It seems that there is in fact a connection between the names I mentioned in my last post... It seems certain that my DNA match's ancestor descends from John Rice and Ellen Hurst. All we need to do is confirm, via definite records, that Ellen Hurst was the sister to my James Hurst. It's almost certainly true, and if so, I've located where the Hursts lived in Ireland and can proceed with locating more records on my ancestors there. PROBABLY. Fingers crossed. I've written to an archive to hopefully receive a birth or baptismal record for James to confirm the location, and from there I'll be able to confirm this whole theory.
Which begs the question. What other siblings did Ellen and James have? (if they are siblings). A godparent of one of Ellen's children is Patrick Hurst. Could this be another sibling?
I have been photographing Resurrection Cemetery in Madison as part of an ongoing project of mine to get everyone with a photo loaded into find-a-grave. Part of my motivation was that there are a lot of Irish and German immigrants buried in the cemetery, many with common names to some of my families, but which I haven't confirmed yet. I hoped that by photographing these sections I might find new relatives.
One interesting grave that I found last year as that of a Harry Hurst (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=131471179). Hurst is not a common last name. At least, not in Madison, Wisconsin. Therefore I looked into it to see if I could find any possible common ancestry with my James Hurst. Here's a summary of the info I found last year while looking into records:
"Harry and Mary (Betty) had two daughters, Joan and Sheila (m. Merrill Owen). Harry's parents were Michael Hurst (b. 1861 Ireland) and Mary Ruane (b. 1871 Ireland). They were married 14 Feb 1893 in Chicago (witnessed by a James Hurst and a Katie [Keena?]. Michael died 2 Jan 1929 in Chicago, and his death rec lists parents as Patrick Hurst and Ellen Corcoran. Michael appears to have had a brother, James Hurst. Per his death record, James was b. 1 Mar 1868 in Co. Mayo, Ireland to Patrick Hurst and Ellen Corcoran. He died 30 Dec 1923 in Chicago. His wife was Rose Dunn and he was buried here."
Michael.. James... Patrick. Hmm familiar names. And seemingly with a connection to County Mayo. Last year when I wrote that all out, I didn't have access to rootsireland.ie because it was not a subscription site yet (it used to be pay-per-record). I just decided to dig a little more in this, since the Patrick Hurst listed as the father of Michael b. 1861 and James b. 1868 would appear to be in the generation as James and Ellen.
What did I find? Children of Patrick Hurst and Ellen Corcoran, all born in the SAME TOWN as Ellen Hurst & John Rice's kids. See below:
1) Mary Hurst bap 15 Aug 1858 Islandeady RC Parish, Co. Mayo; sponsors Malachy and Sabina Corcoran.
2) Honor Hurst bap 1 Jan 1860 Islandeady RC Parish, Co. Mayo; sponsors Dominick Corcoran and Catherine O'Donal.
3) Henry Hurst b. 16 Feb 1864 in Derrycooraune, Islandeady district, Co. Mayo
-Henry Hurst bap. 21 Feb 1864 in Islandeady RC Parish; sponsors John Ryce & Ellen Hurst.
4) James Hurst b. 25 Feb 1866 in Derracooran, Islandeady district, Co. Mayo to parents Patrick Hurst and Ellen Corcoran.
-James bap. 1 Mar 1866 in Islandeady RC Parish, Co. Mayo; sponsors Luke and Ellen Corcoran.
5) Sarah Hurst b. 20 Aug 1868 Derrocooran, Islandeady district, Co. Mayo.
-Saragh Hurst bap 15 Aug 1868 Islandeady RC Parish (res. Derecorane); sponsors Malachy and Saragh Corcoran
6) Ellen Hurst b. 30 Oct 1870 Deracoorane, Islandeady district, Co. Mayo.
-Eleanor Hurst bap 24 Oct 1870 Islandeady RC Parish (res. Derrycooran) parents Patrick Hurst and Maria [anglicized? middlename?] Corcoran; sponsors John Browne and Maria Browne.
7) Catherine Hurst b. 8 Jul 1876 Derrycorrain, Islandeady district, Co. Mayo.
Here's one that I'm pretty sure fits, but the mother's name is off... Ellen was referred to as Maria in the parish record for one other kid, so maybe this is hers, too:
Michael Hurst bap 6 Jan 1862 at Islandeady RC Parish; parents Patrick Hurst & Mary Hurst; Sponsors Dominick O'Donnell and Sabina Rodgers.
If that is him, it would fit with the Michael Hurst above who is related to Harry Hurst who is buried in Madison, WI.
Deaths came, too:
Mary Hurst, res. Derrycooraun d. 16 Mar 1865, age 7 years daughter of Patrick Hurst and his wife, Ellen (reported the death). Civil Rec.
All told, it seems that the Michael and James who are the father and uncle of Harry Hurst, seem to have come from the same area as Ellen Hurst Rice and possibly James Hurst, in Islandeady district. As I emphasized above, Ellen Hurst and John Rice were sponsors of one of Patrick's son Henry. Does this absolutely mean Ellen and Patrick were siblings? No.. but being from the same tiny town, it just might mean they are. I have to find birth and marriage recs for Ellen and Patrick Hurst to confirm who their parents were.
Hopefully I can find the right archiv to get that info from!