Unfortunately this link is behind a paywall but some of you may have come across it on the most recent Sunday Times.
DNA tests to determine Irish slave link | The Sunday TimesDescendants of Irish slaves shipped by Oliver Cromwell to the Caribbean more than 350 years ago are to have their DNA tested as part of a project aimed at reuniting them with genetic cousins in Ireland.
The Icara project, led by an Irish doctor with an interest in genetic genealogy, will test the Y chromosomes of people on Caribbean islands with Irish ancestry to pinpoint where their forebears came from in Ireland and to attempt to match up relatives.
Notorious mass murderer and slave trader Oliver Cromwell's army rounded up about 50,000 people such as captured soldiers and poor people between 1652-57 and shipped them to Bristol where they were branded with the slave ship that was to take them to Barbados. 20% of them died en route.
Surviving slaves and indentured servants were eventually freed and replaced by Africans, who it was felt would be better slaves as they would be more used to the conditions. Due to religious discrimination in Barbados, most Irish moved to Montserrat which had a 70% Irish population by the late 17th century. It is the only country to this day that has a public holiday on March the 17th apart from Ireland itself.
Though of course we must move on and not stir up ancient hatreds it is not a bad thing sometimes to reflect on the evil so-called religious fanatics like Cromwell are capable of. I seem to remember Eoghan Harris a few years ago praising this odious mass murderer. Shameful.
Incidentally, has anybody actually had their DNA tested for genealogical purposes?