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High Y chromosomal diversity and low relatedness between paternal lineages on a communal scale in the Western European Low Countries during the surname establishment
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
There is limited knowledge on the biological relatedness between citizens and on the demographical dynamics within villages, towns and cities in pre-17th century Western Europe. By combining Y-chromosomal genotypes, in-depth genealogies and surname data in a strict genetic genealogical approach, it is possible to provide insights into the genetic diversity and the relatedness between indigenous paternal lineages within a particular community at the time of the surname adoption. To obtain these insights, six Flemish communities were selected in this study based on the differences in geography and historical development. After rigorous selection of appropriate DNA donors, low relatedness between Y chromosomes of different surnames was found within each community, although there is co-occurrence of these surnames in each community since the start of the surname adoption between the 14th and 15th century. Next, the high communal diversity in Y-chromosomal lineages was comparable with the regional diversity across Flanders at that time. Moreover, clinal distributions of particular Y-chromosomal lineages between the communities were observed according to the clinal distributions earlier observed across the Flemish regions and Western Europe. No significant indication for genetic differences between communities with distinct historical development was found in the analysis. These genetic results provide relevant information for studies in historical sciences, archaeology, forensic genetics and genealogy.
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