Y DNA, a Family name - Wilson, a Clan sept, and the Viking connection

"WILSON, son of William. The family are said to be descended from a Prince of Denmark, and were established at a very remote period in the Orkney islands, intermarrying with the clans of Monro, and others. After a long continuance in the north, alliances taking place with some of the principal Lowland families, the Wilsons moved south. Motto: Wilson will." (Taken from the website on Scottish surnames.)

Ever since James D. Watson and Francis Crick dicovered their famous double-helix in 1953, DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)has been a valuable forensic tool to trace our ancestral origins, In 2012 I submitted samples of my DNA to FamilyTreeDNA.com to find out whether or not I had inherited Viking genes handed down from my Wilson ancestors in the north of England who had migrated south from Scotland1.

The results were positive proof: following a basic test I learned I belong to haplogroup2 I1 (a Y-DNA SNP).

A subsequent Deep Clade3 test revealed that my haplogroup is indeed I-M253 a Viking haplogroup with origins in Normandy, northern France. Today it is frequently found within Viking/Scandinavian populations in north-west Europe and has since spread down into Central and Eastern Europe, where it is found at low frequencies.

  1. See Clan Gunn and my Scottish/Wilson ancestry.
  2. How are haplogroups and their subclades named? Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) haplogroups and subclades names follow the conventions of the Y-Chromosome Consortium's (YCC). The YCC short form names haplogroups with the first letter from the major haplogroup branch. This is followed by a dash and the name of the final SNP: S-M310, S-M254, S-P57, etc.
  3. A clade is a group of related individuals. A coding region is DNA which contains genes. In genetic genealogy, this most often refers to the part of the mitochondrial genome that contains genes.

Last edited February 2013. ©Terence Wilson MMIX