Sunday, July 16, 2017

"The genetic make-up we see is really one of perhaps 1400 years ago"

According to this article from The Telegraph in March 2015, not much has changed since about 600AD:

The ‘People of the British Isles’ study analysed the DNA of 2,039 people from rural areas of the UK, whose four grandparents were all born within 80km of each other. Because a quarter of our genome comes from each of our grandparents, the researchers were effectively sampling DNA from these ancestors, allowing a snapshot of UK genetics in the late 19th Century before mass migration events caused by the industrial revolution.

I think I might have volunteered for this project, which (if I am right) I applied for in writing and was then invited to the Belfast City Hospital to give a blood sample for (at which I nearly fainted, which is why it sticks in my mind). It was somewhere around 2005 I think.

Below is the map from the Telegraph article showing the various peoples & regions at around 600AD (it’s not accurate for Ulster by the way - Dalriada was just one of the eastern ‘kingdoms’ - see previous post here), and then below it is the project’s genetic map from 2015.

There is a clear ‘genetic cluster’ of people with the same ancestry in Ulster and western Scotland. Genetically, people across Ireland and Scotland are not very different. Culturally of course there is much variation even within both. The Lowland Scots that Ayrshiremen Hamilton & Montgomery brought over to settle on the former O’Neill lands in 1606 were the direct descendants of those whom, 300 years before, earlier Ayrshiremen Edward Bruce and Robert the Bruce had brought over to form an alliance with those O’Neills in 1315.

And of course the links and two-way migrations go back much farther than that...

Project website is here
Project Wikipedia is here 


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