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Genetic Investigation of Viking Ancestry on the Isle of Man 28 January 2011

On Saturday 19th February 2011, representatives from University of Leicester will be visiting the Manx Museum and conducting a genetic investigation into Viking Ancestry on the Isle of Man.

This University of Leicester-funded study is being carried out by Hayley Dunn under the joint supervision of Professor Mark Jobling (Department of Genetics) and Dr Simon James (School of Archaeology) as part of research leading to a PhD degree. The aim of project is to look at the proportion of Viking ancestry among the inhabitants of the Isle of Man.

In this project University of Leicester will:

• Exploit the power of the link previously shown between surnames and Y-chromosomal DNA (both of which are passed from father to son).

• Use historical lists of surnames present on the Isle of Man in medieval times to recruit modern donor samples to mimic the population of the past.

• Analyse Y chromosomes because these are linked with surnames, and then estimate proportions of Norwegian ancestry in these samples.

What does taking part involve?

Participating in the study will take around 10 minutes of your time and enable you to find out more about your ancestry and that of the Isle of Man. You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your ancestry and sign a consent form and simply brushing the inside of your cheek provides us with the DNA sample we need.

We are carrying out this work as a research project and thus it is absolutely free for you to take part. In return, we will provide you with a summary of the results, designed for a layperson, at the end of the study in 2013. In addition University of Leicester will send you a copy of your Y chromosome genetic fingerprint and an explanation sheet designed for the layperson.

During this project University of Leicester are looking at normal variation only, and no targeted tests of any medical consequence are done. However, while analyzing Y-chromosomal variation it can be found, in very rare cases, that a man has lost part of his Y chromosome which is related to fertility. Therefore, if you concerned about the risks of detecting infertility, University of Leicester would suggest that you do not take part.

The Surnames University of Leicester are interested in

The only criteria for participating are that you are a man whose father's father was born on the Isle of Man and that your surname is one of those listed below.

Bridson Callin Callister Cannan Caren Carine Carran Carroon Casement Caveen Christory Clague Cleator Clucas Cojeen Collister Colquitt Colvin Comaish Comish Condra Cooil Coole Corkan Corkhill Corkill Corkish Corlett Cormode Corran Corrin Corris Corteen Costain Cowen Cowin Cowle Crebbin Creer Cregeen Crellin Crennell Cretney Cringle Crye Cubbin Cubbon Curphey Faragher Fargher Fayle Freer Gawne Gelling Joughin Kaighen Kaighin Kaneen Karran Kee Keggan Keggen Keggin Keig Kennaugh Kennish Keown Kermeen Kermode Kerruish Kewin Killey Killip Kinley Kinnish Kinrade Kinvig Kissack Kneale Kneen Lewney Looney Lowey Maddrell Moughtin Mylchreest Mylcraine Mylechreest Mylrea Mylroie Quaggan Quaggin Qualter Qualtrough Quane Quark Quaye Quiggin Quilleash Quilliam Quillin Quine Shimmin Skelly Skillicorn Taubman Teare Vondy Waterson Watterson

How to take part

To register to take part please visit In this study University of Leicester require only one man per surname (including surname spelling variants). As representatives for each surname come forward, University of Leicester will list the remaining surnames for which we do not yet have participants.

University of Leicester will be holding an event for participants and anyone interested in the project at The Manx Museum Lecture Theatre, Kingswood Grove, Douglas on Saturday, 19th February 2011, 11am until 2pm. There will a short talk about the project at 11.30am.

At this event, participants will be able to hear a talk on the study and give their sample and fill in the associated paperwork. Study participants who are not able to attend the event will still be able to take part: University of Leicester will be able to send a sample pack to you in the post.

Further Information

Please do not hesitate to contact University of Leicester at the address or phone number below, should you require any further information.


Lab number: 0116 252 3377

Contact: Hayley Dunn

Links to previous surnames studies:


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