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My third great grandfather migrated to Monroe County, WV. then it was Virginia in and around 1778. His name was Robert Patton and his wife Jean or Jane Ramsey, since there were a lot of Janes in the names after them I am supposing it was spelled Jean but pronounced Jane.   Jean/Jane Ramsey (from Waterford) had children to Robert who also came over to the US with them, William, Mark, Robert, John, Margaret, and Jean.  After coming here, they had one more son, Tristram and he was my great great great grandfather.   They supposedly were from County Donegal, and Jane's family was from Waterford, Ireland, and she had inherited 20 lbs. of sterling silver from a James Ramsey.  I don't know if this was her father or brother or uncle maybe??  I would like to know more about this family and the parish they belonged to in Donegal.  One son William has on his tombstone bone in Londonderry, Ireland.  All information we have is they came from Donegal.  This family was originally from Scotland.  Nearby was a cousin, another Tristram Patton and I supposed they were cousins to Robert and Robert named his youngest son after this Tristram.  To keep them apart they called the older one Tristram Patton, Sr and younger Tristram Patton, Jr but they were not father and son.  The older Tristram had many children but to my knowledge none were named Tristram.  The older Tristram was supposedly from County Tyrone and after coming to this area in WVa he married a younger lady Jane Nelson from the area.  

Please let me know if you have any information on these people and they all were Presbyterians and started the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church here in Monroe County, WV.  This church sings the psalms and has a special hymnal with songs.  This church the Lebanon and now called New Lebanon is still in existence, my mother Ada Jane Patton Bailey was a lifelong member of this church.  

Thank you, Frances Jane Bailey OBrien



Monday 22nd Aug 2022, 10:33PM

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  • Fran,

    The names Jean & Jane are interchangeable in Ireland (and in Scotland).  So it’s common to find them varying as you have done. There are many other interchangeable names like that in Ireland & Scotland eg Sally & Sarah, Agnes & Ann. And so on.

    The timing of your ancestors departure from Ireland (ie 1700s) is consistent with them being Presbyterian. Most migrants from Ireland in the 1700s were Presbyterians, descendants of Scots who moved to Ireland in the 1600s. “Native” Irish did not start migrating in large numbers till the 1800s. Donegal was quite heavily settled by Scots in the 1600s, notably the eastern part of the county, close to the border with Co Londonderry/Derry & Co Tyrone, where the land was of a better quality.

    I note that the Patton family was reportedly from Donegal but the Ramsey family from Waterford. The 2 counties are at opposite ends of the country. About 300 miles apart. You would wonder how they met.

    Ramsay is a common enough name in Co Donegal, again being mostly of Scots origins, whereas it is very rare in Waterford. In the tithe applotment records for c 1830, there were 52 Ramsay/Ramsey households in Donegal but none at all in Co. Waterford.

    I searched the 1901 census for Co. Donegal. There were 35 Presbyterian Pattons in the county, most on the east side as you might expect. That might give you a rough idea of the area your ancestors may have lived in.

    The problem you face is that there are almost no Presbyterian churches in Donegal with records for the 1700s, so tracing the family will be challenging, to put it mildly.

    Possibly DNA testing may be a way of matching with others who have additional information about where the family originate. Family Tree DNA reportedly has more people with Ulster roots than any other company. That obviously increases the chances of finding a match. You might want to try them or, if you have already tested, you can transfer your results to them for no fee.

    The North of Ireland Family History Society is running an Ulster DNA project in conjunction with FTDNA and can offer testing kits at a reduced price. (Go to DNA project on the website).

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 23rd Aug 2022, 12:14AM

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