The Gillespie DNA Project has been collecting DNA samples for 15 years from Gillespie born males.

From the head of this project “If Gillespie men want to order a YDNA test at Family Tree DNA for the Gillespie DNA Project, they  provide the info on their direct male Gillespie ancestors, ask to join the Gillespie project and when accepted, order at least a 37 marker YDNA test – 67 markers is better.  It is highly likely that I will recommend advanced SNP testing after they do the YDNA test.”

Autosomal DNA tests are performed by Family Tree DNA (called Family Finder), 23andMe and Ancestry. They do nothing to help identify male Gillespie lines and their haplogroups.  Autosomal DNA tests may find close cousins (1st through 3rd, and sometimes 4th cousins and once in a while 5th cousins.)

Companies provide broad percentage estimates of early ethnic origins with those autosomal DNA tests.  The estimates by each company and GedMatch vary.  Those percentages are a combination of all of your paternal and maternal ancestors .  The ethnic origins are not for specific family lines. Those tests do not tell you the exact early locations of each of your ancestors.  They should not be considered as fact.  Each family member that takes that test, even siblings will get different estimate percentages and locations.”


My own Gillespie line  through DNA profiling (thanks to my brother) is listed with others identified as IM223 on page one of the Classic Chart. However, this chart is not longer in public domain, and one has to be a member to log in and view it,  and other results.

See member 405083 re our oldest ancestor,  William Gillespie b 1818 Clogher, Ireland…his son John b 1840 Ontario,  who is my paternal grandfather in  CANADA.

Apparently my line of IM223 is linked to James Gillespie Jr b 1749 from Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland who immigrated to Washington Co, PENNSYLVANIA, and George Gillespie b 1740 Northern Ireland and d 1827 in OHIO. He married Jane Allen.   Now George is definitely a Scottish name, not Irish, indicating Scottish origins in Ireland.

A secondary link through DNA is to the founding family of Thomas Gillespie and Naomi of Rowan Co, North Carolina, from which this DNA project originated.

VIDEO – Understanding the different DNA tests & Common Questions answered

VIDEO – Am I Jewish?

An interview with  a Jewish DNA expert Bennett Greenspan who explains in wonderful detail about DNA testing and  collection, and answers for me if I am Jewish or not. Even though I am Irish on five lines of my father’s family, I found a female in the 5th generation from my mother whose name sounds very Jewish.  From research I had already discovered that to be a Jew one’s mother has to be Jewish, but even that may be obscured.  A fascinating explanation of DNA testing for any nationality.  

DNA Health Related Issues

Gillespie Syndrome: Gillespie syndrome is a disorder that involves eye abnormalities, problems with balance and coordinating movements (ataxia), and mild to moderate intellectual disability.  It is named to honour the man who discovered this in 1965.

Gillespie syndrome is characterized by aniridia, which is the absence of the colored part of the eye (the iris). In most affected individuals, only part of the iris is missing (partial aniridia) in both eyes, but in some affected individuals, partial aniridia affects only one eye, or the entire iris is missing (complete aniridia) in one or both eyes. The absence of all or part of the iris can cause blurry vision (reduced visual acuity) and increased sensitivity to light (photophobia). Rapid, involuntary eye movements (nystagmus) can also occur in Gillespie syndrome.


Website for Gillespie records world-wide