Thank you for your kind works. I remember well the insight of 'innumerable
cousins marriages' upheld by Sir Iain Moncreiffe, 24 Chief of Clan
Moncreiffe in Scotland.
Moncreiffe mentions the number being 1,073,741,904 ancestors over 30
generations [approx 1000 years].
I am in support of your observation and commend it.
Yet I believe the question still remains, in terms of both Mt and Y-line
DNA, as it is traceable, and thus provides the means upon which one
personally touches ancestors in the most direct way by being their
representative. This I believe if not by any other means will connect us to
the custodianship of our history and its continuance.
Thank you for your reply.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Barry Bishop" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 10:48 PM
Subject: Re: Genetic origins of the Celt's
> As no one else has replied to this I thought I would throw my tuppence
> I'm not sure what this Neolithic Haplogroup G* means, nor do I know much
> about linguistic theory, (although I suspect that the major
> weakness of the theory lies in attempts to 'pin' the postulated 'tree' on
> some form of chronological framework), and I do not what to get involved
> any invasion/migration/transmission-of-culture/population replacement type
> debates, as life is too short.
> However, as regards to tracing ancestors: as the number of anyone's
> increases exponentially as you go back through the generations, after a
> relatively short
> time, say a couple of thousand years, the theoretical number of your
> ancestors would be greater than the sum total of everyone who has ever
> lived. Although this is evidently not the case, and many of your ancestors
> would share common ancestors, it is nevertheless true that you, and
> else on the planet, are very likely to be a direct descendant of virtually
> everybody on the planet who lived more than one or two thousand years ago,
> whose genes have been transmitted down to the present. It is
> probably safe to claim direct descendancy from any of these 'Celtic'
> speaking peoples, any other population of Indo-European speakers, or
> any other group
> on the planet for that matter. I hope this isn't disappointing as such,
> wonderfulness of such concepts is that they demonstrate that racism, any
> notions of genetic superiority or nationalism based on ideas about generic
> inheritance are clearly ridiculous.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Grant South" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 12:49 PM
> Subject: Genetic origins of the Celt's
> Hi to all on the list.
> I am a family researcher who is interested in researching the Neolithic
> culture of Britain due to my being a member of the Neolithic Haplogroup
> This haplogroup is found mostly in the Caucasus Mountains and I believe
> area is identified as the birth place of the Indo-European language group.
> I would like to put forward a theory which I would be highly interested in
> your comments.
> I am no expert but I believe linguists identify the Indo-European language
> was agricultural in nature due to its early identification of the land and
> its grains and fruits, being shared in common amongst early members of
> language group.
> Further I find today posted this article in the NY Times.
> Celtic Found to Have Ancient Roots
> July 1, 2003
> By NICHOLAS WADE
> In November 1897, in a field near the village of Coligny in
> eastern France, a local inhabitant unearthed two strange
> One was an imposing statue of Mars, the Roman god of war.
> The other was an ancient bronze tablet, 5 feet wide and 3.5
> feet high. It bore numerals in Roman but the words were in
> Gaulish, the extinct version of Celtic spoken by the
> inhabitants of France before the Roman conquest in the
> first century B.C.
> The tablet, now known as the Coligny calendar, turned out
> to record the Celtic system of measuring time, as well as
> being one of the most important sources of Gaulish words.
> Two researchers, Dr. Peter Forster of the University of
> Cambridge in England and Dr. Alfred Toth of the University
> of Zurich, have now used the calendar and other Celtic
> inscriptions to reconstruct the history of Celtic and its
> position in the Indo-European family of languages.
> They say that Celtic became a distinct language and entered
> the British Isles much earlier than supposed.
> Though the Gauls were strong enough to sack Rome in 390
> B.C., eventually the empire struck back. The Romans
> defeated the Celts, both in France and in Britain, so
> decisively that Latin and its successor languages displaced
> Celtic over much of its former territory. In the British
> Isles, Celtic speakers survived in two main groups: the
> Goidelic branch of Celtic, which includes Irish and Scots
> Gaelic, and the Brythonic branch, formed of Welsh and
> Breton, a Celtic tongue carried to Brittany in France by
> emigrants from Cornwall.
> Because languages change so fast, historical linguists
> distrust language trees that go back more than a few
> thousand years. Dr. Forster, a geneticist, has developed a
> new method for relating a group of languages, basing it on
> the tree-drawing techniques used to trace the evolutionary
> relationships among genes. His method works on just a
> handful of words, a fortunate circumstance since only some
> 30 Gaulish words have known counterparts in all the other
> languages under study.
> Dr. Forster and his linguist colleague Dr. Toth have used
> the method to draw up a tree relating the various branches
> of Celtic to one another and to other Indo-European
> languages like English, French, Spanish, Latin and Greek.
> In an article in today's issue of The Proceedings of the
> National Academy of Sciences, they say that soon after the
> ancestral Indo-European language arrived in Europe it split
> into different branches leading to Celtic, Latin, Greek and
> Within Celtic, their tree shows that Gaulish - the
> continental version of the language - separated from its
> Goidelic and Brythonic cousins, much as might be expected
> from the facts of geography.
> The researchers' method even dates the fork points in their
> language tree, although the dates have a wide range of
> possibility. The initial splitting of Indo-European in
> Europe occurred around 8100 B.C., give or take 1,900 years,
> and the divergence between the continental and British
> versions of Gaelic took place in 3200 B.C., plus or minus
> 1,500 years, they calculate.
> These dates are much earlier than previously estimated.
> "The traditional date of the Indo-European family has been
> 4000 BC for some time," Dr. Merritt Ruhlen of Stanford
> University said. Dr. Ruhlen said the new method "seems
> pretty reasonable" and should be useful in tracing back the
> earlier history of the Indo-European language.
> Specialists have long debated which country was the
> homeland of the Indo-Europeans and whether their language
> was spread by conquest or because its speakers were the
> first farmers whose methods and tongue were adopted by
> other populations. The second theory, that of spread by
> agriculture, has been advocated by Dr. Colin Renfrew, a
> Cambridge archaeologist.
> Dr. Forster, who works in Dr. Renfrew's institute, said in
> an interview that the suggested date 8100 B.C. for the
> arrival of Indo-European in Europe "does seem to vindicate
> Renfrew's archaeological idea that the Indo-European
> languages were spread by farmers."
> Agriculture started to arrive in Europe from the Near East
> around 6000 B.C., much earlier than the traditional date
> proposed by linguists for the spread of Indo-European. This
> timing would fit with the lower end of Dr. Forster's range
> of dates.
> Dr. Forster said that his estimated date of 3200 B.C. for
> the arrival of Celtic speakers in England and Ireland was
> also much earlier than the usual date, 600 B.C., posited on
> the basis of archaeological evidence.
> Dr. Forster said his method of comparing groups of
> languages was unfamiliar to historical linguists, many of
> whom study how words in a single language have changed over
> time. Asked what linguists thought of his method he said:
> "To be honest, they don't understand it, most of them. They
> don't even know what I'm talking about."
> The method has two parts. One is to draw a tree on the
> basis of carefully chosen words; the second is to date the
> splits in the tree by calibrating them with known
> historical events. This is similar to the way geneticists
> date their evolutionary trees by tying one or more branch
> points to known dates from the fossil record.
> Dr. April McMahon, a linguist at the University of
> Sheffield in England, said that Dr. Forster's method "seems
> to me to be a good start" and that it was reasonable to
> base a language family tree on just a handful of
> well-chosen words. She had less confidence in the dating
> method, she said, because language changes in an irregular
> way based on social factors like the size of the speaker's
> group and its degree of contact with others.
> Geneticists often assume that the rate of mutation will
> average out over time, so that if one or two branch points
> in a tree can be dated by fossil evidence, the timing of
> the other branch points can be inferred.
> Dr. Forster says he assumes that the rate of language
> change can also be averaged over time. But Dr. McMahon says
> she thinks that historical time, being much shorter than
> evolutionary time, is less friendly to averaging and that
> linguists should not even try, at least yet, to put dates
> on language trees.
> I am now of the belief that haplogroup G* may be representative of this
> early Celtic migration to the 'Isles', and would be interested in any of
> your thoughts on the matter?
> Thank you in advance.
> Grant South