One of my first ventures into DNA genealogy began by simply selecting a name from the list of DNA matches that was the same as one of our ancestors, in this case McLaughlin. In reply to my query, I was told that McLaughlin was a married name and that the DNA match had no genetic connection to that name. Oops! Note that this is not like picking a name off the Internet somewhere and searching for a connection. Because this individual was on a list of DNA matches, a relationship was certain. I was just looking in the wrong direction.
Taking a closer look at a list of DNA matches that we had in common, it seemed our connection was in a cluster of Irish immigrant families in Ontario, Canada in the mid-1800s. So I proposed those names - Connery, Pyne, Miller, Roche, Hawes, Chappel. I also noticed from our matches-in-common list, that some of the others were more closely related to my counterpart than she was to us - 3rd cousins instead of 4th cousins. Thinking she might have already had contact with some of these relatives, I sent her some of those names or Ancestry "handles". (Handle, screen name, member id, ... The designation clients choose to show as their identity. To guard privacy, many are cryptic.)
Two heads are better
No luck on the names in my family tree. But she did know that one of the "handles" I mentioned was related through a Lardner family. No Lardners in my tree, but this turned out to be the clue that led to finding all the pieces of the puzzle.
At this point I just started trying combinations of information in search engines to see what might pop up. Lardner and born in Ontario, Canada, or Ireland, or New York. Google, FamilySearch, and Rootsweb's WorldConnect family tree. (I don't have a paid subscription to any genealogy research companies, like Ancestry.com, so only use publicly available resources. Occasionally, I'll use paid services available through my library.) Lots of useless results. Knowing that some of our Ontario ancestors migrated across the border to the Buffalo, New York area, I tried that as well. WorldConnect gave a list of Lardners, one of whom had married a Conroy. Recognizing that Conroy is not far from Connery, I started gathering information on that family.
Searching my family tree
The couple that I had found were Thomas Lardner, born 1852 in New York, and Margaret Conroy, born 1852 in Canada. In my family tree was a Margaret Connery, born to Michael Connery and Ellen Roche in Ontario in about 1855. But I had found no information on our Margaret after the 1861 census in Ontario.
Armed with names and dates and birthplaces, FamilySearch provided many more records. The family lived mostly in Lockport, Niagara county, New York. The earliest record I found was in Ridgeway, Orleans co., adjacent to Niagara county. This also happens to be where our Pyne ancestors moved after leaving Ontario. In 1870, the Pynes had a Conroy couple living with them - Richard and Ann, born 1851 and 1852, respectively, in New York. It was time to go back and look at my Connery family and try to make all of this fit together.
After reviewing the research I had on our Pyne and Connery ancestors, now viewing this Richard Conroy guest as a possible Connery relative, I concluded that this is their story:
Michael and Ellen Roche Connery immigrated to Lindsay, Victoria county, Ontario, Canada in about 1840 with their two young daughters, 4 year old Nora and 2 year old Mary. They had at least four more children in Canada, born between 1845 and 1859: James (1845), Michael (born 1848 and probably died before 1861), Richard (1849), and Margaret (1852). Nora married John Pyne, son of James and Catherine Miller Pyne, who had immigrated to Lindsay in the 1830s. I couldn't find Michael and Ellen Connery after the 1861 census, and believe they passed away in the 1860s.
Possibly after the death of her parents, in about 1870 Nora Connery Pyne emigrated with her husband and three children, to Orleans county, New York. Two of her younger siblings, Richard and Margaret Ann, came with them. (I had originally thought that Richard and Ann Conroy were a married couple, and had not realized they were family.) Two years later, Margaret married Thomas Lardner. Thomas was a mason, as was John Pyne, so perhaps they met through John's work. They had six children born between 1874 and 1896: Martin (aka Mark), Aggie, Thomas, Carrie, Roswell and Marie.
When I collaborate with someone or have contact with a relative, I try to place them in my family. So now I set about he work of connecting Margaret Connery/Conroy Lardner circa 1875 to one of descendants in 2018. Not wanting to find all of Margaret's descendants (too much work), I went back to searching for obituaries naming our new cousin, then following leads back to census records, marriage records, grave sites, etc. In this case, we (she and an in-law, actually) are 4th cousins, correctly estimated by Ancestry.com .