View Full Version : R-S1051 Geographic or Tribal Connections

George Chandler
08-13-2016, 10:21 PM
The S1051 group is still a bit of a mystery. The more test results that come in the clearer the picture "seems" to be regarding the history. A couple of years ago both Kyle MacLean and Barry McCain mentioned the possibility of the group being Strathclyde Britains, but given the massive genetic pruning (to be an understatement) I've always suspected the Caledonian tribes as the most likely origin. I'm starting to reconsider their theory, or at least narrow down the likely origins for the group given all of the genetic evidence that is coming in.

Here are some facts and evidence about the group:

The group experience some sort of massive genetic bottleneck between about 1700-1500 BCE.

After this event there was a rapid expansion of the male population in about 1,500-1,300 BCE.

There is massive pruning from that time until about the Roman period in Britain and then more genetic expansion after that point.

Geographic location is found throughout the British Isles and Continental Europe but the largest two geographic groups appear to be from both Scotland and England.

The group has now 15 unique subgroups that appear to branch off in that "approximate" 1,700 BCE- 1,500 BCE period.

One of those 15 subgroups is identified by the ancient SNP FGC17906 and who appear to have a connection to (or be descended) from the ancient Kingdom of Dal Riata and that would place them in the area of the tribal Epidii or Damnonii. The group has a strong connection to the Mid Argyll area and has a lot of compelling evidence (though not 100% that some do descend from that ancient line). The subgroup group itself has another ancient cluster which branches of in that ~1,300-1,500 BCE period which is Iberian Gael as well. This group has one member who is from Britney (though there is another unique single sub lineage from Britney as well within the group). This area was known to have been occupied later by Norse Gaels.

Another of the 15 subgroups is identified by the FGC17938 is found mainly in people from Wales and Eastern Ireland but the origins are still being established.

A few of the ancestries in the S1051 group do have some sort of suspected connection to Viking raiders (going beyond the slave trade) either by a surname which is of old Norse origin, lore or geographic location. This could also supports a possible connection to the area of the Epidii and Damnonii tribes as the Vikings who arrived and conquered the area of the Epidii then seemed to mix and assimilate to the local Gaels to some extent.

From the research "The ‘Headless Romans’: multi-isotope investigations of an unusual burial ground
from Roman Britain Gundula Müldner a,*, Carolyn Chenery a,b, Hella Eckardt et al 2010 and "Genomic signals of migration and continuity in Britain before the Anglo-Saxons - Martiniano et al 2015" The 6DRIF18 results from these appear to be from the the S1051 group with a match for the FGC9654 subgroup. The research from these two papers indicate that his highest autosomal geographic match was from Wales, but the isotope return says that he was from a warmer climate on the high end of southern Britain but he doesn't match with known samples throughout Roman Britain. The alternative stated in the first paper was that he was fed as a child on a high protein freshwater marine diet. The two largest surname groups which are "tentatively" more closely related to the 6DRIF18 sample were the Chandler and Kingston surnames with the Kingston surname going back to the Somerset area for some family members. Although the suspicion is that the group descends from a common Danish Viking ancestor it's still unconfirmed. The question being how 6DRIF18 ended up in Roman York or post Roman period grave when he wasn't a local boy.

Looking at the unconfirmed connection between the Damnonii and the Dumnonii tribes and the Damnonii tribe being spit by the Antonine Wall it would make this group a good possible candidate. What doesn't make sense is that the Dumnonii were supposed to have been at peace with the Romans and didn't go to war with them in terms of a large scale invasion. If there was a genetic connection between two tribes (northern and southern)..and that history is true.. I would suspect that the northern border tribe would have been cut to pieces in terms of the population and the southern Dumnonii would have flourished in peace but that isn't the case with S1051.

An interesting paper called "Vespasian and Roman Conquest of Southern England" by David Young mentions the following:

"In his book about Vespasian, Suetonius wrote "On Claudius's accession, Vespasian was indebted to Narcissus for the command of a legion in Germany; and proceeded to Britain where he fought thirty battles, subjugated two warlike tribes and captured more than twenty oppida, besides the entire Isle of Wight." (Oppida are defined as towns worth defending.)
Tacitus reported that Vespasian commanded II Legion.

Which were the two warlike tribes that Suetonius says Vespasian subjugated?

Because of all the known battles in their territory (described later), the experts are agreed that one of the tribes was the Durotriges whose centre was in Dorset. Considering the south of England, there seem to be only five possibilities for the second warlike tribe:

• The Dumnonii of Devon and Cornwall. However it seems likely that East Devon up to the natural boundary of the River Exe was part of the territory of the Durotriges, not the Dumnonii. Also Vespasian's campaign probably finished with the occupancy of Exeter (see page 31 below), as he did not see the Dumnonii as a threat. Thus the case seems weak for the second tribe being the Dumnonii."

So it's unlikely according to the paper but uncertain which the second tribe was. The extent of the Roman push in that area seems to have stopped around Exeter (Isca Dumnonium), and something interesting to note is the River Exe it's name meaning "full of fish" which could tie 6DRIF18 to that area? Was he from the area of a Scottish Loch? The fact that the southern Dumnonii had a trading relationship with Britney makes the Britney matches more interesting though it could have entered Britney at a different time (s) for a variety of reasons.

It's difficult to pin down the origins as many of the tested members have no genetic match in ~ the past 3,700 years other than maybe a few people of the same surname who are also under S1051. The S1051 SNP is likely about the same age as other main haplogroups below DF13 so it "should resemble" the other healthier ancient trees such as L1335, L513, DF49, DF21 etc....but doesn't. The YCAII 19-19 values are ancestral to all of us in the S1051 group, but I'm not sure where it occurred between DF13 and the most recent SNP we all share other than it's in the ~3,700-4,500 year period. Another person with the King surname is DF13+ but still negative for all known haplogroups below DF13 including S1051 and has the 19-19 at YCAII as well with his origins being from Scotland. I'm still uncertain if that 19-19 mutation is part of the earliest cluster below DF13 for us though?

Although some of the surnames under S1051 do have a connection to Scandinavia (specifically Denmark) the number of samples are very few.

The northern half of the Damnonii cut by the Antonine Wall could have merged with Epidii? I can't see the S1051 group having lived in peace with the Romans as you see quite a bit of the expansion post Roman Britain. The S1051 members don't seem to show up in any Italian results which would indicate a Roman ancestry and very few (though some) have a German ancestry.

I think I'm up to over 700 unique and validated SNP's for the group (on and off the spreadsheet) at last count yet very few people in the group as a whole.

Many of the DF13 groups seem to claim some connection to the Picts or Ireland but few claim to have a connection to England proper. The devastation that was recorded against the Northern Caledonian tribes should be evident in the genetics if they were part of the groups that were in the fight should they not?

Maybe some people have some ideas or suggestions to add? Do people see something different from the results?


George Chandler
08-21-2016, 06:03 PM
Some other thoughts to consider regarding the previous post.

1) If the S1051's entered the Epidii area from Dal Riata post Roman then there is no historical account to explain the genetic loss for this group. The Viking invasion (in my opinion doesn't come close to the number which would have been lost given the age of S1051). It would make more sense to me from a genetic perspective that FGC17906 entered Northern Ireland after the Roman invasion then returned with the Dal Riata. This doesn't mean they weren't Gaels but they were a line that was part of the same event that tore apart the rest of the S1051's and likely weren't in Ireland at that time (my opinion).

2) I'm not sure that if S1051 was the predominant haplogroup in the Epidii area pre Roman invasion that the Roman invasion would account for the genetic loss. The Romans were fond of bragging about the numbers they killed (real or propaganda). When Agricola went into the Epidii area around 82AD to "subdue the locals" it never details large casualty battles. Combine that with it the Epidii "likely" being a genetic mix of S1051, DF21, DF49 etc the loss doesn't fit this encounter.

3) The loss of ~70,000-80,000 Celtic people during Boudica's campaign would account for it (in my opinion), but the S1051's don't seem to fit the geographic profile.

4) One possibility would be part of the loss of 10,000 (if accurate) at the battle of Mons Graupias against the Picts. The predominant haplogroup (in my opinion) of those 10,000 would have had to have been S1051's with very few having fled to the highlands. Seeing that L1335 is a pretty big haplogroup for that area I'm not sure that it fits either? Would there not have been DF21, L513's etc mixed in? If you combined that with the track that Severus took years later into Pictland along the eastern side of Caledonia maybe? Some of the other battles in the south I really can't see accounting for this sort of loss (like Caer Caradoc) and doesn't (IMO) account for this. I'm not sure that the battles of the Damnonii in the north would account for this either but if it was then the S1051's would likely have had the largest genetic percentage then cut apart over time only for some to have melted into the Epidii and returned to the Damnonii in the south of Britain or Northwest Ireland post 83 AD then return with the Dal Riata centuries later? The Vikings later reducing the S1051 numbers even more? The Viking group either enslaving or adopting some of these people into the fold of Norse Gael Viking raiders? If true..how would one or more of these lines "possibly" have become Viking chieftains?

5) If 6DRIF18 did have a Welsh ancestry from his paternal side then southern Damnonii doesn't account for this loss. If he was a Roman Gladiator would it have been more likely that he was transferred to the arena in Londinium or would they have carted him up to Eboracum? I guess possible..maybe he was sent to where the show was the best?? If his grave was the 4th century it seems a bit late for a Pictish captive of Severus and even with that the carbon dating can't show with an absolute he wasn't very early 5th century post Roman?

6) If there was some sort of split where there was a connection to a southern tribe that was wiped out and predominantly S1051 and yet connected to other northern events I don't know what that would be.

Probably many interesting surprises ahead.


George Chandler
09-03-2018, 03:45 PM
Someone mentioned that it was being said on the S1051 FB page (I'm not on F.B.) that S1051 people were more southern (possibly Brittany or Gaul) and not Pictish in origin. That isn't necessarily true..and there is no 100% proof of their origin. I'm guessing this is being assumed because the isotope levels for 6Drif-18 were showing he was from a warmer climate? Similar levels seem to be found all along the immediate coastal communities from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, smaller islands like Bute, mainland Europe and Scandinavia. Given he had a diet high in marine protein it makes sense, but narrowing down where S1051 people were from can't be determined from a single sample. We have some names and possible histories in the group that could have a Viking connection. We have the FGC17906 people from the Argyll area and FGC17938 people who seem to have a more Welsh or Irish history. We do have a couple of people from France and Brittany in the group..but we also have people from Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany too.

So unless someone has new data they want to share then the most likely explanation which fits R-S1051 homeland is the British Isles? The R-S1051 haplogroup was likely one of the largest haplogroups under DF13 expanding about 3,500 years ago. Now found in about 1% (or less) of the geographic project data out there and this was likely a result of the Roman invasions of the Pictish lands and the north of Britain. What happened to the S1051 people happened to all of them as a community. The 18 or so discovered subgroups which are branching off around 3,500 years ago all shared the same fate. It looks to me like they shared the same geographic area, tribal association or religious beliefs. I would love to prove that the S1051's were part of some sort of community of Gotland or some other ancient Scandinavian community but I can't. The newest member in the group is a Jewsbury (Duesberry originally from York) and he looks like he could match the S1050's (some of which seem to also originate from York).

There was a lot of genocide in Gaul during the Roman period but there should be a great showing of S1051 in France currently if that was our homeland. Until someone can bring some evidence to convert my way of thinking the most likely homeland for the R-S1051 (pre-Roman Britain) was the tribal areas of the Damnonii and the Epidii peoples. I think some of these peoples who were enslaved and displaced by the Romans were eventually absorbed into some Scandinavian communities after the arrival of the Angles.


11-15-2018, 10:42 PM
Didn't know that S1051 had a facebook page.

I know on the L21 Facebook page there was a discussion about the origins but that was a while ago.

I agree 100%. Right now there are too many possible locations.