Dr Jobling Traces Viking DNA

Viking warriorsProfessor Mark Jobling of Leicester University, who now seems to be the ultimate authority on Viking bloodlines in northern England within the national project to create a genetic map of the UK, has launched a new exciting study. Men whose fathers’ fathers were born in Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, North Yorkshire, Durham or Northumberland are wanted to take part in it. Special attention is paid to people with such local surnames as Borrowdale, Branthwaite, Haygarth, Oldcorn, Satterthwaite and Thornthwaite. However, all eligible volunteers will be sent DNA sample kits in order to determine if they have Viking heritage. Professor Jobling formulated the aim of the study as follows: “What we want to end up with is a map of the north of Britain showing where the Vikings were concentrated and distinguishing between the Norse Vikings who landed in the west and the Danish Vikings to the east.” The research associate Dr Turi King comments: “The East Midlands is a particularly important area as it formed the heartlands of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia and large parts also fell within the area of the Danelaw, an area dominated Danish Vikings during the 9th and 10th centuries.” How Vikings affected this area is evident in such placenames as Flimby, Birkby, Crosby, Allerby and Dovenby, but the effect on genetics thus far has been less clear. The initiative is part of The People of the British Isles project headed by Professor Sir Walter Bodmer at the University of Oxford. The recently launched research on Viking DNA in Northern England is funded by the Wellcome Trust and forms part of the grant “What’s in a name? Applying patrilineal surnames to forensics, population history, and genetic epidemiology.” It will help to discover the genetic impact of the Angles, Saxons and Vikings on present day Britain. It is important that some of such genetic variation contributes to inherited differences in susceptibility to cancer and heart disease. The study will continue until late 2010, after which the results will be published.

Photo courtesy jriro2000. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence.

40 comments… add one
  • Kenth Magnusson

    And btw if u are interested about vikings read about the Name Russia as u all know,, It was founded by Swedish vikings and ukraine was a stronghold,
    Russia means men from Rus ( how rows ), and Rus is a place in Sweden ( Roslagen ) and Rurik is Viking ,,, there is sooo much more than England

  • Kenth Magnusson

    I´m a Swede and have some genes (real ) , genes doesn´t make u viking… ur inner call awakens u ,, is are u still christian yes u are, i´m pagan left church.. Maybe some genes in u are from the old norse,, but sowhat !!
    I cannot even call me viking, they were much above this.. I have all my life been study and follow my heritage

  • James Leach

    My haplogroup was determined by 23andMe and I’m not sure that this company provides markers. I have found another family of Leaches that came to North Carolina in the late 1700s from Kilmartin and who’s haplogroup is the same as mine (N1c1). His name was Malcohm Leach b. 1755. I have found his markers and assume mine would be the same, our shared haplogroup is so very rare in Scotland. Which testing company
    would you recommend to get a proper assessment?


  • Peter Schulze

    I’ve just become aware of this article in 2016. My mother’s father was John Haygarth, who father immigrated to Victoria, Australia from Liverpool in mid-late 19th century. Where can I find the results of this study?

  • Car

    Have the Viking-Rus lines been analyzed from Lake Ladoga, to Novgorod, to Kiev, to the Black Sea? Rurikids?

  • jacqueline

    So neat. I am told of McLeod and my French ancerstory from Normandy France. Leod was son of Olaf the black, a Viking king of Scottish isles. I am told I look to be a sheildmaiden haha. But honestly I wish I lived amongst others like me. I am spiritually inclined and drawn to the moons everchanginf phases. I wonder I its because of my DNA….

  • Jim Saunders

    I have had my DNA sampled and analysed by ScotlandsDNA. The results state that my Fatherline is Norse Viking.
    I have researching my family tree and so far identified ancestors in 1750 from Ayrshire, Scotland. I have the DNA results to share, if wanted.

    • James leach

      Thank you for offering to share your Viking DNA information. I was likewise surprised to find that my DNA is not common Scotland or the rest of the United Kingdom even though my recent ancestors settled among the Scottish clans that came to the Cape Fear area of the Carolinas. My paternal haplogroup was found to be N1c1.

    • Rod Blaker

      we – several families of different surnames – are looking into the possibilities of Norse Viking history; the common marker is R-S21607 which is also the facebook page name where we are beginning to exchange info.

      Can you let us know your DNA markers?


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