How Irish am I?

Leamsii / Pixabay

After taking part in the twitterchat this week about researching our Irish ancestors, I decided to check out how Irish I truly am via my DNA tests.

LivingDNA:

  • Sue is 96% British and Irish. Out of that, Northern Ireland and South West Scotland 13.5% and 6.3% Ireland
  • Mum is 100% British and Irish. Out of that, Northern Ireland and South West Scotland 14.9% and 2.3% Ireland
  • Dad is 100% British and Irish. Out of that, Northern Ireland and South West Scotland 3.2% and 24.8% Ireland
  • My brother is 100% British and Irish. Out of that, Northern Ireland and South West Scotland 15.1% and 17.2% Ireland

Ancestry:

  • Sue is 32% Scotland and Northern Ireland and 10% Ireland.
  • Mum is 19% Scotland and Northern Ireland and 7% Ireland.
  • Dad is 39% Scotland and Northern Ireland and 19% Ireland.
  • My brother is 31% Scotland and Northern Ireland and 11% Ireland.

We have all tested with Ancestry but I am the only one tested with LivingDNA. I uploaded from Ancestry to LivingDNA for mum, dad and my brother.

From these results, looks like my brother is a bit more Irish than me (LivingDNA). I’m also wondering where my 4% from Basque came from. Maybe if I uploaded my Ancestry result at LivingDNA, it would then tell me 100% British and Irish.

From all my research so far I only have the following names and places: Convicts highlighted

Maternal side:

  • 1830’s – Jackson family in Donegal around Garshooey and Carrigans area possibly St Johnstown area as well – Rebecca, father William  senior, brother William Junior, Nellie Jackson,  Jane/Sarah Steele, Ann Jackson who then emigrated to Quebec with two children – she died on Ile Grosse, Rebecca’s mother possibly Catherine Campbell

Paternal side:

  • 1830’s – McCrewney? family in Newry parish, Down, Northern Ireland – Mary with father Francis, brother Thomas also sent to Van Diemens Land
  • 1810’s – Dawson family near Berwick upon Tweed or Eyemouth – William, a brother at Eyemouth
  • 1830’s – McKay family in Cowgate area in Edinburgh – Catherine, father John, siblings Elizabeth, George and Mary
  • 1810’s – Somers family near Wexford – Patrick, wife Johanna nee Cullen (blind), sons John and Thomas – these three then came to Van Diemens Land between 1841 and 1851 as free settlers, Father John in America, brother John and sister Mary Catherine in Wexford.

Now I know a lot more resources to check out for my Irish ancestors, I might spend more time on those especially on dad’s side of the tree. The convict records give some good information including religion, age, trade, literacy level and parents and siblings often. But where does mum get her 20% total from Scotland/Ireland?

Readers: How Irish are you?

Irene Ellen Gertrude SMITH

Irene was born 23 July 1909 on Bruny Island as the eldest child of Edward Robert Smith and Irene Ellen Somers or Clark. Through DNA testing, it has been proved that her father was actually a son of Alexander and Hannah Dawson nee Sutton who lived in Queenstown, Tasmania.

Tasmania, Civil Registration of births 1899-1912, Port Cygnet

Irene had 14 younger siblings born between 1910 and 1931. The family mainly lived in Hobart, Tasmania but from 1918-1921 spent some time in Scottsdale, Tasmania where her father was a sawyer.

In December 1918, Irene and her younger sister Madeline won prizes at the Scottsdale State School annual concert.

Marriages

In early 1932, Irene became pregnant and married William Alan Wyatt on 11 April, later giving birth to her only child Robert Wyatt in November 1932. By late 1934, William (whose first  Tasmanian wife had died in September 1931) had deserted Irene and baby Robert, and headed to unknown destination (later found in NSW married for a fourth time).

Irene worked as a cleaner and general housemaid at Heathorns Hotel then later the Albion Hotel. This involved living on the premises, so Robert was looked after by a foster mother for most of the time, Mrs Avery in Goulburn Street, Hobart. Irene did not have much furniture in her little room but there was a small carved black table that is now owned by Robert (Bob). She also had an Hawaiian steel guitar under her bed and many songbooks that she collected throughout the war years.

It was while working at Heathorns that Irene met Ernie Bond who lived in a home in the Rasselas Valley near Adamsfield. Irene wrote a diary about her trip on horseback along the track to Adamsfield. This diary is held by her son Bob.

Irene sought a dissolution of her marriage in 1945 due to desertion. A decree nisi was granted on 21 March 1945. A decree absolute was granted in October 1945.

In 1954, Irene married a second time to a Polish immigrant Mikolaj Hrydziuszko, who had arrived in Australia in 1948 after World War II.

Irene and Mike travelled to Japan on a cruise returning with lots of little mementoes. They are buried together at the cemetery in Pontville, Tasmania where many Polish graves can be found.

Memories of Irene

These are from her son Bob (B) and grand daughter Suzanne

  • Always well dressed and usually wore her hair up high in a bouffant style
  • Loved going for walks around Hobart
  • Kept her house immaculately clean and smelling fresh
  • Went downhill quickly once her blindness stopped her walking everywhere
  • Took lots of photos of her with her sister Madeline and her children – have her photo album with these
  • Was concerned about her brother Jack or Bomber as we knew him – he sent occasional letters or postcards often censored by the army (B)
  • She was a smoker and always smoked Turf cigarettes (B)
  • Would often call into her parent’s house in Liverpool Street while taking Bob home to his foster mother (B)
  • Hated picnics, sand, ants, cold! (B)
  • Had a steel guitar, but I never heard her play it. Did crosswords, I still have her well-thumbed dictionary. (B)
  • I never saw her really upset. I wagged school and was expelled from Lansdowne Crescent School, sent to St. Virgils, must have cost her a lot. (B)
  • Mike (her second husband) found she left the stove on, would get up at all hours and wander about. I insisted that she be cared for in a nursing home, it was too much for Mike. Went into a nursing home in Star St. and was well cared for there. Was almost blind, and hated the dog at the home that would come close to her picking up crumbs. Mike used to take her out most days and give her sandwiches. He persevered with her taking her to the domain or the Waterworks. (B)
  • I used to visit her in the home during my lunch hour when I worked in town. She would be just sitting in a chair. Often told me that no-one ever came to see her even though I knew Mike had taken her out that morning. I confess that I was often in tears walking back to work. She died peacefully in the home. (B)
Ernie Bond’s residence at Rasselas Valley
Bob, Irene and Jack before heading off to war
Nan's birthday
Irene’s birthday with her sister Pat and her husband Eric Gates from Adelaide.
Nan and Mike ready for trip overseas
Mike and Irene ready for their trip overseas