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From: David Faux <>
Subject: [DNA] Irish versus Norwegian R1b Signatures
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 11:05:55 -0800 (PST)


Since the pattern analysis approach using available databases did not work in helping to ascertain a particular Celtic profile of matches, I have shifted gears and have turned to the research literature to see if it is possible to differentiate a R1b Irish haplotype from a R1b Norwegian haplotype. Apparently it is a good news, bad news scenario - based on my preliminary observations.

The Helgason article entitled, "Estimating Scandanavian and Gaelic Ancestry in the Male Settlers of Iceland" (AJHG. 67:697-717, 2000) provides a partial answer. As is well known, Iceland was settled about 870 - 930 by Norse and Gaelic pioneers. The estimates from most sources suggest that while most of the female settlers were from Britain, the Y chromosome contribution from Britain was 20 - 25% (most being R1b).

The above article has some useful charts that may assist some in finding evidence relative to the ancient origins. For example they provide the precise haplotypes of all 181 Icelanders, and list them by haplogroup, using 10 markers. My haplotype and that of my distant cousin are the two most frequently occurring haplotypes. Since most of the contribution to the R1b gene pool of Iceland comes from pre Anglo - Saxon British sources it does not support a hypothesis of Norwegian R1b as the Faux signature. Secondly, there is a chart comparing the haplotypes of Norwegians, Danes, Irish, and Scots on 5 microsatelite DYS markers. Looking at my haplotype in the Norwegian (.07% of sample) and Irish (.08% of sample) haplotype lists - clearly the results do not suggest any skew toward one population or the other. My cousin (who happens to be 2 of 25 markers different from myself) has a similar profile - 21% of the Norwegian sample, and 19% of the Irish sample.

It appears, however, that using the 10 markers, there is a distinctively Norwegian profile (not mine or that of my cousin). Four haplotypes are shared exclusively between the Gaels and Icelanders; and five haplotypes are found only in Norway and Iceland. Unfortunately the article does not appear to directly list these haplotypes, but they do provide one diagnostic marker that is clearly Norwegian. The DYS385 marker value most frequently found is 11/14 (that of myself and my cousin). However, 13/17 and 13/18 appear to have only a Scandanavian source.

I suppose that any out there who are interested in knowing if there is support for the hypothesis that their R1b British ancestor came there as a Norse Viking might wish to check out their alleles on DYS385. The rest of us are left with having to face the reality that our ancient origin could be in Britian or Norway or ..........................

David F.




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



www.davidkfaux.org



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