Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-09 > 1127083002

From: "Greg W. Moore" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Basics on Ethnic Groups - Celts, Scots, Picts
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 15:36:42 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <>

Sent To: SCOT-DNA-L, November 2004

From: Greg W. Moore, excerpts from discussions

"... As we are trying to interpret our Morrison DNA results - here are my thoughts ("educated speculations") on the haplogroups we find and their connection with the old, ancient Picts and the younger Celts such as Gauls, Gaels, etc.

Regarding the Picts - there are a few clues, in my view, on who they possibly were originally, based on various information sources, including their own ones:

1) They claimed to be ancient people, of the BC times - as opposed to the Scots (Gaelic Celts) of Ireland - the latter came to Scotland in the AD times. And - after coming to Scotland the Scots faught with the Picts for a long time.

2) The Picts claimed to be descendents of the ancient Scythians and the latter are considered by many to be a product of the Assyrian invasion of the Middle East about 700 BC.

3) The Picts are considered to be ethnic (DNA) cousins of the ancient Britons and they both spoke a common pre-Celtic/Gaelic language (Welsh) which is possibly derived from the ancient Hebrew - below is an example of such an analysis:

4) If the Picts (also Britons) had really been related to the ancient Hebrews then they should exhibit either directly the same DNA haplogroup as the Jews/Hebrews (typical groups are "J", "J2", or "E3b", etc.) or more likely a typical "cousin" haplogroup - if they had been genetic cousins - and the closest is the "I" haplogroup and its derivatives ("I1b" and "I1c"). And indeed - the Clan Chieftains, those who claim, based on their traditions, their Pictish descent exhibit an unusually high percentage of "I1b" and "I1c" haplogroups, up to 20%, although their overall concentration in Scotland is rather low. The small overall percentage whould indicate a very ancient origin, "flooded" / "overwhelmed" in later centuries by the Gaelic, Viking, Norman, Danish, and Anglo-Saxon "invasion" (a mix of the "R1b", "R1a", "I", and "I1a" haplogroups).

5) Yet there is another factor which contributed to "blurring" the representative genetic map of the old Scotland - a massive emigration from the Highlands, especially the Chieftains and other nobility in an attempt to save their lives when the Clan systems was supposed to be "wiped out" - and the old Picts were especially the target. Why..?? They usually were the "carriers" of the old traditions of freedom in Scotland (Declaration of Arbroath, religious independence, etc. etc.)".

... and ...

"6) The Scots mentioned in the Arbroath Declaration were already the POLITICAL Scots, the inhabitants of the whole Scotland, and not the ETHNIC ones. They included, in the ethnic terms, the ethnic Scots (Gaels), Picts, Norsemen, Danes, Britons, Angles, Saxons, Normans, etc.

7) The reference to Scythia made in the Arbroath Declaration is taken from the old Pictish tradtion but since the Picts became the POLITICAL Scots in the meantime, the document says the "Scots" (as an ethnic mix already). I will send you a quote from John Prebble who also explains that.

8) The Scots/Gaels exhibit typically the haplogroup "R1b". It is not clear what typical haplogroup should be exhibited by the Picts since there are various theories on their origins - the old ones used to say they were related to the Gaels and thus they would exhibit the "R1b", but the latest findings show that they more likely came to Scotland from Scandinavia and thus they would rather exhibit the "Ixy" family of haplogroups. The Trinity Report says the significant number of the Highland Chieftains who say they are Pictish show the "I1b" and "I1c" haplogroups apparently. I have checked the FTDNA Y-search Database for the "I1b" haplogroup and it shows over 80 "I1b"s and also the highest frequency (more than 1/3 !!) of occurence comes from the British isles.

9) The typical Jewish haplogroups are "J", "J2", "E3b", etc. and one of the closest "cousin" haplogroups would be the "Ixy" family of haplogroups - if they really separated a long time ago - 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. The Pictish haplogroups would fit that assumption, not the Gaelic "R1b"s.

10) The "R1b"s of Ireland, Scotland, and England were the indegenous people there but they did not create the Celtic culture. The latter was created in Central Europe in the area which overlaps with the current still pretty high frequency of the "I1b" haplogroup - southern Alps. Only afterwards - the Celtic culture spread around Europe, including the British isles where it was absorbed by the "R1b"s and stays even to this day in certain areas. The relatively high frequency of the "I1b"s in the British isles (at least according to the Y-search) would coincide with the path of the Celtic culture and with the possible oldest carriers of it such as the Picts and Britons.

11) More on the original area of the Celts (overlapping with the main source of the "I1b" haplogroup) in Europe who spread in the later times to the British isles and other areas (click on the map "Celtic World" link (&2)):


ellen Levy <> wrote:

On the other hand, labels can be very useful. The question, I think, is how to utilize them in an accurate fashion to assist those exploring their DNA

Ellen Coffman

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