My name is Matt Stewart and I've been waiting for my 67 Marker DNA results to come back before posting this. I am kit number 220399 on Family Tree DNA. My Haplogroup is R1b1a2a1a1b4b or R-M222…which I’ve learned is not very common for Stewart’s apparently. I only match two other Stewart’s at 67 markers at this time.
My last known relative with 100% certainty is Charles Stewart born around 1810 in Virginia or Kentucky. One record shows that he was born in Ohio but I now think this is pretty unlikely. He was married to Eleanor “Nellie” Ellingsworth born 1810 in Kentucky. They both ended up in Greene County, Indiana. It appears that Charles died or was at least out of the picture before 1850. He does not show up in any census records after 1840 and Nellie remarried to a David Stuckey and moved to Smith, IN at the age of 35. We did find a death certificate for a Charles Stewart who died in Greene County, IN in 1882 at the age of 66 but we haven’t been able to prove that this is the same Charles Stewart…although it is likely that it might be. It has been suggested that he might have left his wife and children to move to California during the Gold Rush which is possible, but that is all just speculation at this point.
Thanks to DNA I was connected to two other Stewart’s whose last known relative is James Stewart born Feb 27, 1772 in Virginia. He married Sarah “Sally” Fleshman born in 1778 in Virginia. Both died in Greene County, IN. We now believe that James was Charles’ uncle, and that Charles’ father and James were probably brothers. It also appears that Charles had an older brother named Alexander born around 1797 and possibly another brother named William. Our Stewart’s all seem to have migrated from Virginia to Kentucky to Indiana. My great great grandfather, John Riley Stewart, was born in Worthington, Indiana in 1847 and died there in 1928. Nothing is known about his father Charles’ parents, but it does appear that he followed an old common naming scheme when naming his children because we know their names and also the names of his wife Eleanor’s parents. If this is true his father’s name would likely be John and his mother’s name would be Maria, or a variation of Maria like Mary, or Polly. His children’s names were John, Bartholomew, Maria, Nancy, Solomon, and David. Another clue that we recently found was that a Robert Stewart signed and paid for Alexander’s marriage bond when he was married in Casey County, Kentucky in 1818…but we haven’t been able to find out anything about him. Nothing is known about James’ parents either and several people have been researching him for over 70 years.
My family has always known that we were Irish and Scottish, but that is all they know. DNA has linked us to “Niall of the Nine Hostages” but I don’t know much about this yet. I would love to know where in Ireland or Scotland we came from exactly, but there just aren’t very many records available. The records that are available are a real mess and several contradict each other. The only other possible clue we have is that we match several Dawdy’s, Daugherty’s, and Doherty’s. One of these people I match at 67 markers with only 3 markers off. Some of these people list their last known relative as Howell Dawdy born in 1746. It is believed that he was born in Ireland and that he was an Irish indentured servant when he came to the US. Most of the DNA experts I’ve talked to about this seem to think there is a connection with the O'Doherty's, but that our common ancestor might have been back in the 1600’s or earlier.
If anyone has any information that might help me it would be GREATLY appreciated. It appears that all paper trails are dead ends at this point. I’m really hoping that some unknown relative in Ireland or Scotland will someday take a DNA test and help us learn more about this.