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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Did They Come From the British Moors?

Seven white British men who share the same unusual surname have been found to share a Y chromosome usually found in West Africa.

The African Y chromosome — the packet of genetic material passed down through the male line — probably originated from a man from Senegal or Guinea-Bissau who lived in Yorkshire in the early 18th century and was inherited by his male descendants.

It is even possible that the line goes back farther still, to Roman soldiers from North Africa posted to Hadrian’s Wall 1,800 years ago. This “division of Moors”, which included the earliest known Africans in Britain, included recruits from what is now Morocco. [Link]
Update: This is from Wednesday's Sun Online:
University of Leicester boffins refused to reveal the name — but the Sun found it to be ‘Marton’.

A genealogist told us: “We know it derives from a village in Yorkshire and there were 122 people with that name. This fits only the name Marton.” [Link]

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