Shetland Islands

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About us

Do you have 2 or more grandparents from Orkney or Shetland? Join VIKING II, the fastest growing Viking genetics study in the UK, led by Prof. Jim Flett Wilson, University of Edinburgh. For more information and to register, visit our website: Shetland Islands DNA is a geographical project involving a Y - Chromosome surname study; and a mitochondrial DNA (maternal line) project. *****IT IS ONLY OPEN TO THOSE WHO CAN SHOW WITH GENEALOGICAL RECORDS THAT THEIR ANCESTOR IN EITHER THE DIRECT PATERNAL OR MATERNAL LINE RESIDED IN SHETLAND in the 1800s or earlier (NO EXCEPTIONS)******. The ancestor should appear in the database for Shetland at With respect to the first of these projects, the primary goal of the is to help individuals locate genetic cousins. Until the 1800s a patronymic naming system was common in the Shetlands among Norse families. Due to this practice, it would not be unusual in such an isolated part of the world for someone with the surname Williamson to find their closest Y chromosome matches in those with the surname Robertson. Normally we would ignore 12 / 12 marker matches if the surnames were different. This is not true of surnames originating in Shetland. Archived information can be found here: