R-DF21 Computed Origin Near Isle of Man

R-DF21 is a major British Isles lineage that was born in the British Isles 1900 BC. It is one of 22 established child lineages of parent R-DF13 who was also likely born and spent his entire life in the British Isles.

It had 125 samples on YFull as of Dec 29, 2019 that have been geolocated to the Old World.

While R-DF21 has only one ancient sample on the YFull tree from Iceland, Rathlin1 has been classified as R-DF21 as well. This attests to an Early Bronze Age presence (2026-1885 BC) in the British Isles and the association of this lineage with a new wave of migrants that greatly replaced existing male lineages throughout the British Isles (link to paper).

The new migrants are linked to the spread of the Bell Beaker culture, specifically from a subpopulation that had been living in the lower Rhein.

I'm hoping experts in this haplogroup will collaborate with me to improve the accuracy of the subclade analysis of these ancient samples on PhyloGeographer, as I myself am not an expert in any lineage of haplogroup R.

At the time of this article, eight lineages of R-DF21 had been discovered.

  • R-BY13823
  • R-Y15984
  • R-Y11789
  • R-Z16532
  • R-Z16267
  • R-S3058 (research article written 1/12/2020)
  • R-Y2890
  • R-S5488

So far, all R-DF21 on YFull are positive for one of these eight lineages (except perhaps Rathlin1, please contact me if it ends up sharing a SNP with an established child lineage of DF21).

Migrations shown here are theoretical and not known to be true. The path is not to be taken as exact, rather approximate. This is a data discovery tool that computes paths based on latest YFull and other ancient samples according to an algorithm. This tool can aid researchers in interpreting new or complex data. The algorithm does not know coastlines - clades are computed in the water if samples on both sides Ask your haplogroup researcher(s) about the plausibility of a path approximate to that shown. Do not simply tell anyone their theory is wrong because it does not match what is shown here.

I want to note that the accuracy of the computed child lineages is somewhat problematic due to a large number of geographically non-specific samples.

It's also important to note that the computed location of the origin of R-DF21 as approximately around the Island of Man is based on an algorithm that to some extent will favor a central location for subclades relatively evenly distributed away from the center. Only one sample is actually from the Isle of Man, in BY13823.

Of the 125 samples which have been geolocated to the Old World, many are designated to non-specific regional levels of "Scotland", "England", "Wales", "Ireland", even a "Great Britain". Please reach out to these individuals in your haplogroup research projects and urge them to update their samples with a more specific regional code for the birthplace of their most distant known male line ancestor.

These posts are the opinion of Hunter Provyn, a haplogroup researcher in J-M241 and J-M102.

4 thoughts on “R-DF21 Computed Origin Near Isle of Man”

  1. The DF21 results posted to Yfull are but a subset of the total. Others may be found in the R-DF21 & Sub-clades DNA Project at http://www.familytreedna.com and http://www.ytree.net. Not all have a stated origin in the Old World (‘the geographically non-specific samples”), even though their surnames generally suggest an Old World to be likely. So as Hunter Provyn does above, we must rely on modernday distribution even though we know that may not necessarily prove the ancient origin to be geographically identical. The ancient DNA samples are limited to Rathlin Island, as Hunter Provyn states above, and to Hinxton, England, which appears to have been omitted from this article. Whether DF21 originated in Ireland or in Britain remains unsolved, as does its migration rout between the two. The small Cornwall and Devon populations of DF21 have been omitted from the above map, which creates a bias towards the northern route. If the Cornwall and Devon DF21 populations were to be added, it would tend to change what we see on the present map.

    1. Thanks for your input Rory. Is the Hinxton man known as HI2 and classified here as R-Z246? I will add him to my system as soon as I can verify and get a sample age.


      If you are interested to ascribe more precise coordinates to any YFull sample in your R-DF21 project into PhyloGeographer, I am happy to give you a username and password to do this.

  2. I m an American but my parents are from Cantabria in Northern Spain. Our town is surrounded by high mountains with caves which were inhabited by humans for millennia since around 25000 years ago. They are not as spectacular as Altamira which is about 20 miles away but they are obviously very interesting. I have read different accounts as to when the first wave of Celts settled in Cantabria.

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