Saturday, March 17, 2007

Family history in the 'Y' direction

Having completed Bryan Sykes' interesting and readable book "Saxons, Vikings and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland " I was motivated to explore my own male-line history. Some Internet research in the 1881 census produced the following (click here). To summarise, we can draw a patrilineal tree like this:

Alex, Adrian Seel => Nigel Seel

=> Frederick Stanley Seel

=> Frederick George Seel [DoB: 1898, Bristol]

=> William Henry Seel [DoB: ~1869, Bristol]

=> John Seel [DoB: ~1847 Oldham, Lancashire]

We have pictures of all of these except for John Seel - see the link above.

It's interesting that John came down from Lancashire. He was a Hatter, and probably moved looking for work. In fact in the nineteenth century census returns, the name Seel is clustered in Lancashire and Yorkshire. The name is quite rare so probably my male ancestors were from that area through feudal times. Yes folks, we're northerners ... my wife's Liverpudlian relations will be relieved to know!

(Actually their Youell male lineage is from East Anglia, which probably makes them ... well, southerners, unless they're going to claim Viking ancestry!).

Anyway, to probe deeper I'll have to dig out the cash and get a Y-chromosome analysis from Bryan Sykes' company, Oxford Ancestors. And Alex finally gets to understand his middle name!