I1 - A classic Norse Haplogroup

Sinclair DNA - I1 - Early Path Through Time

Click any one of these to follow the I1 lineage's complete path through time
You're on this page now Click to read about the formation of the I1 lineages Click to read where the I1 members ended up

We currently have five members of our project showing the I1 haplotype. Only three of these carry the Sinclair surname in direct descent from father to son over the centuries and, thus, are the ones we must concentrate on. Of these, three, there is a split on the DYS390 allele. One shows a 23 and the other two show a value of 22 on this marker.

A Challenging Haplotype

Some days I'm glad I'm not in charge of solving the tough DNA questions. I simply have to go out and gather all the information and try to make sense of often opposing data. And the I1 Haplogroup certainly excels at having opposing ideas. You'll note that on the map below I don't indicate precise dates for the SNPs. This is because I'm fairly certain these will be changing until a good deep clade test comes out to crack this group. 

As it stands, our I1 members have not taken any deep clade tests. Without deep clade testing, these folks will have a difficult time figuring out whether they belong to the I1, I2a or I2b split.  I1 and I2b are mutations that occurred in Northern France as they trekked north to Scandinavia after the last ice age. Some went into Western Europe from there, likely with the Norse migrations. 

The subclade work to divide Haplogroup I1 has not had great results. Most of I1 is still a single large subclade lacking useful SNPs to subdivide it. The real challenge for this group is the sheer size of the R1b haplogroup and the dollars this represents to the testing labs who can invent ways to crack that group. Hopefully, after the R1b is cracked, the labs will focus on groups like I1, Q, E1 and others. 

This map shows the defining SNPs for our I1 members and options for their paths north after the LGM.

I1-path through time
Note - The Genographic Project shows the I1 founder as emerging from the Iberian Peninsula. Others show the Northern Balkans. The problem in our I1 group is that they have yet to order deep clade tests that will help us figure out their path after that red dot on the map above. They either went one way or the other and that is critical information in determining where they were when surnames were being handed out. You I1 members, see the "contact" link above. Let's get this done.

A Broad Look at the I1 Path Through Time

The Genographic Project claims that the founder of the I1 branch lived on the Iberian Peninsula during the LGM. Some have given southern France and the Italian peninsula as possible sites as well. Although the locations vary, proponents of the refuge theories do seem to agree on one issue: that the I1 subclade is from 15,000 to 20,000 years old. This haplogroup is defined by the SNP M-253. The ISOGG G  disagrees and is a proponent of the Balkan refugium theory.

"Y-DNA haplogroup I is a European haplogroup, representing nearly one-fifth of the population. It is almost non-existent outside of Europe, suggesting that it arose in Europe. Estimates of the age of haplogroup I suggest that it arose prior to the last Glacial Maximum. Probably, it was confined to the refuge in the Balkans during the last Ice Age, and then spread northward during the recolonization of northern Europe following the retreat of the glaciers."  128

Scientists believe that haplogroup I originated with the Gravettian culture of Paleolithic Europe. One subclade,
known as I1a, is common among Icelandic populations, and is generally considered to indicate Scandinavian or
Anglo-Saxon ancestry when it is found in a person of British descent.

Here's an extremely cool little discovery - I1 is associated with cultures that made Venus statues. If you follow the work of those researching the Cistercian Order, you'll notice Venus / goddess worship showing up thoughout history.

Out of Africa

You'll likely spot a glaring omission on the chart on the main link to "Early Path Through Time" on the chart from Africa to about 1,000 AD that I created. I leave I1 as having uncertain origins. That's a good indication of how fast this is all changing and how much the I1 haplotype is still disputed.

A Nice Winter Home

One theory, recently becoming challenged, is that I1 was not in existence during the LGM. However, many researchers now believe this group spent that long winter on the Iberian Peninsula, the Balkans, or in Southern Italy. In these areas, there were two primary cultures during this time in the area of the Mediterranean: the Solutrean (Iberia and southern France) and the Gravettian (Balkans, Italy and Ukraine), and one of these likely contained the I1 Haplogroup.

If you compare the R1 Haplogroup and what happened to them during the LGM, it may amaze you that the I1 group didn't develop more sublades. After all, we're talking about a period of over 10,000 years spent in the same area, a bottleneck. The answer is - they likely did develop mutations that could define subclades - but no one has yet figured out how to find them yet. Like the R1b Haplogroup, it will someday be cracked.

Spencer Wells says that I1 first reached southeastern Europe about 20,000 BCE, at the peak of the LGM. At that time, the sea levels were 460 feet lower than they were today, making a crossing of the Aegean Sea Land Bridge and travel from Anatolia to Greece possible.

The Move North

After the retreat of the ice, about 8,000 years ago, the I1's moved north. If they were on the Iberian Peninsula or in Italy, then they likely moved into Scandinavia via the Jutland peninsula. The I1b group likely went very far north coming into Scandinavia from the north east. 

This group, like many, can't trace a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) back to Africa. Instead, their lines failed for thousands of years, resulting in aMRCA about 4,000 to 6,000 years ago somewhere in the far northern part of Europe, perhaps Denmark, according to Nordtvedt. His descendants are primarily found among the Germanic populations of northern Europe and the bordering Uralic and Celtic populations.  2

Please see the "Lineages" link at the top left to learn more about their more recent path.

R1b  |  E1b1  |  I1  

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