Two Flavors of Cumberland

The Cumberland Cluster at the Z18 and Subgroups project comes in two flavors now, thanks to cluster wide DYS458 retesting sponsored by our Elmer and Emery brethren.

DYS458.2 does not occur in all Z14 Cumberlands. So we know it happened after Z14 (lots of other clusters are also Z14+ but in informal polling at least one does not show DYS458.2) and further we know it happened after our distinctive “Cumberland Cluster” pattern emerged (DYS390=25, DYS5385=11-11, YCAII=19-22, DYS565=11) because some cumberlands have a 458.2 and others do not.

As it has been explained to me, micro-alleles like 458.2 have a low instance of back mutation, so once you get one, you continue to pass it down through generations. The whole number changes, but the micro-allele does not (without a really rare back mutation).

It looks like given the genetic distances in our two groups, the common ancestor to the two cumberlands lived around 1300 years ago.  Literally a case of one son having a 458.2 and another not having it.

What is interesting right now is that the 458.2+ cumberland-B group is larger than the 458.2- cumberland-A group. Thinking about things in simplistic terms I would have expected the opposite. I would have expected the Cumberland B DYS458.2 to be the smaller child group to a larger DYS458 Cumberland A parent group.

Another interesting observation about the two cumberlands. The usual suspect in migrations from mainland Europe is from east to west. So in the old cumberland cluster you had members from Poland to Ireland and the general assumption is that Poland is a good start point and Ireland the end of the line.

Now 458.2+ Cumberland B (the larger group by three quarters ranges from Poland to Wales including members from Germany, Norway, Netherlands and England (and I suspect from my days at least one from Denmark). Cumberland A the ancestral group, only contains proven members from the Netherlands, England and Ireland.

Again, simplistic thinking, but I would have expected the two groups to cover the same range or for Cumberland A (458.2-) to cover the larger range as a parent group giving rise to the child group somewhere on the way west.

There is always a bias towards testing in England because of people from the U.S. and Britain that have been testing for some time. So it’s hard to look at all those UK testers and make sense of them in context with other tests. Our Winne family from the Netherlands may represent a large contingent from the Netherlands..and we may not know.

Also taking the largest area a group inhabits may not really give you the origin place of that group. People usually migrate to get a leg up and be more successful. So you may see more results from an area that was migrated to instead of migrated from.

It’s possible for “back migrations” too,  west to east or in a big loop. People don’t always really care to stick to the rules when migrating.

Still we seem to be hugging the North Sea and South Baltic sea. Cumberland B seems to have done well or itself in Poland, Germany and the UK with smaller showings in the Netherlands and Norway. Cumberland A did well in the UK with smaller showings in the Netherlands.

Earlier today I was looking up Kristiansand Norway where the Lund family is from in Cumberland B and the Google map did that auto centering thing and ..of course showed me where Kristiansand is but it also gave me a perspective of the Cumberland world while it did it.


Kristiansand Norway

 I’ve made a lot of maps but it was still interesting to see the canvas laid out. It made me think about maybe we’re not looking at a nice east to west migration. Maybe we’re looking at a migration from a center point south west and east? If you were there near Denmark, Poland and the UK would be on the radar.

That may be my bias towards the Danes though and maybe I shouldn’t say Denmark but set the focus on the blue around it. Water is not a barrier, it’s a highway. Could the Cumberlands find an origin in this tangle of Islands around the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark with Cumberland-A favoring a westerly route and Cumberland B heading both west and east in good measure?





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