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Blood of the Vikings in British people

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Post Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:41 am
North and East England

Genetic testing sites:
Uttoxeter (Staffordshire), Penrith (Cumbria), Morpeth (Northumberland), Horncastle (Lincolnshire), York (North Yorkshire), Sheringham (Norfolk), Wirral

Difficulties arose early on in the Blood of the Vikings survey as the geneticists tried to establish differences between DNA taken in Denmark (representative of Danish Vikings), Schleswig-Holstein and Northern Saxony (representative of the invading Angles and Saxons respectively, groups who invaded England in the 5th century AD). The two regions of Europe these settlers came from are very close, so it is not surprising their DNA is so similar. Because of this set-back the team at UCL was forced to take a different approach. By referring to both the Danish and Saxon DNA as 'invaders' a comparison could then be made against how much Ancient Briton (or Celtic) DNA was found.

The results were interesting. England (and most of mainland Scotland) were a mixture of Angles, Saxons, Danish Vikings and Ancient Britons. The highest percentage of DNA signatures from the invading groups (Angles, Saxons and Danish Vikings) was found in the North and East of England. Interestingly the place with the highest 'invader input' was York, a well-known Viking settlement site.

There was one result in the North and East of England which did not fit this pattern. In Penrith a significant proportion of the men tested had Norwegian DNA signatures on their Y chromosomes. It seems likely that the Norwegian Vikings who travelled along the sea road from Shetland down to the Isle of Man may well have stopped off in Cumbria. It may also have been a safe haven for Vikings expelled from Dublin at the beginning of the 10th century. This finding fits in remarkably well with archaeological finds of Viking burials, Norse-style place-names and stone sculpture. The input of the Angles and Saxons, who arrived in England in the 5th century AD, were represented by DNA samples from Schleswig-Holstein and Northern Saxony respectively.

The Vikings are also though to have settled in the north of the Wirral, but not to have reached as far as the south of this region. The evidence comes from place-names, archaeological finds on the coast and sculpture - although there isn't as much as in Cumbria. Samples were collected in the Wirral by a local man, Prof Stephen Harding from Nottingham University, and two of his students. However, the analysis by Golstein's lab was unable to see a significant difference between the north and south of this region, in terms of the Norwegian DNA. It appeared very similar to the rest of England, but very different from nearby North Wales, which is mostly Ancient Briton (Celtic).

South and West England

Testing sites:
Dorchester (Dorset), Midhurst (West Sussex), Faversham (Kent), Penzance (Cornwall)

Difficulties arose early on in the Blood of the Vikings survey as the geneticists tried to establish differences between DNA taken in Denmark (representative of Danish Vikings), Schleswig-Holstein and Northern Saxony (representative of the invading Angles and Saxons respectively, groups who invaded England in the 5th century AD). The two regions of Europe these settlers came from are very close, so it is not surprising their DNA is so similar. Because of this set-back the team at UCL was forced to take a different approach. By referring to both the Danish and Saxon DNA as 'invaders' a comparison could then be made against how much Ancient Briton (or Celtic) DNA was found.

Like in the North and East of England, a mixture of Angles, Saxons, Danish Vikings, and Ancient Britons were found in the South and West of England. But the percentage of DNA from the 'invaders' (Angles, Saxons and Danish Vikings) decreased as the test sites moved towards the south coast and Cornwall (the most Ancient Briton/Celtic part of England). It seems this part of the country has more genetic input from the Ancient Britons than the North and East of England. Curiously, mainland Scotland was not appreciably more Ancient Briton (Celtic) than southern England.

Scotland

Testing sites:
Durness (Highlands), Kirkwall (Orkney), Oban (Argyll), Pitlochry (Perthshire), Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire), Lerwick (Shetland), Lewis, Harris, Uist

The UCL team encountered difficulties in distinguishing between the DNA of Saxon and Danish invaders. The Saxons and Angles arrived in the 5th century AD. They came from northern Saxony, just to the south of Denmark, so it is not surprising that DNA samples from this region are very similar to that of the Danes. In mainland Scotland, as in England, these groups were lumped together as 'invaders' (Angles, Saxons and Danish Vikings). Most of mainland Scotland did contain some evidence for these invading groups, with the results being remarkably similar for this part of Scotland as for the South of England.

The outlying Scottish isles provided the most conclusive evidence of a Viking presence. In the Northern and Western Isles, as well as in the far north of the Scottish mainland, Norwegian genetic signatures were found. In Shetland and Orkney 60% of the male population had DNA of Norwegian origin, most probably passed on from the Vikings. Here the Y chromosomes of the rest of the population could be identified as similar to those of the Ancient Britons (Celts) - no evidence of an Anglo-Saxon or Danish influx was found.

In a special case study, Jim Wilson looked more closely at his native Orkney. It's known that immigration from Scotland occurred in centuries between the end of direct rule from Norway and the 20th Century. The extent of this immigration could have distorted our results significantly, so Jim focussed on a sub-group who had ancient Orcadian names which would date back roughly to the time of the end of Norwegian rule. He discovered that when he did this, the proportion of Norwegian Y chromosomes increased. While it's difficult to put an exact figure on it, we can say that as a result of Jim's study, Viking input in Norway was somewhere between 60-100%. This figure does not rule out complete replacement of the indigenous Picts by Vikings - the genocide theory suggested by Brian Smith from his study of place-names.

In the Western Isles traces of Norwegian settlers were also prominent, although not in quite such high numbers as in the Northern Isles. Over 30% of the men tested in the Hebrides showed evidence of Norwegian ancestry in their DNA. The DNA results supported the historical and archaeological record, which shows the Vikings travelling from Norway across to the Northern Isles of Scotland, then around the west coast and into the Irish Sea.

Wales

Testing sites:
Llanidloes (Powys), Haverfordwest (Pembrokeshire), Anglesey

As in England the DNA typically found in Wales either had an Ancient Briton (Celtic) signature or had the signature of the 'invading' populations (Angles, Saxons and Danish Vikings). Large parts of Wales, in particular in the western area of the country, were virtually entirely Ancient Briton, suggesting no Vikings settled in these regions.

In central Wales, there was a significant amount of 'invading' DNA found. But the geneticists were unable to distinguish individual DNA types within this 'invading' population. A representative sample of Danish Vikings DNA came from Denmark, while that of the Saxons, invaders in the 5th century, came from Saxony. These two types of DNA were indistinguishable. So, in Wales, it is impossible to know whether the DNA of these 'invaders' reached east Wales as a results of Viking settlement or Anglo-Saxon settlement.

Isle of Man

Testing sites:
Ramsey

The genetics results from the Isle of Man show the Norwegian Vikings to have travelled right down from Shetland and Orkney, past the Hebrides, and into the Irish Sea. Of the men tested in the Isle of Man over 15% had Norwegian DNA signatures. This is not as high as in the Hebrides (over 30%) or Shetland, Orkney and the far north of the Scottish mainland (60%), but is still a significant proportion and suggests the Vikings did also settle here. The rest of the DNA sampled in the Isle of Man had an Ancient Briton (Celtic) or Anglo-Saxon/Danish signature.

Ireland

Testing sites:
Rush (north county of Dublin, Eire), Castlerea (Roscommon - Eire)

Samples were taken at two sites in Ireland. Castlerea, a site right in the heart of rural Ireland, was the first to be tested. Unsurprisingly, analysis of the DNA samples from the area within 20 miles of this small Irish town turned out to be almost completely of Ancient Briton (Celtic) ancestry. Historians had never suggested the Vikings had settled this far inland, so the UCL team was expecting this result. It provided a very useful reference for an example of an 'Ancient Briton' population. However the other testing site was quite different.

The team had chosen to sample within a 20 mile radius of Rush, in the north county of Dublin. They wanted to see if the Vikings had settled around Dublin, as history claims. The city is known to have been a very important Viking trading centre and town. The Irish historical record is supported by archaeological excavations undertaken near the River Liffey which revealed large numbers of Viking artefacts and suggested a prosperous trading site had existed here.

Because of the large amount of mixing of different populations which has happened in Dublin over the past centuries, the geneticists needed to take samples from another area, close by. They thought the rural area around Rush was such that the genetic contribution of people whose families went back two generations in the area would not have been influenced by later immigration. But it also seemed close enough to Dublin to give a picture of what might have been happening in this region during the Viking Age.

When the DNA samples from Rush were analysed it seemed there was virtually no genetic contribution from Norway here either. So how can we explain these similar results from both Rush and Castlerea? Perhaps the Vikings who settled Dublin never settled outside the city walls, so their genetic inheritance does not spread as far as Rush. Or perhaps they did move outside Dublin, but not into Rush. But because of the difficulties of finding suitable people to sample within Dublin itself, we may never find their genetic legacy here.

Channel Islands

Testing sites:
Jersey, Guernsey

The Channel Islands were once part of Normandy, a region of France founded by the Norwegian Viking Rollo. With the help of local historian Frank Fale, the UCL team decided to test the people of Jersey and Guernsey to see if any evidence of these early Viking settlers in France could be found in their DNA. The volunteers were split into two groups, those with Norman surnames, and those with English surnames.

The DNA of those with non-Norman surnames was found to be very similar to that from men in England. This was a mixture of Ancient Briton with those of the 'invading' populations. These invaders included both the Angles and Saxons who arrived in England in the 5th and 6th centuries and the Danish Vikings. These two types of DNA could not be distinguished but, like men tested in England, Channel Islanders with English surnames had a significant proportion of DNA from these 'invaders'.

The DNA of those with Norman surnames was markedly different. These men were found to be very similar to the Ancient Britons. But on top of this ancestry was a hint of the Norwegian DNA signature, indicating that Rollo could possibly have had an effect on the genes of people from the Channel Islands today.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes ... s_05.shtml
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Post Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:46 pm
The difficulties in diferentiating between Saxon and Danish Viking DNA especially in Kent (S.E. England) is not surprising. The imigration (by invitation not invasion) into Kent was by Jutes, this also applies to the area around the Isle of White.

The reason for the lack of Viking DNA in the south is that Wessex was never conquered by the Vikings, although they did capture large parts of Wessex, there was always strong resistance and they were eventually expelled.

Although I have used the word "Viking" it is not correct in this context. Danes, Norwegians etc went "Viking" which means raiding. Strickly speaking there is no such thing as "Viking people". "Viking is a verb that describes an action not the name of a people.
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Post Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:03 pm
A thorough, if piss poorly planned study.


Quote:
Genetic testing sites:
Uttoxeter (Staffordshire), Penrith (Cumbria), Morpeth (Northumberland), Horncastle (Lincolnshire), York (North Yorkshire), Sheringham (Norfolk), Wirral

Difficulties arose early on in the Blood of the Vikings survey as the geneticists tried to establish differences between DNA taken in Denmark (representative of Danish Vikings), Schleswig-Holstein and Northern Saxony (representative of the invading Angles and Saxons respectively, groups who invaded England in the 5th century AD). The two regions of Europe these settlers came from are very close, so it is not surprising their DNA is so similar. Because of this set-back the team at UCL was forced to take a different approach. By referring to both the Danish and Saxon DNA as 'invaders' a comparison could then be made against how much Ancient Briton (or Celtic) DNA was found.

The results were interesting. England (and most of mainland Scotland) were a mixture of Angles, Saxons, Danish Vikings and Ancient Britons. The highest percentage of DNA signatures from the invading groups (Angles, Saxons and Danish Vikings) was found in the North and East of England. Interestingly the place with the highest 'invader input' was York, a well-known Viking settlement site.

Clueless twats.

They acknowledge that the highest concentration of viking DNA is in the north east of England, yet they test at Morpeth (20 miles north of Newcastle) and York (80 miles south)

FFS don't the cretins planning this realise that the geordie (tyneside) accent comes from the Vikings?

If I was to return to my place of abode and a friend was to ask me where I was going, I would reply that I'm going to 'gan hyem'. Exactly the same phrase with the same pronunciation exists in Danish.

The geordie accent gets it's 'sing song' quality from the scandinavian language.

The first mention of my home town if the raid by some vikings
Quote:
It is thought that the name Hebburn may be derived from the Old English terms, heah meaning "high", and byrgen meaning a "burial mound", though it could also mean the high place beside the water. The first record of Hebburn mentions a settlement of fishermen's huts in the 8th century, which were burned by the Vikings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebburn

It's quite redundant to merely test at two places in the north east, both miles away from Tyneside (where the concentration of viking heritage is at it's highest)


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Post Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:05 am
Added to that the use of Danish words like Bairn and Stottie.

York and Morpeth are well within the Viking settlement area. York uses the term 'gate' like scandanavians do to means 'street' rather than 'portal'
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Post Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:43 am
Dear lord, what necroposting.


Nevertheless, since it's here...

...from what genealogy we've done it seems that our unusual surname is explained by its having Viking origins. So, since my mother was pure Celt I'm half-Viking/half-Celt...

...like most of the Northern UK.
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Post Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:41 am
I'm surprised they didn't look for Frisian DNA, Frisians were common visitors and raiders well before the Vikings.
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Post Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:55 pm
Pure Celt?

What an odd idea, Celtic is a linguistic identification
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Post Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:23 pm
Arthur2sheds_Jackson wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebburn

It's quite redundant to merely test at two places in the north east, both miles away from Tyneside (where the concentration of viking heritage is at it's highest)


.


You may well be right, but Newcastle is not the only place with Viking heritage and I'd say York's, and the surrounding areas, are just as strong.

Just look at the names of places around there, Market Weighton, Wyke, Newbald, Pocklington etc.
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Post Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:02 am
Interesting. There's more people in the UK with "Viking Blood" than people think, especially in Scotland and Northern England.
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Post Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:25 am
Image


The Anglo-Saxons account for 10 to 40 per cent of the DNA in half of modern-day Britons. But the 2015 study revealed that the genetic make-up of the white British population was not significantly changed by the Viking invasions. The genetic input from the Vikings is easily detectable in the Orkney Islands, where Viking DNA accounts for 25 per cent of today’s Orcadian DNA.

Image

Budding Orcadian star Emily Bourn's debut album, Fate

Moreover, Shetland, Orkney and Durness were found to have the strongest Viking genetic heritage in Britain, with around 60 per cent of the male population having DNA of Norwegian origin. The Asian haplogroup Q also represents a significant Viking lineage, which is found especially in the Danelaw, Orkney, Shetland, and in other places settled by the Vikings such as Normandy. The Huns or ancient Goths with Haplogroup Q mainly settled in Gotland and Götaland in Sweden and admixed with local Scandinavian populations, which explains why Asian haplogroups are detected in the white British population with minor frequencies.

Quote:
Fine-scale genetic variation between human populations is interesting as a signature of historical demographic events and because of its potential for confounding disease studies. We use haplotype-based statistical methods to analyse genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from a carefully chosen geographically diverse sample of 2,039 individuals from the United Kingdom. This reveals a rich and detailed pattern of genetic differentiation with remarkable concordance between genetic clusters and geography. The regional genetic differentiation and differing patterns of shared ancestry with 6,209 individuals from across Europe carry clear signals of historical demographic events. We estimate the genetic contribution to southeastern England from Anglo-Saxon migrations to be under half, and identify the regions not carrying genetic material from these migrations. We suggest significant pre-Roman but post-Mesolithic movement into southeastern England from continental Europe, and show that in non-Saxon parts of the United Kingdom, there exist genetically differentiated subgroups rather than a general ‘Celtic’ population.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v5 ... 14230.html

Götaland and Gotland in southern Sweden now have the highest frequency of haplogroup Q in Europe (5%) and almost all of it belong to the Q1a2b1 (L527) subclade. The Romans reported that the Huns consisted of a small ruling elite and their armies comprised mostly of Germanic warriors. Gotland and Götaland is the presumed homeland of the ancient Goths. In the 1st century CE, some Goths migrated from Sweden to Poland, then in the 2nd century settled on the northern shores of the Black Sea around modern Moldova. The Huns conquered the Goths in the Pontic Steppe in the 4th century, forcing some of them to flee the Dnieper region and settled in the Eastern Roman Empire (Balkans). It would not be improbable that some Goths and Huns moved back to southern Sweden, either before invading the Roman Empire, or after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, displaced by the Slavic migrations to Central Europe. After all, even ancient people kept the nostalgia of their ancestral homeland and knew exactly where their ancestors a few hundreds years earlier came from.
http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_Q_Y-DNA.shtml
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Post Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:54 am
SD92 wrote:
Interesting. There's more people in the UK with "Viking Blood" than people think, especially in Scotland and Northern England.


Perhaps this explains why the Vikings have Scottish accents here
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