The VHC Blog
This blog is meant as a discussion forum for participants in the Y-DNA project the Värmland-Hedmark Cluster. The blog will also be used to post news and general information about the project, as a complement to the newsletter that comes out now and then.
The oil painting pictured on the left is from 1924 and shows the ferry across the river Klarälven in Ransäter, Värmland. The artist is Gumme Åkermark (1847-1927). Source: Värmlands Museum (public domain mark 1.0).
Now the No. 5 (July 2021) issue of the Värmland-Hedmark cluster is published. It can be downloaded here.
From one of the project participants, I received the comment that I have copied in below. The background is that I, in the newsletter (No. 4, p. 9), was agnostic about the direction of the migration between Scandinavia and the British Isles.
“As I read your hypotheses, I thought I would respond on one point.
The subclades of our genetics are very rare in Ireland. Even U106, a fairly ancient and widespread subclade, only represents 6% of Ireland’s population. The downstream mutations from U106 are even rarer.
The hypothesis related to our genes originating from Ireland would be a very small probability. I believe the probability the subclades originated in Scandinavia is very high. Based on FTDNA data, our downstream subclades were heavily involved in the colonization of East Anglia and Cumberland within the British Isles.
In Normandy, we settled late (around 1025 ad.) in the Cotentin Peninsula. There was a genetic survey done by the U of Rouen which concluded the population in the Cotentin was from Denmark by way of Ireland. In 1014, Brian Boru defeated the Hiberno-Norse in Ireland at Contarf. Many left and emigrated to the wild west of Normandy, wrestling the land away from the Bretons.
As I mentioned, the names in Scandinavia have a perceptible Irish influence (Nial, Pers, etc).”
Reading this, I realize that I have been unclear about one thing in the newsletter: When I talk about the possibility that the ancestors A3 and A4 lived on the British Isles, as opposed to Scandinavia, that does not amount to a claim that no one of A3’s ancestors lived in Scandinavia. That is, hypotheses H2a-c in the newsletter are fully consistent with, for example, the SNP Z18 (which is upstream of A3 and downstream of the SNP U106) having its origin in Scandinavia. The ancestor A3 lived relatively recently (380 BC – AD 770), whereas the SNP Z18 is estimated to have occurred much earlier than that (4300 BC – 3300 BC).
Indeed, the evidence that we have available seems to indicate that, for certain lineages, there have been multiple migrations, back and forth, between Scandinavia and the British Isles. One can see that by looking further upstream in the trees at YFull and FTDNA. The pattern of self-reported country flags suggests that migration between Scandinavia and the British Isles (in either direction) occurred also before A3 lived – to see this, look, for example, at FTDNA’s block tree at the level of R-S11601 or R-ZP30 (the two steps immediately upstream of R-ZP144).
So, I note that the data seem to show that, within the lineages we talk about, there were migrations between Scandinavia and the British Isles both before and after A3 lived. I also note that there are plausible stories for how migration from the British Isles to Scandinavia might have occurred (like timber trade, Vikings bringing back slaves, or Christian missionaries). I then conclude from those observations that I cannot rule out the possibility that A3 lived somewhere on the British Isles. That is, I choose to be agnostic about whether he lived on the British Isles or in Scandinavia (so not a particularly strong claim).
Known errors in No. 4 of the newsletter (last update: July 28, 2021):
I have also found some other typos and language issues, but as I don’t think they are likely to create misunderstandings, I will not bother to list them here.
Yesterday, on December 31, I published the most recent issue of the newsletter. It can be downloaded here.
Welcome to this blog, which was launched on January 1, 2021. Its name is “The VHC Blog”, which admittedly is not very imaginative or exciting – but it will have to do for now. VHC stands for “Värmland-Hedmark Cluster” and this is also the name of a Y-DNA project, which you can read more about here.
I had the idea of setting up this blog only late last night. The reason for the blog is as follows. Yesterday I published the most recent issue of the newsletter The Värmland-Hedmark Cluster. After having done that, I also sent out a group email to members and “affiliates” of the project (23 people). Later in the evening and this morning I received a couple of responses, with questions and comments. That is really great, and I would like to respond to these and continue the discussion (as much as my time allows). And I wish other project participants could take part in the discussion, as much as they want to. However, I get nervous about spamming people, as both my first email and the responses I got were sent to the whole group of 24 people (counting myself). Setting up the blog is an attempt to create a forum where we can discuss issues related to the project, without imposing ourselves on people who are not that interested. At the blog, anyone can comment (under one of the posts that I have created).
This is an experiment, and we will have to see how it goes. An alternative (or possible complement) would be a Facebook group. But I think there are lots of members of our group who do not have FB accounts, so for the time being my belief is that a blog is preferable.
When I in the future publish a new issue of the newsletter I will, as before, send out a group email to announce the fact that it is out. But I will direct any further discussion to the blog.