Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-08 > 1155056779

From: "Peter A. Kincaid" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] DNA Evidence for a Significant Viking Presence in Wales
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 14:06:19 -0300
References: <>

Well the Vikings certainly had their sights on Anglesey.
Rhodri ap Merfyn defeated a Norse fleet off Anglesey
in 856. In 877 Rhodri Mawr was defeated in Anglesey
by the Norse.

However. one has to keep in mind the impact of the subsequent
"Norman" element to the population. The Bayly family were also
quite powerful there from the 17th century. Given your ratios and
using the present population (circa 70,000) we are looking at a
mere 10,000 potential S28s. The troops garrisoned
there and retainers/servants to the lords alone could impact
these numbers. This is keeping in mind that the medieval
population was much smaller. I believe that Bede suggested
the total population of Anglesey was then about 900 families
(three times the Isle of Man).

I just don't think the DNA evidence can be conclusive about
a Viking presence versus a Norman presence. I would
give more weight to the archaelogical/linguistic evidence.

Best wishes!


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Faux" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 10:39 PM
Subject: [DNA] DNA Evidence for a Significant Viking Presence in Wales

> Hello all:
> As a distraction I have been exploring the ins and outs of my Y-DNA
> haplogroup, S28-R1b1c10. There have been many surprises and I suspect
> this is the tip of the iceberg.
> A while back we (at Ethnoancestry) tested academic research samples from
> Norway, Friesland, Norfolk England, and North Wales (Anglesey). The
> predominance of S21-R1b1c9 in the first three locations was expected. A
> respectable showing of S28 in Norway but only in the Southeast of the
> country was a novel find; as was none showing up in the Norfolk sample
> (but from an area not within the region with Danish place names). What
> was a profound surprise however was the sample from Wales.
> Anglesey is on the coast (an island actually) in NW Wales and will not
> likely reflect the findings further inland. However, despite a few R1a
> and I samples, most of the sample was R1b (almost 90%). However, when
> broken down into R1b1c, R1b1c9 and R1b1c10 this is where it all got
> interesting. There was considerable diversity of haplotypes (only 6
> markers unfortunately) according to Dr. Wilson (ruling out founder
> effects). There was as expected a predominance of R1b1c (S21 minus and
> S28 minus) at about two thirds of R1b. However, as to the rest, there was
> twice as much S28 as S21 which points to Jutland, Southeast Norway, or
> possibly Skane in Sweden (an area that needs to be sampled systematically)
> where S28 is linked to ancient Cimbri settlement (being an old marker
> found in the ancient homelands of the Celts for example Southern Germany
> and Switzerland). Further information on the Cimbri and their connection
> to Jutland and the Danelaw, as well as related Celtic and
> Germanic data can be found at
> It should be noted that until recently there was a general denial of
> Viking settlement in Wales. There were sources that discussed numerous
> raids but little to hint at a more long - term involvement. Then the
> archaeological data began to be assessed and it is not an exaggeration to
> say that there is more evidence of Viking settlement in the small island
> of Anglesey than in all of East Anglia. The sources are very diverse from
> coin hoards to trading settlements to domestic settlements to grave sites
> to fortifications and so on. One site has even shown that the Vikings
> (both Norse from Dublin; and Danish) may have engaged in a form of "ethnic
> cleansing" and selling the population into slavery. In other words not
> elite dominance but replacement. Few have asked the obvious question of
> why the Isle of Mons (the name in the Welch language) is not used but the
> Scandinavian version of Onguls - ey (a Viking name) is. It makes no sense
> unless there was a continuing
> significant Scandinavian presence. Also local names along the coast such
> as The Skerries, Osmond's Air ( Asmundr-eyrr), Piscar, and Priestholm are
> all Scandinavian.
> There have been those with surnames from Wales who are S21+ and that has
> been attributed to the Anglo - Saxon influence. However, depending on the
> location of the ancestral homeland, it is as likely to be Viking (Norse
> from perhaps the Vik or Oslofjord area; or Danish including Skane in
> Sweden which was part of Denmark at the time).
> This re-evaluation arose after reading Julian D. Richard's book, "The
> Blook of the Vikings" where he evaluates the gruesome burials on Anglesey.
> I then purchased probably the most expensive 116 page book yet (but
> granted, beautifully illustrated) and entitled, "Vikings in Wales: An
> Archaelogical Quest" by Mark Rednap. The latter is replete with evidence
> of all sorts that Anglesey was a "hotbed" of Viking activity and asserts
> that it was not only raiding, but also settlement of the area that sets it
> apart. As one example Magnus Haraldsoon a Dane from Lincoln in the
> Danelaw England left that location with a contingent of his followers in
> 967 to harry around Anglesey (and settle?). After much raiding in 987 the
> Dane Guthroth took 2000 slaves from Anglesey (probably to be ransomed
> later). For 70 years the Danes held sway there - long enough for
> generations of Danish - Welch children to be born - before the Welch king
> gained control of Anglesey. Nothing suggests that he
> ejected those who had settled there. There is evidence for workships
> making Scandinavian style garmets and metal work. Anglesey is only a
> short hop to the Viking settlements of Dublin, the Isle of Mann, and
> Chester and also appears to have been a location that attracted the Danes
> who had earlier settled in East Anglia (Suffolk and Norfolk, England).
> Danish influences were still evident as late as 1081 when Gruffud ap Cynan
> of mixed ancestry who "grew up among the Danish community of Dublin", took
> command of a fleet manned by Danes, Irish and British and defeated three
> other contenders to a throne of Wales at the Battle of Mynyyd Carn. Even
> in the 12th Century there are unmistakable Scandinavian artistic designs
> in church sculpture in Anglesey.
> While the genetic presence of the Vikings elsewhere in Wales is
> questionable, it seems that all sources point to their descendants
> residing in Anglesey to this day - alongside the more numerous descendants
> of their "Celtic" neighbors. In all it would appear that the population
> of Anglesey may include about one third or more Viking Y-DNA. There may
> have also been other hotbeds of Viking settlement in Wales but probably
> rather "spotty" and await archaeological verification or investigation by
> population geneticists.
> David Faux.

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