It seems that the researchers with whom I am in contact are not my relatives. (see ‘Multiple Clans’ https://www.roscommonstanley.me.uk/geography/ireland/multiple-clans/) And most of my relatives do not appear to be researchers. This all changed when the wonders of DNA threw out a solid connection to someone with a sizeable family tree. At long last! A very large tree does mean that there are a lot of names to evaluate. I was motivated by the knowledge that there is definitely a needle to be found in this particular haystack.
When I looked at my researcher relative’s tree, I realised that the Yorkshire location that features most often is Dewsbury. I have posted quite a few blogs in which Dewsbury is tagged. The first one (From Yorkshire to Lancashire, https://www.roscommonstanley.me.uk/geography/from-yorkshire-to-lancashire/ ) appeared in March 2019. My Grandfather Patrick was staying there in 1911, with his widowed sister Mary Muldoon.
The DNA evidence tells me that the common ancestor cannot be relatively recent (e.g. late 19th century). Neither can he or she date back much before 1800. I have concluded that the common ancestor was my great, great grandfather John Stanley. I don’t have a date for his birth. I am assuming that it was around 1800. This means that Thomas Stanley, born 1829, and my great grandfather John, born 1823, were brothers. Being Irish records, there is a wider than normal margin of error on the dates. (People often did not know their true ages.) The marriages records for both of them refer to their father as being John.
When I made sense of the names, it was clear that I had already speculated on a connection with many of these people. At the time I was making assumptions based on quite a large number of coincidences. For example,
‘Kate Senior’ (https://www.roscommonstanley.me.uk/geography/kate-senior/ ) in which I ask why Kate chose Dewsbury as a destination sometime in the 1870s.
‘More Stanley people in New St, Dewsbury’, (https://www.roscommonstanley.me.uk/geography/more-stanley-people-in-new-st-dewsbury/ ) in which I look at descendants of Thomas Stanley (born 1829) & Maria Mannion.
‘Yorkshire born Stanley’ (https://www.roscommonstanley.me.uk/geography/yorkshire-born-stanley/) (with the 1854 marriage certificate of Thomas Stanley and Maria Mannion) In particular I had noted that three of their grandchildren had been born in New Street, Dewsbury.
‘Another Kenny’ (https://www.roscommonstanley.me.uk/geography/another-kenny/) Now that I know there is a definite connection with Ellen Kenny (married John Stanley in 1884) there is motivation to dig further.
‘Ellen Kenny connections’ (https://www.roscommonstanley.me.uk/geography/ellen-kenny-connections/) As above, there is now an added incentive to pursue the investigation.
My researcher relative has an example of tantalising family folklore. The story is that two brothers came over from Ireland. One of them was Thomas. I even have a note in my files that says, “Was he the first to come across?”. The answer seems to be that he was, but that he was not alone. What was the name of the other brother? This mystery immediately becomes one of the next challenges.