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R1b (Y DNA) Genetic Marker Migration (fact or fiction?)

 
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:06 am    Post subject: R1b (Y DNA) Genetic Marker Migration (fact or fiction?) Reply with quote

Hello,

Can one believe what we read on the internet about our DNA connections to other people?

A distribution map on the internet shows that there is an 80% distribution of the R1b gene which covers Northern Spain, Eastern France, Southeastern England and Scotland, and all of Ireland and Wales. Other countries are shown to a lesser percentage.

One internet site suggests that the R1b gene originated in Northern Spain which means that there must have been an early migration to these other European Countries. This information may help to explain the DNA results that show our family is 8% Irish. My father's anecdotal story is that he had a great grandmother who was Irish.

One book indicated that the people in the above mentioned areas built prolific amounts of stone circles so that the conclusion was that we were all related. Certainly, we can believe the DNA evidence over physical archeology. I know that the truth is out there written in DNA code. I am not sure that the internet is correct.

Manny
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4507
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Manuell! The questions you're asking involve a couple of factors that are difficult to unravel.

One is that culture (physical constructions, beliefs, customs, rituals, social behaviors, , language, arts, etc.) of a people does not have to be tied to genetic lineage. Cultures are transmitted through families, but also through contact with outside cultures.

Another is the link between genes and places. We can share the genes with a people from a place, but that simply means that we had common ancestors at some point in the past. I don't think the genes can tell us precisely where our ancestors came from or where they traveled.

There is a theory that Iberians migrated north. Maybe one of our other members can comment on the current status of that idea. I seem to remember that there are some experts who are unconvinced.

There have been Spanish contributions to the gene pool of the British-Irish-Scottish Isles for centuries. I've read that there was trade between the Iberian Peninsula and the Isles in prehistory, and certainly throughout the historical period. With trade, there is often genetic mixing. Also, Spanish sailors whose ships were lost as a result of the disaster of the Spanish Armada are known to have come ashore and married locals.

Bob knows genetics much better than I do, so maybe he'll comment. I'm afraid that my limited understanding will cloud the waters!
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4507
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Manuell! The questions you're asking involve a couple of factors that are difficult to unravel.

One is that culture (physical constructions, beliefs, customs, rituals, social behaviors, , language, arts, etc.) of a people does not have to be tied to genetic lineage. Cultures are transmitted through families, but also through contact with outside cultures.

Another is the link between genes and places. We can share the genes with a people from a place, but that simply means that we had common ancestors at some point in the past. I don't think the genes can tell us precisely where our ancestors came from or where they traveled.

There is a theory that Iberians migrated north. Maybe one of our other members can comment on the current status of that idea. I seem to remember that there are some experts who are unconvinced.

There have been Spanish contributions to the gene pool of the British-Irish-Scottish Isles for centuries. I've read that there was trade between the Iberian Peninsula and the Isles in prehistory, and certainly throughout the historical period. With trade, there is often genetic mixing. Also, Spanish sailors whose ships were lost as a result of the disaster of the Spanish Armada are known to have come ashore and married locals.

Bob knows genetics much better than I do, so maybe he'll comment. I'm afraid that my limited understanding will cloud the waters!
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to think that the R1b gene connection arrived long before the Armada disaster. It is either a case of Asturian Celts arriving and living among the indigenous peoples of England Scotland, Ireland, France, and Wales or they arrived in Spain first. What I desire to know is if the R1b gene originated first in Asturias and then spread to the other countries via migration and exploration.

Further, the Welsh were sea faring peoples having developed animal skin boats. It is widely believed that there is a Welsh connection to the Mandan Native Americans indicating an Atlantic crossing by the Welsh people. It would have been very easy for them to have reached the northern beaches of Asturias.

Manny
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4507
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Manny,

You began this thread with the subject line, "R1b (Y DNA) Genetic Marker Migration (fact or fiction?)." And you began your last message, "I would like to think that...." There's nothing wrong with wanting to know what you want to know. I'll go even further: There's nothing wrong with creating a fascinating family history, even if we don't have many details, so it is built mostly in one's mind. That can be a healthy way to create a backstory that supports personal growth and success.

On the other hand--and maybe I'm a stickler--I'd prefer to be clear with myself and others when I'm being fanciful (wishing for something or creating a tall tale) and when I actually know something to be fact.

Even saying that, for all of us, me included, it's often hard to know when we're pushing our conclusion beyond what the facts support. Maybe this wishfulness is built into our genes?

In line with this desire to know when I'm dealing with fact and when I'm dealing with wish, for me the difficult part would be going beyond correlation to causality. Correlation occurs when two things are related or connected, although it may not be possible to say how. Scientists seem to know that the genetics of those regions tend to be related. Going beyond that conclusion, to determine what caused that relationship, is much more difficult to show scientifically.

Of course, knowing that doesn't prevent us from crating a story about the linkages. That's what literature, song, and other art forms often do!

Yes, I'd agree that all of those genetic similarities are unlikely to be the result of the Spanish Armada disaster. The point I was trying to make is that there many be many points of genetic transfer, which is cool because it would point to a long and complex history (even if not written down) of genetic links between these areas.

I wish Bob would weigh in on how he understands this. I'll email him to see if he'll comment.
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the wide distribution of the R1B gene, it is not a flight of fantasy to believe that there is a single point of origin like Asturias and northern Spain.

One thing is for sure, the R1b genetic marker is now global rather than confined to Europe.

Manny
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1751
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:51 pm    Post subject: R1b Reply with quote

Manny, you mentioned R1b haplotype and wondered about its origin. It’s very difficult to determine exactly where it originated for a number of reasons. People migrate and take their genes with them, intermingle and interbreed with other groups, and exchange genes and cultural traits. In this case, the haplotype simply refers to a version of the human Y chromosome. Men have and X and a Y, while women have a pair of X chromosomes. The Y chromosome is male-determining. Normally, the X and Y do not undergo recombination with each other. Very rarely, a segment of the Y (SRY, the sex-determining region) can be transferred to an X, resulting in an XX male. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll ignore this and other abnormalities of the sex chromosomes.

The Y contains a sequence of genes, and any gene is subject to mutation. Think of it as analogous to a medieval manuscript that is copied by hand, and each copy being recopied by hand, over and over again, with random errors being introduced by the various copyists. If a modern copy contains a particular set of errors (analogous to a haplotype), other copies that contain the same error have a more recent common ancestor that do copies with only some of those errors. Of course, a copy may be carried to a remote area by someone, and begin to be copied there (analogous to movement of individuals), or entire groups of people can migrate.

What this all means is that men whose Y chromosomes are similar or identical have common ancestors. In the short run, related individuals tend to be geographically clustered; over longer periods of time, not so much. Europe has had multiple waves of immigration over the millennia. Where a particular haplotype is now common does not necessarily indicate its site of origin. Migration, differential selection of many genes, degree of inbreeding and outbreeding, founder effect and other factors must be taken into account, as does the simple fact that each Y chromosome is currently identified by a relatively small number of genetic markers, SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms. Exploring the relevant scientific literature is always possible, of course, but a strong background in mathematics and population genetics, as well as a familiarity with various terminologies, would be very helpful.
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