Last year I decided to venture into the unknown, at least to me, realm of genetic genealogy by completing a DNA test. I completed both a Y-DNA and autosomal test using the services of Family Tree DNA. I shared an overview of the Y-DNA test results in November and the autosomal test results in December.
I really had low expectations about the test results connecting me with a lot of new cousins. Rather, I was just plain and simple curious. What haplogroup did I belong to? What would my DNA test results indicate about my deep ancestral past? I found the results to be useful and perhaps even mildly amusing.
All of that seems to be changing now. I have been contacted by researchers who are very seriously examining the possible, maybe likely, connection between the Hadden family in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and the Hadden family of County Tyrone, Ireland.
A connection between the two families has been at least anecdotal based on references in old family letters written by the Irish Haddens to visiting the home of their 'old ancestors' in Aberdeen. As it appears likely that the 'Irish Haddens' may have left Scotland about 400 years ago, there are no written records found to date that can confirm the family connection.
That's where my DNA comes in and may prove it's worth. I can confirm my Hadden ancestral roots in Aberdeenshire. My grandfather left Aberdeen with his parental family in 1923. Many generations of my Hadden ancestors lived in or around Aberdeen, Scotland and there are fortunately plenty of paper records that verify these facts.
Family Tree Finder test results indicate that there are 978 matches of my Y-chromosome DNA with the Y-DNA of others in their database. Only six of the 978 are an exact Y-DNA match and bear the Hadden surname. Interestingly, three of these six individuals can trace their roots to County Tyrone, Ireland in the early 18th century. Of the remaining three exact Hadden matches, two do not list their most distant Hadden ancestor and one has traced his Hadden ancestry to mid-18th century Pennsylvania in the United States.
So did one of my Hadden ancestors move himself and possibly his family from Aberdeenshire, Scotland to County Tyrone, Ireland sometime around 1600 - 1650? I don't know right now but working with other researchers, who fortunately are much more knowledgeable in the field of genetic genealogy than I am, I may find out, and soon!