A very enlightening article written by Alistair Moffat and Dr. Jim Wilson was published in yesterday’s edition of The Scotsman newspaper yesterday. It’s part of their series of articles on the DNA make-up of the Scots—another version of Who Do You Think You Are?—and how the Vikings left their indelible mark on the Scotland, particularly the Orkney islands, where around 20% of the men carry the Viking M17 marker.
Apart from their DNA, the Vikings apparently brought mice with them too. The mice sailed the North Sea with the Vikings snuggled under goatskins and nibbling on the stores of food. It has been determined scientifically that their descendants exist in abundance today too.
Recent DNA research has shown that there’s a strong Viking inheritance in Orkney, with about 20% of Orcadian men carrying the M17 marker. And, of men with surnames like Linklater, Foubister, Clousting, Flett or Rendall, those with the marker is 75%.
The M17 marker is also present of people in the Scottish western islands and some of the clans like MacIvor, MacSween, Macaulay, and MacAskill etc., are descended from the Vikings.
In the MacLeod clan tests have shown that 47% of the men tested show that they descend from one individual, which means that 10,000 men alive today are descended from one man. “Among the remaining 53 per cent, researchers have found only nine other lineages present, showing that MacLeod men married women who were unfailingly faithful to them.”
The article is fascinating and gives such graphic details of the bloodthirsty Vikings that I decided not to summarize on this blog. Why anyone would be anxious to claim such an ancestry is certainly puzzling, but facts are facts.
Here’s the link to The Scotsman to read the entire article. It’s a real eye opener.