View Full Version : Ethnic patterns of toponyms and DNA - do they correlate?

07-21-2015, 12:01 PM
East Tyrol in Austria can be divided into two regions - northern with presence of Slavic toponyms, and southern with presence of Romance toponyms. Germanic toponyms are present throughout the entire province, but Romance and Slavic toponyms are only limited to respectively southern and northern parts:


"East Tyrol was divided into two regions of former Romance (Puster, Gail, and Villgraten valley; region A) and Slavic (Isel, lower Drau, Defereggen, Virgen, and Kals valley; region B) main settlement (Fig. 2)."

Interestingly, areas of East Tyrol with Romance toponyms correlate with certain Y-DNA haplogroups among inhabitants, and areas with Slavic toponyms correlate with other haplogroups:

"E-M78, R-M17 and R-S116* Y chromosomes were exclusively found in region B [Slavic] whereas samples assigned to R-M412/S167*, R-U106/S21, and R-U152/S28 reached higher frequencies in region A [Romance] (Fig. 3, Table S7). When attributing the samples to the fathers' and grandfathers' places of birth/residence, as reported by the participants, practically identical patterns were obtained for most of the haplogroups (Fig. 3). Y chromosomes belonging to haplogroups G-P15, I-M253, and J-M304 showed much lower regionalization in their frequencies (Fig. 3) at all three generation levels."

So not only R-M17, but also E-M78 and S-116* correlate with Slavic toponyms in East Tyrol.

Interestingly, two samples of Medieval Slavic Y-DNA from the island of Usedom from the 2010 study by Janine Freder, include one R1a1a1g (M458) and one E1b1b (M215) - http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/receive/FUDISS_thesis_000000019471?lang=en .


"Haplogroup R-M412/S167* was found at low frequencies in the combined East Tyrolean sample. However, the R-M412/S167* chromosomes were sorted by the subdivision of the study area and reached in region A levels of ~14% whereas their frequency in region B was well below the 5% threshold. At the probands and fathers level of analysis region A [Romance] featured approximately fourfold higher frequencies of these chromosomes than region B [Slavic]. This ratio changed to about nine when placing the samples at the grandfathers' places of birth/residence. These contrasts remained statistically significant after correcting for multiple comparisons [22] at the fathers and grandfathers analysis level."


"Haplogroup R-M17 [R1a] was completely absent in the East Tyrolean sub-sample from region A [formerly Romance area], but made up to 16% in region B [formerly Slavic area]. This result remained practically unchanged when assigning the probands to their respective fathers' or grandfathers' places of birth/residence (Fig. 3)."

Red color shows areas with concentrations of Slavic toponyms in region B, green areas have no Slavic placenames:



I think that there is also a correlation between percent of toponyms of Slavic origin among all placenames and percent of certain haplogroups among inhabitants of those places in North-Eastern Germany.

For example in the region around Greifswald percent of Slavic toponyms is only 11,88% versus 88,12% Germanic toponyms, and percent of R1a among inhabitants is lower than in areas with higher percent of Slavic toponyms (for instance, in the city of Greifswald only 19,2% of males have R1a, while in the city of Rostock 32,4% have R1a - and area around Rostock has indeed a much higher frequency of Slavic toponyms than area around Greifswald).

Y-DNA patterns near Rostock and Greifswald cited above are from Kayser 2005; Immel 2005; Roding 2007.

Proportions of Slavic to Germanic placenames (toponyms) in several areas of North-East Germany:

area around Greifswald - 11,88% / 88,12%
area around Grimmen - 36,58% / 63,42%
area around Franzburg - 32,51% / 67,49%
the island of Rügen - 79,21% / 20,79%

Source: http://koszalin7.pl/st/pom/pomorze_104.html

Out of those four places, Rügen has the highest % of Slavic toponyms. I would expect a lot of R1a there. In various parts of the islands of Rügen and Usedom, Slavic toponyms range from 75% to 88% of the total.

The Slavic origin of Usedom's population indicated by toponymy, is confirmed by archaeology and anthropology:


The archaeologically based assumption of a mainly Slavic population cannot be rejected with anthropological means.

A map showing Slavic placenames in that region (they are not evenly distributed throughout the land):


Slavic placenames (blue, yellow, red and green points) in North-Eastern Bavaria (so called Bavaria Slavica):


Slavic placenames in Austria (high concentration around Graz, in which % of R1a reaches 42,9%):


The particular "ethnic type" of Slavs who inhabited Austria before its Germanization, were the Slovenes.

This map illustrates the Early Medieval extent of ethnic Slovene settlement, compared to modern borders of Slovenia:


07-21-2015, 12:08 PM
This paper has been discussed elsewhere years ago and it has nothing to do with ancient DNA. I ask that the admins please move this post elsewhere.

07-21-2015, 12:22 PM
I wasn't sure where to post it. If not in aDNA then maybe here:


This paper has been discussed elsewhere years ago

Do you have a link to that thread?

07-21-2015, 07:34 PM
do we know how much R1a is/was on Rugen?

07-22-2015, 03:01 PM
do we know how much R1a is/was on Rugen?

As far as I know, nobody has collected samples there so far, so probably not.

Maybe you can find samples from there in some FamilyTreeDNA project, though.

07-23-2015, 07:14 PM
Iberia before Latinization was a mix of Non-Indo-European speakers, Non-Celtic Indo-European, and Celtic speakers - as this map shows:



Are genetic patterns in Iberia that might still reflect those very ancient ethnic divisions?

What about Y-DNA, R1b-DF27, other subclades of R1b, and Non-R1b? It seems that DF27 correlates with ancient Non-IE speaking tribes:


07-28-2015, 01:54 AM
This is interesting: "Dutch: single or dual population?":


A north-south divide is most striking, with southern Netherlands dominated by pink component and northern part by yellow component:


Pink component seems to correlate with Ingaevonic (red color below) languages and yellow with Istvaeonic (orange) languages:


07-28-2015, 11:51 AM
Suebi toponyms in Iberia



12-08-2015, 09:50 PM
Names of all 538 settlements from the island of Rügen can be found here:


Check the Landgemeinden (rural communes / rural municipalities) section.