Haplogroup R1a - Part III

Haplogroup R1a

The fabled haplogroup R1a - or, more precisely, its subclade R1a1 - is said to indicate a "Viking origin"

when it is found among men of British descent. This is the haplogroup that will earn you a "Viking" certificate

from Oxford Ancestors, and its presence was the main focus of the Capelli study "A Y Chromosome

Census of The British Isles".

It is believed to have originated among the Kurgan culture of western Asia, which is often credited

with spreading the Indo-European languages to northwestern Europe. The Kurgans were nomads with a

pastoral economy, and to this day their descendants bear the genetic traces of a dependence on livestock and

animal products. The incidence of milk tolerance among the Swedes, for instance, is among the highest

in the world.

The Scandinavians have long believed that their ancestors originated in Asia. The Icelandic sagas claim

descent for the Jarls of Norway from the warriors of Troy, and the anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl - the author of

the classic "Kon Tiki" - spent his final years attempting to trace the human originals of Wodin and the Aesir

back to Azerbaijan in the Caucasus.  There may be an element of truth to these speculations, since individuals with

R1a haplotypes often score matches with Indians, Siberians, Chinese and other Asians - even when they score no

matches with persons from Europe. The recent discovery of fair-haired mummies in the Takla Makan desert of western

China has revived interest in the long forgotten Indo-Iranian tribe, the Tocharians, their possible role in the economy

of the Silk Road, and their relationship with the people of Europe. Haplogroup R1a is also, implicitly, the "Aryan"

haplogroup, and perhaps the less said about that, the better.

A person who does not belong to haplogroup R1a may, in fact, have a "deep ancestry" in Scandinavia.

R1a accounts for only about 30% of the men of Norway. The various subclades of Haplogroup I account for

about 35%, and even R1b accounts for as much as 28%. Conversely, a person who does belong to R1a does

not necessarily have Scandinavian ancestors - even if his people are from Britain.

Suppose you take three Britons - one whose grandfather was a Pakistani immigrant, another whose grandfather

was a Polish pilot with the RAF, and the third a Scot descended from one of the Hungarian noblemen who

accompanied Margaret Atheling to the court of Malcolm Canmore - and who, perhaps, bears the name

Drummond, Borthwick or Crichton.

All three gentlemen could easily be R1a, but that doesn't make them Vikings.

However, some DNA genealogists have asserted not only that R1a was "Viking", but that only R1a was truly Viking -

and that all the occurrence of R1b in the Norwegian population is due to the importation of Celtic slaves. This is a

curiously Anglo-Centric argument. Vikings took slaves from many foreign lands, and sold most of them to

other foreign lands. Most of the slaves in Norway were, in fact, the descendants of prisoners captured in wars

with other Vikings. Even those foreign slaves who were imported to Norway were more likely to be Slavic

than Celtic, as Slavs comprised the largest number of the slaves the Vikings bought and sold. Slavs had been

common victims of the "peculiar institution" since Roman times.

R1a is, in fact, far more prevalent in Poland and Hungary than in Norway. One could actually mount a

counterargument that it was not R1b, but R1a, whose incidence in Scandinavia was artificially enhanced by slavery.

R1a could also have entered Britain with the Goths, who served with the Roman Army in Britain. Many

Visigoths also settled in France, and some of their descendants accompanied the Normans to England. The De Vaux

family of Dirleton Castle, for instance, came from Normandy. Before that, however, they were reputedly descended

from a Visigothic family that obtained lands in Roman Gaul.

Indo-Iranian nomads like the Alans and the Sarmatians also probably carried R1a, and they found their

way to Britain as well.

Viking DNA Among The Border Reivers

Many of the Border Reiver families are rumored to have Viking origin. That is a reasonable assumption in view of the

fact that Cumbria - the heart of the "Debateable Lands" - offers abundance evidence of Viking settlement, from place

names and Norse dialect, to archaeological finds of Viking artifacts and "hogback" style tombstones. Most of

these Vikings were actually Hiberno-Norse, which means that their forebears had resided in Ireland for generations

and had intermarried with the Irish Gaels. From the start of the wars in Dublin in the early tenth century, up until Brian

Boru finally ejected the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, there was a steady stream of refugees to the Isle

of Man, the Wirral (near Chester) and the sparsely populated areas of Galloway and Cumbria.

Penrith, which is in Cumbria, showed the highest proportion of R1a haplotypes of any place tested in England -

about 8 percent, according to the Capelli study. The percentage of R1a in our sample so far is less than half that.

R1a Haplotype #30

The European matches for this haplotype fall in Poland and the Ukraine. This Hispanic match could be ultimately

of Visigothic origin from many centuries ago, or it could simply be the result of admixture. The Singapore match may

be of Indian origin, even though it is attributed to a Malay. The match pattern, although scanty, is reasonably consistent

with a Slavic or Norse Viking ancestry.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
16 13 31 25 10 11 13 12 14

Geographical Locale

%
Bialystok, Poland [Old Believers] .78
USA [Hispanic-American] .73
Singapore [Malay] .54
Kiev, Ukraine .41

R1a Haplotype #31

Although the haplotype below has plenty of matches in Europe, none fall in Scandinavia. The top European matches,

in fact, fall in The Netherlands and the Rhineland. There is also one each in London and Berlin. The other European

matches fall in Eastern Europe. The Asian matches fall largely in India, but with one in Turkey and one of the Indian

matches among Jat Sikhs - a group reputedly of Indo-Iranian origin.

This haplotype, as it is R1a and does have matches in India, fits the bill for a British R1a haplotype of Norse Viking

origin. On the other hand, certain peculiarities in its distribution - in the vicinity of the Rhine, in Turkey and Hungary,

and among Jats - suggest a possible origin among the Indo-Iranians, such as the Alans and Sarmatians.

A third possibility, especially given the Dutch and the Northern Germanic matches, is that this haplotype is

Anglo-Danish in origin, rather than Norwegian.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
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Geographical Locale

%
Friesland, Netherlands 2.27
Missouri, USA [European] 1.69
Strasbourg, France 1.01
Panjab, India [Jat Sikhs] .93
Southern India .82
Vilnius, Lithuania .64
Turkey .63
Singapore [Indian] .55
Budapest, Hungary .52
Warsaw, Poland .42
London, England .35
Berlin, Germany .18

R1a Haplotype #32

The haplotype below has matches in Eastern Europe, among Indian samples, and in parts of Western Europe

such as Denmark, England and Germany. It most likely came to Britain with the Danes or the Norse Vikings, but we should

not exclude the additional possibility of an Indo-Iranian origin. This is because four out of the top five matches fall in

Southeastern Europe. These are themselves probably Slavic in origin, but not necessarily. The Scythians and

Sarmatians originated in Central Asia, as did R1a, and settled extensively throughout Southeastern Europe.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b 439
16 13 30 25 10 11 13 11 14 10

Geographical Locale

%
Skopje, Macedonia 3.85
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina 2.86
Bialystok, Northeastern Poland [Lithuanians] 1.61
Ljubljana, Slovenia 1/11
Miercurea Ciuc, Romania [Skekely] 1.10
England-Wales [Indo-Pakistani] .94
Bialystok, Poland .55
Singapore [Indian] .55
Central Bohemia, Czechia .40
Denmark .40
Bhutan .35
London, England .35
Malaysia [Indian] .32
Stuttgart, Germany .22
Argentina [European] .16

R1a Haplotype #33

The top frequency by far for this haplotype falls in Norway, and the other matches fall largely among Baltic

and Indian populations. As David Faux and others have demonstrated, a clear affinity exists between Indian and

Scandinavian R1a. The presence of this haplotype along the Baltic coast of Europe is explained by its closeness

to Scandinavia.

Overall, there is little doubt that this haplotype came to Britain with the Norse Vikings.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
16 14 32 24 10 11 13 11 15

Geographical Locale

%
Northern Norway 2.22
Reunion Island [Malbar] .97
Bialystok, Poland [Tatars] .81
Singapore [Indian] .54
Singapore [Malay] .53
Bialystok, Poland .52
Rostock, Germany .41

R1a Haplotype #34

The top five Old World match frequencies for the haplotype below fall in Norway, Sweden, Germany,

Croatia and among Indians in Singapore. The additional matches fall in Poland and the Baltic region of Germany.

This is a fairly typical match pattern for a Scandinavian R1a haplotype.

This haplotype probably came to Britain with the Norse Vikings or the Danes.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
14 13 30 25 11 11 13 11 14

Geographical Locale

%
Oslo, Norway 3.03
Sweden .99
Mainz, Germany .96
Illinois [European-American] .85
Zagreb, Croatia .67
Singapore [Indian] .54
Warsaw, Poland .42
Lublin, Poland .41
Rostock, Germany .41
Berlin, Germany .18
Gdansk, Poland .14

R1a Haplotype #35

The haplotype below exhibits high frequencies in Estonia, Norway and among Lithuanians - but also in Turkey, Albania,

and among Sikhs, Pakistanis and Armenians. It most likely came to Britain with Norse Vikings, but it may have been

present among the Indo-Iranians and other Southwest Asian groups as well. Representatives of the latter could have

come to Britain with the Romans.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
16 13 30 24 11 11 13 11 14

Geographical Locale

%
Ankara, Turkey 2.56
Tartu, Estonia 2.26
Panjab, India [Jat Sikhs] 1.85
Bialystok, Poland [Lithuanians] 1.61
Eastern Norway 1.18
Caucasus [Armenian] 1.00
Albania .99
England-Wales [Indo-Pakistani] .94
Freiburg, Germany .69
Riga, Latvia .69
Wladiwostok, Russia [European] .68
Zagreb, Croatia .67
New York City [European-American] .65
Ljubljana, Slovenia .56
Greifswald, Germany .49
Warsaw, Poland .42
Gdansk, Poland .41
Kiev, Ukraine .41
Lublin, Poland .41
Denmark .40
London, England [Indo-Pakistani] .40
Munich, Germany .36
Magdeburg, Germany .35
Malaysia [Malay] .30
Finland .25
Sweden .25
Bhutan .24
Bydgoszcz, Poland .24
Buenos Aires, Argentina [European] .15
Nepal .13
Chemnitz, Germany .12

R1a Haplotype #36

The top frequency for the haplotype below falls among the Abazinians of West Georgia, in the Caucasus, but

all the other Old World matches fall in East Germany or Western Poland. This haplotype may be Eastern Germanic

or Indo-Iranian in orientation, and could have come to Britain with the Angles, Saxons, Jutes or Danes - or with

Roman auxiliaries from other parts of Germany and Eastern Europe.

Since this is an R1a haplotype, an origin among the Norse Vikings is also an obvious possibility.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
15 13 31 26 11 11 13 11 -

Geographical Locale

%
Caucasus [Abazinian] 7.14
Indiana [European-American] 2.94
Wroclaw, Poland .45
Berlin, Germany .18
Gdansk, Poland .14

R1a Haplotype #37

The haplotype below is possibly Slavic or Scytho-Sarmatian in origin, and spread west from Central Asia into Eastern

and Northeastern Europe. It could have come to Britain as early as the Mesolithic with groups like the Danes, the Angles

or the Jutes. It may also have arrived with Norse Vikings - or with Roman troops from Germany, the Balkans or the

trans-Danubian frontier.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
17 13 30 24 11 11 13 11 14

Geographical Locale

%
Brjansk, Russia 2.33
Lublin, Poland .41
Hamburg, Germany .36
Munich, Germany .36
Chemnitz, Germany .24
Leipzig, Germany .12
Gdansk, Poland .11

R1a Haplotype #38

The haplotype below occurs most frequently in Belarus, Russia, Poland and among the Khalkh people of Mongolia.

We may infer that this haplotype was common among the people of the Baltic and nomads of the Asiatic steppes, as

well as among the Slavs. This haplotype most likely came to Britain with the Vikings, but it could also arrived with

groups like the Alans and the Sarmatians as well.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
15 13 31 24 11 11 13 11 15

Geographical Locale

%
Brest, Belarus 3.33
Mongolia [Khalkh] 2.56
Pskov, Russia 2.50
Hrodna, Belarus 1.79
Novgorod, Russia .79
Bydgoszcz, Poland .49
Leipzig, Germany .12
Gdansk, Poland .11

R1a Haplotype #39

The haplotype below is surprisingly rare, occurring only in a Slovakian sample. Although it most likely came to Britain with

the Vikings, it could also have come to Britain with Roman troops of Eastern European origin.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
15 14 30 25 11 11 13 11 15

Geographical Locale

%
Bratislava, Slovakia .61

R1a Haplotype #40

The haplotype below was found only in Russia, and most likely indicates a Norse origin in an individual of British descent.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
15 13 30 26 10 11 13 12 12/13/14

Geographical Locale

%
Brjansk, Russia 2.33

R1a Haplotype #41

The haplotype below was very common at the basic nine markers, so we applied an additional filter on DYS439.

Therefore this is just a sample of the matches, rather than the whole set. The matches below present a mix of typical

R1a hot spots - Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and peoples of South Asian origin (including the Romani). There is

no reason to conclude that this haplotype did not come to Britain with the Vikings.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b 439
15 13 31 25 11 11 13 11 14 10

Geographical Locale

%
Tirana, Albania 6.66
Hungary [Romani] 6.25
Viciebsk, Belarus 1.89
Budapest, Hungary 1.04
Brescia, Italy .94
Denmark .81
Southeast Poland .62
Salzburg, Austria .57
Hungary .53
London, England [Indo-Pakistani] .40
London, England .35
Northern Portugal .35
Sweden .25

R1a Haplotype #42

The haplotype below was also filtered by DYS439, and represents only a subset of the total matches. Since the top

match frequencies fall in Northeast Europe and Iceland, this haplotype is fairly clearly of Norse origin.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b 439
15 13 30 25 11 11 13 11 15 10

Geographical Locale

%
Mhiliou, Belarus 3.70
Rjasan, Russia 2.86
Smolensk, Russia 2.33
Orel, Russia 1.39
Iceland 1.32
Miercurea Ciuc, Romania [Szekely] 1.10
England-Wales, UK [Indo-Pakistani] .94
Nowy Sacz, Poland .88
Novgorod, Russia .79
Southeast Poland .62
Novi Sad, Serbia .47
Russia [Buryat] .47

R1a Haplotype #43

The haplotype below is most common in Russia and in the Germanic countries of central Europe. This suggests

a Slavic origin in most cases, but the haplotype most likely came to the British Isles with the Vikings. A Germanic

group such as the Angles or the Jutes is a secondary possibility.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
14 13 - 25 10 11 13 11 14

Geographical Locale

%
Rjasan, Russia 2.86
Lipezk, Russia 2.13
Vienna, Austria 1.52
Novgorod, Russia .79
Dusseldorf, Germany .67
Hungary .53
Kiev, Ukraine .49
Greifswald, Germany .48
Halle, Germany .43
Warsaw, Poland .42
Lublin, Poland .41
Macedonia .40
Hambrug, Germany .36
Eastern Norway .20
Buenos Aires, Argentina [European] .15
Gdansk, Poland .11

R1a Haplotype #44

The top three match frequencies for the haplotype below fall in Iran and Nepal and among British Pakistanis.

This is one of those unusual R1a haplotypes that hark back to a central Asian "Aryan" origin, and could have been

brought to Britain with Sarmatians or the like as well as with the Vikings. However, a Central or South Asian

geographical spread is common with R1a haplotypes that occur among Scandinavians more often than among

Slavs, so we suspect this is a Norse Viking signature.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
15 13 - 25 11 11 14 11 14

Geographical Locale

%
Isfahan, Iran 2.08
Nepal 1.04
England-Wales [Indo-Pakistani] .94
Bialystok, Poland .55
Lombardy, Italy .55
Eastern Norway .41
London, England [Indo-Pakistani] .40
Munich, Germany .36
Western Norway .33
Northern Norway .27
Chemnitz, Germany .12

R1a Haplotype #45

The top six match frequencies are evenly divided among populations of likely South Asian ancestry (Romani,

Indo-Malaysian and another Hungarian match that may also be Romani) and Balto-Scandinavians (Belarus, Norway

and Denmark). The Northern Norway sample, in fact, provided three individual matches. This haplotype most

likely came to Britain with the Vikings.

In a sidenote, the match in Northern Portugal is interesting because it is probably a trace of barbarian invaders

from the Baltic, like the Suevi, the Visigoths or the Vandals.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
15 13 - 25 12 11 13 11 14

Geographical Locale

%
Hrodna, Belarus 1.79
Baranya, Hungary [Romani] 1,28
Northern Norway .80
Budapest, Hungary .52
Denmark .40
Malaysia [Indian] .32
Chihuahua, Mexico .31
Northern Portugal .18

R1a Haplotype #46

The haplotype below is extremely widespread, ranging from Central Europe to South and Central Asia.

Its top ten Eurasian match frequencies, however, fall in Belarus (two), Russia (three), among Indian

subgroups (three), and in Sweden and Slovakia (both one). Sweden ranks number two.

This haplotype most likely came to Britain from Scandinavia.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
16 13 31 25 11 11 13 11 14

Geographical Locale

%
Homiel, Belarus 3.33
Gotland, Sweden 2.50
Tula, Russia 2.38
Siberia, Russia [Tava] 2.00
Viciebsk, Belarus 1.89
Himachal Pradesh, India [Gaddi] 1.86
Panjab, India [Jat Sikh] 1.85
London, England [Indo-Pakistani] 1.60
Greenland [Inuit] 1.43
Bogota, Colombia [Mestizo] 1.36
Pensa, Russia 1.23
Bratislava, Slovakia 1.22
Suwalki, Poland 1.22
Nepal 1.17
Bonn, Germany 1.11
Krakow, Poland .97
Santiago de Compostela, Spain .97
Yining/Xinjiang, China [Uigur] .93
Central Anatolia, Turkey .91
Nowy Sacz, Poland .88
Novgorod, Russia .79
Iraq [Kurds] .79
Berlin, Germany .73
Bydgoszcz, Poland .73
Riga, Latvia .69
Wladiwostok, Russia .68
Bialystok, Poland [Belarusian] .64
Central Thailand [Thai] .60
Lbubljana, Slovenia .56
Singapore [Indian] .55
Southern India [Tamil] .45
Wroclaw, Poland .45
Lublin, Poland .41
Leipzig, Germany .37
Hamburg, Germany .36
London, England [Afro-Caribbean] .34
Western Norway .33
Gdansk, Poland .32
Malaysia [Indian] .32
Peru [Mestizo] .32
Malaysia [Malay] .30
Central Portugal .20
Northern Portugal .18
Prague, Czech Republic .17
Stuttgart, Germany .16
Chemnitz, Germany .14
Bhutan .12

R1a Haplotype #47

The haplotype below is uncommon, but three matches out of nine fall in Scandinavia, indicating a probable Viking

origin. Like much R1a, this haplotype is also found in Eastern Europe and among South Asians. Interestingly, it

also occurs among the Uigurs (or Uyghurs) of Western China.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
15 14 31 25 11 11 13 11 15

Geographical Locale

%
Vasterbotten, Sweden [Swedish] 2.44
Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic 1.15
Damascus, Syria 1.00
England-Wales, UK [Indo-Pakistani] .94
Yining/Xionjiang, China [Uigur] .93
Western Norway [Norwegian] .33
Northern Norway [Norwegian] .27
Bydgoszcz, Poland [Polish] .24
Freiburg, Germany [German] .23

R1a Haplotype #48

The haplotype below is extremely rare, with only one exact match in YHRD. It was found among Poles, rather than

Scandinavians, which could suggest descent from Eastern European auxiliaries in the Roman Army - but it is far

more likely to have come to Britain with the Vikings.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
17 13 30 24 10 11 13 11 15

Geographical Locale

%
Lublin, Poland [Polish] .41

R1a Haplotype #49

The haplotype below is extremely rare, occurring in small frequencies primarily in Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia.

Among Britons, it is most likely of Viking origin.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b 439
16 13 31 24 11 11 13 11 15 10

Geographical Locale

%
Ukraine .49
Lithuania .26
Turkey .23
Afghanistan .21
Pakistan .12
Russia .06
Poland .01
Germany .02

R1a Haplotype #50

The haplotype below is extremely rare, occurring at minute frequencies in Germany and Poland. It may be of

either Anglo-Saxon or Viking origin.

19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 385a 385b
16 13 31 24 10 11 13 10 14

Geographical Locale

%
Germany .01
Poland .01