Friday, February 25, 2011

Celtic DNA Among the Islands

The distribution of DNA markers among the islands are shown in the figure to the right. Each county studied so far has a slightly different pattern. Wales (Anglesey), shows the R1b1b haplotype at 89%, with just at 8% for the I haplogroup. Thus 97% of of the DNA studied fall within these two groups. [I suspect the I haplogroup is the Viking blood!] The Irish have the next highest percent of R1b1b at 82%. However, their E1b1b (2%) and their R1a1 (< 1%). The Scots show 77% R1b1b and haplogroup I at 11%. [More of that Viking blood!] The Scots show 7% R1a, which would indicate more of that Anglo-Saxon influence. The English range 62-69% R1b1b. A 9% R1a is the highest among this group.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Celtic Tongues

The Celtic tribal groups that settled among the islands (Hibernia, Albion, and Isle of Man) scattered about and formed their own distinct languages. Hibernia (Ireland) was the seat of the Q-Celtic tongue, and Albion (Britain) was the seat of the P-Celtic tongue. The figure to the right shows a diagram of the rough chronology the roots of these tongues. The "Gaelic" tongues include Irish, Scottish, and Manx. The "Brythonic" tongues include Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. They all share a common root back to the Celts that occupied central Europe. What a deal!

The following reference have been most helpful in the study of this chronology:

1) The Celtic World, Edited by, Miranda J. Green, first published in paper back 1996, Routledge, London.

2) The Celtic Empire, The First Millinnium of Celtic History 1000 BC - 51 AD, by Peter Ellis, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, 1990.

3) The Celtic Realms, The History and The Culture of The Celtic Peoples From Pre-History To The Norman Invasion, by Myles Dillion and Nora Chadwick, Castle Book, Edison, NJ, 2006.

4) The Ancient World of the Celts, by Peter Ellis, Barnes & Noble Books, NY, 1998.

5) Historical Atlas of the Celtic World, by Angus Konstam, Mercury Books, London, 2001.

6) The Celts, Uncovering the Mythic and Historic Origins of Western Culture, by Jean Markale, Inner Traditions International, Rochester, VT, 1978. [first published in French, Les Celts et al Civilisation Celtique, 1976.]

7) Celtic Britain, by Lloyd Laing, Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1979.

8) Celtic Ornament in the British Isles, by E.T. Leeds, Dover Publications, Inc., NY, 2002.

9) A Picture Book of Ancient British Art, by Stuart Piggott, and Glyn Daniel, Cambridge, At The University Press, 1951.

10) The Life and Death of A Druid Prince, by Anne Ross and Don Robins, Touchstone, NY, 1989.

11) The Story of The Isle of Man, Vol. 1, The Earliest Time to 1406, by C.W. Airne, Liverpool, 1949.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Celtic R1b1

It was iron and the secret of iron-making that gave the Celtic folks a leg up on those who first occupied the island. The oldest iron artifact yet to be found on the island dates from around 600 B.C. Found in the territory of a tribe called the Silures, it represents the fact that my Y-DNA arrived to the south of what has become Wales. Other Celtic tribes, based on their family unit, established themselves among the hills and mountains, valleys and dales, shore and seaside.

The figure to the right shows roughly the territories that came to be occupied by the Celtic R1b1 DNA. The extreme north was settled by the Decengli. The Clwyd would be a landmark. The Venedotae and Ordovices came to occupy the northwest sections, including the all important island called Mon. The Demetae, with a lot of Irish influence took control of the southwest. The Cornovii became the guardian of the rich lands of the middle Severn valley. Each tribal group centered around its Celtic heritage. Hill-forts became the norm. Protect what you claimed, and keep it in the family.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Show me the money!

It would have taken some time for my Y-DNA to get across that watery channel from their mainland abode. Trade would have probably started things off, with a few folks risking the sea for establishing exchange with a new and expanding market. I've got some stuff that you might want, and you've got some stuff that I might want, so lets see if we can make a deal..."show me the money!"

I suspect that a few coastal settlements got started. With this new item called "iron", and a new design of the sword, things probably got off to a good start. Over the centuries, trade must have brought increasing numbers of those R1b1b(s) and it would become clear that this island place had something to offer. The Celtic burial rites started to show up, and that two-wheeled vehicle called the chariot started to get placed in grave sites. It would have taken several centuries for the blending of these new cultures, but they were clearly established throughout the island before any of those Latin speaking Romans started to arrive. A Celtic world, scattered about in smaller tribal groups, based upon the family unit. What a deal! At last, my Y-DNA arrived to its new home.

A helpful reference is: "Celtic Britain", by Lloyd Laing, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1979.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Horse

At some point in time, the ice shelf forced it way down to the very edge of the Mediterranean Sea. This placed the timberline just north of the Swiss Alps moving along a westward position to the Pyrenees Mountain range. Snow and ice would not make for good living conditions, and the limestone caves along the Pyrenees Mountains would provide some underground shelter. What to do on those long winter nights? Doodling and drawing must have been one of the pastimes, for the caves of this region contain some of the earliest human doodles. A study of these drawings show that the horse was the most common figure drawn upon the walls of the caves. [a total of 780 times!] The bison was drawn 759 times. [ A bison was a mammal with a large head, short horns, and heavy forequarters, with a large fleshy hump.] The cow (small bovid) was drawn 212 times, and the ox (large bovid) was drawn 177 times. The reindeer (115 times) and other types of deer (290 times) were drawn. The mammoth was drawn 290 times. Little attention seemed to be placed on the rhino (20 times), the feline (26 times) , and the bear (50 times). Amazing, that the horse would be the animal that claimed the most wall space. It was the horse drawn, two wheel, chariot, that was first developed by the Hittites. The horse must have been a key animal in our Celtic-Iberian migration. A horse, a horse, my DNA for a horse! This would have been one of the last staging grounds for my R1b1b2 DNA before its final migration.

[The source for this information is "Secrets of The Ice Age, A Reappraisal of Prehistoric Man", by Evan Handingham, John Wiley & Sons, Canada, 1979. The totals are summarized from a chart on page 298.]

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Delta of the Danube

The R haplogroup migrating westward from around the north or south of the Black Sea, would meet at the delta of the Danube. This mouth would open the front door to more than 1700 miles of a branching, dense, deep water river network. The end of the road (water highway) would be the gorge in the Austrian Alps and the Western Carpathian Mountains. It was here that the family seemed to have its Celtic beginnings called by the experts the "La Tene culture". It would also be where the northern group moved along the Vistula, the Oder, the Elbe, and the Rhine to make that other R haplogroup, R1a. The R1a(s) would come to haunt us many, many years later.

As the La Tene culture expanded, it found the salt deposits to be especially helpful. At Hallstatt, meaning salt, the culture took its second stage of development called the "Hallstatt period". At this time, the family began to expand through France to the Iberian Peninsula, and to our yet to be homeland, the British Isles. By this time, the R1b1 folks would have clustered, bringing with them their Celtic roots, in language, family, society, and culture. What a trip to get to the land yet to become our home.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The launching pad, around the Black Sea, placed many of my R1b1b(s) around the world as it existed in the ice ages. For my Y-DNA, it would be the Welsh that clusters most of my recent family, even before the Romans arrived to the island. But, where did all the other R(s) go? The following table list the present day distribution of the R1b1b haplogroup. My Welsh homeland is at the top of the list with 89%! What a deal! After 50 years of doing my JONES family's genealogy, I had ended up in Wales before all this DNA stuff even got started. The first number in the table is the percent of those studied who had the R1b1b haplogroup. The second number is the total people used in the study. You will see that there are a number of groups that have a small amount of folks being studied. [The smaller the number in the group, the less reliable is the findings.]

R1b1b DNA:

Welsh (Anglesey) 89% 88
Basque (French/Spanish) 88% 67
Bashkirs 86% 43 [Turkic people- south Ural mountains]
Irish 82% 222
Scots 77% 61
Spanish(Minorca) 73% 37
Dutch(Germanic West) 70% 27
British(Germanic West) 69% 32
Spanish(Italic) 68% 126
Bagvalins(Caucesians) 68% 28
Orcadians(Germanic West) 66% 71
Spanish(Majorca) 66% 62
Spanish(south) 65% 162
Spanish(Valencia) 64% 73
Belgians(Germanic/Italic) 63% 92
English(Central) 62% 215
Portuguese(North Italic) 62% 328
Italians 62% 50
Italians(North Central) 62% 50
Spanish(Ibiza) 57% 54
Portuguese(south/Italic) 56% 57
Frisians(Germanic West) 56% 94
French(Italic) 52% 23
Bavarians(Germanic West) 50% 80
Germans(Germanic West) 48% 48
Morovins (Erzya) 46% 39

Wow! What a launching pad. Any readers from these areas? Please identify yourself.