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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2009-08 > 1251501579


From: "Cliff. Johnston" <>
Subject: Re: [S-I] Conrad/Constantine/Connell Johnston -- Co Down
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 18:19:39 -0500
References: <1229424296.5946601251495312546.JavaMail.root@sz0165a.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net>


Linda,

Fascinating research that you've done! Very interesting.

Late arrivals to Virginia to me is 1750's and up. I've got a couple of
those by the looks of it. One of the things that I've run into difficulty
with is getting some people to share their genealogy within our group. Once
they get used to seeing my Newsletters and spreadsheets and how close some
of them are then they started loosening up. So far we've been able to bring
together several and are woking on another. That they love! Now we've got
more than we can handle...lol...actually when I say "we" I'm referring to
only one Cousin of mine. He's our unofficial "bloodhound", and thank
goodness for him. He just joined us a couple of months ago and has been a
real blessing. He eats, breathes and sleeps our Johnstons in Poldean
genealogy. I've been sidelined pretty much since my car accident in
January. I'm up and down on the computer - can't sit for too long
comfortably. Oh, well, that's the way it goes...

Good hunting,

Cliff.
"May the best you've ever seen,
Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 4:35 PM
Subject: Re: [S-I] Conrad/Constantine/Connell Johnston -- Co Down


> Hi Cliff, my client would seem to be of Down origin. R1b1b2 .... he needs
> some snip testing, but his matches (67 markers) are all Ulster surnames.
> So I think the death record is right and his granddaughter Sister Helen
> was wrong. (I hope here I am not invoking the wrath of Sister Helen!!).
>
> The Johns(t)ons and McShanes in Kerry are Catholics and probably local
> lads. Nothing to have stopped an Englishman or two or five from settling,
> but not many of them ever did, unlike Ulster. Still, I have a client whose
> ancestor came from Limerick, on the road to Kerry. His DNA links him via a
> "private marker" (mutation unique to a single line) to the Kerry folk of
> the name rather than the ones in west Limerick (his ancestor was from
> Ardagh). His DNA seems to be ...... galloglaich. In medieval times
> thousands of Scots highlanders were deployed in Ireland in the service of
> the Irish lords. They had no military barracks. The soldiers were
> quartered in the houses of the poor peasants. These houses were, well, one
> room hovels. So...there you are at night, everyone "asleep" in your one
> room, including a big Scots soldier (Gaelic speaking and nominally
> Catholic (no one had much catechism) as this is before the Reformation or
> if afterwards, the highlands and islands remained Cathol!
> ic -- so it was better than a skinny English Protestant lord having his
> way with your family, I suppose.....). If he makes a play for your wife or
> daughter, you can't stop him. Plus the lords rewarded them by giving them
> land (they apparently caught their own wives). So.. we find galloglass DNA
> in every county in Ireland.
>
> Before DNA testing everyone with this surname (which means 'son of the
> devotee of St. Michael') believed they descended from a family originally
> in I think it was westmeath or close by who were run out of there by
> another Irish clan and exiled to Clare by the 1400s. Of course St Michael
> had more than one devotee so everyone with this name is not necessarily
> related. I think if you only had one devotee you were a 'loser saint' --
> you couldn't attract devotees at all <grin>. Probably no one's named after
> you then.....
>
> The religious card is not so important in Ulster. People changed religion
> though everyone denies it. They did so whether they are allowed to or not.
> The 'main' family then forgets the lines that 'left' and unless the
> surname is embarrassingly associated with 'the other side', the family
> that left forgets too. Or you didn't change, There were Scots settlers who
> were Catholic as well as border folk.
>
> Cork is not only bad for records but it also is huge. The Sullivans and
> Caseys are bad, but the joke at a FHL I worked in was the guy who comes in
> saying he's a Ryan from Cork and can we help him out? NO! Everyone in Cork
> is a Ryan..... These days apparently you can go to Dublin and research
> most of the records on microfilm, but all? Who knows. Even that corner of
> Limerick where the local bishop was holding the records hostage until
> recently when he lost a court battle -- those records are in Dublin but
> due to this bishop they couldn't let you view them.
>
> How late is the later arrivals into Virginia?
>
> Frankly I was surprised to learn how many western Pennsylvanians arrived
> in Baltimore 1820-ish. Some of my ancestors did -- but they were German.
> Took a covered wagon west to Pittsburgh. Only reason we know that is the
> rat didn't eat that page of the Baltimore ship lists. (these were on our
> 'slow moving German' line <grin>).
>
> Linda Merle
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Cliff. Johnston" <>
> To:
> Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 4:41:08 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
> Subject: Re: [S-I] Conrad/Constantine/Connell Johnston -- Co Down
>
> Linda,
>
> I just finished up a few days of emails with a McShane descendant from Co.
> Meath. Unfortunately for me she was from the distaff side and had no one
> to
> test his Y-DNA. The McShane-Johnstons are a separate breed of cat from us
> Johnstons in Poldean though. The McShanes in Ireland just took up the
> anglicised Johnston name, ergo a new line. Messed with me for a few
> days...
> Likewise the Johnstons in Renfrew, Scotland. Fortunately our group of
> Johnstons started as Presbyterians and then went from there as they
> travelled to Ireland, North America and Australia with many of the Irish
> ending up as Methodists, including my branch which then came to Upper
> Canada
> and the Presbyterian Church...did I say it was easier...good thing not as
> the Methodist records in Ireland are a bear and a half.
>
> Another "stinker" in Ireland is the west part of Co. Cork where my wife's
> family is from. Unless one goes there and has an "in" with some of the
> priests, one is out of luck for searching the records. I've heard good and
> not-so-good stories about this. Personally I just threw in the towel with
> the Casey and O'Sullivans..
>
> You've certainly done your homework on travel patterns back then. Yes,
> I've
> found too that several of our Johnstons in Poldean arrived in Virginia and
> almost immediately went south into the Carolinas and Georgia. Later some
> filtered over to Alabama, Louisianna and Texas. It does make life
> interesting ;-) Later the ships landed in the Carolinas, but so far I've
> found even our later arrivals landed in Virginia and then went south.
> Their
> ancestors thought that they had landed in N.C. originally though. It has
> made for some interesting shooting of emails back and forth.
>
> Good hunting,
>
> Cliff. Johnston
> "May the best you've ever seen,
> Be the worst you'll ever see;"
> from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 2:21 PM
> Subject: Re: [S-I] Conrad/Constantine/Connell Johnston -- Co Down
>
>
>> Hi Cliff, I searched an index to all (or rather most all) the existing
>> immigration records for these guys. It includes Virginia records. However
>> he's unlikely to be Virginian. He came after the Revolution when the mid
>> Atlantic states were seeing a lot more of the traffic, for one. Actually
>> even in colonial days, most upland Virginians hoofed it down the Wagon
>> Road. They didn't land in Richmond.
>>
>> Also Catholics are a lot like Presbyterians (only more so <grin>). Ie
>> they
>> cluster. Without access to Mass, a Catholic ain't one for long. The
>> Virginia uplands was infested in the early 1800s with ex Catholics, now
>> Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians. Folks who remained Catholic came
>> from places where Catholicism was practiced. Close by, that was Maryland
>> and parts of Pennsylvania. Add New York and New Jersey.
>>
>> In PA they came in two flavors: German and Irish. The Germans didn't like
>> the Irish -- and they didn't speak English. You can search colonial PA
>> Catholic records till blue in the face.....it's astonishing how few Irish
>> names there are. To find Irish (and Scots and English) names, you look to
>> Maryland. The Anglo Catholic areas of PA were adjacent to Maryland, not
>> surprisingly. However Scottish and English recusants were upper class.
>> They tended to look down their long blue noses too at the Irish -- so you
>> find a lot fewer than you'd expect.
>>
>> I've hunted for a few of these folks and had to become familiar with
>> their
>> history. The Irish in the Cumberland area tended to 'come up ' through
>> Adams Co and before that Maryland. Or they hopped off the boat from a
>> Delaware or New Jersey port -- or Philly -- and moved west to where they
>> could find what they needed: a Catholic mission.
>> See http://noel.mcn.org/MigrationC.htm . There were not a lot of Catholic
>> missions in PA but the ones that are there are well documented (though
>> their records may not be so good).
>>
>> Now, my man of the day manifested in one of them red zones (see map
>> above) -- the first Catholic mission west of the Alleghenies, St.
>> Vincents. Whatever else we might know or not know of the lad, we know he
>> was a very strong Catholic. As the surviving immigration records (before
>> 1820 when the US passed a law requiring the keeping of records) document
>> only a small number of British immigrants, and they've been checked, his
>> arrival is most likely undocumented, like most of our colonial and post
>> colonial ancestors. You can't find records that never existed....strange
>> thing about that! So its best to do a good thorough search (takes 5
>> minutes these days) and then move on to strategies that can lead to
>> success because they utilize records that do exist and proven strategies
>> for finding them and , ultimately, bagging the ancestor.
>>
>> St. Vincents of course had ties to other mission towns and they all went
>> back to Maryland, excepting the northernish PA German colonies who tended
>> to import their own German speaking clergy. I once toured an early
>> Catholic cemetery in Butler County where I was shocked to find not a
>> single Irish name. The Germans didn't much like the Irish, no matter
>> their
>> religion (and to them our 'Scotch Irish" ancestors were just more Irish).
>>
>> However this tends to narrow down the places you have to look for
>> Catholic
>> Irish even more <grin>!! Those who didn't live near a mission -- their
>> descendents often assimilated .... thus increasing the percentage of NW
>> Irish DNA in our midst even more than the large amount we had already
>> gathered up in Ireland.
>>
>> County Down is definitely the black hole of Ulster genealogy, but can it
>> really match Kerry? Now Down's church records are largely on-line while
>> Kerry? Best way to research there is fly over for a long vacation. Even
>> most of Limerick's records are on line now....you can do a lot from this
>> side of the pond in Limerick, but Kerry? I'll vote for it being the black
>> hole of Irish genealogy.
>>
>> At least too you got Ros Davies' website. I've had some luck doing Down
>> research from afar....but Kerry's a lot harder to get records out of.
>> There were a slew of Johnston/McShanes in Kerry, appearing to be several
>> septs since they're spread all over. We need someone to go over and
>> collect DNA samples and test them from Kerry Johnstons, Cliff. Don't
>> forget the McShanes either <grin>!
>>
>> Linda Merle
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Cliff. Johnston" <>
>> To:
>> Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 12:31:58 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
>> Subject: Re: [S-I] Conrad/Constantine/Connell Johnston -- Co Down
>>
>> Have you posted on the Virginia sites on Rootsweb? Virginia was an early
>> major port of entry from Ireland.
>>
>> Unfortunately Co. Down for Johnston/es is akin to being locked up in the
>> Black Hole of Calcutta. It has been said by many that Co. Down records
>> and
>> their availability are the saddest in all of Ireland :-(
>>
>> Good hunting,
>>
>> Cliff. Johnston
>> Pearland, Texas, with one oral family history bit saying that my
>> gggrandfather came from Co. Down...aaargh!
>> "May the best you've ever seen,
>> Be the worst you'll ever see;"
>> from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Sarah" <>
>> To: <>
>> Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 9:07 AM
>> Subject: Re: [S-I] Conrad/Constantine/Connell Johnston -- Co Down
>>
>>
>>> Have wondered if anyone has Johnstons or Johnsons in any way or in your
>>> data
>>> that is connected to Flemings ????? a James and John FLeming married
>>> Johnston or Johnson girls from CO. Down or Tyrone in NI......they did
>>> come
>>> into USin 1720-30s ?? and then we have not found any
>>> record..........family
>>> in NI doesn't know anything further.
>>> Any help would be appreciated.............ideas??
>>> Sarah
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: <>
>>> To: "List" <>
>>> Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 8:53 PM
>>> Subject: [S-I] Conrad/Constantine/Connell Johnston -- Co Down
>>>
>>>
>>>> Hi folks,
>>>>
>>>> Is there anyone on the list who works on Johnstons in Co Down? These
>>>> are
>>>> Catholic Johnstons. They use the first name Constantine, though in
>>>> American records (deeds) Conrad and Connell are also used as synonyms.
>>>> Appeared in southern Westmoreland County, PA, in the early 1800s as
>>>> part
>>>> of the St. Vincents Mission. A son intermarried with Harrises
>>>> (apparently
>>>> from Maryland -- Mother Seton orphanage connection). Constantine
>>>> appears
>>>> to have married Catherine Graham, the dau of Robert Graham, also of
>>>> Westmoreland Co. (She and Constantine were named in a partition of
>>>> Robert's land -- no will, but the land was partitioned among his
>>>> heirs --
>>>> ie sons and daughters).
>>>>
>>>> Constantine died in 1853 during a period when the PA counties were
>>>> keeping
>>>> death records. His county death record indicates he was born in County
>>>> Down. You can see it here:
>>>> http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~treasures/pa/westmoreland/westmorelandcodeathcertsal.htm
>>>>
>>>> The father is supposedly Thomas.
>>>>
>>>> My question is, has anyone encountered the use of Constantine (etc) as
>>>> a
>>>> first name in Co. Down? I tend to associate it with Cork. Though his
>>>> death
>>>> record says Down, his daughter left a letter stating he was from Kerry.
>>>> Of
>>>> course the family, being Irish Catholics, rumored that the surname was
>>>> McShane. You find them in both Kerry and Down as well, but I don't see
>>>> the
>>>> Downers using COnstantine (Ros Davies Website).
>>>>
>>>> If anyone can point me to a Johnston of Co Down guru, I'd be much
>>>> obliged!! I'll also try the Co Down list. Though perhaps he is from
>>>> Kerry.... Yup, DNA should help out here, I know.....
>>>>
>>>> Linda Merle
>>>>
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