Spencer DNA - Update

At last years reunion I was asked whether there was value in other members doing DNA tests. At the time I was uncertain. I have changed my mind and think its definitely worthwhile for interested members of the family to do Autosomal DNA tests preferably via Ancestry.com.au

There are several reasons for this change of mind.

1. The main reason is probability. Thomas and Mary are great great grandparents of mine and each contributes only 6.25% of my DNA. We are actually looking for DNA matches from at least another generation back. The parents of Thomas and Mary each provide 3.125% of my DNA. The simple message here is the more members of the family with DNA tests the more likely it is to find a Spencer or Stark relative.

2. I have about 150 4th -6th cousins DNA matches, the vast majority of whom I can't specifically identify. However in one part of my family tree the ability to identify matches has been helped massively because from this one family line there are well over 40 sets of DNA and many shared matches. The message here is the more people from the family line with DNA tests the easier it is to cross match. In all fairness i have to add we are searching for a missing ancestry of a convict who arrived in NSW in 1797. We have not located the missing parentage but we are also looking several generations further back than with Thomas and Mary, almost at the limit this type of DNA analysis.

3. Another good reason for more members of the family to do DNA tests is that of the 6 people who have done Ancestry DNA tests 5 of them are descendants of John Spencer and Eliza Marsh. This of course means we have a very limited DNA sample as John inherited half of both his parents DNA.

4. Now is one of those good times during the year to do a DNA test as Ancestry offers significant discounts for Fathers Day as well as Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day and DNA day. Until 3rd September you can get 20% of the standard DNA cost.

What is important to do is link your DNA to at least a basic public family tree. This is really important. If you need assistance with this part of the process please contact either Sandy Gibbney or Ian Spencer by using the contact form on this website.

What we really need is descendants of Thomas, Matthew, Elizabeth and Edward to participate.


A couple of additional tests has identified the Spencer line a haplotype I-Y5455 unique to southern Ireland. The origins of this yDNA line is definitely in Ireland about 5-8000 years ago. So Neolithic people. Discussions with some yDNA specialist suggest that there has been a constant flow of people between Ireland and England in the last 5000 years and suggests that Thomas' ancestor may have acquired the Spencer name in England before moving back to Ireland.