Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Maurice Gleeson - Speaker Profile

Name - Maurice Gleeson


Day Job - psychiatrist, pharmaceutical physician, & genetic genealogist

Night Job - Organiser of Genetic Genealogy Ireland; Project Administrator for iCARASpearin 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. Now I speak on DNA and family tree research at genealogy meetings - this past year I have presented in London, Los Angeles, Washington, Glasgow, and Birr, Co. Offaly.

So what will you be talking about?
I have two presentations this year. The first deals with World War One. Over 330,000 WWI soldiers are still missing-in-action on the Western Front. Every year 30-60 soldiers (many of them Irish) are found during routine farm work. This presentation discusses the identification process using examples from recent finds (such as Fromelles) and how you can help the process to identify your own war dead relatives.

My second talk explores the challenges involved in researching the DNA of Irish Clans. I set out to connect my Gleeson “Clan” to the Ancient Irish Annals, only to be confronted with a variety of different hurdles and challenges. The same obstacles are likely to be encountered by many genealogists and DNA Project Administrators attempting to achieve the same objective and I will discuss some hints and tips on how to approach these genealogical conundrums.

Where can people get more information about you or your topic?
For more information just click on the links below:
  • The ISOGG wiki is a great place to get general information about DNA testing
  • For those researching their Irish family trees, there is a useful guide on the GGI website here - Finding your Irish Ancestors

Maurice's previous presentations at Genetic Genealogy Ireland ...
GGI2014: I have two presentations at this years conference. My first presentation is "Which DNA test is best for you?" and I will give a detailed description of the 3 main types of DNA test.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 second presentation is called "Solving Adoption Mysteries in your Family Tree". Many family trees have an individual who was adopted. It might be the person researching the tree, one of their parents, or one of their grandparents. There may be documentary evidence, there may not. In both cases, DNA testing can answer questions that the documentary evidence has failed to address. And in some instances, DNA testing can circumvent the need for documentary evidence entirely. There is a full explanation of how this can be done on a dedicated page on the GGI website here - Solving Adoption Mysteries in your Family Tree

These lectures are sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by volunteers from ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy).

You can watch a video of the presentation by simply clicking on the image below. To watch it in Full Screen, click on the "square" icon in the bottom right of the screen.

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