GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-06 > 1056585625
From: Bonnie Schrack <>
Subject: [DNA] Similarities between Irish and Iberians
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 20:00:25 -0400
What's your haplogroup again?
>Good luck figuring this one out. I just
>got notice of a 24/25 with a person named
>Fernando Silva Sanches M******* (another
>Spanish surname) . . .
(If you wanted to protect his anonymity, the first of the two surnames
is more crucial in most Hispanic countries - that one is the paternal
surname, and the mother's maiden name follows.)
>Maybe a Basque male? I read
>someplace they were genetically
>related to the Irish.
The relationship is that the Basque and Irish populations both have an
extraordinarily high proportion of R1b males, with few other
haplogroups, and are thus thought to represent the earliest peoples to
settle Western Europe. They aren't 'outgroups' or something exotic, but
simply the most unmixed, because of their relative isolation.
A major reason so many males from the British Isles have matches in
Spain, Portugal and the Basque country, is that the Iberian peninsula
was a crucial zone of refuge during the height of the last Ice Age, and
it was from there that the Atlantic coast of Europe was repopulated once
the glaciers receded and allowed the North to be inhabited, around
10,000 years ago.
This goes back way before the 'Milesians' that Len Keane mentioned, but
that could be a kind of folk memory of an ancient home.
John Chandler is right to point out that "you can't tell the difference
between an ancient, lingering match and a coincidental modern
convergence," in principle; that's true of any particular match between
individuals, but scientists are able to trace relationships between
large groups by analyzing the collective patterns of many individuals'
So from that research, combined with what is known from archaeology
about prehistory, a lot can be inferred about why there are such strong
similarities between many people from Spain, Portugal, the Basque
country (and regions like Galicia, Andalusia, etc., etc.), and Atlantic
areas that lie north from there.
Ancient Roots Research
(PLEASE let me know if anyone has trouble at any time in accessing my
web page - I am trying to monitor it, to see whether the server is
working as it should.)