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Home: Surnames: Dornan Family Genealogy Forum

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Dornan origins
Posted by: Emily Cary (ID *****2890) Date: June 16, 2010 at 13:23:17
  of 122

Last year, I submitted my DNA to the Family Tree DNA project or Unlike the Y-DNA Universal Male test which is traced exclusively back through the male line, the mtDNA Universal Female Test is traced back through the female line. Therefore, one must know the maiden surnames of one's female ancestors, from mother to grandmother to great-grandmother and so on.

I have done considerable genealogical research on the maiden names back through my great-grandmother, but am stymied by the maiden name of my great-great grandmother, Dornan.

(1)_?_ Dornan married Sarah _?_.
According to the 1840 Hanover Twp. Washington County, Pennsylvania census, Sarah Dornan lived next door to John Caldwell. She was then a female between 50 and 60 with three sons, one between 15 and 20, and two between 20 and 30. Her daughter, Mary Ann or Ann Mary, according to Dr. Raymond Martin Bell, lived 1816-1885.

(2) John Caldwell, son of James Caldwell and Sarah _?_, was born 1802 in Paris, Washington County, Pennsylvania, and died there in 1886. He was married to Mary Ann (sic) Dornan about 1832 in Paris, Washington County, PA. Apparently mother and daughter lived side by side. Both John and Mary Ann Caldwell are buried in Paris Cemetery, Paris, PA.

Notes for John Caldwell:
(1) in 1824 he is listed as a freeman.
(2) in 1840, he is listed at Paris, Pennsylvania.
(3) In 1850, he is listed in West Virginia or Ohio. This is plausible, as Paris, Pennsylvania is a mile or so east of the junction of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

Child of Mary Dornan and John Caldwell:
Mary Agnes Caldwell, b. 08 Nov. 1842, Paris, PA, m. Samuel Whitaker Bell 28 March 1861, Burgettstown, Washington County, PA., son of William Bell and Isabelle Whitaker. He was born 31 March 1838 in Burgettstown and died 17 May 1919 in Marietta, Washington County, Ohio.

Note: Mary Dornan and John Caldwell may have had other children, but I have located none in the documents I've studied.

Children of Samuel Whitaker Bell and Mary Agnes Caldwell:
1. Harry Otto Bell, b. 01, Jan. 1862, Burgettstown, Washington County, Pennsylvania; m. Amanda Amelia Ross; died after 1933.
2.Florence E. Bell, b. 01 October 1864, Burgettstown, m. James Hamilton before 1887.
3. Uda Dietta Bell, b. 03 August 1868, Burgettstown, m. Albert Edward Stuart 13 Dec. 1886, Meadville, Crawford County, Pa.; d. 13 Jan. 1951, Swarthmore, Delaware county, Pennsylvania. (My line).
4. Jean A. Bell, b. 10 Oct. 1873, Burgettstown; m. William W. Walker; d. 09 Jan. 1954, Spenser, Roane County, West Virginia

I am especially interested in hearing from anyone who has descended from the first couple listed, _?_ Dornan married to Sarah _?_. Because records indicate that they had sons, any living male descended through the male line from these two people could add a great deal of knowledge to the family history were they to have their DNA traced.

Neither I nor the webmaster of the Bell DNA Project are affiliates of the FamilyTreeDNA project. Their price for the Y-DNA37 test is $149, and the the price for Y-DNA67 (the most information possible) is $239. Dornan descendants wishing to have their DNA tested may go to any firm offering this service at comparable rates. However, the Bell webmaster points out that, because FamiilyTreeDNA does not now have a Dornan surname project, it would be very helpful for someone reading this to start one. It could begin simply with one Y-chromosome DNA test from a living male representing the Dornan family line

Because my Stuart, Bell, and Caldwell lines all originated in Northern Ireland. as did many of the neighboring Scotch-Irish who ended up in Washington County, Pennsylvania prior to or directly after the Revolutionary War, I suspect that the Dornan line originated there also. Some of the earliest families appear to have connections going back to Northern Ireland and Scotland for several generations. I look forward to hearing from anyone who traces back to any of the individuals listed above and welcome additional names and details re the above first two listed families in particular.

Emily Cary

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