Thursday, 23 January 2020

Martin Hayden - Speaker Profile

Martin Hayden
Title of Talk – The Power of X to unlock Family Mysteries

Background - I'm Irish from south Co Kildare on the border of Kildare, Laois and Carlow. I went to university in England when I was 19 and have lived there since. My recorded ancestry back to the end of the 1700s is Irish and very concentrated across Kildare, Laois, Carlow, Wicklow and Kilkenny.

International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG)
The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS)
The Irish Railway Record Society (IRRS)

Day Job – I work as a Principal Analyst and Modeller for Transport for London (TfL). This involves developing integrated computerised transport models of London and interrogating these models to assess the current and future transport needs of Greater London.

Night Job – With a long commute to the English Midlands I do lots of genealogy research on the train. I administer the “Castledermot DNA Connections” project at Family Tree DNA covering a large part of South Kildare and more recently I have set up a private research project to assist others in their family research. I do of course continue to make time to research my own family.

How did you get into genealogy?

My interest in both genealogy and social history started at an early age. I was lucky to have known all of my grandparents and had three of them survive to my teenage years. My paternal grandfather James Hayden born in 1903 told me of an early news story he remembered (The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915) and my great uncle George told me about life as a child during the First World War. To me at the time this was ancient history and to have gotten information from those that lived through it rather than my school history books was inspirational. 

I often asked them about our family and family history but sadly I didn’t ask all the questions I would have liked at that time. However, I realised the importance of oral history and I managed over the past 5 years to construct an extensive family tree from information provided by extensively interviewing elderly relatives and then proof checking everything against records. No amount of records would have allowed me to make the discoveries I did without talking to relatives.  More recently I have begun a quest for preserving old documents and indexing photos with names as this is so important to preserving the identities of family members for future generations.

What about your involvement with genetic genealogy?

In 2016 my uncle took an Ancestry DNA test and having Irish Leaving Certificate History and Biology I could see how my interest in genealogy and social history could combine with my understanding of Biology and from there I was hooked. I took my first Ancestry Test in January 2017 and then realised how useful it would be to phase my results so I tested both my parents in the spring of 2017. I then proceeded to test siblings my paternal aunt so I had an aunt and uncle on both sides. I also managed to test my great aunt before she passed away, the last surviving member of my grandfather’s family. Her father was born in 1864 and her grandfather in 1825 so the value of this test is huge to me. I then began to test at Family Tree DNA and join some research projects. This then developed into testing YDNA including Big Y and mtDNA. 

I was inspired to start a local geographical project taking my Parish area both Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland as a starting point. I now have 66 members and hoping to grow the project further. From this I am beginning to find unexpected connections (low level endogamy) and also collate and preserve family history information that predates parish records. I migrated my DNA to My Heritage and have recently tested myself at Living DNA and myself and my parents at 23andMe so I have all major DNA companies covered. DNA has so often allowed me to confirm my early tree where I was slightly unsure of some records due to poor quality. I also regularly engage with the DNA testing companies pointing out site issues and requesting improvements.

I think genetic genealogy has a great future and combined with DNA profiles, technological developments, oral histories and families finding and preserving information I believe that we can overcome the lack of 18th Century records and reconstruct Irish family trees further back in time in the coming decade.

So what will you be talking about?

DNA testing has in recent years given lots of focus to autosomal and yDNA testing whilst often neglecting the “Power of the X Chromosome”. This talk will explain the X chromosome, its inheritance patterns, how it differs from the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA. The talk will conclude with a worked example of how it can be used to confirm a family line. 
What DNA tests will be discussed?

The talk will cover X-DNA with some references to Autosomal DNA, yDNA and mtDNA.

Where can people get more information about you or your topic?

For more information on Castledermot DNA Connections please click the link below:

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately I can't make Belfast but the delegates are in for a treat as I know Martin will speak with with passion, enthusiasm and detailed knowledge about his subject :)