Munro Project

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Alan Munroe
Frode Kjersem Frode Kjersem has a question!
May 2 @ 9:34pm
I was able to trace my ancestry on my father’s side back to James Monroe Pearson with the Family Tree DNA test. He was born in Kelso, Scotland on 1780. He married Matilda Katie Isaacson and had a child. He passed away in 1850 in Tennessee, USA. There were rumors in my family that we had an ancestor that was a member of the Munro clan. He was part of a Scottish mercenary force that landed in Romsdalen, Norway and were lead by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Ramsay and George Sinclair, a nephew of the George Sinclair, 5th Earl of Caithness. They were on their way to enlist in the Swedish army for the Kalmar War but were defeated in an ambush by Norwegian peasant militia at the battle of Kringen in 1612. Most of the Scottish soldiers were either killed during the battle or summarily executed afterwards. As the story goes, my Munro ancestor were able to escape the battle and made his way to the Kjersem farm by Romsdalen. Here reportedly he had lots of luck with the local farm ladies and as a result his DNA had enriched my father’s side of the family. I am curious to find out information about who from the Munro clan were part of the Ramsay/Sinclair mercenary force in 1612 and what details exist about them. Further, I would be interested in any research material casting light on this event from the Scottish point of view and specifically what connections there is to the Munro clan.
Colin Munro
May 3 @ 2:45am
The story sounds plausible but Kelso is well outside the usual Munro territory, there are no tested Munros with Haplogroup Q, and the Munro middle name implies his mother may have been the Munro. Perhaps there is Munro male line DNA in Norway, but it's not yours - family stories have often been embellished over the centuries so who knows. There was certainly a tradition of Munro soldiers of fortune (the nice way of saying mercenaries) going to Scandinavia. There is a Scotland, Scandinavia and Northern European Biographical database in St Andrew's University at https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/ssne/forum/index.php but I can't find your James Monroe Pearson in it. Most of the data are about the 30 years war. A James Ramsay Pearson was there in 1631. Suggest you search for and email Thomas Brochard at Aberdeen University who has studied 17th century Scots mercenaries in Scandinavia and has access to contemporary records, in case he can cast any light on this. For your interest there is also "Monro His Expedition with the Worthy Scots Regiment", a first-hand account about the 30 years war, and Mackenzie's "History of the Munros of Fowlis". The DNA Haplogroup Q-M242 in the kit you tested is rare in Scotland, and when it does appear more likely arrived with invaders from Scandinavia, where it is more common, rather than the other way round. See http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_Q_Y-DNA.shtml However, I note that the cluster of Q-M242 relatives of James Monroe Pearson in the Pierson/Pearson project more closely match several men from England. Your kit is a much more distant match with these Pearsons, implying relatedness in the male line, but over 1000 years ago. Have a look at the YFull tree at https://www.yfull.com/tree/Q-L804/. You'll be somewhere in there. The Pearsons are there in either the L807+ cluster of SNPs or the more recent Y18221/Y18021, the latter two being within a few hundred years, so probably post-colonial. However, there are other related men from Yorkshire (Pontefract, Wakefield, and Hawes), and York was of course a Viking area from about 947 (Eric Bloodaxe). So either you are related to the Pearsons prior to the Vikings leaving Norway for Britain 1000 years ago, or your ancestor crossed the North Sea then, and his descendant went back again later. I think the former is more likely. FTDNA don't offer most of these these SNPs, yet, but you could check L807 at YSeq.net for $17.50 plus the kit, then work upstream or downstream according to what you find. However, my guess is you will be somewhere on a different branch of L804 so you might be better off ordering the $88 YSeq.net Q-L53 panel: https://www.yseq.net/product_info.php?products_id=45473. Or order a Big Y next time there's a sale. Suggest you join other projects such as Q Nordic for advice. You have some closer matches there, such as 222263 and 185943, the latter from Romsdal.
Frode Kjersem
May 3 @ 10:42pm
Thank you so much! This is useful and fascinating information. Last year I took an autosomal DNA test from Ancestry.com that showed I have 51% British ancestry, which appears to originate more or less exclusively from my father side. This was surprising to me since I can trace a documented lineage starting with Jens Lasseson Kjersem (Setre) born 1720, dead 1767 up to me. Everyone up to my great-great father were sharecroppers at the Kjersem farm in Romsdal, Norway. Prior to a Jens Lasseson the track goes cold as far as local records go and then there is the anecdotal information concerning the events of 1612. Even if there was a Munro soldier visiting the Kjersem farm it seems likely to me that my father's lineage must have been enriched with English and Scottish DNA also prior to 1612 as you point out. For what it's worth the Munro name has played a role on my family history as it inspired the name of my grand uncle Munroe Kjersem, but which spelling came from John Munroe Longyear, who was an American investor at the coal mines on Svalbard, where my great-great father Jens Kjersem also was an investor. I look forward to pursuing the leads that you so generously provided. I am generally interested in Scotsmen influence on Northwestern Norway and my Romsdal ancestry. My main curiosity however is whether it will be possible to corroborate the family story relating to aftermath of the events of 1612 from Scottish sources. It might be a long shot but worth pursuing thanks to the great information you provided.
Colin Munro
May 4 @ 2:28am
You need to take admixture results "with a pinch of salt". On the other hand it is interesting how many men in the "Nordic" Q project are British, so perhaps your community in general has a lot in common with Brits (though this may reflect the population who test). It would require a much more recent British ancestor otherwise to explain "50% British", but I still think your closest match being from Romsdal makes your documented ancestry most likely to be correct. If you upload your Ancestry raw data to GEDmatch.com (free) you can see more of your matches who tested with other companies and also get other views of admixture. LivingDNA will also be offering sub-regional British data on transferred data in a few months - particularly useful for Orkney where there is Norwegian overlap. They use the People of the British Isles reference dataset (http://www.peopleofthebritishisles.org/nl6.pdf). I don't know what it will cost. You can also transfer to FTDNA for a price. Even if you have a 17th century Munro ancestor, you are unlikely to have any significant DNA segments (>15cM) in common with any Munro relative as they will have been broken into tiny fragments over that many generations. I would still recommend the YSeq.net Q-53 panel, then ask the Q Nordic administrator to put you in the appropriate subgroup.
Carolyn Jones Carolyn Jones
April 7 @ 3:30am
I've traced back as far as William Monroe marrying Louisa Cobb in 1850 In Muscogee County Ga She's done the MT Dna and I realized that would only give her mothers side so I added the famillyfinder which hasn't come back yet. Are there any other tests I need to add. I'm fascinated by the history and stories I'm uncovering but the Science aspect just makes my head hurt!
11 Comments
Shelby Monroe
April 29 @ 4:18pm
Hi Patricia- You may want to look into the Queensborough settlement in Jefferson Co/Burke Co GA. These were Scots-Irish who arrived via Savannah over a period of several years. I haven't been able to find a comprehensive list of surnames. I'm going to email you with some more comments. Shelby Monroe
Carolyn Jones
April 29 @ 9:09pm
I need to start taking notes At some point I believe I saw the widow of John Benjamin had shown up in the Ocala area with one of her children. When I'm fresh and can go back and look I will let you know. I'm thinking of taking a trip to Burke county and seeing what I can find in person. It's a 3 hour drive so maybe I can research spend the night and check out potential locations if I find any. In the meantime I'm hoping my cousin will do the Dna as he's the last male descendant. I've sent him the info but so far he hasn't done it. I'm north of Atlanta in Woodstock my name is Lynn There is a clan Monroe get together in Atlanta this summer! Thanks so much for sharing Shelby and Patricia
Carolyn Jones
April 29 @ 9:25pm
Ok so there was a nancy Monroe in Burke county after David Monroe died and she moved to Marion Florida with Possibly her daughter who's name was Martha cross So there was a nancy (possibly Nancy Ann?) in the 1840 census born in 1776. I found these records on ancestry
Shelby Monroe
April 30 @ 8:34am
Yes, this Ann "Nancy" apparently was the wife of David and mother of your John Benjamin and my Joseph. At the time, Nancy was a common nickname for Ann. Her given name would have been Ann. I think Martha Cross was her granddaughter but I can't remember why I came up with that..... There is a marriage record for Martha Monroe and Francis Cross, Jefferson Co GA, 16 Aug 1832. Also a probate record in Marion FL for David Monroe Senior 2 May 1839 https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/8993/005888071_00424/473952?backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/78010432/person/34393107399/facts/citation/203267419679/edit/record
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April 26 @ 4:53pm
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David Abrams c/oRev. Patrick Abrams
Conrad Monroe Conrad Monroe
February 26, 2016 @ 12:39pm
I joined hoping to be able to further identify and confirm my Monroe family heritage. Unfortunately my biological father was a Slaton and my biological mother was the Monroe, which presents a problem in that my YDNA is Slaton. My mother had three brothers. Two of them did not have any children and the one that did had all girls. So it looks like I maybe out of luck here. Using Ancestry and their Sources I have been able to trace back to my 7th great-grandfather William Medd Munroe (1625-1718) of Alvie, Inverness-Shire, Scotland died in Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts. From what I have read of William he seems to have been a very accomplished man and would love to find a DNA match to him. For what it maybe worth my Monroe linage: To clarify, I was born out of wedlock. I was able to determine who my father was thanks to the Ancestery.com DNA test that put me into contact with my still living 1st Cousin 1X removed, who has been a big help! Mother - Mildred May Monroe - 1909 Clinton MO. -1964 Los Angeles CA. Grandfather - Sidney Loch Monroe Sr. - 1870 Ft. Wayne, IN - 1939 Eel River Twp, Allen, IN. Great-Grandfather - Charles A. Monroe - 1838 Trumbull Co., OH - 1882 Eel River Twp, Allen, IN. All of the above were documented in my Grandmother's (Florence Symthe) Family Bible. 2nd Great-Grandfather - William Monroe 1812 Chenango Co. NY - 1869 Alvion, IN 3rd Great-Grandfather - William Wheaton Monroe - 1788 Windsor, Hartford, CT. - 1857 Otselic, Chenango, NY 4th Great-Grandfather - William Monroe - 1761 Willington, Tolland, CT - 1838 Plymouth, NY 5th Great-Grandfather - Samuel Monroe - 1720 Canterbury, Windham, CT - 1777 Monmouth NJ 6th Great-Grandfather - David Munroe - 1680 Lexington, Middlesex, MA - 1755 Canterbury, Windham, CT. 7th Great-Grandfather - William Medd Munroe - 1625 Alvie, Inverness-Shire, Scotland -1718 Lexington, Middlesex, MA. My hope at this point would be to find a male that has a YDNA match back to one of my ancestors that would also link to my Autosomal DNA test. I am very new at all of this so please forgive me if I have something wrong here...
6 Comments
Conrad Monroe
April 24 @ 2:58pm
@Kristina Jones - I am pretty sure that William (1761) was the son of Samuel & Abigail Munrow, Monroe, Munro, Monro... I have Josiah Monroe b. 11 Sep 1728 d. 19 Feb 1778 Valley Forge, Chester Penn. as Samuel's brother - both sons of David Munroe & Deborah Howe. William (1761) Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) lists William, s, Samuel & Abigail b. May 16,1761 Willington,Connecticut, https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1034/VBMDUSACT1634_0051-0176?pid=31813&backurl=http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D1034%26h%3D31813%26ssrc%3Dpt%26tid%3D81207857%26pid%3D44475210950%26usePUB%3Dtrue&ssrc=pt&treeid=81207857&personid=44475210950&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920 Volume 127 Willington notes that Sam & w. Abigail had a daughter and another child, baptised. June, 1764 The daughter would have been Amittai b. Sept 4, 1763.
Kristina Jones
April 25 @ 7:43pm
Conrad, I'm sorry, I must've been looking at the wrong William, not the 1761 one! You are my 7th cousin!
Kristina Jones
April 25 @ 7:52pm
Also, I am a member of Clan Munro and I just looked up William again and found they had added a lot of information. I have not seen the new newsletter so perhaps this is what was in it. http://www.clanmunrousa.org/gen/getperson.php?personID=I647&tree=1
Colin Munro
April 26 @ 3:20pm
More and more detailed Y-DNA tests by male lineal descendants of William of Lexington are needed to find his closest Scots relatives, as there are only 4 men in group 08 so far. There is a sale on at FTDNA for new Y37-111 tests until 3/27. Upgrades will probably be on sale in June. FamilyFinder tests won't help.
Ronald Munro Ronald Munro
February 22 @ 8:06pm
I wonder if any of you out there have found this DNA scam a waste of time. I have emailed many on my DNA listing and no one replies... $300.00+ down the toilet.
1 Comment
Laurie Tvedt
March 28 @ 6:10pm
I have met many 2nd and 3rd cousins through DNA matching. I'm on three sites and find I get the best results here on FTdna. Sorry you haven't had a lot of luck. I try to make it as easy as possible for my matched relative by first figuring out how we may be related (for example, if they match a known relative on my mother's side I know it's a maternal match) and then giving them a quick list of known ancestors that will hopefully sound familiar to them. Also, if I have a brick wall I may ask a question so they have something to respond to. Even with that, as Mark posted above, some people prefer to keep private and never respond. Hope you have better luck in the future.
Mark Monroe
March 29 @ 9:24pm
You may want to try https://www.myheritage.com/ and look at the free Family Tree Builder App found here https://www.myheritage.com/family-tree-builder. You can upgrade if you wish but I have found several matches to my family tree and you can contact those that allow it. (I am Mark A. Monroe, not the Mark E. Monroe you have been in previous discussions wit above.)
Ronald Munro
April 18 @ 8:19am
Just as well I am retired .. I have all the time in the world until I fall off the perch...
Patricia Monroe
April 23 @ 5:36pm
Hi Ronald, you really need to have patience as this can be a slow process. I did not have ONE cousin while growing up, but after submitting my DNA and also my brothers DNA I have met some truly wonderful 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins who have become family to me. We chat all the time, it has been a very rewarding experience for me. But I can also remember when I was in your shoes and was very frustrated. So hang in there and I can almost guarantee your DNA will match up with numerous matches. Hopefully you will have the same positive experience that I have had. As a cherry on top of the cake, my brothers DNA matched up to a Monroe Cousin who lives in Scotland! We live in So CA, USA. Very exciting stuff!
1 Recent New Member
April 16 @ 3:26pm
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Julie Brunk
Kristina Jones Kristina Jones
April 5 @ 1:54pm
I am a descendant of William Munro 1625-1717 Scotland- Massachusetts. I was wondering if anyone from the Foulis Munro line would mind comparing my DNA to theirs to see if there is any match. Or, I am in contact with a male that is from Williams line that might be able to compare DNA to someone from the Foulis line. I have been told the DNA of Williams line does not match the Munros in the Foulis line. Does anyone have any ideas as to where else the other line of Munros could be from in Scotland?
Colin Munro
April 5 @ 5:03pm
Hi Kristina Several Foulis Munros have done autosomal FamilyFinder tests. However while testing your own autosomal DNA to compare might show Scottish matches, even if these included some Munros, after 400 years it would be impossible to know by which route the shared DNA had come and it could not be used to prove a Foulis link. Regarding the male line, most surname groups contain many different male lines from their earliest origins as clans were and are socially and geographically defined. People acquired surnames in lots of ways. Subsequent documented histories do not always reflect genetic realities either. The DNA results of four men said to be descended from William Munro of Lexington MA are in group 08 on the results page. They are of Haplogroup R, whereas the Foulis line in Group 11 is Haplogroup I, meaning the common male ancestor of both lived ~50,000 years ago. However I don't know if the 4 men descend from William by different lines (in which case one infers that must have been William's haplogroup too) or are more recently related in which case you can only be sure about the common ancestor. Only one of these men has tested to 37 markers and even that is insufficient in Haplogroup R, where there is a lot of overlap between many similar haplotypes. Extended testing to 67 or more markers may help identify related men, whether they turn out to be Scots or not. Considering how well documented this family has been, it is a pretty small number to try to draw conclusions from, so if you have a male lineal descendant it would be good to see more data, with the usual caveats that DNA testing other people can sometimes cause awkward surprises. I suggest you contact Margaret Bardin (About link on left) for more specific advice.
Kristina Jones
April 6 @ 10:31am
Thank you for the feedback! I do have a son and daughter and plan on doing their testing eventually. I guess my question is does anyone know of any other lines of Munros that have been well documented and have not come from the Foulis line?
Colin Munro
April 6 @ 4:14pm
There are over 25 male line clusters of different sizes in the Munro project, but it's not clear where they all came from. Group 6 are descended in the male line from John Munro of Bristol, RI, who it is said arrived in the same boat as William. There are many smaller clusters, but you need a continuous Munro male line tomsee if you match any of them. Children don't have any DNA their parents don't have so you won't find any Munro DNA that you don't have by testing them. Again I suggest you get advice from Margaret.