Haplogroup R1b

Paternal Haplogroup. The Italo-Celtic branch (S28/U152/PF6570)


Based on our Haplogroup, R1b1a2a1a2b.

Furtwängler et al. (2020) analysed 96 ancient genomes from Switzerland, Southern Germany, and the Alsace region in France, covering the Middle/Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age. They confirmed that R1b arrived in the region during the transitory Bell Beaker period (2800-1800 BCE). The vast majority of Bell Beaker R1b samples belonged to the U152 > L2 clade (11 out of 14; the other being P312 or L51).

Starting circa 1300 BCE, a new Bronze Age culture flourished around the Alps thanks to the abundance of metal in the region, and laid the foundation for the classical Celtic culture. It was actually the succession of three closely linked culture: the Urnfield culture, which would evolve into the Hallstatt culture (from 1200 BCE) and eventually into the La Tène culture (from 450 BCE). After the Unetice expansion to Western Europe between 2300 and 1800 BCE, the Urnfield/Hallstatt/La Tène period represents the second major R1b expansion that took place from Central Europe, pushing west to the Atlantic, north to Scandinavia, east to the Danubian valley, and eventually as far away as Greece, Anatolia, Ukraine and Russia, perhaps even until the Tarim basin in north-west China.

R1b-U152 would have entered Italy in successive waves from the northern side of the Alps, starting in 1700 BCE with the establishment of the Terramare culture in the Po Valley. From 1200 BCE, a larger group of Hallstatt-derived tribes founded the Villanova culture (see below). This is probably the migration that brought the Italic-speaking tribes to Italy, who would have belonged mainly the Z56 clade of R1b-U152. During the Iron Age, the expansion of the La Tène culture from Switzerland is associated with the diffusion of the Z36 branch, which would generate the Belgae around modern Belgium and in the Rhineland, the Gauls in France, and the Cisalpine Celts in Italy.

Antonio et al. (2019) analysed the genomes of Iron Age Latins dating between 900 and 200 BCE, and the samples tested belonged primarily to haplogroup R1b-U152 (including the clades L2, Z56 and Z193), as well as one R1b-Z2103 and one R1b-Z2118.

Based on the data from the Habsburg Family Project, there is a high likelihood that the haplogroup of the House of Habsburg was R1b-U152 > L2 > Z41150 > DF90 > FGC59564. The Habsburg originated in the eponymous village in northern Switzerland. They first became Kings of the Romans in 1273, obtained the name of Dukes of Austria from 1278, Kings of Spain from 1516, Kings of Hungary and Croatia from 1526... The Habsburgs provided all the Holy Roman Emperors but one from 1440 until the dissolution of the empire in 1806. However the senior Y-DNA line of the Habsburgs ended with Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740), father of Empress Maria Theresa. Check also Haplogroups of European kings and queens for mtDNA lines of many Habsburg family members.

While testing for paternal relatives of Richard III of England to confirm the identity of his presumed remains (see Haplogroup G2a), researchers found that three modern relatives with the surname Somerset and descended from House of Lancaster all belonged to haplogroup R1b-U152 (x L2, Z36, Z56, M160, M126 and Z192). Although this points to a non-paternity at some time in the Plantagenet lineage, it is likely that most if not all Dukes of Beaufort, and possibly most Plantagenets monarchs outside the House of York belonged to R1b-U152.

Clan Erskine, a Lowland Scottish clan from Renfrewshire, apparently belongs to R1b-U152 > Z36 > BY1328 > BY2151 > A7992 > A8001 > BY32396 based on at least one descendant from John Erskine, 19th Earl of Mar (1558–1634) at the Erskine/Askey Surname Project. The Erskines have held the title of Earl of Mar since 1404, of Earl of Kellie since 1619, and of Earl of Buchan since 1640.