Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-07 > 1120492654

From: "CJMax" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Scot R1a - Moving right along
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2005 10:57:42 -0500
References: <002101c58080$69756e40$4bc33442@ericpc> <001501c580a1$00df4790$5a579045@Ken1> <003001c580a6$898db860$dab4b844@Annandale> <001b01c580a9$4dc98d10$5a579045@Ken1>


I think that we're probably thinking much along the same lines. My
references to travel should have been couched to read "some". Human nature
is such that most people marry someone within 2.4 miles of their home. This
number has remained fairly constant up to the last 50 years except in the
U.S. where the government stepped in and encouraged corporations to move
their employees around the country, effectively dispersing many families
across the nation. The government's objective was to expose people to
customs/thoughts from other regions of the U.S.. Two World Wars had moulded
that policy. Especially during WWI there was significant "in fighting" and
negative competition among corps that were "regional" in their makeup. This
reduced the effectiveness of the units as a fighting force.

I had to chuckle a wee bit at the surprise about the interest of the Scots
in their genealogy. It may very well be explained be several factors.
First and foremost are the "Clan"/ "Family" associations in Scotland.
They've been in existance, formally and informally for a thousand years or
more and are a great source of individual pride that is nurtured very
carefully by various clan and Scottish associations, including many
suppported by the Scottish government. They are a significant source of
revenues for tourism and private business. I'm not aware of any such
"movement" in other countries over such a long period of time.

The second factor could be called the "rebound effect". After 1745 and
Scotland's fruitless attempt at independence, the English government did its
best to break up clan societies and the associated spirit of the clans. My
own family from the Borders went to Ireland as part of the "resettlement
encouragement" efforts of the English government (perceived as the English
government) as did thousands of other Scottish families. Many didn't stay
long, as in our case. They moved on quickly to North America. Again, they
were political pawns. There they encountered much the same "feelings" of
discrimination against the Scots by the English in Upper Canada and by
others in the States, but had plenty of incentives that allowed them to own
property - a very important "incentive". As I look at the land ownership
records where my gggrandfather settled in Upper Canada I can see within a
stone's throw many of his friends from Ireland of Scottish descent - names
such as Anderson, Muir, McQueen, Reid, Wylie, and even more Johnstons, etc..
They all stuck together. Unfortunately, as many of us from this day have
found, records are very difficult to come by for this group. As Upper
Canada was part of the British Empire, no passenger lists were required by
ships docking there. In Ireland most of the government records were
destroyed in the 1920's. To add to the genealogy difficulties, most of the
early homesteads were built of wood - there were lots of great trees to
build with available in Upper Canada and the U.S. so it became the primary
building material. The downside is that wood is flammable. Homestead fires
were a common occurance. Our family homestead was no exception and burned
to the ground in the late 1800's. All of our family photographs, legal
documents, the family Bible, and letters were lost. To complicate matters
the 1841 and 1851 censuses for the township were destroyed too.

So, many of us of Scottish descent who would like to be able to find a paper
connection back to Ireland and Scotland are finding it to be almost
impossible or prohibitively expensive (the Irish have milked the American
genealogy market ruthlessly for decades). Ergo, when Y-DNA became available
many of us jumped on the bandwagon - we're also a practical people. Most of
us know that it won't "find" long lost relatives, but then along comes a
situation like mine - a somewhat distinctive I2 (or whatever I'm going to
end up as - from what I read here the other day someone is questioning this
haplogroups designation). I've found a very, very close match within the
Johnston name, and they have a very similar oral family history. We've
exchanged an older family photograph and one could pass easily for the
other. No doubt between the two of us we will find that paper trail
somewhere, somehow, sometime. It has taken me the better part of 26 years
to trace my family, and I've still not found our connection in Ireland. I'm
much closer, but still not there. Actually, I'm not as close to an Irish
connection as I am to a Scottish connection. I have located a marriage
between a Johnston (my great uncle) and a Johnstone family (said to be
cousins), and the Johnstone family has a photograph of an ancestor from
Anan, Scotland - that's much more than we've got from Ireland. Now if I can
just trace a male descendent of that family and get him to do a Y-DNA

So, the wee Scot quest continues...

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Robert Burns
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Nordtvedt" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: [DNA] Scot R1a - Moving right along

> Cliff, Your conclusion that it is an exciting time to be alive in this
> field is shared by me. My hobby of history always eroded away as the era
> of
> pre-history and pseudo-history was entered. I'm talking about legend,
> myth,
> etc. While knowing that there probably wwere some original and real
> events
> which started mankinds' story telling, I lost interest in the fiction. I
> never liked fairy tales as a child, either. So now this glorious tool for
> an objective search into history of our deep ancestors!
> While some folks such as Marco Polo have really traveled around, I guess
> my
> present view is how the bulk of people on the average stayed very much
> where
> they were born and their parents were born, etc. We know mankind in about
> 60,000 years filled up the world. But divide that into the 2000
> generations
> and you have a characteristic distance of just a few miles per generation.
> I guess what I am saying is I am amazed at the amount of lumpiness still
> showing in today's ydna world distribution. Interesting how our
> "surprise"
> factor about the situation is so different?
> Ken
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "CJMax" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 8:42 AM
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Scot R1a - Moving right along
>> Ken,
>> I believe that one of the common errors that we tend to make almost
>> universally is that our ancestors were somehow rooted/bound to a rather
>> specific geographic area. For some unknown reason(s) we haven't been
>> willing to give them credit for the ability to travel.
>> In reading over the years I became aware - much to my surprise too - just
>> how mobile the "ancient" peoples were. There are accounts of Asian
> trading
>> ships reaching India and vice versa before the time of Marco Polo. He
> just
>> happened to get most of the "good press". There is at least one account
> to
>> the effect that Christopher Columbus, in part because of his red hair and
>> "mysterious" earlier years, was actually a Scandinavian who had already
>> "discovered" the New World in a long ship. He was shipwrecked off
> Portugal,
>> and, as they say, the rest is history...
>> Discoveries in the past decade or two in the Americas indicate that "man"
>> was here much earlier than we first thought. Datings have placed some
>> artifacts 12,000+ years ago in history (there may be older discoveries,
> I'm
>> just not that up on them). Archeologists have discovered that the Mayans
>> and Aztecs were not the original inhabitants of the Americas, but rather
>> a
>> group referred to rather vaguely as "yellow skins" in some articles that
>> I've read. European settlers of North America regarded the North
>> American
>> Indians as savages, but we now know that they were very well organized
> with
>> several "cities" over 10,000 in population. Trade routes have been
>> traced
>> using unearthed flint tools. That trade went from Ohio up to Canada and
>> down into Meso-America. Indian rape laws were swift and unforgiving - if
> a
>> male raped a woman, he was considered "less than a man" and was put to
> death
>> by the men of the societies as they disdained that behavior. There was
>> "zero tolerance of rape" and this was typical from what is now Canada all
>> the way down to Argentina. I found it very surprising that in some
> aspects
>> their culture was superior to that of the Europeans. One never knows!
>> As we continue to make more discoveries in the days and years to come,
> many
>> "old beliefs" will rightfully bite the dust. DNA studies will help to
> sort
>> through the tangled puzzle. It's an exciting time to be alive...
>> Cliff. Johnston
>> "May the best you've ever seen,
>> Be the worst you'll ever see;"
>> from A Scots Toast by Robert Burns
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Ken Nordtvedt" <>
>> To: <>
>> Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 9:02 AM
>> Subject: Re: [DNA] Scot R1a
>> > R1a in Scandinavia is broadbased, but it does reach a somewhat higher
>> > level
>> > in Norway than Sweden and definitely higher than Denmark or Finland.
> The
>> > regional Norwegian databases are rather small, so I don't know because
> of
>> > statistical reasons how much stock can be put on the variations of R1a
>> > frequency from region to region in YHRD database.
>> >
>> > There is a very unique Norwegian variety of R1a which also shows up in
>> > several clans of Scotland. There is also a very unique vareiety of R1a
>> > which primarily shows up in Wales and SW England.
>> >
>> > How R1a got from Slavic Eastern Europe or from places even further to
> the
>> > east is still a question needing an answer. Certainly, Scandinavian
>> > R1a
>> > has
>> > a component of R1a which it shares with Eastern Europe R1a even if they
>> > also
>> > have a component from more exotic places.
>> >
>> > The Vikings did come to Britain. Its the simplest theory to assume
>> > they
>> > brought the bulk of the R1a found there today. It does seem to
> correlate
>> > by
>> > region in Britain with where the Vikings settled.
>> >
>> > There are a number of low-percentage haplogroups found in Britain, and
> for
>> > each of them is the interesting question of "when did it arrive"? and
>> > "how
>> > do we go about determining that from the dna distributions themselves"?
>> >
>> > Ken
>> > ----- Original Message -----
>> > From: "Eric Olson" <>
>> > To: <>
>> > Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 4:08 AM
>> > Subject: [DNA] Scot R1a
>> >
>> >
>> >> I have been reading the archives here in an effort to better
>> >> understand
>> > the assertion, repeated several times, that R1a in the British Isles is
>> > almost certainly of Norse Viking origin. How certain? It seems a bit
> of
>> > a
>> > leap from Poland or Hungary, or central Asia, to western Norway, hence
> to
>> > the Northern Isles if not to mainland Scotland itself, but apparently
>> > without much trace of R1a found between those locations in eastern
> Europe
>> > and central Asia, and western Norway, to mark its passage. Why just
>> > western
>> > Norway? And how would these people of the Asian steppes suddenly
> develop
>> > such viable seagoing technology?
>> >>
>> >> Is this scenario considered a done deal and the last word? Have any
>> >> finer
>> > details of haplo- R1a been discerned, say between central Asian R1a and
>> > eastern European R1a? Or might that be a subject of further study?
>> >>
>> >> Eric Olson
>> >> Curious in Seattle
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
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