DNA Testing

Some of the family members have been getting DNA tests to help in our family research. Here is an explanation of the haplogroup to which all Montague decedent of Peter1 and Richard1 belong. I hope you find it interesting.

Read about your most ancient ancestors

Ancient ancestry:
The Artisans

You belong to haplogroup R1b, The Artisans, who first arrived in Europe from west Asia about 35,000- 40,000 years ago at the dawning of the Aurignacian culture. This cultural was remarkable for its subtle yet significant technological progress, like the shift from random flint collection to the use of a single stone core to shape flint tools as needed. Aurignacian decorative beads and jewelry could also be the first sign we have of the uniquely human quality of self-awareness and adornment. Additionally, some anthropologists believe that the Aurignacian culture was the first to paint. Either way, the people of this time period left behind fascinating cave paintings in France, Spain and Portugal.

Other experts believe that the Perigordian culture was prevalent at the time when the Artisans first arrived in Europe. This culture distinguished itself with different technological advances, such as denticulate tools with saw-tooth notches for cutting meat or wood and for smoothing and polishing.

There are several known subgroups of R1b. We’re not yet able to tell you which (if any) of these subpopulations you match to, so we’ll tell you a little about a few of them. Population genetics is a rapidly advancing field, and new data may allow us to match your DNA to a specific subgroup in the future. We’ll notify you by email if more advanced results become available. One subgroup of the Artisans, R1b3 (sometimes called R1b1c) is associated with the Cro-Magnons. Based on archaeological excavations, particularly in France, it’s believed that the Cro-Magnons wove clothes, built huts and painted.

The Ice Age may have played a role in the dispersion of the Artisans. At the peak of the Ice Age a European ice shelf extended as far as southern Ireland, mid England and northern Germany, completely covering Scandinavia. Most of continental Europe was tundra and the land only supported trees as far south as southern France, northern Italy and areas north of the Balkans and across the Black Sea. Thus, the Artisans most likely moved south of the tree line for their resources, making permanent homes where their descendants remained even when the ice shelf receded. Others returned north once resources were again available.

About 70% of individuals currently residing in southern England are members of the Artisans. Other members can be found at high rates in the modern day populations of Spain, Portugal, France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Based on this observation and other archeological and historical information, it is likely that your ancient ancestors also populated these areas. The Artisans include a genetic group known as the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH), which features greatly among the Irish and Welsh populations.

Some researchers believe that the genes associated with the AMH moved with the early Celtic migrations. Although ancient ancestral Celts were a diverse group and varied in many ways, certain mythologies are consistent throughout most Celtic traditions, despite geographic or tribal boundaries. More than 300 Celtic deities have been described, many of which are reflected in classic Roman counterparts. The god Lugh (or Lugus) may have played an important role among those deities. Folklore and storytelling has infused Lugh’s character with magic and fantasy, given him credit for thunder and lightening, and placed his stage in the sky.

The widespread acceptance of Lugh in Celtic culture is supported by the use of his name as the root of city names. Lyon, the present day city in southeastern France was called Lugdunum in Roman times. The city of Leiden in south Holland may also have its roots in the name of the god.

R1b1c4 and R1b1c6 are very specific Artisan subsections found primarily in Basque populations, but also in Catalan, Spanish, French, British and German populations.

A unique modern day population, the Basque people self-identify as a discrete ethnic group in north-central Spain and southwestern France. Early Basque culture was basically democratic and their pre-Christian religion was formed around a superior female goddess, Mari. A rich mythology of Basque creatures and characters includes imps, giants, dragons, soothsayers and other nature-based deities. Traditional Basque cuisine was dictated by the mountains and sea surrounding Basque country. Lamb, fish and beans are typical ingredients of a Basque meal. The language associated with the Basque people is euskara, which linguists believe exists in a family by itself, and is not related to English or other western European languages. Members of the Artisans can be found at high rates in South America. Populations geneticists ascribe this finding to the movement of peoples from Iberia to South America over the last 500 years.

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