Categories52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Great-Grandpa King Niall?

The sixth ancestor in my 52 Week Ancestor challenge is Robert MORAN. Robert is my wife’s 3rd-great-grandfather on her paternal side.

Possibly the same Robert Moran as it is labeled “Grandpa Moran” in the same album as “Uncle Chas and Uncle Gurley”, who are Robert Moran’s sons. – Monfort, Wisconsin library

Robert is listed as being born about 1820-21 somewhere in Ireland to Robert & Mary Ann (KNOTT) MORAN, though a few naturalization indexes list this as England, United Kingdom. By 1845, he has traveled from Ireland and settled in Granby, Shefford, Quebec, Canada. Here he marries Dorothea COOK on 5 August 1845. Robert and Dorothea’s first three children are born in Quebec. After that, they travel around a bit, having a child in Illinois, then, Iowa, and finally settling in southwestern Wisconsin where my wife’s ancestor, Charles MORAN, is born in 1864.

Dorothea passes away in 1872 and Robert remarries to a Margaret (KEARNS) ENYART. Margaret happens to be another one of my wife’s 3rd-great-grandmothers. Though, they have no children together, so the branches of the tree stay pretty straight.

Robert is also part of my wife’s father’s Y-DNA line and he has taken a DNA test with 23andMe. The Y-DNA haplogroup for him, and so also Robert, is R1b1b2a1a2f*. The interesting thing about that haplogroup is that it is part of study of one of the ancient kings of Ireland:

R1b1b2a1a2f2 reaches its peak in Ireland, where the vast majority of men carry Y-chromosomes belonging to the haplogroup. Researchers have recently discovered that a large subset of men assigned to the haplogroup may be direct male descendants of an Irish king who ruled during the 4th and early 5th centuries. According to Irish history, a king named Niall of the Nine Hostages established the Ui Neill dynasty that ruled the island country for the next millennium.

Northwestern Ireland is said to have been the core of Niall’s kingdom; and that is exactly where men bearing the genetic signature associated with him are most common. Genetic analysis suggests that all these men share a common ancestor who lived about 1,700 years ago. Among men living in northwestern Ireland today that date is closer to 1,000 years ago. Those dates neatly bracket the era when Niall is supposed to have reigned.

Most of the men who carry this haplogroup congregate mostly in part of County Tyrone in Northern Ireland and a few more in County Mayo to the west. This may help with future research of this MORAN line.

This post is 6 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Published by Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.

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