Reverse genealogy

I again am obsessed with my Galway, Ireland connections, it will just not go away. It’s so maddening. Gedmatch is a website where a person can upload his/her DNA test results and compare their DNA with those from people who have tested at other companies, so it’s an interesting website. I haven’t focused on any part of my DNA results except the Galway Ancestor Project thru Gedmatch. I’ve seen alot of comments from others who also find out they are connected cousins but cannot find the common ancestor connection, just like me.

There are various ways like triangulation to work with DNA matches, but it was really taxing my brain so before I do that, I decided to focus on just one name and try reverse genealogy. Instead of working backwards through time like normal, reverse genealogy is where you find a potential ancestor and work forward hoping to link that potential ancestor with a targeted ancestor.

The Manion/Mannion name is a surname that I have many connections to, in fact, I counted about 20 so far. So I started to make a list of all of these connections, all of the DNA information, email contact information, and notes on who their ancestors are if that information has been provided. I don’t know anyone in my family tree with this surname, but I will make a bet it’s probably connected to Martha Carr, that Irish lass I keep writing about.

I tried to start with the closest connection I have, someone whose most recent common ancestor is 6.0, which would mean that we are seventh cousins and most likely share a sixth great grandparent. That person never responded to my (two!) emails, so then I picked two other connections. Even though they are further, most likely eighth cousins, both of their family trees show that they appear to descend from the same couple, John Manion and Sara Conner, who were both born in Galway in the latter 1600s. I don’t believe Sara Conner is from my Conner line but I will keep that in the back of my mind.

These cousins each descend from different sons of John and Sara’s. So then because I was so determined, I started writing out their family trees, hoping to see if anyone matches someone I know in my tree. Holy cow, what an absolutely huge project. It will take me forever.

The Manion/Mannion name has a very long history in Galway, Ireland, and there are many surname variations, such as Manning. I have that surname also in my matches. The final determination if I am ever able to connect the surname is to then find out John Manion’s connection to Ireland, and then if I am a part of the super huge Mannion clan in Ireland.

A little history about the Mannion Clan in Ireland from their website: “Way back in the third century, six tribes collectively called the “Sogain” came to Galway from Ulster and occupied an area which stretched from the river Clare in the west to the river Suck in the east and from the river Shivern in the north to the Raford river in the south.

These “Sogain” were descended from Sodain, the son of Fiachra Araidh, King of Ulster. They were thought to be originally from a Cruithin (Pict) tribe. The Ó Mannáin were the chief tribe of the 6 Sogain, had their chief seat at Menlach O Mainnin (modern day Menlough in County Galway) until 1617. The clan’s lands were confiscated during the Cromwellian Wars but a small portion was restored to Aodh Ó Mainnín’s family in the Act of Settlement of 1676. From this time, the Mannion clan spread from the clan lands of Killascobe into the surrounding areas of modern counties Galway and Roscommon the following years.”

So wish me luck, I’m going to need it!!

Thanks for reading!

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