World Families Forums

General Forums - Note: You must Be Logged In to post. Anyone can browse. => Autosomal Block DNA Testing - "Family Finder" and "Relative Finder" => Topic started by: rms2 on July 20, 2012, 03:14:42 PM



Title: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 20, 2012, 03:14:42 PM
I mentioned on another thread that among my Family Finder raw data I have a a "TC" at rs1805008, which is one of several SNPs in the MC1R gene associated with red hair color. A "T" contributes red hair, but it is recessive, so, although I carry the trait for red hair, I don't have it myself.

Check your FF raw data and see what you have at rs1805008. Do you have natural red hair? If so, do you have a "TT" at rs1805008?

Rs1805008 is apparently the same thing as R160W or Arg160Trp, which is one of the "RHC" (Red Hair Color) variants on the MC1R gene.

Rs1805007 is another RHC variant and is also known as R151C or Arg151Cys, but I could not find that one in my FF data, so apparently it wasn't part of the FF test.

A third RHC variant is rs1805009, aka D294H or Asp294His. Apparently it is also not part of the Family Finder test, because I could not find a result for it in my FF data either.

The Wikipedia article on red hair says there is yet a fourth RHC variant: Arg142His. I couldn't find anything on it in SNPedia.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 20, 2012, 03:16:00 PM
Here (http://irishtribesman.blogspot.com/2007/01/red-hair-is-most-common-in-ireland.html) is something interesting on red hair in the British Isles.

Robin McKie cites actual genetic research by the People of the British Isles Project showing the frequency of the two variants of the MCR1 gene that are responsible for red hair.

Quote from: Robin McKie

Enter the scientists of the People of the British Isles project: thanks to their efforts, this most distinctive characteristic is now opening up its mysteries for the first time. Testing their white cell samples for two of the half-dozen red-hair versions of the MC1R gene, they were able to show their frequency in each area of the British Isles. The results were intriguing.

Where one is the maximum value, they got figures of 0.16 and 0.23 for the frequencies of red-hair genes in Cornwall and Devon. The frequency in Oxfordshire was 0.07; in Sussex and Kent 0.13; in northeast England 0.11; in Lincolnshire 0.07; and in Cumbria nil. In Wales the figure was 0.21, and in Orkney a high 0.26. But the highest was in Ireland. Using data from other research studies, the team got a figure for Ireland of 0.31, confirmation of the stereotypical image of the red-haired Irishman.

The results are remarkable, as Sir Walter Bodmer, the Oxford geneticist leading the project, acknowledges: “I was amazed at them. I didn’t expect to see something like this.”

The research gives us, for the first time, an insight into the startling numbers of native people who have been described as having red hair in ancient times.


To sum up, these are the frequencies of the two red-hair variants of the MCR1 gene studied by Bodmer and the People of the British Isles Project.

Cornwall: 16%
Devon: 23%
Wales: 21%
Orkney: 26%
Oxfordshire: 7%
Sussex and Kent: 13%
North East England: 11%
Lincolnshire: 7%
Cumbria: 0%
Ireland: 31%


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 20, 2012, 09:44:06 PM
Hmmm . . .

While messing around with my Family Finder raw data, I also discovered there is a result for rs1805005 in there. SNPedia says rs1805005 is a SNP in the MC1R gene associated with light blond hair.

I have a "GG" there, which explains why I don't have light blond hair. The allele for light blond hair is a "T". Since light blond hair is a recessive trait (like red hair), you would need a "TT" at rs1805005 to have natural light blond hair.

There are all kinds of gems lurking in Family Finder results!


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: seferhabahir on July 21, 2012, 02:19:02 AM
Hmmm . . .

While messing around with my Family Finder raw data, I also discovered there is a result for rs1805005 in there. SNPedia says rs1805005 is a SNP in the MC1R gene associated with light blond hair.

I have a "GG" there, which explains why I don't have light blond hair. The allele for light blond hair is a "T". Since light blond hair is a recessive trait (like red hair), you would need a "TT" at rs1805005 to have natural light blond hair.

There are all kinds of gems lurking in Family Finder results!

I appear to have a value of TG at rs1805005 and have brown hair like my father. My mother had very dark brown, almost black hair. No value for rs1805007 or rs1805009.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 21, 2012, 06:38:44 AM
Hmmm . . .

While messing around with my Family Finder raw data, I also discovered there is a result for rs1805005 in there. SNPedia says rs1805005 is a SNP in the MC1R gene associated with light blond hair.

I have a "GG" there, which explains why I don't have light blond hair. The allele for light blond hair is a "T". Since light blond hair is a recessive trait (like red hair), you would need a "TT" at rs1805005 to have natural light blond hair.

There are all kinds of gems lurking in Family Finder results!

I appear to have a value of TG at rs1805005 and have brown hair like my father. My mother had very dark brown, almost black hair. No value for rs1805007 or rs1805009.

You have the allele for light blond hair, but since it is a recessive trait and you are heterozygous there, you don't have light blond hair.

You could pass that on to your children, and one or more of them could have light blond hair (if your wife also contributes a "T" at rs1805005).



Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 21, 2012, 06:59:34 AM
Evidently there are a number of SNPs on MC1R associated with red hair.  I guess one can acquire that trait by being homozygous (with the right nucleotide) at any one of them. Perhaps it is the combination of them that determines the shade or degree of red?

http://spittoon.23andme.com/news/snpwatch-researchers-find-link-between-red-hair-and-avoiding-the-dentist/ (http://spittoon.23andme.com/news/snpwatch-researchers-find-link-between-red-hair-and-avoiding-the-dentist/)

SNP                 “Red Hair” Version    Alternate Name For Mutation
rs34474212                            C                S83P
rs1805006                            A                D84E
rs11547464                            A                R142H
rs1110400                            C                I155T
rs1805007                            T                R151C
rs1805008                            T                R160W
i3002507 [rs1805009]            C                D294H

http://snpedia.com/index.php/Redheads (http://snpedia.com/index.php/Redheads)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 21, 2012, 07:15:19 AM
Evidently there are a number of SNPs on MC1R associated with red hair.  I guess one can acquire that trait by being homozygous (with the right nucleotide) at any one of them. Perhaps it is the combination of them that determines the shade or degree of red?

http://spittoon.23andme.com/news/snpwatch-researchers-find-link-between-red-hair-and-avoiding-the-dentist/ (http://spittoon.23andme.com/news/snpwatch-researchers-find-link-between-red-hair-and-avoiding-the-dentist/)

SNP                 “Red Hair” Version    Alternate Name For Mutation
rs34474212                            C                S83P
rs1805006                            A                D84E
rs11547464                            A                R142H
rs1110400                            C                I155T
rs1805007                            T                R151C
rs1805008                            T                R160W
i3002507 [rs1805009]            C                D294H

http://snpedia.com/index.php/Redheads (http://snpedia.com/index.php/Redheads)

Interestingly, SNPedia says this about rs1805008 (aka Arg160Trp or R160W), where I carry the allele for red hair in a heterozygous or recessive state:

Quote

rs1805008, known as Arg160Trp or R160W; associated with red hair in an Irish population [PMID 9665397]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9665397?dopt=Abstract (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9665397?dopt=Abstract)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: glentane on July 21, 2012, 08:36:20 AM
Check your FF raw data and see what you have at . Do you have natural red hair? If so, do you have a "TT" at  ?
OK, out of the FF raw data I have
1805006=CC
1805008=TC
1110400=TT

Even my nose hair is ginger. Ew.

And that's a big "GG" at 1805005.
(I've left the "rs" bits off because the SNPbrowser applet is doing strange things to the edit, I noticed)

When I first tried out a beard as a young man, my 'mates' immediately hailed me as as "The Ginger Werewolf".
Off it came, stat. Now it's a saner white colour/non-colour, and for some reason less woolly.
I use it to hide the ineradicable hint of a double chin that's appeared, and I just can't shift :)
And I've ditched the curly shoulder-length mane, along with the loon pants, tie-dye teeshirts and circular sunglasses.
Headhair's a tiny bit browner now, and a No.2 allover.

I was born covered in freaky ginger lanugo, like a baby orangutan, even bits of my face, and until I was about 50 it was the same as the lass front right in that pic (http://snpedia.com/images/9/94/3898862774_a3fb1dba6a_m.jpg) you linked, a touch blonder probably from being out all the time.
Could be my identical twin, except I was always a bit of a skeleton, due to working outdoors all weathers, cycling everywhere if I could, and so on. Plus being too lazy/knackered to cook, and preferring the pub.

The "reddest" gingas I've met are invariably Welsh somewhere down the line. Quite distinctive and striking, if not to say startling. Some Jewish redheads next strongest hue. Everybody else has hints of something else underlying.
For instance, the Irish and Scots (Borderers mostly, former Northumbria, and up the East coast) are visually quite similar, what I've always thought of (unscientifically) as "German Red", like in that picture, kind of heading off in a strawberry-blond/brown direction, IYSWIM.
I noticed loads in Trondheim, for instance. Why that should be .. is it all a function of remoteness, and recessive reinforcement .. or commonality due to sea travel being the only way to get about, until very recently, in the N. Sea/Isles region?

Anyway, we're doomed I tell ye, doomed!
According to some 'study' or other, which says globalisation means everybody's going to end up looking like Tiger Woods, or the POTUS, or Halle Berry or summat. I wish!
Us gingers are headed the way of the Neandertal, though, they tell me ..


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 21, 2012, 11:06:15 AM
You have the same thing I have at 1805008: "TC".

I'm guessing it's at rs1805009 (D294H) that you have a homozygous result that gives you your red hair.

Unfortunately, rs1805009 isn't part of the Family Finder test.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: seferhabahir on July 21, 2012, 11:54:05 AM
Check your FF raw data and see what you have at . Do you have natural red hair? If so, do you have a "TT" at  ?
OK, out of the FF raw data I have
1805006=CC
1805008=TC
1110400=TT

Even my nose hair is ginger. Ew.


OK, I have a few stray reddish hairs in my beard and I have the following alleles

1805006=CC
1805008=CC
1110400=TT


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 21, 2012, 12:46:41 PM
Check your FF raw data and see what you have at . Do you have natural red hair? If so, do you have a "TT" at  ?
OK, out of the FF raw data I have
1805006=CC
1805008=TC
1110400=TT

Even my nose hair is ginger. Ew.


OK, I have a few stray reddish hairs in my beard and I have the following alleles

1805006=CC
1805008=CC
1110400=TT

You could have one "C" at rs1805009 (D294H). That is one of the RHC variants, but it's not included in the Family Finder test, unfortunately.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: Bren123 on July 21, 2012, 05:56:58 PM
Here (http://irishtribesman.blogspot.com/2007/01/red-hair-is-most-common-in-ireland.html) is something interesting on red hair in the British Isles.

Robin McKie cites actual genetic research by the People of the British Isles Project showing the frequency of the two variants of the MCR1 gene that are responsible for red hair.

Quote from: Robin McKie

Enter the scientists of the People of the British Isles project: thanks to their efforts, this most distinctive characteristic is now opening up its mysteries for the first time. Testing their white cell samples for two of the half-dozen red-hair versions of the MC1R gene, they were able to show their frequency in each area of the British Isles. The results were intriguing.

Where one is the maximum value, they got figures of 0.16 and 0.23 for the frequencies of red-hair genes in Cornwall and Devon. The frequency in Oxfordshire was 0.07; in Sussex and Kent 0.13; in northeast England 0.11; in Lincolnshire 0.07; and in Cumbria nil. In Wales the figure was 0.21, and in Orkney a high 0.26. But the highest was in Ireland. Using data from other research studies, the team got a figure for Ireland of 0.31, confirmation of the stereotypical image of the red-haired Irishman.

The results are remarkable, as Sir Walter Bodmer, the Oxford geneticist leading the project, acknowledges: “I was amazed at them. I didn’t expect to see something like this.”

The research gives us, for the first time, an insight into the startling numbers of native people who have been described as having red hair in ancient times.


To sum up, these are the frequencies of the two red-hair variants of the MCR1 gene studied by Bodmer and the People of the British Isles Project.

Cornwall: 16%
Devon: 23%
Wales: 21%
Orkney: 26%
Oxfordshire: 7%
Sussex and Kent: 13%
North East England: 11%
Lincolnshire: 7%
Cumbria: 0%
Ireland: 31%


Here's a map of red hair in europe;

(http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/3669/redhairineurope.png)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: A_Wode on July 21, 2012, 10:27:03 PM


Here's a map of red hair in europe;

(http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/3669/redhairineurope.png)

Looks like old Mesolithic genes to be perfectly honest. Later migrations seem to have nearly wiped it out in the grey areas. (probably ~<1% rather than 0%)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 22, 2012, 07:22:42 AM


Here's a map of red hair in europe;

(http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/3669/redhairineurope.png)

Looks like old Mesolithic genes to be perfectly honest. Later migrations seem to have nearly wiped it out in the grey areas. (probably ~<1% rather than 0%)

Could be. Ancient dna might provide the answer, if they can get enough from enough Mesolithic northern Europeans.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: Bren123 on July 22, 2012, 09:52:25 AM


Here's a map of red hair in europe;

(http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/3669/redhairineurope.png)

Looks like old Mesolithic genes to be perfectly honest. Later migrations seem to have nearly wiped it out in the grey areas. (probably ~<1% rather than 0%)

Based on what evidence?


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: glentane on July 22, 2012, 12:22:11 PM
I can't really see past it being an artifact of inbreeding among relatively (that's relatively) sparse populations.
I'd like to see that map against population density.
And again, if it were possible, against those singleton heterozygotic carriers, across the piece.

I'm guessing the blob and trail in former USSR represents the Udmurts (http://"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udmurt_people"), Komi (http://"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komi_peoples") and other finno-ugric speakers. The Finns themselves got severely bottlenecked by various irruptions of The Plague, I believe?. Western Norway .. wow, people live there?
And of course the most godforsaken, barren and emigration-stricken parts of the 'Celtic Fringe'.

Now, that wedge in the Nord Pas/Benelux area, what are the raw numbers in that lot?

Absolutely heaving with people, always has been, and has had the world and his army passing through it since the Year Dot, so the isolation and  obscurity of the forest dwellers of northern Russia, and the paupers of the bleak, rain-lashed mountains and furthest coasts of the Isles and Norway (and by extension Iceland) doesn't apply.
And the Brits from the industrial areas, crammed in like sardines too, very recent population boom, last 2-300 years, very mixed endogenously and a heavy recruitment from the (formerly) celtic-speaking areas.

Both areas orange, but it's a pound to a pinch of whatever that's where the centre of gravity is, and history and archaeology being what they are, most likely the Isles lot derive from the Continental ones, so I'd want to start poking about there, inbetween the Seine and the Meuse, or even the Rhine.

Looks like some phaenomelanin-carriers from who-knows-where struck lucky there, wa-a-yy back, and stuck around long enough to "infect" the entire population, to the point where any random hookups stood a fair chance of doubling-up, and becoming visible ;)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: A_Wode on July 22, 2012, 08:22:24 PM


Here's a map of red hair in europe;

(http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/3669/redhairineurope.png)

Looks like old Mesolithic genes to be perfectly honest. Later migrations seem to have nearly wiped it out in the grey areas. (probably ~<1% rather than 0%)

Based on what evidence?

Speculation - but based on the fact the distribution follows a Northern European East -> West distribution. Later Neolithic waves replacing the red hair genes in Eastern Europe. Perhaps  yellow hair came about later which is why it is common in the east today.

Notice that the regions where MEditerranean or S. European component are high, the genes are not present. This could be the southern hunter gatherers never possessed these variations.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 23, 2012, 07:20:57 AM
It is reasonable speculation, certainly.

I wonder though. There are different SNPs on MC1R that can contribute red hair, and apparently some are common in one population while others are more common in another. In other words, the RHC variant that makes the Russian Udmurts so rufous might be different from the one that makes the Irish so red, and so on. (I'm not saying that is actually the case. Maybe it's the same variant in both cases.)

Of course, all of them could be Mesolithic survivals, I guess.

Here's a photo of some Russian Udmurt girls.

(http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/9338/udmurtpeoplered.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/151/udmurtpeoplered.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: Bren123 on July 24, 2012, 12:42:20 AM
It is reasonable speculation, certainly.

I wonder though. There are different SNPs on MC1R that can contribute red hair, and apparently some are common in one population while others are more common in another. In other words, the RHC variant that makes the Russian Udmurts so rufous might be different from the one that makes the Irish so red, and so on. (I'm not saying that is actually the case. Maybe it's the same variant in both cases.)

Of course, all of them could be Mesolithic survivals, I guess.

Here's a photo of some Russian Udmurt girls.

(http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/9338/udmurtpeoplered.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/151/udmurtpeoplered.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

The Tocharians also had red hair!


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on July 24, 2012, 07:13:39 AM
It would be interesting to know which RHC variants are responsible for the red hair in different populations.

The one I carry, a "T" at rs1805008 or R160W, is supposed to be common among the Irish. I seem to recall reading that a different one, D294H (rs1805009), is the one chiefly responsible for red hair among the Dutch (but my memory could be faulty on that).

It would be interesting to trace these different variants and then to see where they show up in aDNA samples.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on August 01, 2012, 08:50:34 PM
Here are some photos of my daughter, Anna.

(http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/4805/babyannastevens.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/269/babyannastevens.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/9702/annahalloween2005.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/560/annahalloween2005.jpg/)

(http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/6946/annastevens2006.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/401/annastevens2006.jpg/)

(http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/9457/annasoccer2008.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/713/annasoccer2008.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: Bren123 on August 06, 2012, 06:12:32 PM
Here are some photos of my daughter, Anna.

(http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/4805/babyannastevens.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/269/babyannastevens.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/9702/annahalloween2005.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/560/annahalloween2005.jpg/)

(http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/6946/annastevens2006.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/401/annastevens2006.jpg/)

(http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/9457/annasoccer2008.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/713/annasoccer2008.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

My hair was that colour when I was very young but turned quicly to dark brown;my sister hair is slighly  darker than that!


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on August 07, 2012, 12:14:57 PM
We'll see what happens with my daughter. She's only nine years old now.

My wife thinks her hair will go dark. I'm not so sure.

Time will tell.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on September 28, 2012, 07:30:34 PM
Here's a new map of red hair frequency in Europe from Maciamo Hay of Eupedia. It's supposed to be based on some study, but I can't tell what study that is.

(http://imageshack.us/a/img266/2954/redhairmapeurope.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/266/redhairmapeurope.jpg/)

Notice that the lighter shading indicates higher frequency, which is the reverse of the usual practice. The Celtic Fringe countries of the British Isles have the highest frequency of red hair, at least as indicated on this map.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: David Gleason on November 15, 2012, 12:16:19 AM
I recently received my DNA results (Family Finder test) from FamilyTreeDNA. While searching for more ways to interpret my test results, I discovered this post about red hair.

I had red hair until I was about 45 years old. Now my hair color is classified as grey on my drivers license. Both grandmothers had red hair when they were younger. My only son and my oldest granddaughter were also blessed with red hair.

Just like a few other people that previously posted, I also have the following alleles:

  1805006 = CC
  1805008 = CC
  1110400 = TT


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on November 15, 2012, 09:16:10 PM
Undoubtedly your red hair was conveyed to you via an allele other than the three you listed above. Unfortunately, FF doesn't give you results for all the possibilities.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on May 11, 2013, 08:07:07 AM
Check this out:

http://edition.cnn.com/video/?iid=article_sidebar#/video/world/2013/04/26/sweeney-redhead-gene.cnn (http://edition.cnn.com/video/?iid=article_sidebar#/video/world/2013/04/26/sweeney-redhead-gene.cnn)

(http://imageshack.us/a/img546/66/redhairk.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/546/redhairk.jpg/)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: seferhabahir on May 11, 2013, 10:51:30 AM
Sure looks like some kind of R1b-L21 map to me. I wonder if any of my R2 cousins have red hair? Interesting about three variants and that two are old and one (histidine red) is not. Do they know if there is a relationship between histidine red and L21?


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on May 11, 2013, 08:32:48 PM
Sure looks like some kind of R1b-L21 map to me. I wonder if any of my R2 cousins have red hair? Interesting about three variants and that two are old and one (histidine red) is not. Do they know if there is a relationship between histidine red and L21?

I don't know. I have the tryptophan red variant, and I read in SNPedia that is the most common one in Ireland.

I'm not sure where they came up with that "70,000 years old" stuff. I take all that with a large grain of salt.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on September 02, 2013, 08:16:35 PM
Here's BritainsDNA's latest British Isles map of the percentages of those carrying at least one of the gene variants for red hair.

(http://imageshack.us/a/img836/2698/7fa2.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/836/7fa2.jpg/)

http://blog.britainsdna.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2013/08/Carriers.jpg (http://blog.britainsdna.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2013/08/Carriers.jpg)


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: rms2 on November 22, 2013, 09:08:24 AM
This past Monday (today is Friday), I got my BritainsDNA Chromo2 Complete test results, all of them, that is, except the "All My Ancestry" autosomal results. Those are still pending. Anyway, my red hair test result came in, too. I am positive for Arg160Trp, which is considered one of the most potent of the red hair variants, so I am confirmed as a carrier of the red hair gene.

Of course, if you check the first few posts in this thread, you will see that I knew that already from investigating my Family Finder raw data. Just the same, it is nice to have it confirmed by a second and independent dna testing company.


Title: Re: Red Hair and Family Finder
Post by: hdw on April 06, 2014, 02:33:38 PM
Here (http://irishtribesman.blogspot.com/2007/01/red-hair-is-most-common-in-ireland.html) is something interesting on red hair in the British Isles.

Robin McKie cites actual genetic research by the People of the British Isles Project showing the frequency of the two variants of the MCR1 gene that are responsible for red hair.

Quote from: Robin McKie

Enter the scientists of the People of the British Isles project: thanks to their efforts, this most distinctive characteristic is now opening up its mysteries for the first time. Testing their white cell samples for two of the half-dozen red-hair versions of the MC1R gene, they were able to show their frequency in each area of the British Isles. The results were intriguing.

Where one is the maximum value, they got figures of 0.16 and 0.23 for the frequencies of red-hair genes in Cornwall and Devon. The frequency in Oxfordshire was 0.07; in Sussex and Kent 0.13; in northeast England 0.11; in Lincolnshire 0.07; and in Cumbria nil. In Wales the figure was 0.21, and in Orkney a high 0.26. But the highest was in Ireland. Using data from other research studies, the team got a figure for Ireland of 0.31, confirmation of the stereotypical image of the red-haired Irishman.

The results are remarkable, as Sir Walter Bodmer, the Oxford geneticist leading the project, acknowledges: “I was amazed at them. I didn’t expect to see something like this.”

The research gives us, for the first time, an insight into the startling numbers of native people who have been described as having red hair in ancient times.


To sum up, these are the frequencies of the two red-hair variants of the MCR1 gene studied by Bodmer and the People of the British Isles Project.

Cornwall: 16%
Devon: 23%
Wales: 21%
Orkney: 26%
Oxfordshire: 7%
Sussex and Kent: 13%
North East England: 11%
Lincolnshire: 7%
Cumbria: 0%
Ireland: 31%


So does Bodmer not consider Scotland as part of the British Isles? I should have thought Scotland would be included in any survey of red-hairedness. Even if the independence referendum in September leads to Scotland severing the link with England, the facts of geography dictate that we will still be part of the British Isles.

I had red hair when I was younger and so did some of my cousins on my mother's side. And good old-fashioned paper-trail genealogy helped me find a possible "culprit" way back in my family-tree. In July 1808 several Scottish newspapers carried a Wanted notice for my errant 3 x great-grandfather Thomas Welsh, and among other things it said that he had "reddish-brown" hair.

Harry