I logged in, found a couple of matches I had not contacted and fired off the e-mails. I received a reply a short time later with a link to a page that had this persons tree. I didn't have much hope but at least I saw Canada listed as a location under some of his surnames. I quickly scrolled through the list and I was surprised two-fold, one to see a surname I recognized and two the surname was one I had long ago given up hope to find out more about.
The surname was Loftus.
It is my great great grandmother Mary's surname. What I know about Mary is that she was born in 1822 in Co. Sligo, Ireland. She married Felix McGowan and they had a daughter in New York and then two children in Ontario, Canada. I know her first husband had died by 1846 as that is when she married my great great grandfather William Stewart.
William and Mary had 6 more children and also moved from Dundas, Wentworth Co., Ontario to Normanby, Grey Co., Ontario.
What I don't know about Mary -
1) Where she was born.
2) Who her parent's are.
3) Where she is buried.
When I spotted the name Loftus on my mom's DNA match I did a double take but still felt like this could be quite a long shot. I had sent him off a list of my mom's surnames and his reply back really had me on high alert. He wrote -
"BINGO! Mary Loftus b.1822, Sligo, Ireland; Ontario, Canada
We have several connections to the Loftus family. Also, I'll betcha --Mary Loftus was born in Kilmoremoy Parish of Co. Sligo, which in 1898 was transferred to Co. Mayo.
That is the same area our Myers/Mears family is has lived in for hundreds of years, at least."
So I chalked it up to another unknown and continued on our trip. Once home I went on my dial-up internet and proceeded to check to see if Rootsweb had a McGowan surname list. They did!! I wrote off a message asking if anyone was researching the McGowan family buried in Yorkton, Saskatchewan with a connection to the Stewart family. A few hours later I received a wonderful reply from DaniLee, she also had been to the Yorkton Cemetery and had a photo of the McGowan and Stewart stones. (The second photo is the one I received from her).
I do realize nothing is confirmed as of yet, but at least now there are possibilities.
What a wonder DNA has turned out to be, I cannot imagine how far this will take us 5-10 years from now!