The Robson DNA study project now has nine members and nine sets of results. So far, we have nine distinct haplotypes and three distinct haplogroups, I1a, J2 and R1b1c. Six of our members are R1b1c. R1b1c is a subclade of the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype which is largely celtic or gaelic in origin. One of our members is haplogroup J2. One of our members is I1a. J2 has been traced back to the area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea that comprises territory in northwestern Iraq and Iran, eastern Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. One theory offered for the presence of J2 in northern England is the presence of Roman auxiliary soldiers stationed on Hadrian's Wall. It has been suggested that the original J2 ancestor of our Robson member may have been a Sarmatian horseman in the Roman legions. I1a has been described as the Viking haplogroup but also includes a subgroup of people with Anglo-Saxon ancestry. I am pleased to finally have two members who share common ancestry. I am surprised that there are no other matches in our group. With the exception of the Robson sept of Clan Gunn and the Robinson and Robertson families, I have always believed the Robsons to be a closely bound border reiver family. The concentration of the surname in Northumberland, Durham and North Yorkshire would certainly lead one to believe that all of these Robsons living in close proximity must share a common ancestry. The Centre for Life scientists who ran the Robson DNA test have determined that a surprising 90% of the men tested in their study share common ancestry and two main graynes have become apparent. They claim that approximately half of all the participants share a common male ancestor who lived 2,000 years ago! They also reveal that 20 of the participants match each other exactly on all 12 markers tested meaning they share a recent common ancestor. Another 10 men match exactly on all 12 markers tested, but with another DNA pattern, revealing a second common Robson ancestry unrelated to the first. In all, they revealed 54 different DNA haplotypes among the 100 Robson men tested. Many of those Robson men whose DNA sequences do not match the main Robson lines likely are descendents of unrelated men who allied with the Robson families for protection and influence and over time assumed the name. The Centre for Life has provided me a copy of the report of the results of their Robson DNA study. They have given me permission to post a copy of that report here on our website: Robson Encyclopaedia by the Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, commissioned by the Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I have copied their results into a spreadsheet and performed some of my own analysis on those results. In order to attempt to more effectively measure genetic distance between members of the Centre for Life study, I used Dr. Whit Athey's haplogroup prediction tool to assign a haplogroup prediction to their test results. The following link presents that analysis for your review: Analysis by Ed Robson of Robson Encyclopaedia data provided by the Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, commissioned by the Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I cannot say with certainty how well Dr. Athey's predictor model works, but it has been presented to me as a tool useful for that purpose. The interesting information that comes from this analysis is that the larger of the two groups of Robson men appear to fall into the haplogroup, "I1a", which has been described as the "Viking" haplogroup because of its prevalence among men of Nordic extraction. The smaller of the two "large" groups of Robson men are predicted to fit in the haplogroup "R1b". This is in the class of the most prevalent haplogroups of western European men and implies Celtic/Gaelic anthropology. First assigning the members of the Centre for Life study to haplogroup categories, I then calculated the modal, or most frequently occurring value for each DYS marker in each haplogroup and then compared each study member in that haplogroup to that modal haplotype. The results have been displayed tabularly with light yellow coloring denoting matches and pink denoting mis-matches. Based on this analysis, it appears that the larger of the two Robson family groups shares Scandanavian/Nordic ancestry while the smaller of the two groups shares celtic/gaelic ancestry. It is interesting to me that the one man in our study who matches exactly the larger group of Robson men from the Centre for Life Study can trace his ancestry back to Falstone in the early 1820s. Falstone has been considered to be the seat of the Robson clan of North Tynedale, where lived the lairds of the Robson graynes. His haplogroup has been tested by FTDNA and confirmed to be I1a, which supports the accuracy of the results of Dr. Athey's predictor model. Member 33070 is a descendent of Jeffrey Robson, born 1666 , Lanercost Parish, Cumberland, England. The ancestry of Brian Patterson Robson, member 37866, can be viewed at this link. Stephen Patrick Robson, member 79623, is a descendent of William Robson, b ca 1822, Heddon-on-the-Wall, England. You can meet Lance Robson, the Head of the Robson Clan, and hear him play the Northumbrian pipes: at this link. I'm sorry to inform the Robson DNA project members that Thomas Alan William (TAW) Robson, member no. 90103, died suddenly on 20 June, 2008 in White Rock, British Columbia. You can learn something about Tom's ancestry from the following message posted by him on 21 August 2000 at this link. See also, this link, this link, and this link, and this link. Here is his obituary: "ROBSON Thomas Alan William (T.A.W.R.) April 13, 1930 - June 20, 2008 We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our father on Friday, June 20, 2008. Tom was born in Dauphin, Manitoba on April 13, 1930. Pre-deceased by his parents; Ed and Helen Robson of Penticton, B.C. Lovingly remembered by his wife Louise, daughters Colleen (Kent) Martin and Cheryl (Stuart) Robinson; grandchildren Amy, Thomas, Derek, Patrick and Nancy; brother Gerald "Pudge" (Joy) and sister Phyllis (Jim). Dad's career spanned 40 years; including service in the Canadian Armed Forces (RCHA) and culminating as a Computer Analyst for the Federal Government in Ottawa. He enjoyed many hobbies; from wood-working and skiing to boating and travel in his retirement. He and mom spent many enjoyable years criss-crossing North America in their 5th wheel before settling in the beautiful province of B.C. The Martin family will be receiving guests at their home to celebrate Tom's life on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations would be gratefully accepted to the B.C. Heart & Stroke Foundation. Special thanks to Dr. Robson, Dr. Donaldson and the nursing staff at the Peace Arch Hospital. Published in the Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on 6/25/2008." I also have learned the sad news that Ralph John Robson, our member 77798, died at St. Joseph's Convent, Bognor Regis, West Sussex on 9 April 2008. You may or may not be aware that Ralph wrote and published a book entitled, The Rise and Fall of the English Highland Clans, Tudor Responses to a Midaeval Problem. It is an excellent, scholarly read about the history of the border reivers. His ancestry back to about 1800 has been uploaded to the FTDNA website.