Unique DNA project outlined to Larne family history group

Larne Branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society have heard about a unique local DNA project at their latest online meeting.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 4:25 pm
Anne Johnston and Martin McDowell, North of Ireland Family History Society and  local historian David Hume at the launch of the project in 2019.
Anne Johnston and Martin McDowell, North of Ireland Family History Society and local historian David Hume at the launch of the project in 2019.

The meeting, held through Zoom, was about the Ballycarry DNA Project, which aims to identify links with the oldest traceable families in the village.

The evening updated those who had tested with the findings so far and detailed where the current results can be found.

The Ballycarry DNA Project started with members of the society wanting to research the older families who lived in the Ballycarry area back in the 1800s. It involved members researching the 1901 & 1911 census and picking the names they believed to be from the oldest settlers in the area. They then produced family trees to enable the families to be taken back further towards the earlier 1800s, beyond paper records.

The meeting heard that the next step was to test the DNA of descendants of those families and that an evening was organised back in October of 2019. This was held in the community hall in Ballycarry and members of the society came along to meet and test those Ballycarry inhabitants who showed an interest.

The DNA company that the North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) is affiliated with is Family Tree DNA and the Society, which has a large local database, was hoping that the DNA of these Ballycarry families could be of help to many other testers who were researching families in the area.

The meeting heard that a total of 38 people tested both on the night and afterwards, with inquiries are still coming in. The society aims to test more people who can prove their descent from these families. Some of the names include McMurran, Cambridge, Orr, Cameron, Craig and Beggs. There are still free kits available for those who can provide a family tree showing they descend from one of these and other surnames.

There are details of the project at www.nifhs.org/dna/ballycarry-dna-project and anyone who is interested in seeing if their DNA would help with the project can contact the Project team at [email protected]

Meanwhile the next online meeting of the Larne branch is on Monday, March 15, when guest speaker will be Mike McKeag, who will discuss ‘Where to find Stories of People in Your Family Tree’.

Zoom meetings are open to all members of NIFHS and anyone interested in attending can email the Larne branch secretary at [email protected] by Saturday, March 13 with their membership number. Anyone not a member who is interesting in joining the NIFHS can do so online at www.nifhs.org/membership/

Click here to read: ‘World stage potential’ of Ballycarry family history DNA project


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