are standing, and everything that came before us stems out beyond us in every direction.  No wonder we feel overwhelmed!  But, what a blessing.

I have been tracing my family tree with my grandmother for about 20 years now.  It has been a great blessing to connect with her and see her as a little girl, a mother, a wife and even a confused human being, just like me.  With all her aches and pains she doesn’t complain much. She is just happy to share her story, and share in the adventure of learning where we come from and who our ancestors were.  She is one of mine, though we may not think of it that way, because I know she will not be here forever.  She is 92. I may be able to call her next week, now, but it will not always be the case.

I have spent most of my time with my grandmother recording her, transcribing, writing furiously, shuffling through photos, videotaping and asking questions.  Just in case.  That may seem morbid, but this is the way stories are passed down – oral histories are rare, and so it is my job to capture them in any way possible.  Modern technology is a genius.  Once the role only of  mothers and grandmothers, now we are all collective storytellers, creators and communicators – “Skyping” and “tweeting” across the globe our own life history. Why not include those who traveled before us and make it a family history?

Even in the movie Avatar, the ancestral tree was the most sacred.  Though the villagers were seen by modern audiences as more advanced in some ways – in their understanding of their interconnectedness to all things – they would still visit the dangling limbs of the ancestral tree, lit with the intelligence and whisperings of their ancestors.  This was their home. Their adventure. Their playing ground.  They were not going “back”, they were going forward.   Perhaps that is what I am doing too.

Ancestors, whisper to me, and take me home.

Published in: on May 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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