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 β€œViking” 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.


    • Hi Chris, I’ve been waiting for us to pop up in ancient Denmark for a while so I’m pretty excited about the find. Tjaerby is a really small town. I was just getting together some notes. It took me a bit to find the original study even with family tree dna’s citation. I also want to take a look at the wielbark study. I didn’t see any CTS12023 there, but we’ve got some Z18 men.

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