The Isle of Man study

This University of Leicester-funded study was carried out by Hayley Dunn under the joint supervision of Professor Mark Jobling (Department of Genetics) and Dr Simon James (School of Archaeology) as part of research leading to a PhD degree. The aim of project was to look at the proportion of Viking ancestry among the inhabitants of the Isle of Man.

In this project we exploited the power of the link we have previously shown between surnames and Y-chromosomal DNA, both of which are passed from father to son. We used historical lists of surnames present on the Isle of Man in medieval times to recruit modern donor samples to mimic the population of the past. We analysed Y chromosomes – because these are linked with surnames – and then estimated proportions of Norwegian ancestry in the samples.

Read more about our other surname studies.

We have nearly completed recruitment for this study, but still require participants bearing one of a small number of names. These are highlighted with an asterisk below. If you are a man carrying one of these surnames and would like to take part in the study, please read on below. 

If your surname is not highlighted, it means we already have a participant in the study with that name.

The surnames we are interested in

The only criteria for participating are that you are a man whose father's father was born on the Isle of Man, and that your surname is one of those listed below.

Bridson  Callin  Callister  Cannan  Caren  Carine  Carran  Carroon* 
Casement*  Caveen*  Christory*  Clague  Cleator  Clucas  Cojeen*  Collister 
Colquitt  Colvin  Comaish  Comish  Condra  Cooil  Coole  Corkan* 
Corkhill  Corkill  Corkish  Corlett  Cormode  Corran  Corrin  Corris 
Corteen  Costain  Cowen  Cowin  Cowle  Crebbin  Creer  Cregreen 
Crellin  Crennell  Cretney  Cringle  Crye*  Cubbin  Cubbon  Curphey 
Faragher  Fargher  Fayle  Freer  Gawne  Gelling  Joughin  Kaighen 
Kaighin  Kaneen  Karran  Kee  Keggan  Keggen  Keig  Kennaugh 
Kennish  Keown  Kermeen  Kermode  Kerruish  Kewin  Killey  Killip 
Kinley  Kinnish  Kinrade  Kinvig  Kissack  Kneale  Kneen  Lewney 
Looney  Lowey  Maddrell  Moughtin*  Mylchreest  Mylcraine*  Mylechreest  Mylrea 
Mylroie*  Quaggan  Quaggin  Qualter  Qualtrough  Quane  Quark  Quaye 
Quiggin  Quilleash  Quilliam  Quillin*  Quine  Shimmin  Skelly  Skillicorn 
Taubman  Teare  Vondy  Waterson  Watterson       

What does taking part involve?

Participating will take around 10 minutes of your time and enable you to find out more about your ancestry and the history of the Isle of Man. We ask that you fill out a questionnaire about your ancestry, sign a consent form, and donate a saliva sample that provides us with the DNA that we need.

Participants will be provided with a summary of the results, designed for a layperson, at the end of the study in 2013. In addition we will provide a copy of each participant's Y chromosome genetic fingerprint and an explanation sheet designed for the layperson.

During this project we are looking at normal variation only, and no targeted tests of any medical consequence are done. However, while analyzing Y-chromosomal variation it can be found, in very rare cases, that a man has lost part of his Y chromosome which is related to fertility. Therefore, if potential participants are concerned about the risks of detecting infertility, we would suggest that they do not take part.

Further information

Please do not hesitate to contact us at the address or phone number below, should you require any further information.

If you have been unable to take part in our study you may be interested to know that another Manx DNA study is being carried out by John Creer. John is interested in the existence of possible genetic connections between individual Manx families and shared origins with neighbouring Irish and Scottish tribes as well as with Scandinavian visitors. Please note that taking part in our study does not and should not preclude you from taking part in John's.