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Creer from the Isle of Man Y-DNA Study

Current genealogical research has already established that the Creer family groups, recorded as originating on the Isle of Man (IOM), were at least present on the Island from around 1500. A number of distinct Creer family trees have been identified and recorded covering the period 1600-2005 and a database of some 20,000 Creer family history events (births, marriages and deaths) from around the world has been assembled.

Some 70% of these events have been identified and attributed to individual distinguishable Creer family groups (n=60), all being traced back to origins in the IOM. Hence today there is a relatively clear picture of how different Creer families have emigrated from the IOM and scattered around the world to a number of countries including England, the USA, Australia and Canada. No significant migration occurred until the early 1800's and prior to that, for at least 300 years, the Creer families were born and died almost exclusively on this small island.

The earliest, surviving, written records show that in 1511 there were only 7-8 Creer families (at that time McCrere) on the IOM, all living no more than 5 miles from each other. Current genealogical research is examining the early land records of that time, to try and understand :- 

  •    how these original families were connected to each other if at all - and 

  •    how these original families evolved into the Creer family groups of today, that have been identified and recorded   subsequently.

This current research is proving slow and difficult owing to the age of such records, their inaccessibility, incompleteness and lack of detail.  Therefore a new and supplementary approach has been adopted, namely that of Y Chromosome analysis of Creer males known to have originated from the Isle of Man. This study commenced in 2005 and is now largely complete.

Summary and Conclusions

Although this was a relatively small sample of respondents in comparison with some other studies, the closely-fitting set of DNA results observed, set alongside a very comprehensive database of matching family history records indicate that this tightly-focussed research has indeed produced valid results. Whilst, the sample tested represented only about 5% of all Creer males living today, the Creer family groups included in the testing cover about 75% of all Creer males living today.

The way in which the Y-DNA analysis has corroborated and supported the genealogy evidence has been impressive and reassuring. This study clearly demonstrates how these new techniques do really work in conjunction with existing genealogy research and can bring new and powerful insights - and has also unblocked a major barrier in understanding the Creer family history. The questions that were posed at the beginning of the study and that now have been answered are:-

  1. All Creers from the Isle of Man are genetically related to each other. 
  2. Because the Creer haplotype values were so closely-grouped, the McCreres recorded in 1511 must have been the direct ancestors of the Creers living on the same farms 100-150 years later . 
  3. This means that all Creers from the Isle of Man are descended from one single male ancestor. 
  4. Statistical modelling of the Creer phylogenetic tree was carried out and this indicates that there is a 95% probability that the most recent Creer common male ancestor lived between 1260 and 1409 .

In addition, other new knowledge about the history of the Creer family has been gained:- 

  •  Previously unsuspected connections between existing Creer family tree groups have been identified and new insights into relationships have been gained.

  •  Recent tests show that the Creer family belongs to the to the larger R1b1b2a1b5* Haplogroup (or R1b-L21). This is a quite a specific and recent Y-DNA identification and is relatively common in Europe. It is taken to indicate a Celtic (Irish or Scottish) origin. This DNA profile might be expected in view of the proximity of the Isle of Man to its two Celtic neighbours, but at the current level of knowledge no further clues which might tell us more as to whether the earlier origins of the Creer line might be found in Ireland or Scotland, are apparent. Work to try and find out more on this aspect is ongoing.

A full report of the Creer Y-DNA study can be found here

The Creer Y-DNA study website can be found here


Last updated 13/10/2010    Copyright 2001-2020 by John A Creer  -  Any questions please contact the webmaster by email  

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