View Full Version : Orcadians related to Siberians?

03-02-10, 16:26
I found this link in the Telegraph (UK) from 2008:


"Orkney Islanders are more closely related to people in Siberia and in Pakistan than those in Africa and the near East, according to a novel method to chart human migrations."

it goes on further...

"The Orcadians, or those closely related to them in central/northern Europe, also contribute to two other North East Asian populations, the Hezhen and Han from Northern China. "

I'm a member of 23andme and deCODEme and both have plotted me as Orcadian. I did the genetic test to infer my ancestry, so this is of great interest to me. My results are:

1. Orcadian
2. Norwegian
3. French (not actually in the box, but close to it)

1. Icelander
2. French
3. Orcadian

Can anyone further explain what the Orcadian/Siberian linkage might mean, or have any thoughts on the genetic tests ability to infer ancestry?

03-02-10, 17:01

08-02-10, 18:13

Nevertheless, I answered my own question (as best as it can be answered). DeCODEme's got a nice little function whereby you compare yourself to reference individuals. I was looking for Native American heritage and there appears to be none. Still, I wanted to see what the members of this community thought of the original assertions of the paper. I posted it at deCODEme, and the response ranged from "European racists; Afro-centric; and a good study". As this is of minor interest to me, other than to do determine my own ethnicity, I'll just leave it at that!

% genetic sharing

8.6 Han
8.7 Hezhen
9 Han-NChina
9.7 Pima
10.8 Yakut

20.3 Icelander
20.3 French
20.2 Orcadian

I'm only 1.8 w/Bantu from Kenya and 2.7 w/Bantu from South Africa. So perhaps, the Orcadian do share a closer relationship Siberians/Pakistan/Han etc than Africans. I'd have to see how other's with different ethnic backgrounds come out percentage wise.

08-02-10, 19:05
It makes sense that the Orcadians should be close to some Siberians (those of Indo-European descent) and Pakistani (ditto). The original stock of steppe R1b and R1a is the same for these populations. Of course they all intermingled with indigenous populations, but some isolated groups (and Orkney certainly is one of them) retained a lot of Indo-European DNA with little outside admixture. Scotland is one of the few places where tartan (found in the Tarim mummies) and archaic cattle and horses survived. Isolated places are great for studying the past.

08-02-10, 20:02
Also their cousins settled on other islands like Island, and their migration rout took them through France where many settled.
If their epicenter in France is on coast by the sea, it could mean that they might have come around Europe on boats as sea fairing people, all the way from Black Sea.
If their epicenter is in Normandy, it might mean that their common ancestors came from Scandinavia as Vikings. But probably it's not the case as the test would show that they are more related to Norwegians or Danes, than French.

12-03-10, 14:48
I am Croatian and have a No. 1 ranking in DecodeMe with Icelanders, go figure...

I checked my genome against over 100 other participants from many different European countries and the Icelanders have come out on top of my list at figures >1% at 5Mb. So I don't think the finding between Siberians and Orcadinans is unusual.