The Crowley Clan DNA Project

It is 30 years since a British scientist discovered how to identify individuals by their DNA. Professor Alec Jeffreys of Leicester University remembers the eureka moment that changed police investigations forever (BBC September 9, 2014). All of us who have an interest in our ancestry have Professor Alec Jeffreys to thank for the technology which helps us identify our family links.

Your Y-Chromosome is a sex chromosome. Sex chromosomes carry the genetic code that makes each of us male or female. All people inherit two sex chromosomes. One comes from their mother and the other from their father. All men receive a Y-Chromosome from their father and an X-Chromosome from their mother. Men and only men inherit their father’s Y-Chromosome. Thus, it follows the same path of inheritance as your direct paternal line.

Paternal line DNA testing uses STR markers which are places where your genetic code has a variable number of repeated parts. STR marker values change slowly from one generation to the next. Testing multiple markers gives us distinctive result sets. These sets form signatures for a paternal lineage. We compare your set of results to those of other men in our database. The range of possible generations before you share a common ancestor with a match depends on the level of test you take. A match may be recent, but it may also be hundreds of years in the past. (Family Tree DNA Home Page).

The Crowley DNA project began in September 2005. Tom Crowley former Taoiseach started looking into a DNA test to help link genetic cousins. He wrote an article for the newsletter which was published in July 2005. I contacted him about the test and he persuaded me to be the administrator, partly because of my medical background as a Nurse Practitioner and partly because of my own search for my family origins.

Little did I know that my home would be almost completely destroyed a month later by Hurricane Wilma and I would spend the next 18 months living in a FEMA trailer outside our home while trying to get the project off the ground. I was very lucky to have reasonable internet access after the hurricane and a notebook computer to work on.

From these humble beginnings with just five participants we have now a total of 115 who are members of our group. We have had several matches including my father and our line in Ireland. Please consider participating in the project. There is no medical information identified from testing, and the results are private. Cost for the recommended 37 marker test is $149 USD plus $9.99 for shipping and handling. Results take between 6 and 8 weeks. Additional testing can be added on at any time.

The Crowley Clan Newsletter is
compiled by Marian Crowley Chamberlain