Behind the scenes at The IFHC: Barbados Born with Irish Connection.

Barbados Born with Irish Ancestry in Her DNA – But Who is the Irish Connection?

A wonderfully friendly lady from Barbados came in to the Irish Family History Centre (IFHC) in late April 2017 with a puzzle. She had taken an autosomal DNA test (which gives a rough estimate of one’s ‘ethnic mix’, among other things), and the results had indicated that she had a significant proportion of ‘Irish’ DNA in her background. She had been very curious by this and had started to investigate, and as part of that investigation had come to the IFHC.

Based on what she told me, I sketched out her family tree, asking at each step what evidence had been collected to justify each link backwards. We established the point in her tree where ‘fact’ gave way to ‘speculation’. The Irish connection was on her mother’s side. The ‘fuzzy point’ was exemplified by her telling me that a John, or maybe a Michael, Myles, possibly from Kildare, had had a father who was either a Michael or a William Myles. We knew that one of her ancestors had been an Abraham Myles born in 1863 in Barbados. A bit of searching revealed that Abraham’s father had been a Michael Myles and that this Michael had married an Amelia Lloyd Baird in Barbados. In the time we had available, it looked like the family were Protestant, Michael was the one from Ireland, and they owned a lot of land in Barbados.

The client then needed to do two things herself. She must find the actual marriage certificate (or register entry) in Barbados for Michael Myles and Amelia Baird to confirm the names of their respective fathers. With that, plus the known dates, she needs to find the birth in Ireland of Michael, something that, because of their religion, may require research on Protestant families at the Representative Church Body in Churchtown (South County Dublin).  But she is on her way to tracing the Irish family that the DNA evidence said she had.


By Patrick Roycroft

Patrick Roycroft​​

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