Sunday, June 17, 2018

Paternal Line of Discoveries

As a family historian, my paternal line is a wonderful research puzzle. Summed up in a word? Discovery. Discoveries made and discoveries that I believe are just on the horizon.

Of course, the greatest discovery of my patrilineal research was uncovering a Non-Pateranl Event and using DNA to prove a long whispered family rumor true while linking to our biological family.

If you haven't read that saga, check out the four-part series beginning with A Family History Mystery Revealed.

Clearly, my paternal line has afforded me plenty of investigative fodder. But what's currently on the research docket, you ask?

Discoveries on the Horizon

Thomas Kirk's Parents: For years now, my chief genealogy obsession goal has been to identify the parents of my fifth great-grandfather Thomas Kirk. Recent discoveries have moved my research from early 19th century Ohio to late 18th century Virginia. Efforts to advance my paternal line continue unabated and, I believe, are on the cusp of proving successful.

Genetic Discoveries: Although my primary focus has been on Y-DNA (it is, after all, the genetic material that defines the paternal line), I've recently started examining autosomal DNA to pinpoint likely siblings to Thomas Kirk. These siblings may be the linchpin needed to identify Thomas' parents.

My top genetic genealogy priority for the year ahead is to have a male Quirke cousin in Cashel, Ireland take Family Tree DNA's Big Y-500 test to confirm both my patrilineal line's geographic origins and the family lore that my Kirks were originally Quirkes who left Ireland for the American colonies.

In Pictures: My third great-grandfather James Kirk lived until 1917, well into the age of photography. I have no photographs of him, yet I'm optimistic that they do exist. Were they inherited through other family lines? In the year ahead, I will more thoroughly map out James' descendants - my distant cousins - to see if anyone has a surviving photograph.

The Book: Perhaps most exciting - and daunting - of all is the book I'm writing about Thomas Kirk. It's a genealogical survey that compiles into a single volume all of the surviving records related to his life. Writing my research has led to new discoveries. I'm hopeful that each of the anticipated discoveries above will find their way into the volume.

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

It seems fitting that Father's Day should serve as a benchmark date to check-in and measure progress on these patrilineal initiatives. Let's plan to check in this time next year to see what progress has been made.