Merovingian DNA

A Merovingian Connection to Sinclair DNA?

There's a lot of work going on with ancient DNA. I've already written about the dig at Ergolding Bavaria Germany and the unique testing method those guys did which allowed them to compare 6 sets of bones in a Merovingian burial site to everyone on the Family Tree DNA database, us included. We have 3 different Lineages in our project which are very close to those bones which were unearthed -
Our AMH Lineage
Our U106 Lineage
and a G2a participant
Click here for more on that >>>   

King Tut’s DNA accidentally revealed?

Back in the summer, there was a documentary called 'King Tut Unwrapped.'  I missed it, but a geneticist named Whit Athey was watching very closely. During the video, the film team showed the doctors working on what may very well be Short Tandem Repeats (SNPs) of King Tut, which look like the ones you see here.
Sincliar DNA str
Mr Athey got his doctorate in physics and biochemistry at Tufts University, and his undergraduate and masters degrees at Auburn University.

After analyzing the SNPs in the documentary, he concluded that Tutankhamun must have the haplogroup R1b, associated with the male Y chromosome, and common in the U.K., France, Iberia and Scandinavia. Before that, this DNA was part of the Germanic tribes.

The group in our family he most closely resembles is the one I call the Atlantic Modal Haplogroup Lineage. Or DYS390=24.  There are seventeen of us in the family who have a genetic distance of 4 from the DNA Athey looked at. He was able to spot 17 markers,  many of which are the best ones to use because they are more stable; like DYS390.  Our AMH group is a genetic distance of 5 out of the 17 alleles identified; 4 of those mutations being on faster mutating markers.

I also assumed, as a good family project manager must, that DYS390 could have also mutated from 24 down to 23. So I checked our participants showing that marker.

Amond the DYS390=23 lineages, the newly defined Brabster lineage is the closest to Tut, but are off with a genetic distance of 7 on the 17 markers; two of those being somewhat unstable and mutating faster.

As you can see below, the AMH group is off on 1 slower mutating marker, while the U106 group is a genetic distance of 4 on slower markers.

Here's how it looks -

AMH         Distance
DYS437           1
DYS439           2
DYS456           1
DYS458           1

U106         Distance
DYS390           1
DYS389-2        1
DYS437           1
DYS439           1
DYS456           2
GATA-4            1

King Louis XVI’s DNA?

Now, here's a very odd bit of news on ancient DNA. It involves a gourd with blood in it. The blood is from KingMerovingian DNA Louis XVI. When he was beheaded, someone in the crowd sopped up some of the blood on a handkerchief. It was kept in this gourd for 217 years.

King Louis is supposedly a direct male descendant of the Merovingian Kings. You know the ones. They're mentioned in the Da Vinci Code.

After testing, the blood turned out to be G2a, so the Merovingians should be this haplotype.

The minute I read this back in October, I thought of the Ergolding dig where they found the G2a haplotype in 2 of the skeletons. So the evidence is consistent. Please see the link at the bottom of this article to read the full story at Wired Science. It's absolutely fascinating.

But there is more.

William the Conqueror’s DNA?

If we look after the time of the Merovingians at the supposed other descendants, we find William the Conqueror.

About 3 years ago, while researching our own supposed connection to William the Conqueror, I looked for the families living today who have the best chance of actually being descended from him.

Keep in mind that over 10,000 families with different surnames claim (read: wish for) direct patrilineal descent from either the Conqueror or his ancestor, Richard the 1st. Totally different DNA groups who can't possibly share an ancestor 944 years ago all claim to be their descendants.

After my research, I decided that only 6 family surnames had any good chance of being direct descendants -

Devereaux Devericks/ Deveau

Hereford/ Herfort/ Hartford





Of these families only 2 show the G2a haplotype at the time I was looking, late 2009 -

Hereford/ Herford/ Hartford


Your can read more about this research at this link

Richard de Clare’s DNA?

But there is one other family looks like a good match.

A few years ago, a gentleman with the last name Clair joined our project. Not St. or Sin...Clair, just Clair. Given his genealogy, we thought there was a good chance he'd be a connection for us back to Richard fitz Gilbert, otherwise known as Richard de Clare, the Earl of Pembroke or "Strongbow."  He wasn't. He currently matches no one else in our family.

Strongbow is supposed to be a direct descendant of Rollo.

Guess what this Clair participant's haplotype is ------- G2a.

Maybe the further testing we're doing in England will turn up lots of St Clair G2a participants.

Why would this upset anyone?

The news of that gourd with the G2a blood in it has upset some folks who, it seems, have a pre-conceived notion what the haplotype of Rollo, the Merovingians, and the supposed royal bloodline really is.

They're saying things like, "I think it is an utter joke!”
Another guy referred to it as fiction, not fact.

The truth is, at this point, it's neither.
It's just data.
When we speak of data, we use words like 'probability,'  not 'fact' or 'fiction.'
And the data is consistent with other important parts of the story; like the fact that the DNA points to its owner having blue eyes – Louis had blue eyes. And the fact that it’s the same haplotype as 2 of the skeletons in the dig at Bavaria, Germany on what was Merovingian land. And there are likely descendents of the Conqueror who show the same haplotype - G2a. So the probability is growing - not certain yet; but getting very interesting.

When doing un-biased research, one can get excited about new findings. But when you’ve already made up your mind and new data breaks up the party, it can be quiet upsetting.

The real kicker

An awful lot of books state unequivocally that the Merovingians are descended from the line of Pharaohs. Whit Athey says the pharaohs are part of the Atlantic Modal Haplogroup. If he’s right, and the gourd is right, then some folks will be very wrong.

I don’t have a strong feeling either way. I just like a good horse race, and this one just got very exciting.

Keep up with Sinclair DNA at our blog. Click here

Sources -
Tut's DNA, the article that announced it -

Full list of sources on the Ergolding dig bottom of this page -

My article on William the Conqueror's DNA, follow reference number links to sources -

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