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   Welcome to the Frampton Irish Blog. I will try to provide a blog edition each month. Each edition will have a theme. I will try to include such items as updated information on my research activities, new things I am learning, interesting tidbits on Frampton Irish persons and families, and occasionally some research tips. If I present questions and issues to you, and you have answers or comments, I invite your feedback either on the guest book or if you prefer by email to me at

Wonders of DNA Jan 31, 2021

A few years ago I decided to get an autosomnal DNA test though Ancestry.DNA. Probably like many of you, my first thoughts were about whether the cost of the test was worth it and if it would provide me very much genealogy information. It appears that most people that take the test are only interested in finding out what their genetic makeup is according to Ancestry.DNA calculations in terms of the percentage of DNA in “ethnic classifications.” That’s the “pie chart” that you see on Ancestry T.V. adds. These folks are not really interested in any further genealogy research. They just want to know who they are ethnically.

For those of you that are serious genealogists, the autosomnal DNA test provides so much more. One of the things you get is a list of all the people who match your DNA. These are matches for all ancestral lines of your family. To take full advantage of this information requires that you also have an subscription. I have found that there are four categories of matches: (1) Test only; (2) Test with minimal tree date; (3) Test with posted private member tree; and (4) Test with public member tree.  Despite these different levels of matching information available, I have been able to confirm my Frampton Irish relationship with 86 of the matches on my list. First of all I was curious about how I relate to these matches. Second, by building my list, I have been able to take advantage of the “shared matches” feature. Even when a match does not provide a family tree or their tree is marked private, I can use the “shared matches” feature to see if they match any of those on my list of 86. If so, then I known this match descends from the Frampton Irish. Further, the website permits you to search the posted family trees for any reference to place names or surnames. Fro example, you can create a list of your matches who have trees that use the place name of “Frampton.”

Perhaps the most magical thing that an Ancestry.DNA test combined with an subscription can provide you is a thing called “Thru-lines.” “Thru-lines” is a feature in which Ancestry takes your DNA matches in combination with all the public member trees posted online and it makes a prediction of the “common ancestors” between you and your matches. This automatically shows you how you are related to a given match. This feature will also reference records that can be accessed on their website that are linked to the predicted family members. I have found in using this feature that it is remarkably accurate. However, I have found a few examples where the predicted ancestors were not correct. So it is important to seek a paper trail to prove up new ancestral links.

Using these DNA tests and matching techniques can further prove your genealogy paper train and it can also solve certain mysteries by providing missing pieces. Example 1: I could never find what happened to my Great Grandfather John McLane’s sisters. Through a DNA match and searching some records in Santa Clara County, California, I discovered that his sister Ann McLane left Ste. Marguerite for California in the 1860s and married Azro Randall in California in 1869 where she raised a family on a fruit farm. Her sister Lucy McLane joined her household in the 1870s. I have since been able to contact a distant relative who descends from this family. Example 2: I had a match to a Begley family that lived in St. Sylvestre, Quebec which is across the Chaundiere Valley from Frampton. The progenitor was a James Begley who had a family with a wife named Anne Catherine Murphy. I knew that I descend from a large Murphy family in Frampton, but I knew nothing about a Begley family there. So the match was very curious at first. I couldn’t locate a marriage record that would tell me who Anne Catherine Murphy’s parents might be. So I set it aside. Later when I was in the process of extracting some Murphy family notaire records, I came across a property settlement document for Thomas Murphy and his daughter Anne Catherine Murphy and her husband James Begley. So I could then confirm that this Anne Catherine Murphy was married to James Begley and she was the daughter of Thomas Murphy and Mary O’Farrell.

One of my most promising match is what I call an intriguing match. These type matches don’t necessarily confirm the relationship, however they provide valuable clues. I had never been able to determine where in Ireland my ancestor James P. McLane of Ste. Marguerite came from. I had determined from a notaire record that Hugh McDonough, his neighbor in Ste. Marguerite, was his cousin. Then in a marriage record I found that Hugh’s parents were a Phillip McDonough and an Elizabeth McCaffardy. So that meant that James McLane’s mother’s surname was either McDonough or McCaffardy. Consulting The Book of Scots-Irish Family led to the discovery that McCaffardy is just a spelling variation of McLaverty or dropping the “Mc”, Laverty.

I had a DNA a match that was a distant cousin in the 5th to 8th cousin range with moderate confidence. The match person’s great grandmother was shown as a Susan Laverty who was born in the Townland of Breen, Civil Parish of Armoy, County Antrim, Ireland. There are records attached that indicate the family was Catholic. Susan Laverty was the daughter of Michael Laverty and Jane McAlane. Jane McAlane was the daughter of a Patrick McAlane born about 1800. The attached tree shows two matching surnames, "McAlane" and "Laverty." The surname “McAlane” is shown as a variant of “McLean” in  The Book of Scots-Irish Family Names. The attached records also indicated spellings of “McLean” and “MciLaine.” For the most part, the attached tree has all Antrim locations and incidently the Townland of Breen just happens to be next to the Barony of Cary which is next to the Barony of Upper Duluce that was identified as a Laverty location in The Book of Scots-Irish Family Names. So this provided a match on two surnames, religion, and suspected location. So, I am willing to say that my Frampton Irish ancestor James McLean was most likely from County Antrim, but I don’t have an actual primary record to prove it.

Another intriguing match I had was to a person who descends from a Ramsey family who had lived at Levis, Quebec. Leonard Ramsey had married a Matilda Skillen in Quebec City and Matilda Skilling had originally been baptized at Springbrook Church in Frampton. A DNA match to families that lived in the vicinity of Frampton could not be ignored. The family tree posted by the match indicated that James Skillan was born in County Down, Ireland. Although I had no direct evidence to link my family with this match, the reported County Down location was a another clue that my James McLean was most likely from the Ulster region of Ireland.

So a simple autosomal DNA test can go a long way to fill in some of the missing pieces in your family’s genealogy. My list of 86 confirmed matches has proven my descent from all of my Frampton Irish progenitors. The Ancestry.DNA site also has a messaging feature. Although I must admit that I get very few responses to my requests for contact. However I recently sent out messages to 11 matches that I know have Frampton Irish ancestors, but have posted private trees. If I get some responses, I may be able to add to my list of 86. The potential discoveries that can be made using DNA will only increase when more and more participants get tested through Ancestry.DNA and post their family tree data along with their test. It might eventually lead to discoveries on just how our Frampton Irish ancestors are all related.

Peter Murphy Mystery Nov 30, 2020

In 2008 I posted a blog article about “The Three Murphys.” These were Andrew Murphy, Peter Murphy, and Martin Murphy. These three names all appear in the 1825 census of Lower Canada for Frampton. I have always thought that there must have been some sort of familiar relationship between the three. However that is yet to be proven. I have always been most interested in how Peter Murphy relates to the Miles Murphy (Andrew’s father) family. Peter Murphy’s long time family farm in Frampton was right next to that owned by Andrew Murphy. In fact, the farm lot Peter lived on was originally owned by Robert Wright, who is the brother-in-law of Andrew Murphy. Then later I found a record at the Archives du Quebec that was a land petition record for 1806 in which the names of Peter Murphy and Miles Murphy appear next to each other. This implies that they both had arrived in Quebec in about 1806.

I then began to find several records that indicated that Peter Murphy was living in the area of Ancienne Lorette and some other records that showed that Miles Murphy was living in the area of Little River St. Charles. The first land record in the Frampton area that I could find for Peter was in 1821 when he obtained a farm lot in Concession St. Thomas in the Seigneurie of Jolliet (Ste. Marguerite). So my original thought was that Peter Murphy first lived in Ancienne Lorette before he relocated to the Frampton area. But I suspected that there must be some family connection that attracted him to Frampton.

Peter Murphy and Miles Murphy seemed to have a great deal in common. They were both from County Wexford, they were both caught up in the 1798 Rebellion and they both went to Lower Canada in 1806. 1806 just happens to be the year that the 1798 Rebellion prisoners were released and exiled from Ireland. In another land petition, it was stated that Peter Murphy and the other petitioners left Ireland owing to the high rents and that the petitioners had jointly chartered a brig from the City of Wexford to transport them and their families to Lower Canada.

I used to believe that the Peter Murphy that came to Lower Canada in 1806 was the same Peter Murphy who appears in the 1825 Lower Canada census of Frampton Township. That is the way I presented the story of Peter Murphy in the first edition of my “Irish Needles” books. But further research would prove this to be erroneous. When in Ireland, I discovered an 1809 baptism record for a James Murphy born to Peter Murphy and Margaret Lampert in the Catholic Parish of Oylegate, County Wexford. The parents names were a direct match to the Peter Murphy who later lived in Frampton. But if this Peter Murphy was still in Ireland in 1809, he could not possibly be the same Peter Murphy as the one who arrived in 1806. Further research led me to a 1811 baptism record at Notre Dame de Quebec born to Peter Murphy and Margaret Lampert. So this confirms that the Peter Murphy of Frampton was in Lower Canada at least by 1811. So I then concluded that the Peter Murphy of Frampton and the Peter Murphy of Ancienne Lorette seemed to be two different individuals.

But then in doing additional research in the notaire records, I found the record in which Peter Murphy purchase the farm lot in Frampton next to Andrew Murphy in 1820 from Robert Wright. In that document Peter Murphy was identified as a resident of Ancienne Lorette. So this showed a connection between the two places. I have found several records related to a Peter Murphy in Ancienne Lorette. In an 1818 marriage record at Notre Dame de Quebec between Patrick Devereux (another long time Frampton resident) to a Mary Culleton, a Peter Murphy was listed an the uncle of the bride. The parents of Mary Culleton were shown as Patrick Culleton and Johanna Murphy. This showed me that Johanna Murphy was the sister of this Peter Murphy.

Long story short and after being in contact with a Culleton descendant we jointly figured out that the Peter Murphy (Junior) of Frampton appears to have been the son of Peter Murphy (Senior) of Ancienne Lorette. Peter Murphy Senior had two sisters that came to Quebec, Johanna and Catherine. An 1845 burial record for Catherine indicated that their parents were James Murphy and Bridget Keough. So in my second edition of my “Irish Needles” books I have revised the sections on Peter Murphy to include all of this new information.

So I still haven’t found evidence that Miles Murphy and Peter Murphy Senior were related. Although I continued to monitor my autosomnal Ancestry.DNA account hoping that a direct “Peter Murphy” descendant might show up as a DNA link to myself. Such a link would confirm a family relationship. I am awaiting a similar possible link in regards to “Martin Murphy” as well.

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