Surnames of Bodmin Moor updates

Update, 02/20: The results are in!  The thesis is finally done and can be found here.

The results show that there is a significant difference between the Y chromosomes found in Cornwall versus Devon, while Bodmin Moor Y chromosomes are more similar to those of Devon.

Read the thesis to find out why! (or just skip to Chapter 7)

Thanks again to all the volunteers and if you are interested, please see my new study here.

Update, 09/05/17The first round of results are in! After collecting the DNA samples from Bodmin Moor, I compared specific areas of repeated DNA sequences (called STRs) on the Y chromosomes of men from Bodmin Moor, other parts of Cornwall, and Devon.

Due to the overall similarity between these repeated segments of DNA amongst all the samples, at this level the groups of men involved are indistinguishable from one another geographically. Most of the men tested  belong to the same Y type (haplogroup) called R1b, which is the most common type in the British Isles, and particularly so in the west - so no surprise there!
However, we may see some differences in the next round of experiments, which will look in more depth into the R1b haplogroup by targeting differences among single base mutations (called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNPs). This will allow us to see if the three populations (BM, Cornwall, and Devon) have different frequencies of SNPs that distinguish them from one another.


Update 1, 24/10/16: My trip to the Moor was a great success thanks to the volunteers and assorted others (including the BBC!). DNA was successfully extracted from the volunteers' samples, and we have undertaken the initial Y-chromosome DNA analysis. The results show that the majority of Y chromosomes belong to the haplogroup R1b; this lineage was spread in the last few thousand years (the Bronze Age) from the steppe region north of the Black Sea, and is now Europe's most frequent lineage. It reaches very high frequencies in Ireland and Wales, and is already known to be more frequent in the west of England (including Cornwall) than in the East. My next steps are to compare the Cornish sample with others, including a sample from Devon, and probably to subdivide the Y lineages in a more informative way.

For those of you who attended my sampling session in St Neot, you probably all remember Christine from the BBC getting involved! She did a feature piece on Mr. Cawrse and gave the project really good coverage. So, thanks Christine!


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