July 25, 2008

German origin of Transylvanian Saxons

Using Athey's haplogroup predictor, with equal priors and a threshold of 50 and probability of 90%, the following haplogroups were predicted in the 59 males:

5 E1b1b
1 G1
2 G2a
2 H
4 I1
3 I2a(xI2a2)
1 I2a2
1 I2b1
1 J2b
1 N
2 R1a
22 R1b

Rom J Leg Med 12 (4) 247 – 255 (2004)

A study on Y-STR haplotypes in the Saxon population from Transylvania (Siebenbürger Sachsen): is there an evidence for a German origin?

Ligia Barbarii et al.

ABSTRACT: A study on Y-STR haplotypes in the Saxon population from Transylvania
(Siebenbürger Sachsen): is there an evidence for a German origin? Y chromosome markers are increasingly used to investigate human population histories, being considered to be sensitive systems for detecting the population movements. In this study we present Y-STR data for a male population of Transylvanian Saxons in
comparison with Y-haplotypes from Romanians and other European populations. The Transylvanian Saxons, called like that since medieval times, are representing a western population with unknown origin, settled in the Arch of Romanian Carpathian Mountains in the earliest of the 12th century. Historical and dialectal studies strongly suggest that they do not originate from Saxony, but more probably from the Mosel riversides (Rhine affluent) and also from the Eifel Mountains Valley (present territory of Luxembourg). Living protected by fortified cities in compact communities, they still represent a quite distinct population in Transylvania. For this study, 59 male samples were collected from the Siebenburgen area, subjects being selected by their Saxon surnames and paternal grandfather birthplace. A set of nine STR polymorphic systems mapping on the male-specific region of the human Y chromosome (DYS19, DYS385, DYS389 I/II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393) were typed by means of
one or two two multiplex PCR reactions and capillary electrophoresis. The typing results reflect high Saxon population haplotype diversity. Furthermore, we present data on the haplotype sharing of the Saxon population with other European populations, especially with Germans as well as with the Romanians and the Transylvanian Szekely.

Link (pdf)


  1. Believe it or not- I always thought that Vlad the Impaler a.k.a. Count Vlad Dracula ,looked like one of the Germans (i think there are 13 kinds of Germans).
    So I'm not surprised-not in the least.I also read somewhere that he was too.

  2. I am interested in the predicted R1a's, since that is what I am (Norwegian descent, as far as Y-DNA goes).

    There are three individuals with 17 at locus 19, as do I have. I am two mutations away from two of them, and three mutations away from the other. We vary at loci 389-2 & 390. Plus, I differ from all three at 385 (10/14 vs. mine with 11/14). My testing was done at FTDNA (Family Tree DNA).

    interested bystander, July 27 '08

  3. Vlad was purely Romanian as far as I know...

  4. Quote- ``The typing results reflect high Saxon population haplotype diversity``

    No, it really doesnt, not at all actually... the saxons are a small migrant group in a SEA of other much more poopulous ethnic groups, and you find TWENTY TWO R1b`s in this (random?) eastern sample, accompanied by a smattering of all the other Hg`s that would expectedly turn up in the Balkan region.

    What is noteworthy is totally ignored- if the Transylavanian saxons were NOT western europeans who emigrated there as they traditionally said they did, but instead are some sort of local balkan group making up a `saxon` hertiage, then,... why is there this stubborn OVERWHELMING sea of West European R1b amongst this group, in an area overwhelmed by
    R1a and other eastern HG`s, as would be expected in significant presence for local-origin slav`s.

    If I can see this corellation in a few seconds casual perusal, I find it really hard to believe this justnever occured to the `researchers` who assessed the samples.

  5. Vlad had cuman (turkic) origin like the most early romanian (vlach) ruling elite.


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