Five hundred years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a Native American woman may have voyaged to Europe with Vikings, according to a provocative new DNA study.

The first Native American to arrive in Europe may have been a woman brought to Iceland by the Vikings more than 1,000 years ago, a study by Spanish and Icelandic researchers suggests. .

The findings boost widely-accepted theories, based on Icelandic medieval texts and a reputed Viking settlement in Newfoundland in Canada, that the Vikings reached the American continent several centuries before Christopher Columbus traveled to the "New World.".

Spain's CSIC scientific research institute said genetic analysis of around 80 people from a total of four families in Iceland showed they possess a type of DNA normally only found in Native Americans or East Asians. .

"It was thought at first that (the DNA) came from recently established Asian families in Iceland," CSIC researcher Carles Lalueza-Fox was quoted as saying in a statement by the institute. "But when family genealogy was studied, it was discovered that the four families were descended from ancestors who lived between 1710 and 1740 from the same region of southern Iceland." .

The lineage found, named C1e, is also mitochondrial, which means that the genes were introduced into Iceland by a woman. .

"As the island was virtually isolated from the 10th century, the most likely hypothesis is that these genes corresponded to an Amerindian woman who was brought from America by the Vikings around the year 1000," said Lalueza-Fox. .

The researchers used data from the Rejkjavik-based genomics company deCODE Genetics. .

He said the research team hopes to find more instances of the same Native American DNA in Iceland's population, starting in the same region in the south of the country near the massive Vatnajokull glacier. .

The report, by scientists from the CSIC and the University of Iceland, was also published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. .

The journal said 75 to 80 percent of contemporary Icelanders can trace their lineage to Scandinavia and the rest to Scotland and Ireland. .

But the C1e lineage is "one of a handful that was involved in the settlement of the Americas around 14,000 years ago. .

"Contrary to an initial assumption that this lineage was a recent arrival (in Iceland), preliminary genealogical analyses revealed that the C1 lineage was present in the Icelandic mitochondrial DNA pool at least 300 years ago" said the journal. "This raised the intriguing possibility that the Icelandic C1 lineage could be traced to Viking voyages to the Americas that commenced in the 10th century." . (SOURCE)

Responses to "Native American Woman May Have Made It to Europe 500 Years Before Columbus Was Born "

  1. Anonymous says:

    I always try to have an open mind and I believe that this definitely could have happened!

  2. Doesn't suprise me. The Vikings were known for taking Woman captives!

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. This may answer some of the questions about the Heavener Runestone in Heaverner, OK. There seems to be some argument as to whether it is pre or post Columbus.

  5. roxy says:

    This is fascinating. I have said for a long time that humans have been travelling the world constantly and had more contact with each other than we are led to believe. However I wish the article didn't repeated say the woman was 'brought to Iceland' like she was a piece of furniture. While it is possible she was taken violently it is at least as likely she chose to make the journey. Why, in 2012, are historians still speaking of men as people and women as things?

  6. Anonymous says:

    BEcause when the Vikings took her Women were Property

  7. Anonymous says:

    interesting to say the least. I believe this happened. Maybe they'll discover legends about her?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Actually, the Viking culture was surprisingly egalitarian for their time. There were a number of very powerful women as leaders, warriors traders and religious figures. (Though, yes, women were also at times chess pieces in alliances being formed through marriage and the majority were home keepers.)

  9. Anonymous says:

    it is unlikely that a woman would choose to leave her family and familiar places to go somewhere with complete strangers. i suppose it's possible, but of all the probabilities, free will would have been the least likely, abduction or fair trade would have been the most likely. women then did not have the agency of women today, and globally there are places where women still struggle to have it. even from dire situations escape would have been nearly impossible. who knows? perhaps she was fortunate and found and rescued by kind explorers after some disaster. that would make a nice disney movie but historically, women were most often taken as captives (or slaves) when invaders "took" the village or the town. she would have been like one of the trojan women,the booty(no pun intended)of the victorious. the rest you know...

  10. thegools says:

    They were not really Vikings (warriors) they were Norsmen (farmers/explorers). The Scandinavians seem to distinguish between them. That said, it would be hard to know if such a migration was due to kidnapping, marriage, or immigrants to Iceland from a Native/Norsman union that happened in North America or Greeland. The Norsman were in N. America it is believed for around 400 years after all.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Actually there is a story about it. The story of Madoc is very interesting.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What if she had only been there 3 or 4 hundred years ago? This would be colonial times. Europeans knew Iceland existed and so did many tribes who had earlier dealings with the Icelanders. We have no definitive proof she was 'raided' a thousand years ago. Possible? Yes. Certain? No. P.S. Mitochondrial DNA and graves from Nordic warrior women have been found as far as Mongolia. Anything is possible.

  13. Anonymous says:

    First of all Native nations in the north Eastern board are and always have been matriarchal. So.. she most likely would of gone of free will. Women are not possessions, they are and were revered in native American nations. And Many women have left their homeland to be with the man they love.ex: War Brides who left Europe to be in another country Ex: America ,England etc. I have many girlfriends who live in other states, countries because it is where the husband or wife found work. Please do your history before commenting about native people of America and how women were treated. Yes I am both a norse woman and native. Heidi

  14. Leonora says:

    It isn't really true that women were 'property' in this period; if we read the sagas, it seems clear that they had a fairly respected position in Norse society. I'm putting a link to a page about the Vinland sagas.

  15. Leonora says:

    I need to add to that - FOR THE TIME, women had a fairly respected position, but many women were taken as slaves in wars of conquest - Irish women, for instance.The mother of Olaf the Peacock was Melkorka, daughter of King Myrkjartan of Ireland, and she was taken to Iceland as a slave.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It's a shame that political correctness loons try to whitewash history using 21st century nonsense. You know who you are.

  17. This is what I'm am being told about my DNA linage. It is really something what they are doing now.

  18. Anonymous says:

    not uncommon for the vikings to take captives from the places they visited, they too were barbarians and always were hunting for slaves. eric the red and leif ericsson both have seen the shores of newfoundland in the 900's. the micmac were some of the first coastland peoples to see the vikings upon their shores. history has a fair record of many such sitings.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Native American women have always held very well respected places in their tribes, they are the leaders of the family, sit on the board of Elders, have been Cheifs, warriors ect... There have always been stories shared through the tribes about men wearing horned headdresses. The Native woman could easily choose to go of her own free will.

  20. Anonymous says:

    90% of written history is not true. It was rewritten by the Vatican since its beginning in the 4th century. There is an old saying that the victor always gets to tell their side of the story. Religion has always been used by the white man as an opiate of political ideology to control the masses. Suppressed archeology, suppressed science, suppression of the truth perpetuates the propaganda and lies. Enlightenment is the destroyer of these lies.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Listen to tour Blood Memoey, folks. What do dreams and imagenings tell you..? She had childrwn, decendants with rhia man or mwn. This is very interwating and worth research. We will never KNOW... but a GREAT book and film lie in this telling. Thanks for this.. my imagination sours, reaching for her in OurStory..... Madoc, eh...?

  22. Anonymous says:

    The text states that they took her, that is a presumtion based on male superiority

  23. I recently had my DNA analysed and it came back that I had 5 per cent Native American /eastern Asian make up, you never know what you will find out, it's well worth doing..

  24. Anonymous says:

    I had the same reaction as Nicola Romme. It is a racist and sexist assumption that she had to be brought there by European men. Native Americans made it from Asia to the Western hemisphere, so why shouldn't they have been the ones to go to Iceland? Why is it assumed that women could only travel as captives?

  25. Anonymous says:

    hmmm, I wonder if we have some Viking blood fr the visit to our Mi'kmaq territory, at so called Atlantic Canada?

  26. Anonymous says:

    I have never read anything on the Internet that made half as much sense as this post. Well said!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, that was a reference to "What if she had only been there 3 or 4 hundred years ago? This would be colonial times. Europeans knew Iceland existed and so did many tribes who had earlier dealings with the Icelanders. We have no definitive proof she was 'raided' a thousand years ago. Possible? Yes. Certain? No. P.S. Mitochondrial DNA and graves from Nordic warrior women have been found as far as Mongolia. Anything is possible."

  28. Anonymous says:

    Does That Mean She Discovered Europe?

  29. Anonymous says:

    LOL - she did indeed discover Europe! What a perfect way to unpack all those prejudices that still sadly shackle too many of us to an often unfortunate past. (Some people, Jack, aren't able to get over the inequities of the past, because it is still their present - you and I may be the lucky ones but a little empathy and compassion for others doesn't go astray.)

  30. Interesting, but Iceland is not geographically part of Europe... its an isolated island in the Atlantic ocean mid way between Europe and North America, and the settling of Greenland where both native Americans and Viking lived could be the source of the lineage... That said, given the Viking fondness of raping and pillaging it wouldn't surprise me that some racial mixing occurred during the Viking exploration.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Ever see Bjork? There's no way she doesn't have Native American DNA.

  32. Anonymous says:

    As to why they say "Taken" if she was a captive or free, odds are she traveled in a Norse Hull. That makes her "Taken" as in moved. That does not mean a slave... I don't honestly know enough about the Tribes of the Eastern seaboard to argue, but realistically.. what are the odds fo a woman making said trip alone? Asking for some education here, not trolling for a gender related arguement.

  33. Unknown says:

    I am searching for the ancient name of an american indian who enslaved a wolf changling, one who could turn to human,. The wolf changling was enslaved 5000 years.
    Just recently i spoke w this enslaved wolf.
    Please he is in dire need of apache indians currently enslaving the sacred animals in my personal animus mundi.
    Please help
    1 408 661 8541 usa

  34. Anonymous says:

    This DNA mixture would make for some fierce warriors. Just as German and Native would.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Vikings were known for taking prisoners and slaves from areas they attacked and conquered. There are even well documented cases for discrimination against people who have "dark features" ie. Darker hair. In their own societies and mythologies, those with red or blond hair are considered noble, while farmers and slaves had dark hair.

    While it would be nice to believe a native woman traveled all the way to Europe on her own free will, maybe married for love and had lots of children and a happy family. It's far more realistic that she was one of many prisoners taken back for slave labor.

  36. Anonymous says:

    To Native's living here on Turtle Island(North America) this is nothing new. We are waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. NOT MUCH TIME!!!!!

  37. Anonymous says:

    New Sealand has also been visited by Vikings, before the coming off the Maori !! DNA analyses will prove it !!

  38. Instead of a woman taken to Iceland couldn't it as well have been descendants of a Native/Norse union in North America who later traveled to Iceland? I carry the DNA of many European women who never stepped foot in North America.Just because this woman's DNA is found there doesn't necessarily mean she was ever there.

  39. Unknown says:

    oki je vis sur un territoires Malécites ! je precisément au Lac temiscouata qui veux dire lac profond......on y retrouves des artfacts qui aurais presque 2000 ans avant le J-C aussi certaines illustrations ou lon voit des barques....avec motifs influences Vicking...dapres mes recherches personnelles ya un mystere qui plane ici......c pas tres claire lhistoire.... c aussi les terres de la Reine.....quon appelles la Seigneurie ( les juges ) jai aussi entendue parler des mains noires (Secte de leurope) qui aurait fermer un sceau ! du sang Bleu je pour celui qui parlait du loup chancelant je peux ten parler si tu veux....^pour ce qui est des Malecites ils sont des alphas 3 donc possedes 5 grandes langues

  40. Marie says:

    I am a Sámi woman from Norway. My mother is partly Norwegian and my father a Sámi. I took a DNA-test recently. According to several DNA-data reading programs, I am over 10% East Asian, Inuit and Native American. If the test is correct, I believe the woman was a Sámi, not Native American. There was connection between the Sámi and the Vikings/Icelandic people. We are not many Sámi and just a few of us have taken DNA-tests, so there isn't any advanced database for our DNA.

  41. C1 mitochondrial haplogroup (mtDNA) is Native American. Have any NA yDNA haplogroups been found in residents of Iceland/Greenland (or even Norway)?

  42. Unknown says:

    Matriarchal females traveled just as their male counterparts. For a female to be considered property was not always the case. To procreat with others gave the blood line a chance to survive to live another day. Plus this theory would fit my family line. It beautiful when science can back history.

  43. This goes to show we are all related... no need to create divisions.

  44. Unknown says:

    No shit Sherlock!! Read the Icelandic Sagas recently??

  45. Unknown says:

    If the Polynesians could sail to Santa Barbara before Columbus why not the " Viking"coming here the were pillagers after all

  46. Anonymous says:

    Let us keep in mind that in most Indigenous cultures it was the women in most tribes that were consulted about important issues and who made important decisions for their tribes and their tribes people.

  47. Unknown says:

    I see some dont know what vikings were. Vikings were norsmen. On land they were called norsmen. When on ships at sea were then called vikings.......

  48. Unknown says:

    The reason they say it was a woman is because they were looking at mitochondrial dna. Human mitochondrial DNA was the first significant part of the human genome to be sequenced. In most species, including humans, mtDNA is usually inherited solely from the mother.[5][6] However, in exceptional cases, human babies sometimes inherit mtDNA from both their fathers and their mothers resulting in mtDNA heteroplasmy.[7]

  49. Unknown says:

    To Anonymous re Bjork: There is strong archeological evidence suggesting that at least one clan, the Racoon Clan, of the early Creek Indians share ancestors with the Lake Laplanders! :)

  50. Unknown says:

    This goes well with the story of the Passamaquoddy girl who was taken because of her knowledge of healing. She was taken by Christ's Uncle Simon, who was a Phoenician, Christ was his cabin boy, and she is reported to have supported Christ and his teachings by making medicines, tinctures and being able to speak with nature. Maninook Grand Manan Island. The current ran from the Isle of Man to Grand Manan (Maninook) She was said to have returned and they sent people to hunt her down, the Ojibway on Manitoba, and the men with six fingers kept her safe.
    Daughter of the Dawn, People of the Dawn, People of the Fish

  51. Unknown says:

    This is all basically new to me but am extremely interested, trying to find out exactly where I came from, did a dna test, Im 50% Irish and 25% Viking 25% mix a;; from England France etc... . Is this woman from Iceland my GGGreat grandmother ?? How do I find out ?

  52. halusis says:

    all the white men will be saying she was dirt i bet

  53. Unknown says:

    In reading all of the great comments--my one thought--If there was only one woman-she may have been there as the "Property" of the Head Warrior/capitan or?? which was their way then. Very interesting subject too--Enjoyed the views!

  54. Unknown says:

    What about the “Red Ochre” people who were trans Atlantic circa 3000 BC ish?

  55. Unknown says:

    It's really interesting that the C haplogroups have shown up in Iceland. As with the H and H1 variants,these have shown up in tests mostly in Iceland, but also here, in parts of Vinland, here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  56. Ian says:

    Assuming that there was trade back and forth from the L'Anse aux Meadows settlement and Iceland, it would be more surprising if there WASN'T anybody going back and forth. We know that the Vikings had contact with the "Skraelings", which is what Indigenous Americans are called in the Viking Sagas. If we assume that the "Vinland" settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows was used on and off for a century, it hardly seems like a stretch.

    The Vikings describe a tall, strong, but not very good-at-fighting people called the Skraelings living near L'Anse aux Meadows around a thousand years ago. The Inuit describe a tall, strong, but not very good-at-fighting people called the Tuniit living near L'Anse aux Meadows around a thousand years ago. I imagine it's not much of a stretch to think that one or more of those tall, strong, but not very good-at-fighting people might have gone back to Greenland with one of those Vikings, either because they wanted to or because they were kidnapped. And then, from Greenland, to Iceland, and from Iceland to Ireland or England or Norway...

    It's plausible, anyway.

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