Elizabeth Church? The time before transportation

Various members of the family have spent many years searching for the birth of an Elizabeth Church in Ireland, with no luck.

Now there is strong evidence pointing to her actually being born in America, in the colony of North Carolina, the illegitimate daughter of Sarah York and a young soldier, Jacob Archdeacon Cody.

What? How could this be? (I can hear you ask!) You’re suggesting that Elizabeth, born in 1786 in Randolph County, North Carolina, travelled to Dublin, then somehow got transported to Australia in 1811? No way!

Yes, we’ve heard that many times, and also heard the argument that Elizabeth was married to someone else so how could she have had a child by Jacob Cody … well I’ll leave that to your imagination, but to the rest I say – DNA DOESN’T LIE!

What we started finding was that all of Elizabeth’s descendants who have DNA tests keep coming up with matches to members of two families in the USA – the Codys and the Yorks, and to their ancestors and descendants. But never a match to Sarah’s husband’s ancestors or to Jacob’s wife’s ancestors.

This is a clip of Sarah York’s family tree:

DNA links us to all of Sarah’s parents and grandparents, and to a growing number of her children.

I use two different symbols in my tree – they help me navigate relatives, and know what DNA testing has proven in terms of relationships. Generally, I also back up with a solid paper trail. In this case that has not been possible. The first one I attach to people that I have a DNA match with that’s not directly family. The second is for direct family.

Here we go… these are the DNA matches from Ancestry for my aunt Gwen Thomson, my father’s sister:

And this is a clip of Jacob’s family tree:

Similarly, DNA links members of our family to Jacob, to his parents, and to a growing number of his children.

These are my aunt’s matches to Jacob and his family:

However, these are the matches from my cousin Laurel Merritt:

Notice too, that there are 5 matches to Jacob’s daughter Martha, as well as matches to daughter Nancy and son Edmund.

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