18 March 2014

Jamboree - Meet the Headliners: Dr. Maurice John Gleeson

Dr. Maurice Gleeson, keynote speaker for the Family History and DNA conference, is an expert in Irish genetic genealogy. By profession, he is a psychiatrist and pharmaceutical physician. He is also a professional actor and has appeared on the West End stage in London.

As an avid genealogist, he has developed a strong interest in using genetic approaches to break through the many brick walls associated with Irish family history research. He first used genetic testing in 2008, and since then has set up the Spearin Surname Project which has helped trace his Spierin family connections back to the 1600s in Limerick and the 1500s in London. He also set up the iCARA project to help people with Irish surnames in the Caribbean reconnect with their Irish ancestry.

Maurice is co-administrator of the Ireland mitochondrial DNA project. He has given talks on genetic genealogy at the ‘Back to Our Past’ exhibition in Dublin (2012 & 2013) and also at the National Library of Ireland (Dublin), The National Archives in Kew (London), and at various regional and local meetings.

He organized Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013, Ireland’s first conference on genetic genealogy under the auspices of ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy). This 3-day conference exposed the Irish public to the wealth of DNA research that is going on in Ireland and how it is helping our understanding of Irish genealogy. Videos of the presentations can be found on the dedicated website at www.ggi2013.blogspot.ie.

TH000 Thursday June 5, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
How DNA will change the face of Irish genealogy

Since genetic genealogy emerged as a new science, many researchers (both academics and Citizen Scientists) have been exploring the genetic signature of the Irish. With a diaspora of over 70 million people worldwide, and 12% of Americans claiming Irish ancestry, the research that has been ongoing in and around Ireland has direct application to a great many people worldwide. Maurice Gleeson summarizes some of the seminal work that has been undertaken over the past ten years in Ireland. He assesses the impact DNA testing has had on Irish genealogy, looks forward to what the next ten years will hold, and explores how it will change the face of genealogy as we know it.

TH008 Thursday June 5, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
How to Run a DNA Surname Project on FamilyTreeDNA

FamilyTreeDNA has over 7700 surname projects run by volunteers. However, for many people, managing and analyzing the data in their project can be problematic and it is easy to get ‘bogged down’. This presentation describes a practical step-by-step approach to running a surname project, drawing on the experience of some of the bigger surname projects run as part of One-Name Studies in Britain and Ireland.

TH015 Thursday June 5, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Which DNA Test is Best for You?

The DNA test that is best for you depends on the type of question you want to answer. This presentation will look at the three main types of DNA test and how each of them can help you answer a specific question in relation to your own family tree research.

SA039 Saturday June 7, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Researching your Irish Ancestry Online and at Minimal Cost

Researching your Irish ancestry is becoming progressively easier as more and more records are being digitized and made available online. This presentation will review all the online resources, in particular those that have become available in the last 12-24 months.

SA049 Saturday June 7, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
ISOGG Ask The Experts about DNA and Genealogy

SU020 Sunday June 8, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Ireland and the Slave Trade

Ireland and its peoples have been involved with slavery since ancient times, both as the oppressor and the oppressed. During the Viking era, Dublin was perhaps Europe’s biggest slave port. After Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland, it is reported that 3-15% of the Irish population was sold into slavery in the 1650s and ended up in Barbados and the new American colonies. Other Irish sold themselves into indentured servitude in the 1630s-1640s. Some Irish became slave owners. Where are the descendants of these people now? And can DNA help determine if the genetic signature of these people persists to this day in the US and the Caribbean?

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