Migration As A Genealogical Tool

Had a question come up today about a US Southern Family living in Mississippi, “When and from where did my family come from when first arriving in America?” WikiTree G2G

The pattern of Immigration to the North American Continent in the early days of colonization was to the absolute East Coast. From Nova Scotia to Saint Augustine to New Orleans. When our ancestors arrived they settled pretty close to the coast. It was the safest place because there were few other colonists and staying together was the obvious thing to do for safety.

As populations grew, the oldest son(s) would inherit the land and the younger children would migrate to other areas. From the north to the south and west. In what is now Canada settlers followed the St. Lawrence River inland. As each of the major canals were constructed easier travel afforded more opportunity to the west. In the US the old Indian trails heading south and west were followed and land opened up. Covered Wagons and then the Rail systems, criss-crossing the continent opened even wider expanses of land for migrants to settle.

In my own Gaulden (Gaulding, Goulding, Gauldin) family we started in VA (one theory is that my Gaulden’s started in England traveled to Bermuda, went through Eleuthra, Bahama, to Massachusetts then to Virginia). From Virginia we traveled through NC for a bit, then on to Sumter, South Carolina. The John Gaulden Family of Sumter, SC, had it’s younger Children migrate to York County, SC, to Georgia, and even to Western MS/Eastern LA.

My Templeton family arrived from Ireland, landed in Charleston and settled in Laurens County, SC. From South Carolina, portions of the family migrated to Indiana. When more land opened up to the west they moved on westward. The Templeton DNA Study and One Name Study has worked to identify far flung family groups by migration patterns. We can infer which of the 8 Templeton gateway Ancestors someone is from and identify new people to add to the Templeton Gene Pool with DNA testing.TempletonDNAchart

The Hunt line started out in Bedford County, Virginia. Thomas Hunt had 14 children who migrated to all parts of the continent. My particular Hunt, Esli, Sr., moved with a couple of brothers to Western North Carolina (the State Of Franklin now Tennessee).  Then, after traveling around SC during the revolution took his land grant on what was to be the line between Greenville and Pickens Counties, SC. From there Esli Sr.’s family spread out over Cherokee lands and westward.

The Dillard’s migrated with other family groups from Virgina to Western NC, then on to Rabun County, Georgia. The Lords started in Connecticut and ended up in Jackson County, Georgia. The McElmoyle’s are a bit harder to trace to one individual, but different groups of McElmoyle’s landed in Charleston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York (straight to Ontario for some) and Boston and spread from those locations to points south and west.

Knowing that Upstate South Carolina was a resort destination for those to escape the coastal heat and malaria for cool summers in the mountains, helps to understand why some Charleston families have deep ties to Greenville, SC. There is even a Charletson McElmoyle family who are split between a cemetery in Clemson, SC and a cemetery in Charleston (with tombstones in both) because of the civil war.

So ask your local historical society where the people came from and why they settled your area of the world. You may find a veritable road-map to your ancestors origins.

McElmoyle DNA and One Name Project

Oh the trials and tribulations of administering/managing a One Name Study and DNA Project for a not so popular (it’s not like these people were left out of the prom, is popular really a good word?) Surname (and popular, it isn’t like these people chose to be named this, like it was the most popular name so they took it).

After years of talking to a friend(?)/fb buddy about her husbands family’s possible connection to my family, her husband got a DNA test done. She and he chose to go with Ancestry, so all we have is an Ancestry atDNA test. Since my Dad and I are the only other testers for the McElmoyle family line (that I know of) and our DNA is not with Ancestry, I grabbed her husbands DNA and uploaded it to GEDmatch and BOOM – not a match – Dang.

Yet.

Why? Because Autosomal testing only reveals matches back for a certain distance. I explained this in a previous blog, DNA – Who To Test?

“For other relatively close cousins, that are not in your direct maternal or paternal line, you can test anyone who matches you through your genealogical research. They can take an Autosomal (auDNA/atDNA) test. This is not a deep ancestor test and ‘can be used to confirm relationships with a high level of accuracy for parent/child relationships and all relationships up to the second cousin level. For all relationships other than parent/child relationships additional contextual and genealogical information is required to confirm the nature of the relationship.'(ISOGGAccuracy of tests)”

So this means we have our first male line, McElmoyle surname DNA tester and we can compare him autosomally with other fairly close people, but, he needs to transfer his DNA over to FamilyTree DNA, then at some point upgrade to a yDNA test to reach a wider piece of the DNA pie. To put his DNA into a bigger Gene pool.

Patience, oh Genealogy takes patience.

I was thinking yesterday that not only did our ancestors name their children the same names for generations just to make all of this hard for us, but they also split the family up just across county lines and made undocumented adoptions just to stir the pot of our genealogical insanity a bit more.

McElmoyle One Name Study

There are very few McElmoyle’s in the world in comparison with other peoples of Ireland. My specific interest arises from the McElmoyle/McElmoil family that settled in York County, South Carolina, specifically Daniel McElmoyle, b. 1796, Ireland, d. February 10, 1867, in York County, SC. Possibly married to 1) Mary Chambers, was married 2) Mary J. Pardue.

From my grandmother’s notes he had a brother, James McElmoyle, who also immigrated to North America and settled in Port Lambton, Ontario. I think this James was b. June 24, 1801, Ireland, d. September 25, 1880, Mooretown, Lambton, ON. He married Catherine M. Cowen.

The fact that there are James and Daniel’s in every McElmoyle family and in every generation does not help, but that is the way of Genealogy right?

There’s lot’s of variations listed on the McElmoyle One Name Study Page:

McElmoyle Spelling Variants:

Mac Giolla Mhaoil
Mac Giolla Mhichil
MacElmeel
MacIlmoyle
McElmoyle
McElmoyl
McElmoil
McIlmail
McIlmale
McIlmoil

I want to get to the bottom of these two McElmoyle brothers origins as well as the rest of the McElmoyles in the world. Be great to prove that we are all related. To that end, I started a McElmoyle One Name Study on WikiTree and a McElmoyle DNA Project on Familty Tree DNA.

Here’s hoping this information tickles information out of some of my McElmoyles cousins!

The Mystery of the Box, Part 1 – McElmoyle

It is wooden and rectangular, about 16″ x 6″ x 6″ or so. It is hinged at the back and has a rough clip at the front to keep it closed. The top is adorned with carefully written white letters. “J superscript N then McElmoyle”. The letters in the name McElmoyle are faded or worn, but they are there. The whole box is battered a bit, dripped with something in spots, dirty and dusty. It spent at least 40 years or so in the attic of a McElmoyle descendant in Greenville, South Carolina. About 80 miles from it’s original owners home in York, South Carolina and close to 4000 miles from it’s origination point in Antrim County, Northern Ireland.[1]

John McEmoyle carried all of his worldly possessions in this box when he arrived in South Carolina in the late 1700’s. Who knows what those original contents were. The contents it held in recent times were an original copy of the Immigration and naturalization records of John McEmoil (McElmoyle), Sr.

As Irish inheritance goes, this box would have been inherited by the first son of John, then the first son of that son and so on, on down the line.

But something is amiss…

John McElmoyle, Sr. had five living children proven by his 1811 Will.[2]

The first son would be James, who according to the McElmoyle Family Papers[3] was “single, may have been an invalid” and “deaf and dum”.[4]. The 1850 Census of York County, South Carolina lists him as living with his brother Daniels’ Widow Elizabeth, her new husband John D. Boyd, and his niece Harriet E. McElmoyle. John Getty’s, also listed, must be related to his brother Daniels’ daughter Mary Adaline McElmoyle Gettys.

So it seems James would have no male heirs to leave the box to.

The next son, Daniel has plenty of heirs. He dies early, his Widow remarries and the children are raised by their step-father. They might have had the box.

Daughter Margaret McElmoyle has no information suggesting she lived and breathed other than her 1812 inheritance from her father.

McELMOYLE SR., JOHN of York District, signed December 11, 1811
Wife: Mary
Sons: James and John, the plantation containing 200 acres.
Son: David, 140 acres on Turkey Creek, purchased from Abraham Livingston.
Daughter: Margaret McElmoile, the lease of 70 acres Indian land purchased from John White.
Son: Daniel
Executors: John McClenchan
Witnesses: Isaac McFaddin, Thos. Faris, Mary Polk
Proven: 22 Apr 1812[5]

John McElmoyle, Jr., “…believed to be the youngest, remained single and is believed buried at Rose Hill Cem. in York, SC as J.C. McElmoyle, died Feb. 2, 1884 aged 84 yrs.” This, again, is from the McElmoyle Family Papers. He does not appear to marry and lives with a niece in Census records from 1860 to 1880.

And then there is David, who like his sister Margaret, has no information suggesting he lived and breathed other than his 1812 inheritance from his father.

In John Sr.’s Will he divides his land, his livestock, farm implements, Negroes, and even specific pots and kitchen items, but nowhere in his will does he bequeath the box. There is this statement: “All the rest of my farming utensils and plantation and all my property not above mentioned, I give and bequeath jointly to my wife and two sons James and John.”

So John or James inherited the box and that is how it ended up in the attic of that McElmoyle descendant in Greenville, SC. But…

That McElmoyle Descendants great grand father was, according to the McElmoyle Family Papers, “probably a cousin [to John] who may have immigrated at later date. He too is buried at Bethesda…Do not confuse his descendants with Daniel son of John Mc. Senior.” How on earth would a descendant of a cousin of the John McElmoyle, Sr. family inherit the box and it’s contents?
McElmoyle-4

That is the question.

To be continued…
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1.↑ McElmoyle Family Papers, p.1,No Author, 1978, NCR, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County, Charlotte, North Carolina.
2.↑ McElmoyle, john (Sr.), Vol.1, 1770-1815, p. 466, Indexes to the county wills of South Carolina. York County Wills, p. 9, Mid-Continent Public Library, South Carolina – Probate records – Indexes.
3.↑ McElmoyle Family Papers, No Author, 1978, NCR, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County, Charlotte, North Carolina.
4.↑ “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 10 November 2015), James Mcelmoyl in household of John D Boyd, York county, York, South Carolina, United States; citing family 1496, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
5.↑ McElmoyle, John (Sr.), Vol.1, 1770-1815, p. 466, Indexes to the county wills of South Carolina. York County Wills, p. 9, Mid-Continent Public Library, South Carolina – Probate records – Indexes.