Wandering Thoughts on Ancient Y DNA Post Migration Period

There are different ideas about the beginning and end of the Migration Period. I’m not sure migration ever really ends. As one of my friends reminded me when I commented on his relation to indigenous Sami Y DNA, “Everyone is from somewhere else.” People didn’t pop out of the ground in Lapland.

In previous posts, and in this one, I’ve used the term “local.” I’m mindful that in my Carpathian Basin post, our local boy for R-CTS12023 (used as a foil in the study to differentiate the invading Avars) was most closely related to admixed Longobards. Those admixed Longobards looked to be, maybe, one generation in from being “Invaders” themselves. So yesterday’s foreigner is tomorrow’s native townie.

Because of my Y, I’m trying to split hairs among Germanic groups that moved all over the place. So I’ve tried to draw a line separating the migrations in earlier movements from the Vikings forward.

It’s arbitrary on my part because other migration concepts like the Ostsiedlung and the studies of Hungary I just worked through span these periods.

As in the past several posts, I will be using the U106 group’s excellent Ancient DNA spreadsheet because they’ve done the hard work for me deciphering U106. I’m also leaning heavily on the supplemental data I can get from the studies these samples come from and whatever I can gather from Family Tree DNA’s awesome new haplogroup tools. Since we’re talking about Vikings, I’m also going to run directly into all the good work done at DNA Explained to post ancient Viking DNA results.

Sigtuna – Viking Age Sweden

map of sigtuna sweden on the east side of Sweden just north of Stockholm.

A study of burials in Sigtuna Sweden around 1000 BCE turned up one FTDNA confirmed R-U106 YDNA result. That same sample was pushed to Z18>Z17>S17032 by the good people on the Anthrogenica Forums. The study “Genomic and Strontium Isotope Variation Reveal Immigration Patterns in a Viking Age Town” identified that the burials were made up of locals, regional people, and people who had traveled a significant distance with a penchant for being related to people from Lithuania. Quoting the study: “70% of the females and 44% of the males from Sigtuna were non-locals”.

“The observed patterns are best explained by a scenario where both males and females were mobile regionally but also migrated over larger distances to a similarly high degree. The long-distance migrants probably moved to Sigtuna from other centers in connection to their profession or goals. They most likely represent the whole network of the Viking world. We do not find a specific Scandinavian “Viking” population distinct from the rest of Europe; rather, the population was integrated in the northern European gene pool at the time.”

The haplogroups in the study are likely to be old. There are only 9 results, and they are pretty diverse. Where I could figure it out, I’ll mark the locals..etc.

Haplogroup G

  • G-L1259 formed around 16000 BCE. 4929 modern testers from England, Germany and Italy.

Haplogroup I

  • I-Z74 – local – formed in 1400 BCE, 2001 descendants mainly from Finland, Sweden and Norway.
  • I-M436, AKA I-P214 – formed in 16000 BCE and has 8083 descendants, mainly from England, Germany, and Ireland.

Haplogroup N

  • N-L392 AKA N-L1026 – Norway – formed in 3700 BCE most common in Finland, Russia and Sweden

Haplogroup R

  • R-P312 – a base haplogroup of R1b and the largest branch of R1b most common in the British Isles and also prevalent in Western Europe.
  • R-M173 AKA R1 – a base branch of Haplogroup R it contains all the descendants down R1a and R1. This group is enormous.
  • R-BY18986local – This is the R-Z18 result. Formed around 1100 BCE and has 4 modern testers from England, Norway and Russia.

Haplogroup BT

  • BCDEF – Norway – this is a base haplogroup, so it has been renamed several times. formed in 85000 BCE with 235,344 descendants. Most of them are well down into the branches.

Haplogroup A?

  • A2’3’4 – I absolutely don’t know how to parse this result…but here it is.

Population genomics of the Viking world

Roberta Estes and Family Tree DNA did an excellent job with results from this study. Much better I think, than I have been doing in my own transects. I’m going to link over to that much more complete content for the 442 results rather than try to recreate it in some slightly different way.

Here are some quick stats:

Haplogroup R: 151 results

  • R1a – 62 results
  • R1b – 84 results
    • R1b-M269 – 82 results.
    • R1b-P312 – 35 results
    • R1b-M405 (R-U106) – 29 results. These U106 results (and below) are also well documented in the R-U106 spreadsheet
      • R-FGC3861 – 1 results
      • R-Z381 – 18 results
      • R-Z18 – 7 results. Most are under R-Z372 which is a major group under R-Z18. Most popular in Sweden, Scotland and England. The exception is VK168 which FTDNA leaves at R-Z18.
        • VK168 UK_Oxford_#6
        • VK170 Isle-of-Man_Balladoole
        • VK204 Orkney_Newark for Brothwell
        • VK259 UK_Dorset-3734
        • VK308 Sweden_Skara 101
        • VK418 Norway_Nordland 1502
        • VK449 UK_Dorset-3746

Haplogroup I: 106 results

Haplogroup N: 17 results

Haplogroup G: 3 results

Haplogroup J: 3 results

Haplogroup E: 2 results

Haplogroup T: 2 results

Haplogroup L: 2 results

Haplogroup Q: 1 result

Back to The Anglo-Saxon migration and the formation of the early English gene pool

Back to the Anglo Saxon study, they did a lot of work on rough contemporary results they thought would line up with the Anglo Saxons. The results span from 200 CE to 1100 CE. I put together a page for these results so I don’t think I’ll go through them again.

If I start my selection at roughly the 8th century in those results, and peel away roughly 30 R-P312+ results from Ireland, this is the breakdown of haplogroups:

Haplogroup R: 45 Results

  • R1a: 5 results
  • R1b-M269: 40 results
    • R1b-P312: 12 results (would be the clear winner if I included the Irish results)
    • R1b-U106: 23 results all these results are well documented in the U106 spreadsheet.
      • R-FTT8 (the major group above R-Z381): 18 results
      • R-S12025: 1 result
      • R-Z18: 3 Results from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands, Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and Dunum, Lower Saxony, Germany. I believe all these results are under R-Z17 which is a major group under R-Z18.
post migration walking tour of R-Z18 results.
walking tour of R-Z18 results.

Haplogroup I: 22 Results

Haplogroup J: 4 Results

Haplogroup G: 1 Result

Ancient genomes from Iceland reveal the making of a human population

This study looks at 27 ancient DNA samples from Iceland: “…these ancient Icelanders are markedly more similar to their source populations in Scandinavia and the British-Irish Isles than to contemporary Icelanders, who have been shaped by 1100 years of extensive genetic drift.”

image of mounded hills and grasslands in Vatnsdalur iceland.
Vatnsdalur borrowed from Kelvin Leung

Haplgroup R: 17 results

  • R1a: 7 results
  • R1b: 10 results
    • R1b-P312: 6 results
    • R1b-M405 (U106): 2 results

Haplogroup I: 6 results

Haplogroup G: 1 result

Haplogroup C: 1 result

Haplogroup D: 1 result

And the Hits Keep Coming!

As I have been writing this, new studies have been released with results from more Swedish Pre Vikings, Vikings, and some results from a Swedish shipwreck in the 1600s. There are four R-U106 results, and one is R-Z18 (GAM872 a Viking-era person from Uppland, Sweden). I think this study was published just a few days ago, and already the results are appearing in the R-U106 spreadsheet and out at Family Tree DNA. It’s amazing. It seems like there is something new or something old that is re-evaluated every couple of weeks.

I’m glad to be around to see it and look forward to more results in the future.

Wrapping up My Viking and Vendel Era Tour

At this time last year, I would not have been surprised that R-CTS12023 didn’t appear in any ancient DNA samples. Testing coverage wasn’t that good (if it was done at all), and we’re a small enough group of modern testers that we could fade into the woodwork. Having us appear in Medieval Hungary and England has made me greedy for more ancient DNA and greedy for more modern Big Y testers.

It occurs to me that each of these results is important to someone (whether they know it or not). I focus on my groups, but it’s good to know that even the results I’ve glossed over as statistics are connected to living people in some way.

Having ancient DNA to look at along with modern people lets us see the journeys and the waypoints that we’ve only guessed at before.

I can’t say that I’m surprised there are no CTS12023 results among the R-Z18 men in these later studies, but maybe it is just a matter of time.

Side Note: Family Tree DNA Discover is Pretty Awesome

Family Tree DNA has been adding these results to their Discover Haplogroup Reports feature. You can find the ancient people you’re related to by putting in your own Haplogroup and clicking Ancient Connections. This is mine (currently): R-A2284.

screenshot of family tree dna discover haplogroup reporting showing ancient connections.

You can also see ancient connections by navigating through the Time Tree which shows the branches of your Y-DNA family tree with age estimates and these ancient genomes.

screenshot of family tree dna time tree with ancient samples and modern testers in the tree.

Ancient Y DNA and Medieval Hungary Part 2

Continuing with “Whole genome analysis sheds light on the genetic origin of Huns, Avars and conquering Hungarians.” which seems to overlap with this article that I’ve also been referencing: “The genetic origin of Huns, Avars, and conquering Hungarians.” I’m posting these results as a context for the R-CTS12023/R-DF95 (see It’s My Carpathian Basin), R-Z18, R-U106 and R1b results identified in ancient samples from Hungary.

Walking through all these results makes for some pretty long posts, so I’ve split Medieval Hungary into Part 1 and Part 2. Back to it, then.

Late Avar Period 8th to 9th Century

Haplogroup E

Walking map showing Late Avar Haplogroup E results in Szeged, Orosháza, Székkutas, Kiskundorozsma, Homokmégy, Alattyán, Pitvaros, and Tiszafüre

Locations: Szeged, Orosháza, Székkutas, Kiskundorozsma, Homokmégy, Alattyán, Pitvaros, and Tiszafüre

  • E-PRX51 200 BCE, only found in ancient DNA from Hungary.
  • E-BY4573 (2 samples) 250 CE, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro.
  • E-FGC11451 1000 BCE, England and Germany.
  • E-BY7536 3250 BCE, Poland, Ukraine, and Germany.
  • E-Y145455 1550 BCE, Ireland, Germany and Sweden.
  • E-BY193951 – (2 samples) 500 BCE, Sardinia, and Ireland.
  • E-BY6375 1350 BCE, France, Sweden, and Belgium.
  • E-BY5617 – 750 BCE, Albania and Germany.
  • E-FTD30148 – 400 BCE, Russia.
  • E-BY4523 – 500 BCE, France, Germany, and Sweden.
  • E-PRX43 100 BCE, only known from samples in Hungary.

Haplogroup R

walking map of haplogroup R results in Árkus, Orosháza, Székkutas, Jánoshida, and Szarvas

Locations: Árkus, Orosháza, Székkutas, Jánoshida, and Szarvas

  • R-Y20746 – 1900 BCE, Bashkortostan, Russia, Kuwait.
  • R-PRX15 (2 samples) 850 BCE, only found in ancient DNA from Hungary.
  • R-PRX19 (2 samples) 1150 BCE, only found in ancient DNA from Hungary.
  • R-FGC56440 – 50 CE, Russia, Kazakhstan, and France.
  • R-PRX18 – only found in ancient DNA from Hungary. The parent group formed around 50 CE.
  • R-Y2631 – 850 BCE, Russia, UK, and Armenia.
  • R-FT175739 – (under R1b) 1550 BCE, Germany, France, and Poland.

Haplogroups Q, N, I, C and J

walking map of results from haplogroups Q, N, I , C and J in locations Árkus, Kiskundorozsma, Csólyospálos, Tatárszentgyörgy, Tiszafüred, Homokmégy, Pitvaros, and Vörs

Haplogroup Q

Location: Árkus

  • Q-PRX40 – (5 samples) around 350 CE, only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.
  • Q-BZ1000 – (2 samples) 300 CE, Kazakhstan, Poland, and Russia.

Haplogroup N

Locations: Kiskundorozsma, Csólyospálos, and Tatárszentgyörgy

  • N-PRX34 – (2 samples) only found in ancient Hungary.
  • N-PRX33 – only found in ancient Hungary.
  • N-Y16313 – 100 BCE. China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan.

Haplogroup I

Locations: Tiszafüred, Homokmégy

  • I-PRX1 (2 samples) – 300 CE, only found in ancient DNA in Hungary.
  • I-FT239052 1 modern tester from Czech Republic.

Haplogroup C

Location: Pitvaros

  • C-PRX53 (2 samples) only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.

Haplogroup J

Location: Vörs

  • J-YP181 an Avar Elite. 1300 BCE, Sardinia and Poland.

Hungarian Conqueror Period 10th to 11th Century

What is a conquering Hungarian and where to they come from? The Hungarians/Magyar probably come from the Steppe and move west under pressure from another group from the East, similar to the Avars. They invade the Carpathian basin, bringing in more Y haplogroups from the east. They raid all over Western Europe up to Saxony and then eventually became sedentary. Wikipedia has a very concise map image of various stages of the Magyar migration.

At some point between the end of the Avars and the Beginning of the Conquering Hungarians, the Eastern Franks pushed into what would become Hungary to the Danube, and the Avars pulled back across the Tisza, but I’m not sure how much of a genetic legacy that might have.

What is interesting to me is that there are a lot of R1b results in this period, and I believe the majority of R-U106 results in the study.

This is the largest group of results in the supplemental materials. I’ve mixed the commoners and elites. The only groups that didn’t appear in commoners and elites seemed to be Haplogroup N, Haplogroup C and Haplogroup D. They were all elite.

By Fakirbakir – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17096731

Haplogroup R

walking map of haplogroup R locations for hungarian conquerors including  Sárrétudvari, Nagykőrös, Karos, Szegvár, Homokmégy, Nagytarcsa, Püspökladány, Algyő, Ibrány, and Tiszanána

Haplogroup R has enough samples in this round that I will split it up into R1a and R1b groups. I’ll also grab a bit more information on our U106 and Z18 cousins.

R1a

Locations: Sárrétudvari, Nagykőrös, Karos, Szegvár, Homokmégy, Püspökladány, Algyő

  • R-BY30742 – 500 BCE, Russia and Sweden.
  • R-Y147340 – 1 tester from Russia.
  • R-PRX9 (2 samples) only known from ancient samples in Hungary. The parent group is from 1685 BCE.
  • R-BY32011 – 550 BCE, Scotland and Spain.
  • R-Z283 – 2800 BCE, Poland, Russia, and Sweden.
  • R-BY180648 1 modern tester from Russia. The parent group is from 550 BCE.
  • R-FGC56425 200 CE, Russia, France, and Czech Republic.
  • R-Y52 950 BCE, Germany, England, and Russia.
  • R-Y3219 1 BCE, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary.

R1b

Locations: Nagytarcsa, Homokmégy, Szegvár, Sárrétudvari, Ibrány, Karos, Tiszanána, Püspökladány

  • R-KMS59 – 100 BCE, Kazakhstan, Russia, Slovakia.
  • R-BY173857 – 3350 BCE, Turkey
  • R-FT186340 – 1000 BCE, Albania.
  • R-P312 – base group under R1b.
  • R-A7066 – 1600 BCE, England and France.
  • R-Y14515 – 2000 BCE, Scotland and Russia.
  • R-BY111101 – (2 samples) – 400 CE, Germany and Austria.
  • R-FT327611 – Only known from ancient samples in Hungary. The parent is 50 CE in England and Germany.
  • R-FTC689 – 1150 BCE, England.
  • R-FT153449 (under U106) commoner. 1 living tester with unknown origins. The parent group is 900 BCE, England and Ireland.
  • R-BY41605 (under R-U106) Magyar Elite. 500 BCE, Germany, Spain and England.
  • R-Y105242 (under R-U106->R-L48) Hungarian Elite. 550 CE, Finland, Sweden, Norway.
  • R-BY18748 (under R-U106->R-L48) commoner. 300 CE, England, Finland, and Germany.
  • R-FGC17304 – (under R-U106->R-L48->R-L47) commoner. 200 BCE, Poland, and England.
  • R-FT96427 – (under R-U106->R-Z18->R-L257) commoner. 1 living tester with unknown origins. The parent group is 750 BCE, Norway, Germany, and Lithuania. This person (Sárrétudvari 175 or shper175) is listed as eur-core3 in this study. eur-core3 clusters with “Langobards15 and Bronze Age samples from Hungary,18,19 the Czech Republic, and Germany”

Haplogroup I

walking map of haplogroup I results in Püspökladány, Homokmégy, Ibrány, Sárrétudvari, Magyarhomorog, Karos

Locations: Püspökladány, Homokmégy, Ibrány, Sárrétudvari, Magyarhomorog, Karos

  • I-PRX61 – (2 samples) only known from ancient DNA in Hungary. Parent group is 100 CE with testers from Sweden and England.
  • I-S20602 – (2 samples) 400 BCE, Russia, Poland, and Ukraine.
  • I-FTC25695 – 500 CE, England.
  • I-A1328 – 200 CE, Russia, Bosnia, Poland.
  • I-Y3548 – 200 BCE, Poland, Russia, Ukraine.
  • I-FT108909 – 600 CE, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Romania.
  • I-M253 – 2550 BCE, England, Sweden, and Germany.
  • I-S20602 (3 samples) 400 BCE, Russia, Poland, and Ukraine.

Haplogroup N

walking map of haplogroup N results in Szakony, Algyő, Karos, Kiskundorozsma, Kenézlő, Sárrétudvari

Locations: Szakony, Algyő, Karos, Kiskundorozsma, Kenézlő, Sárrétudvari

  • N-CTS6967 – 3100 BCE, Finland, Russia, Sweden.
  • N-Y13852 – 1700 BCE, Russia, Hungary, and Greece.
  • N-PH1896 – (2 samples) 650 CE. Turkey and Lebanon.
  • N-L1026 – 3700 BCE, Finland, Russia and Sweden.
  • N-PRX36 – 1050 CE, Hungary.

Haplogroup J

walking map of haplogroup J results in Sárrétudvari, Püspökladány, Bugyi, Vörs

Locations: Sárrétudvari, Püspökladány, Bugyi, Vörs

  • J-Y3612 – 2100 BCE, Russia, Chechnya, and Ingushetia.
  • J-PH245 – 5750 BCE, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Turkey.
  • J-FT403133 – 4600 BCE, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan
  • J-Z30685 2600 BCE, Italy, England, and France.
  • J-Y23094 1550 BCE, Albania, France, and Italy.

Haplogroup E

walking map of haplogroup E results in Sárrétudvari, Püspökladány, Szegvár, Tiszanána, Sándorfalva

Locations: Sárrétudvari, Püspökladány, Szegvár, Tiszanána, Sándorfalva

Haplogroups G, Q, T, D, and C

walking map of G, Q, T, D, and C results from Homokmégy, Karos, Szeged, Vörs, Kenézlő, Sándorfalva, Ladánybene and Magyarhomorog

Haplogroup G

Locations: Homokmégy, Karos, Szeged

  • G-PRX54 – (2 samples) only known from ancient DNA in Hungary
  • G-Y11076 1650 BCE, Switzerland, Norway, and Germany.
  • G-BY191127 1 modern tester from Turkey.

Haplogroup Q

Locations: Vörs, Kenézlő, Sándorfalva

  • Q-BZ93 1 modern tester from Russia.
  • Q-PH5117 – 3 modern testers from Bhutan and Brunei.
  • Q-BZ450 – 1400 BCE, Russia

Haplogroup C

Location: Ladánybene

  • C-FT88774 – 1 living tester with unknown origin. The parent group has 1 tester from Russia.

Haplogroup D

Location: Magyarhomorog

  • D-Y59460 – 1 living tester from Kazakhstan

Haplogroup T

Location: Vörs

  • T-BY45377 – 1800 BCE. England, Iraq and Lebanon.

Early Arpadian Commoners 11th Century

Locations: Püspökladány, Ibrány, and Magyarhomorog. These are all commoners under the Árpádian dynasty in Hungary. There are not very many of them, so I will list them together.

Early Arpad results from Püspökladány, Ibrány, and Magyarhomoro
  • I-FGC22129 – 100 CE. Sweden and England.
  • I-S6489 – 1150 BCE. Scotland and Ireland.
  • I-FT26533 -1 modern tester of unknown origin. Parent is 700 BCE. Russia, Germany and England.
  • N-Y24222 – 200 BCE. Russia and Hungary.
  • R-FGC17304 – 200 BCE. Poland and England.
  • R-PRX5 – (under R-L21, R-P312, R1b) is only known from ancient DNA. Parent group is 1700 BCE, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Thoughts and Conclusions

R-U106

walking map of ancient U106 results

In all of these results, in all these locations, covering 500 or so years and multiple invasions, there are about seven R-U106 boys (maybe 8, one of them is up in the air). Most of those appear in the conquering Hungarians group, and a couple were considered elite burials with nice grave goods. The R-Z18 man in this period was a commoner who appeared to be related to European genetic groups rather than Asian genetic groups.

Going back in time a hundred years or so from these studies, there were 5 R-U106 results, just in Langobard Szolad. Just that one place, and that one group. We’re out of our element among the Huns, Avars, and Hungarians. The papers I’ve been mulling through consider these people as allied Germanics or remnant populations of allied Germanics or native Europeans, depending on the time period.

The current oldest R-U106 sample in the U106 group spreadsheet is PNL1, Plotiště nad Labem 1, part of the corded ware culture, who lived around 2900 BCE in Plotiště nad Labem, Bohemia, Czech Republic. Not too awful far from these Hungarians. I say current oldest because the previous oldest R-U106 identified was RISE98, who was roughly 700 years younger and in Sweden as part of the battle axe or boat axe culture.

R-U106 is estimated to have formed in 2920 BCE, not too much before PNL1 there in Czechia. There is probably much more to be seen in central Europe.

Plotiště nad Labem Czechia

R-Z18

Family Tree DNA estimates that R-Z18 appeared in 2210 BCE. The oldest R-Z18 sample in the U106 spreadsheet is from 1800 to 1400 BCE in Madesø, Denmark, part of the Nordic Bronze Age. There is a sizeable gap there between the suspected origin and archaeogenetic evidence. The second oldest is in Hove Å, Denmark, roughly 1300 to 900 BCE. You don’t see ancient R-Z18 again for 1000 plus years, until 200 CE with HVN004 in Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Again a large gap. There are more stories to be told in these gaps.

It would be cool to find older roots for R-Z18 and to see what locations they are in.

With what I have right now, I’m still leaning towards a migration path for R-Z18->CTS12023 from southern Scandinavia, northern Germany/Poland into central and eastern Europe with the Langobards, Goths, or Gepids setting up our man from 600 CE. I welcome being wrong, though. There is a lot of room here to be wrong.

For the later 10th to 11th century R-Z18, I think a remnant from those earlier populations could be possible, or someone moving in from Bavaria and the Eastern Frankish Empire. There is also the option of the Kievan Rus, who had interactions with the Magyar.

R1a

I have to admit a lot of ignorance regarding the distribution of R1a and its various groups. R1a is the king of the R group in these studies, while it seems rare in the west. I’m used to running in circles where R1b dominates the landscape. It’s refreshing to see the other side of the R coin. It reminds me of how old, large, and well-traveled Haplogroup R is.

Marching back in the time tree, I saw a lot of R1a-Z93, which some sources list as Central Asian R. That makes sense within the scope of these studies. In the context of so many Asian, Central, Near Eastern, and Southern European Y haplogroups, it is easy to see our own Y group (R-U106->R-Z18) as a remnant or an incursion (maybe both) in R1a territory.

Haplogroup R

For some perspective, it looks like all of R comes from the east. We’re all various steppe people who are pushed west at different times. We diverged from Haplogroup Q (which branched out into North America and South America as well as Asia and Europe). We appear to have done that the hard way, bottle-necking in Western Europe before crossing the Atlantic.

Map showing Mal'ta, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia.

The pin above is in Mal’ta, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. That’s Mal’ta boy, the oldest Haplogroup R sample to date. Roughly 22000 BCE. Much closer to the heat map centers for R1a than to the heat map centers for R1b. Family Tree DNA has a really nice migration map with ancient R Y-DNA sites. Mal’ta boy is the red circle below.

Wrapping Up Hungary…for Now

I’ve learned a lot. All my internet searches on Avars and Magyars have pushed central European content into my various media feeds. I’m a fish out of water looking up Huns, Alans, Avars, and Magyars.

The story of Hungary (maybe the story of every place) is a story of people moving for escape or opportunity. The Pannonian plain and basin end up being a crossroads between Asia and Europe, and the people in Hungary show that mixture in their Y and autosomal DNA over the ages.

It is interesting to think that our Haplogroup R ancestors inhabited this region, invading from the east and then, hundreds or thousands of years later, swung back to the area again, invading from the north and west. In one study, they’re invaders, and in others, they’re the locals.

Aren’t we all?

Ancient Y DNA and Medieval Hungary

By some definitions, the Migration Period in Europe ends when the Longobards destroy the Gepid Kingdom, leave Pannonia, and invade Italy in the late 500’s CE. For others it goes until roughly 800 CE butting up to the “Viking Age”. These samples from Hungary overlap that arbitrary boundary.

Huns, Sarmatians, Avars…Maybe Some Gepids?

Study: Ancient genomes reveal origin and rapid trans-Eurasian migration of 7th century Avar elites

This study is a transect of centuries and cemeteries through multiple cultural groups. Our R-CTS12023 man (Tiszapüspöki 18184) is used as a comparison to the invading Avar Elites and others with Steppe ancestry. So it seems like the best context for the study would be to try to break it into locations and periods as defined by the ruling culture.

Late Sarmatian and Hun Periods

I’ve also snuck a Roman-Sarmatian period person in here because there was only one. This time period covers roughly the 3rd century CE through the 5th Century CE in Kecskemét, Hajdúnánás, Derecske and Árpás. Some of these Y haplogroup assignments are base groups, I suspect many of these samples have been re-examined by Family Tree DNA, but I’m not sure where to find a search just for ancient remains outside the time tree. I’ll try to find as many as I can.

sarmatian period burial map showing the graves in east, west and central hungary

Haplogroup I

All of the Haplogroup I samples are from Kecskemét

  • I-Y3153 – 900 BCE, found in Germany and England.
  • I-Z141 – 1850 BCE, found in England and Germany
  • I-DF29 – 2400 BCE, found in Sweden and England.
  • I-FTA14546 (2 samples) 1 modern tester with unknown origins

Haplogroup R

R results showed up in Hajdúnánás and Árpás (our Hun period). R1a wins over R1b 3 to 1.

  • R-YP6411 1 modern tester in Germany.
  • R-FGC4547 (2 samples) 1600 BCE, found in Germany, England and Russia.
  • R-U152 (a base group in R1b under R-P312) 2500 BCE found in England and Germany.

Haplogroup G

Appeared in Hajdúnánás among R samples.

  • G-FGC1053 – 1750 BCE, England, Portugal and Russia.

Haplogroup E

A Roman Sarmatian period sample in Derecske

  • E-CTS5856 – 2400 BCE, Germany and England.

Early Avar Period

After the Lombards destroy the Gepid kingdom and the Avars have moved in from the east. Samples are from the late 6th century to the mid 7th century CE. The Avars have invaded and are the new ruling class. The Longobards have left for Italy. These samples are from Budapest, Kunbábony, Szarvas, Szalkszentmárton, Kunpeszér, Petőfiszállás, Kecskemét, Kölked, Derecske, Tiszapüspöki, and Kövegy.

map of early avar dig sites including Budapest, Kunbábony, Szarvas, Szalkszentmárton, Kunpeszér, Petőfiszállás, Kecskemét, Kölked, Derecske, Tiszapüspöki, and Kövegy

Haplogroup N

  • N-P89 (2 samples) formed around 500 BCE, found in Kazakhstan, China, and Uzbekistan
  • N-B219 (2 samples) formed around 300 BCE, found in Kazakhstan, China, Uzbekistan, and 6 other countries.
  • N-L708 formed around 5850 BCE, found in Finland, Russia, and Sweden.
  • N-PRX28 (2 samples) (only known from ancient samples from Hungary)
  • N-Y16313 formed around 100 BCE, found in Kazakhstan, China, and Uzbekistan
  • N-CTS3103 formed around 2700 BCE, found in Finland, Russia, and Sweden

Haplogroup Q

  • Q-BZ93 found in one modern person in Russia.
  • Q-YP789 (2 samples) formed around 150 CE found in Poland, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Haplogroup R

R1a for the win, 3 to our 1.

  • R-Z92 formed around 2200 BCE found in Russia, Poland and Ukraine.
  • R-BY40337 formed around 1250 BCE found in Portugal.
  • R-S10885 formed around 400 BCE found in Russia, Kazakhstan, and France
  • R-CTS12023 formed around 650 BCE found in England and Germany. The only R1b in this period.

Haplogroup E

  • E-BY5438 – formed around 900 BCE found in England.

Middle and Late Avar Period

The middle of the 7th century to the 8th century CE. Samples from Kunszállás, Albertirsa, Berettyóújfalu, Alsónyek, and Visonta.

late avar map showing Kunszállás, Albertirsa, Berettyóújfalu, Alsónyek, and Visonta in Hungary.

Haplogroup N

  • N-P89 (6 samples) formed around 500 BCE, found in Kazakhstan, China, and Uzbekistan
  • N-B219 (2 samples) formed around 300 BCE, found in Kazakhstan, China, Uzbekistan, and 6 other countries.

Haplogroup R

  • R-CTS9219 (3 samples) formed around 2300 BCE, found in Germany, Czech Republic, and Ireland. A branch of R1b. Two from Visonta, one from Alsónyek.

Haplogroup E

  • E-FGC11444 formed around 700 BCE, found in Russia, Germany, and Scotland.

Another Treasure Trove of ancient Hungarian DNA

I found another study with Y DNA from January 2022: Whole genome analysis sheds light on the genetic origin of Huns, Avars and conquering Hungarians. There is a differentiation between Mongolian Steppe ancestry and “Native European” ancestry in the study. This one also features samples from the 4th through 11th centuries past the Avars to Conquering Hungarians..which I think would be the Magyar tribes. I’ll try to break them down by period again. I’m not sure if there will be a couple of repeats, but a quick glance left me thinking the bulk of these samples are different from the Avar study above.

I’m also referencing some of the text from this paper: “The genetic origin of Huns, Avars, and conquering Hungarians.”

Huns 4th and 5th centuries

One of these results is from Romania. Locations are Sándorfalva, Vezér utca, Csongrád, Kecskemét, Árpás, and Marosszentgyörgy

walking map of  Sándorfalva, Vezér utca, Csongrád, Kecskemét, Árpás, and Marosszentgyörgy in Hungary and Romania

Haplogroup R

All the Hun era people in this study are haplogroup R. Most are R1a, but there is an R1b and an R1b-U106 result among them. My own personal categories for these are outdated because each branch and each family are different, but generally, in the past, R1a was to be expected farther east and R1b farther west. It’s an oversimplification, but it makes me less surprised to see R1a dominant in eastern European Hun period people.

  • R-PRX20 (2 samples) only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.
  • R-FGC56425 formed around 200 CE popular in Russia, France and the Czech Republic
  • R-S23201 formed around 1850 BCE popular in Russia, Kazakhstan and England.
  • R-FGC4547 formed around 1600 BCE popular in Germany, England and Russia.
  • R-Z326 (our R1b->R-U106->R-L48 cousin from Kecskemét) formed around 1300 BCE popular in Germany and England. Listed as Hunper2. Genetic testing came up with sliding scales of European and Xiongnu ancestry, with a lower portion of European ancestry (I’m going to guess on the father’s side).
  • R-FT218202 (an R1b man from Csongrád) only one living tester in the U.S. outside of this ancient sample.

Early Avars 7th century

The samples are so distributed around the country that I’m running out of destinations on my walking map, so I’m going to break them down by haplogroup. The Avars seem to come along with Haplogroup N in Y DNA. The study identified Asian core groups in their autosomal DNA but there is still a good amount of admixture in the samples.

Haplogroup N

walking map of haplogroup N sites: Madaras, Felgyő, Kunpeszér, Csólyospálos, Ároktő, Szegvár, Kiskőrös, and Csepel

Sites include Madaras, Felgyő, Kunpeszér, Csólyospálos, Ároktő, Szegvár, Kiskőrös, and Csepel.

  • N-PRX33 (3 samples) only known from ancient DNA.
  • N-PRX32 only known from ancient DNA.
  • N-P89 formed around 500 BCE popular in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and China.
  • N-PRX28 (2 samples) only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.
  • N-Y16313 formed around 100 BCE popular in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and China.
  • N-Y335332 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.

Haplogroup J

Sites include Alattyán, Kiskőrös, Felgyő, Szeged.

  • J-FT34868 100 BCE found in Ireland, Norway and Scotland.
  • J-PRX55 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.
  • J-FT72594 2200 BCE found in England and Russia
  • J-PRX60 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.

Haplogroup R

Sites include Kunpeszér, Mélykút and Dunavecse. R1a for the win again two to one. This early avar group is the one our R-CTS12023 person would fall into, if he had been included in this study.

  • R-PRX4 (Asian Core group) only known from ancient DNA in Mongolia and Hungary.
  • R-S10438 (Elite military leader) formed around 1 BCE, found in Russia, Kazakhstan, and France
  • R-ZZ12_1 (under R1b-P312) 2200 BCE, found in England and Ireland and 70 other countries.

Haplogroups E, Q and C

Sites include Szeged, Szegvár, Makó and Fajsz.

Haplogroup E

  • E-PRX51 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.
  • E-PRX43 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.

Haplogroup Q

  • Q-YP789 (2 samples) 150 CE, found in Poland, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Haplogroup C

  • C-Y11606 700 BCE, found in Kazakhstan, Czech Republic and Poland.

Middle Avar Period 7th to 8th Century

Haplogroup R

walking map of middle avar haplogroup R locations  Jánoshida, Mélykút, Tiszafüred, Alattyán, Szeged, Szarvas, and Madaras

Locations include Jánoshida, Mélykút, Tiszafüred, Alattyán, Szeged, Szarvas, and Madaras. R1a winning at least 4 to 3…possibly 4 to 2 if that last one is a bit suspect.

  • R-PRX19 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.
  • R-FT71888 100 CE found in Italy and Albania.
  • R-FGC56440? (possibly listed as late Avar at FTDNA) 50 CE, found in Russia, Kazakhstan and France.
  • R-Y39490 700 BCE, found in Belarus.
  • R-PH2558 under R1b/R-M269. 1350 BCE, found in Germany and Italy.
  • R-ZZ12_1 under R1b ->R-P312. 2200 BCE, found in England and Ireland and 70 other countries.
  • R-FGC925 under R1b->R-U106->R-L48 found in Alattyán-Tulát marked as part of their European Core group 1. Family Tree DNA doesn’t list this ancient result in the time tree near R-FGC925 or under R-U106. Also they estimate that R-FGC925 formed around 1600 CE. Way too late in the game to be appearing in Avar period Hungary. It makes me wonder if the sample appears elsewhere entirely or if they think it was contaminated.

Haplogroup N

walking map of middle avar haplogroup N locations Csólyospálos, Kaba and Madaras

Locations include Csólyospálos, Kaba and Madaras

  • N-PRX33 (3 samples) only known from ancient DNA
  • N-M2019 1600 BCE, found in Russia and China.
  • N-PRX28 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary

Haplogroup E

wallking map of haplogroup E middle avar results in  Sükösd, Szeged, Alattyán

Locations include Sükösd, Szeged, and Alattyán. The study makes mention of Haplogroup E being common in the Balkans and southern Europe.

  • E-FTC25721 50 CE, found in England.
  • E-BY7536 3250 BCE, found in Poland, Ukraine and Germany
  • E-PRX51 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary
  • E-FT226363 found in 1 living person in Turkey.
  • E-BY72004 350 BCE, found in Greece and Poland.

Haplogroups I, J and G

walking map of results for haplogroup I, J and G in Sükösd, Pitvaros, Szeged, Kiskőrös, and Kiskundorozsma

Haplogroup I

Locations include Sükösd, Pitvaros, and Szeged.

  • I-Y93578 found in 1 living tester with an unknown origin.
  • I-FTB15723 found in 1 living tester from Russia.
  • I-A11380 550 BCE, found in Bosnia, Serbia, and Belarus.
  • I-FGC69694 900 BCE, found in England, Ireland, and 9 other countries.

Haplogroup J

Locations: Kiskőrös, Kiskundorozsma, Sükösd

  • J-PRX55 only known from ancient DNA in Hungary.
  • J-SK1382 5250 BCE, found in Turkey, Tunisia and Armenia.
  • J-FT148202 2000 BCE, two modern testers of unknown origin.

Haplogroup G

Location: Kiskundorozsma

  • G-Z17085 1600 BCE, found in Italy, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
  • G-Y91640 found in 1 living tester from England.

Conclusions

This post is getting long, so I think we’ll break at the Middle Avar period and pick up at the late Avar period in the next post.

R1b Far from Home

Considering these results so far and comparing them to the long hauls through contemporary Y DNA in studies of western Europe where R-U106 or R-Z18 or CTS12023 appear, it’s really clear that we’re a minority of Y DNA in Eastern and Southern Hungary in these periods. R1b, which is a monster in the west, is a kitten here where R1a is the king of Haplogroup R.

Just glancing again at the results from Szolad (Longobards in Hungary) R1b is the greater majority of all Y results in that cultural group just to the west in Hungary. Haplogroups R1a, N, E, and J are much bigger fish in these places at these times.

It makes finding someone from our little corner of R-Z18 even more wonderous. I know he was used as a “local” for comparison, but I don’t come away thinking he was all that local for all that long.

Y DNA Vs. Autosomal DNA Vs. Skull Shapes

I didn’t spend a lot of time on this, but Whole genome analysis sheds light on the genetic origin of Huns, Avars and conquering Hungarians supplemental data has a lot of references to skull shapes along with general categories and some autosomal DNA information about matching population groups.

Looking over them as I’ve gone through these results it’s clear that skull shapes like “europid” and “mongoloid” don’t necessarily match Autosomal DNA results the way you’d expect and have nothing to do with Y DNA (as you’d expect I suppose). Although DNA controls how we look, it seems like how these people looked may not have left you with clues to their Y DNA or their autosomal DNA makeup. There is an interesting admixture of people. You may find a man with western European Y DNA, Asian autosomal DNA, and maybe Iranian skull features. A man with Western European Y DNA, Sarmatian southern European Autosomal DNA, and Mongolian features. You can mix and match the components repeatedly, and people did.

Admixture appears to be the name of the game in Hungary.

Lower Diversity in Avar Y DNA

Assuming the Haplogroup N results are mainly Avar DNA sweeping in from the east at the end of the Rouran empire, It seems like Haplogroup N in these results is less diverse than, say..Haplogroup E in the area. In the time tree, I saw the same couple of branches over and over with lots of relevant results for individuals crowded around the same SNP nodes. It could be an artifact of testing and maybe samples were degraded, but it’s an observation. Maybe it shows a more tightly related group of Avars migrating in while the various southern Europeans have had more time on location to diverge from each other.

It’s My Carpathian Basin?

Family Tree DNA has recently identified R-CTS12023/R-DF95 among the 6th and 7th century Avars in Hungary. Tiszapüspöki I18184 lived between 565 CE and 635 CE and was buried in Tiszapüspöki, Hungary. This study, “Ancient genomes reveal origin and rapid trans-Eurasian migration of 7th century Avar elites,” lists him as an early Avar.

map showing  tiszapuspoki in Hungary in relation to other modern nations in europe. South of Slovakia, east of Austria, north of Serbia, west of Romania

This is the description of the burial: “I18184 – Feature 247/Str. 257 (Site 17/A)
Rectangular grave of an adult male (230cm x 95cm x 56cm). Orientation: NE–SW. The upper
body of the skeleton lies to the right, its arms bent under the skull. Legs straight from waist
down. Grave good: 1. D-shaped silver buckle.
This individual belonging to the Transtisza group shows a genomic profile that best matches a
preceding local Carpathian Basin group, Szolad_others_6c.”

Based on the supplementary data it looks like Szolad_others_6c was based on two admixed “Northern” and “Southern” Langobard samples from Szolad. These two individuals are SZ18, whose half-brother was on the Danish/Dutch branch in the study, and SZ27, who was a relative of the most northern-inclined people.

In this study, though, that means I18184 is local as compared to the Avars who have recently invaded. This study was meant to assess the genetic and geographic origins of the Avar elites and compare it to others in the Carpathian basin. Our R-CTS12023 man was average, according to the study notes, not an elite.

map showing the distance 233km between Szolad and Tiszapuspoki in Hungary.

The map above shows the distance between Szolad and Tiszapuspoki. Our R-Z18 cousin in Szolad, SZ4, was an immigrant who lived between 412 and 604 CE, but there were admixed people (both Northern and Southern inclined DNA and people with fully Southern genetic heritage buried in the same area.

The Avars

Here is what the Ancient Genomes study has on pre-Avar history in the Carpathian basin and the study goals:

“Before the Avars arrived, the Romans had occupied the western part of the Carpathian Basin and the Sarmatians the eastern part (c. 1–400 CE). The Romans were replaced by the short-lived empire of the Huns (400–455 CE), and by diverse Germanic-speaking groups: Goths and Longobards in Pannonia, Gepids along the Tisza (400 to c. 568). In 567/68, the Longobards destroyed the Gepid kingdom and moved to Italy, while the Avars conquered the Carpathian Basin and its local population (Pohl, 2018). This study focuses on this momentous change and its genetic impact.”

My rough readers’ digest version of this exciting history is that the Avars believe they are related to the Rouran from the Mongolian Steppe, and I think the study comes to a similar conclusion. There is a strong Northeast Asian genetic component in the Avar Elites that separates them from the locals. The Langobards/Longobards/Lombards sort of have some understanding with the Avars, like a coalition, and take out the Gepid Kingdom surrounding the Tisza that borders the Longobard Kingdom to the west. The Lombards and the Gepids have not been getting along for some time. They’ve had several wars and no love lost.

With the Gepids out of the way, the Avars move in, and some Gepids join their Longobard cousin/enemies in moving on to Italy while some move into Roman territories and others hang out under Avar rule. The Gepids don’t seem too cohesive.

The reason this is important is our guy Tiszapüspöki I18184 lived between 565 CE and 635 CE. He’s an early Avar grave, but given his status as a local in this study and genetic affinity for admixed Longobards in Szolad and average grave goods, I don’t think he’s an Avar. The Longobards and Avars conquered the area he is buried in, formerly under the rule of the Gepids, in 567. I speculate that he’s a citizen of the Avars but a product of either the Longobards or the Gepids.

The Gepids

The Gepids were part of the Hun Empire but helped to destroy the Huns from within to take over their spot in the Carpathian basin. This former affiliation with the Huns is interesting because another study of Y DNA in the same area hypothesized that the R-U106 samples from both Hun and post Avar, Magyar Conquerors came to the area with the Goths, Gepids, or other Germanic allies of the Huns (Y-chromosome haplogroups from Hun, Avar and conquering Hungarian period nomadic people of the Carpathian Basin).

R-U106 was found in a 435CE to 465CE Hun grave in Kecskemét, Hungary between Tiszapüspöki and Szolad. At this point in time, the result for our R-U106 Hun cousin Kecskemét-Mindszentidűlő/2785 is placed at R-Z326 by FTDNA. That is under R-L48 and would be very distantly related to Tiszapüspöki I18184 (like you have to go back to 2900 BCE for that common male line ancestor). It does show that by hook or by crook, our U106 cousins are in the area before the Hungarians conquer it around 900 CE (There are at least three Hungarian/Magyar U106 samples in the study). The Y chromosome haplogroups study proposes that the R-U106 Y DNA in the basin during the migration period is a leftover from the Goths, Gepids, and other Germanic tribes who lived in the region in the 3rd century.

map showing kecskemet hungary between Szolad and Tiszapuspoki

So what is a Gepid?

map of beowulfs world

A Gepid is a type of Goth; they’re related to the Goths but travel separately. They’re mentioned in Beowulf (along with the Danes and Swedes) as mercenaries that Hygelac was fortunate not to have to hire. The story is they come from Scandinavia, probably Sweden. In the first century, they leave “Scandza” and settle in modern Poland at the mouth of the Vistula. On the Beowulf map above, they’re to the north and east of the Wendle. They’re the Gifths. Gepidae apparently. The Gepids are also listed with the Wends in the Widsith (an old English poem). They became part of the Wielbark culture, which had some influence from Scandinavia. There is a theory that there wasn’t a single massive migration but a slow migration from “Gotland” maybe, over a couple of centuries, spanning the BCE/CE line.

The Gepids move south after the Goths, they get into wars with the Burgundians on the way down through Poland, they join the Suavians, they fight with the Goths and Visigoths, they settle in the Carpathian basin (Pannonian Basin) or Roman Dacia, they join the Huns to fight their own Goth cousins (again apparently), they turn on the Huns and destroy them in Transylvania after the death of Atilla, They make alliances with Justinian and war with the Lombards but thwart Justinian at the same time. Somewhere in there, they piss off the Ostrogoths. There’s a laundry list of conflicts.

What I gather from this paper on the Gepids in Beowulf is that they’re not well-loved and seem to fight on all sides under the banners of other groups. According to one historian quoted in the Wikipedia article on Gepids, they’re the most “shadowy” of all the major Germanic peoples in the migration period.

If you’re starting to get some vibes from the shadowy Jutes and the Jutes on all sides theory in the battle of Finnsburg…so am I.

The Gepids were already in Pannonia before the Anglos Saxons made their big push into Britain and were already established before the Langobards/Lombards made their way down. However, they were still a migration period people.

305CE Europe map showing Lombards, Swedes, Danes etc along with Gepids Goths and the Roman Empire.
By Richard Ishida – r12a@w3.orgThis is a retouched picture, which means that it has been digitally altered from its original version. Modifications made by One2. – Historical maps: Europe, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82888805

The Langobards…Again

Map of the Kingdom of the Gepids surrounding the river Tisza bordered by the Langobards to the west and the Ostrogoths to the southwest and the Byzantine empire to the south.
Gepids. (2022, December 15). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gepids

On the map to the west of the Gepids and the Tisza River (where Tiszapüspöki I18184 was buried) is the territory of the Lombards. We absolutely know there was an R-Z18 man among the Lombards in Szolad, and we know that our guy I18184 is autosomally most closely related to admixed Lombards. Maybe he is a Lombard or associated Saxon of some sort whose family decided not to go to Italy?

map showing the Lombard route south from Scania (Sweden/Denmark) to Pannonia (Hungary) and Italy
By Castagna – Own elaboration from Image:Europe satellite orthographic.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5154047

The Lombards are not all Lombards; they also pick up tribes and gather people to their cause along the way south. Their move to Italy seems more final and all-encompassing because, unlike the Gepids, I haven’t read anything that said they continued to hang out in Pannonia and to be absorbed by the Avars. This person we’re considering is an individual, though, and the way I read it, people had choices about who they wanted to follow or fight. We could be looking at a remnant of the more recent Lombard migration rather than a longer-term Goth or Gepid. The origin for the Lombards is similar, Sweden to Saxony, and eventually points farther south. Would a Gepid with a few hundred years in the area appear more admixed than a Langobard? I don’t know. A Langobard seems like a viable alternative to a Gepid that would fit the autosomal data.

Conclusions and Questions

Goths, Gepids and Lombards

I borrowed a map from the Anglo-Saxon study and modified it a bit, adding my own new arrows for possible routes to Tiszapüspöki I18184 and his final resting place. This image from an article about the study showed the genetic affinity of the Anglo-Saxons who were designated as CNE (continental northern Europeans). Of note, it contains southern Sweden and Denmark but not Norway, where we have several CTS12023 modern testers. The red arrows for the Lombards to the west and the Goths/Gepids to the east represent earlier or contemporary migrations from the same gene pool. The origins are considered semi-mythological but seem genetically possible.

How far can we push ancient DNA?

Family Tree DNA has CTS12023 originating around 650 BCE. There are currently 152 of us at FTDNA that have tested for it, along with several more who haven’t tested for it…maybe the grand total is something like 200. Even though we come from about 15 different countries, our Y STRs are all very similar (if oddly different from other R1b, R-Z18, and R-U106 groups) because we’re all reasonably closely related.

CTS12023 is one of 26 SNPs shared by all the men who have tested positive for CTS12023 or R-DF95. There is a long straight line of generations and then a bunch of branches under that. CTS12023 is shown as the first in the list, but the truth is, currently, we don’t know where it falls. It may as well be R-DF95 or ZP84 at the top, every man who has tested today shares all of them. We’re all descended from the last man in that long line, but we have no idea which SNP represents that man.

All the migrating to different regions for modern testers has happened since he was alive. So if you look at my group, ZP85, the largest group. It has the same effective date as CTS12023 650 BCE. The date for CTS12023 is probably tied closely to the age estimate of my group because it’s the largest and has many branches and testers, but you can’t tell much about CTS12023 without us for comparison. It has to be at least as old as ZP85, but not much older since it’s the last man standing for a minimum of 26 generations. Mr. ZP85’s grandfather may represent those 1550 years of men in a straight line back to R-Z18.

Everyone else in there died out. Until we find someone who forms a branch, we’re kind of stuck.

Since I wrote about this long block nearly three years ago in 2020 further testing of descendants has added branches below it and at least two new SNPs to the long string.

That near extinction in the data brings me to a question. These ancient results are positive for CTS12023, but with the poor coverage in ancient DNA, even if FTDNA were evaluating each of the 26, it seems like it would be hard to know which of these SNPs a sample might be missing because of poor coverage or which might be missing because it represents a branch in that long chain.

For example, If an ancient sample had every SNP except S8387 how would we know if it was because of gaps in the DNA as opposed to being a branch that has some other SNP than S8387? To put it another way, will there be a future where ancient DNA has good calls for a negative up in that chain and we living testers find ourselves with a new sibling branch and a new parent branch defined?

650 BCE is a long time ago

When Hatherdene 5 showed up for the R-ZP121 (a branch below R-ZP85 above) and Buckland 9 from the Anglo-Saxon study showed up for R-PH1163 (R-PH1163 is in the graphic above, close to the center), the ancient results were within a few hundred years of the age estimates or approximations for the SNP groups.

CTS12023 sitting at 650 BCE, is 700 years before the Gepids and Goths begin migrating from Scandinavia and almost 1000 years before the Lombards make it to Pannonia. There is a lot of time there, where almost any movement or migration seems possible. Why not the Ostrogoths? Maybe R-CTS12023 in the Carpathian basin is the descendant of another group that got scooped up on the way down.

With only 152 of us known today, it is crazy amazing to have us pop up in these ancient DNA samples. So amazing that I have a hard time believing what I’m seeing. Are we making a good show now because of that 1550-year stretch, and CTS12023 is on the radar for paleo-genetics or is it because these re-examined genetic samples are all from the migration period, which is when we seem to have blossomed and expanded along with a lot of other R-U106 and R-Z18 groups?

Getting these ancient results has been a dream come true. I have to pinch myself. I’m excited to find out where we turn up next.

Wandering Thoughts on Ancient DNA and the Migration Period

leaving behind the Anglo-Saxon study and branching out into the wider world of Y DNA studies, I want to continue adding context for myself to the R-Z18 and R-U106 results discovered in Ancient DNA. I’m using the U106 group spreadsheet for ancient DNA as a guide to other studies where related people might appear. I’m also making heavy use of family tree DNA’s discover more tools to get their numbers, locations, and ancient DNA information.

Again, when I list modern testers, it is good to be aware of the bias in testing toward the United Kingdom and people who believe they are from the U.K. There is a steep bias toward people from the U.S. who may not have good family trees.

I’ve been working on this posting for a while because I’ve found it difficult as a layperson to get the level of depth I want in Y DNA results, and I’ve struggled to find the data in easy-to-consume bulk formats, like a spreadsheet or CSV. For instance, I may get a list of Y results that is very shallow in a spreadsheet format from a study, but the in-depth information on those results is kind of spread around various channels. Sometimes, even when in-depth analysis has been done, there isn’t more clarity to be had. The samples themselves are degraded.

Early Medieval Bavaria

google map showing straubing germany and Altenerding close to the border of Czechia and Austria

This study: “Population genomic analysis of elongated skulls reveals extensive female-biased immigration in Early Medieval Bavaria” produced two R-Z18 results from Straubing Germany and Two other R-U106 results from Altenerding about 115km away (also in Germany). The samples were roughly buried between 450 CE and 550 CE, so a good migration-era sampling like our Anglo-Saxon buddies. The study conclusions are interesting and show female migration from southeastern Europe and elsewhere within populations with what they thought of as relatively stable males.

Dude. I tried.

The study is pretty obviously geared towards female migration (although males were included in the 41 graves that were processed). I couldn’t find a Y DNA haplogroup table in the supplementary information. There was MTDNA info to be had, which plays into the study findings. These Y results were probably sussed out of the BAM files by people with the knowledge to do that. Since my source is the U106 group and they are biased towards U106 like I’m biased towards R-Z18 and R-CTS12023, all I have are the U106 results to look at in any coherent way. Looking through the forum threads at anthrogenica for this burst of citizen science research, yielded some posts with other results, but this is in no way inclusive of all the data. It’s just all the data I could parse out of the forum.

I’m betting that I am missing some R-P312 results. From what I was able to gather, Haplogroup I and Haplogroup R are neck and neck in this study, with 4 results each.

Haplogroup G

  • G-L497 – 1 result, formed in 5300 BCE, 1737 modern descendants and is most common in England and Germany.

Haplogroup I

  • I-M253 – 3 results, formed in 2550 BCE, 24,933 modern testers from England, Sweden and Germany.
  • I-M423 – 1 result, formed in 16000 BCE, 2,784 modern testers from Ireland, Poland and Russia.

Haplogroup R

All of these fall under R-U106

  • R-U106 – 1 result, this is the major parent group for the rest of these results. R-U106 formed around 2950 BCE.
  • R-Z156 – 1 result, formed around 2500 BCE, 3,487 modern testers mainly from England and Germany.
  • R-Z17 – 1 result, a major group under R-Z18 formed around 1950 BCE, with 1,193 modern testers from Sweden, England and Scotland. This result is under R-Z18.
  • R-ZP136 – 1 result, formed around 650 BCE. 21 modern testers from Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden. This result is under R-Z18. There may be a dispute about this result as it is also listed as possibly identified as R-L48 which is a different branch of the R-U106 tree.

Collegno and Szolad in the 6th Century

map from the 6th century barbarian study showing szolad hungary and collegno italy.

The study these migration era samples come from is “Understanding 6th-century barbarian social organization and migration through paleogenomics“. I’ve written about one of the men in this study before. The sample form SZ4 in Szolad Hungary is from Scandinavia and migrates down to Hungary among the Longobards (Lombards). It’s an example of how far people were moving in the migration period. Most of the R-U106 samples and the R-Z18 came from Szolad with two samples from Collegno.

I was able to grab the supplemental material, which did have Y DNA results, but at a pretty base level. The R-U106 group has a better breakdown of the R-U106 results. DNAExplained has a really nice breakdown with more information and better haplogroup designations than the study itself. So I’ll lean on the U106 group for R-U106 and lean on DNAExplained for the enhanced haplogroups for others.

Haplogroup E

  • E-BY3880 – 2200 BCE, 2,347 modern testers. Most common in England and Germany.
  • E-BY6865 – 4400 BCE, 27 modern testers. Most common in Iraq, Kuwait, and Italy.

Haplogroup G

  • G-FGC693 – 5800 BCE, 189 modern testers. Most common in Russia, Georgia, and Turkey.

Haplogroup I (11 samples)

  • I-FT104588 – 500 BCE, 10 modern testers. Most common in Germany, Slovenia, and France.
  • I-FGC21819 – 1 BCE, 4 modern testers, most popular in England, France, and Germany.
  • I-S8104 – 3 samples. 250 BCE, 57 modern testers. Most popular in Norway, Sweden, and England.
  • I-CTS616 – 9900 BCE, 5,210 modern testers. Most popular in England and Ireland.
  • I-ZS3 – 1650 BCE, 230 modern testers. Most popular in England and Sweden.
  • I-BY138 – 1700 BCE, 32 modern testers. Most popular in England, Ireland, and Germany.
  • I-BY3605 – 550 BCE, 21 modern testers. Most popular in Germany, Netherlands, and Norway.
  • I-Y6876 – 1150 BCE, 108 modern testers. Most common in Sweden, Norway, and Germany.

Haplogroup R (26 samples)

Going into some depth here because R is a monster in Europe. It is unfair depth, though because I’m giving preference to larger groups (or larger amounts of samples) and older designations, highlighting the differences between the big boys in P312 and U106.

R1a

  • R-YP986 – 50 BCE, 52 modern testers. Most common in Scotland and England.
  • R-Z2123 – 2150 BCE, 616 modern testers. Most common in Russia.

R1b

  • R-FGC24138 – 2250 BCE, 66 most common in Scotland and Germany.
  • R-L754 – 15000 BCE, 85,767 modern testers, most common in Ireland and England.
  • R-BY48364 – 1000 BCE, 4 modern testers, found in Germany, Poland, South Africa and Switzerland.
  • R-A8472 – 1650 BCE, 68 modern testers, found in England and France.
  • R-BY3194 – 350 CE, 33 modern testers found in Ireland, Northern Ireland and France.
  • R-BY70163 – 750 BCE, 9 testers, Bahrain, Italy, and Kuwait.

R1b-S1194

  • R-S22519 – 3 samples. 250 BCE, 2 modern testers, unknown origins.

R1b-P312

  • R-FGC4166 – 2050 BCE, 165 modern testers mainly from England and Ireland.
  • R-P312 – 3 samples. Enormous base group of R1b. It’s most likely that the samples were degraded and couldn’t be pushed farther downstream.
  • R-BY3194 – 350 CE, 33 modern testers. Found mainly in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and France.
  • R-DF99 – 2400 BCE, 301 descendants. Mainly from England and Germany.

R1b-U106

  • R-BY176786 – This one has no age estimate and is found in only one person in the U.K.
  • R-BY138397 – This one has no age estimate and is found in only one person in Italy.
  • R-Z381 – 2 samples. 2650 BCE. This is the largest branch of R-U106. It’s likely the samples couldn’t give a more specific result.
  • R-S10271 – 1000 BCE, 13 testers from Germany, Scotland, and Switzerland.
  • R-U198 – 1500 BCE, 1,471 modern testers. Most popular in England and the U.K.
  • R-S15627 – 1300 BCE, 590 modern testers. Most popular in England and Scotland.
  • R-Y98441 – 1150 BCE, 4 testers. Found in Germany and Sweden. This is a descendant line of R-Z18. This is our Scandinavian who moved to Hungary (one of two Scandinavians in Szolad, I believe) and lived with a family group of unrelated Germans if I remember the story right.

Haplogroup T

  • T-BY45363 – 2050 BCE, 8 modern testers from England, Iraq and Lebanon.
  • T-Y15712 – 5800 BCE, 28 modern testers from Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen.

Niederstotzingen 6th and 7th Century Alemanni

Map of Niederstotzingen, Germany

This group has no R-Z18 results, but there are R-U106 results that can provide some context. This is a single graveyard genomic study: “Ancient genome-wide analyses infer kinship structure in an Early Medieval Alemannic graveyard.”

Haplogroup G

  • G-M406 – 9700 BCE, 690 modern testers. Most popular in Italy, Germany, and England.

Haplogroup R

These are all base groups in R and R1b. They are ancient and enormous groups. The samples were likely too degraded to provide a better result or the testing too limited.

R-U106

  • R-FGC23143 – 6 samples. This SNP has no age estimate and has only been found in 1 modern tester from Belgium.
  • R-Z319 – 1050 BCE, 375 modern testers from Germany and England.
  • R-Y182993 – This one is on the struggle bus at FTDNA. Yfull has it at 550 BCE with one tester from the U.S.

Conclusions

These datasets could be classified as Continental Central Europeans or people who became continental central Europeans.

Below is a walking map of the places with Medieval R-U106 DNA in my transect of results.

Map showing, Niederstotzingen, Strauben, Altenerding, Collegno and Szolad.

R-Z18 is a subset of these results. The map below represents the two locations and three results for R-Z18.

map with Straubing and Szolad. The two locations where R-Z18 was found.

My Sampling

In my transect of the U106 migration period studies, R-Z18 actually makes a pretty good showing. It’s no surprise that Haplogroup R makes its presence felt with the bulk of the results. Although I suspect I’m missing some R-P312 results from the first study in my list, they also make a good show.

My purpose is to show the R-U106 and R-Z18 world in context with other Y haplogroups. Because I’m looking at R-U106 groups, it is not surprising to be floating around in the “Germanic” world. R-U106 is often described as Germanic R1b.

What I’ve gathered is that R-U106 leans towards the Germanic language groups in the migration period, but people living in those communities don’t necessarily all lean towards R-U106. Non-U106 Haplogroup R Y DNA branches are constant companions with similar numbers of results. R-P312 descendants are also major players in these communities. Haplogroup I is formidable. It seems to be almost everywhere that U106 is in abundance. Haplogroups E, G, J, and T crop up in smaller numbers but in a diversity of locations.

All human Y DNA Haplogroups have an origin person who lived in a place who was probably related to similar people from a region and spoke a language, but once they leave that place and spread out in space and time, it seems like all bets are off. As if people don’t just line themselves up by Y DNA as a defining feature.

There is an obvious skew in my perspective because I’m the center of the universe in my online diary. I’m only looking at migration-era studies that contain known R-U106 samples, and I’ve been selective, trying to pick studies that were more recent and had more results to offer.

I wouldn’t have expected R-Z18 to have a decent presence in Southern Germany or Hungary, but there they were. Finding R-Z18 results among Lombards and Ostrogoths (?) makes me hopeful that we’ll be picked up in further genetic studies in central Europe. That brings me to the next conclusion.

Migration and Community vs Origin vs Geography vs Culture

As I wrote in a previous posting the Z18 result (SZ4) in Szolad is from Scandinavia. That’s his personal origin based on isotope analysis. In the study, he’s buried with other group members who are from Germany and also more local people who are in the group but separated by status. So whatever or whoever this guy was in Scandinavia, he was with the Lombards (Langobards) and headed south for maybe 1000 km or 700-ish miles.

By Castagna – Own elaboration from Image:Europe satellite orthographic.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5154047

Like the Anglo-Saxons, the Langobards believe they come from southern Scandinavia, so…maybe we’re talking about Sweden as the map above portrays. Maybe that’s where SZ4 is from, and there is a cultural affinity at play in his decision to be a Langobard.

Bardowick is apparently the hometown of the Langobards (before they calved off a group that went south). Bardowick (Bewick) is in the same general area attributed to the Heathobards, who may have been related to the Langobards. There is a lot of beard-related naming going on here and geographic overlap, so it is easy to lump all the “beards” together in continental northern Europe.

map showing bardowick south of Hamburg

Our SZ4 R-Z18 guy is a Longbeard, whether he was born one or not. Culturally, he’s with them. Although I want to ascribe family ties to that move, it could be a conscious decision that has nothing to do with geographic origins or genetic affinity. Maybe he was always a part of their extended group, or maybe he just liked them after running into them some other way. Maybe he was a slave that became higher ranking?

Within a few generations in Hungary/Italy the Langobards are going to admix with local people. They become the locals geographically and genetically. That becomes the community they are in.

map showing walking path from Bardowick south to Szolad Hungary

The journey from Scandinavia for this one person SZ4, is lost in the next generation. Isotope analysis was for him alone. His children and grandchildren will be Central Europeans, Southern Europeans, or Eastern Europeans. Their language and customs will change along with their autosomal genetic makeup.

His descendants will likely have no idea about this migration in their past until one of them bumps into Y and MT DNA, and they get a glimpse of the arch of time and the generations of ancestors on individual journeys that led to their birth.

I don’t have this migration information for our Z18 cousins in Bavaria. In that study, they are the locals, and an influx of women from the east is the focus. The two R-Z18 samples are classified as Northern/Central Europeans. They may be a branch of the Goths or Ostrogoths or part of the Alemanni. The study itself doesn’t really try to determine any of that spaghetti mess. One of them is listed as most closely related tp the FRE population and another to the NOW. For the life of me, I could not find a reference to what those populations are. GER and UK were kind of obvious. ROM was less so..does it mean Romanian or Roman? FRE makes me think French? NOW is a complete mystery.

As you might have guessed, this study was really frustrating for me to try to put together. I’m sure the study itself does a great job of what it’s doing with elongated skulls and female eastern European immigration into Bavaria; it’s just hard for me to decipher as an amateur genetic genealogist.

These R-Z18 men are Bavarians by the time we catch up with them. Whatever paths brought them there, I do not know. It is interesting that one of their haplogroups (R-ZP136) is often found in modern testers from the Czech Republic and Germany. Did this haplogroup form in Central Europe or Eastern Europe? I don’t know.

In the back of my mind, though, is that all these places are inhabited by people moving in a timeline. In the migration period, today’s locals were yesterday’s immigrants or invaders. Each person represents a point, unknowingly carrying around a chromosome that has passed through many other places and people over thousands of years.

And…just like that

Normally, at this point, I would lament that we don’t have any ancient R-CTS12023 DNA to look at from this period in Central and Eastern Europe, but Family Tree DNA seems to have just dropped a hint at an R-CTS12023 result in Hungary from around this time period.

So I’ll spend some time with those results and see what I can see about Tiszapüspöki 18184 and his community.

More Wandering Thoughts on Ancient DNA

Leaving behind Anglo-Saxon England, there are currently no R-CTS12023/R-DF95 ancient DNA results to look at and compare. It’s as if we popped up in England even though the results of the recent Anglo-Saxon DNA study clearly show an affinity for the continental North Sea and Baltic world. From here on out, we are back to chasing shadows. We know we’re in there…just not so sure where.

map of beowulfs world
borrowed from https://www.ugdsb.ca/ccvi/wp-content/uploads/sites/63/2019/03/Beowulf-Content-Questions.docx.pdf

Rough Contemporaries from the European Continent

These are men from 200 CE to nearly 1100 CE that were included in the results and comparisons for the Anglo-Saxon migration study. I think we could call it Medieval DNA. 200 CE is roughly when Family Tree DNA expects R-ZP121 to have originated (Before the Fall of Rome). For this set, I attempted to remove all the English Y DNA results. That leaves us with Denmark, Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Sweden is conspicuously absent.

For these comparisons, I’m using a copy of this spreadsheet that was shared on Anthrogenica, where the community was working on and discussing the ancient DNA results. This spreadsheet appeared to inform some corrections of early results listed in the U106 ancient DNA spreadsheet. Here again, I benefit from the labor and ingenuity of others.

Right off the bat, then, there are some things to be aware of.

These results are from this particular study but don’t constitute all the results used in the study. They also used DNA from many more locations and other studies for comparison. What that means is this is a subset of the data they used for comparisons.

Because we’re pulling Y DNA results out of a regional Autosomal DNA study, at least half the population is missing, and some locations where only females were sampled are entirely gone from my results list.

Lower Saxony and the Netherlands

google map showing Inden, Germany
Liebenau, Germany
Drantum, Germany
Anderten, Hanover, Germany
Hiddestorf, Germany
Schortens, Germany
Groningen, Netherlands
Dunum, Germany
Zetel, Germany
Issendorf, Germany

This is an arbitrary breakout of the results from Lower Saxony, with Groningen thrown in because of proximity. Because I’m ignorant of geographical and cultural significance, I wouldn’t put too much weight behind this grouping. There are 72 Y DNA results from these locations:

  • Inden, Germany (16 results)
  • Liebenau, Germany (5)
  • Drantum, Germany (5)
  • Anderten, Hanover, Germany (11)
  • Hiddestorf, Germany (4)
  • Schortens, Germany (4)
  • Groningen, Netherlands (12)
  • Dunum, Germany (13)
  • Zetel, Germany (1)
  • Issendorf, Germany (1)

There is an inequity in results. Coverage is not evenly distributed. Some of the male Y DNA just couldn’t be read, and some of it couldn’t be read to a meaningful conclusion. It’s also true, like my last post, that these results may be nested with one person stopping higher up the Y tree than we would like and another getting a more meaningful call at a lower branch. When I’m listing countries for these, there are often many, but I’m only listing the top few from FTDNA, and I’m leaving out the U.S.

Haplogroup E

There is one sample in E-BY152493; there are 12 modern testers from England, Germany, Italy and Belarus.

Haplogroup G

There are three G samples from G-P303 (3582 modern testers, mainly from England and Germany), G-U1 (701 testers mainly from Russia, Germany, and England), and G-S23438 (97 testers, mainly from England and Germany).

Haplogroup J

There are four haplogroup J samples. Two are from J-Z1043 (418 modern from Germany, Russia, and England), and two are from J-Y12007 (65 modern, Russia, and England).

Haplogroup I

There are 15 total Haplogroup I samples. Described as Europe’s native son, it’s no slouch in these results.

  • I-P222 – 10,000 BCE, 5323 modern testers from England and Ireland.
  • I-Y37834 – 1350 BCE, 49 testers from England, Ireland and Scotland.
  • I-BY200839 – 550 CE, 3 testers from Germany and England.
  • I-FGC6800 – 1000 BCE, 45 testers from Poland and England.
  • I-S21825 15000 BCE, 561 testers from England and Scotland.
  • I-Y4197 150 BCE, 350 testers from England and Scotland.
  • I-A6181 – This one seems to have had issues. 2000 CE, 2 testers from Finland. This is a family level SNP currently so it would be really interesting if it was also found in 600 CE in Inden Germany.
  • I-CTS10028 – (2 samples) 2100 BCE, 5372 testers from Finland, Sweden, and England.
  • I-Y13121 – 1400 BCE, 39 testers from England and Russia.
  • I-BY70642 – 950 CE, 3 testers from Sweden.
  • I-Y5834 – 250 BCE, 39 testers from Norway, England and Sweden.
  • I-FT258257 – this one is also a bit suspect, estimated at 1850 CE with 2 testers. The sample is from issendorf circa 400 CE.
  • I-Z141 – 1950 BCE, 2373 testers from England and Germany.
  • I-Z63 – 2300 BCE, 1598 testers from England and Germany.

A couple of observations:

Age estimates are only estimated so some of those suspect calls for recent haplogroups could be bad calls or they could be estimates with too little information to go on. If two people related in the 1800s are the only ones on a branch with a thousand years worth of SNPs it would be hard to guess where any one SNP fell in the timeline without Ancient DNA like this.

Some of these haplogroup I branches have 90 plus countries under them so some of my listings that say something like “England and Russia” for 2000 testers is a gross understatement of how widespread that group is.

field with a creek running through it. Liebenau, Germany.
Borrowed from Dirk Steinbach

Haplogroup R

Haplogroup R for the win again here. Just as with modern testing in Western Europe, R is popular. I’m going to break it down into some component parts. Also since R is my haplogroup I’m biased, and it will show.

R1a

  • R-YP1051 – 800 BCE, 23 testers from Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. Sample was from Alt-Inden, Germany 600 CE.
  • R-M417 – 3400 BCE, 13266 testers from Poland, Russia and Germany. Sample was from Schortens, Lower Saxony, Germany 800 CE.
  • R-YP1258 – 550 BCE, 84 testers from Norway, England and Scotland. Sample was from Drantum, Lower Saxony, Germany 831 CE.

R1b-M269+

At these base R1b levels with 70 or 80 thousand testers, the country lists here can’t be taken seriously. For example, R-L151 is in 124 countries. The countries for haplogroups with several hundred testers are much more informative.

  • R-M269 – 4350 BCE, 85,215 testers from Ireland and England This is the big base group for R1b. The sample was taken from Zetel, Lower Saxony, Germany 735 CE.
  • R-CTS9219 – 2250 BCE, 712 testers from Germany, Czech Republic and Ireland. Sample from Alt-Inden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 600 CE.
  • R-FGC48821 – 2850 BCE, 205 testers from Germany and Scotland. Sample taken from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands 875 CE.
  • R-L151 – 3000 BCE, 74,779 testers from Ireland and England. Sample taken from Dunum, Lower Saxony, Germany 938 CE.
  • R-S6849 – 700 BCE, 13 testers from Norway and England. Sample from Alt-Inden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 600 CE.

R1b-P312+

R-P312 is a very large branch of R1b. There are 15 R-P312+ results in the set, but 4 of them were left at just the major branch R-P312. Like being left are R-M269 this will skew the results of any country count or amount of testers.

  • R-P312 – 2800 BCE, 53,057 modern testers from Ireland, England and Scotland. These samples were from Alt-Inden, Westphalia, and Dunum, Lower Saxony from 600 to 829 CE.
  • R-Z39292 – 1400 BCE, 6 modern testers from Italy, Norway, and the U.K. Sample was from Alt-Inden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 600 CE.
  • R-DF88 – 2100 BCE, 824 testers from Germany, Scotland and England. Sample from Hiddestorf, Lower Saxony, Germany 400 CE.
  • R-S4281 – 1600 BCE, 708 testers from Germany and England. Sample from Hiddestorf, Lower Saxony, Germany 400 CE.
  • R-DF13 – 2450 BCE, 26,412 testers from Ireland and Scotland. Sample from Alt-Inden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 600 CE.
  • R-S5488 – 2100 BCE, 629 testers from Ireland and Scotland. Sample from Alt-Inden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 600 CE.
  • R-FT185253 – 450 BCE, 2 modern testers from France and Sweden. Sample from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands, 1070 CE.
  • R-BY41129 – 700 BCE, 6 testers from France, Scotland, Ireland and U.K. Sample from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands 1040 CE.
  • R-Z258 – 2400 BCE, 1,285 testers from England and France. Sample from Alt-Inden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 600 CE.
  • R-BY13147 – 1200 BCE, 25 testers from Belarus, Lithuania and Germany. Sample from Alt-Inden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 600 CE.
  • R-FGC22963 – 2100 BCE, 83 testers from England and Northern Ireland. Sample from Hannover-Anderten, Lower Saxony, Germany 750 CE.
  • R-Z258 – 2400 BCE, 1,285 testers from England and France. Sample from Hannover-Anderten, Lower Saxony, Germany 750 CE.

R1b-U106+

There are 18 samples from R-U106 of those 8 are under R-L48 a major group of R-U106 and 2 are under R-Z18.

  • R-S19552 – 560 BCE, 14 testers from England, Ireland and Germany. Sample was from Hiddestorf, Lower Saxony, Germany 479 CE.
  • R-BY116631 – 800 BCE, 2 testers from unknown countries. Sample was from Hiddestorf, Lower Saxony, Germany 480 CE.
  • R-S1855* – 1800 BCE, 84 testers from England and France. Sample from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands 908 CE.
  • R-Z381 – 2650 BCE, 14,657 testers from England and Germany. A major parent group in U106. Sample was from Dunum, Lower Saxony, Germany 800 CE.
  • R-Z304 (2 samples) – 2150 BCE, 2,061 testers from England and Germany. Samples from Dunum, Lower Saxony, Germany 800 CE, and Schortens, Lower Saxony, Germany 792 CE.
  • R-Z159 – 1700 BCE, 1,064 testers from England and Germany. Sample was from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands 730 CE.
  • R-S21607 – 200 CE, 60 testers from Finland, Scotland, and England. Sample was from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands 883 CE.
  • R-BY18737 – 600 BCE, 22 testers from Ireland, England, and Northern Ireland. Sample from Schortens, Lower Saxony, Germany 781 CE.
  • R-S23955 – 950 BCE, 252 testers from Germany and England. Sample from Hannover-Anderten, Lower Saxony, Germany 750 CE.
  • R-S15823 – 200 BCE, 12 testers from England, Norway, and Germany. Sample from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands 1100 CE.
  • R-CTS10893 – 800 BCE, 587 testers from England and Scotland. Sample from Hannover-Anderten, Lower Saxony, Germany 750 CE.
  • R-Z8 (2 samples) – 950 BCE, 2,669 testers from England and the U.K. Samples from Drantum, Lower Saxony, Germany, and Hannover-Anderten, Lower Saxony, Germany 750 CE.
  • R-Z153 – 1050 BCE, 110 testers from Ireland and England. Sample from Dunum, Lower Saxony, Germany 800 CE.
  • R-S16361 – 250 BCE, 57 testers from Scotland, England, and the Netherlands. Sample from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands 1013 CE.
  • R-S17721 – 200 CE, 29 testers from England, the Netherlands and Scotland. Sample from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands 1008 CE.
  • R-S11880 – 750 CE, 4 testers from Sweden. Sample from Dunum, Lower Saxony, Germany 723 CE. Interesting because the group is so small, and the estimated age is so close to the age of the sample.

There are some really small haplogroups in here, which is really interesting, and a broad range of estimated ages. The last two in the list are the R-Z18 samples. The R-L48 samples overpower all the others, but L-48 breaks down into some pretty small groups of modern testers as well.

Canal in Dunum, Lower Saxony, Germany
borrowed from Fred Poßner

Northern Germany and Denmark

map with Haven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany,
Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Sct. Clements, Copenhagen, Zealand, Denmark

Again an arbitrary breakout of results from Denmark and Northern Germany. There are 25 results, three of them could not be read well, and so I’m leaving them out.

Results from:

  • Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany (9)
  • Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (13)
  • Sct. Clements, Copenhagen, Zealand, Denmark (3)

Haplogroup G

One sample in G-Z727 which formed around 2450 BCE and has 1,451 modern testers from Germany and England.

Haplogroup I

8 Results from I. All these results are from Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany and Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany from 300 CE to 1140 CE.

  • I-FT352054 – 1750 CE, 2 modern testers from Finland and Latvia.
  • I-M253 – 2550 BCE, 24,922 modern testers from England, Sweden and Germany.
  • I-Y15300 – 1650 CE, 55 modern testers, most from the U.S. with 1 Belgium and on England. This sample was found in 300 CE. The parent haplogroup for this one is estimated at 500 CE so I would expect these estimates to shift with this result.
  • I-CTS9889 – 500 CE, 13 testers, England, Ireland, and Scotland.
  • I-BY244 – 800 CE, 9 testers from Sweden and Poland.
  • I-Y5384 – 250 BCE, 93 testers from Sweden and Denmark.
  • I-FT111982 – 1900 CE, 2 testers from Denmark. This sample is from 1140 CE in Schleswig-Holstein. Again probably a lot of SNPs in a straight line here down to 2 testers so I expect this age estimate to adjust.
  • I-Y21381 – 350 CE, 12 testers from England, Ireland and U.K.
historic village in Schleswig Holstein, cobbled street with houses.
borrowed from Rainer Nagel

Haplogroup R

There are 13 results from Haplogroup R.

R1a

  • R-CTS4179 – 500 BCE, 1,037 modern testers from Scotland, Norway and Sweden. Sample from Sct. Clements, Copenhagen, Zealand, Denmark 1150 CE.

R1b-M269+

These results near the base of R-M269 will be almost non-sensical for country data.

  • R-L51 – 4000 BCE, 75,328 testers mainly from Ireland and England. Sample from Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 1105 CE.
  • R-P311 – 3300 BCE, 74,817 testers, from Ireland and England. Sample from Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 1105 CE.
  • R-L151 – 3000 BCE, 74,779 testers from Ireland and England. Sample from Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany 300 CE.

R1b-P312+

  • R-FT271169 – 1250 BCE, 2 testers from France and Scotland. Sample from Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 1140 CE.
  • R-FT202151 – 550 BCE, 7 testers from England and the Netherlands. Sample from Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 1105 CE.

R1b-U106+

There are 3 R-L48 results, and the last 2 are R-Z18.

  • R-U106 – 2950 BCE, 18,876 from England and Germany. Sample from Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany 300 CE.
  • R-S15627 – 1300 BCE, 588 testers from England and Scotland. Sample from Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany 300 CE
  • R-FGC17304 – 200 BCE, 53 testers from Poland and England. Sample from Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany 300 CE
  • R-BY41837 – Sample from Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 1105 CE
  • R-Z8175 – 650 CE, 2 testers from Estonia. Sample from Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 1175 CE
  • R-BY18896 – 1350 BCE, 4 testers from the Czech Republic, Denmark and the U.K. Sample from Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany 300 CE
  • R-S17721 – 200 CE, 29 testers from England, the Netherlands, and Scotland. Sample from Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 1140 CE

I’m going to admit that I’m surprised to see the R-U106 samples outnumber the R-P312 testers in these two arbitrary regions I’ve listed out. These are small amounts of samples, but still, I expected a better showing from R-P312, which is a legitimate monster in the R1b world.

The Irish

in these samples are also tests from 950 CE Kilteasheen, The Bishop’s Seat, Roscommon, Ireland, meant to be a genetic foil, I believe, to the Anglo-Saxons buried in England. They represent the WBI in the study. In that group, there was 1 haplogroup I result (which kind of surprised me, I expected more) and then 27 R-P312 results…which is not surprising. Most were under R-L21, which is a major group of R-P312 and really common in the Isles. I looked for R-U106 results, and there were none.

Conclusions

What I find satisfying about these results is that they are ancient results. Most of the time we have had to make guesses about ancient movements based on the locations of modern testers. We have had to speculate without having all the information. Here we have some concrete ancient DNA to work with. Even if the outcome is what we expected based on the locations of modern testers and their genealogical connections, the ancient DNA serves as an anchor point for those expectations.

Looking at Continental Northern Europeans

Haplogroup I has 41,069 modern testers. Haplogroup R has 105,925, more than twice as many testers. Haplogroup I in this study (from Continental Northern Europe) has 23 samples. Haplogroup R has 55 samples. Again, more than twice as many. It seems like these results are what you would broadly expect in Europe. Most of the I results were down the I-M253 branch. It appears that Haplogroup I beat Haplogroup R to Europe by thousands of years.

map showing Haplogroup I entering Europe and I-P222 and I-M253 branching in Northern Europe.
taken from SNP Tracker http://scaledinnovation.com/gg/snpTracker.html

Haplogroup G has 9,515 modern testers. Haplogroup R has 11 times as many. Haplogroup G in this study has 4 results to Haplogroup R’s 55. R is roughly 14 times larger. I would guess by the results that Haplogroup G’s center of influence is farther away and the map from SNP tracker seems to back that up. Of Note, Otzi the Iceman is a member of Haplogroup G. He was found in the Alps between Austria and Italy. By 3350 BCE there were haplogroup G men in the Alps.

map showing the migration of Haplogroup G-L140 to the black sea
taken from SNP Tracker http://scaledinnovation.com/gg/snpTracker.html

Haplogroup J has 34,542 modern testers. R is about 3 times as large. In this study, there are 4 haplogroup J results. R is roughly 14 times larger than J here. I’d suspect Haplogroup J results have an interesting migration story, although it seems like their route was more straight forward than R. Haplogroup J men are found in Croatia circa 2000 BCE.

map showing haplogroup J migrating to central Europe.
taken from SNP Tracker http://scaledinnovation.com/gg/snpTracker.html

Haplogroup E has 20,154 modern testers; there are roughly 5 times as many R results in the world. Haplogroup E in this study has only 1 result. R is 55 times larger. Haplogroup E seems pretty strikingly rare in Medieval northern Germany. Haplogroup E was found in ancient remains from Spain circa 2400 BCE.

map showing haplogroup E migrating to south central Europe.
taken from SNP Tracker http://scaledinnovation.com/gg/snpTracker.html

Haplogroup R is the invader from the east, moving into Europe and becoming the largest haplogroup in Western Europe, reaching something like 90% in Ireland. We came the long way around, and we clumped up there when we hit the British Isles.

R1a represented by R-M198 branch (in Eastern Europe) in the map below has 5 results among these samples, but 16,599 modern testers. It’s about 16% of modern R, but 9% of R in this study.

R-P312 is roughly 50% of modern R. In this study they have 17 results, about 31%. This is a significant decrease that seems to have been taken up by R-U106.

R-U106 is roughly 18% of modern Haplogroup R (in Central Europe on the map below). In this continental northern European study it has 25 out of 55 R results. Very nearly 50% of Haplogroup R and slightly larger than Haplogroup I. R-U106 outnumbers R-P312 (in Western Europe in the map below) in these ancient results (once we exclude the Irish results). This is a good turnout for R-U106.

taken from SNP Tracker http://scaledinnovation.com/gg/snpTracker.html

Treating subgroups of R like major haplogroup breaks and focusing on my own home groups: R-U106 has 25 results out of 97. About a quarter of this…uneven…population transect. More than I and J etc, but a quarter of the whole, and that is a good turnout for R-U106. I believe the U106 population declines the further south and east you go. That plays out in the locational data. R-U106 doesn’t appear in the graves for Inden, Germany, the southernmost location. R-P312 is the king there.

If I remove the places where R-U106 doesn’t exist the map looks like this:

U106 map showing schleswig, haven, groningen, dunum, drantum, hiddestorf and anderten

In order of the number of samples with U106:

  • Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands (6 of 12)
  • Häven, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany (5 of 9)
  • Dunum, Lower Saxony, Germany (4 of 13)
  • Schleswig Rathausmarkt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (4 of 13)
  • Hannover-Anderten, Lower Saxony, Germany (3 of 11)
  • Hiddestorf, Lower Saxony, Germany (2 of 4)
  • Schortens, Lower Saxony, Germany (2 of 4)
  • Drantum, Lower Saxony, Germany (1 of 5)

R-U106 -> R-Z18

This is about as close as we’re going to get to R-CTS12023/DF95. Our major branch is R-Z18 before you have to hop back to meet others in R-U106. The R-Z18 results above would be related to us around 2200 BCE. All the results on the continent were down a larger R-Z18 branch, R-Z17.

Of the 97 results from the continent, 4 of them were R-Z18. In this transect of probable Anglo-Saxon origins, R-Z18 makes up about 4% of the available population. Since R-Z18 is about 1% of the modern testers from haplogroups represented here (E, G, I, J, and R), that is interesting. It would seem reasonable that you’re more likely to find R-Z18 in this zone.

R-Z18 is about 12% of R-U106 and 16% of R-U106 in this study. Just ever so slightly higher.

For comparison, R-L48 is about 47% of R-U106. In this study, it’s sitting at about 44% of U106 results. Just ever so slightly lower..but still the king.

R-Z18 has one each in Groningen, Häven, Dunum and Schleswig. Probably not surprising to see it in areas where there are more R-U106 to be found and maybe hugging the coast a bit tighter than others in U106.

Here’s a map of the continental R-Z18 world as defined by this study.

CTS12023 is 6.7% of R-Z18 and 0.07% of the modern testers from Haplogroups represented in the study. The likelihood of finding us here does seem better than some of the groups that only have 2 modern testers! The odds get less likely for R-ZP121 downstream from CTS12023, I would think, but still better than the micro-groups. We appear to be more likely to be found in medieval coastal northern Europe.

The oldest R-Z18 sample in this study was from 300 CE in Häven.

Questions

There are 97 Results, excluding the Irish. There are 3 Y DNA results from Denmark. 12 Y DNA results from the Netherlands and 82 from Germany.

A question I’m left with is If this study, with its better genetic coverage, had branched out into northern Denmark, Norway, and Sweden or further down into the Netherlands and Belgium, would they have struck some CTS12023 results as they did in Anglo-Saxon England? Are we resting somewhere between these cemeteries? Are there more medieval cemetery digs in the vicinity that could be mined for DNA?

Wandering Thoughts on Ancient DNA

A fellow ZP121 person recently asked how many ZP121 men I thought might exist in the world. It’s a tricky question because there are about 57 men known now. Each might represent a family with tens or hundreds of living men.

Y DNA testing is kind of a rich man’s game and a niche pursuit. Coverage isn’t even across populations. It favors Europe, particularly the British Isles and the U.S. The isles are dominated today by haplogroup R, which gives that group an outsized footprint I think. The massive amount of R testers skews things. In the scope of haplogroup R, we’re tiny, but a lot of groups seem tiny when you compare them to R results. It all depends on where you want to start comparing.

All of that got me thinking about attempting to put our one known R-ZP121 ancient DNA result in context with other ancient DNA results from CTS12023/R-DF95, R-Z18, R-U106, and other Y haplogroups. Since this is the first time we’ve appeared in ancient DNA, I’ll start with the Anglo-Saxon study results and do a loose survey of ancient haplogroups and modern testers.

When I’m listing results, it’s good to keep in mind that there may be overlap. For instance, we may have one man left at R-Z18. He really falls well below that, but his DNA is degraded enough that you can’t go any further down the branches. R-Z18 has 2221 testers today. That number contains 149 CTS12023/DF95 testers, but I’ll be listing them separately. The CTS12023 listing contains R-ZP121 to the tune of 57 testers. This will be the same for all the haplogroups. There is some nesting because not all the results could reach a meaningful terminal point in the Y DNA tree. The numbers and locations of modern testers are meant to give an idea of the size of various groups and some major locations where they are found.

Hatherdene Close

map of ancient graves at Hatherdene close
lovingly borrowed from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05247-2

Starting with the community for our ZP121 guy HAD005 there are ten men in the anglo-saxon cemetery study in Hatherdene Close. Not a huge sample. In that group, there is one other R-Z18 man down the larger R-Z17->R-Z372 branch of R-Z18. He is HAD006 reported as R-S4031. Family Tree DNA says that branch formed around 1250 BCE. Today there are 332 men under R-S4031. Most are from Sweden, followed by Norway and then Finland. HAD006 is not listed as Continental Northern European (CNE) like HAD005. HAD006 is listed as Western Britain and Ireland (WBI) with 82% WBI DNA and 17% CNE DNA. HAD006 shows no NOR DNA (Scandinavian) but does register some Continental Western European (CWE) DNA. HAD006 is given an older date than HAD005. HAD006 has no grave goods.

Only one Z18 man in Hatherdene is entirely CNE.

Hatherdene has four U106 men total including HAD005 and HAD006. HAD009 is R-FGC53757 (formed around 150 CE) with 32 downstream modern testers. Most of them are from England. HAD009 is listed as CNE with no NOR or appreciable CWE or WBI, much like HAD005. HAD011 is R-FT83328 (formed around 550 BCE) with 17 modern testers, mainly from Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland. HAD011 is all CNE. These two have grave goods.

Less than half the men are U106.

HAD017 is R-S1205 well down a brother branch to U106 formed around 550 BCE. There are only four modern testers in this branch from England and the Czech Republic. HAD017 is roughly a 60/40 split of CNE and WBI. He is not listed as CNE though because he falls below 70 some-odd percent. He has grave goods.

HAD001 and HAD018 are both down the P312 brother branch to U106 in R-FGC33840 formed around 1500 BCE. Although R-P312 as a whole is much larger than R-U106, this branch only has 3 modern testers from Denmark, Ireland, and Norway. It looks like HAD001 and HAD018 may be identical twins…or the same person. Both are a 30/70 split of CNE and WBI with some amount of CWE DNA as well. HAD001 has grave goods. That wraps up Haplogroup R.

The final three men are under Haplogroup I. HAD003 is I-M253 formed around 2250 BCE. This is a major branch of I with nearly 25000 testers (by comparison U106 has 19000 testers), in large numbers from England, Sweden and Germany. HAD003 has some CWE ancestry. HAD003 is almost completely WBI and has grave goods.

HAD015 and HAD016 are both I-A12775 well down from I-M253 on a branch formed around 50 CE. there are only 12 modern testers from Germany, England, and Russia. Both HAD015 and HAD016 are completely CNE with no CWE ancestry and have grave goods.

Ok. we have ten men. Five are CNE (Continental Northern Europeans). Two of those are Haplogroup I and three are from U106. Of the R-U106 CNE men, the major branch winner is R-L48 with two men to our one R-Z18->ZP121 man. Five men are WBI (Western Britain and Ireland). One of them is from Haplogroup I. Two from R-P312. One is down a brother branch to R-U106 and R-P312, and one is U106->Z18.

In Hatherdene, Haplogroup R is the clear winner. R-U106 has a slim majority of CNE men over I-M253 branches with R-P312 a plurality in the WBI camp if the two people are actually twins and not the same person.

Haplogroup I and R-U106 dominate the CNE group but also occur in the WBI group.

My Bias

I’m biased toward thinking the single R-Z18 WBI member in Hatherdene is descended from an earlier CNE man. When looking at other 50/50 or 60/40 splits with CNE/WBI DNA it’s easy to imagine a WBI father and CNE mother or in the case of HAD006 a CNE father and WBI mother. Just one more generation of WBI ancestry would change the ratio to 20-someodd %. So it seems plausible that HAD006 could be the grandson of a CNE man and a WBI woman and the son of a 40/60% CNE/WBI father and WBI mother.

That seems possible, but I also have to acknowledge that I’m biased to think that R-Z18 favors the Baltic and Scandinavia before the migration period and that there are other possibilities.

Zooming out to Cambridgeshire

Map of the Fens including Cambridge

Including Ely, Hatherdene, Oakington, and Linton.

There are 24 men (including the Hatherdene men above. 11 men are in haplogroup I. 13 are in Haplogroup R. In Haplogroup R, 9 men are R-U106. Three of the men are R-P312, and one is R-S1196. In R-U106, 5 men are R-L48, 2 men are R-Z18 (both listed above), 1 man is R-S1688 (also listed above). There are two WBI men, one in Haplogroup I and one in R-Z18 (mentioned above).

In Haplogroup I, there are 8 CNE men under I-M253, I-BY1330, I-A12775, I-S27836, and I-FGC69701. There are 3 admixed men left at the major branch I-M253, and 1 I-FGC69701.

I was curious about I-FGC69701 which appears in CNE men and in an admixed man, and I found that OAI008, who is not listed as CNE, is nearly completely CNE with a small amount of WBI DNA and some Norse DNA. Kind of light admixture.

In Haplogroup R, there are also 8 CNE men all under R-U106. 5 of those are under R-L48 (R-S19342, R-S21607, R-Z330, R-BY3730, R-FT83328) and then 3 under other U106 branches (R-FT183222, R-FGC53757, R-ZP121).

Admixed men have 3 under R-P312 and 1 under R-Z18 (HAD006 above) and 1 under R-S1205. All of the P312 tests fall under R-L21 which is a major group in R-P312 with roughly 30,000 modern testers.

R-L48 is a major haplogroup under R-U106 with almost 9000 modern testers. Three of these R-L48 men fall under R-Z9 with about 6000 modern testers. Again a pretty large and old group that is thought to have formed around 2150 BCE. Two of the R-L48 men fall under R-S23189 which only has 343 modern testers, but still formed a long time ago in 1950 BCE.

Again, Haplogroup R for the narrow win, and R-U106 is popular among CNE individuals. R-Z18 is trailing in U106 with one CNE and one WBI.

Haplogroup I and R-U106 are on top of these Cambridgeshire burials for CNE with R-P312 men popular in the Admixed group.

My Bias

Because R-P312 is often compared to U106 as Celtic world vs. Germanic world it’s easy to put the Admixed CNE/WBI R-P312 men in this category as WBI men paired with CNE women, which may be the case. It doesn’t have to be the case though. R-P312 has more Big Y testers from Germany than R-U106 does. It’s not that R-U106 dominates the Germanic world; it’s that the Germanic world dominates R-U106. R-P312 is bigger and has more German people, they’re just outnumbered by British and Irish testers in R-P312. In that way, four percent of R-P312 is actually bigger than eleven percent of R-U106. Those R-P312 admixed men could have had CNE male ancestors for all I know.

The Haplogroup I-FGC69701 person listed as OAI008 who is nearly all CNE with other CNE men falling into the same haplogroup, makes me think his paternal line is CNE with light admixture from a WBI grandparent. I really don’t know that much about Haplogroup I other than Family Tree DNA once called it Europe’s native son and that it appears to be a dominant haplogroup in older European burials. I’m not surprised to see it in both CNE and WBI people, and I’m not familiar with whether one branch leans more continental while another leans more towards Britain. So I’m biased here by the other CNE results in the same haplogroup.

Anglo Saxon England

Map of Britain circa 600 AD with labels for anglo saxon kingdoms

Whew. Alright, after some shuffling and sorting I think I’ve got Anglo-Saxon study results without vikings, iron age samples, bronze age samples, samples from the continent etc. This should include more cemeteries with some WBI results.

The Outliers

Haplogroup E: Two samples. One is E-P177 (admixture unknown). The second is E-CTS5856 and He’s CNE and he’s from Eastry.

Haplogroup G: One sample G-P303 (admixture unknown), location unknown.

Haplogroup J: One sample J-CTS5789 from West Heslerton. This one is CNE with some Norway DNA.

The Big Two

Haplogroup I:

There are 52 samples. Four of those samples are WBI. Three samples are 50/50 or 60/40 CNE/WBI. Two of them are 80 or 90% CNE. One is unknown. The other 43 are Continental Northern Europeans. The Majority were I-M253. Of those most fell into I-M253 > DF29 > Z58 and below. That group has roughly 7000 modern testers mainly from England and Sweden. A decent chunk fell under I-P222 > CTS616 > CTS10057 > Z161 > CTS4348 > L801 which has about 3000 modern testers mainly from England and Germany. Smaller amounts of men fell under I-S2488 (60 modern testers from England and Ireland) and I-L38 (830 modern testers from England and Germany).

Haplogroup R:

There were 81 Haplogroup R samples. fifteen samples were WBI. Twenty-one samples were admixed CNE and WBI with some people in the high 80’s and 90’s as a percentage of either CNE or WBI. Two samples were unknown admixtures. The other 43 men were Continental Northern Europeans. Which is kind of ironic that it matches the CNE mix from haplogroup I.

R-U106:

Under R-U106 only one man was WBI (our Z18->Z17->R-S4031 friend mentioned in Hatherdene). The rest of the U106 results were either Admixed CNE (7 men) or CNE (32 men). There were 19 R-L48 men. There were 8 R-Z18 men. Four of those were R-DF95/CTS12023 which is pretty wild because we’re 7% of modern R-Z18 testers, but 50% of the R-Z18 results in Anglo-Saxon England. One man was R-S19726, from Buckland cemetery in Kent. Admixed nearly 50/50. You may recognize R-S19726 from this old post about DF95’s hidden brother in the R-Z18 tree.

For admixed U106 men, we have R-FGC23205 (popular in France, England, and Germany), R-S19726 (mentioned above. popular in England and Sweden), R-Z381 (a major group of U106 with 14000 plus testers, popular in England and Germany), R-BY3326 (popular in Germany and England), and R-BY20443 (popular in England, Germany, and the Netherlands).

For CNE U106 men, we have quite a list. I’m leaving the U.S. out because it’s a given that many modern testers are from the U.S.:

  • R-S18632 (England and Netherlands) 95 testers.
  • R-Z381 (mentioned above the major group under U106 14000 plus testers)
  • R-A6707 (England and Germany) 7 testers
  • R-S19342 (England and Germany) 105 testers
  • R-S21607 (Finland, Scotland, England) 60 testers
  • R-Z9 (England and Germany) 5765 testers
  • R-Z330 (Germany and England) 1309 testers
  • R-BY3730 (Scotland and Germany) 30 testers
  • R-PF740 (England and Germany) 58 testers
  • R-Z345 (England and Scotland) 4002 testers
  • R-Z2 (England and Scotland) 3975 testers
  • R-CTS10893 (England and Scotland) 582 testers
  • R-FT83328 (Scotland, England, Northern Ireland) 17 testers
  • R-FTB13672 (Germany and Ireland) 16 testers
  • R-FT183222 (Netherlands and Ireland) 6 testers
  • R-DF94 (England) 262 testers
  • R-FGC53757 (England) 35 testers
  • R-Z18 (England and Sweden another major branch of U106) 2221 testers
  • R-PH1163 (Denmark and Norway) 2 testers
  • R-CTS12023 (England and Germany) 149 testers
  • R-ZP121 (England and Germany) 57 testers
  • R-BY13800 (Sweden, Finland, Germany) 16 testers
  • R-BY50725 (England, Ireland, Germany) 21 testers
  • R-BY62920 (England) 5 testers
  • R-Z154 (England and Ireland) 85 modern testers.

R-P312:

Two WBI men were R-P312. The majority of WBI men were left back at R-P310 or R-M269, basically undetermined.

Roughly 14 R-P312 men were either CNE (8 men) or admixed CNE (6 men). Among WBI P312 men we have R-DF41 (most popular in Scotland and Ireland) and R-Z253 (most popular in Ireland and England).

For Admixed P312 we have R-FGC33840 (mentioned above), R-FT130235 (most popular in England and Scotland), R-BY35104 (most popular in England), R-CTS11567 (most popular in England and France), and R-BY61198 (found in England).

For P312 CNE men we have R-CTS11567 (most popular in England and France), R-Y31393 (most popular in Portugal, England and Mexico), R-Z274 (most popular in England and Spain), and R-BY31939 most popular in England.

R-M269+:

There were about 17 R-M269 men left above the P312/U106 groups. They mostly belonged to WBI and admixed men, but some were also CNE. These samples are probably degraded and can’t be driven any further down the tree.

R-M198:

There were 3 R-M198 men (R1a to our R1b), one each of Admixed CNE/WBI, WBI and CNE. R-M198 appears to be most popular in Poland, Russia, and Germany.

My Biases

Big vs. Small

u106 visual tree
borrowed from http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/~mcdonald/genetics.html

I’m in haplogroup R with 105,530 testers. By comparison, Haplogroup I has nearly 41000 testers. More specifically, I’m part of R1b (R-M343), which may still be the most common Y Haplogroup in Europe. There are almost 88000 testers in R1b. Haplogroup I-M253 has about 25000 testers. My perspectives are skewed by being part of these massive Y groups. What I consider large or small groups are based on comparisons to other R haplogroups. My small groups may be absolutely massive.

That skewed perspective comes into play when I say I’m in a smaller R1b group; R-U106 (18,810), because I’m comparing it to R-P312 (52,789). Further, when I compare the size of my group R-Z18 (2221) in my head, I’m comparing it to R-Z381 (14,603). R-Z18 is “smaller,” but there are other groups on the same level that are much smaller than that. R-A10122, a sibling of R-Z18 only shows 7 testers at FTDNA.

When I say my group under R-Z18, R-CTS12023 (149) is small, it’s because I’m comparing it in my head to R-Z17 (1,187). The truth is there are several smaller and rarer groups under R-Z18 now. We’re “smaller” than the bigger branches of course, but not the smallest.

That is why it doesn’t surprise me that there are 27 R-Z381 results in the Anglo-Saxon study. That group is larger today so it seems likely there would be more of them. If R-Z18 has roughly 15% of the number of modern men that R-Z381 has, then I’d expect there to be about 4 R-Z18 results. Since there are 8 R-Z18 men, double my expected amount, that is interesting. Then thinking about CTS12023 sitting at about 7% of modern R-Z18, but 50% of the Anglo-Saxon study R-Z18 men is pretty amazing to me by comparison.

YDNA and Autosomal DNA

One of the reasons Y DNA works so well for tracing long lines of ancestors is because it is relatively stable. It might be passed on in exactly the same form for multiple generations before a mutation pops up. Autosomal DNA changes pretty dramatically every generation, and half the input is female. Moms matter. A Y DNA origin doesn’t have to line up with autosomal DNA…really in any way after a few generations. When I see CNE men turning up R-Z18 that fits my bias, but when I saw a WBI man turning up R-Z18 it conflicted with my bias, and I constructed a way to explain it that didn’t include an Isles origin. That person’s life may have been completely defined by being British, no matter what I think about his Y DNA and a small percentage of CNE ancestry. When I’m interpreting results, I’m also playing to my own expectations.

ancestry.com map showing U.S. groups in my autosomal DNA

As an example; Although I can trace my Y DNA to England and then the European continent and at some point the steppe and back to Africa, these DNA communities defined by Ancestry.com are more informative about my Autosomal DNA and who is most likely to match me as a whole person, not just on one chromosome. It’s likely that I share cultural bonds, life experiences, and language along with DNA with these groups in the last few hundred years.

The Only Ancient R-CTS12023/R-DF95 DNA So Far

Right now, this is it for ancient CTS12023, and the results are in some ways, misleading. What I get from the study is that people from Belgium up through the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and touching on the Baltic seem to define the Anglo-Saxons buried in England and R-CTS12023 in that era. I think that matches our modern test base in a lot of ways too although we’ve obviously moved a lot farther afield.

It is important to note that this map of Continental Northern European sources currently fits all of the CNE people, in every haplogroup, with every Y DNA and mtDNA branch attributed to CNE people in the study. This map is based on autosomal DNA. Our closer Y DNA cousins are a small part of that larger group.

continental sources for Anglo Saxon DNA showing sites in the low countries, northern germany, denmark and sweden.
lovingly borrowed from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05247-2

Our CTS12023 cousins have an outsized contribution to the Anglo-Saxons in this particular study that you don’t see in the ratios of modern testers. We’re not a “large” group in the study, but larger maybe than we ordinarily would be and that is mainly because of samples in Anglo-Saxon Kent.

Getting back to the original question about ZP121, so far, there is only one lone Angle from Cambridgeshire out of something like 145 men, in what you could now consider our target demographic.

Looking at the results, I think we see R-ZP121 because this study was so specifically targeted to this group at this time, and better more granular testing was available.

I think it’s time to zoom out again and look at that wider ancient world that we haven’t yet appeared in.

R-ZP121 Schmidt and Ammerman

I’m labeling this Schmidt family as R-ZP121 because there is another Schmidt family that is down a different branch of R-DF95/CTS12023. As an owner of a common name (Thompson) I get the common name conundrum presented by being a Smith or Schmidt.

I’m one of the Y-DNA STR outliers in the Elmer family. I’m one of two members of the group that have a higher number of mutations away from “Normal Elmer”. There are two of us who kind of bookend the results for the descendants of Ed Elmer. Because of my particular mutations, I have always picked up a larger number of German matches at higher testing levels than my Elmer and Elmore cousins. I’m not sure which STR causes that (or why I would particularly pick up German testers), but it offers me an opportunity to contact an important (and I think under-represented) group of testers.

British and particularly British Isles American testers dominate Y DNA. Currently, R-ZP121 has four German families represented by testers and 18 British (and colonies) testers. We’re clearly missing Big Y testers from the continent, not only German testers but certainly other countries as well. Roughly half our testers under R-DF95/CTS12023 report unknown origins. There are hidden treasures there too.

The Schmidt/Ammerman branch (defined by R-FT233425) illustrates the promise of Big Y testing.

Big Y testing can be a leap of faith. There is no telling what you will learn. If you’re the first person down a line to test, it can be exceedingly lonely. You may sit with dozens of SNPs all to yourself for years, but if you don’t fish in that pond, you’ll never catch anything.

Many people, do what I do; they try to find Y STR matches and see if they will test Big Y to help figure out how closely we are all related. Your Y STRs suggest the closeness of a relationship and then Big Y proves it. There are sometimes surprising results where families who do not have Y STR patterns that are close prove to be closely related.

Each test has value, and I think there is something to be learned from all of them. It’s hard to write anything off as a given.

Ammerman and Schmidt R-FT233425

Our Ammerman tester is one of the hidden treasures, his test lists unknown origin, but we’re lucky enough to know the family is from Northern Germany. the Ammerman family blazed a trail with Big Y that initially left them at R-ZP121. Well down the R-DF95 tree but still far away from the genealogical timeframe and the common use of surnames. We’re talking about the pre-Anglo-Saxon invasion timeframe.

As luck would have it, the Schmidt family walked down that path and helped define 19 new SNPs before the Schmidt and Ammerman lines split. FTDNA estimates that the two families shared a common ancestor around 1760 CE, which is within a genealogical timeframe. With these two tests, they’ve spanned roughly 1500 years of shared ancestors in a direct line from the estimated formation of R-ZP121 around 230 CE. One leap from the Roman empire to 1700s Germany.

FTDNA Time Tree showing ZP121 and R-FT233425.

That’s a lot of time, and I would bet there are more families tucked in there that are yet to be discovered.

Landing in a Genealogical Timeframe

If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll note that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to wrap my brain around the connections between the Lunsfords, Knowltons and Elmers. Part of the mystery is because our families split during the middle ages (we suspect in Britain).

I think one joy of the Ammerman/Schmidt family is that we’re in a time period when it may be possible to trace families (depending on the records available). Some of that genealogical work has been done by the Schmidt family, and they’re looking at a likely common location of Otterndorf Germany.

map showing Otterndorf in context with Schleswig Holstein to the north.
Otterndorf Germany

Obviously, given all my recent posts about the Anglo-Saxon DNA study, I noted that Otterndorf is right there in the genetic heritage zone for our Anglo-Saxon cousins. With 1500 years to play with there can be a lot of movement. With more testers from the continent and hopefully more ancient DNA, we can add branches and more pins to our map. Each Y DNA branch and pin also represents connected families and the story of our journey.

We’re slowly sussing out the times, places, and events that shaped our families.

Navel-Gazing About the R-DF95 Jutes Part Two

In my previous post I swung back around to Dover, Kent, and the Jutes and tried to find evidence for their existence along with some explanation that would get them from the top of Jutland to the bottom of Brittain without seeming like they were lost.

We established through myths and later writings of oral traditions that the Danes and Jutes had a presence in Frisia, down the north-western coast of the continent, and that there seemed to be a common underlying culture even if people had differentiated themselves into tribes.

The Jutes seem to be a known group within the culture, but not much outside of it. Since the migration-period Germanic tribes were illiterate, that intra-cultural knowledge gets stored in the attic and hinted at.

Maybe in 500CE everyone around the continental north sea and baltic knew what a Jute was; they just had no way to communicate that to the future in a way we would understand.

map of beowulfs world

The Franks

Along with Jutes in Jutland, Danish Jutes, Anglian Jutes, and Frisian Jutes there is an idea that the Jutes were under the rule of the Franks…possibly. You can see the Franks on the map above as “Francan” down below Frisians.

King Theudebert (500 CE – 547 CE) sends a letter to Emperor Justinian in Rome claiming both the Saxons and the Eucii who may also be the Yutes…or Jutes as his subjects. My source is Letter 20 found at this site: http://austrasia.org/letters/letter20.html

“To our Distinguished Lord, Most Excellent Master and Father, Emperor Justinian, from King Theudebert.

The anticipated arrival of Theodore transpired with that of Solomon who brought letters which we accepted with complete regard and allegiance of spirit which rejoices in the mercy of your dominion. Your charge assists us in extending the loving friendship of God to many races and in some provinces but now our enemies with the help of God have submitted to our authority. By the wish of the Lord, the Thuringians were controlled and their territories acquired, then in time their kings were abolished; next the North Sueves were subjugated, the Visigoths declared subdued and, by the grace of God, now Gaul is safe. As well, in the north region of Italy and then Pannonia the Saxons and Eucii delivered themselves to us by particular choice. Our rule extends from the Danube and the limits of Pannonia to the shores of the ocean through the protection of God. As confirmed by your letter, your August Highness, we are certain of the progress of the Catholics and rejoice in complete delight of spirit. For this reason, God granting your desires, longing in eager spirit we enjoin by plain proposition that your fame will endure and the friendship of former emperors is seen often in your assurance of kindness, therefore, let us join together for the common good.”

The speculation then is that the Eucii are Jutes and that there are Jutes among the Franks right across from Kent. Basically, the possibility that they’ve hopped down the coast and parked in Flanders or Northern France long enough to be considered under the control of the Franks (by the Franks).

map of western europe featuring Franks in modern Belgium and northwest France.
borrowed from https://www.historyfiles.co.uk/FeaturesEurope/FranceMapAD481.htm

This assessment of the Anglo-Saxon invasions talks about the Saxons moving into Frisian mound villages that were later abandoned maybe the Jutes were among them and then moved farther south before heading for Britain: https://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kroch/courses/lx310/Assessing_the_Anglo-Saxon_Invasions.html

The paper has this to say about Bede’s assessment of the groups involved and complexity seen on the ground:

“Bede stated that the invaders came from the Continental Angles, Saxons and Jutes [43]. It is likely that Bede was reducing a very complex situation to simple terms. Bede placed the Angles north of the Thames, the Saxons south of the Thames and in Wessex, and the Jutes in Kent and on the Isle of Wight. For Bede, the Angles came from Angulus, modern Schleswig which still has a district called Angeln. The Saxons came from the coast between the Elbe and the Weser valleys and the Jutes resided north of the Angles in Danish Juteland or in Holstein [44].

Other literary sources indicate the possible presence of Franks among the immigrants. Archaeology also indicates that Swaefe, Alemanni, Swedes, and Danes were present. This is not surprising if we assume that the Volkwandering caused a high degree of cultural mixing between the Elbe and the Ems where most of the settlers in Britain originated [45].”

The Franks are literate, so their perspective is at least available, and they offer the possibility of getting the Jutes from Jutland to Anglia to Frisia to Francia as a secondary tribe to the Danes, Angles, Frisians, and Saxons.

That sort of migration makes sense logistically and archaeologically (as pointed out by Assessing the Anglo Saxon Invasions, but the text of the letter is confusing.

“In the north region of Italy and then Pannonia the Saxons and Eucii delivered themselves to us by particular choice.”

Pannonia is east of Northern Italy and northwest of Greece (dark red in the map below).

map of the roman empire including pannonia east of northern italy, northwest of greece.
Pannonia. (2022, September 28). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pannonia

Ending up in Frankish territory seems reasonable, but I’m not sure how to interpret that letter to Justinian other than that Saxons were among many Germanic tribes on the move in all directions and some had gone south and east? Maybe there was an incursion in Pannonia? I’m just not sure how it would be related to the Northern coast of Francia. Most references I can find for Eucii just end up with the Jutes. Trying to follow this trail gets pretty circular very quickly. The mention from Theudebert is interesting and seemingly supported by modern evidence, but locationally challenged.

Everywhere and Nowhere

The Jutes seem to lurk around every corner, always there but not really out front. Even in Kent, they’re not in East Jutia, they call themselves men of Kent. Unlike the Saxons with their sexs and Angles with their anglia, the Jutes seem to fade into the woodwork, always being part of some other group. Even after invading Britain, they identify themselves with the British Cantii (Kentings). Bede seems to care to keep them separate, but they seem happy enough to blend in. Hidden in plain sight. Maybe instead of Jutes on both sides, we end up with a theory of Jutes on all sides. Mercenary settlers.

In the migration period, in a single lifetime, people moved from Scandinavia down to Hungary with the Lombards (that has been proven with isotope analysis, an R-Z18 man made that trip with a group of non-Scandinavians). In light of that, Jutes moving from Jutland to Anglia, to Frisia to what would become Belgium or France doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Possibly picking up some Frankish DNA along the way seems reasonable in that interconnected world where everyone is moving.

map of barbarian routes showing various non-roman tribal movements in the Roman world.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/barbarian-invasions The spaghetti mess trying to track the tribal movements

In the Anglo-Saxon study, the CNE people in the south of England had the most diversity. They had mixed communities with British (WBI) men holding high status along with Continental Northern Europeans who intermarried creating mixed families within a generation or so. Why not mix it up with the Franks too?

Back to the Anglo-Saxon DNA Study

In the article from Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05247-2 they try to assess whether the Anglo-Saxons in Jutish areas have more Scandinavian DNA than those from Saxony, but at the end of the study they conclude that the Jutes don’t contain any more Scandinavian DNA as a percentage than other groups.

“We therefore conclude that there is no association between geographic location and fraction of ancestry from the Scandinavian Peninsula. If Saxons, Angles, and Jutes were meaningful biological categories that remained valid after the migration to England, then they were not correlated with varying degrees of ancestry from the Scandinavian Peninsula.

Not that there wasn’t Scandinavian DNA in varying levels among individuals, but that as an entire population it wasn’t meaningfully different between Jutes and Angles or Saxons…or Frisians.

“The majority of early medieval samples from England cluster in PCA closely together with present-day Danes, Northern Germans, and Northern Dutch. However, in the North Sea PCA as well as in the Northwestern European PCA some individuals tend to be shifted northwards across PC1 in the direction of modern Swedish and Norwegians.” It seems like some individuals trended to Scandinavia, but again the group was otherwise pretty homogenous.

This map shows the most likely source region (along with individual locations) for the continental northern europeans in the study. It shows a swath from the northern netherlands, northern germany denmark and southern sweden.
This map shows the most likely source region (along with individual locations) for the continental northern europeans in the study

Meanwhile, people in Buckland in Dover (like our DF95 families) have CWE (iron age France) DNA admixed in. They are mainly CNE (Continental Northern Europeans) but contain a percentage of DNA from Continental Western Europe instead of more Scandinavian DNA.

“PCA implies that several sites, especially from southern England (namely Apple Down, Buckland, Eastry, and Rookery Hill) exhibit remarkable diversity in terms of their ancestry. Besides England, Iron Age, and early medieval Lower Saxony-like ancestries, we also find individuals that cluster with present-day southern and western Europeans, especially with Belgians and French.

As indicated by PCA, supervised ADMIXTURE identifies sizable proportions of modern French/Belgian-like ancestry in our ancient samples, reaching as much as 100% in some individuals (Supp. Fig. 5.6a, Supp. Table 5.5). Calculating the average for each site, we find, congruently with our qpAdm approach, the highest proportions of French/Belgian-like ancestry in Lincoln (59.9%), Rookery Hill (43.3%), Apple Down (27.8%), Eastry (25.6%), and Dover Buckland (22.5%) (Supp. Fig. 5.6b). In the remaining sites, French/Belgian-like ancestry accounts for less than 10% of the total ancestry. In summary, additional western and/or southern European related ancestry appears to be the main cause for the remarkable genetic diversity observed especially in southern English early medieval sites”

A new article from The-Past.com has a nice breakdown of what they discovered and the methods they used in the study: https://the-past.com/feature/transformations-in-early-medieval-england/

When talking about the Continental Northern European ancestry that dominates in the newcomers to England, you can almost see the Beowulf map above reflected in the genetic map of likely origins in the study. The genetics were pan-regional even if the names and groupings were divided.

“We found that the greatest similarity is seen in a region spanning Friesland (present-day Netherlands), Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein (present-day Germany), and modern Denmark up to the southern tip of Sweden. Strikingly, all of these areas had a remarkably homogeneous genetic profile during the period that we are studying, making all three probable source regions for the migration process into early medieval England.”

Later they discuss the differences between the migrants to Northern and Southern England:

“Most early medieval people who have been studied in central and northern England show exclusively CNE ancestry, which implies that the ancestors of those individuals originated directly from the above-identified areas and did not admix with other populations on their way across the North Sea. In contrast, in southern England, especially Kent, many individuals exhibit additional French-related ancestry. We cannot rule out that this admixture between CNE and French-related ancestry occurred already on the Continent, potentially in a contact zone between both ancestries, for example in what is now the southern Netherlands, Belgium, western Germany, or northern France.”

They present this map showing two probable migration routes one direct to northern anglo-saxon locations and one indirect to southern anglo-saxon locations for CNE people based on their differing genetics:

map of possible northern and southern routes of migration, directly from CNE or passing through Frankish regions on the way south
borrowed from the-past.com https://the-past.com/feature/transformations-in-early-medieval-england/

The Tangled Web We Weave

The DNA study seems to conclude that the Anglo-Saxon invasion may not have been without conflict, but given admixing (possibly on the continent) and admixing with native Britons once in England, it may not have been as contentious as described. In different areas of England people seem to be getting along as part of a community and as integrated families. Our R-DF95 Jutes in the south seem to be intermingled pretty well.

The DNA evidence, family groups and continued high status of Britons make it seem like less of an invasion and more of a migration over time. The idea that the Germanic migrants were welcomed from the writings of Gildas seems to be true enough; whether they really turned on the Britons and destroyed them seems suspect.

I found an interesting video that explores some non-conquest reasons that we might see this level of admixing and still end up with a Germanic society in eastern Britain.

What is ironic to me today is that the Y DNA evidence from these ancient remains is kind of flipped from the autosomal DNA when taken in the context of modern testers for R-DF95.

If we look at that map and consider our R-DF95 cousins in Buckland Cemetery in Dover, Kent, particularly BUK009 who is in haplogroup R-DF95->R-PH1163. He has 11% CWE ancestry (green on the map there) but no appreciable Scandinavian DNA. His Y haplogroup has only been found recently in Denmark and Norway. Very rare, just two living people, neither one from Belgium or the Netherlands.

My own R-DF95->ZP121 branch is more common; our representative in the study is HAD005, his family has no CWE French/Belgian component, and he’s with the Angles on that direct route straight out of the red zone in the map above. His relative in the study does show some appreciable Scandinavian DNA. Yet R-ZP121 has very clearly been found in Belgium and the Netherlands in modern testers.

Modern Y DNA would support a Jutes straight out of Jutland scenario, but the ancient autosomal DNA begs to differ.

Going back to our two locations, HAD005 is an Angle (based on location in Cambridge). Our men in Kent are Jutes (based on location in Kent), but there isn’t much in the DNA study that would separate them except that the people in Kent seem to be mixed with people from across the Channel. I think it’s possible to get a band of Jutes from Denmark down the coast ready to cross over to Kent given the few historical and semi-mythical sources we have. I think you could make an argument for Tolkein’s “Jutes on both sides” or even a “Jutes on all sides” theory of a Jutish diaspora that takes place well before the invasion of England. Jutes may have been a culturally significant division at some point, but not a biological one by the time they start settling Thanet.

At the end of the day, how do I know HAD005 is not a Jute living with Angles? How would I know BUK009 isn’t an Angle? Maybe they’re all Frisians or Saxons? Bede may be splitting hairs that the migrants themselves didn’t.

I don’t think the DNA study can tell us. The oldest R-DF95 people found to date have already migrated from whatever homeland they were personally from as part of a regional movement among like people with a shared language, culture, and genetic heritage.

Navel-Gazing About The R-DF95 Jutes

Three of the R-DF95/CTS12023 men from the Anglo-Saxon migration study show up in Kent. One of those men is on a Y male line that is currently very rare (R-PH1163), with only two modern testers. One tester is from Norway, and one is from Denmark.

First, I want to make another note that R-DF95 is relatively rare among R1b men. We’re a line that fairly recently, nearly went extinct. There are 142 of us tested with Big Y today. There are some people who are untested with Big Y that match our Y STR pattern or have limited SNP testing not counted in that number, but it’s still a small group.

As an example, one of our most generic Y STR testers has only 164 Y matches at the 25 STR level, but my cousin in a different haplogroup under R1b has over 5000 matches with other men at that level.

Family Tree DNA gives us (R-DF95) a most recent common ancestor estimate of 722 BCE.

The parent for our group R-Z18 (according to FTDNA) is back at 2190 BCE. So what we have currently is a roughly 1500-year gap with no branches in our male line family tree. We have 26 SNPs in a straight line. Keeping in mind that we’ve shown SNP branches popping up every few generations in modern testers, there are a lot of generations of men that are missing there.

R-Z18 has 2180 testers, we’re not the smallest group under R-Z18, but we pale in comparison to one of the larger groups R-Z17 which has 1164 testers with multiple surviving branches right from the root.

What I’m leading up to is that R-DF95 currently makes up about 7% of R-Z18 men, but in this study of Anglo-Saxons, we’re fully a third of the R-Z18 men represented. We’re over-represented because of the results in Kent. So it seems like it would be good to pay attention to the Jutes.

In a previous posting, I asked how I would know if our guys were Jutes or Franks? Well, I’m still not really sure how you would know from grave goods, so I’m moving forward with two assumptions. Our guys are “Jutes” because of their Continental Northern European designation in the study and because “Jutes” settled in Kent.

Those assumptions beg the question, where do the Jutes come from…really? Everyone pretty much says the Angles came from Angeln or Anglia on the east side of the Jutland peninsula and that the Saxons come from Saxony in northwest Germany, south, and west of the Jutland peninsula. Some sources put the Saxons in Holstein, which would be right there with the Angles. When it comes to the Jutes there is less agreement.

Who are the Jutes?

What I have read several times searching around the internet is a narrative that the Jutes come from Northern Jutland and are kind of the top piece of bread in a sandwich that has the Angles in the middle of Jutland and the Saxons to the south. All of these people are Ingvaeones or Ingaevones and speak a type of Low German along with the Frisians and other North Sea Germanic tribes (as opposed to old Norse). At some point the Danes move into Jutland from the Islands to the east, putting pressure on the Jutes and they either move, or are absorbed…or both.

I found a great podcast on the formation of the English language and in Episode 28 Kevin Stroud kind of walks through some of the confusion around the Jutes.

TLDR, there is some discussion about whether the Jutes came straight out of Jutland or if they spent some time with the Frisians or settled in what would become Frankish territory on the continental coast before moving to Kent.

The Germanic tribes were largely illiterate. There are very few sources at the time. So we’re left with sources a few hundred years later or sources from the time that are not accurate and sources that are confusing or contradictory.

Written Sources

Isle of Thanet. (2022, August 23). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Thanet
Isle of Thanet. (2022, August 23). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Thanet

Everyone references Gildas. Gildas was apparently not writing a history of the Anglo-Saxon invasion from a British perspective but rebuking the Britons and basically saying the Saxon pagans were a punishment for the bad behavior of British kings. So he was writing, not for a future audience, but for an audience that knew exactly what happened because they just lived through it. Because of that, it is vague. The key idea is that the Saxons (and to the British everyone from the Germanic tribes was a Saxon) were invited by a “Proud Tyrant” and settled in the east of the Island. At some point, the deal with the Saxons breaks down, and they call in more forces from the continent and take over Kent. It’s sort of a deal with the devil, but really not unlike deals the Romans had with Germanic tribes. Gildas is a semi-contemporary source, writing just after the events took place. Since all Germanic tribes were saxons, Gildas lists no Jutes.

Here are some excerpts from Gildas: https://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/gildas-concerning-the-ruin-of-britain

Procopius a Byzantine historian (also semi-contemporary to Gildas and the invasion) says that Brittia was inhabited by Angles, Frisians, and Britons (whom the island was named for). He also says that Brittania is ruled by the Franks. Procopius is talking about two regions Brittia (an island) and Brittania (not listed as an island). E. A. Thompson (no relation) shows support for the theory that Brittia is the island of Britain (populated by Angles, Frisians, and Britons) and Britannia is Armorica/Brittany based on geographic clues and what we know about Britain and Brittany. Although Procopius attributes the movement to Brittany to overpopulation on the Island, not an exodus to escape the Frisians. His sources are Franks who want to control Brittany…but apparently don’t.

Of note, Procopius doesn’t list any Jutes. Just Angles and Frisians on the island of Brittia and that seems to be a perspective of the Franks.

In the mid-500s then it was basically a done deal the Germanic tribes had territory in Brittain, and the Britons had been migrating to Brittany.

Then we have Bede (late 600s early 700s) who is more careful because he’s writing about his own people hundreds of years after the incidents. He references Gildas, but in his narrative, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes were the righteous scourge of the British as intended by the Lord, and of course, they are no longer pagan.

Here is an excerpt from Bede: https://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/bede/hist017.htm

Bede is the one who places the Jutes north of the Angles and Saxons. He lists Hengist and Horsa, the mythical or semi-mythical founders who eventually took over Kent. He is referencing Gildas, and so the invaders are butchering people in heaps as intended by God. He does mention the Britons fleeing over the seas which I believe is a reference to Brittany. Of note, he doesn’t list Frisians like Procopius.

Nennius comes to us from the 800s. He’s writing from the perspective of the British. I believe he’s Welsh. He has more of a story to tell concerning Hengist and Vortigern and the ill actions of the British king. He also begins the legend of Arthur (or begins the modern understanding of it). He places the Saxons on the Isle of Thanet, which was given to them (it’s no longer an island). It looks like he references Bede and Gildas and adds to it with a more Britano-Celtic overtone. He writes about the wrath of God, but is more inclined to the wonders of the Britons and adding a hero for the Britons.

In the sections of his writing that I’ve seen, he does not mention Jutes or Angles: https://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/nennius-history-of-the-britons

Minus Bede, the Jutes seem pretty incognito…or at least overlooked. Where are all the Jutes?

The Finnsburh fragment and Beowulf

The finnsburg or Finnsburh or finnesburg fragment is the remaining part of a document about the fight at Finnsburh in Frisia. Although Beowulf is a fictional story it contains within it a telling of another story about the battle of finnsburg. Where the Finnsburg fragment leaves off, Beowulf helps fill gaps (albeit from the perspective of the Danes). One of the reasons this becomes important is that the Finnsburg episode happens around the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasion and it contains a central character named Hengest. One theory is that this Hengest is the Hengist of Hengist and Horsa who begins the Anglo-Saxon invasion by leading the Jutes to Kent.

map of the world of Beowulf geats in southern sweden. Heorot in zealand the jutes, danes and frisians.
borrowed from https://www.ugdsb.ca/ccvi/wp-content/uploads/sites/63/2019/03/Beowulf-Content-Questions.docx.pdf

Here is a link to the fragment: https://heorot.dk/finnsburh-en.html and the notes from the fragment: https://heorot.dk/finn-notes.html#en17 in the notes you can see Hengest listed this way: “Hengist apparently the leader of the ‘Half-Danes’ after the slaying of Hnaef, though various critics have identified Hengest as a Jute, Frisian or Angle. This Hengest is perhaps identical to the (semi-)historical Hengest who conquered Kent”.

The battle of Finnsburg picks up after some events have taken place, so in Beowulf, there is no explanation of why the Finnsburg battle takes place because the audience is supposed to be familiar with it. I’m going to include a nice video link that goes through the story of the battle and some theories surrounding the source of the conflict and the role of the Jutes.

The Jutes, enigmatic as ever, are mentioned in the battle of Finnsburg on the side of the Danes, but there is some debate about them also being listed on the side of the Frisians. Like bands of displaced mercenaries, there are scholars who believe the Jutes are fighting on both sides of the conflict. That was a theory put forward by Tolkein (who wrote fantasy, but whose day job was as a professor of Anglo-Saxon studies). The debate comes down to spelling and pronunciation and also errors in transcription.

The reason pronunciation and errors in transcription/alternate spellings come into play is because the J in Jute is a Y in these north sea germanic languages. They’re Yutes or Eotas. That pronunciation is really close to the word for Giants or Eoten as a form of generic monster.

One theory supposes that the Jutes are the untold cause of the incident because the Finnsburg story is about the truce between the Frisians and the Danes. Finn makes the truce and the argument is that the Danes would not have negotiated with Finn (a king of Frisia and husband to the Danish princess) if he had killed a Danish prince. They would negotiate with him if he were “responsible” for the killing of a Danish prince because his Jutes (retained by the Frisians) got out of hand and started a scuffle with the Danes…who also had Jutes in tow. Maybe an inter-Jutish dispute caused the Frisians to attack the Danes who were guests of Finn.

I think it is accepted that Hengest has Jutes with him who are on the side of the Danes and some scholars (like Tolkien) believe the Frisians have their own Jutes, but that is disputed. It’s also not certain that the two Hengists (Finnsburg and Kent) are the same, but highly suspected to be the case because they’re alive at the same time in the same areas, have leadership roles, and are involved with Jutes.

In the story, Hengest becomes the leader of the “half Danes” at Finnsburg when their prince is killed by the Frisians (and maybe some Jutes). Some sources say Hengist is an Angle, some a Jute…maybe a Dane. Mixed in here in my online searches is an idea that the Jutes are sort of vassals to the Angles. So Hengist being an Angle leading Jutes would be in character. TLDR Hengist eventually breaks his oath to king Finn of Frisia, after being Finn’s guest through the winter, and kills him in retribution for the Danish prince, then takes Finn’s wife back to the Danes.

Finn’s wife is a tragic character, her son dies along with her brother (the Prince of the Danes) then her husband Finn is killed and she is returned to the Danes like cargo.

One central idea is that Hengest has to make a choice between breaking an oath to Finn to abide by their agreement after accepting hospitality or settling a blood feud and restoring the honor of the Danes by killing Finn who could be an “innocent” man.

The fight at Finnsburg is important because it leads up to and could explain Hengest taking a band of mercenary Jutes to Kent looking for work and land. It’s possible he could not return to Frisia/Saxony/Denmark because of what he did, or that this episode gave him the resources to gather up the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons and start an eventual invasion by breaking his oath to protect the Britons. Hengist being put into the position of having to break his oaths for some greater purpose may be the back story within the story…within another story.

Ah, there goes Hengest again…breaking the agreements.

This video was a great help in figuring out what was going on with Finnsburg and Beowulf:

Along with the above video I also read through a few papers on the Jutes and Finnsburg/Beowulf to try to get a handle on the different theories surrounding them.

Here is a paper on the “Half Danes” which talks about the critical idea that they were half danes not because they were part Jutish, but because their honor needed to be restored by avenging the death of their prince: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3194139

Here is a paper on the role of the Jutes in the Finnsburg episode that explains how the Jutes may have been the hidden cause of the conflict and the internal struggles of the key players: https://www.proquest.com/openview/dae81ae3fa544d9fc07e55e010829428/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=41062

Those two require granted access, but this thoughtful review of work done by Tolkien and others is freely available. The post talks about the conflict of Hengist, the theory that the half-danes are also half-jutes, the Jutes on both sides theory, and the possibility that Hengist racked up enough enemies that it was best to seek his fortune with the Britons: https://astrofella.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/finn-and-hengest-the-fragment-and-the-episode-jrr-tolkien/

Jutes Up and Down the Coast

Even if we don’t subscribe to Tolkien’s theory of Jutes on both sides we have a decent reference to Hengist/Hengest and the Danes and Jutes having a presence in Frisia. Although it seems like there ARE Jutes, maybe they don’t have the importance in the world the Bede places on them. The Jutes seem pretty flexible with their identity. Happy enough to be Danes and maybe Frisians. The Jutes seem like the strong silent type.

Finnsburg is a tragedy, but it’s a North Sea tragedy featuring related North Sea People with a common culture. People from other cultures may not see the Jutes as separate from Angles, Saxons, or Frisians and so they get forgotten.

Tucked away in the mythology and monsters are some shared memories that get Hengist and Horsa and the Jutes a little closer to Kent than the tippy top of the Jutland Peninsula.

I can do a lot of navel-gazing

This one ran long to me, so I broke it up into two parts. I think there is more that is important to look at when considering our kin in Dover and their genetic makeup.