|SHETLAND ISLANDS HAPLOGROUP I
|THE ANCIENT ORIGINS OF THE HAPLOGROUPS FOUND IN SHETLAND
I1a (Hg2, Eu7) is found at very low levels in the Celtic countries (Ireland, Wales) and at
relatively high levels in Friesland (Holland), Germany, and Denmark (the presumed homeland
of the Anglo - Saxons and Danish Vikings), and in Norway. It likely originated among the
group who "over wintered" in the western Balkans during the Last Glacial Maximum, and as
the glaciers retreated, people with this haplotype moved northward and soutward.
Shetland and Orkney have only about one quarter the number of individuals with I1a
haplotypes relative to the above noted countries. In those who do possess an I1a haplotype, it
will pose challenges in saying with certainty whether this DNA signature reflects and Anglo -
Saxon or Danish Viking or Norse heritage. To complicate matters, there is a Dinaric (e.g.,
Croatia) I1b modal haplotype, and a Northern European I1c modal haplotype. The latter may
show up at very low levels since it has been observed to occur in up to 20% of the clan
chieftains of Ulster and Southern and Eastern Scotland. Most of the ancestors of Shetlanders
of Scottish male line ancestry come from Fife, Aberdeen, and Caithness where it is expected
that there were likely few individuals there with this subgroup of haplogroup I. The Project
Administrator will compare each I signature found to tables which show marker values
associated with the a, b, and c forms of I. It is noteworthy that Wilson et al. assert that in
Orkney (and therefore presumably in Shetland), I1a is "diagnostic of Viking invaders."
For reasons that are not at all clear, the percentage of haplogroup I observed in Shetland (in
previous surveys) and Orkney is relatively low. Considering that it is found in approximately
50% of Scandanavians, it seems unusual that it occurs in less than 10% of those from the two
Northern Isles communities. Indeed in one study of Shetland there were as many Q (which is
seen in only about 1% of Scandanavians) as I.
If a participant with a Scottish surname is assigned to the haplogroup I, then in all probability
that individuals ancestors in the male line are descended from a Scandanavian Viking who
settled in the Scottish Mainland. The Administrator will attempt to provide more specifics
such as a proposed country of origin based on the series of country matches in the Family
Tree DNA Haplogroup Database.
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