Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-11 > 1067716683

From: David Faux <>
Subject: [DNA] R1b, Surnames, and Ancient Origins
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003 11:58:03 -0800 (PST)

Hello all:

One of the DNA puzzles that have "plagued" many of us is trying to determine the "deep ancestry" of R1b Y-DNA signatures. I am one of those who inherited a common haplotype (Atlantic Modal Haplotype plus or minus one i.e., variation 1.15+) amidst the most common haplogroup in Europe - R1b (Eu18, Hg1 old style). Some people on this List with this profile appear to shrug their shoulders and imply or assert that there will be no way to be able to learn of our deep ancestry (e.g., 2000 years ago) since R1b is so common across all of Europe (in a decreasing cline from west to east). Then there are others such as myself who soldier on, trying to find clues to point to one region of Europe or the other. I am fortunate in that my grandfather Williamson is at the opposite end of the spectrum, having no exact matches to his profile in any world - wide database, but many two step mutations in Siberia, India, Mongolia, and a few in Norway and Shetland (the latter place being the bir!
of his grandfather). Classic R1a1 Viking - west coast of Norway - no need to do any further research here. Curiously I have come to the tentative conclusion that my grandfather Fauxes R1b ancestors came from the same place. My method was simple - an exhaustive exploration of all the research sources yet available.

I will outline the evidence (since it may encourage others in a like position) for my attributing the origin of my Y-Chromosome to Norway, and then await the inevitable (and most welcome) criticism - since I am only seeking the truth, not attempting some sort of Procrustean fit to conform to a preconceived belief or wish. Basically I am going to make a case for the judicious use of available databases as well as published research articles to point a researcher in the right direction.

I should note that I am at a distinct advantage for two reasons. First, I have had my Y-DNA analyzed by four companies, and therefore in total something like 32 markers at my disposal for the task at hand. Secondly, I have a name and a family tradition which points me in one direction only. The surname is Norman (meaning falcon in old Norman); and my grandfather maintained that we were of Norman descent (i.e., via oral tradition). None of this offers anything other than a starting point, so it is to the DNA results that I must turn to seek confirmation or to refute this hypothesis.

As to the databases. The YSTR is of limited assistance since so few markers are used, and it is not unusual to have "matches" across the length and breadth of Europe (which is the case with my signature). The REO database of FTDNA can be useful if one is seeking genetic cousins or unsuspected matches possibly attributable to adoption etc. It is, however, highly skewed with the selective data from surname studies, and many of the participants are American and unsure of their European roots. However, the Haplogroup database at FTDNA is excellent for our purposes (ancient lineage) since the subjects were actually sampled in their country of origin (e.g., Denmark) and each individual has been given a haplogroup assignment. In my opinion this database is probably the most useful tool for anyone seeking "deep ancestry". The matches for my signature are France and Iceland (yet both have relatively small sample sizes relative to England where I have no matches). Looking at on!
e step
mutations, the largest number of matches are from France, Iceland, and Norway - all others are "singles". Now Iceland is interesting here in that the historical and DNA record indicate that about 80% of the male settlers were Scandanavian (primarily from Norway), and 20% were British. Since the documentary evidence shows my Faux ancestors in England from the 1300s (earlier records are not available) I am going to conclude that the route to England began in France in 1066 or thereabouts, and that prior to France my male line ancestors resided in Norway.

In addition to databases, there are some excellent clues available from a study of the published research articles (many of which have their own databases, including microsatelite signatures of all subjects). Articles focusing on Iceland show that my specific R1b Y-DNA signature is relatively common there (supporting the information from the FTDNA Haplogroup database). As an example of another article of interest, an exploration of Norwegian haplotypes showed that 18% are of my AMH 1.15+ signature. Another article uses markers that are seldom employed in research and reported that of a sample size of 72, 20 had a R1b haplotype - and of these 20, 10 had a 23/19 score on the CAII a/b markers. My scores are 23/19.

My conclusion, tentative of course, is that my earliest Faux ancestor over - wintered in Southern Spain during the Last Glacial Maximum, then around 12,000 years ago ambled his way (well, his descendants did) toward the east, ending up a few thousand years ago in what is today Norway. One of his descendants was among the Vikings to settle in Normandy in the 900s (others went to Iceland in the late 800s), and again one of these descendants in turn came to England in 1066 (some remaining in France) to become the Norman ancestor of DKF.

This is my working hypothesis, and subject to change in a heartbeat with convincing contrary evidence. I would hope that others would do as I have done (I am sure many of you have) and selectively use the databases and research articles to ascertain the ancient origins of your R1b Y-Chromosome.

Good luck,


Dr. David K. Faux, P.O. Box 192, Seal Beach, CA, 90740, USA

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