Here at Genealogy Sisters we’ve had a very good year of family research. We are dedicating our research this year to Sarah “Sal” Rafferty Mayer (1909-1998). Many years ago she did a wonderful thing by typing up four pages of family research centered on the four main names in her family tree: Doran, Hall, Kelly, and Rafferty. Sal was my father’s first cousin, and she was born in Belfast, County Antrim on 13 September 1909. Most likely this photo was taken around 1920, possibly in New Jersey. Her notes have helped our family trace their roots back to Ireland for quite a few generations. Sal’s niece, Robin Rafferty Benesh, posted on an online surname forum years back, and she and my sister, Veronica, stated to write back and forth. Our family then met with Robin and her family, including her sister Colleen, and her father Thomas, Jr. Here’s a montage of family photographs she sent below.
With the foundations of the Doran family history, from Sal Rafferty Mayer, we connected to the William John and Rosina Evans Doran family this year! In August my brother, Johnny, and I met our father’s first cousins, Ted and MaryLou, and their delightful spouses, Joan and Joe. Before that I also had a chance to meet the grandson of Ellen “Nellie” Doran Pearson, Bob Ruthazer, and his lovely wife, Diane. Here’s a photo below with my father’s first cousin, Mary Lou. Her father was William John Doran, sibling to my grandfather, Bernard Doran, and also Nellie Doran Pearson and Elizabeth Doran Rafferty. We have now met with all the branches of our Belfast, Northern Ireland Doran clan!
We look forward to going back more generations with the autosomal DNA test I took this year with Family Tree DNA. This test looks for cousins on both your mother’s and father’s sides of the family. I’ve had matches from 2nd to 4th cousins, and back to more distant kinfolk. An interesting aspect of this test is from corresponding to matches and finding where their family came from. The matches do seem to come from Ireland and Scotland for my paternal Irish side and from areas near Poland for my maternal side. Hopefully next year we will have the kind of luck with the Polish side that we have had with our Irish side! The results also show that I am indeed about half Eastern European and half British Isles, but with a mysterious 5% Southern European ancestry. Maybe an Irish ancestor from Spain or a Polish one from Italy? Time may indeed unravel more of our genetic heritage.
I also want to thank my sister, Veronica, for her constant work on our website. Please click here for more background on our family ancestry – Genealogy Sisters.
Best Wishes for Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! Good luck searching for your kinfolks!
Nollaig faoi shéan agus faoi shona duit! (translation) A Christmas of happiness and goodness to you [from this great website with Celtic music: http://www.celticchristmasmusic.com/christmas-traditions/index.htm%5D.
Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia! Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku! [From the wonderful Polish Language Blog: http://blogs.transparent.com/polish/how-to-say-merry-christmas-in-polish/%5D.
Copyright 2015 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.