I submitted my DNA to a group in Switzerland that specializes in ancient DNA. There are thousands of archaeological sites around the world and many of these sites hold human remains, some of which they have been able to obtain viable DNA. This information is stored in various databases that have been made available for comparative studies. There are thousands of ancient DNA profiles now on record with more being added every day. Some of these sites are mass burials containing individuals such as plague victims, ethnic massacres, or even gladiator burials while some are individual burials.
On comparison of my DNA to these databases my closest ancient ancestors are Celts, Danish Vikings, and Saxons.
I wasn’t surprised that I am related to Danish Vikings. My grandfather always said we were Danish, though I have no idea how he knew this and he is no longer with us to ask. Out of all of the Medieval DNA (400 AD to late 1400 AD) that I share with, a majority of those connections are with Danish Vikings. I have matches to them in Denmark, a Viking Massacre site in England, and in northern Iceland, including a ship burial site. Other Viking connections in frequency are Swedish, Icelandic, and Norwegian along with some discoveries in Russia that also appear to be Danish in origin.
St. Brice's Day Massacre was the killing of Danes in the Kingdom of England on Friday, the 13th of November 1002, ordered by King Æthelred the Unready. In response to the frequent Danish raids, King Æthelred ordered the execution of all Danes living in England. The skeletons of 34 to 38 men aged between 16 and 25 were found during an excavation at St John's College, Oxford, England in 2008. I test positive to 4 of those individuals.
While not specifically stated to be Danish Vikings, there was another Viking massacre in Dorset, England (southern England). The Ridgeway Hill Viking Burial Pit at Ridgeway Hill near Weymouth, Dorset, was a mass grave of 54 skeletons and 51 heads of Scandinavian men executed some time between AD 970 and 1025. The men are believed to have been Vikings executed by local Anglo-Saxons. Archaeologists discovered the dismembered skeletons in June 2009 and their identity and approximate ages were later confirmed by additional forensic analyses. The diet of one individual was believed to be that of someone who lived north of the Arctic Circle, similar to those found in Sweden so there is a good chance some may be Swedish Vikings. I test positive to 3 of these individuals.
There is one individual that stands out above all of my connections. My relationship to a Danish Viking discovered in Sílastaðir, North, Iceland is quite stunning. He was found in a grave of 4 individuals: 3 males and one female. DNA segments are measured in centi-Morgans (cMs) and the higher the number the more DNA you share and therefore the closer you are genetically. Here are some examples of how much DNA I share with acutal relatives, names removed of course:
|1st cousin, 1x removed||488|
|Danish Viking (SSG-A1)||237|
Obviously this individual isn’t a 2nd cousin, but the fact that I share so much DNA probably means I am a direct descendant of some sorts. My HAMMONS male DNA haplotype is J2b2 and his is R1b1, which means I am not a direct male descendant. My mother’s mt-DNA haplotype is J1c and his is also J1c, so it appears I may be a direct descendant of his mother. It is the only way I can account for the unbelievably high matching DNA segments.
There are 19 ethnic groups I share DNA with, with the majority being Germanic tribes. They are listed here in approximate order of frequency. Click on each to learn more about each group. A sepatrae window will open up to a Wikipedia article.
I remember a lot of these ethnic groups from my ancient history class in high school except Belgae, Alemanni, Balari, Iolaes, Ruggi, and Vacones. The Belgae were a European tribe that covered northern France including Belgium and Luxembourg and is where Belgium gets its name. Julius Caesar described them in-depth in mid-50 BC as being in north Gaul (France). The Alemanni are from central Europe, The Balari and Iolaes are from Sardinia, The Rugii migrated from south-western Norway into north Germany along the Baltic, and the Vascones are from the north Iberian peninsula. The Illyrians are from the Balkan peninsula.
Rodney R. Hammons
433 N Main Street
Rushville, IN 46173