My ethnicity from ancestryDNA

 Brady, Burke, Cruice, Cuthbert, de Guehery, Downie, Giambrone, Millonzi, Palmeri, Parisi, Wilson  Comments Off on My ethnicity from ancestryDNA
Jun 242015

I recently completed a DNA test from

The DNA test largely confirmed what I knew based on my genealogy:
Italy/Greece 39%
Ireland 35%
Great Britain 13%

There was also trace evidence – meaning either a small amount or a spurious evidence – for the following:
Iberian Peninsula 2%
European Jewish 2%
Europe West 1%
Middle East 4%
Caucus 2%


The most obvious region was Italy/Greece – Palmeri, Giambrone, Millonzi, Parisi. Sicily and southern Italy were settled by the Greeks in the 7th and 8th centuries BC; Magna Grecia – Greater Greece – referred to these areas. Today, some of the best Greek ruins are found in Sicily and southern Italy.


Some of the trace amounts are also consistent with my Sicilian heritage. The three most common other regions seen in natives of Italy and Greece are Caucus, Middle East, and Iberian Peninsula. The Caucus and Middle East DNA could be explained by the Islamic control of Sicily from around 827 to 1061. Muslim Sicilians were living in central Sicily, in the region that includes both Montemaggiore and Serradifalco, well into the 1200s. And from the 1400s to the middle 1800s, Sicily was controlled by the Bourbons of Spain – the Iberian Peninsula.




The other obvious component was my Irish DNA. The Cruice, Wilson, Brady, and Burke families all came from Ireland. This DNA could also include my Scottish heritage, from the Cuthberts and Downies.


The remaining major portion of my DNA is from Great Britain. While I have no English heritage that I know of, the map includes areas of Scotland (Cuthbert and Downie) and areas of France (de Guehery). Also, the Wilsons, from Northern Ireland, who were Presbyterian, could have originally come from England or Scotland.


The last trace amounts are listed as Europe West and European Jewish. Both of these maps cover portions of France (de Guehery) and Germany (Mack). The European Jewish is an interesting possibility. I wonder if there could be some Jewish ancestry, perhaps in the same family tree as the Macks from Germany.



May 052012

Received baptism from my great-grandmother, Anna Cruice. She was born 22 Apr 1886, baptized 2 May 1886 at Annunciation Church. From this record, it appears that the name could be spelled Cruice or Cruise. And my great-great-grandmother is Brigetta Sweeney (I've had Bridget).

Annunciation is now Our Lady of Hope in Buffalo.

Apr 272012

Based on an obituary I found in the Buffalo News, I learned that my great-great-grandmother, Bridget (Sweeney) Cruice, has a service for her death at the Church of the Annunciation in Buffalo.

I learned that their records are now kept by Our Lady of Hope in Buffalo. I emailed asking if they had any more information on the Cruice family and this is how they responded:

I found information on both of your grandparents, although the books do not tell very much. It just says Patrick age 45 died on April 20, 1896 and was buried at Annunciation. Bridget was 63 years old – died January 25th and was buried on January 28th, 1924. I also found a Josephine Cruice who died on March 24, 1896 at 2 years old. Don't know if this was their child or not, that is the only information in the book, but that name is not very common. Hope this helps – but nothing tracing the family back to Ireland – some of the other books tell where people were from, but unfortunately the books that your relatives were in do not have that information in them.


In checking a little further, I found a baptism certificate for Ann Cruise (for some reason everything for your grandparents that I found has the last name spelled Cruise with an S not Cruice with a C. – She was the child of Patrick Cruise and Brigetta Sweeney Cruise. Born on April 22, 1896 and baptized on May 2, 1886. Godparents are Hugo Higgins and Maria Fahey. I will send you a copy of the certificate if you send me your address again.  

Perhaps the most interesting piece of information is that the last name is spelled Cruise, not Cruice on some documents.

Apr 242012

I ordered the death certificate for my great-great-grandfather, Patrick Cruice's, brother, James Cruice. I was hoping to get some more information about the Cruice's parents. Here it lists their father, my great-great-great-grandfather, as James Cruice, confirming a marriage record I found online. It's a bit unclear what the mother's name is. Before, I had Mary Golden. This looks something like Mary Goulor or Goulon – perhaps a french name, since the Cruice's supposedly escaped the French Revolution.

The informant for James' death certificate was Mrs. P. Cruice, who would likely be my great-great-grandmother, Bridget (Sweeney) Cruice.

Dec 242011

My great-great-grandparents, Patrick Cruice and Bridget Sweeney Cruice, were buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Lackawanna, NY. I knew their death dates, but I got pictures of their graves. I also got a death date for Patrick's brother, James Cruice, who was also buried in the same plot. I'll get a copy of his death certificate from the City of Buffalo to confirm their parents' names.

I also discovered that another plot of Cruice's was buried in the same area. These are:
Thomas Cruice, died 24 Oct 1897 (66 years)
Thomas Cruice, died 1 Mar 1905 (85 years)
John Maker, died 4 Mar 1905
Catherine Cruice, died 15 May 1912
Thomas Cruice, died 3 Feb 1919 (55 years)
James Cruice, died 16 Oct 1933
Charles J. Quinn, died 10 Oct 1940
Anna M. Quinn, died 25 Sep 1942

I don't know if these are related to my Cruice's, but the cemetery was giving my name to another person who was recently researching this same Cruice family.

headstone for Patrick and Bridget Cruice, my great-great-grandparents

grave marker for Patrick Cruice

map of Holy Cross Cemetery

section N


record for my great-great-grandparents cemetery lot

the other Cruice lot

Oct 302011

Until a few months ago, I was 1/2 Italian, on my dad's side, and 1/4 Irish and 1/4 French, on my mom's side. My mom's parents were both 1/2 Irish and 1/2 French.

Now, things are a little different. My dad is still full Italian. So that 1/2 is intact. My mom's side is a bit more complex now. 

My maternal grandmother is a Wilson and Cruice. I now know that Wilson side is probably "Scotch-Irish" since census records list Samuel Wilson's parents as being from Belfast and since Samuel Wilson listed his religion as Presbyterian on his marriage record. The origins of the Scotch-Irish lie primarily in northern England and the lowlands of Scotland. They came to Northern Ireland in the 1600s. According to lore, the Cruice family escaped the French Revolution to Ireland. While we considered that part of the family "French", given that Patrick Cruice's wife is Bridget Sweeney, and given that Patrick Cruice's mother appears to be Mary Golden, both decidedly non-French last name, it seems likely that the Cruice side is more like 1/4 French and 3/4 Irish. 

My paternal grandfather is a Burke and de Guehery. The Burke family is Catholic Irish, but we don't know what the Brady family is (Anthony Burke married Maria Brady), but we'll list her as Irish until we know more. We now know more of the history of the de Guehery family. Margaret de Guehery's mother was Marion Cuthbert, who was Scottish. Her father was Emmanuel de Guehery, who was 1/2 French and 1/2 German.

So that makes me:

1/2 Italian (1/8 Palmeri, 1/8 Giambrone, 1/8 Millonzi, 1/8 Parisi)

7/32 Irish (1/16 Burke, 1/16 Brady, 1/16 Sweeney, 1/32 Golden)

1/16 French (1/32 de Guehery, 1/32 Cruice)

1/32 German (Mack)

1/16 Scottish (Cuthbert)

1/8 Scotch-Irish (Wilson)

Oct 072011

My mother's mother's parents were Samuel Wilson and Anna Regina Cruice. I've had information on Gramma Wilson for a while. I remember her from the few times we visited Florida, where she lived near my grandparents.

I had little on my great-grandfather, Samuel WIlson, who died many years before I was born. 

From census records, I was able to get his birth year, abt 1872, and that he was born in Ireland. Nothing on the date of his death. My aunt thought he might have died in the late 1950's but I was unable to find any records. 

I finally stumbled on I think I tried using this a year or two ago, with nothing of use turning up. Maybe I've gotten better. Or the database has gotten better. Or both. But this time I got a hit.

I had no idea where my great-grandfather was buried. But on I was able to search all cemeteries in their database in Erie County in New York State. The trick for me was to first click on "Search for a cemetery" on the right column of the menu list, which bring me to this page That let me narrow the cemeteries to Erie County and let me enter in "Samuel Wilson" into the name field. And there it was:

grave marker for Anna and Samuel Wilson

My great-grandfather, Samuel Wilson, was born 30 Aug 1874 and died 30 Apr 1946.

I tried a quick-and-dirty request for his birth certificate from the Civil Registration Service in Dublin, Ireland. Fortunately, a "no record found" only cost me 2 Euros. The Irish Family History Foundation ( also turned up nothing. But I'll keep searching.

Update (29 Oct 2011)

Received information on Samuel Wilson's naturalization on 13 Jun 1928. This indicates his birth date as 30 Aug 1871 (age 56 in 1928), not 1874.

Jul 012006

The very first step in any genealogy project is to ask your parents and grandparents for any information.

Sadly, most of my grandparents were deceased when I started this, and the only one still living was in a nursing home. I remember putting together a basic genealogy when I was in school. I talked with my great-grandmother and she gave me the names of her parents and some of her grandparents. Like many school projects, that's long gone.

On my dad's side, I knew my grandmother's parents, Carmela (Parisi) Millonzi and Rosario Millonzi. My great-grandfather died when I was a few years old. My great-grandmother died when I was on a teenager. 

My dad said his father's parents were Angelo and Maria Palmeri, but did not know Maria's last name. I might have met one of them when I was little, but I don't remember.

On my mom's side, I knew my grandmother's mother, my great-grandmother, Gramma Wilson. I might have met my grandfather's father, my great-grandfather, Grampa Burke. But maybe not. 

My mom knew that there was something like a Cruice and a de Guehery, but wasn't quite sure how to spell the names, or who went with whom, so she had me get in touch with one of my aunts, who was the family historian. She sent me this family tree with another couple of pages with some of the birth and death dates.

After spending most of my efforts working on and off on digitizing and adding to my wife's genealogy, I used this as a starting point for uncovering my own.

Based on what we knew then, I was 1/2 Italian, 1/4 French, and 1/4 Irish. My mom's parents were both 1/2 French and 1/2 Irish. According to family lore, both French families fled the French Revolution, with the Cruice's escaping to Ireland and then to the US, and the de Guehery's escaping to Germany, then to Canada, and then to the US.

original Burke family tree