As explained in the previous blog (MRCA), for the top matches with a score of just under 4, the common ancestor should be a great, great grandparent. The top match (MRCA=3.81) has a comprehensive tree containing a lot of information. There are a number of ancestors with roots in Ireland. Much of this information comes from American census returns. The country of birth is recorded, but only rarely is any more detail shown.

One particular branch of the family tree specifically mentions Roscommon. This has to be the first place on which to focus my search.

The great, great grandparents of particular interest are as follows: Peter Lannon (born about 1823) married Ellen Hanly (b about 1830). Peter Cuff (b 1816, Strokestown) married Ann Kelly (b about 1823). Both couples moved to Rhode Island where they died. The memorial for Peter and Ellen, in St Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket, records them as being “natives of County Roscommon”. Clearly, they were very proud of this fact.

The name Kelly stands out like a flashing beacon. The trail from cousins in Missouri leads back to either a Kelly or a McHugh relative born in Ireland. (See “We have a problem”) Specifically I am looking at a connection to either Catherine Kelly (born around 1833) or Patrick McHugh (born around 1825). With only a ten-year age difference, Ann and Catherine could easily be sisters. If this is the case then I need to go back to their parents to find the common ancestor. They have been identified by the other researcher as Martin Kelly (born 1800) and Bridget O’Meara (also born around 1800). A slight concern is that both are said to come from Nenagh in County Tipperary. This is 70 miles (110 km) from Roscommon. This does not rule them out, but is more difficult to explain than a location just across the border in Galway.