I took a DNA test with 23&me in August, and found I am 99.6% European, of which 74% is British and Irish. In addition, I received a list of named relatives, who had also taken a test with 23&me. I was surprised to have a second cousin, with whom I share 2.83% of my DNA, and wondered how we were related. I messaged her but got no reply. I even messaged the three Debbie W*** on Facebook to give her a nudge, but drew a blank!
Undeterred, I looked at my 1073 other relatives, who were mainly “third to fifth cousins”. I have 59 relatives in common with Debbie W***, and two of them were more communicative! By discussing grandparents’ surnames and geographical locations with my relative named Jennifer, we worked out that the connection was likely to be in the Roskell family. My grandmother, Grace Roskell, married into the Armers in 1903. Jennifer’s great grandmother was Nancy Roskell, born in Caton in 1852.
Sounds quite simple to link them, although I have to say that, as yet, I’ve not been able to! But I wanted to try because at the Family Reunion in September, I learned a little more about my maternal grandmother’s family, including the snippet that her parents were first cousins. I’ll look at the Roskell tree going back from my grandmother first, then look at Jennifer’s tree.
Roskell ancestry of Sally, her first cousins, daughters, nieces and nephews
Barbara K is an Armer cousin a little older than me, and I was excited to see the photographs she brought along to the Reunion of Margery Roskell, my great-grandmother.
Margery was just 19 when she married my great-grandfather George Roskell, who was 23. Barbara pointed out that it was a shot-gun wedding – 23 September 1882 when our grandmother was born February 1883.
I ordered their marriage certificate to see if it was a cousin marriage. George Roskell’s father was named on the certificate as Richard Breckell, implying the bridegroom was the illegitimate child of a Roskell mother. When you look at George’s birth in the Parish Registers, this proves to be the case. Isabella Roskell (George’s mother) eventually married Richard Breckell in 1872, 13 years after George’s birth, both still unmarried.
The cousin marriage is illustrated in the tree below. Isabella was the youngest sister of Robert Roskell (my great-great grandfather 1829–1902); Isabella’s son married Robert’s daughter. As far as I can tell, their illegitimate child from 1859 is their only child together.
[insert George and Margery certificate; my great-grandparents]