Tag Archives: Hyde

My Irish Truth

All my life, I have been living a lie.

Okay so maybe it’s not that bad. All my life I have believed myself to be Irish. I thought I was Irish and Scottish and that’s my heritage. I romanticized the highlands and the green isle and I dreamed of going there and walking in my ancestor’s footsteps.

Yes, I can still do that.

Yes, I am part Irish and Scottish.

I mentioned in this past post about how British I am thanks to my AncestryDNA testing. I was excited really about this. It confirmed what I was finding in my genealogy research and as for the purpose of the tests, British also includes Scotland, so it all made sense to me.

Corina Harris Ancestry DNA certified 6% IrishBut then I looked at my Irish number.


Wait a minute. 6% seems a little low. All my life I believed my grandfather on my mother’s side was purely Irish and that we had a strong connection there. I should be 25% Irish. 6%?!

But then I started thinking about everything I’ve uncovered so far. It is true that my great-grandfather William Richard Hyde came to Canada when he was a very young boy from Ireland. At 5 years old, he arrived in Quebec on June 13, 1876 with his brother and his mother, Eliza Jane Mitchell. He spent the rest of his life here, marrying a local girl named Mary Ann Marcy whose family has roots in England.

So if my great-grandfather is Irish, shouldn’t my DNA be at least 12%?

This is how I came to resolve a mystery I had been having for a really long time about my family.

My great-grandfather was only half Irish.


It was staring me in the face and it made so much more sense than I ever imagined. I’ve done some research on that side of the family, well as much as I can since a large amount of Irish records have been destroyed unless you go there and hunt cemeteries. It always perplexed me how online records would show up for an Eliza Jane Mitchell (my 2x great grandmother) being born in England but nothing in Ireland. Perhaps she actually isn’t Irish after all.

It’s a bit heartbreaking to me. I know that it shouldn’t be, I mean, it isn’t like my life has really been affected in any major way.  My Irish roots are formed from a very specific family line, one in which I have very little information on. I’m a Canadian through and through but I really thought I had deep Irish roots. I have the name of my 2x great-grandfather Henry Hyde but no other details. It’s a dead end and leaves a large hole in my tree.

This St. Patrick’s Day I’m proud to be 6% Irish but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to know more.


© 2016 Corina Harris

The Marcy Family Portrait

There are times in your life when you come across something so amazing that you can’t believe what you are seeing. Often these moments take our breath away. They reach into our hearts and our minds and we take a moment to just absorb what is in front of us. I recently had this happen.

It was packed in a plain white envelope on the side of a green plastic tub in my Dad’s basement. No one in the room with us knew what was in the tub other than some pictures and trophies. And no one knew what was in the envelope.

My dad slid out three large black and white pictures and a piece of paper with names on it. Immediately he knew had something special and called me over to see.

I found myself staring into the eyes of my ancestors.

 The Marcy family from June 1896. Back row: George Marcy, Ida Marcy, William Marcy, Mary Anne Marcy, Front row: Jared Marcy (father), Esther Marcy, Jared Marcy Jr, Norris Marcy. Sarah Marcy (mother - nee. McNeilly)
The Marcy family from June 1896. Back row: George Marcy, Ida Marcy, William Marcy, Mary Ann Marcy, Front row: Jared Marcy (father), Esther Marcy, Albert Marcy, Jared Marcy Jr, Norris Marcy. Sarah Marcy (mother – formerly McNeilly)

The haunting blue eyes were reminiscent of my departed grandfather Harry Hyde. The gene so strongh that even my daughter has blue eyes. Everyone looks so alert and focused, even the kitten on my 2x greatgrandfather’s lap. The skills of the photographer evident in the framing and positioning of the subjects. It’s purely magical.

Here is a family breakdown by age:

(Father) Jared Marcy, 1850 – 1905 and (Mother) Sarah McNeilly, 1856 – 1938

  1. Ida Cordelia Marcy, 1876 – 1967
  2. William James Marcy, 1878 – 1972
  3. George Freenan Marcy, 1879 – 1963
  4. Mary Ann Marcy, 1881 – 1957
  5. Jared Howard Marcy, 1883 – 1939
  6. Norris Franklin Marcy, 1887 – 1947
  7. Albert Arthur Lyle Marcy, 1889 – 1952
  8. Esther Jane Marcy, 1892 – 1961
Mary Ann Marcy stands behind her mother Sarah (formerly McNeilly) in this June 1896 family portrait.
Mary Ann Marcy stands behind her mother Sarah (formerly McNeilly) in this June 1896 family portrait.

Mary Ann was my mothers paternal grandmother, making her my  great grandmother. She married William Hyde. She is standing at the end of the back row behind her mother. She and William are buried in the cemetery behind Kirkwall Presbyterian Church, a few plots down from her parents and her siblings. I imagine the family portrait was taken in that very churchyard.

Jared, my 2x great grandfather, was born in Connecticut. Not 100% sure why his family moved to Canada but they were recorded as living in Beverly Township in Wentworth by the 1871 census. His parents were Freeman Marcy and Lydia Cordelia Green. He was one of 6 children. In the family portrait I’m stricken by his bold moustache and yet softness by holding a kitten in his arms.

Sarah McNeilly, my 2x great grandmother was born in Westover which is part of Beverly Township. Her parents were Arthur McNeilly and Elizabeth Irving. She was one of 11 children. By this picture she has lots of curly hair and a nose that reminds me of my grandfather.

I’ve never met these people, but their blood is my blood. One single photo, one moment in time from over 100 years ago, forever etched on my mind.


© Corina Harris, 2016