GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-06 > 1275937008
From: "Ken Nordtvedt" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] I2b1a M284+ and Irish Exiles to Iberia
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2010 12:56:48 -0600
----- Original Message -----
From: "grandcross" <>
> During the Napoleonic era, Wellington commanded an Anglo-Portuguese army
> around 52,000. Half were Portuguese, about one quarter English and the
> remainder Irish, Scots and German. Not all of them returned to the Isles.
> It's not easy to discern how many came, went back or stayed behind,
> The same is true for General Moore, a Scotsman, and his disastrous Iberian
> campaign of 1809.
Amusingly we are full circle in less than 24 hours. What brought my
attention to the Irish regiments in Iberia was watching the PBS Sunday night
series "Sharpe" about a soldier in the British army during the Napoleanic
wars and Wellington's campaign in Iberia. Last night Sharpe had to deal
with an Irish regiment, its snooty commander and commander's beautiful wife.
The British were of course allied with the Spanish in this situation against
the French. The Irish units were ambivalent, to say the least, about
fighting for the English, but Sharpe whipped them into shape. Some did
desert. But the way the program talked about the Irish hinted they were
basing things loosely on a deeper generally accepted historical Irish
connection to Iberia.
But digging a bit deeper, the service of Irish in Iberian military goes back
much further than Napoleanic era. Many of the troops Spain garrisoned in
the low countries when they ruled there were apparently Irish units. This
forum has been through these kind of issues for a long time --- most often
concerning Roman legion units of various ethnicities stationed in the Isles.
But demographics is destiny --- this is largely about numbers and whether
these groups make a dent on the gene pool? Apparently these Irish in Iberia
stayed and many brought their Irish wives with them.