Manx Y-DNA Study – Free Y-DNA tests for the right men

New and surprising insights into the early origins of some Manx families continue to be unearthed. Last year it became clear from early results that the Cain, Keig and Oates families of the Isle of Man all shared a single common male ancestor of Scandinavian origin, who lived on the Island around 1000AD. This raised the tantalising prospect that these three families all descended from different sons of the one Viking settler, at a time before enduring family names were in use. By the time family names began to be permanently adopted on the IOM, these three families had diverged from each other and then adopted totally different names.

More recently a similar picture has been identified with the Corkill and Kinley families who also appear to descend from one Scandinavian man. The Y-DNA profiles of these two families are so close to each other that this again is the inescapable conclusion.

This is arguably the most important and unique piece of research into the history of the Isle of Man that has been carried out in recent times, and is a striking example of how new technology will be able to provide different and unique insights into the early origins of the Manx people. The relatively small size of the island and its population makes a genetic study of this type manageable and achievable, in a way not easily possible elsewhere. At the end of the study in 2-3 years time, the Isle of Man will be the only freestanding geographical entity to have been genetically surveyed and analysed in this way and in this detail. An example for others to follow!

The study is progressing steadily with more testing candidates progressively being recruited. Lack of funding for tests still remains a challenge, but some money is trickling in from kind donors.

Free Testing for Moore, Callow, Cowell/Cowle and Quine For those who wish to join in the project and learn more about their early Manx family origins, I am currently able to offer 4 free Y-DNA test kits, on a first-come, first-served basis to men, ideally living on the Island, one each with the family names of Moore, Callow, Cowell/Cowle and Quine. (To qualify for a free kit, a candidate should know sufficient about his Manx male line ancestry to establish that he is not related to the Manxmen with these names who have already been tested!) Please apply directly to John Creer if you are interested.

Sponsor a Name It is now also possible for those people with a family interest in a Manx family name to sponsor testing for a particular name, even if you have no immediate male relative to test. The study will take steps to find the appropriate testing candidates if money becomes available.


Anglo-Manx: earliest dating?

The earliest date the OED has for “Anglo-Manx” is 1934. They do not even pick up on the title The Vocabularly of the Anglo-Manx Dialect published in 1924.

In 1895, Brown felt that “I have an idea that Mr. M[oore]’s new book will show plainly that we have arrived at the last squeak of the Manx language proper.” He continued in his letter to Egbert Rydings who had written short stories in Anglo-Manx:
“So I think what we have now to do is to make a new start, making Anglo-Manx dialect the basis. In its turn this will probably become obsolete, but meanwhile the catastrophe will be deferred by your stories, and, perhaps I may add, mine.”

However, I can trace it now to John Rhys writing in 1892 (not that much further in this case) in “Manx Folk-Lore and Superstitions. ii.” Folklore iii.1 (1892): 74–88. On pages 76, fn. 1 and 85 to be precise and it is used in a linguistic and not an ethnic sense.

The history of the term certainly calls for further research.