Monday 30 November 2015

New Pages make life easier

Now that the this project website has been up and running for almost a year, it is clear that some posts are visited very frequently, and to help people navigate the website a little easier, I have created a new set of Pages to the right which will help newcomers easily navigate the website and find the information they require.

The new pages include a revised version of the original Welcome blog (Feb 2015) as well as separate pages for people who want to join the project and who want to upgrade their test. There is also a new page which has lots of useful tips on how to get the most out of your DNA Test and everyone should check this out, even if you have been a member of the project for a long time. There may be some useful hints and tips there that you may not be aware of.

Here is the list of new pages. Please feel free to copy and paste this pages list into any email you might send to prospective DNA testers.

Maurice Gleeson
November 2015

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Exciting times at the 11th Annual FTDNA Conference

I have just returned from the 11th Annual FamilyTreeDNA Conference in Houston (Nov 11-13) where I had the pleasure of meeting my wonderful co-administrator and founder of our DNA Project, Judy Claassen. Even though we have talked previously on Skype and are in constant email communication, it was great to meet Judy in person for the first time and we had a fabulous weekend discussing various aspects of the project. We also networked with some of the best brains within the genetic genealogy community which has helped advance our ideas about next steps for the project.

Maurice Gleeson & Judy Claassen

I also had the privilege of presenting and sharing some of the results of our Gleason/Gleeson DNA project with the audience (made up entirely of FTDNA Project Administrators like Judy & myself). The title of my talk was "Combining SNPs, STRs, & Genealogy to build a Surname Origins Tree" and it will be available on my YouTube Channel here. In this talk, I developed some of the themes that I had touched on in an earlier presentation at Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2015 (Oct 9-11), which is also available on YouTube

Networking with David Dunbar, James Irvine & Cynthia Wells

In brief, I described the fascinating journey of discovery I have taken these last few months to arrive at the Mutation History Tree for Lineage II of the DNA Project. I have previously posted about the generation of this tree based on 12 & 37 STR marker data but I have held off on publishing the more advanced tree (combining 111 STR marker data and SNP data) pending the arrival of additional DNA results. Well, those results are now in, I have incorporated them into both of my recent presentations, and I will be posting a summary of these results shortly in a subsequent blog post. 

The resulting Lineage II tree uses the DNA mutations present among project members to define the branching pattern of the tree and to estimate when each of those branching points occurred. Every member can see where they sit on the tree in relation to every other member and will also have an idea of how closely or distantly they are related to everyone else within the group. And of course as more people join, they will be added to the tree, it will get bigger, and the branching pattern and time estimates will become more accurate.

An early version of the Mutation History Tree for Lineage II
with time estimates for each branching point

After the conference, a few of us stayed an extra day to tour the FTDNA labs. They really have quite a set-up and the resources they have available are impressive. We can expect some great things from FTDNA in 2016,

Bennett Greenspan, CEO, demonstrating a machine in the lab

Bennett Greenspan & Max Blankfield
 have a quick chat

I also was also honoured and privileged to receive an award (organised by Brad Larkin of the SurnameDNA Journal) in recognition of my work in genetic genealogy and was voted Genetic Genealogist of the Year 2015, a very humbling experience given that there are so many of my peers equally deserving of such an accolade. The award itself is made of fine wood and is beautifully inscribed with gold lettering. It is going up on the wall of my study as soon as I can lay my hands on a hammer and a nail.

Maurice Gleeson & Brad Larkin

A big thank you to all of the people who have helped me over the years, especially my colleagues within the genetic genealogy community whose conversations and discussions have served to formulate my own ideas about genetic genealogy. I am humbled by the award and honoured to be part of this wonderful community.

Maurice Gleeson
17 Nov 2015

Tuesday 10 November 2015

MDKA Profile – John Gleeson 1832-1885 (G-21, N74958)


Name of MDKA:                    John Gleeson
Family nickname/agnomen:   ?McEvaddy or?Rabbit
Date & location of birth:         ?1832, Lackagh
Date & location of death:        1885, Shallee
Residence(s):                           Shallee (probably Shallee Upper & Lower, near to Longstone & Killoscully)
Occupation:                             Labourer
Other family occupations:       Teacher, Miner
Religion:                                  Catholic
Wife's name:                            Anne Gleeson
Date & location of birth:         1848, Shallee
Date & location of death:        1926, Ballyhourigan
When & where married:          1865, Ballynahinch
Sponsors at wedding:              not recorded
Order of children's birth:         Martin, Catherine (?Ruby Kathleen), Bridget, Timothy, Winifred, 
Order of children's birth:         Hanora, Patrick, Mary           
Possible father & mother:*     Martin & Bridget
Sponsors at baptisms:            
1) Pat Gleeson, Wenefrid Finey; 2) Patrick Gleeson, Anne Gleeson; 3) Michael Greene, Mary Gleeson; 4) ??; 5) ?John Gleeson; 6) Thomas McDonnell, Mgt Bevan; 7) ??; 8) John Ryan, Catherine Gleeson

DNA kit no:                            N74958
Project ID no:                         G21
DNA Tests taken:                   Y-DNA-111, FF, FMS, Big Y, Z255 Panel
Terminal Y-SNP sequence:     Z255 > Z16439/7 > BY2852 > A5629 > A5628 > Y16880
Closest match(es) ID no:        G64 & G57   
Place on the Lineage II tree:   Branch 6

Link(s) to online tree(s):
* based on naming convention

Supporting evidence & documentation

Name of MDKA: John Gleeson
  • See birth & baptism records of his children below. [1] They record the parents as John Gleeson & Anne Gleeson
Gleeson nickname/agnomen: ?McEvaddy or?Rabbit
  • Dad’s 1st cousin Liz thinks that the family nickname was MacEvaddy. This is a name from Northern Ireland. Apparently miners came to the area from Northern Ireland so maybe one of them was a McEvaddy. However, I have never encountered any such name in the records for the area.
  • When Dad and I visited the ancestral home of Anne Gleeson (back in 2012), the present owner of the house said that she thought she remembered seeing the nickname “Rabbit” on some of the deeds or other documentation relating to the purchase of her house. See blog post "What happened to the widow Anne Gleeson?
Date & location of birth: ?1832, Lackagh
  • Based on the fact that his parents may have been named Martin & Bridget, I found a possible baptism record in Lackagh, a neighbouring townland to Shallee. However, this may not be the correct one [2]
Date & location of death: 1885, Shallee
  • Death certificate found for a John Gleeson who died in Shallee aged about 50. The informant was ??? [3]
Residence(s): Shallee
  • It is not certain where in Shallee the family lived. Several children were born in Shallee, others in Longstone, and one in Killoscully, so it is assumed that the family lived in the townland of Shallee Upper & Lower (rather than in the neighbouring townlands of Shallee Coghlan or Shallee White). It has not been possible to find the family in Griffith’s Valuation or in any of the subsequent Cancelled Books, so John may not have been the head of the household, but rather the son or son-in-law of the head of the household. 
  • See blog post "What happened to the widow Anne Gleeson?
Occupation: Labourer
  • See birth & baptism records. [1]
Other family occupations: Teacher, Miner
  • His eldest son Martin was a Teacher in Co. Wicklow (Stratford-on-Slaney, & Baltinglass). 
  • His son Paddy was a Miner in Butte, Montana. He may have worked in the local mines in Sivermines.
Religion: Catholic
  • See birth & baptism records. [1]
Wife's name: Anne Gleeson
  • See birth & baptism records. [1] Also church marriage records from 1865 & 1895 - she remarried after his death to a Patrick Ryan (soldier) and lived in Maunsell’s Cottage in Ballyhourigan. [4,5]
Date & location of birth: 1848, Shallee
  • From Baptism record. [6] Her parents were Timothy Gleeson & Catherine Ryan, consistent with the naming convention predictions (see below) based on her children’s names (lending support to the notion that John’s parents were Martin & Bridget). Also, supportive data for her parents’ names and her siblings was obtained from US records & letters from her daughter (written from 1938-1942).
Date & location of death: 1926, Ballyhourigan
  • From death certificate. [7] No headstone found.
When & where married: 1865, Ballynahinch
  • From church marriage record. [4] No civil marriage record was ever found for either her 1865 or 1895 marriages.
Sponsors at wedding: not recorded
  • See church marriage record.
Order of children's birth: Martin, Catherine, Bridget, Timothy, Winifred, Hanora, Patrick, Mary
  • See birth & baptism records. [1]
Possible father & mother:* Martin & Bridget
  • See 1st son and 2nd daughter. His wife Anne’s parents are predicted to be Timothy & Catherine (2nd son & 1st daughter’s names) and subsequent records confirmed this.
Sponsors at baptisms:
  • See birth & baptism records of his children. [1]

Sources & References

[1] birth & baptism records of his children

No birth records found for Patrick but he appears in the 1901 & 1911 census.

[2] possible baptism record for John Gleeson

[3] death certificate for John Gleeson

[4] church marriage record of Anne Gleeson to John Gleeson (1865)

[5] church marriage record of Anne Gleeson to Paddy Ryan Soldier (1895)

[6] baptism record for Anne Gleeson 1848

[7] civil death certificate for Anne Gleeson 1926 (she remarried to Patrick Ryan Soldier)

Maurice Gleeson
Nov 2015