Monday, September 19, 2011

Mapping Viking Migration with Y-DNA STR's

Mapping Viking Migration with Y-DNA STR's

Y-DNA analysis of STR information can provide clues to Viking migration in recent time frames. The Y-DNA STR YMRCA estimates suggests that the Norse (Vikings) could have originated from seafaring peoples of the Mediterranean Sea.

In March, 2011, the results of grouping the DNA STR information by country for the I1 (M253) haplotype were studied.

These results suggested a migration along a sea-faring route in recent time frames. In order to visualize that, a possible migration route is presented here. As stated in the article in March, the method does have some problems. It may be worthwhile to visualization the difference in from currently posted maps of SNP's in order to contrast with what was found from the STR study.

Most SNP maps today show an overland route for M253 either through the mountains of Europe, or through the general vicinity of Germany. The STR map (below) suggests a sea-faring route, based upon TMRCA estimates for STR modal groups by country.

                                                        click on image to enlarge

Some of the resulting TMRCA estimates were stylized in order to represent the data in one graphic.

For reference, see "Y-DNA and Viking Migration"

  and "On Viking Origins & Y-DNA"

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Revolutionary War Quick Studies

Revolutionary War
Quick Studies

Drury Ham has to be my favorite HAM Revolutionary War Veteran. His account of his activities as an Indian Spy, combined with his recollection of the Battle of Cowpens is fairly colorful material. Mordecai Ham was a dragoon at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. William Ham was at the Siege of Yorktown.

If you are looking for a quick study regarding the battles of the Revolutionary War, Jeff Weaver has a few small (and inexpensive) books listed on his Lulu web site. These brief books would be a good companion to our history. These books (below) generally have a good overview of the action, maps, graphics, and an index. These battles are considered to mark the point where the Americans began to win the Revolutionary War.

In our book "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC," we list some details about the Revolutionary War veterans that carried the HAM(M) surname. There were HAM(M) Revolutionary War Veterans that fought in each of the battles that are considered to have turned the tide of the war. Jeff Weaver's books should be of interest to those who want a brief overview (50+ pages) of these battles.

There were Ham(m)'s who were Revolutionary War Veterans from each of these battles:

Battle of Kings Mountain
Battle of Cowpens
Battle of Guilford Courthouse
Siege at Yorktown

Battle of Kings Mountain         (October 7th, 1780  Near Blackburn, SC and King's Mountain, NC)

During the summer of 1780, British commander Patrick Ferguson travelled through South Carolina into North Carolina  gathering loyalist support for the British. After a string of small battles (Wofford's Iron Works, Musgrove's Mill, Thicketty Fort, and Cedar Spring) the campaign culminated in August with the defeat of the Americans at the Battle of Camden. The American "Over Mountain Men" retired to their homes in North Carolina to rest.

In September, British General Cornwallis ordered commander Ferguson to the north, before joining the main British forces again at a later time. By October 7, Ferguson had camped at King's Mountain.

American Colonels McDowell, Sevier, Shelby and Campbell gathered in Tennessee and marched to (present day) Morganton, joining those serving under Cleveland and Winston. On October 6th, they joined forces with Colonel Williams at Cowpens.

The American soldiers marched through the night and arrived at King's Mountain on October 7th. They surrounded the mountain in a horshoe formation, taking cover in the heavily wooded area. The battle lasted about an hour and 225 Loyalists were killed, 716 were taken prisoner. 28 Patriots were killed.

Battle of Cowpens                  (January 17, 1781  Cowpens, South Carolina)

Maj. General Nathanael Greene needed time to recover from the Battle of King's Mountain, and split his mobile force off to be under the command of Brig. General Daniel Morgan. The British Lt. General Charles Cornwallis recognized the strategy and sent his own mobile force under Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton after Morgan. After several weeks of maneuvering, General Morgan finally had to choose his ground before Lt. Colonel Tarleton overran him.

Morgan settled on Cowpens, South Carolina. Morgan's strategy was that the British would expect a retreat. Part of Morgan's plan was for Andrew Pickens' militia to feignt a withdraw by firing three times, and then falling back. When the battle took place, the British became undisciplined and broke ranks in pursuit. This loss of discipline allowed the planned actions of the Continentals to thoroughly rout the British and destroy General Cornwallis' light troops.

Battle of Guilford Courthouse   (March 15, 1781  Greensboro,NC)

After Cowpens, the British General Cornwallis pursued the American General Nathanael Greene to Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina. By this time Greene had built a substantial force (mostly farmers who were nonprofessional temporary soldiers of short duration).

On March 15, General Greene deployed his men in three lines of battle across the Great Salisbury Wagon Road that led off to the southwest toward the camp of the British army. The front line was deployed against a rail fence that surround farm fields and extended into the forest. The second line was located within the forest behind the first line.

The British Highland Regiment attacked, and suffered heavy losses before breaking through the center of Greene's front line. The second line fought for about an hour and was broken by the British, but only after the British again suffered heavy losses. The heaviest fighting was at the third line, where the British General Cornwallis found his men being attacked from the remaining two sides of American forces. The battle culminated when Cornwallis decided to fire his cannon into the center of the struggle, killing his own soldiers in the process. When the smoke cleared, the American General Greene ordered a retreat. Cornwallis had won the battle, but suffered heavy casualties.

From King's Mountain to Yorktown

 (Siege at Yorktown   October 09, 1781  Yorktown, Virginia)

By midsummer, 1781, the Continentals under General Nathaniel Greene had gained virtual control of South Carolina. By September, 1781 Greene had an apparent loss at the Battle of Eutaw Springs to British commanders Arbuthnot and Stewart. Nevertheless, Greene put an end to British conquests in the south.

Also that month, French commander deGrasse defeated a British Fleet that had come to relieve Cornwallis (Battle of the Chesapeake). As a result of this victory, de Grasse blocked any escape by sea for Cornwallis. British General Cornwallis was stationed in Yorktown, Virginia and was surrounded by land and by sea when George Washington arrives. Trees were cleared, trenches were dug, and redoubts were taken. By October 9th, Rochambeau's French cannons would begin the bombardment.

The Revolution in Virginia
by H.J. Eckenrode

Revolutionary War Soldiers from the Upper New River Valley
by Jeffery C. Weaver

About the Publisher

Author Jeffrey C. Weaver holds degrees in American history from Appalachian State University, and after serving in the U.S. Army for several years, he worked as a contracting officer for the U.S. Department of Energy. Former manager of the Chilhowie Public Library, he founded the New River Notes web page in 1998.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Ancient Migrations Using STR TMRCA

Ancient Migrations

An analysis of time frames using Y-DNA STR TMRCA estimations

It may be useful for family historians to use Y-Search data in order to understand ancient migration patterns for their family line.

A number of folks disregard the results from Y-Search that do not provide a DNA match beyond a Genetic Distance of 6. That's because most are only interested in genealogical time frames. Deep ancestry is usually left to obscure SNP notations that may or may not make sense to the average genealogist. The general migration path for an SNP can trace out a migration path dating to tens of thousands of years ago.

However, a family historian might be just as interested in what happened within the last two thousand years, in the hope that some day, supporting documentation may be found, or at least put on their search list.

If you have an idea of where your line originated from within the last two thousand years, then you have an idea of whether or not you should be interested in, for example, Normans. Or Saxons. Or Romans.
I had not completed my migration study of HAM DNA Group #1 when I posted the article (about being in a line from England that also matches Y-DNA for Norway and France. - see cluster #2). However, from the chart listed there, I could have just as easily listed out the data in chronological order, such as:


1577 AD........Virginia
1288 AD........County Somerset, England
913 AD........Broennoeysund, Norway

855 AD........Gloucester or London, England

638 AD........Dirksland or Margraten, Netherlands

465 AD........France

335 AD........Devonshire, England

Which should represent a broad outline of the migration of my own line (HAM DNA Group #1). Not a whole lot of movement there, apparently a fairly stable group. And, my analysis was not really completed (not all of the data was analyzed). The curious entry there (for my group) would be to determine where the group from Devonshire was at 335 AD.

The basic idea is to create the phylogram from the Y-Search data such that you know where the other Y-Search kits may have branched off. Then use Dean McGee's Utility to find the TMRCA in order to estimate an approximate timeline for the migration of your family group.

Without getting into very much detail, I have done this for another I1 haplotype group (WIDEBURG surname). For this study, the Y-Search data was divided into small groups, then Dean McGee's utility was run to get the TMRCA's, and the phylograms were run on the groups in order to determine what was branching off and what was not.

The Wideburg results resembled a migration pattern such as this:

Wideburg............ now.........Sweden

England16........ 1505.........Harpole, Northampton, England; London, England; Thurlby, England

England15........ 1580.........Norwich, England

Ireland19........... 1430.........County Kerry, Ireland

Germany24....... 1305.........Cabell County, Germany

Netherlands07.. 1305.........Netherlands

Denmark03....... 1230.........Stadil, Denmark

Germany08....... 1155.........Germany

England01......... 1080.........Essex, England

England04......... 1030.........Benwick, Cambs, England; Moulton, Northampton, England; Essex, England;

...............................................Newbold Verdon, England; Liverpool, England; London, England;

...............................................Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Scotland06.........1030.........Renfrew (Port Glasgow or Paisley), Scotland; Pike County, Georgia, Scotland

France01............1030.........Tonquédec, France; Oberroedern, Alsace/Elsass, France

Denmark05..........805.........Laurbjerg, Denmark


Germany50..........730.........Oberstenfeld, Germany


Germany45..........580.........Falkenhagen, Pomerania/Pommern, Germany

Slovenia02...........500.........Gradenc, Slovenia

Switzerland11......405.........Buettenhardt, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Sweden05...........155..AD.........Lindesburg Parish, Sweden

Which suggests an I1 migration pattern perhaps originating from Slovenia, and perhaps migrating through Germany via the Danube, through Denmark, France, Scotland, and finally arriving in England, then Sweden. A lot of movement for this group, and the analysis was done by placing similar kits within each country into small groups. The curious point here being to try to understand where the Switzerland group actually was located in 405 AD, as well as the location of the Sweden group in 155 AD.

However, the interesting point for the Wideburg surname is that they are found in Denmark at about the time of the Danish Vikings, and are found in France and England at about the time of the Norman invasion.
However, dividing kits matched by country is no guarantee that you will see movement as clearly defined. When the study was run on the STANLEY surname, the results appeared to be  unreliable for placement on the phylogenetic tree prior to 700 AD. The migration path for this R1b group traced out like this:

STANLEY..... ARJYZ .........Now

England046...........1360.....AD........GBWJC......Salkeld........Salkeld Parva, Cumberland, England
Germany017...........953.5..AD........4MRWP.......Harmon.......Woerttemberg/Wurttemberg, Germany
England096.............910.8..AD........83Y4V.........Curtis...........West Farmington, England
Sweden03...............836.0..AD........SKNTC.......Johansson...Jonsberg, Ostergotland, Sweden
Scotlan034..............727.4..AD........N9SQE.......Downie.........Lanarkshire, Scotland
Sweden07................684..AD........NHVM    Anderson   Goteborg, Goeteborg & Bohus, Sweden
France08..................598 ..AD........JQXXQ     Fousse     Alsace-Lorraine/Elsass-Lothringen, France
England075...............511..AD........England      (490 - 517 Battle of Mons Badonicus - Romano-British under Ambrosius Aurelianus decisively defeat the Anglo-Saxon invaders.)
Sicily01 ....................488..AD........Agira, Sicily
Scotlan032 ...............440..AD........Scotland
Sweden06 ...............408 ..AD........Nordmaling, V???sterbotten, Sweden  (Visigoths under Alaric sack Rome in 410.)
Norway03 ................398 ..AD........Mandal, Norway
Germany019..............391..AD........Roethenbach an der Pegnitz, Bavaria/Bayern, Germany (Visigoths defeat the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 388)
England097..............346 ..AD........Hertfordshire, England
Germany021..............344..AD........Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Germany027..............316..AD........Wurzburg, Germany           (Wurzburg is, perhaps, 150 miles from Trier.)
Germany024..............306 ..AD........Germany   (307 Emperor Constantine is in Britain, and sends troops against Germanic tribes along the Rhine, begins a major expansion of Trier.)
England100..............303 ..AD........Plymouth, Devon or Devonshire, England
England103..............285..AD........Baldwin, Isle of Man, United Kingdom
England098..............285 ..AD........Chorley, England    (Roman Carausius, is put in charge of operations against Saxon and Frankish pirates on the Saxon Shore.)
Italy07  ......................196..AD........Mezzojuso, Italy      (Roman Battle of Lugdunum was fought in 197 AD)
Germany026..............180 ..AD........Schnait im Remstal, Wuerttemberg, Germany  (Roman Praetorian Prefect Teratenius Paternus defeats the Quadi.)
England106 ..............168..AD........Corby, Northamptonshire, England      (The Marcomannic Wars ca 166 - 180)
Germany028..............151..AD........Friedrichroda, Germany
England108 ..............133 ..AD........England              (Antonine begins construction on his wall in 142 AD)
England110.................80..AD........England              (Hadrian begins construction on his wall in 122 AD)
Germany029...............59 ..AD........Hofheim, Bergstrasse, Hessen, Germany (Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo captures Tigranocerta)
Netherla05..................57..AD........Domburg, Zeeland, Netherlands
Australia3...................23 ..AD........Australia             (Australia isn't settled by Europeans until about 1600)
Germany031................8..AD........Wittenberg, Germany (Roman Battle of the Teutoburg Forest)
France09 ....................3  BC..........Bourges, France   [Caesar conquers Bourges (Avaricum) ca 50 BC]

Looks like the last 1,000 years have mostly been in England and Scotland. Prior to that they have a German element, with some indication of the possibility of some ties to Italy and Sicily. So, it looks like that STANLEY line may be Anglo Saxon, with something that looks "Romanesque."

The timeline for the period from 0 AD to 700 AD was updated on Nov 27. 2011, but the phylogeny did not appear to be stable. That is, it is likely that the timeline would may be correct (mostly due to the number of markers tested per kit for the period). The original article only listed the results back to 727 AD. Historical references for the date and location were taken from Wikipedia.

The oldest STR match found indicating possible origins in France.

For the Stanley surname, the Y-Search results had been divided into some 158 groups, mostly 67 markers with less than 20 kits that had been tested to 95 markers. Most of these beyond 67 markers were panel upgrades, which caused a little bit of manual effort to sort in correct order.

The dates do not really provide an explanation of the reasons for migration. It might be reasonable to expect that short periods of migration along coastal areas or waterways to be trading activity. But, it might be difficult to interpret the difference between trading activity and military operations. More information with regard to historical references may help in the interpretation of the activities during the time periods.

Wikipedia articles:

Roman Battles:
Antonine Wall:
Hadrian's Wall:
Marcomannic Wars:

If you would like me to do this for your surname, please see my Y-DNA services web page. 

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Y-STR Mutation Wars

Y-STR Mutation Wars

Dienekes' Anthroplogy blog has a note about the ongoing concern regarding dating Y-DNA.

You might recall my posting about using Y-DNA to date Viking migration to the last 2,000 years. (Rootsi et. al. had a much earlier dating for I1(a) origins in Europe.)

Well, the Viking migration article was not the first time Y-DNA dating techniques have been under scrutiny.

There is some disagreement on dating techniques when comparing SNP TMRCA estimates to STR TMRCA estimates. In this article, he is mostly talking about how to date Y-STR mutations.
Here, Dienekes talks about a new study by Busby and Capelli.

The background information about his previous blog posts is also worthwhile reading:

How Old is Y-Chromosome Adam?

Dienekes previous posts on his Y-STR series:

Monday, May 2, 2011

England Traces in France

England Traces in France

Three clusters from Somerset show Norman ancestry

Clusters of Y-DNA participants in Somerset, England trace back to France During the Norman Conquest

In 2007, population density studies for the HAM DNA Project had shown that Group #1 had a distant genetic match to three areas in England; Yorkshire, London, and Crewkerne (County
Somerset). Later that year, the project picked up a new participant, Tony Ham, who was a close genetic match to HAM DNA Group #1. Tony was a more recent immigrant to the U.S., and knew that his ancestors were from Brent Knoll, County Somerset. At that point, we knew that the home country of HAM DNA group #1 should be County Somerset, England.

Tony had suggested that perhaps we were of Saxon origin, or perhaps Roman origin, since Somerset is in the area of Ham Hill, known to have been used by the Romans. And, the hill carries the Ham name.

However, the
population density studies by Rootsi, et. al., had shown high concentrations of I1 in Norway. Group #1 should have been of Norman descent. Somerset was an area of England that was not under the Danelaw, so in all likelihood, they would not be Danish. Yorkshire (also a distant match to Group #1), is famously known to have been under the control of Normans.

On the other hand, some have said that the Normans were little more than recycled Vikings. You can't really tell the difference
between Saxons, Danes, and Vikings, it has been said.

England has had many invaders up to the time of the Norman Conquest. Romans, Saxons, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, Vikings, Normans, and other Scandinavians had invaded it's shores. Logic can provide a good indication of which group your ancestors might belong to. However, it isn't always a straightforward matter to prove which group brought your ancestors to England. Or, to any other country, for that matter.

The use of genetic genealogy was useful in telling us that HAM DNA Group #1 could be from County Somerset, England. Perhaps it could help determine if HAM DNA Group #1 would be Roman,
Saxons, Danes, or Normans.

It might prove useful to run an ancient migration study on our DNA
Group #1. An analysis of the modals from some 300 groups (or clans) from over 30 different European countries, could compare to the groups to the Group #1 haplotype. The results from such a study have shown a migration route for the last 2,000 years for the ancestors of HAM DNA Group #1. The migration study showed an arrival in Devonshire, Northumberland and Kent circa 500 AD. Or, at least, the lines with ancestors in these locations today have matched the same location as Group #1 from 500 AD. Which should mean that Group #1 shares a Common Ancestor from 500 AD with lines from Devonshire, Northumberland and Kent.

The ancient migration study (of the modals of clans in over 30 countries) showed that HAM DNA Group #1 had arrived in England from France, Germany, Italy, Sicily, and Austria. The phylogenetic tree generated was to close together in time that it looked like the same family, or at least, the phylogeny of the modals could not determine
the difference between these countries.

Prior to 500 AD (according to the modals), there was a
period of about 500 years showing very intense movement, almost obviously by sea, originating in Poland, launching from Slovenia and landing on what appears to be various European coastal areas. It looked very much like intense trading activity.

If HAM DNA Group #1 did in fact arrive in England in 500 AD, then it raises the question of whether or not they would really be of Norman descent. On the other hand, if they simply shared a common ancestor dating from 500 AD, then could the DNA be used to show if they would be Norman descent?

Another DNA study was devised, this time without using modal analysis. This second study was a detailed, kit by kit study of individuals from different countries. The goal was to compare the individuals in HAM Group #1 with individuals from other countries. Each participant in each country would be plotted out on a phylogram, in order to see where HAM Group #1 fits in the genetic tree.

This detailed study of
France proved to provide some missing migration information.

First in the comparison procedure,
three clusters in England that matched the phylogenetic tree to the Somerset group (HAM DNA Group #1) were obtained. Then, Y-Search participants with ancestors from France were sought for a match to these three "Somerset" clusters. The result was that a significant number of matches were found in France.

Following that, comparison of kits from various countries were analyzed for a phylogenetic tree match. In all, a match on individual kits was sought from the Netherlands, England, France, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Germany, and Poland. Each country was compared to HAM DNA Group #1, one at a time. Some countries had no match for the time frame in question. Basically, matches to these three "Somerset" clusters in England were retained, then another match would be sought from another country.

The results for each of the three clusters matching
HAM DNA Group #1 are presented below. A map of the matching locations in France are given in the previous blog article on mapping M253 in France.


Somerset Cluster #1


The phylogenetic tree for the Somerset Cluster #1 has the characteristics of the HULL surname in the area of Crewkerne, County Somerset, England. In order to fill out the genetic tree for this cluster, TMRCA matches had to be searched for in a number of countries and plotted out in a phylogenetic tree.

It was found that prior to Somerset, this group is likely to be found in Norway. Cities that match in Norway include Lesja, Nordland, and Skaun. The group appears to have been in Norway some 600 to 700 years ago.

Prior to Norway, the group appears to have migrated from several countries, but mostly Denmark. For this time period, there are matches in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. Those in France appear to branch off from the main line.
Matching locations in Denmark include Samso and Stadill.

Also branching off from this line are the samples from Woodchurch, County Kent, and Warwickshire in

The point of origin for this cluster appear to be (at least briefly) from Denmark in the areas of Augustenborg and Tjaereborg about 1200 years ago.


Somerset Cluster #2


The phylogenetic tree for the Somerset Cluster #2 has the characteristics of the HAM surname in the area of Virginia, in the United States. Again, to fill out the genetic tree for this cluster, TMRCA matches had to be searched for in a number of countries and plotted out in a phylogenetic tree.

This group matches to a HAM line in Brent Knoll, County Somerset, England. The length of the line between Norway and England is an indication of either some missing data or a long period of settlement.

It was found that prior to Somerset, this group is also likely to be found in Norway. The only city appearing to match in Norway is Broennoeysund, Norway. The group appears to have been in Norway some 900 to 1025 years ago.

Prior to Norway, the group appears to have migrated from two main areas, England and the Netherlands. Matching
locations in England include Somerset, with branching to Gloucester and London.

The point of origin for this cluster appear to be from the Netherlands in the areas of Dirksland and Margraten about 1200 years ago.Prior to that, they join back into phylogram for France. The TMRCA for kit Z3T3D of Devonshire and the rest of HAM DNA Group #1 dates from 1350 to 1500 years ago.

In summary for this group, the phylogenetic tree suggests that this line does not appear to be of Saxon or Danish ancestry.
There is certainly an influence from Norway and France. The surprise is the influence of the Netherlands upon the genetic tree.


Somerset Cluster #3


The phylogenetic tree for the Somerset Cluster #3 has the characteristics of the CHAMBERLAIN, HAMMOND, and NOLES surnames in England. To fill out the genetic tree for the cluster, TMRCA matches had to be searched for in a number of countries and plotted out in a phylogenetic tree.

For this cluster, the areas in France mapping to Norway are
Ringsaker, Buskerud, Oeveroes, and Friedrikstad, (in Norway). This group matches to a CHAMBERLAIN line in Rutland, England and Warwickshire, England. It is also a match to several surnames in France including fitz Osbern, Clergeau, Shappee, Hitt, and Tippit. The locations in France are numerous, but to mention a few with more recent TMRCA estimates: Crepon, Mouzeil, and Lorraine Province, France. Crepon is near Bayeux, home of the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

It was found that prior to Rutland or Warwickshire, this group appears to tie back to both France and Norway. It would appear that prior to arrival in England, the group ties back to a brief period in Oeveroes, Norway. The TMRCA between the HAMMOND surname and ARNESON surname is estimated at 900 years ago. The TMRCA between the CHAMBERLAIN surname and ARNESON surname is estimated at 1025 years ago.

Prior to the migration from France to England, the group
appears to have been in France with the HITT and TIPPIT surnames (PWFVE & Y9QEE), and carry an estimated TMRCA of some 900 to 1025 years ago (to AUXXS, N74PC, and AEDRQ).

The point of origin for this cluster appear to be from France, with typical TMRCA estimates ranging from 1200 to about 1500 years ago.


Mapping Y-DNA M253 in France:

Historical Map of the Dominions of William the Conqueror about 1087, University of Texas at Austin. Historical Atlas by William Shepherd (1923-26):

Norman Conquest of England

The Bayeux Tapestry


Dean McGee's Y-DNA Comparison Utility:

The PHYLIP software package

The HAM DNA Project:

Rootsi et al, Phylogeography of Y-Chromosome Haplogroup I Reveals Distinct Domains of Prehistoric Gene Flow In Europe. American Journal of Human Genetics, 75:128-137, 2004.

'How to Read HAM DNA Phylograms' You Tube video

If you have a similar project in mind that you would like me to analyze, then please see the HAM Country DNA services page.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mapping Y-DNA M253 in France

Mapping Y-DNA M253 (I1) in France
In search of Norman ancestors in France

The use of Y-DNA in family history studies has helped to provide clues for reconstructing the
family tree. It is instructive to map out known M253 samples in France from the Y-Search database in order to see if their is any correlation of the mapping to what is known about the Normans in the historical record.

Population density studies can provide information about country of origin, such as that from Rootsi et. al., in 2004. This paper had shown a high density of the M253 (I1a, or now I1 haplotype group) to be located in Norway, providing a clear clue that M253 could be of Norman Viking descent.

The area of Normandy itself was conquered by the Romans in 98 AD, and with the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, became dominated by the Franks. Cave paintings and megaliths in Normandy prove that humans have been present in Normandy since prehistoric times.

A review of Viking history shows that the Normans originated from the northern Scandinavian areas, known as "Norsemen," or men from the north. This particular branch of Vikings raided the coast of Normandy in the 8th century, and established the area of Normandy, France in 911 AD. The Normans later invaded England with the Norman Conquest in 1066, and generally shared territories in England and Normandy until Normandy was integrated into the Kingdom of France in 1204.

Knowing that M253 has a high population density in Norway, and knowing that the Normans settled the area of Normandy and England, it is helpful to examine the Y-DNA in order to determine of we can identify who may be of Norman descent. This particular study concentrates on mapping the known M253 (I1) Y-DNA participants in the Y-Search database.

In general, I1 is found in northern France, not just in the area of Normandy, but also along the east and west borders. Of the 32 samples found in Y-Search, 20 of them provide a specific city location in France, and about 12 provide only "France" as the location of their ancestry. Only three specifically indicated the area of
Normandy as the location of their ancestry.

Which is to say, population densityof M253 in France today suggests that the greatest concentration is in the region of Alsace Lorraine. However, it is not the mapping, but the phylogeny of the Y-DNA participants in France that tells us that most M253 in France today is of Norman descent. That is, the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor suggests that nearly two thirds of the Y-Search samples in France are of Norman descent.

M253 Y-DNA map in France
( click on image to enlarge)

The Y-Search samples are marked by numbering in red in the map (above). The details of the Y-Search mapping of the individual M253 samples is given below:


Y-Search         Surname              Location ID

1) U7MDP........Barron................Normandy, France
........Blanchard...........Martaize, Loudun, Dept. of Vienne, France
3) TSCUH........Brochard............Longeville-lès-Metz, Moselle, Lorraine, France
4) EEWM3.......Clergeau............Mouzeil, France
5) Q8SAX........Croteau..............Rouen, France
6) RD4SF.........Dendinger..........Oberroedern, Alsace/Elsass, France
7) 9Z4EE.........Desjardin............Joigny, France
....JXPRP.........Desrochers..........France Umfraville (modal)..........France
8) HWN57........fitz Osbern..........Crepon, France
9) 9E6CR........Habant.................Remiremont, France
........Hitt .......................France
10) Y7GVD........Le Cun.................Tonquédec, France
11) KVYFG.........Leindecker..........Vescheim, Lorraine/Lothringen, France
12) Q6TPY..........Leindecker..........Bas Rhin, France
13) 65X9Z..........Pallette.................Le Pallet, France
14) 5GJAW........Schumacher........Alsace-Lorraine/Elsass-Lothringen, France
15) SYU9K........Shappee...............Lorraine Province, France
.......Shiflett ..................France
16) NJ57E.........Souviney...............Rennes, France
17) NNSGK.......Tessier.................Angoumais, France
........Tippit.................... France
18) QAZCS........Turlin....................Saint-Germain-sous-Doue, France, France
19) B83EG........Vermette..............Arras Pas-De-Calais, France
20) GJVK6........Vilmur....................Paris, France


When these samples are analyzed for TMRCA, the Common Ancestor typically dates from 700 to 1600 years ago. The minimum TMRCA was 150 years, and the maximum TMRCA was given as 3350 years ago (TSCUH and either KVYFG or Q6TPY). Which is to say, even within the area of Lorraine, the age estimate on the TMRCA has a large variation.

A significant portion of the samples (
most individuals on the phylogenetic tree from the JULIAN surname and above) share a common ancestor from 700 to 1500 years ago. In general, the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor does correspond to the Viking activity in France, and the distribution today appears to be most dense in the area of Alsace-Lorraine.

The relatively small sample of markers for M253 distribution in France suggests that not many of this haplotype remained in France.

The phylogenetic tree of the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor of these individuals is given below:

M253 in France phylogenetic tree
(click on image to enlarge)

For France, the number of markers tested per individual varied from 25 markers to 76 markers. Kits with 25 marker results may not present reliable information for the time frame studied. For this study, kits with 25 marker results were B83EG, NNSGK, XDPFV, 5GJAW, TSCUH, and U7MDP.



History of Normandy:

Norman Conquest of England

The Bayeux Tapestry


Dean McGee's Y-DNA Comparison Utility:

The HAM DNA Project:

Rootsi et al, Phylogeography of Y-Chromosome Haplogroup I Reveals Distinct Domains of Prehistoric Gene Flow In Europe. American Journal of Human Genetics, 75:128-137, 2004.

Cristian Capelli et. al., A Y Chromosome Census of the British Isles, 2003 Cell Press. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Viking Origins and Y-DNA

On Viking Origins
and Y-DNA

The previous blog article posed a possible migration path for the Vikings, specifically using the Normans as an example. The study used Y-DNA STR modals by country, and dating the phylogram timeline by scaling to the time of the Norman Conquest (1066 AD).

A current (tentative) timeline looks something on the order of:

(...from more recent locations to more ancient.)

Spain...................... 324 AD
Poland.................... 156 AD
Wales....................... 92 AD
Russia...................... 41 AD
Belgium.................... 16 AD
Portugal................... 10 AD
Netherlands.............. 10 AD
Croatia.................. 214 BC
Romania................ 287 BC
Turkey................... 537 BC
Sicily..................... 654 BC
Ukraine................. 793 BC
Slovenia............... 1022 BC
Czech Republic..... 1231 BC

Which is to say, the Y-DNA genetic distance from the time of the Norman Conquest suggests a timeline for migration per country. At least, given the modals per country for what should be the Normans.

The DNA evidence to support the above is by no means complete, nor conclusive. The modals appear to support migration of the Normans from the Mediterranean Sea, but the specific area for origin (of Croatia) is still speculative. The timeline for origins from Croatia is only minimally supported by very few Y-DNA STR samples in Slovenia and the Czech Republic. However, it is interesting to examine the history of the Croatian people during this time period.

The Beginning

Proof for the point of departure for the Viking (I1-M253) migration from Croatia is extremely tenuous at best. The timeline shows an apparent settlement in Croatia by 214 BC, and arrival in Netherlands in 10 AD with arrival in Portugal in 10 AD. This is fairly speculative, based upon very scant DNA evidence for these areas.

In order to determine if this timeline is plausible, more data is needed for I1 in the areas of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. However, it is interesting to examine any historical (or archeological) evidence for this DNA timeline.

For this article, some brief clips from Wikipedia has been used provide some insight for further study. Wikipedia is not the best source for research, but it does give a quick overview of the history of Croatia.


Liburnians were an ancient people inhabiting the district called Liburnia, in what is now Croatia. Liburnians were allied to the Illyrians, who were from the area just south of Liburnia (the former Yugoslavia and current Albania).

Greek history records that Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse (now Sicily) implemented some aggressive tactics towards the Liburnians in the 4th century BC. These actions eventually resulted in the Romans becoming permanent enemies with the Liburnians. Dionysius eventually caused the Liburnians to adopt piracy tactics, and to seek alliances with the Illyrians and Macedonians. After Alexander the Great dies in 323 BC, the Romans wage wars on the Illyrians and Macedonians, which begins the decline of the Liburnian strength. In the end, Roman efforts against the Liburnians would be successful, ending in about 20 AD. It is not clear if the Liburnians participated in the uprisings in the following centuries (Pannonian revolt).

The combination of the Illyrian Wars and the Pannonian revolt appears to have been concluded when Illyricum was dissolved some time around the year 200 AD.

Which implies at least two motives for possible Liburnian migration that are immediately obvious:

a) The peoples of the area could have migrated in order to escape Roman (or in more ancient times Greek) dominance. This theory would be supported by Roman aggression and the Pannonian revolt.

b) As the people of Liburnia became part of the Roman Empire, and any migration could have been due to trade or commerce. If this is the case (and if the Liburnians were I1), then ample I1 DNA evidence in the area of origin would be evident (from peaceful activities). If DNA evidence in the area (dating to a migration) is not ample, then trading would apply only if it was more successful for the people to leave.

The obvious shared traits among the Vikings and Liburnians would include their seamanship and the practice of piracy. However, piracy can be practiced by any seafaring peoples. Although the Vikings used raiding practices (much later), this is not conclusive evidence that they would be the same people. It would appear that if archeological evidence is to support this timeline, it would be in the comparison of ship building architecture. Wood can be carbon dated. Weapons, jewelry, and fibulae (brooches) might provide some comparison. Finally, linguistics might provide some clues (as in stone carvings).

On the blind side, no Native American I1 DNA was studied. The I1 haplotype is thought to have originated in the area of the Black sea with the 170 SNP, so Native American I1 haplotype group is not expected to have originated earlier than in Europe.

Liburnia in the Age of Roman Conquest
from Wikipedia


Ancient Croatia
The archeology of the Liburnian culture (ancient Croatia) has been divided into three main time periods:

1) 11th and 10th century BC. Between two waves of Balkan-Pannonian migrations. The Balkans are generally thought of as stretching from the Adriatic Sea to the Black Sea. Pannonia was located over the territory of the present-day western half of Hungary with parts in Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pannonia was a first century province of the Roman Empire.

2) 9th to the 5th century BC. Liburnian domination in the Adriatic Sea; its first phase (9th century BC), did not generally continue development of the Late Bronze Age. It was beginning of the Liburnian Iron Age marked by their expansion and colonization of Picenum (east coast of Italy), Daunia (southern Italy), and Apulia (southeast Italy) at the Italic shores, which resulted in rich and high level of their cultural development in the 8th and 7th century BC, based on sea trade. Rich material exchange with the other Adriatic coasts was continued in the 6th century BC and connection to Picenum was still strong, but also links to Iapodes (to the north) and Dalmatae (in what is now Croatia, usually classified as Illyrian) has been attested. However, in the 5th century BC, the Greeks undertook leadership of trade in the Adriatic Sea and considerable changes occurred, like widening of the import of Greek products.

3) 5th to the 1st century BC. Decline of their power, typically coinciding with Roman dominance.

In more recent history, the western Empire organized the provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia, which after its downfall passed to the Huns, the Ostrogoths and then to the Byzantine Empire. At the end of the 8th century Charlemagne conquered Pannonia and Dacia, then Istria, Liburnia and Dalmatia, but the main littoral Liburnian and Dalmatian cites, however, remained under Byzantine control. The Croats settled there in the early 7th century.

Ancient Liburnia

The first account of the Liburni comes from Periplus or Coastal passage, an ancient Greek text.

The beginning of the fall of Liburnian domination in the Adriatic Sea and their final retreat to their ethnic region (Liburnia) has been attributed to military and political activities of Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse (406 – 367 BC). (Syracuse was what is now Sicily.) He finished Carthaginian authority, diminished concurrence in Sicily, and turned against the Etruscans. By 385 BC, he focused on the Adriatic Sea, which the Liburnians still dominated.

Over the next 300 years, the Liburnians would see their allies fall to the Roman Empire.

By 33 BC, Liburnia becomes the Roman province of Illyricum. One of the last accounts of the era comes from 35 BC where Octavian destroyed Illyrian pirate communities in the islands and wiped out the Liburnian naval forces.

In AD 6, the Pannonians, with the Dalmatians and other Illyrian tribes, revolted, and were overcome by Tiberius and Germanicus, after a hard-fought campaign which lasted for three years. After the rebellion was crushed in AD 9, the province of Illyricum was dissolved, and its lands were divided between the new provinces of Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south. The date of the division is unknown, most certainly after AD 20 but before AD 50. The proximity of dangerous barbarian tribes (Quadi, Marcomanni) necessitated the presence of a large number of troops (seven legions in later times), and numerous fortresses were built on the bank of the Danube.

The principal forms of settlements in Liburnia were forts for defense, usually built on elevations and fortified with dry walls. In the Liburnian territory, about 400 have been identified so far, but they were considerably more numerous. About a hundred of names of these hill-forts have kept their roots from prehistory, especially places that had been inhabited permanently. The dwellings were square dry-wall ground-floor buildings of one room. Similar stone houses are saved in Croatian tradition in all Dalmatia and Kvarner, mostly of rounded form.

Haughey's Fort, County Antrim (Ireland) radiocarbon dating points to 1170-770BC, which suggests that hill forts were not uncommon for any area from the iron age. see:

Burial tradition

The Liburnians buried their dead in graves near or beneath settlements. They laid their dead on a side in contracted position, mostly in chests of stone slabs. Most of graves were used from the time of the Iron Age. Tumuli are numerous on all Liburnian territory and especially in the narrowest region of Classical Liburnia (Nin, Zaton, etc.).

There were many different manners of performing a Viking funeral. Norsemen often cremated their dead in ship burials, known from archaeology, sagas, Old Norse poetry, and notably from the account of Ahmad ibn Fadlan.

The Viking dead were often laid in a boat, or a stone ship, and they were given grave offerings in accordance with the earthly status and profession of the deceased, and these offerings could include sacrificed slaves. Afterward, piles of stone and soil were usually laid on top of the remains in order to create a tumulus. The excavation of several Viking burial mounds have yielded complete intact maritime craft, large open boats propelled by oars and sails, several of which are now exhibited in various Scandinavian museums.

Throughout Scandinavia, there are many remaining tumuli in honor of Viking kings and chieftains, in addition to runestones and other memorials. Some of the most notable of them are at the Borre mound cemetery, in Norway, and Lindholm Høje and Jelling in Denmark.

Social customs

The Liburnian Ships

The Liburnians were renowned seafarers, notorious for their raids in the Adriatic Sea, which they conducted in their swift galleys. The Greeks and Romans knew them as pirates.

Battle between Liburnian and Picenian ships from the Novilara tablets (6th/5th century BC)

Danish Viking ship replica from The Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark

Liburnian stone engravings show long ships with square sails, containing men rowing with swords and round shields. The obvious structural difference between these ships and the Viking ships is the projectile point in the front of the Liburnian ship at the water line. The obvious similarities include the square Latin sail, shallow bottoms, men rowing, the circular shields and swords.

Remains of a 10 meters long ship from the 1st century BC, were found in Zaton near Nin (Aenona in Classical Liburnia), a ship keel with bottom planking made of 6 rows of the wooden boards on each side, specifically joined together, sewn with resin cords and wooden wedges, testifying the Liburnian shipbuilding tradition style, therefore named "Serilia Liburnica". Deciduous trees (oak and beech) were used, while some climber was used for the cords.

A 10th century AD ship of identical form and size, made with wooden fittings instead of sewn planking joints, was found in the same place, "Condura Croatica" used by the Medieval Croats. Condura could be the closest known vessel to the original "liburna" galley in form, only of much smaller size, with the same features of a quick and agile galley having shallow bottom, very straightened but long, with one large Latin sail and one row of oaks on each side.

By its original form, the liburna was the most similar to the Greek penteconter. It had one bench with 25 oars on each side, while in the late ages of the Roman Republic, it became a smaller version of a trireme, but with two banks of oars (a bireme), faster, lighter, and more agile than biremes and triremes. The liburnian design was adopted by the Romans and became a key part of Ancient Rome's navy, most possibly by mediation of Macedonian navy in the 2nd half of the 1st century BC.

It is interesting to note that Viking battle tactics (i.e., speed, agility) and piracy practices were also part of the Liburnian cultural history.

Apparently, there is sufficient historical evidence to suggest that the Liburnians were driven out of the area by sustained Roman aggression. However, the DNA timeline is only supported by a few Y-DNA STR samples from
Croatia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic. More DNA samples from the region may enable us to determine whether or not Croatia was a site of Viking origins.


Liburnian Timeline
and the personalities that affected their history (snippets from Wikipedia)

The Liburnians were first allied to the region of Illyria, and the Macedonian empire. These two alliances resulted from conflicts with Greek and Roman forces and caused the eventual demise of the Liburnians.

406 – 367 BC

Fall of Liburnian domination in the Adriatic Sea and their final retreat to their ethnic region (Liburnia) were
caused by military and political activities of Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse (406 – 367 BC). (Syracuse was what is now Sicily.)

384 – 383 BC

A great naval battle was recorded a year after the establishment of Pharos colony, by a Greek inscription in
Pharos (384 – 383 BC) and by Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (80 – 29 BC), initiated by conflicts between the Greek colonizers and the indigenous islanders of Hvar island, who asked their compatriots for a support.

According to Diodorus, The Greeks killed more than 5,000 and captured 2,000 prisoners, ran down or captured their ships and burnt down their weapons in dedication their god.

This battle meant the loss of the most important strategic Liburnian positions in the centre of the Adriatic Sea, resulting in their final retreat to their main ethnic region, Liburnia, and their complete departure from the Italic coast, except from Trentum. Greek colonization, however, did not penetrate into the Liburnian area, which remained strongly held, while Syracusan dominance suddenly diminished, very soon, after death of Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse. The Liburnians recovered and developed piracy to secure navigable routes in the Adriatic, as recorded by Livius in year 302 BC.

323 BC

Alexander the Great dies in Babylon. Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 – 10/11 June 323 BC),
commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedon or Macedonia, a state in the north eastern region of Greece, and by the age of thirty was the creator of one of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ionian sea to the Himalaya.

He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of the most successful commanders of all time.
Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by the famed philosopher Aristotle. In 336 BC he succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne after he was assassinated. Philip had brought most of the city-states of mainland Greece under Macedonian hegemony, using both military and diplomatic means.

In the years following Alexander's death a series of civil wars tore his empire apart which resulted in the formation of a number of states ruled by the Diadochi - Alexander's surviving generals.

200 - 300 BC

The middle of the 3rd century BC was marked by the rise of an Illyrian kingdom in the south of the
Adriatic Sea, led by king Agron of the Ardiaei. Its piratical activities imperiled Greek and Roman interests in the Adriatic Sea and caused the first Roman intervention at the eastern coast in 229 BC Illyrian Wars were a set of conflicts of 229 BC, 219 BC and 168 BC when Rome overran the Illyrian settlements and suppressed the piracy that had made the Adriatic unsafe for Italian commerce. There were three campaigns, the first against Teuta, the second against Demetrius of Pharos and the third against Gentius. The initial campaign in 229 BC marks the first time that the Roman Navy crossed the Adriatic Sea to launch an invasion.

231 BC

Demetrius II, king of Macedon, hired Agron (king of the Illyrian tribe of the Ardiaei)
for military aid against the advancing Greek Aetolians. The Illyrian soldiers routed the Aetolians and returned home as victors. Agron, overjoyed with his success, imbibed a large quantity of wine, which, along with other indulgences caused him a pleurisy. Agron died in 230 BC, just within a few days later after the battle.

230 BC

Agron, king of the Illyrian tribe of the Ardiaei dies a few days after successfully defeating the Greek Aetolians.

229 BC

To protect against piracy upon Greek and Roman interests, Rome launches the First Illyrian War against Teuta
in 299 BC. (Queen Teuta was the second wife Agron and acting regent of Illyria after Agron's death.) The Illyrian tribe of the Ardiaei is subdued by the Romans.

220 BC

The Second Illyrian War lasted from 220 BC to 219 BC. In 219 BC the Roman Republic was at war with the
Celts of Cisalpine Gaul, and the Second Punic War with Carthage was beginning. Leading this fleet of 90 ships, Demetrius sailed south of Lissus, violating his earlier treaty and starting the war.

Demetrius' fleet first attacked Pylos where he captured 50 ships after several attempts. From Pylos the fleet sailed to the Cyclades, quelling resistance they found on the way. Demetrius foolishly sent a fleet across the Adriatic, and, with the Illyrian forces divided, the fortified city of Dimale was captured by the Roman fleet under Lucius Aemilius Paulus.

From Dimale the
navy went towards Pharos. The forces of Rome routed the Illyrians and Demetrius fled to Macedon where he became a trusted councilor at the court of Philip V of Macedon, and remained until his death at Messene in 214 BC.

217 BC

First Macedonian War. Philip V had tried to replace Roman influence along the eastern shore of the Adriatic,
forming alliances or lending patronage to certain island and coastal provinces such as Lato on Crete. He first tried to invade Illyria from the sea, but with limited success. His first expedition in 216 BC had to be aborted, while he suffered the loss of his whole fleet in a second expedition in 214 BC. A later expedition by land met with greater success when he captured Lissus in 212 BC.

216 BC

Philip V first tried to invade Illyria from the sea (during the First Macedonian War), but with limited success.
His first expedition in 216 BC had to be aborted, while he suffered the loss of his whole fleet in a second expedition in 214 BC. A later expedition by land met with greater success when he captured Lissus in 212 BC.

215 BC

Philip V, King of Macedon enters into a treaty with Hannibal, the Carthaginian general then in the middle of
an invasion of Roman Italy.

214 BC

Demetrius of Pharos dies. Demetrius of Pharos (also Pharus) was a ruler of Pharos
involved in the First Illyrian War, after which he ruled a portion of the Illyrian Adriatic coast on behalf of the Romans, as a Client king. He was expelled from Illyria by Rome after the Second Illyrian War and became a trusted councilor at the court of Philip V of Macedon, where he remained until his death at Messene in 214 BC.

202 BC

Hannibal's defeat at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC.

200 BC

Second Macedonian War. In 200 BC, with Carthage no longer a threat, the Romans declared war on Macedonia.

179 BC

Philip V, King of Macedon dies. Philip V (238 BC – 179 BC) was King of Macedon from
221 BC to 179 BC. Philip's reign was principally marked by an unsuccessful struggle with the emerging power of Rome.

However, his efforts were undermined by the pro-Roman policy of his younger son Demetrius, who was encouraged by Rome to consider the possibility of succession ahead of his older brother, Perseus. This eventually led to a quarrel between Perseus and Demetrius which forced Philip to reluctantly decide to execute Demetrius for treason in 180 BC. This decision had a severe impact on Philip's health and he died a year later at Amphipolis.

He was succeeded by his eldest son Perseus, who ruled as the last king of Macedon.

168 BC

Third Illyrian War

In 168 BC the Illyrian king Gentius allied himself with the Macedonians. First in 171 BC, he was allied with the Romans against the Macedonians, but in 169 he changed sides and allied himself with Perseus of Macedon. He arrested two Roman legati and destroyed the cities of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium, which were allied with Rome. In 168 he was defeated at Scodra by a Roman force under L. Anicius Gallus, and in 167 brought to Rome as a captive to participate in Gallus' triumph, after which he was interned in Iguvium.

166 BC

The last king of Macedon dies. Perseus (ca. 212 BC - 166 BC) was the last king (Basileus)
of the Antigonid dynasty, who ruled the successor state in Macedon created upon the death of Alexander the Great. He also has the distinction of being the last of the line, after losing the Battle of Pydna on 22 June 168 BC; subsequently Macedon came under Roman rule.

146 BC

After the Third Punic War, the city of Carthage was destroyed by the Romans.

It seems that the Liburna warship was used by the Romans during the Punic Wars and in the Second Macedonian War.

84 BC In 84 BC, the Roman consuls, enemies of Sulla, mobilized an army in Italy and tried to use Liburnia, probably some outer island, to organize military campaign back to Italy, against Sulla, which failed due to bad weather conditions and low morality of the soldiers, who massively escaped to their homes in Italy or refused to cross over the sea to Liburnia. The Roman legions once again passed through the Liburnian territory, probably by sea along the coast, in their next expedition against Dalmatae in 78 – 76 BC, started from the north, from Aquilea and Istria, to stabilize control of Dalmatian city Salona.

87 BC

First Mithridatic War (southeastern border of the Black Sea) Asia Minor just before the First Mithridatic War

In the spring of 87 BC Sulla landed at Dyrrachium, Greece. Asia was occupied by the forces of Mithridates under the command of Archelaus. Sulla’s first target was Athens, ruled by a Mithridatic puppet; the tyrant Aristion. Sulla moved southeast, picking up supplies and reinforcements as he went. Sulla’s chief of staff was Lucullus, who went ahead of him to scout the way and negotiate with Bruttius Sura, the existing Roman commander in Greece. After speaking with Lucullus, Sura handed over the command of his troops to Sulla. At Chaeronea, ambassadors from all the major cities of Greece (except Athens) met with Sulla, who impressed on them Rome's determination to drive Mithridates from Greece and Asia Province. Sulla then advanced on Athens.

78 BC

Sulla dies. Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (c. 138 BC – 78 BC), known commonly as Sulla, was a Roman general
and statesman. He had the rare distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as that of dictator. He was one of the canonical great men of Roman history; included in the biographical collections of leading generals and politicians, originating in the biographical compendium of famous Romans, published by Marcus Terentius Varro. In Plutarch's Sulla, in the famous series - Parallel Lives, Sulla is paired with the Spartan general and strategist Lysander.

Sulla's dictatorship came during a high point in the struggle between optimates and populares, the former seeking to maintain the power of the oligarchy in the form of the Senate while the latter resorted in many cases to naked populism, culminating in Caesar's dictatorship. Sulla was a highly original, gifted and skillful general, never losing a battle; he remains the only man in history to have attacked and occupied both Athens and Rome. His rival, Gnaeus Papirius Carbo, described Sulla as having the cunning of a fox and the courage of a lion - but that it was the former attribute that was by far the most dangerous. This mixture was later referred to by Machiavelli in his description of the ideal characteristics of a ruler.

Sulla used his armies to march on Rome twice, and after the second he revived the office of dictator, which had not been used since the Second Punic War over a century before. He used his powers to enact a series of reforms to the Roman constitution, meant to restore the balance of power between the Senate and the Tribunes; he then stunned the Roman World (and posterity) by resigning the dictatorship, restoring normal constitutional government, and after his second Consulship, retiring to private life.

Succeeded by Gaius Julius Caesar in 49 BC

59 BC

In 59 BC Illyricum was assigned as a provincia (zone of responsibility) to Julius Caesar and Liburnian Iadera was
nominally proclaimed a Roman municipium, but real establishment of the Roman province occurred not earlier than in 33 BC. Dalmatae soon recovered and stepped into conflict with the Liburnians in 51 BC, probably because of possession of the pasture grounds around Krka river, taking their city Promona.

49 BC

Civil war between Caesar and Pompey in 49 BC affected all of the Roman Empire as well as Liburnia. In the same
year, near island of Krk, there was an important naval battle between armies of Caesar and Pompey, probably due to the local Liburnian support to one or another side. Caesar was supported by the urban Liburnian centres, like Iader, Aenona and Curicum, while the rest of Liburnians supported Pompey, including city of Issa which citizens were in conflicts with Caesar supporting Dalmatae from Salona. "Navy of Iader" (Zadar) probably equipped by mixed Liburnian
and Roman ships confronted
"Liburnian navy" in service to Pompey, equipped only with Liburnians in their liburna galleys.

Thus, the Liburnian naval force was
dragged into the Roman civil war, partially by force, partially because of local interests of the participants. Caesar rewarded his supporters in Liburnian Iader and Dalmatian Salona, by giving status of the Roman colonies to their communities, but battle was won by the Liburnian navy, which prolonged the civil war and ensured control of the Adriatic Sea to side aligned with Pompey in next 2 years, until his final defeat in 48 BC. In the same year, Caesar sent his legions to take control of rebelled Illyricum province, and took the fortress of Promona from Dalmatian hands, making them submit.

35 BC

In all that period the Roman rule in only nominally established Illyricum province was concentrated only to a few
cities at the eastern Adriatic coast, such as Iader, Salona and Narona. Renewed Illyrian and Liburnian pirate activities motivated Octavian to organize great military operation in Illyricum province in 35 BC, to finally stabilize Roman control of it.

Action was first concentrated on the coastal Illyrian tribes to the east of Narona, then it prolonged to the depth of the Illyrian territory, where continental tribes gave much stronger resistance. After return from inland of Illyricum, Octavian destroyed Illyrian pirate communities in the islands of Melita (Mljet) and Korkyra Nigra (Korcula) and continued to Liburnia, where he wiped out the last remains of the Liburnian naval forces, resolving problems of their renewed piratical activities in the bay of Kvarner (sinus Flanaticus) and attempt to secede from Rome. Octavian commandeered all the Liburnian ships. Very soon these galleys would play a decisive role in the battle near Actium.

Octavian went for another expedition to the inland, against the Iapodes, from the Liburnian port of Senia (Senj) and conquered their most important positions in 34 BC. In the next 2 years the Roman army, led by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa fought hard battles with the Dalmatae. Liburnians were not recorded the participants in this war but their most southern territories were surely involved.

It is not certain whether Liburnians joined the last Great Illyrian Revolt, this remains controversial, as the only evidence is a damaged inscription found in Verona, mentioning Iapodes and Liburnians under an unknown leader.

6 AD

In AD 6, the Pannonians, with the Dalmatians and other Illyrian tribes, revolted, and were overcome by Tiberius and
Germanicus, after a hard-fought campaign which lasted for three years. After the rebellion was crushed in AD 9, the province of Illyricum was dissolved, and its lands were divided between the new provinces of Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south. The date of the division is unknown, most certainly after AD 20 but before AD 50. The proximity of dangerous barbarian tribes (Quadi, Marcomanni) necessitated the presence of a large number of troops
(seven legions in later times), and
numerous fortresses were built on the bank of the Danube.


mid 4th century BC The first account of the Liburni comes from Periplus or Coastal passage, an ancient Greek text.

Fall of Liburnian domination in the Adriatic Sea and their final retreat to their ethnic region (Liburnia) were caused by military and political activities of Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse (406 – 367 BC, now Sicily). The imperial power base of this Syracusan tyrant stemmed from a huge naval fleet of 300 tetreras and penteras. When he finished Carthaginian authority and diminished concurrence in Sicily, Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse turned against the Etruscans.

The middle of the 3rd century BC was marked by the rise of an Illyrian kingdom in the south of the Adriatic Sea, led by king Agron of the Ardiaei. Its piratical activities imperiled Greek and Roman interests in the Adriatic Sea and caused the first Roman intervention at the eastern coast in 229 BC; Florus (II,5) noted the Liburnians as the Roman enemies in this expedition, while Appian (Bell. Civ., II, 39) noted liburnae as swift galleys the Romans first fought with when they entered to the Adriatic Sea.

Roman wars followed in conflicts with Pyrrhus, Carthage, Macedonia and southern Illyrian state. However, although their territory was not involved in these confrontations, it seems that the Liburna warship was used by the Romans during the Punic Wars and in the Second Macedonian War.
Problems with this DNA analysis
Any given country can have a variable amount of genetic distance per location (per individual). The values used here were mostly modals, and the migration sequence can vary depending upon what is considered to be the modal. For example, Scotland appears to have numerous groups of I1 individuals that migrated (into Scotland), but only one group is actually represented by the modal.

Further delineation might be obtained by division of each country into separate migrating "groups." Theoretically, the best resolution would be obtained by including all individuals and scaling to the Norman Conquest. However, there isn't enough DNA data available to apply this properly for the very early time periods in the area of the Mediterranean. At the current time, there are only scant samples from Croatia, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic to support an approximate time frame for an exodus from Croatia.

Y-DNA studies have been underway for nearly a decade now, but the science is still fairly new.

A possible problem with the Time to Most Recent Ancestor (TMRCA) has recently been suggested to be indicated by interclade ages (i.e., Nordvedt). It has been suggested that interclade ages might be younger than previously published material suggests. For any given Y-search study, there is typically a maximum genetic distance reached per search. Theoretically, this might be an indication of other things, such as maximum TMRCA returned from a certain number of STR markers tested, or perhaps could also indicate if any bottlenecks may have occurred in recent history.

If the SNP classification is not restricted from the search criteria, then other haplotype group classifications can be returned from a genetic distance based search. It might be instructive to view a scientific study on what the expected genetic distance limits might be (returned) between the various haplotype group (SNP) classifications for a given number of STR markers tested. Such a study might provide some information regarding the value of scaling modals to a known event, such as the Norman Conquest.

In effect, what is needed are more robust modal values from the region surrounding the Black Sea, but particularly from the Balkan peninsula. Basically, there are few results from the Balkan peninsula, and a greater genetic distance would be expected from that area if this timeline is to be confirmed or denied.

If the current thinking on interclade ages is not correct, then Y-Search might include other classifications than I1 individuals, but should retain the M170 SNP.
For example, the previously I1b category (now I) is thought to have originated near Croatia, according to population density studies (Rootsi, et. al.). (I1b is not a significant portion of the Nowegian population.) This suggests that I1b could have been a significant portion of the Liburnian population. A younger interclade age could mean that I1b results might be a valid comparison to I1 (in terms of using Y-DNA to date samples from the Balkan area, etc).

Finally, there were no known Native American I1 samples used in the study. (Currently, there is no way to distinguish Native American Y-DNA samples from the rest of the U.S. population.) Since it is expected that I1 would follow the M170 SNP tree back to the Black Sea area, this should not be a problem. If, however the age of Native American I1 samples pre-date the the arrival on the east coast of Europe, then this could be significant in terms of I1 origins.

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