Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Finnish ydna samples on the autosomal map

In his own abstract, A. Pruessner presents the geographical distribution of the autosomal inheritance of Finnish ydna. I have been waiting for academic research on this topic for a long time. What is being said now about the division of the N haplogroup into eastern and southwestern groups has been known for more than 10 years based on Ftdna's project data, so the presentation does not bring much new information to those interested in the matter. Pruessner's abstract does not say much about the geography of other haplogroups. Of course, for example I1 forms geographical clusters, but mainly from a common Finnish root. On the other hand, the origin of the N1 clusters refers to different angles of entry into the Finnish area. Inspired by Pruessner's presentation, I decided to do a PCA analysis using Finnish samples from the 1000genones project as data. The data includes 38 male samples out of a total of 99 samples. Due to the brevity of the ydna data in the material, I cut the definition to two characters (N1, I1, R1, one I2 removed), even if a more precise result would have been possible in some of the samples. I also did the same test with the narrower Eurogenes data. As a final conclusion, excluding ouliers in R1 and N1, two in both, it can be stated that the autosomal distribution of all yDna groups seems to be more or less similar in the entire Finnish population, although the narrower Eurogenes data points I1 towards Scandinavia and R1 towards Eastern Europe.


1 Pruessner's abstract

2 PCA based on Eurogenes global data

3 PCA based on 1000genomes, West Eurasian view

Friday, November 17, 2023

North Europe using Eurogenes G25-coordinates

Too often in studies common heritability and genetic drift are mixed up in a population context. Pretty much research has been ruined this way. This inevitably happens when comparing the heritage of local populations. The Eurogenes coordinate system compares samples in the global coordinate system and eliminates local drift, and by using Eurogenes G25 coordinates, an objective picture of the common inheritance of population groups can be obtained even at the local sample level without the error caused by local genetic drift.

Following plots are made using the original Eurogenes G25 data.  The vertical axis on the three dimensional picture (sticks) shows similarty between Swedish, Finnish and Estonian samples.  East European samples with Siberian admixture (Komi and Chuvash) are taken to the plot to point out the Siberian admixture, gaining the maximum on the PC 1.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Thoughts about the past and the present

 Policy warning. My readers may have noticed that I don't like the enthusiasm with which Finnish genetic research is looking for Finns' ethnic roots in Russia. Unlike language, which has only one root, the genetic heritage is multi-rooted. Genetically, the inhabitants of Finland are a mixture of the southern (Estonia) and eastern (Karelia, Vepsä) Baltic Finno-Ugrians, Scandinavians of different time periods, Sami and increasingly other ethnic groups. These groups, except for the last 30 years of immigration, have been intermingling for hundreds of years. This is forgotten, as was also the case in the Estonian study, which I discussed in my previous post. Geneticists in Finland and Estonia are ideologically very single-minded in their desire to find a multidisciplinary solution by simplifying things. Of course, it is necessary to find out where our language comes from, and linguistics studies that.

Things get more complicated when the Russian view of Finns' roots is added to the previous one. I am unusually well aware that, according to the Russian point of view, the Finno-Ugric peoples living in Russia are called Finns, and Finns as one of them. In reality, the linguistic and ancient genetic roots of the Baltic Finns formed a reasonably homogenous entity that differed from other Finno-Ugric people.  The political problems between Russia and the West will last, and the ideology of Finnish researchers about the origin of Finns in Russia may weaken the status of the Finno-Ugric people of Russia in their own homeland. We should see the difference between the past and the present, we should not create historical illusions that create problems in the development of communities.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Kivisild 2021

 The study "Patterns of Genetic connectedness between modern and medieval Estonian genomes reveal the Origins of a major ancestry component of the Finnish population", Toomas Kivisild 2021, activates me to examine Estonia's historical connections with Finland. I thought the research was good, but there are still a few exceptions. First of all, the Finnish sample group did not take into account the prehistoric population components of Finns. The Finns by no means moved here from Estonia as a single population. Secondly, and partly due to the previous shortcoming, the study did not comprehensively deal with the uniparental y-heritage. Together, these shortcomings make it difficult to evaluate the results.  Observing the Y-heritage and its datings would have revealed shortcomings in the sample selection.

Finns in Estonia

At the beginning of Swedish rule in 1620, less than 100,000 people lived in Estonia, the small population was due to several wars. The population of Finland was 450,000 in 1650.  The situation in Estonia was difficult and there was a lot immigration from many directions, which had a great effect on the Estonian population.  

In order to get labor faster, the landlords brought new people to the villages, usually exempting the immigrants from all taxes for three years. In this way, peasants moved from less fertile areas to more profitable areas. At that time, about a third of Estonian peasants moved to new settlements. Instead of a destroyed home, they looked for a new one or stayed there, choosing more favorable agricultural lands and also more humane landlords. The conditions for movement were also free, because in some places there was not even a landlord, some of them had moved to a new mansion and did not know the conditions there.

In the second quarter of the 18th century, a large number of representatives of other nations also arrived in Estonia, who make up up to 17% of the peasants of southern Estonia. Among the foreigners, most Russian peasants, craftsmen, merchants and fishermen settled in eastern Estonia.

A large part of the "resettlement" of Estonia was carried out by Finns, who were especially numerous in Virus and Harjumaa, where they were 20% and 12% of the population, concentrated in separate villages. There were also many Finns around Põltsamaa and Tartu. They were partly settled by the state authorities of the Estonian region, partly they left Finland for military service. At first, the Swedish kings forbade the enslavement of Finnish and Swedish peasants who had moved to Estonia, because all forms of slavery were prohibited in Sweden's territory. Over time, this attitude diminished, and the newcomers also had to bear the heavy responsibility of the estate. There were also many Finnish priests in Estonia, because after the expulsion of the Poles, Lutheranism became the main religion. 

The most famous of them was Johann Forselius, whose son was Bengt Gottfried Forselius, who has also been mentioned as the father of the Estonian written language. Contrary to what the Estonian historiography claims, the Forselius family was not Swedish, but Johann was a Finnish-born priest and teacher from the Helsinki municipality. Bengt Forselius died on his way back from Stockholm, where he visited the Swedish king or his representatives. It has been suspected that the Estonian Germans drowned Forselius because they were afraid of civilizing the Estonians, which was feared to lead to the rise of nationalism. Finnish churchmen were also in Latvia, where the Finnish garrison, the Ostrobothnia Regiment, was responsible for the country's defense against the Poles and Lithuanians. A Finnish priest who was hanged in Riga because of his bad habits has remained in the history books of Riga. My ancestors also served in that garrison.

The third large group of newcomers were Latvians, who settled in large numbers, especially around Valga.


The question of when the Finnish and Estonian languages separated to different parts of the Gulf of Finland has different answers depending on the source, but it is most commonly assumed to have happened between 300-500 AD. On the basis of archaeological finds, this timing can be considered justified, because around 500 AD in Finland, new settlement centers were created in southwestern Finland and Tavastia to the current settlement areas. Later, Tavastia in particular is mentioned in both Swedish and Russian sources as a warlike people, but only the Swedes admit that they suffered losses on military expeditions to Tavastia.

Walter Lang / Homo Fennicus is my recommedation for more information about the prehistory of the Baltic Finnic migrations and languages.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Another report from the Estonian summit

 A 400-year-old discovery of a man's remains in the northeast Finland (Koillismaa, Kuusamo) suggests connections to the Arctic Ocean region. The grave contained a witch's drum hammer, so it is credibly assumed that the man in the grave was a Sámi shaman. It remains unclear whether the man originally belonged to the Sámi people of the Finnish region, because the White Sea had centuries-old connections to the Bothnian Bay (Perämeri) and thus also to Koillismaa, where the grave discovery was made. In the past the population moved more locally than today.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Saint Henrik's origin revealed?

Geneticist Elina Salmela reveals secrets related to the origin of the late medieval Finnish ecclesiastical relic. This interesting case is also related to one of Finland's oldest church legends. According to the story, a Finnish peasant, named lately Lalli, killed a crusader bishop with an ax on the winter ice of lake Köyliö in the Southwestern Finland. As a result of the event, Finland's first ecclesiastical saint, Saint Henrik, was born. Salmela opened up about Henrik's possible origins at a meeting held in Tartu, Estonia, on September 13-16.  Today the meeting has been held and the presentation video can be available somewhere.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

New article summerizes Finnish studies

 The auctor is a known Finnish geneticist and the article header is "where did the Finnish genome come from".  It is in Finnish, so it is not useful to undergo the text, instead of it I try to analyse pictures in general level.  The summary follows subjects of Finnish genetic research and gives a good picture about the situation we have now.  There are some old standpoints or approaches which I'll list first.   I try to evaluate these things and list obvious problems in Finnish studies. 

1 Strong connection between language and genes

I understand that the pressure on this point of view is strong, because Finno-Ugric people are a small minority in Eurasia.  This has been obvious.  Has this matter been too strong and impeded the research?

2 The viewpoint about the unique Finnish genome

Usually this idea is explained by the isolated geographic situation of Finland.  Actually Finland has been widely open to the east, in a comparable amount to Estonia and other Baltic countries, yet western cultural connections have been strong.

3 After that (unique Finnish genome) a bit strangely Finnish studies underline the diversity of Finnish uniparental genetic lines.

A big dilemma has been why the mitochodrial dna shows high diversity in Finland.  I havn't seen explanations;  sometimes it is explained by western connections, sometimes by eastern connections.  Also, the yDna shows both western and eastern origins.  IMO the research has not even tried to find explanations.

4 Explaining differences of domestic genetic diversity by historic events instead of prehistoric events.  In Finland the historic time starts after the 12th century.  The Finns are seen as a unique population with unique root.  But one of the most popular idea in Finnish research have been to underline the historic era east-west bifurcation of the Finnish population, based on the PEACE TREATY OF OREKHOVETS (TREATY OF NÖTEBORG, Pähkinäsaaren rauha in Finnish) in 1323.  This sounds weird, because this border was valid only a bit more than 200 years and even the most pheripheral regions of the eastern side were returned to the Finnish speaking entity only 300 years later, in the beginning of the 17th century.  How can the difference have been resulted in 200-300 years?  Mostly the explanation has been the Karelian influence in the eastern Finland, but Karelian language has never been spoken in Finland to a larger extent.

The introduction in this summary challenges old standpoints to some extent.   I translated introduction and core observations, but if you are more interested in latest reckonings I recommend to translate the text.  

Here is the link to the article.

Google translation.


In medical genetics studies, the Finnish population is used as an isolate and homogeneous.  Neither is exactly true. Modern and ancient DNA studies have shown, that people have come here with their genes from different directions throughout the millennia. So we're on inherits mostly from the west, but about a dozen also from the far east; that's how it got from post-glacial hunter-gatherers, early potters, early farmers like bronze from Siberia as well. The genetic peculiarity of Finns is that in Finland small population and recent bottlenecks have resulted in genetic drift that is swayed the frequencies of many genetic forms to the rest of Europe in general. Also within Finland there is a strong genetic dividing line between western and eastern - or southwestern and northeastern between Finland.

Core observations
Ancient DNA studies have shown that new inhabitants have come to the surrounding areas of Finland through prehistory.
The majority of what modern Finns inherit is of western origin.
Speakers of Finland's eastern relative languages with we only have a common genetic heritage a few percent.
Eastern and Western Finns differ genetically distinct from each other more than many Central European populations.
The East-West difference and its genetic distinctiveness is largely due to the population boom periods in history from the bottle necks and the small population.

Picture 1 presents now available ancient samples.  Unfortunately southwestern Finnish autosomal samples described in my previous post are not yet available and present in this paper.  Those samples are first autosomal samples representing prehistoric Finnish people.

Picture 2 presents a PCA plot showing certain selected samples.  Unfortunately the plot lack of western (Scandinavia, Gotland, Poland) and eastern (Russia) Iron Age samples.  Only Estonian and Finnish Iron Age samples are included and the Finnish ones actually represent Saami people.  

(I noticed that the close-up is not analogous to the wide picture)

Picture 3.  Used methods are not specified. Results differ somewhat from the admixture analysis of Tambets 2018, but the difference is not in any way essential.

Picture 5 shows the west-east dichotomy in Finland.  I have not seen explanations why this happens.  What is the historical reason to this dichotomy?  Obviously it can't be a short-term peace treaty between Sweden and Novgorodian Russia.  It is said that the dichotomy is a result of the Karelian origin of East Finns, but what I have seen the suggested Karelian source population came from the Karelian Isthmus and they resemble today more Southwest Finns than Eeast Finns.  Misunderstanding is caused by the academic Karelian sample set got from Russia, which is from the White Sea region rather than from Karelian Isthmus.