If you did, was it a worthwhile experience? Would you recommend the service you used? I look at those heritage maps that show Norman influences in some parts of Ireland, Spanish in others, and wonder about my background going back some centuries. Anybody else interested in this sort of stuff?
I have indeed, Jim. I used FamilyTreeDNA.com and was very happy with their service. The results I received from their analysis helped a great deal as I was hung-up at a "brick wall" with my paper trail research. This allowed me to get past that and hook up with one gentleman in particular who had done LOADS of research. I was then able to use all the fruits of his labour over the past couple decades since we shared such a close genetic profile. I still am missing one or two generations in there, but even if I never locate records for those men, I still have the names / locations, etc. for people further back because of the DNA test.
Furthermore, I learned about the services of Dr. Tyrone Bowes after reading about what he does here on The Wild Geese. Tyrone is here in Galway, actually, and I never would have even known about him if it weren't for this site! Tyrone was able to take my reports from FamilyTreeDNA.com and narrow down precisely (within a 5km radius!) where my ancestors lived 200-300 years ago (and probably beyond) in Ireland. Amazing! My next task is to head up there soon and find the O'Rourke men still living in and around that little village who would be willing to submit a cheek swab of their own for DNA testing. This will determine who I am related to (distantly).
And if anyone here does this and ends up using Tyrone Bowes' services (which I cannot recommend highly enough!), be sure to tell him I send you by way of The Wild Geese.
Great stuff, Ryan. Thank you for being so thorough.
One other question: Were the result understandable to the layman who hasn't done a lot of work in this field?
They were, Jim. The reports you'll receive from FamilyTreeDNA.com are understandable enough, but what really helps is that it will inform other people in their database whom you closely match via email that your results show a certain closeness to theirs. In most cases, you can contact that person, or vise versa (unless they have asked not to be contacted). That's how I found this other guy.
Now, the results that Tyrone will give you are incredibly thorough and easy to understand. He gives you maps, and such, and he walks you through everything with great detail.
Thanks so much, Ryan. It sounds like you're in the middle of a great adventure, and I hope you keep us "tuned in" on what transpires.
I would love to be able to do this, my own Irish heritage is a bit mixed up, my father's family, the Boshells originated in Alsace Lorraine, and seem to have arrived in Ireland via England, my great grandmothers family, the McLaughlins, came from Donegal to Mayo, there are a lot of Boshells also in Dublin, and of course going way back, any natives of Dublin for many generations are very likely descended from Vikings, as the founded Dublin, I think it is a fascinating subject, I watched a programme where they had discovered a nine thousand year old skeleton in a cave in England, and managed to extract DNA from it, they then did a swab of all the people living in the local village, and it turned out that the Headmaster of the local school was a descendant! how incredible is that?
Our own Alannah Ryane is a big advocate of this genealogy approach.