At the bottom of this page find additional FGC22501 resources.

FGC22501 is a SNP below L2 that was first named by Full Genomes Corporation for a YDNA SNP found in my husband. Since that discovery we have found many men of many different surnames that carry this SNP as you can see in this graphic below. At FTDNA our U152> FGC22501: Celtic L2 FGC22501 and subclades project resides.

This wonderful graphic is courtesy of Jan Suhr and is copyrighted.


The YSNP U152 is believed to have arose from the Yamnaya coming out of the Eurasian Steppe about 5,000 years ago. L2 about 4700-4500 years ago part of the Early Bronze Age Bell Beaker Culture. Finally our SNP FGC22501 about 2300-1800 years ago in the Únětice culture in the area of the current Czech Republic.

FGC22501 Adapted path from Bell Beaker spread Map in Jean Manco’s The Blood of the Celts 2015

In 2018 an analysis of skeletons by Olade of previously excavated graves in Prague 5, Jinonice, Zahradnictví, Czech Republic we hit the jackpot when Grave 94: I7202 tested positive for FGC22501 & FGC22538. This is a male about 18-25 years old and 5’3″ tall dated to about 4200-3700 years ago! This is our earliest match for SNP FGC22501.

Jinonce Grave 94 from Burial grounds at Jinonice, Butovice and Stodůlky (Prague) and regional specifics of the Únětice Culture Praha 2011 PhDr. Zuzana Bláhová, Ph. D

From there our branch likely traveled up the Mainz River and into the Rhine territory of the Belgae and via the Moselle River into the area of the Duchy of Bar.

Lorraine in the 15th century by uJu939 Creative Commons

The Duchy of Bar is thought to be the area of settlement of our FGC22501. The Celtic Tribe in this area were the Leuci.

Celtic Leuci Coin with Boar 100-400 BC

For an up to the date map of all Ancient U152 DNA please see Rich Rocca’s Map. Below is the earlier story I wrote about a branch of the FGC22501 that turned up in Roman Era York, England.

The Story of How My Husband got Connected with a Headless Man in Ancient York

This is not a scientific treatise but rather a narrative based on science and intuition. It is full of missteps and happy coincidences. I started the WHEATON DNA project back in February of 2011 at FTDNA. My husband is the WHEATON YDNA bearer, however I have my own claim to the WHEATONs as he and I are 8th cousins twice removed; both descending from the immigrant to the colonies in 1636, Robert WHEATON. I have been researching WHEATON and its origins since 1972. I turned to DNA to discover whether my husband was truly a descendant of Robert WHEATON of Rehoboth, MA or another WHEATON who was originally known as Thomas Wheadon of Branford CT. Within six weeks of my husband testing we knew he was related to Robert! A backbone test concluded that we were R1b-U152 and later L2. There we remained stuck until November of 2014 when results posted for his Y Elite test. In his sample the SNP FGC22501 was identified and named. At the time it matched just one anonymous sample from the 1000 genomes project. On this basis it was named as a shared SNP by Full Genomes Corporation (FGC).

In April 2015 I met with my long time WHEATON correspondent in Devon, England in search of Robert WHEATON’s origins. I also visited the beautiful walled city of York, England in pursuit of a FRANKLIN/ FRANKLAND putative ancestor (still unproven) who was imprisoned in York Prison and sentenced to death for highway robbery along with his brother. In 1774 they were reprieved and sent to the American colonies for 14 years indenture. While in York I spent several hours in the croft under York Minster (Cathedral) exploring the Roman ruins. While there I took this photo which shows the roof tile from the Roman era excavation under York Minster cathedral, with the notation that the Roman VI legion replaced the earlier IX Legion. The big yellow thing is the roof tile. Link to a similar roof tile in Neuss, Germany (the importance is revealed below). (http://www.livius.org/pictures/germany/neuss/rooftile-of-vi-victrix/) At the time I took the photo above I had no idea that this photo would become incredibly relevant to the WHEATON and the FGC22501 Y projects that I administer.

Display of Roman Objects at York Minster Croft.

Back in July of 2014 Rich Rocca of the FTDNA U152 Project and I had speculated about the possibility that the WHEATONs were descended from a line of Roman soldiers. He wrote “what a story it would make.”

Well the story came to fruition or at least a relationship with the Roman occupation, with the match of the 6Drif-22 skeleton’s YDNA to SNP FGC22501. 6Drif-22 died about 100-400 AD and he is not the direct ancestor of my husband but he shares’ a common ancestor probably about 4,000-4500 years ago. He does match one branch of the FGC22501 Tree above (3rd from bottom Left) . On January 22, 2015 a pipe dream of finding a matching ancient remain became a reality with the publishing of Genomic signals of migration and continuity in Britain before the Anglo Saxons” and thanks to Rich’s work it revealed that not only was 6Drif-22 a match for FGC22501 but he matched one of our project members a WHIFFING, at least two levels below FGC22501 and with many additional SNPS. This means this WHIFFING shares Y DNA with this alleged Roman and with 3 anonymous Bristol, England area anonymous testers much more recently than the larger group of  R1b> U152 > L2 >FGC22501+. But still that may be a very long time ago. Could be as far back 2000-2500 years ago. Yet this brings us much closer to piecing together not only the ancient paths of our Y ancestors but also illuminates the greater human migration story. 6Drif-22 was buried with 6Drif-21 who is R1b> L21> DF63 and not far from 6Drif-18 who is R1b> L21> L52> L11. The Haplogroup L21 is much more prevalent in England than L2.

While staying in York I passed very close to the dig sie where the skeleton was unearthed. This annotated map from Google shows just how close I stayed to the dig site of 6 Driffield Terrace, walking within about .2 mile on my way into the walled city of York.

York Dig Site at 6 Driffield Terrace

“The skeletal remains from 3 and 6 Driffield Terrace were part of an elongated cemetery that borders the eastern and western side of a Roman road, which lies approximately on the same alignment as the modern road leading from Micklegate at the south-western part of the city in a south-western direction. This road is also called the A1036 or, along the majority of its length, Tadcaster Road (also Blossom Street, The Mount and Mount Vale). Driffield Terrace is located on the western side of the Roman road, just below and to the south of the summit of the road, at The Mount and the junction between this, Dalton Terrace and Albemarle Road. The cemeteries discussed here are located approximately 600m to the southwest of the medieval city walls (Figure 54).” from Driffield Terrace by Kurt Hunter-Mann

Grave Map for 6Drif-22 FGC22501+ from Driffield Terrace by Kurt Hunter-Mann

6Drif-22 was buried with 2 others in what is believed to have been a box grave (the wood having rotted, all that remained are nails), all had been decapitated. His grave mates were buried in alternating directions and face up. 6Drif-22 was buried prone (face down) with his decapitated head buried under his left torso. He was between 26-35 years old and about 5’9″ tall. Between the two sites excavated at Driffield Terrace 3 & 6 there were 72 individuals. At the Driffield 6 site all 20 were adult males. At the 3 Driffield Terrace site the ages ranged much more broadly.  6Drif-22 had “One potential penetrating injury…in the left half of the occipital bone … although the penetration may have resulted from a blunt-force injury. This individual had an irregular ‘L’ shaped lesion, part of which penetrated to the internal surface of the skull, where lamellar bone suggested healed inflammation.” He had a stabbing wound to his neck, dental carries and maxillary sinusitis and related abscess. His closest overall atDNA affinity using 1 population approximation:
1 Belgian @ 2.946532
2 Welsh @ 3.169594
3 Frisian @ 3.436064
4 German @ 3.594606

What do we make of that in light of what we know? Interestingly enough our members currently reside or trace to the following areas: Wales, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Romania (with ties back to Christians in Saxony).

Annotated Map of Germanica Inferior showing the Roman Legions and some of our surnames in light blue
Original by Hans Erren. published on 26 April 2012 under the following license: Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike.
Southern portion of Map of Germanica Inferior

Compare the maps above with this one below. Two of the tribes in the Belgica area namely the Remi and the Ligones “did not send help to Vercingetorix [in the battle against the Romans].  Caesar kept two legions in the territory of the Remi to protect them from the Bellovaci.  In the winter of BC 51-50, the Remi reported to Caesar that the Bellovaci were going to attack the Suessiones who were a client tribe of theirs. In the battle that ensued, the Remi and the Suessiones supplied horse warriors to help the Romans.” http://www.celtsite.com/TCE/Section%20I/Tribes.htm  Such alliances may have helped some YDNA to survive more readily than others. On the map below it is clear that present day matching YDNA for FGC22501 is represented in the area called Belgica and then moves across into Britannia or present day England.

Belgica Tribes and the Leuci in the Rhine Frontier of the Roman Empire

6Driff-22 DETAILS

Relevant data about 6Drif-22 is excerpted from the various reports below. (emphasis mine)

“Dating evidence now available indicates that burial took place over at least the whole of the 2nd and 3rd century AD, possibly into the 4th (Hunter-Mann, 2006). This means that one of the earlier interpretations of a single event, such as a “mass execution” of members of the Imperial Court in the turbulent aftermath of Septimius Severus’ death in AD 211 (see Montgomery, et al., in press-b) is at least not the whole story. A military connection of the cemetery may be most likely, given the all-male composition of the cemetery and the relatively high incidence of trauma related to interpersonal violence noted during the preliminary assessment of the remains (see Tucker, 2006; Hunter-Mann, 2006). The initially more far-fetched sounding theory of a gladiator cemetery has also recently gained support, based on possible similarities in trauma patterns with known gladiators (see Kanz and Grosschmidt, 2006) and especially the tooth marks of a large carnivore, possibly a bear, lion or tiger, found on one of the skeletons.” (York Archaeological Trust, 2010)”

Archaeologists have speculated that the skeletons belonged to gladiators, although they could also have been soldiers or criminals. Several suffered perimortem decapitation and were all of a similar age – under 45 years old. Their skulls were buried with the body, although not positioned consistently – some were on the chest, some within the legs, and others at the feet.”

“From the skeletons of more than 80 individuals, seven were selected for whole genome analyses. Despite variations in isotope values which suggested that some of the individuals lived their early lives outside Britain, most had genomes which were similar to an earlier Iron Age woman from Melton, East Yorkshire. The poor childhood health of the men suggests they were from disadvantaged households, though their robust skeletons and healed traumas, indicate that they were used to wielding weapons. … The Roman burial samples were all male, under 45 years old and most had evidence of decapitation. They were taller than average for Roman Britain and displayed evidence of significant trauma potentially related to interpersonal violence.”

“The demographic profile of the York skeletons resembles the population structure in a Roman burial ground believed to be for gladiators at Ephesus. But the evidence could also fit with a military context — the Roman army had a minimum recruitment height and fallen soldiers would match the age profile of the York cemetery.” 

“[Isotope analysis] A survey of human [symbol]18Op data from archaeological sites in England and Scotland suggests that individuals growing up in Britain should exhibit a range of c. 16.8‰ to 18.6‰ (see Chenery, et al., 2010). Although these values may provide no absolute cut-off points, individuals with [symbol]18Op outside this range are increasingly likely to have moved to Britain from areas with a different climate, abroad. Furthermore, humans from York and surroundings can be expected to plot towards the lower end of the bracket, on account of the most [symbol]18 O-depleted waters in the British Isles being found in Eastern England (Darling et al, 2003).

Only two individuals from 6 Driffield Terrace plot well outside the estimated British range (and further than two standard deviations from the group mean): 6Drif-24 has a much lower [symbol]18Op (14.7‰), indicating a childhood in a significantly cooler climate, at higher altitude or latitude or in a more continental setting (see Dansgaard, 1964). Conversely, 6Drif-21 has a [symbol]18Op of 19.8‰ and probably originated in a warmer region, at lower latitude than Britain. Apart from these two clear outliers, a number of individuals plot on the margin or just outside the estimated U.K. range, on either side of the spectrum (6Drif-04, 14, 15, 20, 23 with slightly lower values, and 6Drif-18, 19, 22 with slightly higher [symbol]18Op than is estimated to be consistent with Britain). Eight individuals (6Drif-01, 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 12, 17) fall within the core British range for oxygen.”


Roman inscription from Driffield Terrace:

Type of objectCoffinMaterialStoneDescriptionPartly broken; it has no lid.Dimensions(overall) W. 2.159 × H. 0.66 × Th. 0.686
(campus) W. 1.397 × H. 0.4064 Site

York (Eboracum/Colonia Eboracensis)Find dateAbout the beginning of the nineteenth century Find context In R. Driffield’s garden at the Mount, York (see map by Wellbeloved).Modern locationNow in the Yorkshire Museum.Institution/acc.

#Yorkshire Museum: YORYM : 2007.6120Origin of textYorkDocument typeEpitaphDatea.d. 43-410 “To the memory of Valerius Theodorianus, of Nomentum, who lived 35 years, 6 months; Emilia Theodora, his mother and heir, had this set up”

York Archaeology Reports

“The ‘Headless Romans’: Multi-isotope investigations of an unusual burial ground from Roman Britain” http://www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk Müldner, G., Chenery C. and Eckardt, H. (2011). Journal of Archaeological Science 38, pp. 280-290. ISSN 0305-4403, doi:10.1016/j.jas.2010.09.003.

Further information on Burials of the Roman period https://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/archaeology/arch-mf-SE_seminar_web_burial.pdf


The first is a rather brutal short video


Video Timewatch – The Mystery of the Headless Romans

The Roman Catastrophe Of Teutoburg Forest | Varian Disaster

Tollense Valley | Europe’s First Battle (Bronze Age History Documentary)

Roman Military

This site has examples of many roof tiles like the one above
OtherfBurial Data inc Decapitation etchttp://www.bollettinodiarcheologiaonline.beniculturali.it/documenti/generale/2_RUSSELL.pdfhttp://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/york/vol1http://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/york/vol1

Article on the Research that yielded the results:
Genomic signals of migration and continuity in Britain before the Anglo Saxons
Martiniano, R.  Community commons 7:10326 doi: 10.1038/ncomms10326 (2016)

Hungarian FGC22538

Hungarian Archaeology


The Human Diaspora: Illustrated through a Single Y SNP

Unexpected Roman History Lesson While Traveling in France

Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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