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R1a in the British Isles

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  • R1a in the British Isles

    I was looking at these haplomaps and wondered why there is so little R1a in Ireland and Wales. There is almost as much R1a in Norway as hg I, also Iceland Scotland and eastern parts of England have considerable amounts of R1a. However, it's known that Norse Vikings and Normans visited and settled both Ireland and Wales. Did they come from different parts of Norway than those who settled the eastern parts of the British Isles, or did the Vikings in the east have Slavic people (slaves maybe) with them but those in the west didn't?

    http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mcdonald/Wo...groupsMaps.pdf

    http://www.relativegenetics.com/geno...a_large_RG.jpg

  • #2
    why would they bring slaves if there were people already there they couid enslave?

    That doesn't make sense to me....but hey?.. i'm no Viking

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    • #3
      Originally posted by M.O'Connor
      why would they bring slaves if there were people already there they couid enslave?

      That doesn't make sense to me....but hey?.. i'm no Viking
      Well, someone had to row the boat.

      Or maybe they were freed slaves. I think I've read the Vikings sometimes freed their slaves for good service.

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      • #4
        I know there is a lot of R1a in Norway. It is funny that there isn't much R1a in Wales, because it is fairly well known that a large proportion of the men of Penrith in Wales are I1a of the Norwegian type.

        It is interesting that the wife of King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark was a Slavic Wend from the Baltic coast of what is now Poland, and that her father, King Mistivoj of the Wends, sometimes conducted military operations in conjunction with the Danes. Of course, the Slavic peoples have a fairly high proportion of R1a, but Denmark is fairly low in R1a, especially when compared to R1b, which is the single biggest Danish y-haplogroup, and I1a, which is the second.

        Perhaps some of the R1a from the Danelaw in England and from Scotland came from Wends who accompanied the Danish vikings on raids.

        I don't know that that is the case, but it seems a possibility.

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        • #5
          Does anyone know if slaves of Vikings were allowed to have children?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Irubak
            Does anyone know if slaves of Vikings were allowed to have children?
            Yes, they were.

            "The slave, in fact, was not left devoid of means, possessions, and free time during which he could work for himself. He had his peculium, and in favourable circumstances might hope to purchase, earn, or be rewarded with his freedom. Also, he was allowed to marry, though his children would be slaves" (Jones, Gwyn; A History of the Vikings; Oxford University Press, 1984; p. 149).

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            • #7
              Interesting! Thanks, Stevo!

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              • #8
                I don't think the R1a in Britain came in the bodies of male slaves. Viking ships weren't big enough to haul huge numbers of slaves anyway.

                There is a lot of R1a in Scandinavia. No doubt many of the Vikings were R1a and R1b besides I1a and I1c. Some of them may even have been E3b and G, as well. It wouldn't surprise me.

                It's not like the Vikings ran big banana plantations where slave labor might prove practical. They came from a land largely dissected by fjords and mountain ranges and forests, consisting of small farmsteads: not a place conducive to gangs of slave laborers.

                The Vikings unloaded their slaves in the big slave markets at Cork and Dublin.

                My guess is that if they kept any for themselves, those "keepers" were for the most part good-looking women.

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                • #9
                  The role of the Slavonic Wends during both the Migration and Viking periods seems to me to be largely ignored. They lived, as I mentioned before, along the Baltic Coast in what is now Poland and Northeast Germany.

                  As Slavs, the Wends were probably a mix of R1a and I1b, with maybe some R1b and I1a, to boot.

                  And they weren't exactly passive. In 983, for example, they invaded North Germany and sacked and burned Hamburg.

                  The second (and last) wife of Danish Viking King Harald Bluetooth was Tovi or Tova, the daughter of Mistivoj, King of the Wends. When Harald was fleeing from his own son Svein Forkbeard, he fled to his father-in-law Mistivoj in Wendland. It was also in Wendland that the famed (and perhaps legendary) Viking fortress of Jomsborg stood at the mouth of the Oder, near the modern town of Wollin. Archaeological finds there show a mixed population of Slavs and Vikings.

                  Perhaps much of the R1a and I1b in England and Scotland came from the Wends, whose role in the Viking invasions and settlement of England has been lost sight of. Maybe there were more of them on board those Viking ships than is presently imagined.

                  Of course, they would have had to have spoken Old Norse as a kind of lingua franca, since they evidently did not introduce any Slavonic words into English.

                  From what little I have read of the Wends, they were hardly the sort of people to sit by and let anybody carry their own kind off as slaves, not without kicking some serious butt.
                  Last edited by Stevo; 29 May 2006, 07:57 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Is R1a one of the least-represented y-haplogroups in this forum, or is it just that folks don't care about its presence in the British Isles?

                    Seems this discussion just kind of fizzled out.

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                    • #11
                      Vikings from Norway were distinct from the Vikings from Denmark.

                      It could simply be that the Norwegian Vikes settled in Scotland and England, while the Danish Vikings sailed to the Irish and Welsh coasts. These were two genetically distinct groups with the Norwegians heavy with R1a.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by N12499
                        It could simply be that the Norwegian Vikes settled in Scotland and England, while the Danish Vikings sailed to the Irish and Welsh coasts. These were two genetically distinct groups with the Norwegians heavy with R1a.
                        True, except that the Norwegians made a far smaller impact on England than did the Danes.

                        Both Norwegians and Danes have a lot of R1b and I1a, but the Norwegians have more R1a than the Danes. R1b is the single biggest y-haplogroup in Denmark.

                        Given the Danish-Wendish connection, my own belief is that Wends were on board many Danish Viking ships and may account for most of the R1a in England (the old Danelaw).

                        Where the Norwegian Vikings settled - Shetland, Orkney, Scotland, for examples - the R1a would be native Norwegian.
                        Last edited by Stevo; 12 June 2006, 07:01 AM.

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                        • #13
                          You may be on to something Stevo

                          While I (McPherson) have exact 12/12 (R1a) matches in Scotland and England, I also have exact matches in Poland, Italy, Yugoslavia. I do not -so far- have any exact matches in Scandinavia. In my case , your theory of the Wends seems more plausible than the Norwegian theory.

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                          • #14
                            Or it maybe the Vikings who visited Ireland and Wales didn't stay that much. This link says that "there was very little impact on the culture, language or genetic stock of Wales".

                            http://www.viking.no/e/england/wales/index.html

                            I think I've also read that although Vikings founded Dublin, they were later forced to leave by the locals.

                            When looking at my 10/12 matches in the FTDNA Recent Ancestral Origin database, Shetland has 2.2% frequency (3 out of 133), Isle of Man has 3.2% (1 out of 31), Scotland has 0.7% (26/3568), Northern Ireland has 0.6% (1/177), England has 0.3% (27/8392) and Wales 0.3% (2/659). I think it might suggest that the Norwegians had the biggest impact on the northern parts of the British Isles, like Scotland and Northern Ireland.
                            Last edited by Eki; 12 June 2006, 01:23 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eki
                              Or it maybe the Vikings who visited Ireland and Wales didn't stay that much. This link says that "there was very little impact on the culture, language or genetic stock of Wales".

                              http://www.viking.no/e/england/wales/index.html

                              I think I've also read that although Vikings founded Dublin, they were later forced to leave by the locals.

                              When looking at my 10/12 matches in the FTDNA Recent Ancestral Origin database, Shetland has 2.2% frequency (3 out of 133), Isle of Man has 3.2% (1 out of 31), Scotland has 0.7% (26/3568), Northern Ireland has 0.6% (1/177), England has 0.3% (27/8392) and Wales 0.3% (2/659). I think it might suggest that the Norwegians had the biggest impact on the northern parts of the British Isles, like Scotland and Northern Ireland.
                              The Norwegians had the biggest impact in the northern islands, like Shetland and Orkney, and in Scotland.

                              Not all Norwegians share your haplotype, so it cannot really be used to measure Norwegian impact on Britain.

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