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Spearin Surname Project



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Haplogroups in the Spearin Surname Project

Three haplogroups have emerged thus far among the members of the Spearin Surname Project - I1, I2b1, and R1b1a2. FTDNA results are labelled I2b1, but DNAheritage results were labelled I1c, due to differences in nomenclature. There are two main systems (ISOGG and YCC) for naming the various branches of the haplotree and these are updated regularly which results in shifting names for the different subgroups - this can cause confusion. The I2b1 subgroup is also known as I2a2a, depending on what naming system is being used.

Focussing on Haplogroup I2a2 specifically, there is a high concentration around northern Germany, which is consistent with the evidence that the original Spearin's may have come from northern Europe (although Flanders is further south of the main concentration of this haplotype).

Testing of SNP markers

Several members from our Spearin group volunteered to be involved in testing newly discovered SNP's (single nucleotide polymorphisms) as part of the I-M223 Y-haplogroup project at FTDNA headed by Aaron Torres and Wayne Roberts. The results so far reveal that the members of GF1 belong to the I2b1 (I2a2a) subgroup "Cont1".

The particular SNP profile of Cont1 is M223 >>> Z161 > L801/Z76 > CTS6433 > Z78 > Z185 > L1198, the latter being the new current terminal SNP for this group, revised in Nov 2013 (Z185 was the previous terminal SNP but then it was discovered to be upstream of L1198). SNP's that we tested negative for were Z190, Z79 and F3195 (these identify further subgroups of Cont1, downstream of L1198). As more people test, the migration patterns of this particular I2b1 subgroup will become more clear and may give us clues as to how the Cont1 subgroup moved across Europe in the period from 4000 years ago up to the present day.

The next 12 months or so will see an explosion of new SNP markers from tests such as Geno 2.0 (National Genographic), Chromo2 (Britain's DNA), Full Genome Corporation Y-sequencing, and FTDNA's "The Big Y". You can read more about these different tests on the ISOGG Wiki. These new tests will identify new markers for GF1 members to test which in turn will help ascertain the finer branches of the Y-DNA haplotree and our place on it.

In addition, these SNP markers (together with STR markers) may eventually help split the different members of Cont1 into further subgroups, and it should be possible to get a rough idea of when each group split away from which other group, thus generating a useful timeline. Ultimately we may be able to link up a particular subgroup with the family of Spering bookbinders from Flanders in the 1400's.

The Haplogroup I tree

The following Wikipedia article has more information regarding Haplogroup I and its position on the Haplotree, but the subclades (subgroups) of Haplogroup I, with their defining mutations, can best be viewed on the most up-to-date ISOGG tree which can be found here - As of Dec 2013, the defining mutations for the particular subclade currently associated with GF1 are as follows:

I - L41/PF3787, M170/PF3715, M258, P19_1, P19_2, P19_3, P19_4, P19_5, P38, P212, U179
I2 - L68/PF3781/S329, M438/P215/PF3853/S31
I2a - L460/PF3647/S238
I2a2 -  L35/PF3862/S150, L37/PF6900/S153, L181, M436/P214/PF3856/S33, P216/PF3855/S30, P217/PF3854/S23, P218/S32
I2a2a - L34/PF3857/S151, L36/S152, L59, L368, L622, M223, P219/PF3859/S24, P220/S119, P221/PF3858/S120, P222/PF3861/U250/S118, P223/PF3860/S117, Z77
I2a2a1 - CTS616, CTS9183
I2a2a1c - CTS10057, CTS10100
I2a2a1c2 - Z161
I2a2a1c2a - L801/S390
I2a2a1c2a2 - CTS6433
I2a2a1c2a2a - Z78
I2a2a1c2a2a1 - L1198

Note that currently the following markers appear to be phyloequivalent (i.e. the same marker was discovered by different people but given different names because they didn't know it was the same as the one previously discovered) -

  • L801 & Z76
  • Z78 & Z171
  • Z166, Z180 & Z187

The Full Genome Corporation website has a nice interactive tree that can be used to see the location of the particular subclade to which GF1 members belong, and how it fits into the overall Y-DNA haplotree. They use slightly different marker names, thus:

  • L1235 > V250 > V221 > PF1412 > M168 > P143 > P136 > L16 > P130 > U179 > L68 > L460 > M436 > Z77 > CTS9183 > Z161 > L801 > CTS6433 > Z78 > L1198 > Z190 > S434

Further historical information regarding the changes in Haplogroup I nomenclature can be accessed at

Migration Path of Haplogroup I

There are some interesting maps of the currently proposed early migrations of Haplogroup I across Europe at the following websites:

Comparison of Haplogroup I2b1 "Cont-1" subgroup and Spearin Genetic Family 1

Click here to go to the next section.



Maurice Gleeson
Dec 2013

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Last update: Dec 2013

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