THE SPROUL PROJECT
About Us -
This web site and the overarching project it represents arose from the interest and volunteer effort of two people, Joe Sprowl and Glen Sproul dit MacDonald. Both are fascinated by the story of Walter Spreull and his descendants. Both were proud of their Scottish heritage and drawn to the study of genealogy for various reasons. Their biological backgrounds made genetic genealogy a natural interest. Joe 's dedication led him to accept leadership of the FTDNA Sproul DNA Project following Philip Sprowl of Indiana who started the DNA Project in 2009. Sharing these interests are genealogists Kate (Sproule) Tammamagi and Mary Helen Haines who kindly agreed to join the team. All four want to help others understand their family histories. One interesting difference is that Joe and Kate always knew their Sproul family roots while Glen only discovered and met his biological paternal family in recent years!
Our hope is that this site and the communication services, genealogical and genetic resources associated with it will form a nexus for Sprouls, Sproules, Sprowls, Spreulls and every other variation of the family name to come together - not just unravel our past history, but build a community of family members for today and the future.
Joe Sprowl is Administrator of the Sproul DNA Project. Joe took over the DNA project in May, 2017 after it had been dormant since its inception about 2012. Since then the project has grown from a membership of just four yDNA and a handful of autosomal testers to now over eighty-five members, nearly half are yDNA/Deep clade testers and the project is still going strong. He has been a family researcher and historian since 1992, before the age of genealogical research on the internet. Joe has traveled to England twice and Ireland three times for genealogical research and to visit the historical sites of his ancestors. Joe enjoys visiting and being involved with the restoration of historic and forgotten cemeteries. Joe is also an avid student of the Irish famine period, specializing in historical research of that period. Joe also owns a personal history library of thousands of historically related books and other articles including an extensive collection of colonial period and Irish genealogical resources. Joe is a member of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society and graduate of genealogy studies at Boston College.
Kate Tammemagi is the leading researcher in tracing the Sproule Family Groups in Ireland and their descendants abroad, and she is also the keeper of the Sproule name in the Guild of One Name Studies. Kate is now an Administer of the Sproul DNA project, hoping to help link the DNA results with known Sproule family trees.
A Sproule herself, Kate was born Catherine Sproule in Derry, Northern Ireland. Her grandfather was born on the Tullymoan farm in County Tyrone where their Sproule family has lived uninterrupted since the 1630s. The family knew precious little of their history, nor did they know anything of the many amazing stories that were revealed in Kate’s research. She started a blog, Sproule Genealogy to share this information, and from this came more details on Sproule clans and more family histories from fellow Sproule family historians. She is now attempting the almost certainly impossible task of identifying all the Sproule lines who came to Ireland and spread from there far and wide.
John Sproule, newly appointed Administrator to the Sproul Project. John has worked in the
agricultural industry in Northern Ireland for over thirty years. His knowledge of the Tyrone,
Fermanagh and Donegal areas, as well as his knowledge of the location of different Sproule
families within these counties, meant that he was in the perfect position to introduce the
other Sproule Project Administrators to the West of Ireland in October 2019. This led the
project to break new ground and discover new familial connections. John was raised on the
family farm in County Tyrone and is one of ‘The Greenan Sproules’, located just outside
Dromore County Tyrone. He had studied the Sproule family roots for several years before
discovering ‘The Sproul Project’.
Glen Sproul dit MacDonald
Glen Sproul dit MacDonald is Administrator of the Sproul Project website and is Co-Administrator of the Sproul DNA Project. Glen is currently a Global Fellow at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and a UCLA Distinguished Professor with joint appointments in Geography; Evolutionary Biology and Ecology; and Environment and Sustainability. Glen was raised as a MacDonald in the Canadian Maritime tradition where family, clan and Scottish roots are important. However, genetic analysis and other evidence revealed that his biological paternal family are the Sprouls of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. He feels fortunate to know the great folks in both his Sproul and MacDonald families. Glen is particularly interested in how genetic and genealogical information from the Sproul Project can help us understand our family history, and also further understand the fundamentals of human population genetics. Given his own personal experience Glen is also keen to provide what help he can to adoptees and others trying to determine their family roots using genetic and genealogical records.
Mary Helen Haines
After 29 years at of teaching World and European history at Richardson High School, Mary Helen Haines retired and began her journey researching family history. She continued teaching as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and began publishing family histories, delving into various branches of her family and their involvement in momentous events in U.S. history, as well as the migrations from Europe to America and across the U.S. In 2001, she joined Clan MacFarlane Society and became involved in FamilyTreeDNA’s MacFarlane project with the participation of two male McFarland cousins. Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc. was founded in 2010 and she became the Chair of the Genealogy Department. In that capacity, she learned about the Sproule Sept and its connection to Clan MacFarlane. She is currently a co-administrator with the MacFarlane DNA project which has over 1000 members, as well as an administrator for two small projects that were “orphaned.” Mary is eager to help find Scottish connections and share knowledge of the Sproule Sept within the MacFarlane society.