Saxons, Vikings and Celts – The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland,by Bryan Sykes, was published in 2006. I am amazed that I did not run into it sooner.
It is an amazing book, easy to read and hard to put down – and it is full of numbers and statistics. Sykes also wrote the The Seven Daughters of Eve, which looks at the maternal DNA and traces the main strains. This book looks at the DNA of those mothers, as well as the DNA of fathers.
The Blood of the Isles, the last chapter of the book, gives us a summary of all his 10,000 samples 10 year survey of the British Isles. Ireland is, of course, the most Irish of the results showing that it has been settled by Celts right from the beginning, and that the Spanish / Iberian migration stories are true, but mainly from land migrations early, when the islands were still attached to the continent, and then from tribes skirting the edge of the continent to get to Britain and then Ireland. So there was not the Milesians racing each other in their ships over the sea, with The O’Neill cutting off his own arm and throwing it onto Erin – in order to be there first.
It is hard to fathom how such a scholarly and scientific book can be so fascinating – but it certainly is. I expect I’ll get the previous one from the library and explore it as well.