April 21, 2012

Bearers of French surnames in Flanders differ from those bearing Flemish surnames

This certainly appears consistent with my postulated origins of these subgroups within European R-M269. Hopefully the same process could be repeated in others parts of Europe.

We have a hierarchy of tools for uncovering the origins of modern populations: traditional genealogy for relatively recent ancestors, surnames for slightly older ancestors, and finally ancient DNA which could eventually be applied to historical persons and communities.


Heredity , (18 April 2012) | doi:10.1038/hdy.2012.17

In the name of the migrant father—Analysis of surname origins identifies genetic admixture events undetectable from genealogical records

M H D Larmuseau, J Vanoverbeke, G Gielis, N Vanderheyden, H F M Larmuseau and R Decorte


Patrilineal heritable surnames are widely used to select autochthonous participants for studies on small-scale population genetic patterns owing to the unique link between the surname and a genetic marker, the Y-chromosome (Y-chr). Today, the question arises as to whether the surname origin will be informative on top of in-depth genealogical pedigrees. Admixture events that happened in the period after giving heritable surnames but before the start of genealogical records may be informative about the additional value of the surname origin. In this context, an interesting historical event is the demic migration from French-speaking regions in Northern France to the depopulated and Dutch-speaking region Flanders at the end of the sixteenth century. Y-chr subhaplogroups of individuals with a French/Roman surname that could be associated with this migration event were compared with those of a group with autochthonous Flemish surnames. Although these groups could not be differentiated based on in-depth genealogical data, they were significantly genetically different from each other. Moreover, the observed genetic divergence was related to the differences in the distributions of main Y-subhaplogroups between contemporary populations from Northern France and Flanders. Therefore, these results indicate that the surname origin can be an important feature on top of in-depth genealogical results to select autochthonous participants for a regional population genetic study based on Y-chromosomes.



Paul Ó Duḃṫaiġ said...

It's a real pity that they didn't test for R1b-L21 (brother to U152). It would surprise me if a big chunk of the P312* among walloon names is actually L21+

AWood said...

I'm quite sure the L21+ is unaccounted for within the breakdown.

If you look closely the results were strictly P312*, U152, and U106. Otherwise, the R1b is far too low in the area, the remaining results are most likely I1, and I2b1.

sidoroffs said...

Wallonia is suspiciously missing from this paper.