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This blog documents my ongoing research to establish the origins of   Arthur/George/William Courtenay/Courtney   my mothers paternal great grandfather.  I first started seriously researching my Courtenay/Courtney line with traditional research in about 2006 and explored many possible theories as to his identity.  In late 2010 I undertook DNA testing expecting my primary theory to be immediately confirmed.   I'm still searching... . For an overview of my research relating to George, please go to the  Research Summary . For more information about all my family research, please check out my  Genemonkey Website . It is an ongoing 'works in progress'.  Please contact me if you can help, via the form at the bottom of this page. Featured image: By Richard Rixon, 1841 – Saint, A., Guillery, P. (ed.), Woolwich – Survey of London, Volume 48, p. 60. Yale Books, London, 2012. ISBN 978 0 300 18722 9,  Public Domain .

Possible Courtenay Travellers - 1841 and 1851 Censuses

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After establishing that we may have some Romany DNA I started looking into how to research in this area in particular from a DNA point of view.  Three key sites of interest included:- The Romany and Traveller Family HistorySociety - joined FTDNA RomanyDNA Project - quite restrictive on who joins FTDNA Celtic Travellers - joined  I also created a resource page at Wikitree - British Romany Resources . It was on the Celtic Travellers site that I found a reference to a list of known surnames.  The Traveller Tinker Gypsy Surname Index of Great Britain  last updated 8/03/2010.  Under the name COURTNEY, two suggestions.  1841 Census St Austell, Cornwall and 1851 Census Scotland.  How these names came to be on this list are unclear.  Needless to say, I've now researched these families to see if they connect to any other Courtney's that have been subjects of interest in the past. 1841 St Austell - Nicholas COURTENAY The reference to the 1841 was actually to a family listed under the

Could George be of Romany descent?

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NOTE: This post is just a teaser!  I need to document more of the genetic evidence, but this is being written as part of the SAG DNA Blogging Group, so here goes the story so far.... ***** Continuing with my DNA analysis looking for the origins of my maternal 2nd great grandfather - Arthur/George/William Courtney/Courtenay. Many years ago now I discovered my mother had a large X match at GEDmatch with a female from England, it was two segments, totalling approx 92cMs.  This was a very big match and generally a sign of a close relationship.  However, the X chromosome can behave differently to the other autosomes and the relationship could be more distant than it seems. I attempted to contact the match back in 2018 and had no reply.   In 2019, I turned to Facebook sleuthing as she had an unusual surname.  I sent messages to people with that name in England asking if they had tested and could they be the person I matched?  I had a reply from one of them saying, yes it was her but she was

Walking Back the Clusters, 2020

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In 2020, Jim Barlett posted on his segment-ology blog, a process using cluster analysis designed to tease out family groups from shared matches.  You can read about it here .  It was based on the Leeds method, a methodology developed by Dana Leeds that you can read here . I was inspired to apply the process to my mothers results from AncestryDNA in the hope that it might assist me with drawing conclusions about her paternal line.  I used the application of the process as an opportunity to also run a webinar session on my outcomes.  The session was developed for the DNA Research Group at the Society of Genealogists and can be viewed on You Tube . At the end of the process, I had 71 clusters, consisting of: 43 clusters - Maternal side 61% 20 clusters - Paternal side 28% 8 clusters - Unidentified 11% - Priority Of the paternal clusters: 2 clusters - Unclear if connected via Edward Roberts or Abigail Courtney - Priority 5 clusters - Connected via Edward Roberts b1869 7 clusters - Connecte

Arthur Courtney b1840, of Barton Stacey Hampshire

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I have long been fascinated with the village of Barton Stacey and whether it holds the key to unlocking the mystery of my mysterious Mr Courtney.   Very early on in my research I discovered an Elizabeth COURTNEY , the wife of William BOUND of Barton Stacey who had connections to the PAICE and JOYCE families.   As it turns out some time later I found she was a descendant of William Courtney, gentleman, who had been involved in the Swing Riots of 1830 .  Some of Williams descendants had the middle name Hinxman, a quite unusual name.  However it is also a family name in my Paice family, Thomas HINXMAN being the second great grandfather of Abigail Paice the wife of the mysterious Arthur George Courtney.  Many years later a group of unknown DNA matches connected to the Australian convict Silas COLE from Barton Stacey also emerged.  It would seem these matches are somehow connected to our Paice family from Kingsclere Hampshire.  You can read some of my preliminary findings in my blogpost h

Recreating the genome of Abigail Courtney b1871

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The best chance we have of finding George is to identify the specific segments of DNA his descendants have inherited from him. Abigail Roberts (nee Courtney) c1912 The only known descendant of George is his daughter Abigail Courtney, she married Edward Roberts in 1891.    Abigail had two sisters, Edith and Alberta.  Edith however is only a half sibling sharing their mother Abigail Paice, so no Courtney DNA there.  It is unknown what happened to Alberta, she was Abigails twin and alive and well in the 1871 census at 3 months old.  However, there is no record of her in any subsequent census, nor can I find a death record.   Abigail, George and Alberta are all missing from the 1881 England census so we cannot be sure if she was with them at that time.  I have concluded Alberta probably died young and the death was not registered even though it would have been a requirement at that time We can currently seek to identify up to a maximum of 25% of George Courtney's DNA inherited by his

1871 Census - Middlesex Courtenay Families

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According to the records on Find My Past for the 1871 England Census there were 70 records for the name COURTENAY recorded at Middlesex.  This equates to 31 family groups.  Could George be related to one of them?  I am progressively adding links to these families at Wikitree.   Filling up the census paper.   Punch 1851 PD 1.  Mile End Old Town, Jeoffries Terrace      * Maria COURTENAY b1829 in Blois, France (possibly a Courtenay by birth?)      * Louisa TURNER b1847 (husband William b1841)     * Henry COURTENAY b1857     * Percy COURTENAY b1862     * John COURTENAY b1867 2.  Bethnal Green #1, Nelson Place      * Elizabeth COURTENAY b1841 nee McLenan (widow of Robert J COURTENAY of Ireland)     * Augusta COURTENAY b1859     * Sydney COURTENAY b1864     * Adeline COURTENAY b1868 3.  Bethnal Green #2, Charles Street      * Frederick COURTENAY b1852 (working as an apprentice, lodging with White family)      4.  Bromley #1, Alton Street     * William COURTENAY b1841 Ireland     * Cather

George William Courtney b1839 - m Elizabeth Duke

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When I started my research of Arthur George's origins I considered various people by the name of Arthur, George or William Courtney born in Middlesex and still living in the district at the time of the 1871 census. The first theory I explored probably about 20 years ago now, was George William Courtney, baptised at Shoredich in 1839 to parents George Frederick Courtney and his wife Elizabeth Sarah Crow.  The baptism certainly seemed to be in the right timeframe to be my man, but he was already recorded in the 1871 as being home with his wife Elizabeth (nee Duke) that night.  How could he be in two places at one time? Less than a mile walk between the two residences! My Arthur George Courtney was recorded in the 1871 census at 14 Sun Street, Woolwich.  Located behind Church Hill, Sunbury Street is the current name for Sun Street (originally Sun Alley).  George William Courtney m Elizabeth Duke was recorded at 7 Frederick Lane, Greenwich.  The two residences are a 20 minute walk apar