The Byrnes Family
The often turbulent years of the middle of the 19th
century in strife-torn Europe was the time when many of Peter Byrnes'
ancestors made their way to the other side of the world.
They were soldiers, labourers, farmers and would-be farmers to whom
the perception of wide-open lands, or possibly gold to be found, was
here is a very large question mark over whether or not we are really Byrnes descendants; it appears that although the original Byrnes to come to Australia was the soldier Francis Burns, the child who grew up bearing his name (although with a change of spelling) was registered at birth in New Zealand under the name Sexton, his mother's husband at the time. Short of DNA testing, the question of the boy's paternity will never be answered and perhaps we should simply regard it as adding a touch of mystery to the family story.
BUT BUT BUT....
Regarding that last paragraph above, and the possibility or desirability of DNA testing on the Byrnes line to clarify the birth line of James Sexton/Byrnes.....
It now appears through Y-DNA testing, which follows the DNA of the male line, that the likely father of young James was indeed Francis Byrnes, although, of course, William Sexton still has a role to play in our family history, as Mary Wilson's first partner, and the father of her four eldest children.