William the Conqueror, King of England - Hunting William the Conqueror's DNA

Started by Justin Durand on Monday, July 22, 2013
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7/22/2013 at 8:37 AM

This article suggests that William the Conqueror was R1b.


Private User
7/22/2013 at 9:17 AM

Excellent article! I will review my link by the names listed. The interesting matter is that royalty by blood was fully discounted in those days by illegitimacy.

7/22/2013 at 11:13 AM

William the Conqueror is my 32nd Great Uncle. Many of the names mentioned in the article are names that run throughout my Family.

7/22/2013 at 12:02 PM

William the Conqueror, King of England is my 25th great grandfather. I can't even conquer the computer however. Once again Private User we're cousins of a different number.

7/22/2013 at 12:24 PM

Justin, while I understand the concepts of genetics, I haven't found enough interest to learn any specifics. If I hadn't watched the drama between you, Dale Rice and a few others unfold, I wouldn't even know what R1b means. The concepts and unanswered questions are fascinating and I can hardly blame anyone for letting their imagination be their guide.

7/22/2013 at 12:44 PM

What one the last one is private

William the Conqueror, King of England is my 27th great grandfather.
William the Conqueror, King of England
William "the Conqueror", king of England

WILLIAM KING OF ENGLAND is William Owen "Bill" Irwin's third cousin 27 times removed!
Unknown Profile

King William the Conqueror
King William the Conqueror

7/22/2013 at 12:46 PM

New grand father on the line Ulf Torgilsson, Jarl af Danmark is your 27th great grandfather. Ulf Thorgilsson, Jarl of Denmark

7/22/2013 at 3:23 PM

So why not post your blood type, Haplogroup and Y-dna markers?

Private User
7/23/2013 at 2:47 AM

He is my 25th Great Grandfather. I have a few of those last name running thru my family lines.

7/23/2013 at 6:48 AM

Dale, I don't see your question to Kris, but I can try to answer.

A man's y chromosome comes from his father and his x chromosome comes from his mother, but the x chromosome he gets from his mother probably won't be an exact match for either of the x chromosomes she got from her parents. The reason is recombination. His mother inherited one x chromosome from her father and one x chromosome from her mother, but each of her eggs has only one x chromosome and it is a scrambled version of her two x chromosomes. (Sorry for the image of scrambled eggs!) There is no rule about how much scrambling goes on. The man's x chromosome will almost always be a mixture from his mother's father and his mother's mother, but theoretically it could match one of them 100% and the other one 0%.

In another message thread I told you how I was able to use a combination of DNA tests and tools to figure out that my x chromosome was 1/3 from my mother's mother and 2/3 from my mother's father. Most of us would see something like that.

You asked above, "Is it proper to assign a 75% and 25% total genetic message from the FATHER to son?" The answer is no.

Both men and women inherit exactly 50% of their DNA from their father and 50% from their mother, but because of recombination they don't inherit an exact 25% from each grandparent. Theoretically, each grandparent could be as much as 50% or as little as 0% but it's usually somewhere in between.

Because my mother was tested and because her parents are from different national backgrounds, I could use the same tools I mentioned above to figure out roughly how much I inherited from each of her parents. I haven't done that, but I can see at a glance that I have approximately 25% from each of my mother's parents, but my different chromosomes have different mixtures. On some of them it's approximately 10% and 90%. On others about 1/3 and 2/3. On others it's close to 50/50.

Remember that x and y are not a shorthand for total genetic contribution. You have 46 chromosomes. The x and y are just two of them.

Private User
7/23/2013 at 7:17 AM

Dna doesn't impress me as being female I never can get the whole picture. No brothers and no leaving males on my immidiate side. A few cousins and they won't be involved.Afraid of gov. intervention or just plain very private.So it really isn't going to help me out that much. I will stick with the records. My son wouldn't be a help , he'd pick his father's side up but not my male line. He'd get my female line.And I could care less about his father's side., other then maybe a few namesa, which I use to have but have lost. And my son has sno interest in the subject or his father's side, which is too bad but hey thaty's how it is. He has his reasons.

7/23/2013 at 7:22 AM

I´m working in exactly the opposite direction. I believe, I have LOCATED a TON of family members, with the inner- genetic- radar and that many people who lead incredibly successful marriages, are statistically speaking, usually, somewhere abouts 10th cousins, if they are from the same country of origin and same race .... and carry quite a few similarities and usually, refer to themselves as a pair as having been instantly familiar... (root word... Family...) ... taking into consideration, the old cliché/saying, "we are attracted to the things we recognize as similar to ourselves
(or of course, there is the complete opposite... viewpoint in argumentation, that opposites attract.)
as well as working on the inner- genetic- compass reasearchings... I have been in a thousand places and only some of them, "talk" to me....
make me feel incredibly @home or as if, I´d been there before... etc. and along these lines... to the places one is "attracted" too... being old homesteads of their family branches.... etc.
I will get a DNA kit testing for myself and my immediate family members, for Christmas. We will post, here, then!

Simply, fascinating!!!


7/23/2013 at 7:29 AM

sorry, I totally worded that discription wrong...
I meant to say... most married couples of the same race and country of origin, can go back in their trees and find a common ancestor, somewhere abouts 10 generations back....
that would be more correct.... as it does not indicate, that there is ALWAYS a blood relations, only 10 generations back... but a common ancestor (great Aunts and Uncles and so on, included.).

7/23/2013 at 7:32 AM


You're right -- I should have made at least a little attempt to explain R1b. The whole point of posting things like this is so that more people get interested in learning how DNA tests can be used to solve genealogical riddles.

So, here's the short answer for the people who don't already know about R1b.

One type of DNA test for a man's y chromosome will show the mutations that have accumulated in his male line. Geneticists use the mutations to map the human family tree. R1b is a code for one of the mega-families (called haplogroups). Every man who is R1b is a male line descendant of an unknown man who lived about 18,500 years ago, perhaps in western Asia. R1b is the most common group in Europe. You can see a map here that shows the percentage of R1b men in different parts of Europe:


Another group that is common in Europe is I1. It is concentrated in northern Europe. Every man who is I1 is a male line descendant of an unknown man who lived about 15,000 years ago, perhaps in Denmark. You can see a map here:


On another thread we recently had a discussion about whether William the Conqueror would have been R1b or I1. Some people think he was R1b because it's so common. Other people think he was I1 because his male-line ancestors were vikings. Of course, there is no way to know except to test men who are descended from the same male line.

And, that's the point of the link above. One researcher looked at different families who claim to be descended in the male line from William the Conqueror's family. He found that many of them form a tight cluster within the R1b group and that they probably share a common ancestor who lived about the time of William the Conqueror. So, he thinks he has found the genetic signature for William the Conqueror.

You can see information about Geni's DNA projects here:

And information Geni's y-DNA projects here: http://www.geni.com/projects/Y-DNA-haplogroups/3717

7/23/2013 at 7:56 AM

The author of the article linked above thinks he has found the genetic signature for William the Conqueror, but there have been some criticisms already.

He used basically the same methodology other researchers have used to identify the genetic signatures of other famous ancient ancestors, such as Niall of the Nine Hostages and Genghis Khan. No criticism there.

But, he looked at the surnames Bartelott, Beaumont, Bruce, Clifford, Corbett, D’Arcy, Devereaux, Giffard, Hereford, Lindsay, Molyneaux, Montgomery, Mortimer, Mowbray, Neville, Norman, Norton, Osbern, Pearsall, Ramsey, Spencer, St. Clair, Stewart, Sutton, Talbott, Umfreville and Warren. These are all families that claim they go back to Normandy and to companions of William the Conqueror.

However, these families don't all claim that they are descended in the male line from the dukes of Normandy.

So, what this study has really done (say the critics) is show that there was a large group of male-linked kin who participated in the Norman Conquest, but it hasn't shown specifically that William the Conqueror belonged to the same male line.

The author's counter-argument is that in a warrior society elite men leave more children, so these other families are probably descended from the dukes' family even if they didn't know it.

Private User
7/23/2013 at 8:15 AM

Some of the above names are in my tree but can't remember off hand if they connect up dirrectly with him. I do connect with him dirrectly but it's via William Lingspree, the ili one and King John( John Lackkand) Judy

7/23/2013 at 8:23 AM

Interesting stuff, Theresa. I think you would be interested in two articles I read years ago. I wish now I had been interested in this topic back then. I would have saved them.

In one of them, a psychologist did a study that supposedly showed that people are less likely to be attracted to people who look like them. The underlying idea was that there might be some sort of biological aversion to incest. So, if someone looks like they could be a relative you won't be as attracted to them as much as to someone who looks very different. I think this is similar to what Dale is saying about Rhesus monkeys.

The other one is only loosely on point here. It was an article that said humans evolved in a way that helps them forget their distant ancestors and relatives. I think this was an essay, not a scientific study. The idea is that in a small village if you don't know your great grandparents you won't know who your 2nd and 3rd cousins are, so you'll have a wider choice of potential marriage partners.

7/23/2013 at 12:37 PM

The R1b Haplogroup is an impressive site but Im stil wondering why it is not shown as a sub-clade of F? and a subclade of I1 under F? That's the logic I saw in the articles previously discussed..... both are subclades of F are they not? The John Rice 1624 link was estimated based upon the son Samuel as I1.....and we assume I will follow that designation....R1b has distinction of it's category but under the two larger unbrella groupings of F and I1?Yes?

7/23/2013 at 12:48 PM

Lastly Justin: Can you tell if the R1b sub clade will stand apart when an I1 father line is spliced into the Blood group? Ancestory would seem to favor those who arrived first if they did not die out...surviving into roles of leadership and Royalty if you will....Wm the conquorer with R1b merging into the Plantagenat lineage, the female line for so many English Monarchs is subsumed byR1b or enhansed and becomes the dominant expressed Haplogroup for the rest of Plantagenant men....The Mother of Edmund Tudor is Valois and likely R1b along with Owen Tudor, Likely ??? The fight for dominance is Male Y or Female X? do we know that yet? DCR 1948

7/23/2013 at 1:22 PM

Yes, R1b and I1 are both sub-groups of F.

It gets a little complicated, but here's the general idea.

R1b is technically a subgroup of R1, and R1 is a subgroup of R, and R is a subgroup of P, and P is a subgroup of MNOPS, and MNOPS is a subgroup of K, and K is subgroup of IJK, and IJK is a subgroup of F. So, you could say that R1b is a subgroup of F.

Similarly with I1. I1 is a subgroup of I, and I is a sub-group of IJK, and IJK is a subgroup of F.

You can see that naming for the recent branches are easy. The naming for the older branches is harder.

R is a very ancient group that includes (with all its subgroups) something like 90% of the men in the world. It is the ancestor group for F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, and T.

R1b is not a subgroup of I1. They are both very old groups, extremely distant cousins of each other. They share a common ancestor, the man who had the mutation that founded the IJK group. He lived about 40-45 thousand years ago, probably in southwest Asia.

7/23/2013 at 1:42 PM

Dale, I'm not sure I understand your question: "Can you tell if the R1b sub clade will stand apart when an I1 father line is spliced into the Blood group?"

R1b and I1 are two separate groups. There is never any splicing. If a man who is I1 marries a woman whose father is R1b, his sons will be I1. Sons always match their father. Women don't have a y chromosome, so there is no contribution from their mother or their mother's father.

There is no fight for dominance between the x and the y. Men get an x from their mother and a y from their father. Women get two x chromosomes, one from each parent. Over the generations, the x and the y just follow their own paths without regard for what the other one is doing.

A woman has two x chromosomes. X chromosomes recombine with other x chromosomes every generation, so there is no way to classify them into big family groups like this. The only reason geneticists can make a family tree of the y chromosome is that it gets passed along unchanged (except for any new mutations).

Those new mutations become the landmarks that geneticists use to figure out which group a man belongs to. If you have a certain mutation, you're an R1b. Another mutation, and you're I1. Other mutations define other groups.

7/23/2013 at 1:57 PM

Dale, one last thing. You said that ancestry would seem to favor those who arrived first if they did not die out.

That's true to a certain extent, but it can get very complicated.

Years ago they used to think that R1b was the Stone Age population of Europe because it is so widespread. Other groups, like G2a and I1, must have been late arrivals, maybe with the barbarian invasions.

But, as they do more research, it isn't that simple. The theories change almost every time a new paper is published.

Last I looked, they were saying that G2a were New Stone Age immigrants from the Middle East, and that they displaced, conquered or killed most of the Old Stone population. Then, R1b invaded and they displaced, conquered or killed most of G2a. Then I1 invaded from the Ukraine and partially displaced the older R1b people in Scandinavia.

This kind of analysis is interesting for distant history, but I don't think it works to apply it to historic times. There are thousands of years between then and now. A lot can change. For example, the Capets are G2a, descendants of that Stone Age population that was supposedly conquered by the R1b folks. Obviously, their male line had a few thousand years to recover from that Stone Age conquest and turn themselves into royalty.

I think it's also easy to forget that there has probably never been a tribe or nation anywhere that consisted entirely of a single group (at least after the first few generations).

So, if you choose any random man anywhere in European history he could have belonged to any of the groups that are present in Europe today, or to any of the groups that are now extinct.

Guessing that someone is R1b because he's from Wales, or I1 because he's from Scandinavia is like betting on the horses. The odds might be better, but that doesn't mean you'll win ;)

7/23/2013 at 3:53 PM

Okay, then no FEMALES carry the Haplogroup that is exclusively on Y Chromosome one of 23 Pairs of Chromosomes.... Girls Carry XX, no Haplogroup genes and one is from mother and one is from her father but the mixture is variable....I GOT IT!

...The faces are a function of X on both sides and whatever histories they may have in the past can match up, especially a recessive eye fold from me to my son and his mother's dominant eye fold gene gave him what he has as far as eye shape but he carries my presumed I1 group......As one looks for variations we assume human beings can & do count wrongly or confuse the gene segments and conclude wrongly that one is I or I1, meaning the variant is present in I1 and not in I. That's what kept getting in my way....the Heirarchy usually means in logic that men are males by virtue of their Y chromosome not the presence of a penis....therefore a woman with a penis is not a man unless the Y is present...she may display male external genitalia and facial hair but if no Y chromosome is present she is not a MALE.

Now then. I have six generations leading back Margaret Beaufort on both the Father and Mother of John Rice 1624 of DEDHAM, Ma. Brought over by Perrott the biological father. The faces in my family would not appear in the numbers the do without gentic involvemnt because they represent too many disparate lines....we might have 1 or more Stewart faces, by happenstance or coincidence but I m ready to put to a vote of the general public that Valois Face #1 #2 seperated by 500 years could not occur with the other faces represented in the family without a genetic messages received. For the Stewart faces of #1, #2 #3. The Tudor face's of Number #1 and Number#2, #3, #4 to occur as a matter of accident is not even calcuable without gentic material in sufficent amount to follow random laws of recombination. And it's grouping of ever increasing number of faces following the Pyrimadal numbers that keep recouring down line that says to me.....an organizing principle is at work somewhere....I certainly don't know, but Im positive it's not random chance....Everyone who's look so far has made the family association between the 4 images presented. That's why I can't put my mind around someone dismissing the facial evidence. If is't that clear to non professionals why should the DNA expert have such trouble identifying with the similiarities....? The only way this could self assemble over time is for the concepts of DNA to take hold and present as they have. That's what I mean by Inductive Logic pointing back to the HAST TO BE SO scenerio that Perrott is the father of John Rice of DEDHAM 1624. DCR 1948

Private User
7/23/2013 at 4:33 PM

William the Conqueror, King of England is your 28th great grandfather.

7/23/2013 at 6:32 PM

Dale, I'll bet you like this blog post:

Who do you look like? DNA and family resemblance across generations


7/24/2013 at 3:30 PM

William the Conqueror, King of England my grandson's 26th great grandfather.

7/24/2013 at 3:55 PM

Justin, If we assume that I1 haplogroup is superseeded by R1b and that's the Wm the Conq. Bloodline that informs the the Plantagenant line of kings, then are we not left with I1, rare in S. Wales as a Vying line of Leader, such as the Tudors? You made reference to the 15 tribes of England, and Tudor was one....The Mortimers are Plantagenant so that group is XX friendly, but I suspect the Welsh to be dominated by I1 early Scandanavians who made their presence felt in ENgland long before R1b to to be dominant...Residual I1 leadership in the Kingly Crowd of Welshmen would seem to have an equal shot at success within the TUDOR lineage that traces back quite a long way, back past say Rhys ap Tudor or TEWDDER as earlier welsh people spelled it....My recollection is that group goes back to the Hen's and My mother said the Rice's directly back to that line....fyi. Since Plantagenant Richard III was the Arch-enemy of the Rival Lancaster do we have DNA from other older pre 1066 Welsch leaders such as Howell DDa?

Private User
7/24/2013 at 4:01 PM

I think Prince William looks just like his grandfather Prince Philip , who is of German background., I beleive> Native Americans can look very diferent depending on which tribe they are from. Southwestern Indians , such as the Navajo and Hopi are usually smaller , not always, and very dark but the Algonquin s, which cover a large group of various tribes are more apt to be taller and not as dark. they would include many tribes in new England the midwest and out on the plains. don't forget the Cheyenne and Sioux were orginally in the midwest and got pushed out into the plains.South American , central American and mexican Indians , even tho called Hispanic, but really Indians or Native peoples , whichever you perfer, are more like USA Southwestern Indians. Canadians can include Iraquois and Algonquin tribes.Natibe people can look like many groups of people.My geat Grandmother was 6 feet tall, very lean , high cheekbones dark eyes , which continued down through the family. My other great grandmother also dark but not tall ended up with two dark haired children and two blonds. Husband was a blond. Yet Great grand mothers were part Indian.

7/24/2013 at 6:35 PM

Dale, we need to be careful of terminology here.

R1b did not supersede I1. Both groups still exist and have millions of members. R1b is the most common group in Wales (about 89%). I1 far less common (about 8%). The rest are miscellaneous groups like E1b and G2a. According to some maps I1 in Wales is concentrated along the coast. There was an old idea that this meant I1 was introduced by Viking invaders. Some people still believe that, but some think I1 in Wales is much older.

The percentages in England are much different than Wales. In England, R1b is only about 69%, and there is a much higher number of I1. Perhaps a residual effect of the Anglo-Saxon invasion.

So, what about the Welsh nobility? The native nobility all claimed to be branches of the same extended family, descended from Coel Hen (Old King Cole), either through Rhodri Mawr or Cunedda. (Rhodri Mawr was the grandfather of the Hywell Dda you mentioned.) If Coel Hen was a real person he seems to have lived in the early 5th century, in Roman Britain.

BTW, I think this is what you mean by being descended from "the Hens". Hen is just a Welsh word that means "old". It is not a family or dynasty name.

This is why the Welsh nobility is traditionally grouped into 15 Noble Tribes. All except one claimed to be descended from Coel Hen. These are not tribes in the modern sense, people living in a particular region and following a chief. They are tribes in the older sense of "clans". They were sprawling, extended families ruling as nobility in their little areas.

The Tudors. like the others, claimed an unbroken male-line descent from Coel Hen (Old King Cole). The group the Tudors belonged to is called the 8th Noble Tribe, the descendants of Marchudd ap Cynan, who lived in the 9th century.

So, what was the haplogroup of the Tudors? The odds point to R1b, but no one knows. R1b is probably older in Wales than I1; R1b was probably more common in Wales in ancient times than it is now; the Tudors probably are genuinely a native Welsh family; etc.

However, we don't have any DNA from bodies of these old Welsh kings and princes. All we have are people living today who claim to be descended from them.

The people who've tried to prove a haplogroup by triangulation keep running into problems. All those old families who supposedly have a common ancestor keep turning out to belong to very different genetic lines. Usually R1b, but very different subgroups of R1b. Sometimes I1, but different subgroups of I1, including one I1 subgroup that is almost unique to Wales.

Probably, some of their pedigrees were fake from the beginning, and in other cases there have been adoptions (or whatever).

7/24/2013 at 7:15 PM

Illuminating, Justin as usual...My Mother was not born a Rice she married into the Family, thus the Story came down through her father in law, ANDREW RICE the spitting image of Henry TUDOR VII fyi, and thus I can only repeat what she said to me....not knowing that HEN = OLD....It was conveyed that the HENS were a family....so I will adjust my mode of thinking accordingly....You may have more than you know in John Rice 1624 as I1. DCR 1948

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