I Traced My Roots to a Tribe in Siberia; DAY TWO OF SCOTLAND'S DNA RESEARCH; We Told Yesterday How Scotland's DNA Project, Led by Historian Alistair Moffat, Had Uncovered a Fascinating Picture about Our Past by Testing the DNA of More Than 2500 People. CRAIG McQUEEN Speaks to Three People Who Took Part in the Project and Were Surprised by the Results
Byline: CRAIG McQUEEN
JOHN and Myra Craig had already spent some time researching their family trees when they first heard about Scotland's DNA.
The retired couple, from Edinburgh, had traced their roots across the Irish Sea.
John, 71, said: "Both of our families are from Ireland originally as Myra's father was Irish and her mother's parents came from Ireland.
"My family is more complicated as my mother died when I was seven and where she was from was vague.
"I'd thought she was English but we found from census records that my mother's father was Irish.
"Things ground to a halt from there but, when we saw an advert for Scotland's DNA, we thought it would be an interesting thing to do."
John said: "When we got the results back, we really were stunned. I had Germanic roots, which are common around present-day Germany and Holland.
"But this DNA marker can be traced back through thousands of years across central Europe, all the way to Mongolia and Kazakhstan. That was on my father's side.
"It was explained to us that as the Roman Empire expanded 2000 years ago, a lot of tribes in central Europe were taken in and fought with or against the Romans.
"The Germanic tribes were much further east than they are today, but were swept up and some came to the east of England and Scotland."
Myra's results were even more unexpected.
John said: "Myra had the Yenesei DNA marker, which can be traced to Siberia.
"At the time, it came as a shock to the testers as well as us, as they only knew of one other woman in Scotland with this marker.
"Since then, we've done a bit of research and found out about the Yenesei River and the tribe. Apparently there are only 1500 people left who can speak their native language."
Myra, 70, said: "I knew my family was Irish, so being told my genetic roots came from Siberia was a huge shock. It makes you think.
"You think about the amount of mass movement there has been and you realise that people nowadays are moving about much more than they ever did before."
Like many people who had their DNA tested, the couple were left wondering about the long journeys their ancestors would have undertaken thousands of years ago.
And having explored some of the world's more far-flung locations, Myra believes she may have inherited some of the travelling bug. …