I've Just Been Told I'm an African Warrior. and My Friends at the Bowls Club Are Astonished; Yorkshire Surveyor's Same Rare DNA Imprint as Tribesmen Proves Fascinating Insight into UK Racial Makeup

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 28, 2007 | Go to article overview

I've Just Been Told I'm an African Warrior. and My Friends at the Bowls Club Are Astonished; Yorkshire Surveyor's Same Rare DNA Imprint as Tribesmen Proves Fascinating Insight into UK Racial Makeup


Byline: MARK NICOL;ROSS SLATER

JOHN REVIS has always considered himself a true Yorkshireman who was proud of his ancestry.

But he has been forced to confront an entirely different heritage - after scientists uncovered that he has exactly the same DNA imprint as a tribe of African warriors.

Scientists last week announced the discovery of the first proof that slaves brought to Britain by the Romans left behind a distinct genetic heritage.

This strand was revealed to exist among just seven men with a particular surname hailing from the North of England. However, the academics refused to disclose the identities of any of those men included in the study.

Now The Mail on Sunday has discovered that all of those with the African lineage have the surname Revis.

Last night, John, 75, a retired surveyor living in Leicester, said: 'I started looking into my family history and traced my ancestors back to the mid-1700s.

'One line went to the States and became very successful while my immediate line stayed in the North of England and were mostly bakers.

There was nothing to suggest that I was African.' John responded to a newspaper advert by Leicester University asking for people who have traced their ancestry to give DNA samples for a study on world populations.

He said: 'The scientists took some of my DNA away for analysis and then one day they called me up and were very excited. They said I had a Y-chromosome that was extremely rare. I was flabbergasted. I had no idea that I was so culturally unique.

But I am not going to start eating couscous and riding a camel.' John is attempting to take the discovery in his stride. He added: 'It was a shock to find out that, because I was so blond and blue-eyed when I was younger, people thought I was Nordic or German. But the researchers said that if my DNA were examined then people would assume they were looking at a North African man.

'I suspect there must have been some big Berber tribesman who came to Britain with the Romans and spread his seed all over Yorkshire.' John is married with three children and six grandchildren. The news shocked his friends at Brookfield Bowls Club in Leicester. He added: 'It is a very white establishment which can be a little awkward in a multiracial place such as Leicester. …

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I've Just Been Told I'm an African Warrior. and My Friends at the Bowls Club Are Astonished; Yorkshire Surveyor's Same Rare DNA Imprint as Tribesmen Proves Fascinating Insight into UK Racial Makeup
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