16 Sep 2012

Part 21: Swinfield DNA update

We have the result of another DNA test which adds significantly to our knowledge of the relationship between the larger branches of our family. Andrew Swinfield of Sydney, New South Wales, commissioned a 37 marker test through Family Tree DNA. The results are now in. You can see and compare the results that we now have on the Swinfield DNA &Genealogy page hosted by FTDNA. What do they tell us? I have discussed these results in detail there.

To summarise what we know, we now have three men who have been tested. They are:
Andrew John Swinfield                       born 1957   Sydney, NSW          Family 3A         
Derrick George Joseph Swinfield        born 1928   Leicester                  Family 5F
Paul Frederick Swinfield                     born 1957   Crayford, Kent         Family 4 & 13

Andrew & Derrick match at 29 of 32 markers
Paul & Derrick match at 31 of 32 markers
Andrew & Paul match at 34 of 37 markers
Wolvey church
Only two of them are known to be related through genealogical records. Andrew is the 4th cousin, once removed, to Paul, both being part of the extensive family which is designated as Family 3 & 4. They both descend from Thomas Swinfield and Elizabeth Hackett who married in the parish church of Monks Kirby, Warwickshire, on 21st August 1803. They named their children in the neighbouring church of Wolvey from 1804 to 1820 before moving on to Mancetter where they named their last three sons from 1822 to 1827.

Andrew’s ancestor was William (1804-1876) who emigrated to NSW in 1848. He is the forebear of all living Swinfields in Australia. Paul’s great-great-grandfather, George Swinfield (born 1825), remained in England after his two oldest brothers, William and John (1806-1874), travelled to the other side of the World.

Derrick is part of my branch of the Swinfields, Family 5, an equally large lineage. Unlike me, through the unfortunate illegitimacy which resulted in my great-grandfather, in 1841 (see Part 6 of the blog), he would appear to have a “typical” Swinfield Y-chromosome. He has inherited this from his direct male ancestors. His almost exact match with the two representatives of Family 3 & 4 strongly argues that the two largest pedigrees are branches of one much larger family tree. If only records had survived from that early, it would be possible to show that all those named Swinfield descend from a single ancestor who assumed our surname in about the 13th century when names became hereditary. 
It would appear that the "Swinfield haplotype" is:  

DYS Value DYS Value
393 13 448 19
390 24 449 30
19 14 464a 15
391 10 or 11 464b 16
385a 11 464c 16 or 17
385b 14 464d 17
426 12 460 11
388 12 GATA-H4 11
439 11 YCAlla 19
389a 13 YCAllab 23
392 13 456 15
389b 29 607 14
458 17 576 19
459a 9 570 17
459b 9 or 10 CDYa 35
455 11 CDYb 36 or 37
454 11 442 12
447 24 438 12
437 14

We now need to test men from other branches to see if they have the same haplotype too. Volunteers please raise your hands! 

12 Sep 2012

A letter to Australian Swinfields

Since my last blog in early May 2012, Andrew Swinfield of Sydney, New South Wales, has volunteered to send out a letter to all those Swinfields who are listed in Australian White Pages. It was hoped that its content, composed as a joint effort between Andrew and myself, would encourage a positive response and elicit many replies, offering new information about the ancestry of and the relationships between those who share our surname in the Antipodes.

The problem with research in NSW is that only indexes to births to 1906 can be searched online. This means that there is a large gap, of more than a century, between the last available birth registration records which can be accessed from England, all of whom would now be dead, and those who would be alive today. Who are the parents and grandparents of today’s residents in NSW and those who have migrated to other states of Australia? Of the 43 Swinfields, for whom there are telephone listings, 33 still live in NSW. The other ten are spilt between South Australia (4), Queensland (3), Western Australia (2) and just 1 resident of Victoria.

After the letter went out in very late May, we waited expectantly for a great response and continued to wait! Disappointingly, only three people chose to reply. I am still waiting for one, Greg Swinfield, to provide greater detail of their part of the family after he has collected data from his close relatives. Meanwhile, he has sent me a great photograph of his family (taken in the 1930s?). I hope to learn more from him soon. Others may still reply but I am not holding my breath!

By far the most informative reply to date was from Leslie Ernest Swinfield and his daughter, Cheryl Cooper. They had received in 1989, a copy of a Swinfield genealogy which had been compiled by Barbara May Glass nee Swinfield. She had collected information about “Family 3A” by contacting living members at that time. This adds greatly to our knowledge of this major branch of the Australian family in the 20th century. Cheryl and Les have updated their own line for me, bringing it right up-to-date. 

Barbara included an intriguing statement in her narrative: "The Swinfields were very talented people but their liking for alcohol prevented many from reaching their potential in life. They were also very tall, one known to have reached 7' in height." How many of us fit that description?   

The circular letter proved very worthwhile for just this one new contact and all the information which it has produced.