11 March 2011

Viking ancestry explored on the Isle of Man by researchers

February, 04 2011


Researching your family tree can only go back so far in time before records become patchy.

Now genealogists from the University of Leicester are using DNA tests to trace Manx ancestry back to the Viking era.

Local men with popular Manx surnames are being asked to give a DNA sample to help researchers explore the links between Y chromosomes, surnames and common ancestry.

The investigation starts on Saturday, 19 February 2011 at the Manx Museum.

Allison Fox, Curator of Archaeology at Manx National Heritage, told BBC Isle of Man: "The Vikings have had a lasting impact on the island and we've still got Tynwald today.

Norwegian ancestry

"If it's possible to show that this influence has filtered down to the current generation, then it will be a very valuable piece of research."

The research is part of a PhD degree project, which looks at the proportion of Manx inhabitants with Viking ancestry.

Participants will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about their ancestry and give a DNA sample by brushing the inside of their cheek.

The only criteria is that you are a male, whose father's father was born on the Isle of Man and that your surname is one of those listed here

Viking's first took up settlement on the Isle of Man at the end of the 8th century.

The research team will analyse Y chromosomes which are linked with surnames and then estimate proportions of Norwegian ancestry in these samples.

The results of the study will be available at the end of the study in 2013.

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