Patricia M’s FamilyTreeDNA Story: Searching For Her Irish Roots…

Patricia always knew that her great-grandmother, Bridget Lohan, was born in Ireland in the 1800s. But that was only the information she had. She searched through all the matches she had found on FamilyTreeDNA for anyone with a Lohan name in their family tree. Finally, she found two DNA matches, and thus begins Patricia M’s FamilyTreeDNA story.

Bridget Lohan (far right) left Ireland in 1847, during the potato famine.

When one of these relatives told her they were going to visit her great-grandmother’s hometown of Ballygar with a group led by an Irish priest, Patricia contacted him, told the priest her story, and he decided to take a DNA test. Six weeks later, they discovered they were distant cousins! Patricia decided to join the group trip and went to explore Ballygar to see where her great-grandmother had come from.

Patricia and her new cousin, the priest, who led her group trip to Ballygar.

A Surprise in a Local Pub

On the group’s first night in Ballygar, a town of only 500 people, everyone was at a pub when a large group of locals entered after attending a wake for a local priest. After hearing their story, one local man told them, “I would like to take one of those tests!” Luckily, Patricia had brought a few FamilyTreeDNA kits with her on the trip. The man swabbed his cheeks on the spot, and when Patricia returned home from Ireland, she mailed the test in. Six weeks later, she had another new cousin!

Patricia is confident that she may be the only person in the world so far to discover a cousin with a DNA test in a local Irish pub!