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The Finns, the Saami and the Yakuts

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  • The Finns, the Saami and the Yakuts

    I know I am abt 6% east Finnish, but mostly Norwegian. My Population Finder (PF) has surprising results. I am 97.8% western European ("Orcadian"), and 2.2% east Asian, most likely Yakutian (first mentioned people among them). Jeroen R Huyghe et al. in their article A genome-wide analysis of population structure in the Finnish Saami with implications for genetic association studies in European Journal of Human Genetics (19, 2010, p. 347-352) found that the Saami are around 6% of east Asian ancestry, having an IBS (identity-by-state) sharing with the Yakuts of 0.7328. This could mean I have Saami ancestors, but that doesn't show in PF. My ancestors who could be of Saami descent lived in the territory of the so called Pite Saami, just south of Bodo, Nordland, Norway. I wonder why my Population Finder does not show my east Finnish or Saami ancestry. I have been told that there is no east Finnish reference group yet, but still. By the way I know that the population of Northern Savo in east Finland has a modest Saami component, perhaps about 6%. But could the Yakut ancestry have come through the east Finns and not the Saami? The graves on the island Olene Ostrov in Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia, contains some people with "Mongoloid" skulls. R. A. Denisova wrote that these skulls don't differ much from the Yakuts, except for the noses. (Erik Nilsson-Mankok (ed.): Etnogenesen av de finsk-ugriska folken, Umea, Sweden 1984, p. 22.) The answer could of course be a combination of all of these factors. Are there any others out there with Finnish or Saami ancestry whose Population Finder shows Yakut ancestry?
    Last edited by eriks39; 8th November 2011, 02:48 PM. Reason: Half the post was cut off

  • #2
    The Population Finder did not find any Finnish ancestry for me. However, I have been blessed with quite an assortment of FF cousins of Finnish descent. Lately, I have been getting at least one with every new batch of cousins. Some are Finnish citizens. Some have Swedish as their first language. The vast majority do not live in North America and are still in Europe. I have found them, as a group. to be among the most communicative and cordial of all my FF cousins. The other day, one even searched church records for me and found my great-great grandparents' marriage record.

    I come from a large, extended family. Several of my first cousins and I have suspected for some time we were part-Finnish. I don't think this sudden surge in Finnish FF cousins for me is largely due to a coincidence or to any sudden interest in genetic genealogy in the Republic of Finland. A great family mystery seems to have been uncovered. Since all of this has happened, I try to keep up on such topics as Finnish immigration to North America and "Forest Finns" in Norway and Swedish-speaking Finnish citizens.
    Last edited by mixedkid; 9th November 2011, 01:31 AM. Reason: deleted extra "an" in first sentence

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    • #3
      Forest Finns

      It was very interesting to hear from you, mixedkid. In fact my east Finnish ancestry comes with the Forest Finns. It seems I am not alone on having Finnish ancestors without it showing in the Population Finder. I am sure it is no coincidence that you have FF cousins from Finland. I have four such FF cousins myself too.

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      • #4
        Hi,

        My MIL is from Finland, is now in her 80s, and she says that "nobody really knows just where Finns come from," although evidence suggests that Finns originally came from slightly to the south of and further to the east than the Finland of today. The Finnish language dialects and the Saami languages are known to be related to each other as of at least a couple thousand years ago, but genetically they have been found to be two different groups of people, although intermarriage has occurred during the past few thousand years, too, which could make tracing Finnish and Saami ancestry confusing, difficult or practically impossible. The Saami have been in what is today Finland, Karelia and the Scandinavian peninsula since the end of the latest Ice Age, some ten thousand years ago. And Finnish and Saami languages are part of the Finno-Ugric language group, which comprises most of the Uralic language family, and that is where a genetic connection to the Yakutsk peoples could originate, but perhaps thousands upon thousands of years ago.

        As far as research goes, keep in mind that there are fewer than 100,000 Saami distributed in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola peninsula of Russia, but there are more than 5,000,000 Finns. Finland has long been active in historical research, and has considerable Finnish and Saami historical information in its university libraries.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tourist View Post
          Hi,

          My MIL is from Finland, is now in her 80s, and she says that "nobody really knows just where Finns come from," although evidence suggests that Finns originally came from slightly to the south of and further to the east than the Finland of today. The Finnish language dialects and the Saami languages are known to be related to each other as of at least a couple thousand years ago, but genetically they have been found to be two different groups of people, although intermarriage has occurred during the past few thousand years, too, which could make tracing Finnish and Saami ancestry confusing, difficult or practically impossible. The Saami have been in what is today Finland, Karelia and the Scandinavian peninsula since the end of the latest Ice Age, some ten thousand years ago. And Finnish and Saami languages are part of the Finno-Ugric language group, which comprises most of the Uralic language family, and that is where a genetic connection to the Yakutsk peoples could originate, but perhaps thousands upon thousands of years ago.

          As far as research goes, keep in mind that there are fewer than 100,000 Saami distributed in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola peninsula of Russia, but there are more than 5,000,000 Finns. Finland has long been active in historical research, and has considerable Finnish and Saami historical information in its university libraries.
          Hi there.
          Thank you very much for your contribution. I am myself grown up in an area with many ethnic Finns and Saami, and I am well aware of the Uralic language family and the Finno-Ugrians. I have even studied the Finnish language and participated in two study tours to Finland. But my source is, as I wrote, the article by Huyghe et al. I think you are right that the connection to the Yakuts is old, but it has probably nothing to do with language families, in my opinion. (The Yakuts being a Turkic-speaking people.)

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          • #6
            Let me add that I don't know how far back in time genetic relationship can be from and still show on the Population Finder. But it is probably not that long. I have read that the Saami received a genetic supplement from the Volga-Ural district about 2 700 years ago. So perhaps the Saami haven't been so isolated.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by eriks39 View Post
              ...I think you are right that the connection to the Yakuts is old, but it has probably nothing to do with language families, in my opinion. (The Yakuts being a Turkic-speaking people.)
              I agree that the connection likely has nothing to do with languages, but northern Yakutsk (Russia) borders immediately on the eastern side of the Uralic language family region, and, as much as neighbors could visit each other on occasion, perhaps that is how you could have a Yakutsk relative, however far back in history that could be.

              BTW, Saami is the Finnish word, but S

              (Edit: this software will not allow me to correctly spell the Saami name for Saami, but only the Finnish name for Saami.)
              Last edited by Tourist; 17th November 2011, 11:24 PM.

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              • #8
                Thank you for your answer. I would agree with you if the Uralic-speaking peoples' ancestral home was somewhere east of the Ural mountain range, but this is not the case, according to the people who have done research on this. The ancestral home of that language group is likely to have been between the river Volga and the Ural mountain range, in the European part of Russia. The Ob-Ugrian branch of the Finno-Ugrian peoples, the Khanti (Ostyaks) and the Mansi (Voguls), as well as the Samoyed peoples, are considered to have their origins on the western side of the Ural mountain range, but have moved to Siberia, and they are all mixed up with so called Mongoloid peoples in Siberia.

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                • #9
                  I feel I must draw some conclusions now. The Saami people differ genetically so much from the other Finno-Ugrians that it must have been the non-Finno-Ugrian genetic elements in the Saami people that brought the Yakut genes to the Nordic countries.

                  My theory about the people in the graves on Olennij Ostrov in Lake Onega stands corrected. More recent research from the 1990s shows that those people are not so "Mongoloid" as they previously have been thought to be.

                  Secondly, out of all the people who have tested themselves until now I must be the only one whose Population Finder shows Yakut ancestry. But the above mentioned article about the Finnish Saami in European Journal of Human Genetics shows that this is no coincidence. The Yakuts live in the far eastern part of Siberia and there is no other way their genes could have come to Europe than through the Saamis' non-Finno-Ugrian ancestors.

                  My third conclusion is that there are no DNA reference groups for other Saami groups than the Northern Saami group yet. I hope this will change in the near future.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eriks39 View Post
                    I would agree with you if the Uralic-speaking peoples' ancestral home was somewhere east of the Ural mountain range, but this is not the case, according to the people who have done research on this.
                    True, most of the Uralic languages are to the west of the Ural mountains, but there are some Uralic languages to the east of the Urals, too, and it is the eastern region which borders Yakutsk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nenets_people The Uralic languages are NOT a Russian language, Uralic language speakers are NOT Russian, and Uralic language speakers lived way up north many thousands of years BEFORE any Russian ever set foot there. The same holds true of Yakutsk, that many of the people there are Russian, today, but there were others there LONG before any Russian ever went there, and your Yakutsk relative might not be Slavic Russian, at all.

                    Similarly, Finns agree to being called Nordic, but do not agree with being called Scandinavian. Finns are NOT Scandinavian!
                    Last edited by Tourist; 18th November 2011, 04:44 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eriks39 View Post
                      My third conclusion is that there are no DNA reference groups for other Saami groups than the Northern Saami group yet. I hope this will change in the near future.
                      First, genetic DNA testing is relatively new, and so the databases are far from complete.

                      Then, when it comes to Saami and all other Uralic peoples, there are relatively few such people, and so it could be a long time, perhaps many years, before any significant database could be developed.

                      However, your Yakutsk relative is likely NOT Russian.

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                      • #12
                        Mr. Tourist, I don't know where you get the idea from that I allegedly have called Saami or other Uralic-speakers Russians? I have never written that anywhere. I said that their ancestral home is in the European part of Russia, that doesn't mean they are Russian! It is however common to speak of regions in terms of where they belong politically today. Did you get the feeling that I meant Sakha/Yakutia was Russian 2000-3000 years ago? I have never said that Finns are Scandinavians either, where do you read this? I said "the Nordic countries", and Finland is indeed a Nordic country! I grew up 130 kilometers away from the Finnish border and I have visited Finland a lot of times.

                        I have to disagree with you when you claim the Uralic-speakers have lived close to the Yakuts. The Samoyeds are the easternmost Uralic-speaking people (or in fact, the Samoyeds are many peoples), it is not true that they have lived in the neighbourhood of the Yakuts.

                        You seem to read a lot of things into my messages that I never said. So I think I have said my last word in this thread now.

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                        • #13
                          I don't know what possessed the Turkic-speaking Yakuts to migrate up into the sub-arctic region, but they probably more or less conquered the indigenous Siberians already living there and inter-married with them. That might be an explanation for a genetic connection with the Uralic, etc. peoples.

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                          • #14
                            Yes, the Yakuts did mix up with the Even and Tungus peoples when they came to their present territory Yakutia, which is now called Sakha (the Yakuts call themselves Sakha). These peoples are perhaps related to the Yakuts as their languages are all "Altaic". But all of these peoples lived far, far east from the Uralic-speaking peoples.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by eriks39 View Post
                              Mr. Tourist, I don't know where you get the idea from that I allegedly have called Saami or other Uralic-speakers Russians? I have never written that anywhere. I said that their ancestral home is in the European part of Russia, that doesn't mean they are Russian! It is however common to speak of regions in terms of where they belong politically today. Did you get the feeling that I meant Sakha/Yakutia was Russian 2000-3000 years ago? I have never said that Finns are Scandinavians either, where do you read this? I said "the Nordic countries", and Finland is indeed a Nordic country! I grew up 130 kilometers away from the Finnish border and I have visited Finland a lot of times.

                              I have to disagree with you when you claim the Uralic-speakers have lived close to the Yakuts. The Samoyeds are the easternmost Uralic-speaking people (or in fact, the Samoyeds are many peoples), it is not true that they have lived in the neighbourhood of the Yakuts.

                              You seem to read a lot of things into my messages that I never said. So I think I have said my last word in this thread now.
                              Ystäväni, I did not say that you said such things, and I do not see how or where you could have made such an interpretation. What I meant is that much of the Uralic language region is now, today, in Russia, but that the Uralic speakers, the natives of that region, were there LONG before any Russian ever went there. Yes, the Samoyed are the easternmost Uralic speakers, but the eastern border of the Samoyed region borders northern Yakutsk, and that is how you could have a Yakutsk ancestor.

                              A Saami friend of mine lives in Kautokeino, Norway.

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