Africans in Yorkshire? The deepest-rooting clade of the Y phylogeny within an English genealogy European

Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
European Journal of HumanGenetics (Impact Factor: 4.35). 04/2007; 15(3):288-93. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201771
Source: PubMed


The presence of Africans in Britain has been recorded since Roman times, but has left no apparent genetic trace among modern inhabitants. Y chromosomes belonging to the deepest-rooting clade of the Y phylogeny, haplogroup (hg) A, are regarded as African-specific, and no examples have been reported from Britain or elsewhere in Western Europe. We describe the presence of an hgA1 chromosome in an indigenous British male; comparison with African examples suggests a Western African origin. Seven out of 18 men carrying the same rare east-Yorkshire surname as the original male also carry hgA1 chromosomes, and documentary research resolves them into two genealogies with most-recent-common-ancestors living in Yorkshire in the late 18th century. Analysis using 77 Y-short tandem repeats (STRs) is consistent with coalescence a few generations earlier. Our findings represent the first genetic evidence of Africans among 'indigenous' British, and emphasize the complexity of human migration history as well as the pitfalls of assigning geographical origin from Y-chromosomal haplotypes.


Available from: Turi E King
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    • "The 448 MSY sequences belong to 440 different SNP haplotypes, identical cases being found in eight pairs of individuals. One pair, within hg A1, belongs to a previously reported deep-rooting English pedigree (King et al. 2007), and the males are separated by just 13 generations. The remaining seven pairs are apparently unrelated, but each pair belongs to a single population – there are "
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    • "relationships, the gene flow from Africa to Western Europe could be dated to before 1700 (de Knijff, 2007; King et al., 2007b), indicating the complexity of gene flow events even before the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe at the beginning of the 19 th century. Another recent Y-chromosomal study found evidence for a past gene-flow event from Northern France to Flanders (Larmuseau et al., 2012b). "
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    • "We genotyped both novel and previously partially investigated samples and surveyed literature data for a total of ;10,000 males from more than 180 populations (supplementary table S8, Supplementary Material online), collecting data for 184 hg A and 457 hg B Y chromosomes (supplementary table S1, Supplementary Material online). Outside Africa , these clades have been sporadically found in Europe and the Americas, probably as a result of recent migrants (Semino et al. 2000; Luis et al. 2004; Capelli et al. 2006; Hammer et al. 2006; King et al. 2007). Hg A is rarely found in North, West, and Central Africa, whereas it is more frequent in the eastern and southern parts of the continent (fig. "

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