Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Maurice Gleeson - Speaker Profile


Name - Maurice Gleeson

Member - ISOGG, GOONS, IGRS, GSI

Day Job - psychiatrist, pharmaceutical physician, & part-time actor

Night Job - Project Administrator for iCARA, Spearin Surname Project, & Irish mitochondrial DNA project

How did you get into genealogy?
My Dad has been "doing the family tree" on and off since I was a teenager. I remember him having long conversations with my granny on Sunday afternoons when we used to visit her in Clontarf. I think we still have the roll of engineering graph paper on which he drew his first version of the tree. It's up in the attic somewhere. I joined the fray about 8 years ago and quickly became addicted. I've been an avid genealogist ever since.

What about your involvement with genetic genealogy?
I first tested in 2008 and have since used DNA to trace one line of my family (the Spierin line) back to the 1600's in Limerick. I've also set up the iCARA project to help people with Irish surnames in the Caribbean find their Irish ancestral homeland and even distant cousins living in Ireland today. I'm also co-administrator of the Ireland mitochondrial DNA project. I spoke on DNA last year at Back to Our Past and since then at the National Library of Ireland (Dublin), The National Archives in Kew (London), and various regional and local meetings.

So what will you be talking about?
I have two presentations at this years conference. Many people are interested in doing a DNA test but are not sure what tests are available or what the difference is between the various tests, so my first presentation is entitled "What DNA test is best for you?" and I will give a detailed description of the 3 main types of DNA test. I will cover what each test will tell you, and equally as important, what each test won't tell you. That way you can decide for yourself which test might be best to help answer the questions you have relating to your own family tree research.

The presentation will cover how the Y-DNA test can tell you about your deep ancestry, and connect you with relatives, on your direct MALE line (your father's father's father's line). I'll also discuss how Y-DNA is particularly useful for surname projects (because like the surname, the Y-DNA is passed down from father to son in a direct male line). Similarly, I'll discuss how the mitochondrial DNA test can inform you about your deep ancestry, and connect you with relatives, on your direct FEMALE line (your mother's mother's mother's line). Lastly, I will talk about the autosomal DNA test and how it can help you connect with more recent cousins (on all your ancestral lines) who share a common ancestor with you in the last 200 years or so. All of the tests will be illustrated with examples, mainly from Irish projects.

The second presentation is called "Autosomal DNA, Adoptees, and finding long lost Irish relatives". This talk will focus almost exclusively on autosomal DNA and how to use it to find long lost cousins. I've used it in my own family tree to find second cousins of my father's who live in Australia. We wouldn't have been able to establish this link without the DNA test. I'll also be explaining a step-by-step approach to assessing your "matches" on the autosomal DNA test and how to narrow down the number of potential candidates for the common ancestor that you share with each match. In this regard, the adoption community in the US have developed some amazing tools to help with this process and I will be looking at the successes they have had reuniting adoptees with their biological families and how the methodology can be applied to ordinary family tree research (with a particular focus on its potential usefulness from an Irish perspective).

Where can people get more information about you or your topic?
For more information just click on the links below:

You can download a pdf version of Maurice's slides on autosomal DNA by clicking here ... 

And watch a video of his presentation below.


Maurice Gleeson - Autosomal DNA, Adoptees, & finding long lost Irish relatives (Part 1)

Published on 19 Oct 2013
Maurice is a medical doctor and has used autosomal DNA testing effectively in his own research to confirm a suspected relationship that would otherwise have been relegated to the shoebox of obscurity. In this first part of his lecture he decribes a step-by-step approach to analysing your autosomal DNA matches.

Presented at Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013 on Saturday 19th Oct 2013. Please note that these GGI2013 videos are copyrighted to the presenter and should only be used for personal study. They are not to be used for any other purpose without the presenters express permission. Also, please note that because this is a rapidly advancing field, the content may quickly become outdated.

The lectures were sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy).



1 comment:

  1. Hi Mr Gleeson:

    My name is William Farrar, I am the project admin for the Farrar/Farrow DNA project at FTDNA. My website is www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/farrar there is a result link there.

    Shirley Farrar referred you to me, She met you at a recent OGS conference and said that you had a Farrar DNA project.

    I would love to compare DNA with you. I and most others in the project belong to haplogroup R1a1a1b2 that is we are Z93+, Z94- and YP1451-

    Most of us Americans descend from William Farrar who migrated to Jamestown in 1618, he is of Yorkshire Heritage. There are three Englishmen, one of Surrey, one of Yorkshire and one of Cumbria who share our DNA and at least on New Englander (Massachusets and surrounding states) that descend from brothers Jacob or John Farrar or Thomas Farrar, all three are of Yorkshire origin.

    Indeed it appears that my line of Farrars, first appeared as Ferror (a smith) in Yorkshire at the time of the poll tax of 1377 when surnames were mandated. The family made a fortune, first in wool, and there was a John Ferror, a dyer of wool, a freeman, in York in 1499-1413.

    My line has been traced back to a Henry Ferror who, in 1471, bought the land built a manoral hall called Ewood in Midgley, Halifax Parish, West Riding Yorkshire

    Hope to her from you

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