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

Friday, 28 December 2012

Welcome to the blog!


Welcome to the blog of the Spearin Surname Project. This blog gives real time updates on the research currently being undertaken by project members. It complements our regular Newsletter updates, our Facebook page, and the various Message Boards that can be found via the Forum section of the website.

The goals of the Project include the following:

  1. to establish the most common genetic signatures among people named Spearin/Spearing/Sperring (or any of it's other many variants)
  2. to establish which Spearin/Spearing variants are most closely related to each other (for example, are the Irish Spearin's related to the English Sperring's or the Dutch Spierink's?)
  3. to help people named Spearin/Spearing establish to which genetic family they belong
  4. to identify which members within a given genetic family are most closely related
  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.)
If you have a comment or question, please share it with us. We look forward to hearing from you.