10/03/2014 06:11 GMT | Updated 10/03/2014 07:59 GMT

One Million Brits 'Descended From Vikings' DNA Study Claims

Manuel Gutjahr via Getty Images

Around one million Britons, or one in 33 men across the UK, can claim direct descent from Vikings, according to a new DNA study.

Men from the far north of Scotland were most likely to provide a direct match with almost a third (29.2%) of the men from the Shetland Islands testing positive for Viking blood.

"Despite arriving well over 1,000 years ago the Viking legacy still remains strong in Britain and Ireland," said Dr Jim Wilson, chief scientist at BritainsDNA which carried out the test.


Around one in 33 British men are descendants of Vikings, the study said

Researchers compared Y chromosome markers, which are inherited from father to son, from more than 3,500 men to six DNA patterns rarely found outside the Norse warrior's native Norway and Sweden.

Other areas that scored highly included the Orkney Islands (25.2%), Caithness (17.5%) and the Isle of Man (12.3%).

Some 930,000 were a direct match.

The study, commissioned to coincide with the launch of the new series of the US TV show Vikings on the Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service, only tested men whose grandfathers had lived in the same areas.

Dr Jim Wilson added: "The research suggests that the concentration of Norse blood is quite variable, but as the Y chromosome only relates to the nation's male population and only to one ancestral lineage for each man, there is a very real chance that many more of us are related to the Vikings."

The 10 areas of Britain with the highest concentration of Viking ancestry are:

1. Shetland - 29.2%

2. Orkney - 25.2%

3. Caithness - 17.5%

4. Isle of Man - 12.3%

5. Western Isles - 11.3%

6. North West Scotland and Inner Hebrides - 9.9%

7. Argyll - 5.8%

8. Yorkshire - 5.6%

9. North East Scotland - 4.9%

10. North England - 4%