J-Y80036 (J-FT144865/

J-FT278595) Historical Context

J-Y80036 (J-FT144865)

Historical Context of J-Z1297, J-Y23094,

& J-Y80036 ( J-FT144865/J-FT278595)

Noah Siler

Points of reference for J-FT144865 genetic ancestor’s location, at least of historical significance

tracing to any distinct people group, start with J-Z1297, found as far back as ~1500 BCE

at Gudnja Cave near Ston, Croatia1. This would be within the territory of the Siculotae24, 25, an

Illyrian tribe who is believed by some to have been among the first and most notable colonists of Sicily,

perhaps even having given the place its name2, 22. They are apparent to be a sub-group of the

Pirustae tribe attested by Ptolemy, or similarly named Pleraei. Their potential connection to Sicily 

is based on Thucydides claim of the Sicels (a.k.a. Siculi) who founded Sicily being a tribe central to Italy23,

 and historians belief that the Sicels were part Illyrian2, 22 (to a significant degree, this is grasping at the ether

 to try and claim any historical context as early as ~1500 BCE, since most historians would agree, 

writing had yet to reach Europe at the time). Notable also that research conducted by

the University of Oslo in 2008 revealed the remains of an Illyrian trading post, complete with artifacts

 from throughout the Mediterranean, as well as over 30 sunken Illyrian ships, in this same area30.

Illyrian coin, with Lembi/Lembus, Illyrian ship, 2nd century BCE31

The Siculotae (although not written of until well after ~1500 BCE) have links with the Ardiaei

and the Iapodes, all three tribes which were related to readers as ‘sea-peoples’ to one degree or

another3. The Iapodes have the most written about them, as they are famous among those with

knowledge of the ancient Adriatic for having ties to the Iapyges4, the Illyrian tribe in the area

now known as Apulia/Puglia, a place so named for that tribe via the ‘telephone game’ across

Illyrian> Greek> Oscan> Italian5. Velika Gruda, near Kotor, Montenegro has at least half a

dozen J-Z1297, one descendant subclade of which J-Y21878 (‘brother’ subclade of J-Y23094)

is found dated to a period indicating simultaneous settlement ~1100 BCE, at Grotta Delle Mura

in Monopoli, near Bari, Italy1.

On the Eastern Adriatic, this territory aligns with that ascribed to the Ardiaei, although this

Illyrian tribe is not attested until the 4th century BCE6. It’s likely the Iapodes or Proto-Iapodes

held this territory 700 years prior, or at least that their culture and language was close enough to

the Iapyges as to have brought the explorers, merchants and military leaders in the

Mediterranean to make the connection.

The Ardiaei may have named the Adriatic Sea, or derived their name from the sea, their name

akin to an example of “metathesis”, the exchanging of adjacent phonetic sounds, common

practice for Greeks and Latins at the time. Supposedly ‘Adria’ is an Illyrian word20, 21, there is a

town named Adria and another Atri, in Veneto and Abruzzo Italy respectively, both historically

known as ‘Adria’, both with several degrees of association with Illyrians. This could however

be “Romantic” association derived via conjecture. 

Whatever the case, all three of these tribes were among the most powerful and inventive of

those in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. Their ability to colonize, and contribute their

names to the regions they settled, before Rome was a thought, and independent of and in some

cases preceding the Greeks, speaks to their prowess in ship-building, co-operation, adventurous

spirit and tenacity.

Indeed, the gold, jewelry, pottery and metal-works found in these grave-sites indicate these 

particular people were quite wealthy and prominent, and connected via trade to the rest of the

Mediterranean. The word ‘princely’ is commonly used by historians and archaeologists in

connection with the status of the burial at Velika Gruda and Mala Gruda most notably*7, 8. 

Puglia was won over by the Romans/Latins in the 4th c. BCE9. These Illyrians were then “Latinized”. 

Map of the Illyrian Tribes27

The Illyrian Wars which began in 229 BCE would be the start of the subsequent

“Romanization” of most if not all of the rest of the Illyrians. Rome would officially colonize

the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea 168 BCE, and the rest is history (rather well documented

history at that)*10.

We can’t know at this point (2023) which side of the Adriatic the J-Y23094 descendant who

“begat” J-Y80036/J-FT144865 was on. There’s enough data to strongly suggest the western side, but 

most likely, J-Y23094 was on both sides at this time, circa 1200-168 BCE and of course, afterwards.

Some “Romanized Iapyges” undoubtedly traveled back over the Adriatic to be stationed as Italic

Roman soldiers on the eastern side, and some “Romanized Illyrians” traveled west over the

same sea to be stationed as servants, security, military support, and mercenaries to be

incorporated into the Roman military in Italy. Based on the sheer number of J-Y23094 in

Western Europe found today, a general Italic ethno-genesis can be favored for many

descendants of this subclade, but there is nothing definite yet in regards to the ancestor of

 J-Y80036/J-FT144865. At any rate, whether Western or Eastern Adriatic Illyrian, generally these 

people would have been “Romanized”, between 500 BCE9 and 200 CE10. It is debatable 

which is genuinely more favorable as to acquiring the Latin language and customs, that is, 

which conquest (Puglia vs Illyria) was less traumatizing to the local Illyrian population.

Modern Frequency of High Resolution J-L283 Samples28

This was a widespread phenomenon. To this day, some 60% of the Albanian language has Latin

vocabulary11. This despite some efforts to eliminate the use of Latin-derived words. It can be

(and has been) theorized by some to be evidence of bilingualism during Roman occupation for

much of the Illyrians associated with the people group now known as Albanians10.

The Italic Roman Empire "fell" 476 CE (the capital of the Roman Empire had already moved 

over 150 years earlier in 324 CE to the city of Byzantium, renamed New Rome, and then 

Constantinople after Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, and the man who legalized

Christianity in the Roman Empire). Over the next 80 years, administrative and military support

 withdrew from most stations traditionally under the jurisdiction of the administration in Rome, Italy.

 The "Byzantine" Hellenic Roman Empire takes over with altered priorities (it would be another few  

hundred years before the population in Roman Macedonia would identify with Orthodoxy instead 

of Catholicism, for instance) and a substantial amount of time passes before the "Eastern Empire" 

regards anything without direct connection to Constantinople as valuable of oversight.

 Greek is then favored over Latin*12.

Roman Provinces29

J-FT144865 has an approximate date of 850 CE for the first man with that specific mutation in his

Y chromosome. 10 samples (2023) that spread from as far north as Odessa Ukraine to as south 

as Izmir Turkey (historically Smyrna Greece [although no samples yet in modern Greece]), indicate

Vlach/Aromanian or general Albanian ethno-genesis. At least half of these can be traced to what

is now Central/South Albania inside the last couple hundred years. Four of these are relatively

coastal, Kavaja, Lushnje (from further south, Piqueras/Moscopole has been indicated, ~1800), 

Mallakaster, and Tepelene. Of these, the Mallakaster and Tepelene samples are related forming 

a new subclade  J-Y182854 about ~550 years ago. Barring some misreporting from a secondhand source, 

the Lushnje and Bulgarian samples are related as well, forming a new subclade off of J-Y226157 about

 ~800 years ago. Although the Mat District central to Burrel and Klos is among the least historically 

Latinized regions in Albania, and is not far from where the general J-FT144865 ethno-genesis would have to be,

 the distribution so far inside of Albania would indicate someone south of the Shkumbin River, 

therefore speaking Tosk, the “southern” dialect, instead of Gheg, the “northern” dialect, 

and more likely to have been “Latinized” during Roman occupation10.

Since at least three of these samples are either found in or with a direct connection to Romania,

while about half of those found in historical Albanian territory are either Orthodox (a strong

indicator of Vlach ancestry where Albanians are concerned) or have expressly stated likely

Vlach/Aromanian ancestry, I favor a Roman citizen/soldier as being the ancestor of J-FT144865,

while the initial man who represents that mutation himself to be Proto-Vlach/Proto-Aromanian.

The ten J-Y80036 (J-FT144865) samples (from north to south, and west to east):

surname Katan, born 1909, traced to Odessa Ukraine 

surname Miok/Miocu, born 1795, Egress/Igris Hungary/Romania (surname and derivatives stem from Serbian Banat)

surname Safirescu, born 1867, Bujoreni, Valcea, Romania (tradition being ‘Greek’, arriving circa 1860)

Plovdiv/Philipopolis Bulgaria/Greece (from study of “Balkan” minorities [Pomac/Muslim Vlach?])

Kavaja, Albania 

surname Nikolovski, born 1910, Resen, Prespa, Macedonia

Lushnje, Albania (tradition of arriving from “Piqueras/Moscopole” circa 1800)

Mallakaster, Albania

Tepelene, Albania

Izmir/Smyrna Turkey/Greece (from study of “Balkan” minorities [devshirme/postwar population exchange?], some 50% of that sample's autosomal background matches contemporary Thessaloniki, Greece/Greek Macedonia population32)

The data from these samples is public knowledge to anyone with access to Yfull33, Rrënjët, and/or FamilyTreeDNA. 

The territorial range of samples on YFull33: The Valcea Romania sample was not counted as their family's recorded history includes emigration from Greece circa 1860. The Turkish sample has autosomal data some 50% of which matches contemporary Macedonian Greek populations32, so most researchers who know anything about these things put that sample central to Greek Macedonia. Regardless, the range, especially when weighted for closer relation, is central to Florina and Moscopole (both known as "Aromanian" settlements until the World Wars12), and the subclade funnels through parent subclades which have demonstrably been linked to Roman ethnogenesis1. Again, descent from a Vlach/Aromanian appears to be the common theme here. Given the genetic diversity even in this territorial range, and what appears to be the closer relation of the samples further south, it would not be unexpected at all to one day find samples in Thessaly, the greater region of which was known as Great Vlachia throughout the Middle Ages, until about the time of the Ottoman invasion12.

The general lifestyle for the average person in the region throughout the Middle Ages was

probably more desirable than the serfdom and feudalism found throughout most of Europe at

the time. Common occupations included shepherd, fisherman, travel guide, and later hauling

cargo and distributing merchant goods to the small communities throughout the region.

 Career soldiers, in some instances for hire, is another documented occupation. Carpentry 

and metalworking increasingly became occupations of necessity, although barrel-making 

and many other skilled professions existed as well*13.

Many Albanians (probably most) who did not leave the region for Italy or Greece as the Arbereshe

or Arvanites as they came to be known respectively, converted to Islam over the course of the 15th-

18th centuries14. Vlachs generally were Orthodox, although some minority communities did convert

as well. This all stemmed from the expansion of jurisdiction by the Ottoman Empire, which

overcame Constantinople in 1453, effectively putting to rest any continuation 

of the Roman Empire, Italic or Hellenic. Obviously the effective control 

the Ottomans exercised over different regions varied*13.

Formal schooling beyond basic communal skills was effectively banned, at least when the

Ottomans knew about it or felt threatened by it. With the Austrian and Russian Empires becoming

stronger and more organized, and looking for increasing influence and power, the Ottoman Empire

starts to fade, although does exert influence through their Muslim converts and lashes out

infrequently in the 18th century*13.

Citizens in Moscopole or with direct ties to it in the 17th and early 18th centuries probably had it

best. Whether “Greek”, Albanian, or Aromanian/Vlach, they enjoyed education, and a structural

society among the most noteworthy between the Adriatic and Black Seas. Various attempts to

formalize the language of the Albanians and Aromanians were attempted throughout the 16th, 17th,

and 18th centuries. Some of these documents survive to this day. A printing press is attested, and

translations of at least parts of the Bible are made into some form of the local languages. The

population at the time by conservative estimates, is upwards of 20,000, greater than contemporary

Athens, Sofia or Belgrade, putting the city among the largest and most influential between the

Adriatic and the Black Sea*13, 15, 16.

Unfortunately, this city became the target of various attacks by rebel Muslim bands starting in the

mid 18th century (as it was [possibly the only major city] led by an Aromanian majority)

culminating in the destruction of large parts of the city in 1769, 1788, and throughout the early 19th

century. The place is hardly a shadow of its former self, in particular since the world wars of the

first half of the 20th century. Grabova, Piqueras, and on and on, succumb in various ways to these

same initial attacks. This is a common reason given for the spread of Aromanians increasingly after

the mid 18th century. The Ottomans had pitted the Aromanians and Albanians against each other,

and those who knew the history and knew the Aromanians as Latins did not appreciate the reminder

 of Italic Roman supremacy*12, 13, 15. The Crusades [chiefly French and Italians fighting Muslims] 

played into this [Vlachs were in territory that became the jurisdiction of the Muslim Ottomans after all].

As Greek became the prestige language with English, German and French diplomats, scholars 

and tourists finally visiting the region with any frequency, others became viewed with less regard,

this along with some localized anti-Latin sentiment led to many Aromanians and Albanians alike

 especially those of Orthodox tradition adopting Greek identities. Others slowly left their language 

and cultural traditions behind to disappear into the majority in which they lived. 

Historically most of these communities had a long tradition of multilingualism

anyways, simply due to the nature of the greater region*12, 13, 15.

In the mid 19th century, the Romanian state set up a few (primarily language) schools central 

to Monastir/Bitola, to teach the Romanian language to Aromanians, and one in Bucharest 

to produce teachers for these schools, in an effort to “Romanianize” the Aromanians17, 18. Romanian at 

this point now a political language, having thrown off much of the Slavic loanwords they’d acquired 

over the last millennia and replaced them with Italian and French mostly, undergoing a process

 officially known as “Re-Latinization” which included the shift from writing in Cyrillic 

as the Romanian language had prior to this exclusively utilized, to using the Latin alphabet19.

The Greek state and the Romanian state, for reasons of territorial expansion and influence,

proceeded to fight over claiming the “Vlachs” as part of their own “diaspora”. Ironically, the

ancestors of the Vlachs were citizens of Italic Rome in one way or another for over 700 years, while

  Rome withdrew from Dacia after only 170 at most, yet it is the Romanians north of the Danube

 pushing for the creation of the Aromanian ‘ethno-state’ as a proxy territory of Romania, 

while the Greek state describes them as “Greeks who speak Latin”, wishing to claim the region 

central to Prespa and Ohrid lakes for themselves, and calling Southern Albania, Northern Epirus. 

Propaganda is made by various parties. Vlachs still engaged in pseudo-nomadic shepherding

 were generally against the division of territory whatsoever*13, 17, 18. Again, around this time

 many who traced to the 'Aromanians' had become difficult to differentiate from any other 

"Serbian", "Albanian", "Macedonian", "Romanian", "Bulgarian" or "Greek".

This helps to explain much of the historic political situation surrounding the cultural milieu of

descendants from, and the distribution of, J-Y80036/J-FT144865.

A Note: Credit must be given to Flor Veseli and Hunter Provyn, for their expertise in interpreting

some of the initial data presented where genetics are concerned, and for infrequently sharing some

of their research in various forums online. Both have been or are currently employed with a variety

of professional genetic testing services. Where references to Vlachs (also known as Aromanians)

are concerned, I favor outside researchers who have studied minority groups at length in an

academic capacity. Much has been written of this ethnic group, running the gamut from words that

should not be repeated by anyone, to literal “perfect people26”, an attitude so ignorant, absurd and

grandiose as to be equally worthless to verbalize (if taken at face value). As Helen Abadzi points

out, they are indeed misunderstood and generalized beyond recognition. Due to these

circumstances, I have favored the late Tom Winnifrith, and now Thede Kahl, both of whom have

been considered by those more informed than I to be the foremost outside researchers on the

Vlachs at one point or another. Most of the books referenced I personally own, or have PDF copies.

Just to say, I have studied this phenomenon at length, and done my best to be objective.

On Citations: Rather than putting a citation after every sentence, when more than one statement

inside a single paragraph is made that builds off of a scholar’s previous work, the citation is at the

last sentence in the paragraph containing that reference, and includes an ‘asterisk’ e.g. “Dogs

jump*8”. Where a statement is further strengthened by additional scholarly sources (within reason)

 I happen to have come across in my reading, the citation has a comma, and corresponding 

reference number e.g. “Dogs jump8, 9, 10, although this is definitely not exhaustive.

  Update 11/14/23; Expounding on the situation during Ottoman occupation:

Initially blamed for the Crusades, whose armies were chiefly made up of French and Italians,

 as fellow Latin speakers the Vlachs were disadvantaged as the Ottomans  did not

 differentiate between Romance speakers at the time. The Vlachs were later coerced

 into becoming armed patrols for the Ottomans, a status they were favored to hold 

for about two hundred years, as they did not enjoy the political power of the Greeks, 

yet had a strong sense of discipline and were good with direction as guides and the like, 

in contrast to some of the less well known groups in the surrounding area. 

As the Ottoman Empire gradually faded, and the nationalistic and racist discourse 

throughout Europe picked up, and outsiders from Western Europe started to visit the region,

 the Greeks clearly had the prestige, and while the Vlachs were typically regarded 

as the closest to European standards as far as behavior, personal responsibility, 

and work ethic, it became the standard among them to adopt a Greek identity, 

especially after the Ottomans recognized the wealth and power some groups of Vlachs

 had built up from their favored status as patrols, and ease with which many became merchants.

 Out of fear of rebellion, the Ottomans pitted some groups of Albanians and Greeks 

as well against the Vlachs, tapping into anti-Latin and anti-Roman sentiment,

 though by this time it had been some 800 years or more since the Vlachs and their territory

 had been under the jurisdiction of any authority from the Italian Peninsula. 

Today in Greece they have mostly been Hellenized. 

North Macedonia is the only country to grant them official minority status*12, 13, 15.


1 Veseli, Flor Geographic Database of J-L283 Ancient Samples (2023)


2 Baldi, Philip The Foundations of Latin (1999)

3 Wilkes, John The Illyrians (1992)

4 Thomson de Grummond, Nancy Ancient Italic Peoples (Britannica) (1999)

5 Small, Alastair Pots, Peoples and Places in Fourth-Century B.C.E. Apulia (2014)

6 Pseudo-Scylax The Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax (4th century)

7 https://muzejikotor.me/en/prehistoric-findings-from-kotor-region/velika-gruda/

8 Pavlovic, Goran Mala and Velika Gruda tumuluses (Old European Culture) (2015)


9 Fronda, Michael Livy 9.20 and Early Roman Imperialism in Apulia (2006)

10 Winnifrith, Tom Nobody's Kingdom: A History of Northern Albania (2020)

11 Sawicka, Irena A Crossroad Between West, East and Orient–The Case of Albanian Culture (2013)

12 Winnifrith, Tom The Vlachs: The History of a Balkan People (1995)

13 Bogdan, Gheorghe Multi-Disciplinary Reconstruction of Vlach Ethno-History (2011)

14 Manahasa, Edmond; Kolay, Aktuğ Observations on the Existing Ottoman Mosques in Albania (2015)

15 Abadzi, Helen Vlachs of Greece and Their Misunderstood History (2004)

16 Elsie, Robert Albanian Literature in Greek Script: the 18th & early 19th c. Orthodox Tradition in Albanian Writing (1991)

17 Winnifrith, Tom Badlands, Borderlands: A History of Northern Epirus/Southern Albania (2002)

18 Kahl, Thede The Ethnicity of Aromanians after 1990: the Identity of a Minority that Behaves like a Majority (2002)

19 Boia, Lucian History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness (2001)

20 Room, Adrian Brewer's Dictionary of Names (1993), Room, Adrian Placenames of the World (2006)

21 Stillwell, Richard; MacDonald, William; McAlister, Marian Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1976)

22 Fine, John The Ancient Greeks: A Critical History (1985)

23 Thucydides Histories (vi.2 and vi.4.6)

24 Dzino, Danijel Illyricum in Roman Politics, 229 BC-AD 68 (2010)

25 Pliny the Elder Natural History, Book III

26 Binder, David Vlachs: A Peaceful Balkan People (2004)

27 Megistias. Map of the Illyrian Tribes https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IllyrianTribes.jpg

28 Provyn, Hunter phylogeographer.com, https://hras.yseq.net/?dna_type=y&map_type=alpha

29 Droysens, Gustav Droysens Historical Atlas of 1886

30 Vogt, Yngve  https://www.apollon.uio.no/english/articles/2008/illyrer-english.html

31 Senad.sirma1 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monedha_Labeate.jpg

32 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pHvOMVZPtNDuwVabSXD7OxdFMTYQGvfjq7Z-L6IiII0/edit#gid=450884960

33 https://www.yfull.com/tree/J-Y80036/

Published 4/12/23