Vikings, the Isle of Man, and DNA

Vikings, the Isle of Man, and DNA

Vikings, the Isle of Man, and DNA reports on a new project to trace Manx ancestry. The University of Leicester are using DNA tests to trace Manx ancestry back to the Viking era.

My elderly paternal uncle graciously agreed to participate a few summers ago in genetic genealogy for our family. While I was expecting a lot of Scandinavian results (and got them), what I surprised me were the strong results for the Clan Chisholm in Scotland. It seems my Viking ancestors pillaged and, in the words of Bennett Greenspan, “left biological evidence,” in Scotland before they went off to Scandinavia.

So those of us with Norwegian ancestry are always interested in news about studies involving the Vikings. There’s a new one starting on the Isle of Man in a few days. The BBC put up this article begins:

Researching your family tree can only go back so far in time before records become patchy. Now genealogists from the University of Leicester are using DNA tests to trace Manx ancestry back to the Viking era.

Local men with popular Manx surnames are being asked to give a DNA sample to help researchers explore the links between Y chromosomes, surnames and common ancestry. The investigation starts on Saturday, 19 February 2011 at the Manx Museum. 

Allison Fox, Curator of Archaeology at Manx National Heritage, told BBC Isle of Man: “The Vikings have had a lasting impact on the island and we’ve still got Tynwald today.

“If it’s possible to show that this influence has filtered down to the current generation, then it will be a very valuable piece of research.” The research is part of a PhD degree project, which looks at the proportion of Manx inhabitants with Viking ancestry. Participants will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about their ancestry and give a DNA sample by brushing the inside of their cheek. Viking’s first took up settlement on the Isle of Man at the end of the 8th century. The research team will analyse Y chromosomes which are linked with surnames and then estimate proportions of Norwegian ancestry in these samples. The results of the study will be available at the end of the study in 2013.

Read the whole article here: “Viking ancestry explored on the Isle of Man by researchers.” I’m optimistic about results from Vikings, the Isle of Man, and DNA. For more posts on genetic genealogy, click here.

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine’s “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”

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