Newfoundland genetic history

A pdf preprint of the article Newfoundland and Labrador: A mosaic founder population of an Irish and British diaspora from 300 years ago is posted in BioRxiv. The lead author, Edmund Gilbert, is well known for his studies of geographic distribution and linkages from DNA data.

Analysis of 1,807 Newfoundland and  Labrador individuals shows English ancestry is predominant except for Irish in the south and south-east. A genetic bottleneck exits approximately 10 to 15 generations ago.

These findings are consistent with the isolation of outports and known genealogical evidence. The comparative genetic data to establish DNA connections to French (and Spanish?) settlers is not available, nor is that of the indigenous populations.

One Reply to “Newfoundland genetic history”

  1. Much of the technical detail about DNA anaysis is w-a-y over my head. However, many years ago I did a FH study of a Virginia family with my surname, thinking it was possible I had missed one branch of my family. I had not not, but I traced one branch of that family to NFLD, and from there back to Devon. It all makes sense to me if I understand the study correctly.

    I also recall researching the FH of a dear chum whose family had come to North America from Scotland, landing, to my great surprise, in New York City shortly before the American Revolution. At that time in that area of Scotland, they were starving, so heading off into a country rebelling against the King may have seemed like a better opportunity. In my research I was astonished to discover that many of the British loyal to the Crown were picked up in various harbours around New York. The captains of the British ships never told the people that they would return to the UK, and many, such as my chum’s ancestors, were dumped in Crown controlled areas, such as New Brunswick. Others, so I understand, were also dumped in NFLD, especially if the ships had been blown off course. From completely urban individuals, they had to carve out a life in completely rural environments. Amazing. Cheers, BT

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