GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1268877970
From: Steven Bird <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] English genealogy
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 22:06:10 -0400
I think that some of your questions can or could be answered. Many must await better coverage in the Y data (which is coming, I hope).
> If a significant number of male descendants can be found in a region of
> Northern England who seem to have common Balkan roots based on advanced
> Y-DNA SNP testing, the questions I have for the geneticists are:
> 1. Is there a chance that the time back to the immigrant ancestor can be
Probably not, because the population may be significantly older than Roman period. The way that the Romans selected soldiers, random from a genetic perspective, I would expect the coalescence might be very similar to the corresponding Balkan populations from which they came. A more recent founding effect coalescence date would indicate a far more recent immigration to Britain.
> 2. If not the immigrant ancestor, then can the time back to the
> bottlenecking of genetic types, even as long as a thousand years ago be established?
Sure. I would expect the bottleneck to exist in the Bronze Age, judging from the expansion of world populations at that time.
> 3. Can the location of this original ancestry in the Balkans be estimated
> based on a modal type?
Perhaps. Much more data is needed. It would require some really good, detailed haplotypes in the Balkans AND in Britain to have a chance of confirming origins. Not out of the question, but not likely in my opinion.
> 4. If there is a clear paper trail of a particular surname and similar
> haplotype (but with several mutational differences) back 500 years, is that
> enough to rule out more recent Balkan immigration?
I'm not aware of any migration from the Balkans to Britain in the past 1000 years, excepting perhaps since WWII.
> 5. Aren't there phylogeographical methods that employ specific markers and
> statistics to establish migration patterns?
Yes, there is a program called Map Viewer 7 that allows this sort of comparison. It is expensive and takes a good while to learn to use well. It is published by Golden Software, in Colorado.
> 6. If a very specific Eastern European subhaplogroup did not enter the
> British Isles during Roman times, but the modal progenitor entered there, say,
> before the time of surnames, then what else would be the most likely
> explanation of this entry into the local population?
This is a situation where I would expect to see a well-defined founder haplotype with a coalescent date between 400 A.D. and 1100 A.D. (when surnames came along in Britain).
> It would seem that DNA evidence would trump historical reporting, though
> one would like to see an agreement between the two when connecting the dots.
DNA evidence is essentially objective, much as a pot sherd is objective. The interpretation of the evidence is the key to understanding, however, and that by nature is NOT objective.
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|Re: [DNA] English genealogy by Steven Bird <>|