Bornholm, Sweden

Sinclair DNA - Our I1 Lineage and the I1 Anglo-Saxon Norse

Click any one of these to follow the I1 lineage's complete path through time
1b 2a 3a

The "Early Path Through Time" link at left points out much of the confusion of this haplotype. I'm afraid the I1 members suffer from the same inattention as the E1 folks in that they're simply not getting as much attention from those working on SNPs as there are fewer of them. Luckily, folks like Ken Nordtvedt are examining them closely and adding understanding to this groups' wanderings after the LGM.

Understanding the formation of the I1 lineage after the LGM

This page will take you through whatever can be known about the I1 Haplogroup after the period of the LGM. This is the period I chose in this lineage to stop studying their early migrations and to begin to study their lineage splits as they, like many of us, seem to have developed key SNPs during or just after the LGM. Unlike many of the other lineages, they seem to have "sprinted" north to get to the Germanic lands and to have survived primarily on hunting.

I1 is overwhelmingly a Norse / Northern Germanic Haplogroup.

Most archaeological evidence in Scandinavia points to the there being post-LGM settlement there about 8,000 BCE. These were the reindeer hunters and our I1 ancestors may have been among them. Unfortunately, tracking these folks in Northern Europe during the time from 8,000 BCE to the time of the Greek and Roman writers is very difficult. However, there were sources at work and there are many clues to be found in studying the social structure of the countries over which these Norse peoples gained influence.

Two of the key authors, albeit much debated, regarding the people of the north were Snorri Sturluson in his Edda and Saxo Grammaticus in his Gesta Danorum.

The Edda were Old Norse poems written down in Iceland during the 13th century. There are a major source of Norse tradition and mythology. Some of the older poems are believed to have been in existence long before their addition to this book and, therefore, to be a somewhat reliable link to the Viking age as they were passed down verbally for generations.

Saxo Grammaticus was the author of the first full history of Denmark during or just after the late 12th century. 'Grammaticus' means 'the learned,' 25 and he certainly proved he was with his 16-book heroic history of the Danes called Gesta Danorum. 91

Odin, Myth? Or Real Person?

Thor Heyerdahl proposed that Odin, long regarded as a mythical god, was in fact a real man who was later so revered that he entered into the realm of myth. Heyerdahl and Per Lillieström found interesting indications in their work Odin (The search for Odin) that suggests that there is a distinct possibility for Odin to be, in fact, a human chief of a people called Asas that were located around the Azov-lake and Azov in southern Russia, sometime between 100 BC - 300 AD. 125

The genealogies of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom in England suggest that there was a human named Odin of Saxon descent. His name was Wodan and apparently he lived sometime between 100 AD - 250 AD. 125

Other authors have said that Odin was real. Hugh Montgomery 122, 123 and many other researchers have said that there were several names for this Odin in many cultures. There are many names throughout the history of the Germanic peoples that are now claimed to be one and the same by many authors -
Wuotan (Old High German)
Wodan (Low German and Dutch)
(According to Jennifer Westwood, the day of the week Wednesday was named after this character.)

Why Odin Matters to our Sinclair Project

Hugh Montgomery has hypothesized a line of descent in which the descendants of Odin intermarried with a line from the Davidic bloodline of Jesus and Mary. Those who want to follow this line of reasoning are often drawn to look for clues that the Sinclair family is either descended of this line or was somehow involved with it. Montgomery claims that all the major royal houses of Europe and even George Washington are descended of these two lines. If so, we should find the DNA markers of the Visigoths in their lineages. A thorough look at the Washington family DNA site shows that not a single member of this family has the S21 U106 Visigoth markers. You can see those markers on the "DYS390=23" links at left. So far, no one has proven that George Washington is a direct male descendent of the Visigoths. Perhaps Montgomery means to say the he is not a direct male-to-male (YDNA) descendant of the Goths. Who knows? I once heard a great quote - "When you find one brick out of place, you'd better check the entire wall." I think that applies here.

Perhaps someday, someone will take the time to test Montgomery's theories against all the families mentioned using DNA and actual scientific method. The Sinclair family has members who show the tell-tale markers of Anglo-Saxon Visigoth invaders. Is this proof that they are descended of this bloodline of Jesus and Mary, and connected to Odin? First, you'd have to believe there is a bloodline of Jesus and Mary. Then you have to believe Odin was a real person. Of course, it can't yet be ruled out. That's the beauty of provisional historians - you can't disprove them, so they continue to sell books and movies because their conspiracy theories are fun to tinker around with.

Early History of the I1 Haplogroup in Scandinavia

Northward migrating humans arrived in Denmark by about 10,000 BC after the end of the LGM. The first Danes were Stone Age hunters and fishermen. However about 4,000 BC farming was introduced into Denmark. The earliest Danish farmers used stone tools and weapons. However about 1,800 BC bronze was introduced into Denmark. 127

The lands where the I1 Haplogroup members began to settle were affected by the LGM and its eventual retreat more than any other regions of Europe. When the ice melted, the land was relieved of billions of tons of immense weight. This resulted in a rising of the land and an expansion of arable coastline. Naturally, what followed was greater human settlement. 19, p. 33

The accessibility between Scandinavia and Danish lands to the south has always been a factor in the settlement of the north and the culture and politics of both regions. The Jutland peninsula and its islands to the east were just a short distance from Scandinavia.

Of course, this area was shortly to be overrun with the members of the R1b Haplogroup. Scandinavia was a coastal culture. Much of these lower lands were covered with coniferous forests. The southern lands were a mix of coniferous and deciduous forests, perfect for building ships. 19, p. 32 With the rich fishing grounds of the Baltic, they eked out a successful living.

Neil S. Price says the entrance to the Baltic was covered with a land bridge as the ice retreated and, by 9,000 BC, people had moved into all of Denmark, southern Sweden and perhaps even western Norway. 129

Price says the Hamburg, Federmesser, Bromme, and Ahrensburg people developed successively in southern Scandinavia through the early Stone Age. Others appeared in Northern Scandinavia - namely the Komsa and Fosna cultures. 129  I suspect these were the R1a Haplogroup.

"A modal haplotype for all of I1 would not be meaningful because the various varieties of I1 have not shared a common ancestor for thousands of years, but key markers do unify the subclade (highlighted in red in the table). Among European haplotypes, DYS455=8 is virtually exclusive to I1; and YCAIIa,b=19,21 is universal to it. DYS511 has proven to be a useful marker for separating AngloSaxon and Norse/ultraNorse varieties of I1, it's value being 9 for the former and 10 for the latter. DYS462 is also useful for separating AngloSaxon vs. Norse/ultraNorse, being 12 in the former and 13 in the latter, though this marker is not part of FTDNA's 67-marker set, so has to be tested "a la carte" at FTDNA or elsewhere."

There are two main subgroups of haplogroup I:

I-M253/I-M307/I-P30/I-P40 has highest frequency in Scandinavia, Iceland, and northwest Europe. In Britain, haplogroup I-M253 is often used as a marker for "invaders," Viking or Anglo-Saxon.

I-S31 includes I-P37.2, which is the most common form in the Balkans and Sardinia, and I-S23/I-S30/I-S32/I-S33, which reaches its highest frequency along the northwest coast of continental Europe. Within I-S23 et al, I-M223 occurs in Britain and northwest continental Europe. A subgroup of I-M223, namely I-M284, occurs almost exclusively in Britain, so it apparently originated there and has probably been present for thousands of years.

Expressed differently and perhaps more clearly, this chart makes it clear where our members fall - on the left, that SNP called M253. As you can see, just below that are the indicators of deeper SNP testing that will be able to better pinpoint our members to a specific geography and a time period.


The Eve of the Viking Age

In the 880's, a Scandinavian merchant named Ottar was visiting the Anglo-Saxon king Alfred and describing his homeland. Luckily for us, a royal scribe was taking notes and these survive to this day. 129, 132 Ottar described the far north of Norway and the western shore of the Baltic as a home to several different cultures. With archaeological evidence and these scant written reports, scientists have been able to reconstruct a good history of the people of this region.

At this time, Scandinavia was primarily divided into the Saami (pronounced "Sar-mee") people of the north and those of Germanic origins in the south. Slavic and Baltic tribes were also present in the southeast. The language patterns of the Saami are of Finno-Ugrian origin 129, p 38  and distantly related to the Estonians and Hungarians. This may fit nicely with a different path into Scandinavia and a different SNP. My own theory is that the Saami arrived from a northern route and were the ancestors of the R1a Norse while the rest arrived from the south in steady and ongoing expansions from the Germanic tribes. But I leave that up to the experts. I have no doubt but that our I1 members are of the Germanic inhabitants of Scandinavia.

There is some debate about who came first and that argument seems to take on near racist overtones. But I believe it's worth noting as it may have had an effect on the later developments. From what I'm reading at this writing, the southern group became the Viking invaders while the Saami were more settled.

Around the year 700, there may have been as many as seven or eight small kingdoms along the Norwegian coast. The territory of Sweden was dominated by the two kingdoms of the Svear and the Goths. By 800, these different groups had become tightly consolidated. The only holdouts were Aland and Gotland, who remained independent.

In trading, and likely other matters, the Svear were oriented towards the east while the Goths were oriented towards Denmark and Norway in the west. The Saami of the north were oriented towards the west as far as Iceland and Greenland. The drastic changes in boat building after about 750 led to large scale changes in all Scandinavians except the Mountain Saami.

However none of these changes in boat technology had any direct effect on the Mountain Sámi. In the post-Viking period, while the Coastal Sámi became increasingly more sedentary, specializing in fishing or adopting animal husbandry and sometimes agriculture, the Mountain Sámi preserved a more ancient economy based on long-distance mobility and an economy of fishing, fur trading and wild reindeer hunting. Mobile bands of hunters used the mountains seasonally, operating from their winter camps that were located along the major rivers and lakes in the foothills zone about 150 km to the east. 133

Scandinavians were late in adopting the use of sails on their ships, about 700 AD. 134  but by 800, they had ships capable of the expansion that made the Vikings feared throughout coastal Europe and beyond.

Today, Lindisfarne. Tomorrow, the world.

A lengthy discussion of Viking raids is not useful here. What is useful is to understand where this I1 DNA spread, because it should follow the path of the Vikings. The problem is, it also follows the R1a expansion and the R1b DYS390=23 expansion in some cases.

Viking Invasion Routes
If the origination points can be believed, then one might be better able to understand which tribes went to which destinations. And, if one believes the Saami were focused west, then one might postulate they raided in the same directions. I'll look into this over the coming year. What I can look into now is the regional distribution of DNA in those lands invaded.
Herzegovinians 63.8%,
Croats ~48.0%
Sardinians 42.3%
Bosniaks 42.0%
Norwegians 40.3%
(See maps below for density)
Unfortunately, as in many things with the study of DNA, it's not completely clear cut. These are also the lands in which R1b is very densely packed. R1a also makes a heavy appearance.

Where Are They Now?

Note the current density of I1 in Scandinavia. This is one of the true Norse markers, yet it's found as widely dispersed as the western Black Sea.

Viking raids from 793 to about 1,000 AD.

The descendants of the MRCA of I1 today are primarily found among the Northern Germanic populations of northern Europe and the bordering Uralicand Celtic populations in Scandinavia, even though they're overshadowed by the dense R1b Haplogroup in the same areas. Look at the density in Scandinavia. But there are also high concentrations in the Balkans and on the north side of the Black sea.

I1 in Northern EuropeI1 shows up in 3 primary areas
       Images from Wikipedia

A Word of Caution

We're not looking for THE ONE TRUE VIKING LINEAGE here. To choose one haplogroup and say they were the definitive Vikings is simply wrong. The current distribution of haplotypes in the lands the Vikings invaded is simply not clear cut - these lands show a mixture of many different haplotypes. Even in parts of the world which have the highest concentration of I1, it still makes up only a portion of the population - 50% of western Finland, 40% in Sweden, and 30% of Iceland. As you can see in this chart, in the countries the Vikings invaded, R1b and R1a are about evenly represented and I1 makes a good showing, even in the UK.

I1 Haplo distribution relative to other Haplos

Summary of Facts - The I1 Lineage and the I1 - Anglo-Saxon Norse
Somewhat like the E1 group, the ancestors of Sinclairs with the I1 haplotype spent some time in the Balkans before finding their way into Northern Europe, then sprinting up into Scandinavia.

Some of these I1 folks stayed in Scandinavian countries while others came south into Europe even before the well-known Viking raids.

This haplogroup does not share a MRCA with other lineages until before the LGM when R1 split off into R1b and those who stayed in mid-Europe developed the mutation we call R1a.

A clear 'modal haplogroup' divides our members in this lineage. One set of markers points to the likelihood of matching with Ken Nordtvedt's Anglo-Saxon Norse study.

Others in this I1 group are not matching up with any of the 3 modal haplogroups identified by Nordtvedt.

All members showing this haplotype are advised to contact Steve about Deep Clade testing.

This haplotype shows up in Northern Scotland and was possibly brought there by early Norse contact, however, it's prevalence in all of Western Europe makes it very possible that they traveled with the Anglo-Saxon Visigoths or the Danes into England and then north into Scotland.

Further notes - 5 members, one is M-253 positive,  All members require SNP

AMH  |  Germany  |  DYS390=25  |  DYS390=23  |  S21-U106  |  Anglo-Saxon Visigoths  
E1b  |  I1  |  R1a  |  CCR5-Delta-32  |  Mutation Rates  |  Lineage Smugness

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