The Cotentin Peninsula, also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, is a peninsula in Normandy that forms part of the northwest coast of France. It extends northwestward into the English Channel, towards Great Britain. It was heavily settled by Scandinavian Vikings.
Out of curiosity, Professor Richard Jones in Valognes, Normandy, France conducted a study using 89 DNA samples of Norman roots of the area. The study reveals a surviving population of Cotentin not only Scandinavian. People here don’t need genetics to know the Cotentin was the subject of an intermingling of different peoples throughout the ages.
The purpose of the study was to prove that the Scandinavian Normans still live in the area. With the study, they were able to verify the fact that Viking blood was more or less present in their descendants. The Normans of the sample selected all had at least four ancestors who lived within 50 km of their homes. In addition, some had a surname with Scandinavian-sounding.
At first, the study was seen worrisome to some groups such as “The Movement against Racism” (MRAP) as they feared the knowledge gained could be used for racist purposes. British historian reiterated that “this was not the case, as our DNA proves only one thing: there is only one race, the human race”. In addition, the study was closely watched by lawyers on each side of the “channel”.
The markers were very similar to other areas of heavy Viking settlements such as Ireland. There was definitely mingling with the Celts, Anglo-Saxons, before later settling in Cotentin.
With today’s mass migration there is no surprise to have seen markers of Germanic, Balkan, Armenia, and even North Africa.
“I’m not surprised by the genetic diversity, as the history of the settlement of Normandy is complex. This is reflected in the sample is reassuring. ” He admits to being frustrated.
“…to have such an ambiguous sample”, although the Viking marker is in almost the same proportions as those observed in other territories settled by the Vikings.”
“Our sample highlights here a Danish colonization rather than Swedish or Norwegian : After a Celtic – Viking diaspora from Ireland rather than directly from Denmark. ”
A step was taken , but according to Richard Jones, ” the genetic history of Normandy is still in its infancy .”