Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2006-01 > 1137536677

From: "siabair" <siabair@h=tmail.c=m>
Subject: Re: Niall of the Nine Hostages DNA
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 22:24:37 -0000
References: <dqh5vl$aru$> <43cc35c6@news.ColoState.EDU> <dqjdvr$o9h$> <dqjiev$193$>

Todd A. Farmerie wrote:
> siabair wrote:
>> Todd A. Farmerie wrote:
>>> As with the 'Somerled haplotype', they are overinterpreting the data
>>> to suggest that everyone with the haplotype descends from Niall.
>>> Were you to accept that this is his lineage, it would only show a
>>> descent from his male kin-group. Given what happens in tribal
>>> societies, this may, even in his own time, have represented a
>>> significant portion of his people.
>> Whatever you might think about marking everyone in the world with
>> this haplotype as a 'descendant of Niall' the marked localisation of
>> the haplotype in the northwest of Ireland among males of certain
>> families with documentary male line genealogies showing common
>> ancestry in Niall is very significant. Doesn't Occam's Razor suggest
>> that we should not assume the common ancestry is other than that
>> which is documented?
> Occam's Razor is a tool, not a rule, but to answer your question, no.
> Given the general nature of genealogies written in the 10th century
> purporting to trace to the 5th, I don't think you can automatically
> give them the benefit of the doubt. Further, the same genealogies
> show descents from Niall's brother, and he too would have the same
> haplotype. What is to say that any particular person with the DNA
> markers
> descends from Niall and not his brother, uncle or
> third-cousin-twice-removed? Depending on the original social
> structure the entire 'tribe' Niall led could have represented the
> descendants of a warband made up of a group of brothers, nephews, and
> cousins along with their wives and children, and hence many members
> of the 'tribe' at Niall's time could have had the same Y haplotype,
> and equally be candidates as potential male-line ancestors (and not
> coincidentally, they would have been from the same geographic
> locality as Niall). After the fact, who is a 10th century family
> derived from this group likely to choose to trace their descent from?
> Niall, the tribal hero, or the third-cousin-twice-removed?
> Lest someone misinterpret this: individual pedigrees must be evaluated
> on their own, and if they prove a descent from Niall, the DNA is
> superfluous. At least one (really two from different sons) such
> pedigree must be upheld in order to conclude that the potential
> ancestor in question even belonged to the haplogroup being studied.
> If the pedigree does not stand up to critical scrutiny, the DNA
> cannot serve as a proxy to 'prove' that they have such a descent,
> because it only identifies the agnatic kinship group to which one
> belongs, not specific ancestors.
>>> Of couse, the Irish genealogies show all of the rulers of all of the
>>> dynasties to be descended from the same male line . . . .
>> The complete body of Irish medieval genealogies trace back to many
>> early historical progenitors.
> But some of the lines traced to 'early historic progenitors' were done
> so 'creatively'.
> That these were subsequently given common
>> ancestry to integrate them into the Christian idea of history with
>> ultimate descent from Adam is neither here nor there.
> It was not just to trace to Adam that they were linked, but to show
> common descent from a unified Irish foundation legend and hence their
> rights to rule as representatives of the original foundation. These
> founders were then traced to Adam to fit in with the Christian ideal.
> It is a similar pattern to that seen elsewhere. The Anglo-Saxon
> rulers are all forged back to Woden. Then Woden is forged back to
> Geat (the 'ancestor' of all of the Germanic Goths), then Geat is
> forged back to Adam. These are sequential steps in the process, and
> the pedigree did not yet lead to Adam at the time the shared links to
> Woden were created. I don't expect the Irish to have been any
> different.
> taf

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