Descendants of Lewis ap David of Cardiganshire, Wales

The Milesians: A History of the Gascon-Iberian Celts

1. Evolution of Haplogroup R1b1a2a1a2a/ R-DF27

In the last decade, great strides have been made identifying new SNPs down the human genome. And, anthropologists have been able to match these mutations to specific places on the timeline of human history. With this information, we can affix our forefathers to specific times and places in the migration of modern man.

Back when, anthropologists investigated whether R1b1a2 [M269], who emerged during the Neolithic Period, was connected to Cro-Magnon Man and the cave paintings of the refugium in southern France. Subsequently, M269 could have been the group who followed the retreating ice shield north across the land bridge to Britain and Ireland. With new information gained more recently, those possibilities have been put to rest.

[I]n articles published around 2000 it was proposed that this clade [M269] had been in Europe before the last Ice Age. But by 2010, more recent periods such as the European Neolithic have become the focus of proposals. A range of newer estimates for R1b1b2, [now R1b1a2] or at least its dominant parts in Europe, are from 4,000 to a maximum of about 10,000 years ago, and looking in more detail is seen as suggesting a migration from Western Asia via southeastern Europe.

    "Haplogroup R1b"> 25 July 2015.

The yDNA sequence for our Lewis family has been traced down to DF27. The evolution of SNP DF27 is cited by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy [ISOGG]. And, DF27 has acquired the moniker the Gascon-Iberian Celts.

2. When and where and how the ancestors of the proto-Celts lived

When humans first ventured out of Africa some 60,000 years ago, they left genetic footprints still visible today. By mapping the appearance and frequency of genetic markers in modern peoples, we create a picture of when and where ancient humans moved around the world. These great migrations eventually led the descendants of a small group of Africans to occupy even the farthest reaches of the Earth.

    "The Human Journey," National Geographic Genographic Project <> 12 July 2015.

a. The evolution of Haplogroup R has been well cited:
-R [M207] emerged from K at Point PQR near the Aral Sea.
-R1 [M173] emerged on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea.
-R1b [M343] emerged south of the Caspian Sea in Persia.
-P25 survived the Younger Dryas stadial (the Big Freeze) at the end of the last Ice Age in their refrugium in the vicinity of the Tigris River Valley.
-P297 migrated north through the Caucasus Mtns.
-Then, we encounter the emergence of the proto-Indo-European language.

b. We locate M269 beginning in about 4,900 BCE living on the Pontic-Caspian Steppe north of the Black Sea during the Late Neolithic Period. Pre 4,000 BCE, this location is believed to be the Urheimat (ancient homeland) of the proto-Indo-European language. M269 is believed to be the forefathers of the Kurgan culture.

Modern linguists have placed the Proto-Indo-European homeland in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, a distinct geographic and archeological region extending from the Danube estuary to the Ural mountains to the east and North Caucasus to the south. The Neolithic, Eneolithic and early Bronze Age cultures in Pontic-Caspian steppe has been called the Kurgan culture ( 4200-2200 BCE). . . 

    "Haplogroup R1b" <> 26 July 2015.

Horses were first domesticated around 4600 BCE in the Caspian Steppe, perhaps somewhere around the Don or the lower Volga, and soon became a defining element of steppe culture. . .

This might have happened with the appearance of the Dnieper-Donets culture (c. 5100-4300 BCE). This was the first truly Neolithic society in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe. Domesticated animals (cattle, sheep and goats) were herded throughout the steppes and funeral rituals were elaborate. Sheep wool would play an important role in Indo-European society, notably in the Celtic and Germanic (R1b branches of the Indo-Europeans) clothing traditions up to this day. . . Towards the end of the 5th millennium, an elite starts to develop with cattle, horses and copper used as status symbols.

    "Haplogroup R1b" <> 26 July 2015.

c. We locate L23 from about 4,200 to 2,800 BCE migrating west, and then south around the Black Sea, and then west again up the Danube Valley. And as people still do today, they headed up the valley. This was the Copper/ Bronze Age. By 4,000 BCE, L23 spoke a language of the Northwest branch of the Indo-European language.

Another migration across the Caucasus happened shortly before 3700 BCE, when the Maykop culture the world's first Bronze Age society, suddenly materialized in the north-west Caucasus, apparently out of nowhere. The origins of Maykop are still uncertain, but archeologists have linked it to contemporary Chalcolithic cultures in Assyria and western Iran. Archeology also shows a clear diffusion of bronze working and kurgan-type burials from the Maykop culture to the Pontic Steppe, where the Yamna culture developed soon afterwards (from 3500 BCE). Kurgan (a.k.a. tumulus) burials would become a dominant feature of ancient Indo-European societies and were widely used by the Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes, and Scythians, among others.

    "Haplogroup R1b" <> 26 July 2015.

d. We locate L51 from about 2,800 to 2,500 BCE. They migrated up the Danube River Valley to the vicinity of the Hungarian Plain and the Austrian Alps. This was the early Bronze Age where they developed new technologies. Here, they continued to speak a language of the Northwest branch of the Indo-European language.

Anthropologists have suggested that the peoples of L51 were the factors of the Hallstatt Culture of Austria. Perhaps their descendants were. But this ethnic group passed through Austria almost 2,000 years before the estimated time of the Hallstatt Culture.

The Yamna period (3500-2500 BCE) is the most important one in the creation of Indo-European culture and society. Middle Eastern R1b people had been living and blending to some extent with the local R1a foragers and herders for over a millennium, perhaps even two or three. The close cultural contact and interactions between R1a and R1b people all over the Pontic-Caspian Steppe resulted in the creation of a common vernacular, a new lingua franca, which linguists have called Proto-Indo-European (PIE). It is pointless to try to assign another region of origin to the PIE language. Linguistic similarities exist between PIE and Caucasian and Hurrian languages in the Middle East on the one hand, and Uralic languages in the Volga-Ural region on the other hand, which makes the Pontic Steppe the perfect intermediary region.

During the Yamna period cattle and sheep herders adopted wagons to transport their food and tents, which allowed them to move deeper into the steppe, giving rise to a new mobile lifestyle that would eventually lead to the great Indo-European migrations. This type of mass migration in which whole tribes moved with the help of wagons was still common in Gaul at the time of Julius Caesar, and among Germanic peoples in the late Antiquity.

    "Haplogroup R1b" <> 26 July 2015.

e. We locate L11 from about 2,500 BCE. They migrated north and settled in the Black Forest from the headwaters of the Danube River (vic Regensburg) west toward Freiberg in what is now southern Germany. By 2,380 BCE, they spoke the Celt-Italic language which split from the Northwest branch of the Indo-European language.

At this point there was a major split in not only the subclades of L11 but also in culture and language. Whether or not L11 was part of the the Hallstatt Culture of Bronze Age Austria, we the descendants of L11 possessed some Hallstatt influence and Bronze Age technology. From southern Germany and Gaul, we took these skills and new branches of the Indo-European language to dispersed locations in western Europe.

U106, descendants of L11, spoke proto-German. They migrated north to Saxony in Germany, the Netherlands, and across the Baltic Sea to Scandinavia.

f. We locate P312 from about 2,300 BCE. The Gauls, aka the proto-Celts, migrated west across the Rhein River Valley and settled in Gaul (France). They are the forefathers of all Gaelic peoples. They spoke the proto-Celtic language which had just split from Celt-Italic. Their descendants split into at least six individual branches, migrating to Gallaecia on the Iberian Peninsula, over the Alps into northern Italy, from Calais to Britain and across the Irish Sea to Ireland, and up the Jutland Peninsula and across the Baltic Sea to Scandinavia.

3. The Gascon-Iberian Celts, the Celtici & the Gaels [DF27]

a. The Gascon-Iberian Celts migrated southwest to the Iberian Peninsula in about 2,250 BCE. Their migration route took them through Gascony/ Pyrenees-Atlantiques (France). Perhaps, some settled there. They left their DNA, their blood type, and their technology; but not their language amongst the Basque peoples.

The Bronze Age did not appear in Iberia until 1800 BCE, and was mostly confined to the cultures of El Argar and Los Millares in south-east Spain, with sporadic sites showing up in Castile by 1700 BCE and in Extremadura and southern Portugal by 1500 BCE. These Early Bronze Age sites typically did not have more than some bronze daggers or axes and cannot be considered proper Bronze Age societies, but rather Copper Age societies with occasional bronze artefacts (perhaps imported). These cultures might have been founded by small groups of R1b adventurers looking for easy conquests in parts of Europe that did not yet have bronze weapons. They would have become a small ruling elite, would have had children with local women, and within a few generations their Indo-European language would have been lost, absorbed by the indigenous languages.

    "Haplogroup R1b" <> 26 July 2015.

b. The Iberian-Gaelic Celts, aka the Celtici, continued their migration southwest into the Douro Valley and then south to the region of Beira Alta and its capitol Guarda in what is now Portugal. Here, the Lusitanians settled. They spoke proto-Celtic Lusitanian, a Celtic language of the Indo-European language family.

The Celtici (in Portuguese, Spanish, and Galician Célticos) were a Celtic tribe or group of tribes of the Iberian peninsula, inhabiting three definite areas: [a] in what today are the regions of Alentejo and the Algarve Portugal; [b] in the Province of Badajoz and north of the Province of Huelva Spain, in the ancient Baeturia; [c] and along the coastal areas of Galici. . .

The Celtici were not considered a barbarian people. On the contrary, they were what the Greeks considered a civilized people, almost in the same degree as the Turdetani. . .

The origin of the Baeturian Celts was, according to Pliny, from the Celtici of Lusitania and were also kin to the Gallaeci:

The Celtici from Guadiana had blood links with the Galician Celts, since there had been large-scale migration to the northwest of these Celts along with the Turduli (Str., 3, 3, 5)...

[Pliny considers the Celtici who extend into Baetica] to have migrated from Lusitania which he appears to regard as the original seat of the whole Celtic population of the Iberian peninsula including the Celtiberians, on the ground of an identity of sacred rites, language, and names of cities.

These migratory patterns have persisted on the same axis until modern times, supporting a centuries old traditional and seasonal farming and animal husbandry transhumance along the ancient Roman or Carthaginian Silver road that served for its rich mines production transport, and for the Astorga region peddlars and wagoneers, the Maragatos. . . .

    "Celtici" <> 13 August 2015.

c. The Gaelic Celts, aka the Gaels, continued their migration, this time north to the northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the regions of Gallaecia and Asturias in what is now Spain. They spoke q-Celt/ Goidelic/ Gaelic.

In his work, "Geography", the classical geographer Strabo suggests a change had occurred in the use of the name "Lusitanian". He mentions a group who had once been called "Lusitanians" living north of the Douro river but were called in his day "Callacans".

    "Lusitania" <> 13 August 2015.

In the North, in Gallaecia, another group of Celtici dwelt the coastal areas. They comprised several populi, including the Celtici proper: [a] the Praestamarci south of the Tambre river (Tamaris), [b] the Supertamarci north of it, [c] and the Neri by the Celtic promontory (Promunturium Celticum) [vic. Foz, Spain], whom Strabo considered related to the Celtici of Lusitania, settled in Gallaecia after a military campaign held jointly with the Turduli.

Pomponius Mela affirmed that all the inhabitants of the coastal regions, from the bays of southern Gallaecia and up to the Astures, were also Celtici:

"All (this coast) is inhabited by the Celtici, except from the Douro river to the bays, where the Grovi dwelt… In the north coast first there are the Artabri, still of the Celtic people (Celticae gentis ) and after them the Astures."

He also mentioned the fabulous isles of tin, the Cassiterides, as situated among these Celtici.

    "Celtici" <> 13 August 2015.

Research Note: Translated from the Greek, the Tin Isles are the mythical land of resources--tin, gold, amber--beyond the Pillars of Hercules in the Mare Gallaecum.

    "Cassiterides" <> 16 August 2015.

To state that the Cassiterides were "situated among these Celtici" is not necessarily a stretch. The mythology states that our Celtic ancestors, the Milesians, invaded Hibernia (Ireland) sometime after 1,000 BCE. This gives history 500 plus years to catch up to the fact that our Celtic ancestors accessed those resources and traded them throughout the Atlantic Fringe. Although not geographically close, the Tin Isles were within the sphere of the Celtici before contact with the Greeks.

Of course, this research could lead to a never ending hunt for additional information about the Tin Isles of Herodotus (c. 430 BC) and Pytheas of Massalia (c. 320 BCE).

We measure mankind's progress toward our modern world and divide his achievements into periods by his manufacture and use of tools and the development of technology.

Iberia did not become a fully-fledged Bronze Age society until the 13th century BCE, when the Urnfield culture (1300-1200 BCE) expanded from Germany to Catalonia via southern France, then the ensuing Hallstatt culture (1200-750 BCE) spread throughout most of the peninsula (especially the western half). This period belongs to the wider Atlantic Bronze Age (1300-700 BCE), when Iberia was connected to the rest of Western Europe through a complex trade network. . .

The Atlantic Bronze Age could correspond to the period when DF27 radiated more evenly around Iberia and ended up, following Atlantic trade routes, all the way to the British Isles, the Netherlands and western Norway (where M153 and SRY2728 make up about 1% of the population).

    "Haplogroup R1b" <> 26 July 2015.

The descendants of DF27 (post 1,000 BCE) who remained in Iberia spoke Gallaecian. Their cousins, the Celtiberians of eastern Spain, arrived later and spoke, not a different dialect, but a different q-Celt language.

Further reading:
-"Milesians, the Myth" <> 17 July 2015.
-"The Story of the Irish Race" <> 17 July 2015.

4. The Castro Culture

Historically, we have looked at the Celts as an ethnic group with an intrinsic culture. And in pre-Roman France, Belgium and Germany, they were; as attested by Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico. Let us leave Celtic Gaul, Belgica, and Germanica aside. Throughout the rest of Iron Age Europe, there was a different story.

There are many discussions which describe the elusive Celts of the Atlantic Fringe (as differentiated from the Celts of Gaul, Belgica, and Germanica) not as an ethnic group but as a social elite who brought art, weapons, technology, and trade wherever they went. But there was a tradeoff. Our Celtic forefathers fed off the land and produce of others.

The Galatians [of Anatolia] were in their origin a part of the great Celtic migration which invaded Macedon. . .[T]he migration led to the establishment of a long-lived Celtic territory in central Anatolia, which included the eastern part of ancient Phrygia, a territory that became known as Galatia. There they ultimately settled. . .[and] supported themselves by plundering neighbouring countries. . .The local population of Cappadocians were left in control of the towns and most of the land, paying tithes to their new overlords, who formed a military aristocracy and kept aloof in fortified farmsteads, surrounded by their bands.

    "Galatia" <> 27 July 2015.

Research Note: Why did Alexander the Great of Macedon and Helen of Troy have red hair? They were the descendants of the Celtic invaders of Macedon and Anatolia.

So, our Celtic forefathers were a society of elites, a military aristocracy, whose wealth came from tithes paid by the indigenous peoples. They lived in fortified farmsteads surrounded by their "bands" of fellow invaders who were bent on plundering the countryside. And, all the while they were fervently distributing their DNA and blood type amongst the females of the indigenous population. This description also rings true of the Normans of Medieval Britain. Therefore, could we describe these "fortified farmsteads" as hill-forts or castles?

The Castro (Castle) Culture is the name applied to the Celts and their society along the Atlantic-Gallaecum Coast of the northwestern Iberian Peninsula from the Atlantic Bronze Age (c. 1,300 BCE) to the Roman occupation (c. 100 BCE) where our forefathers lived in hill forts and oppida.

Hill forts were built on prominent geographic features to provide a naturally strong defensive position from which the elites, the military aristocracy, could project their power over the indigenous population. And, the remains of hill forts are common in the British Isles and the Iberian Peninsula. More modern research has shifted the focus from the mechanisms of defenses to the functionality of the hill fort. The current concept is that the hill fort was not just a defensive position but a functional community unto itself. Of note, a Spanish term for the larger hill fort is cidás which is Spanish for city.

Oppidum is a Latin word meaning the main settlement. . . They were important economic sites, places where goods were produced, stored and traded, where sometimes Roman merchants had settled and where the Roman legions could obtain supplies. They were also political centres, the seat of authorities taking decisions that affected large numbers of people. . . 

The main features of the oppida are the walls and gates, the spacious layout, and usually a commanding view of the surrounding area. The major difference with earlier structures was their much larger size.

    "Opiddum" <> 30 July 2015.

Whereas the earliest hill forts were just defensive positions, the oppida was an open space inside a defensible position with well defined avenues and structures from which the elitist, military aristocracy projected their wealth and power. And, our Celtic forefathers, who dominated the indigenous populations of the Iberian Peninsula from their hill forts, took their elitist, military aristocracy to Ireland and later Scotland where they set up the exact same system which existed over the millennia until the unification of Great Britain in the early modern age. Yes, the subsequent Norman invaders of Britain and Ireland built their own version of castles when they were the elitist, military aristocracy. But, who built the castles of Ireland, Scotland and Wales before the coming of the Normans.

5. The Myth of the Milesians

Our people are the Milesians of Irish Mythology. The story of the Milesians is a created myth found in Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of the Taking of Ireland), a medieval pseudo-history written by Irish Monks which dates from about 1,100 CE. This wondrous work of imagination, history and geography does an amazing job linking the prehistoric Irish race to the Old Testament of the Bible from Adam to the time of the Israelites in Egypt. And along the way, it explains the invasion of Ireland by a new people with new technology and how they came to be the Over-Kings, the elitist, military aristocracy of Ireland.

According to Irish mythology, the Milesians traveled the known world in the style of Odysseus, sojourning in many locations over hundreds of years. The Milesians were the people of Miletus, an ancient Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia. Reportedly, Miletus was settled by Cretans during the Minoan Period and continued to thrive during the Mycenaean Period. Miletus would have a second incarnation as an Ionian Greek city. But, we want to focus on the destruction of Miletus in the 12th century BCE.

Anthropologists have written about the Bronze Age collapse where many civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean simply ceased to exist. And the destruction and subsequent abandonment of Miletus was a contemporaneous event.

The fact that several civilizations collapsed around 1175 BCE, has led suggestion that the Sea Peoples may have been involved in the end of the Hittite, Mycenaean, and Mitanni kingdoms. The American Hittitologist Gary Beckman writes, on page 23 of Akkadica 120 (2000):

A terminus ante quem for the destruction of the Hittite empire has been recognised in an inscription carved at Medinet Habu in Egypt in the eighth year of Ramesses III (1175 BCE). This text narrates a contemporary great movement of peoples in the eastern Mediterranean, as a result of which "the lands were removed and scattered to the fray. No land could stand before their arms, from Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arzawa, Alashiya, on being cut off. [ie: cut down]"

    "Sea Peoples" <> 5 August 2015.

The myth states that the Milesians sailed from the Greek city of Miletus on the coast of Anatolia south and sojourned in Egypt during the time of the Israelites (c. 1,250 to 1,150 BCE). Departing Egypt, they sailed north to Scythia on the Black Sea where they sojourned for hundreds of years. From Scythia, the Milesians began their epic journey west, passing through the Pillars of Hercules, and landing on the Atlantic Shore of the Iberian Peninsula.

Research Note: The coracle is a small oval boat built by stretching a hide over a woven willow frame which is waterproofed with tar. These traditional Celtic boats are still in use today in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The use of coracles in pre-Roman Britain was attested to by Julius Caesar during his mid-First Century BCE invasion of that isle. But more importantly, the use of the exact same boats was also attested to by Caesar during his subsequent invasion of Iberia.

The currach is a traditional Celtic boat considerably larger than the coracle which is found today in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It's not feasible that an entire ethnic race could traverse the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt to Spain in so small a vessel as the traditional Celtic coracle even though they had hundreds of years to make the voyage. However, if there is any truth to the the myth of Milesians in Egypt, they would have been exposed to the Egyptian felucca which plies the waters of the Nile to his day. And, with that technology, the Milesians may have crafted a vessel which was the prototype of the larger Celtic currach of today. 

The myth tells how the Milesian King Breogan built a tower in Brigantium in Gallaecia from which his son Ith spied the green Isle of Ireland. The sons of Mile Espaine and the sons of Ith sailed to Ireland where they defeated the three over-kings and divided Ireland amongst themselves.

Anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic research indicate that the Milesians migrated c. 2,250 BCE from Gaul and settled in Gascony and Pyrenees-Atlantiques in modern France and Gallaecia and Asturias in modern Spain where they became a trading nation along the Atlantic coast. From the ports of Lapurdum in Gascony and Xixon in Asturias and Brigantium in Gallaecia, the Milesians sailed into the Mare Gallaecum and across the Celtic Sea to spread their Celtic language and culture and technology to the peoples of the Atlantic Fringe.

A number of authors have postulated that there still is a cultural continuum in Atlantic Europe, forming a cultural unit which has its roots in prehistoric times but remained until today mostly thanks to sea trade. Geographers also mention the influence of the natural environment in the construction of a similar cultural landscape along the western European coasts. . . 

Atlantic Europe is a cultural reality that stretches along the coastal fringe of Europe, from Norway to South-Central Portugal (roughly down to the Santarém area), and including Britain and Ireland. Bob Quinn in his documentary series Atlantean speculates that western European Celtic culture is actually an earlier, pre-Celtic, Atlantic culture that included Atlantic Europe and people of the Maghreb such as Berbers and that it continues today.

   "Atlantic Europe" <> 27 July 2015.

According to Irish history/ mythology, the Milesians invaded Ireland c. 1,000 BCE. Launching from the Celtic Promontory (Promunturium Celticum), our people came down to the shore of the Mare Gallaecum with their where-with-all and put their families and probably livestock in the boats. They eventually worked their way up the coast in their flotilla of currachs and coracles, most probably landing in Armorica (Brittany, France). From Armorica, they crossed the Celtic Sea to Ireland where they became the Over-Kings of Ireland. Having populated Ireland, their descendants, the Scoti, went on to populate Scotland and parts of Wales.

In the Lebor Gabála Érenn, a medieval Christian pseudo-history of Ireland, the Milesians are the Gaels who came from Iberia and settled in Ireland. They represent the Irish people. They are named after the character Míl Espáine, which is the Irish form of the Latin Miles Hispaniae ("Soldier of Hispania").

    "Milesians (Irish)" <> 17 July 2015.

And, the bards sang of the Milesians over the many generations,

They came from a land beyond the sea,
And now o'er the western main
Set sail, in their good ships, gallantly,
From the sunny land of Spain.
'Oh, where's the Isle we've seen in dreams,
Our destin'd home or grave?'
Thus sung they as, by the morning's beams,
They swept the Atlantic wave.

And, lo, where afar o'er ocean shines
A sparkle of radiant green,
As though in that deep lay emerald mines,
Whose light through the wave was seen.
''Tis Innisfail—'tis Innisfail!'
Rings o'er the echoing sea;
While, bending to heav'n, the warriors hail
That home of the brave and free.

Then turn'd they unto the Eastern wave,
Where now their Day-God's eye
A look of such sunny omen gave
As lighted up sea and sky.
Nor frown was seen through sky or sea,
Nor tear o'er leaf or sod,
When first on their Isle of Destiny
Our great forefathers trod.

    "Moore's Melodies," Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland, 1900 <> 12 July 2015.

Those who do not wish to be associated with a mythological people may choose to disavow descent from the Milesians. However, we are still the descendants of the Gascon-Iberian Celts who migrated to Iberia then Ireland and then Scotland and Wales. I, for one, choose to be a son of the Milesians.

6. Locating the Descendants of the Gascon-Iberian Celts: Genotype vs. Phenotype

Research Note: This is not a thesis, merely an observation.

There are descendants of the Gascon-Iberian Celts along the entire Atlantic Fringe from Scandinavia through the British Isles to the Iberian Peninsula. But, we are a hidden minority. So, how do we identify the Gascon-Iberian Celts in the modern world?

Interestingly, the descendants of DF27 are not highly represented in the population of modern Galicia from which the legends say they departed for Ireland. Instead, the highest population density with the yDNA markers for DF27 and the highest population density with blood type O and Rh negative is found in the Basque region of France north of the Pyrenees. Why? Before they left for Ireland, our Celtic ancestors left their DNA and blood type amongst the Basque peoples but not necessarily their language.

I am not the first person to identify certain (genotype) anomalies among the Basque people of France.
-They have the highest population density of Type O and Rh Neg in the world. And, Type A has a consistently high distribution in Western Europe.
    "Rh Blood Group System" <> 31 July 2015.
-They have the highest population density of yDNA marker DF27 in the world.

     "Haplogroup R1b," Europedia GenWeb page <> 31 July 2015.

-The Basques live in an insular society even to this day.
    "History of the Basques" <> 31 July 2015.
-I am simply putting those observations together.

The argument is that there is a high propensity for phenotype X among population Y. This is due to the presence or absence of recessive genes.
-Some descendants of DF27 have a higher propensity for blue/ violet eyes.
-Some descendants of DF27 have blond/ red hair, freckles, and pale skin.
-The average folks of Wales have dark hair, frequently dark eyes, and a pale complexion.
-The average folks of western Ireland have dark hair, dark eyes, and a pale to olive complexion.
-The average folks of Basque France have dark hair, dark eyes, and an olive complexion.

My observation is that, the descendants of DF27 should have a significantly higher presence of Type O and A and Rh Neg blood. And many descendants of DF27 can be differentiated from the general population by the light eyed, blond/ red haired, freckled, pale skinned phenotype.

Scientifically, why is this important. It isn't. This is just an observation.
-The Scot/ Irish phenotype with a pale complexion, red-hair, and freckles make up 10% of the population of Ireland. I'd bet they are descendants of DF27.
-Therefore, descendants of DF27 in Ireland, Scotland and Wales should stick out like a "red-headed stepchild."

7. The Descendants of the Gascon-Iberian Celts (the Gaels) in Wales

One reason for the start of this investigation was to answer a few outstanding questions:

a. Why doesn't our Lewis yDNA test results match the typical test results from people in Wales?
-Family oral history states emphatically that we "was from Wales."
-yDNA results prove that our ancestors were Gascon-Iberian Celts, probably from pre-historic Gallaecia, who ex-migrated to Ireland.

b. Who were our Lewis ancestors who emigrated to Ireland?
-When the island of Britain--England and Wales--and subsequently the island of Ireland were populated c. 2,100 BCE, the settlers were the same ethnic group, the Atlantic Celts [L21], and they spoke the same Brythonic [p-Celtic] language.
-Sometime after 1,000 BCE, something changed the language of Ireland from Brythonic [p-Celt] to Gaelic [q-Celt]. Irish mythology states the something was the Milesian Invasion.
-And after the Roman evacuation in the 5th century CE, the Gaelic language was taken to Britain.

c. Who were the ethnic Irish who populated Scotland after the Roman evacuation?
-The Gaelic kingdoms of Scotland began in about 485 CE when ethnic Gaels from Ulster (now County Antrim, Ireland) put ashore on the Argyll Peninsula. There, they established the Gaelic Kingdom of Dál Riata which spanned from Antrim across the Irish Sea to Argyll. In Argyll, the Gaels, now Romanized to Scoti, competed with the Kingdom of Caledonia and the kingdoms of the Picts.
-In about 730 CE, the erstwhile Kingdom of Dál Riata was subsumed by the Kingdom of the Picts. But, the Gaelic legacy continued on through the ethnicity of  the people and the Gaelic language which they spoke.
-In 900 CE, the Kingdom of Alba (Gaelic/ Pictish Scotland) grew from the disparate petty kingdoms of Gaels and Picts in Scotland. Even after the Norman Invasion, the Pictish-Gaels and Scoto-Normans preserved the kingdom until the Scottish Wars of Independence.

[c. 485] The Scotti of Irish Dál Riata begin to colonise Argyll at Cantyre [Kintyre]. Apparently, Drust [Over-king of the Picts] does nothing to stop them, and may not even know about them at first. He has to deal with pagan rebellions in the north, reason enough to be distracted from the west.

[573] Brudei hands the invading Dál Riatan Scotti a heavy defeat at Lora (or Delgu/Telocho), and lays waste to their territory in the west.

[603] Aedan mac Gabrán of Dál Riata invades the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia and attacks King Æthelfrith at the Battle of Degsastan. By fighting and defeating Dál Riata, Æthelfrith secures the alliance of Dál Riata's enemies, the southern Picts.

    "The Kingdom of Caledonia" <> 9 August 2015.

Dál Riata was a Gaelic kingdom that included parts of western Scotland and northeastern Ulster Ireland, across the North Channel. In the late 6th–early 7th century it encompassed roughly what is now Argyll and Lochaber in Scotland and also County Antrim in Ulster. To its east and north was Pictland. . .

[Bede's account states that] Dál Riata was conquered by Irish Gaels led by a certain Reuda. Old Gaelic means "portion" or "share" and is usually followed by the name of an eponymous founder. Bede's tale may come from the same root as the Irish tales of Cairpre Riata and his brothers, the Síl Conairi (sons/descendants of Conaire Mór, Conaire Cóem). . .

The presence of Gaelic in Scotland was seen as the result of either a large-scale migration from Ireland, or a takeover by Irish Gaelic elites (like the Norman conquest of England). However, this theory is no longer universally accepted. In his academic paper Were the Scots Irish?, archeologist Dr Ewan Campbell says that there is no archeological or place-name evidence of a migration or takeover. This lack of archeological evidence was previously noted by Professor Leslie Alcock. Archeological evidence shows that Argyll was different from Ireland, before and after the supposed migration, but that it also formed part of the Irish Sea province with Ireland, being easily distinguished from the rest of Scotland. Campbell suggests that Argyll and Antrim formed a "maritime province", united by the sea and isolated from the rest of Scotland by the mountainous ridge called the Druim Alban. This allowed a shared language to be maintained through the centuries; Argyll remained Gaelic-speaking while the rest of Scotland became Brittonic speaking. . . 

Research Note: The original modern language of Britain and Ireland was Brittonic which was brought to those islands by the Atlantic Celts [L21]. Gaelic was brought to Ireland and later Britain by the Gaels [DF27] of Iberia. The Picts, who populated the Scottish Highlands, spoke Pictish which is believed to also be a Brittonic language.

The kingdom of Dál Riata reached its greatest extent in the reign of Áedán mac Gabráin. It is said that Áedán was consecrated as king by Columba. If true, this was one of the first such consecrations known. As noted, Columba brokered the alliance between Dál Riata and the Northern Uí Néill. This pact was successful, first in defeating Báetan mac Cairill, then in allowing Áedán to campaign widely against his neighbours, as far afield as Orkney and lands of the Maeatae, on the River Forth. Áedán appears to have been very successful in extending his power, until he faced the Bernician king Æthelfrith at Degsastan c. 603. . . for as late as the 730s, armies and fleets from Dál Riata fought alongside the Uí Néill. . .

Since it has been thought that Dál Riata swallowed Pictland to create the Kingdom of Alba, the later history of Dál Riata has tended to be seen as a prelude to future triumphs. The annals make it clear that the Cenél Gabraín lost any earlier monopoly of royal power in the late 7th century and in the 8th, when Cenél Loairn kings such as Ferchar Fota, his son Selbach, and grandsons Dúngal Muiredach are found contesting for the kingship of Dál Riata. The long period of instability in Dál Riata was only ended by the conquest of the kingdom by Óengus mac Fergusa, king of the Picts, in the 730s. After a third campaign by Óengus in 741, Dál Riata then disappears from the Irish records for a generation.

    "Dál Riata" <> 6 August 2015.

The Kingdom of Alba refers to the Kingdom of Scotland between the deaths of Donald II (Domnall mac Causantin) in 900, and of Alexander III in 1286 which then led indirectly to the Scottish Wars of Independence. The name is one of convenience, as throughout this period the elite and populace of the Kingdom were predominantly Pictish-Gaels or later Pictish-Gaels and Scoto-Norman, and differs markedly from the period of the Stuarts, in which the elite of the kingdom were (for the most part) speakers of Middle English, which later evolved and came to be called Lowland Scots.

    "Kingdom of Alba" <> 6 August 2015.

d. Were there ethnic Irish communities in Wales?
-The following articles prove that much of Wales--Dyfed, Brycheiniog and Gwynedd--was occupied by Gaelic speaking Irish sometime between 150 and 1045 CE.

This era [the 6th century CE] was also marked by a Gaelic presence in Great Britain, in what is today Wales, the Déisi founded Dyfed and the Uí Liatháin founded Brycheiniog, to the north, the Dál Riata are held to have established a territory in Argyll and the Hebrides. The Romans called these Gaels "Scoti".

    "The Gaels" <> 2 August 2015.

1. The Kingdom of Dyfed (410 to 910 CE)

The Kingdom of Dyfed is one of several Welsh petty kingdoms that emerged in 5th-century post-Roman Britain in south-west Wales based on the former tribal lands of the Déisi from c 350 until it was subsumed into Deheubarth in 920. . .

In the latter days of the Roman Empire through to the early post-Roman period, the Déisi Muman peoples, a name which originates in Irish as meaning "vassal", migrated to the region between 350 and 400 AD. Their migration may have been with the support of Magnus Maximus, who contracted with them to become vassals and seafaring defenders of Britain from Wales to Cornwall, following standard Roman policies. Gaelic became, or remained, the predominant language of the region, as evidenced by twenty stones dated to this periode with Irish inscriptions. . .

Dyfed may have originally occupied the area that bordered the rivers Teifi [vic. Cardigan], Gwili, Tywi, and included contemporary Pembrokeshire, the western part of contemporary Carmarthenshire, and with the town of Carmarthen. Dyfed eventually comprised at least seven cantrefi: Cemais, Deugleddyf, Emlyn, Cantref Gwarthaf, Pebidlog, Penfro and Rhos, with an approximate area of about 2284 km2. During times of strength, the kingdom expanded to additionally cover the Ystrad Tywi Valley of the [river] Tywi, including Cydweli Gwyr, and even bordered Brycheiniog. Dyfed lost the Ystrad Tywi region to Ceredigion, another petty kingdom, in the late 7th century. . .

Dyfed was subject to extensive raids during the Viking Age between the 8th and 11th centuries, causing social and political instability, and with the Vikings establishing settlements in southern Dyfed. By the latter part of the 9th century, the rulers of Dyfed had grown cautious of the influence of the sons of Rhodri the Great [King of Gwynedd], and sought out an alliance and the patronage of Alfred the Great of England. The precise nature of the relationship between King Alfred and the rulers in Wales remains unclear, whether a transitory alliance or a formal mediatization of the Welsh rulers to the king of England. . .

In about 904, Dyfed's ruler, Llywarch ap Hyfaidd, died, leaving his daughter Elen as his heiress. Elen was married to Hywel, ruler of neighbnoring Seisyllwg [Ceredigion,] and grandson of Rhodri the Great through his second son Cadell. Through his marriage to Elen, Hywel incorporated Dyfed into an enlarged realm to be known as Deheubarth, meaning the "south part", and later went on to conquer Powys and Gwynedd.

    "Kingdom of Dyfed," <> 2 August 2015.

2. The Kingdom of Brycheiniog (450 to 1045 CE)

The kingdom of Brycheiniog was probably founded by Irish raiders in the late fifth century. . .Traditionally, it was founded by (and named after) a Hiberno-Welsh prince named Brychan out of the old Welsh kingdom of Garth Madrun (believed to have been centered on Talgarth in the mid 5th century, though this event is shrouded in Legend. Brychan was a son of Anlach, an Irish settler who had peacefully taken control of the area by marrying Marchel, the heiress of Garth Madrun. . . 

In the 7th century, the inheritance of a woman, Ceindrych, brought the kingdom into the hands of Cloten of Dyfed and Brycheiniog. The union with Dyfed lasted for about a century, though parts of Brycheiniog may have been granted out as lordships for younger sons. The invasion of Seisyll of the Kingdom of Ceredigion in the mid 8th century separated the kingdoms. During the year 848 the men of Brycheiniog slew King Iudhail of Gwen.

In the 880s, King Elisedd of Brycheiniog was forced by the depredations of Anarawd of Gwynedd and the sons of Rhodri the Great to pledge homage to Alfred the Great and make his kingdom a vassal of Wessex. Such an alliance may well have been due to Viking pressure, for in the spring of 896 Brycheiniog, Gwent and Gwynllwg were devastated by the Norsemen who had wintered at Quatford near Bridgnorth that year. . . 

The land of Brycheiniog was conquered between 1070 and 1093. In 1070 William FitzOsbern, 1st Earl of Hereford invaded the kingdom and defeated three kings of South Wales, but no king of Brycheiniog. King Bleddyn of Brycheiniog, who was alleged to be ruling at the time of the Norman conquest and was said to have been defeated by Bernard de Neufmarché, appears in no historical source before the fifteenth century. . .In other words the Normans were already living there and the kingdom had already been destroyed. The kingdom was subsumed within the Lordship of Brecknock, ruled by Bernard's descendants.

    "Brycheiniog" <> 2 August 2015.

3. The Gaelic Kingdom of Gwynedd (150 to 470 CE)

As early as the 2nd century AD there may have been an Irish presence in the region as Ptolemy marks the Llyn Peninsula as the Promontory of the Gangani which is also a name he recorded in Ireland. In the late and post-Roman eras, Irish from Leinster are said to have arrived in Ynys Môn (Anglesey) and elsewhere in Northwest Wales, with the name derived from Laigin, or Leinster. The region became known as Venedotia in Latin. The name was initially attributed to a specific Irish colony on Môn, but broadened to refer to Irish settlers as a whole in north Wales by the 5th century. According to 9th century monk and chronicler Nennius, North Wales was left defenceless by the Roman withdrawal and subject to increasing raids by mauraders from Man and Ireland, a situation which led Cunedda, his sons and their entourage, to migrate in the mid-5th century [c. 450 CE] from Manaw Gododdin (Lothian, in modern Scotland) to settle and defend north Wales against the raiders and bring the region within Romano-British control. . .

Undoubtedly a Brythonic leader of substance established himself in north Wales, and he and his descendants defeated any remaining Irish Gaelic presence and incorporated the settlements into their domain and reoriented the whole of Gwynedd into a Romano-British and "Welsh" outlook. The Welsh of Gwynedd remained conscious of their Romano-British heritage and an affinity with Rome survived long after the Empire retreated from Britain, particularly with the use of Latin in writing and sustaining the Christian religion. . .

Other evidence support Nennius' claim of a leader who came to north Wales and brought the region a measure of stability, though an Irish Gaelic element remained until the mid-5th century.

    "Kingdom of Gwynedd" <> 9 August 2015.

Though Manaw Gododdin was located within the territory of modern Scotland, as a part of Yr Hen Ogledd (English: The Old North) it is also an intrinsic part of Welsh history, as both the Welsh and the Men of the North (Welsh: Gwyr y Gogledd) were self-perceived as a single people, collectively referred to as Cymry. The arrival in Wales of Cunedda of Manaw Gododdin in c. 450 is traditionally considered to be the beginning of the history of modern Wales.

    "Manaw Gododdin" <> 9 August 2015.

4. The Wirral Peninsula (c. 893 to 1200)

Wirral or the Wirral peninsula in North West England. It is bounded to the west by the River Dee, Wales, forming a boundary with Wales, to the east by the River Mersey and to the north by the Irish Sea. . . 

Before the time of the Romans, Wirral was inhabited by a Celtic tribe, the Cornovii. Artefacts discovered in Meols suggest it was an important port from at least 500 BC. Traders came from Gaul and the Mediterranean seeking minerals from North Wales and Cheshire. There are also remains of a small Iron Age fort at Burton, which takes its name (burh-tún) from it.

    "Wirral Peninsula" <> 6 August 2015.

Deva Victrix (now Chester) on the River Dee was a major Roman fortress on the west of England. And from this port, the Romans sent expeditions to Ireland.  After the Roman withdrawal c. 410 CE, the Irish used the Roman facilities to disembark in England.

The first Viking raids in the west were on islands off the Irish coast in AD 795, two years after the famous raid on Lindisfarne (Northumberland). Semi-permanent settlement in Ireland began in the late 830s in fortified camps at Dublin and elsewhere on the major river systems and coastal havens. In England, Danes had reached York by 867. They over-wintered in Mercia (at Repton, Derbyshire), in 873–4, before heading north and east again. Repton is only 60km from Cheshire, yet our first “confirmed sighting” of Scandinavians on the Dee or Mersey occurs at the surprisingly late date of 893. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that a group of Danes occupied a “deserted city in Wirral which is called Chester”. These included remnants of a force under Hástein which had recently been defeated by Alfred on the banks of the river Severn at Buttington, Montgomeryshire. They were chased off into Wales the following year by the Mercians; this may have been the occasion for the refortification of the derelict Roman defences, although Chester was not recorded as an official fortified burh until 907.

We know rather more about another Viking incident. In 902 the Irish expelled the Vikings from their base at Dublin. This caused political upheavals on both sides of the Irish Sea, and Hiberno-Norse immigration into the Isle of Man and north-west England. . .

Place names also indicate that many of the Norsemen came to Wirral from Ireland, and brought Irish people with them. Prominent Irish names include Liscard (Old Irish lios na carraige, hall at the rock) and Noctorum (cnocc-tírim, hill that’s dry). Irby is from the Old Norse Ira-byr, meaning settlement of the Irish or settlement of Norsemen coming from Ireland. This Irish influence also helps explain the name Dingesmere, the site of the Battle of Brunanburh described in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle entry for AD 937.

    "Vikings!" British Archaeology <> 9 August 2015.

8. Conclusions

Through the appearance of individual markers on the human genome, our ancestor's path out of Africa, into southwest Asia, and back across to Western Europe has been proven. It's actually a simple process: a) match the locations of the donors to the SNP markers found b) play connect the dots. With the addition of dates from ancient archaeological periods and the evolution of the Indo-European language, we can approximate when and where our ancestors were on the timeline of human history.

Tracing the evolution of SNP DF27, we learn that we, the families who descend from the Lewis family of Virginia, carry the genes of the Milesians, the Celtic Invaders of Ireland post 1,000 BCE. Our Celtic cousins, L21, were some of the original settlers of Ireland c. 2,100 BCE. And, their DNA is the dominant strain in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall; not ours.

We are the pirates and raiders as described in the Brythonic Welsh language. As early as the 5th-century in post-Roman Britain, our Gascon-Iberian Celt ancestors living in Ireland migrated to or invaded southwestern Wales, England east of the River Dee, and the Argyll Peninsula of Scotland. And those migrants/ invaders carried their yDNA markers for DF27 with them.

We are the interlopers who draped Ireland and Britain with an overlay of Celtic language, art,  and culture before and after the Roman Invasion. And we, the descendants of R-DF27, can stand amongst the current peoples of Ireland and Wales and claim our our Celtic heritage.


This site is provided for reference only. Except where specifically cited, information contained is conjecture and should not be considered as fact.
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