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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