Monday, 22 December 2014

Update - Winter 2014

Current Status

A very Merry Christmas to everyone. And wishing you all the best for the new Year.

2014 has seen a significant increase in membership, due in large part to the number of members joining the project with autosomal DNA results. The project now has 71 members altogether, up from 46 at the start of the year. There are now 40 members who have contributed their Y-DNA results to the project, an additional 13 people since the last update (Jan 2014). 

Click to enlarge

In addition, 41 people have contributed their Family Finder autosomal DNA (atDNA) results. This is up from 19 at the beginning of the year, so these numbers have doubled. Several people from Genetic Family 1 have contributed their autosomal DNA results and even though the connection to a common ancestor is likely to be in the 1700's, several members are showing matching segments of DNA. This is very promising and will be the subject of a separate post in the New Year. 

It is likely that the combination of Y-DNA and autosomal DNA (atDNA) will help clarify which family branches are more likely to be related to which other family branches. Project members who have not yet tested their atDNA as yet are encouraged to do so, especially now when the Christmas sale has the Family Finder test on offer for $89 instead of the usual $99. 

Y-DNA Results

An additional genetic family has been created and added to the project bringing the total number of genetic families to eight. Genetic Family 8 has connections with Newfoundland and probably originated from England. There is an NPE somewhere within this genetic family and further research is ongoing.

As always, we need to keep in mind that even though different families may not be "genetically" related, they may still be “genealogically” related. This situation arises due to NPE’s (non- paternity events) such as adoption, illegitimacy, or legal name change. The rate of such NPE's is estimated to be 1-2% per generation, so after 24 generations (which roughly brings us back to the time when surnames first began to be in common usage), the likelihood of having an NPE along your particular direct male line is about 24-48%. The take home message is that these events are common.

The largest group is still Genetic Family 1 (the Limerick Spearin's) with 11 members listed. An additional member (kit 388986) has recently joined from family branch CAN8-ON3 but their results have been transferred from 23andme and therefore no STR markers were tested. However SNP testing at 23andme reveals that this new member belongs to the haplogroup I2b1 which is the same haplogroup as other members of Genetic Family 1, and were this member to have his STR markers tested (e.g. with FTDNA's Y-DNA-37 test), then it is likely that he would also fall into GF1.

In addition, several new members with ancestral links to the Early Limerick Spearin's have joined GF1. They don't carry the Spearin surname and therefore their links are not via the direct male line.  They have contributed autosomal DNA results to the project and there have been several lively discussions on the Facebook page about possible connections.

There are 2 members in Genetic Family 6 (Spearman), and 2 in Genetic Family 3 (Spearin/Spearing). There is only 1 member in Genetic Families 2, 4, 5, and 7 (singletons), and the remaining members are temporarily in either "Ungrouped R1b" (4 members) or "Ungrouped" (2 members). These members will be move into newly created Genetic Families once additional members join the project and match them.

Of interest, several new members with "European" variants of the surname have joined the project:
Spiering x2
Spierings x1
Sperringer x1
None of these new members match each other or anybody else currently within the project. This situation is likely to change as new members join.


SNP testing
As the genetic genealogy community sifts through the thousands of new SNP markers discovered in the past year, the size of the Y-haplotree has grown to gargantuan proportions. These new SNP markers will help define the finer branches of the tree and the place of each Genetic Family on it. 

click to enlarge

The particular branch of the tree upon which GF1 sits has been the subject of some ongoing SNP testing. Bob (kit 200083) has volunteered to represent the GF1 group and has been undertaking sequential SNP testing. In effect, his results serve as a proxy for everyone else in the group. Advice on which SNPs to test next are kindly provided by Aaron Torres and Wayne Roberts who are Admins for the I-M223 Y-haplogroup project. 

The results so far reveal that the members of GF1 belong to a subgroup of Haplogroup I2b1 known as "Cont1". Earlier this year, the particular SNP profile of Cont1 was M223 >>> Z161 > L801/Z76 > CTS6433 > Z78 > Z185 > L1198, the latter being the then-terminal SNP for this group (i.e. the most "downstream" SNP marker discovered up to that point in time). Bob has tested positive for the most downstream of these SNP's (Z185 and L1198). Since then, additional SNPs have been discovered in this group and Bob has tested positive for Z166, but negative for the more downstream SNP PF5268. This has only recently been reported (this week) so it remains to be seen what are the implications of this result and what are the next steps.

As more people test, the migration patterns of this particular I2b1 subgroup will become more clear and may give us clues as to how the Cont1 subgroup moved across Europe in the period from 4000 years ago up to the present day. And this in turn may help us elucidate the early migrations of the ancestors of GF1 prior to their arrival in Ireland. 

Traditional Genealogy update

The first MDKA profile has been posted on the blog. This one is for Patrick Spierin, MDKA of the IRL4-DUB1 branch (MDKA is Most Distant Known Ancestor). More profiles will be published in due course. It would help if each member completed the exercise for their own branch's MDKA (using the same style as the one just posted). The aim of these profiles is to characterise the MDKA of each branch and allow comparisons to other MDKA profiles of other family branches, in the hope that the parents of this individual can be identified or links with other family branches can be established.

Of particular relevance in these profiles is where the MDKA lived (i.e. the location) and also the names of witnesses at his wedding, and sponsors at his children's baptisms, as these will give possible clues to his siblings. Also, naming convention will give clues to his parents. Take a look at the first MDKA profile and see how much of it you can complete for your own MDKA. Send me what you have in a Word document and I will upload it to the blog (don't worry if it is incomplete - it can always be updated as more information becomes available).

At some stage in 2015 (it didn't happen in 2014), it is hoped that several members will visit Limerick to search through the Estate Papers of the Earl of Dunraven. This may unlock the secrets of many of the Spearin branches.
It really helps if people work on their own family trees and make them available online for collaboration with other members. Ideally, two links should be provided - one to your tree on Ancestry and another to your tree on Rootsweb. Ancestry requires a subscription and not everybody has one, but Rootsweb is completely free.

If you need help with this please use the Facebook group for assistance or email me directly for advice - mauricegleeson@doctors.org.uk  

Facebook & Website

Our Facebook group continues to grow and currently boasts 219 members, 37 additional members since the last newsletter. It is a wonderful place for sharing information, photos, documents, and newspaper articles. 

If you haven’t done so already, please fill in your family ID in the document “Which Family Are You” – just click on Edit Doc and add your Family ID. This helps everyone to know exactly where you fit into the bigger picture! You will find your Family ID in the Traditional Families table on the website.

And if you have an online tree please share it with the rest of the group - just send me the link via email and I will include the link in our Traditional Families Table.

Also, as we near the end of 2014, our website has received over 36,000 hits, that's 6000 additional hits this year. 

In the News

This October I had the pleasure of organising Ireland's second national genetic genealogy conference - Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 (GGI2014). This was once again held in the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) in Ballsbridge, Dublin, as part of the annual "Back to Our Past" genealogy exhibition and it was great to see so many familiar faces there. FTDNA sponsored the lecture series and I organised it on behalf of ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy). There is a separate blog about it and hopefully this will be come a regular annual feature on the Irish genealogical landscape.

The lecture series was recorded and you can view the presentations on the dedicated YouTube channel - Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

Also, I have been invited to speak at the Ontario Genealogical Society's annual meeting on 29th-31st May 2015, and this year it will be held in Barrie, Ontario! I was very pleasantly surprised by this as so many Spearin's ended up in Barrie and many of them still live there. With a bit of luck we can have a Spearin family reunion to take advantage of this. I'll be speaking about the project and what it has told us so far.

Spreading the Word

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who is interested in researching the Spearin name, or ask them to send me their email address and I will add them to the list.

If you want to be Y-DNA tested at a discounted rate through our project, click here. Currently the discounted rate for the Y-DNA-37 is $149 US (about £90 or 108 euro).

Be sure to get notification of each new post by putting your email address in the "Follow by Email" box at the end of the column to the right.

And if you ever want to unsubscribe from this list at any time, just let me know.



Aims of the Project

Just to recap on the goals of the project - to use genetic genealogy to enhance traditional (documentary) genealogical research with the ultimate goal of tracing each family with the Spearin/Spearing/Sperring surname (or other variant) back to their ancestral roots. The DNA part of the project has the following objectives:
  1. to identify which Spearin/Spearing families can be grouped together and therefore are related to each other genetically
  2. to identify the likely origin of each genetic family
  3. to establish which Spearin families are most closely related to each other and thus help to focus further documentary research (for example, are the Irish Spearin's related to the English Sperring's or the Dutch Spierink's?)
  4. to help people named Spearin/Spearing establish to which genetic family they belong
  5. to generate theories based on the DNA data relating to the deeper ancestral origins of each genetic family, both within a genealogical timeframe (i.e. after 1000 A.D.) and before it (i.e. route of migration out of Africa and into Europe, up to 1000 A.D.) 


Maurice Gleeson 
Project Co-Administrator 
Dec 2014







MDKA Profile – Patrick Spierin c1802-1872 (IRL4-DUB1)

Patrick SPIERIN is the MDKA (Most Distant Known Ancestor) of the family branch IRL4-DUB1. The purpose of this profile is to characterise this individual and allow comparisons to other MDKA profiles of other family branches, in the hope that the parents of this individual can be identified or links with other family branches can be established.

Summary
There are no clues from wedding witnesses or baptism sponsors as to the names of his parents or siblings, but based on Catholic naming convention his father may have been John and he may have had a brother called Nicholas. Where he was born is not known – the earliest evidence for his residence is his marriage record (Killenaule, Tipperary). 

Birth
No birth or baptism record has been found for Patrick. His 1872 death certificate[1] records his age as 70, suggesting a year of birth as 1802. However, a death notice in the Freeman’s Journal[2] reports his age as 64, giving a birth year of 1808. His wife (Mary MORGAN) has an estimated birth year of 1800 so the 1802 estimate may be closer to the truth than the 1808 estimate. His birth location is unknown.

Marriage
A church marriage record reports that he married Mary MORGAN on 21st Jan 1828 in Killenaule, Co. Tipperary (about 10 miles east of Cashel).[3] He was apparently a member of the Peace Preservation Force (armed militia) and it may have been customary to post officers outside of the county in which they had been born in order to avoid any chances of intimidation of their family.

Witnesses at his Wedding
These were Bridget MORGAN (possibly a sister of the bride) and Ellen SAVAGE. No men are mentioned as witnesses.

Children
They had 7 known children, according to church baptism records (some from Cashel & Emly, North Tipperary). Interestingly, the children were born in different places, suggesting that the family moved house frequently. This would be in keeping with Patrick being a member of the militia and thus being posted around the country from station to station. After their marriage in Killenaule (1828), they moved around northern Tipperary and resided in Rodus, Emly (1830); Killenaule (1833); Peake, Boherlan (1835); Donaskeagh, Knockavilla (1838); and then Dublin (about 1845).

Sponsors at children’s baptisms
As Patrick is likely to have been stationed quite a distance from his “home county”, the sponsors at the baptisms of his children are unlikely to have been from his family. And in fact there are no sponsors named SPIERIN. The MORGAN woman who acted as sponsor may have been a sister of his wife who travelled from Limerick to stay with her during her confinement.

1830 Catherine – Gerald FITZGERALD, Catherine MORGAN (possibly a sister of Mary)[4]
1833 John – Patrick MCCORMACK, Ann KENEDY[5]
1835 Edward – Michael COLLINS, Margaret STACK[6]
1838 Catherine – Elenora KELLY, Edmund TIERNY[7]
1842 Patrick – no baptism record found. 1901 census reports he was born in Dublin (1841-1842) but no record on www.irishgenealogy.ie
1842-1844 Nicholas – born in Dublin per 1881 UK census
1846 William – 1901 census says born in Dublin but baptism record (1846 Sandyford, Dublin) does not list sponsors

Occupation
He was a sergeant of police, according to baptism records of his children. He probably worked for the Peace Preservation Force as there is no record of him in the Royal Irish Constabulary. The PPF were an armed militia and apparently there are no records extant. There is a Constable Speering mentioned in several newspaper articles and this is believed to be Patrick Spierin. He was the arresting officer in the murder case of Wayland & Cooper, an "agrarian outrage" which eventually sparked the Devon Commission.

Parents
No direct information available.

But if Patrick & Mary followed Catholic naming conventions, their children’s names would imply the following family first names:

Deductions from male children’s names:
Father’s father:                     John
Mother’s father:                    Edward
Father:                                    Patrick
Father’s oldest brother:       Nicholas
Mother’s oldest brother:      William

Deductions from female children’s names:
Mother’s mother:                  Catherine
Father’s mother:                   Catherine (uncertain, as this was a “replacement child” for the one who died previously)
Mother:                                  n/a
Mother’s oldest sister:          n/a
Father’s oldest sister:           n/a

The precise dates of the births of the last 3 children are uncertain and so the above naming convention may be incorrect, but the presence of the first name Nicholas among the children’s names links this family branch to the Early Limerick Spierin’s of the late 1600’s/early 1700’s.

Siblings
No direct information available.

Other information
Further details of Patrick Spierin can be found on the online trees available at the following links:
Ancestry - http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/51571701/person/13221454654
Rootsweb - http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=spearin%2Dirl%2Ddub1&id=I43






[1] Transcription: 16-Jan-1872 17 James Street Patrick Speirin married 70 porter on railway ch. Bronchitis, infirmity, 6 months, uncertified Mary Fowler present at death 17 James Street 27-Jan-1872
[2] Transcription: Patrick Speirin, 17 Jan 1872 at 17 James St, aged 64, employed in GSWR for 24 yrs (Great Southern & Western Railway)
[3] Transcription: On 21-1-1828, in the KILLENAULE Parish Register reference: K/AUL211 The Marriage of PATRICK SPIERAN and MARY MORGAN Groom's Address: Bride's Address: KILLENAULE Groom's Occupation: Bride's Occupation: Witnessed by: MORGAN BRIDGET SAVAGE ELLEN Priest: Comments: SPIERAN/SPIEREN IN REG.
[4] Name: CATHERINE SPIRIN Date: Date: 11/1/1830 Parish: EMLY Address: RODUS Father: SPIRIN PATRICK Mother: MORGAN MARY Occupation: Sponsor: FITZGERALD GERALD Sponsor: MORGAN CATHERINE Priest: Register: Comments: Comments:
[5] Name: JOHN SPIERAN Date: Date: 5/8/1833 Parish: KILLENAULE Address: KILLENAULE Father: SPIERAN PATRICK Mother: MORGAN MARY Occupation: Sponsor: MCCORMACK PATRICK Sponsor: KENEDY ANN Priest: Register: KILLEN\1106 Comments: SERGENT OF POLICE Comments:
[6] Name: EDMOND SPEARIN Date: Date: 8/9/1835 Parish: BOHERLAHAN Address: PEAKE Father: SPEARIN PATRICK Mother: MORGAN MARY Occupation: Sponsor: COLLINS MICHAEL Sponsor: STACK MARGARET Priest: Register: B/LAHAN/565 Comments: Comments:
[7] Name: CATHERINE SPEARMAN Date: Date: 28/1/1838 Parish: KNOCKAVILLA Address: DONASKEAGH Father: SPEARMAN PATRICK Mother: MORGAN MARY Occupation: Sponsor: KELLY ELENORA Sponsor: TIERNY EDMUND Priest: Register: K/AVILLA/342 Comments: (POLICE) Comments:

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Update - Winter 2013


Current Status

A Happy New Year to everyone!

2013 was a very busy year and I am delighted to announce that the project now has 46 members altogether. Two additional people have taken the Y-DNA test since the last update (Aug 2013) bringing the total number tested to 27, and an additional test result is expected shortly. The new results are discussed below.

In addition, 19 people have done the Family Finder test (autosomal DNA) and 3 further results are expected shortly. It is very encouraging to see the number of members who are undertaking the Family Finder test, but as yet there are no strong matches between different family branches so it has not been possible to identify any Spearin-specific DNA segments. This may change as more people do the Family Finder test and as the technology to support analysing the results improves. I hope to provide a more detailed account of the autosomal DNA results in the next update.

The Y-DNA results are currently grouped into 7 clusters, the largest being Genetic Family 1 (the Limerick Spearin's) with 11 members. There are 2 members in Genetic Family 6 (Spearman), and 2 in Genetic Family 3 (Spearin/Spearing). There is only 1 member in Genetic Families 2, 4, 5, and 7 (singletons), and the remaining members are temporarily in either "Ungrouped R1b" (5 members) or "Ungrouped" (2 members). These members will be move into newly created Genetic Families once additional members join the project and match them. We also need to keep in mind that even though the different families may not be "genetically" related, they may still be “genealogically” related. This situation arises due to NPE’s (non- paternity events) such as adoption, illegitimacy, or legal name change.

On a different note, please add your email address to the "Follow by Email" box at the bottom of the column to the right, so that you will receive an email as soon as any new post is published. All project members are encouraged to do so. 

You can view older newsletters by clicking here

Graph showing new members joining since the start of the project

New Y-DNA Results

The 2 new members with Y-DNA results since the last update (Aug 2013) are as follows:

Member 264985 - a Baker from Canada. This particular family are connected via the Spearman name and 5 members of the family have joined the project altogether, one with Y-DNA results and 5 with autosomal DNA results. This member's mother's mother's father was a Spearman, and this particular line goes back to a John Spearman who was born in Tipperary about 1760. The subsequent generations emigrated to Ontario, Canada, and thereafter to Saskatchewan. The haplogroup for this member is R1b1a2 and there is currently no match with other project members so he sits in the group "Ungrouped R1b" for the time being.

Another member with a pedigree that tentatively goes back to a Thomas Spearing from Exeter, Devon in 1765. This particular individual was a fisherman and trader and was exiled after trading with the French. Several other family members have tested and there is ongoing paper-based research which will help clarify this families origins. The haplogroup for this member is also R1b1a2, with no current match with other project members, so he too sits in the group "Ungrouped R1b" for now.

We are still actively looking to recruit new members so please spread the word.


Website updates


By the end of 2013, our website had received over 30,000 hits. That's a lot of visitors!

This year has also seen major advances in the number of DNA markers available to be tested. Various new tests have been introduced in 2013 including Geno 2.0 (National Genographic), Chromo2 (Britain's DNA), Full Genome Corporation Y-sequencing, and FTDNA's "The Big Y". You can read more about these different tests on the ISOGG Wiki. These new tests will identify new markers for our members to test which in turn will help ascertain the finer branches of the Y-DNA haplotree and the place of each Genetic Family on the tree. These markers will probably be made available as individual marker tests via FTDNA at about $39 each so before rushing out to spend any money on these new tests, it may be cheaper to wait and see what the next 6-12 months bring.


Distribution of Haplogroup I2b1 in Europe
In preparation for the deluge of new DNA "SNP" markers which will dominate the genetic genealogy news for the foreseeable future, the Haplogroups page of the website has been updated. 

The focus for SNP testing is currently on Genetic Family 1 because this group has the most people. Members of GF1 are also part of the I-M223 Y-haplogroup project at FTDNA headed by Aaron Torres and Wayne Roberts. The results so far reveal that the members of GF1 belong to a subgroup of Haplogroup I2b1 known as "Cont1". The particular SNP profile of Cont1 is M223 >>> Z161 > L801/Z76 > CTS6433 > Z78 > Z185 > L1198, the latter being the new current terminal SNP for this group, revised in Nov 2013 (Z185 was the previous terminal SNP but then it was discovered to be upstream of L1198). SNP's that we tested negative for were Z190, Z79 and F3195 (these identify further subgroups of Cont1, downstream of L1198). 

Three people from the Cont1 group have taken FTDNA's "Big Y" test (namely Kit # N18172 Fleet; Kit # 260237 Braz; Kit # 127052 McCall, the latter being F3195+) and their results will help us decide what additional SNP markers (if any) we should have tested in GF1.

As more people test, the migration patterns of this particular I2b1 subgroup will become more clear and may give us clues as to how the Cont1 subgroup moved across Europe in the period from 4000 years ago up to the present day. And this in turn may help us elucidate the origin of the common ancestor of GF1. 


Traditional Genealogy update

Various projects are ongoing with regard to traditional paper-based research and here are just a few of them. In time, all of these will eventually appear on the website, this new blog, or both. Announcements will be made via the blog and/or the Facebook page.

  1. Individual MDKA Biographies of the Australian participants have been drafted and will hopefully be uploaded in the next few weeks to be followed by the Irish members and others thereafter. Project members can use these templates to generate their own MDKA Biographies and these can then be posted on the blog.
  2. Griffiths Valuation & Cancelled Books - a mapping exercise is being carried out to trace all Spearin's in Griffiths Valuation forward in time from the mid-1800's to the 1950's.
  3. Church Records mapping exercise - a similar exercise is also underway to map the different families based on Bob's work with church records from the early 1800's.
  4. Further work on the Cork Spearing's has been carried out and a blog will be posted on this shortly.
  5. at some stage in 2014, it is hoped that several members will visit Limerick to search through the Estate Papers of the Earl of Dunraven. This may unlock the secrets of many of the Spearin branches.
It really helps if people work on their own family trees and make them available online for collaboration with other members. If you need help with this please use the Facebook group for assistance or email me directly for advice - mauricegleeson@doctors.org.uk

Facebook

Our Facebook group continues to grow and currently boasts 182 members, 14 additional members since the last newsletter. It is a wonderful place for sharing information, photos, documents, and newspaper articles. In the past few months there has been some major discussions about the Maine Spearin's and some new sources have been discovered and posted in the Files section. We have also been sharing photos and memories of our family members who fought in the First World War, seeing as how 2014 will be the centenary of the start of The Great War.

If you haven’t done so already, please fill in your family ID in the document “Which Family Are You” – just click on Edit Doc and add your Family ID. This helps everyone to know exactly where you fit into the bigger picture! You will find your Family ID in the Traditional Families table on the website.

And if you have an online tree please share it with the rest of the group - just send me the link via email and I will include the link in our Traditional Families Table.

You should also keep an eye on the Sperring+ Facebook page where Fiona and her cousins have done some sterling work tracing their particular line of Sperring's and Mockridges back into the 1700's.


In the News

October saw the launch of Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013 (GGI2013), Ireland's first genetic genealogy conference. This was held in the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) in Ballsbridge, Dublin, as part of the annual "Back to Our Past" genealogy exhibition. FTDNA sponsored the lecture series and I organised it on behalf of ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy). It was very well received by an interested and attentive public, and FTDNA were delighted with its success when I presented to them at their Annual Conference in Dallas in November. As a result they have given a verbal commitment to sponsor the event again this year (2014) so watch this space (and the GGI2013 website) for more exciting developments as they occur.

The lecture series was recorded and you can view the presentations on the dedicated YouTube channel - Genetic Genealogy Ireland. In particular, Debbie Kennett gives a very succinct and easy to understand account of the 3 main types of DNA test and how they are interpreted by Project Administrators, which is an excellent overview for beginners and intermediates alike.

You can view it here ...



Spreading the Word

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who is interested in researching the Spearin name, or ask them to send me their email address and I will add them to the list.

If you want to be Y-DNA tested at a discounted rate through our project, click here. Currently the discounted rate for the Y-DNA-37 is $149 US (about £90 or 108 euro).

Be sure to get notification of each new post by putting your email address in the "Follow by Email" box at the end of the column to the right.

And if you ever want to unsubscribe from this list at any time, just let me know.



Aims of the Project

Just to recap on the goals of the project - to use genetic genealogy to enhance traditional (documentary) genealogical research with the ultimate goal of tracing each family with the Spearin/Spearing/Sperring surname (or other variant) back to their ancestral roots. The DNA part of the project has the following objectives:
  1. to identify which Spearin/Spearing families can be grouped together and therefore are related to each other genetically
  2. to identify the likely origin of each genetic family
  3. to establish which Spearin families are most closely related to each other and thus help to focus further documentary research (for example, are the Irish Spearin's related to the English Sperring's or the Dutch Spierink's?)
  4. to help people named Spearin/Spearing establish to which genetic family they belong
  5. to generate theories based on the DNA data relating to the deeper ancestral origins of each genetic family, both within a genealogical timeframe (i.e. after 1000 A.D.) and before it (i.e. route of migration out of Africa and into Europe, up to 1000 A.D.) 


Maurice Gleeson 
Project Co-Administrator 
Jan 2014






Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Update - Summer 2013

Current Status

The project now has 24 members who have been Y-DNA tested. These are grouped into 7 distinct clusters, with 11 members in Genetic Family 1 (the Limerick Spearin's), 2 members in Genetic Family 6 (Spearman), and an additional member in Genetic Family 3 (Spearin/Spearing; bringing the total to 2 members in this group). Since the last newsletter we have received the Y-DNA results of 5 new members and these are discussed below.

Hopefully as more people join the project, the other genetic families will fill up too. We also need to keep in mind that even though the different families may not be "genetically" related, they may still be “genealogically” related to the Spearin’s in GF1 (or to any of the other family groups). This situation arises due to NPE’s (non- paternity events) such as adoption, illegitimacy, or legal name change.

We also have Family Finder results for 6 members - including 1 member from AUS1-NSW1, and two from IRL4-DUB1, but unfortunately there are no strong matches so it has not been possible to identify any Spearin-specific DNA segments. This may change if more people do the Family Finder test but the chances are relatively slim.

You can view older newsletters by clicking here.


New DNA Results

The 5 new members that joined the project since the last update are as follows:

Member 280257 - a Speering from Australia who can trace his paternal line back to James Sperin 1790-1882 (AUS2-NSW2) and therefore he should have matched the other members in GF1. There is a lot of documentary evidence for this particular family, which probably came from Pallaskenry, but the results of this particular member indicate that an NPE (non-paternal event) occurred somewhere down the line. Fortunately his genetic signature is relatively rare and it is highly likely that with a bit of additional paper-based research, the details of the NPE can be elucidated. 

Member 224620 - our first European Spiering, with a pedigree that stretches all the way back to 1543. This member has done extensive research into his European roots and has also joined the new Spiering DNA project at FTDNA. He belongs to Haplogroup R1b1a2 and does not closely match any of the existing project members (hence he is in the Ungrouped R1b cluster).

Member B3082 - our second Spiering with roots in Europe. This new group member belongs to Haplogroup I2b1, just like the members of GF1. However, despite this, he is quite far removed from them genetically and differs by about 16 steps from most GF1 members. The Time Predictor (TiP) tool predicts that the chances of him being related to anyone in GF1 within the past 24 generations is less than 3%.

Member 238328 - this project member is in fact a Wall, not a Spearin. However he requested to join the project as he is a relatively close genetic match with the Spearin's in GF1. He therefore belongs to the same haplogroup (I2b1) and possibly the same subgroup or subclass. Further SNP testing will help clarify this. In all likelihood, this member and the members of GF1 share a common ancestor before the advent of surnames (i.e. 1000-3000 years ago).

Member 268290 (Frank) - this is in fact a Spearing from the UK with ancestors reportedly living in the west of London for the past 5 generations or so. Interestingly, at 37 markers, he differs from Member 212714 (US39-ME2) by a genetic distance of only 3 steps, and all on fast-mutating markers. This indicates that the two individuals are highly likely to be related within a genealogical timeframe (i.e. since the advent of surnames approximately 1000 years ago). The Time Predictor (TiP) tool suggests that they have a 50% chance of sharing a common ancestor within the past 9 generations or so (about 270 years) and a 90% chance within the past 16 generations (c. 480 years).
  
This latter result is interesting as it suggests that the members of this group originate from English Spearing's. More information is needed regarding the ancestry of both these members and a lot of work has been ongoing (with the help of our Facebook group) to get further information about the MDKA of the Family US39-ME2, one of the Maine families (represented by member 212714).

Finally, Bob did some further SNP testing to further refine the position of GF1 members on the Y-Haplotree. The results of the series of SNP tests are: Z78+ Z185+ L1198+ Z79- Z190- F3195- This means that our Haplogroup is I-M233 (using the new terminology) and our terminal SNP is L1198, which places us in the subgroup Cont1 or Cont1a in Aaron Torres' I-M233 Y-Haplogroup project (no change here for the last year or so) or the subclade I2a2a1c2a2a1 or I2a2a1c2a2a1* on the current ISOGG Haplotree.

We are still actively looking to recruit new members so please spread the word.


Website updates

Two two key tables on the website have been updated - the "Traditional Families Table" and the "Direct Male Lines of those tested so far". Both have been linked to a spreadsheet in my Google Drive and any changes made to that spreadsheet are automatically synced with the website. This secures version control and makes updating these tables so much easier.

In addition, it is now possible to view FTDNA Y-DNA results within the website itself, without having to click on a link to the FTDNA website. This has been achieved by embedding an "iFrame" within the website.

And in addition to the new website, a sister website or blog has been created at www.spearinsurnameproject.blogspot.com. This will facilitate ongoing documentary research by allowing people to post comments and updates to existing webpages. In this way, greater collaboration can be achieved between the members of the group. Individual MDKA Biographies of the Australian participants will be uploaded in the next few weeks to be followed by the Irish members and others thereafter.



Traditional Genealogy update

Individual MDKA Biographies of the Australian participants will be uploaded in the next few weeks to be followed by the Irish members and others thereafter. These are hosted on the new sister website/blog for the project as this allows people to comment on any new posts and will allow real time research to be added on an ongoing basis.

If you add your email address to the "Follow by Email" box at the bottom of the right hand column, you will get an email as soon as any new post is published. All project members are encouraged to do so.

Facebook

Our Facebook group continues to grow and currently boasts 168 members, 14 additional members since the last newsletter.

It is a wonderful place for sharing information, photos, documents, and newspaper articles, and in the last few months it has seen some in depth discussions about the Maine Spearin's (US39-ME2), the Pallaskenry Spearin's, and some early military records for James Sperin 1790-1882 (AUS2-NSW2).

If you haven’t done so already, please fill in your family ID in the document “Which Family Are You” – just click on Edit Doc and add your Family ID. This helps everyone to know exactly where you fit into the bigger picture! You will find your Family ID in the Traditional Families table on the website.

You should also keep an eye on the Sperring+ Facebook page where Fiona and her cousins have done some sterling work tracing their particular line of Sperring's and Mockridges back into the 1700's.

Also, Margaret's specialist group for Limerick Genealogy is going strong and now has 453 members, an additional 146 since our last update. This is already putting us in touch with researchers with a lot of local knowledge, some of whom are investigating the families that the Irish Spearin’s married into.



Spreading the Word

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who is interested in researching the Spearin name, or ask them to send me their email address and I will add them to the list.

If you want to be Y-DNA tested at a discounted rate through our project, click here. Currently the discounted rate for the Y-DNA-37 is $129 US (about £83 or 97 euro).

Be sure to get notification of each new post by putting your email address in the "Follow by Email" box at the end of the column to the right.

And if you ever want to unsubscribe from this list at any time, just let me know.



Aims of the Project

It is always useful to recap on the goals of the project, namely to use genetic genealogy to enhance traditional (documentary) genealogical research with the ultimate goal of tracing each family with the Spearin/Spearing/Sperring surname (or other variant) back to their ancestral roots. The DNA part of the project has the following objectives:
  1. to identify which Spearin/Spearing families can be grouped together and therefore are related to each other genetically
  2. to identify the likely origin of each genetic family
  3. to establish which Spearin families are most closely related to each other and thus help to focus further documentary research (for example, are the Irish Spearin's related to the English Sperring's or the Dutch Spierink's?)
  4. to help people named Spearin/Spearing establish to which genetic family they belong
  5. to generate theories based on the DNA data relating to the deeper ancestral origins of each genetic family, both within a genealogical timeframe (i.e. after 1000 A.D.) and before it (i.e. route of migration out of Africa and into Europe, up to 1000 A.D.) 


Maurice Gleeson 
Project Co-Administrator 
Aug 2013