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Subject: Halotype Analysis Cautions
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 19:02:46 +0000


Ken, David, Alan and List:

After reading Manni's 2004 paper on the surnames of the Netherlands (the Province of Friesland often used as a surrogate for the ancient population of the Anglo - Saxons), and related work on France, it is very clear that the best one could expect in terms of population stablity in a region over time is 20%. In other words 80% or more of the Y chromosomes found in a region or Europe were not there in the 1500s or even the 1800s in the case of the Netherlands. We can only guess at how the documented migrations in Europe subsequent to the break up of the Roman Empire circa 400 AD have altered the genetic picture and in some cases entirely "defaced" the structure for the periods of interest to population geneticists and haplotype analysists. Personally I don't see an easy way around this.

The "Alpine type" or whatever group is being studied may actually have their ancestral roots in the marshes of Jutland 1500 years ago. I don't know if I am being a pessimist or a realist - but after reading this literature I think it would be both. After reading Behar's data on the large R1b component of the Sephardic Jews of Holland it occurs that this is just one example of many that could be cited. The sampling of Friesland could include an unknown number of Sephardic Jews of many haplogroups who were given refuge there after the 1492 Inquisition. If only the grandfather's place of birth is taken into consideration then this is going to wildly distort the true face of Europe 500 years ago, let alone 1500 years ago.

I hope that this is a tempest in a teapot and that I am being unduly alarmist but if not then we may be barking up the wrong tree in our attempt to locate say the "homeland" of say the I1a people of England today. My suspicion, based on history, is that Central Europe is going to be the most problematic (let alone the Balkans if we move further south). It also occurs that if someone has say an R1b haplotype with matches in Brittany that this is non - diagnositic since there was a movement from the Continent to Britain, then from the Britain to the Continent (Brittany from Cornwall etc.), then a movement from Brittany to Britain again with the legions of William the Conqueror in 1066 let alone other movements during the Plantagenet Era and the Hugenots and so on.

I have pretty well given up any hope of knowing where the early Fauxes came from. The name is Norman but there is absolutely no clear indication from the DNA evidence of any "ancient homeland". I am inclined to adopt the most parsimonious interpretation and say for the moment that they were probably native Britons - although it seems that many are searching for what some might see as more "exotic" Continental origins. They were from East Anglia from the time of the earliest records and I see no reason to assume that they were anything but locals subjegated by the invading Angles. Having a larger than expected number of matches to Ireland may support this "local" hypothesis.

David F.


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