Scottish Russians R-Y17690

R-DF13 seems to have originated in England around 2100 BC.

YFull v7.05.00 R-A2072

So how did these men in R-Y17690, whose ancestors had been living in the British Isles since 2100 BC, get to Russia?

A number of Scots migrated to Russia as mercenaries, primarily during the early-17th-century Polish–Muscovite War (1605–18), Ingrian War (1610–1617) and Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). Others may have migrated for economic reasons.

The Wikipedia article Scottish Russians contains too many families to mention here. Here is an informative example of the process of Russification for one group of mercenaries.

"During the Polish–Russian War (1605–18), a regiment originally under the command of William Grim and later under Captain (Rittmeister) Jacob Shaw was in the service of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the 1614 siege of the fortress of Bely the regiment switched sides, surrendered the fortress and joined Russia's military forces. It was raised in Scotland, and a company was raised in Ireland. The regiment participated in several Russo-Crimean Wars against the Crimean–Nogai raids. Beginning in 1626, foreign mercenaries were identified by their Russian names and (after converting to Orthodox Christianity) typically received land, serfs, money and clothing. "

Some of the living descendants are aware of their Scottish heritage through family oral history.

Mikhail – head of the proud Lermontov family today – christening his new Lermontov kilt at the ‘clan’ gathering in the family dascha near Moscow. Image courtesy of Tartan Ambassador

I was unable to find any other Russian R1b with likely origin in the British Isles. However I did find an English lineage of I1 with a Russian subclade whose estimated most recent common ancestor lived 1400 AD, close in time to the historical migrations described above.

They live in Altai Krai, on the border of Kazakhstan and not far from China.

Not any Scottish flags here and very few in related lineages. YFull v7.05.00 - I-S14887

If you know anything about these people, or are one of them yourself, feel free to comment.

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

8 thoughts on “Scottish Russians R-Y17690”

  1. Very interesting research. I’m wondering if my info will be helpful to you and/or you would be able to provide me with some insight into my family history. My father’s Y DNA is Z253 and has been recognized by FTDNA McClure group as an NPE along with 4 other men. His papertrail surname is Ruden. His paternal family tree is in the American Jewish Archives and goes back to a Jewish man born in Frankfurt am Mein, Germany in 1710. The marriages, mainly with Sephardic Jews includes a Souza (my 5th great grandfather) with a Cerf woman from Russia. The Souza family was living in Bayonne, France. Thank you.

  2. My comment is in reference to Hunter Provyn’s reference to the I-Y29631 terminal subclade as having a Scottish origin with emigration going to Kazakhstan. My terninal subclade is I-Y29630* and although my emigrant ancestor’s origin is unclear, it is likely from the county of Hampshire, England. One unsubstantiated source in colonial American records said that my ancestor might have been from Scotland. Although I-Y29631 is farther down the tree, it may have more of an English origin than a Scottish one.

    1. Hi David,

      In the article I mentioned I-Y29630 as English in origin, not Scottish, consistent with your research. My analysis is just based on the single sample (probably you) having indicated England as his country code on YFull.

      I see that now you have updated your sample to the more specific code for Hampshire, GB-HAM. This is good, that way both PhyloGeographer and Y Heatmap will be more accurate, based on your specific MDKA origin.

      Here is a link to the diversity heatmap for I-Y11203 whose MRCA lived in the Iron Age, 700 BCE. The deeper origin appears to have been Scandinavia.

      This is even clearer if you go up one more branch, back to I-S14887 with same TMRCA of 700 BCE.

      So you could actually descend from Vikings, given that your next closest relatives are not from England and we know this line ultimately came from Scandinavia.

      We know that some Vikings did migrate to Russia and contribute to the founding of Kievan Rus and the ethnogenesis of Russians.


  3. Hunter,

    I have a terminal SNP of R-Z255, Irish Sea type and have Asian derived blood as my dad had AB- type. I descend through all Stewart kings down to James IV and also Cunningham 5th Earl of Glencairn through feminine lines only so far, but what I really want to find is my Cunningham Y line and wonder if he participated in the Polish Muscovite war. Is there a better list published that I have overlooked? Any tip would be appreciated.


    Greg Cunningham

    1. Hi Greg,

      I would contact the Cunningham project on FTDNA for specific questions about their lineages.

      If you go to their DNA Results page you could look at the names of the ancestors of the various Cunningham lines whose descendants have tested their Y-DNA.

      If your mother was born Cunningham, or her mother was, you may be able to more easily find a living male line Cunningham relative to Y-DNA test to confirm the relationship to an established Cunningham clan.

      If you’d like more advice I’m happy to provide consulting.

      Best Regards,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *