Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Pilgrim Heritage from Ireland to Maryland to South Carolina to my FRIEND

It was a birthday present to my friend for being such a blessing in my life!  I would have never thought after knowing her for the past seventeen years DNA would tell us that we are cousins.  We typically get together about three times a year; there are three of us who celebrate each other’s birthdays.  It was April 2013 that I told my friend, whom I will call Adele, that in order for me to complete her birthday present, I needed her spittle (just between us, I said spit).

I ordered the DNA kit, had it sent to her house and she mailed off the sample.  Though she was really interested in the matches, Adele’s life is so busy with her business she asked if I would be willing to manage her account.  I told her yes, since I love researching family history!
When I received Adele’s results, I quickly contacted her with the percentages; she was quite impressed and shocked by the ethnicities contained in her DNA! A few days went by before getting back to her results; I was busy keeping track of my uncle’s and my DNA matches (the new matches could overwhelm if you did not keep up with them).

Ok, now I have the time to rummage through Adele’s matches!  The first person I looked at is listed at 3rd to 4th cousin, with an Irish background; I emailed him with a few questions, but nothing came out of our contact.  On to the next person, she is a 96%er listed as Adele’s 4th to 6th cousin.  Looking at the matches surnames, I spot one of my family names, PILGRIM and PILGRAM.  I click on the “IM” spelling and immediately say to myself that this list of ancestors looks familiar.   I go over to my uncle’s matches and search for the same person who is on Adele’s list; I found the match twice; she and another family member got tested and showed up on my uncle’s list.  At that MOMENT I realized that Adele and I are cousins.
I continued to research and made many discoveries.  I strongly believe that the person who connects Adele and I is Amos Franklin Pilgrim, Jr.  He and his family were sponsored to come from Ireland to America, Baltimore, Maryland in particular in 1724, by John Dykes*, as indentured servants to serve for five years.  After serving his five years, Amos Pilgrim and his wife purchased property in Bel Air, Maryland; they called the property Pilgrim’s Rest.  Next, he moved his family to South Carolina, where my Pilgrim ancestors lived.

I will continue to search out this connection and will keep you all updated.

*"Emigrants to America: Indentured Servants Recruited in London" 1718-1735 by John Wareing (Reference # 929.3W in the Hagerstown, MD Library) that John Dykes was listed at least 29 times as the agent for people going to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, and New England.