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Viking FGC23343

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  • Re: the presence of FGC23343 in the Scottish islands, there is one well documented historic incident that probably bears mention, although in context, it seems doubtful that it constitutes some type of origin story: The wreck of El Gran Grifon on Fair Isle in 1588.

    Captained by Juan Gomez de Medina, El Gran Grifon, part of the famous Spanish Armada, wrecked off Fair Isle in late September, 5 months after their defeat off the southern coast of England and in a desperate condition. Fair Isle is the island immediately south of the Dunrossness district of the southern Shetland mainland where FGC23343 has been noted.

    Although the crew of El Gran Grifon is supposed to have been composed primarily of German mariners from the Baltic port where the ship was built, at least 4 of the military officers commanding the troops intended for a mainland invasion of England were from the Basque country of Spain. Presumably many of those troops were also Basque, which, at least superficially, seems like it could be significant given the deep Basque origins of FGC23343, although they lay much further north, on the edge of the old duchy of Gascony, in France.

    A detailed contemporary account of the subsequent fate of Gomez de Medina and crew survives, and it seem very unlikely that they mixed easily with the natives. Although there was a lengthy, 2 month delay between El Gran Grifon's wreck and their eventual transportation to Fife for judicial repatriation, they were objects of intense suspicion and monitored very carefully, as one would expect in the context. Upon their wreck, the survivors numbered about 300 armed and desperate men, and the inhabitants of Fair Isle probably numbered no more than 17 families. Military discipline seems to have been maintained throughout, for despite their strained condition--about 50 men are supposed to have died from starvation, illness--no incidents of violence against the natives were noted.

    Interesting, even if only as an example of the wide range of historical incidents which theoretically could give rise to such an anomalous geographic distribution for this SNP, although I don't think this specific event explains it.


    • To my knowledge, that Dorey fellow from the old YSearch database had never been tested for FGC23343, so his apparent "near match" to some members of the FGC28369 could be an extreme example of STR convergence. Certainly there is some level of convergence going on, given the observed level of matching among the various members of the FGC28369 group--it's just a question of how extreme it is. The relationship could be as near as 1000 A.D.

      Anyhow, there is one reference to a Geoffrey Dory in the Testa de Neville, at Holland, Lincolnshire, within the honour of Albemarle.

      The Testa was compiled in 1302 based on records of nearly 100 years earlier, when the de Forz family from Oleron, France that I mentioned earlier were earls of Albemarle.

      Also mentioned in that entry from the Testa were the de Gresley/de Grelley family of Lancashire, who shared an interest in Ecclestone, Lancashire with the Garnet family at this same time (i.e., Henry III).

      For a long time now the Dorey name has been primarily found in the Channel Islands and across the way in Dorsetshire, and there probably is no particular reason to believe that either of those branches relate to this Lincolnshire family. But it is interesting, may be worth noting as a place to begin future research. The de Gresleys were from Avranches on the Cotentin peninsula, as were the d'Aubignys with whom the Garnets allied themselves early on, so maybe that will become significant vis-a-vis the earliest recorded Doreys at Etourville in Manche.