As a species, we have always been fascinated with the history of our ancestry. Genealogy,
the study of our family ancestry, is now a national and worldwide pastime. With the
advent of the Internet, genealogy has become firmly established.
There are hundreds of Web sites offering information to those interested in finding
their family's roots. However, as one becomes involved in a search of the family
history, the process can become daunting. The written, oral and photographic history
of a family may at times provide only clues to its ancestry. Fortunately, a new technology
is available which can provide real answers. A spin-off of the Human Genome Project,
Y-chromosone testing has proven very useful as a tool for genealogy research. Y-chromosone
studies have been performed on populations from around the world to evaluate the
relationship between ethnic groups and closely related families. The human species
has 23 pairs of chromosones, 22 of which appear the same, and the X and Y chromosones.
If you are male, you have the standard 22 pairs, plus oneX and one Y chromosone.
If you are a female, you will have the standard 22 pairs plus twoX chromosones. The
Y-chromosone, only carried by the male, has been shown in rigorous studies to have
significant variability between populations but little or no variability between
father and son. The Y-chromosone is passed from father to son, which means that male
relatives who have an uninterrupted male-male link between them will share the same,
or very similair Y-chromosone signatures. The Human Genome Project has given us an
invaluable tool for the verification of male lineage.
Oxford Ancestors is the world's first company to harness the power and precision
of modern DNA-based genetics for use in genealogy. The company builds on over a decade
of research into human populations and their origins carried out by Professor Brian
Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and his team in
the world-renowned Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford, England.
Interestingly, Oxford Ancestors is also able to offer a Viking Test, which can determine
if the Y-chromosone is likely to be derived from the Norse Viking settlers. My reason
for opting for this test was the oft repeated story within
the family that our ancestors came from Normandy or Northern France. In the 10th
century Normandy - "The Land of the North Men"- was territory given to the Vikings
by the French King to appease an invasion of France. Thus many who became the 'Normans'
are not of French origin but of Viking origin. Maybe in a roundabout way this might
indicate Norman connections for us?
The outcome of the Viking test proved inconclusive. Neither could it be identified
confidently as being Viking nor could it be completely ruled out. On balance, it
was considered that the chances are that our distant paternal ancestors were drawn
from the original Celtic inhabitants of Britain and Ireland, from the West Eurasian
Clan known as Oisin. To see my Y-Clan certificate "click" on the Viking ship (to
The results pre-suppose that my male-male link to my surname goes back unbroken in
time. Certainly the link
is consistent as far back as our oldest known ancestor Francis Kervil.The results
of my Y-chromosone test when compared with a European database (http://ystr.charite.de)
show 117 matches . A map showing these and a
diagram of my Y-chromosone results are below: results that may not be of much use
at the moment but, in the