Basques

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The Basque flag

My own Y-DNA is haplogroup R1b3* (now known as 'R1b1b2'), which is found predominantly in Western Europe. My direct-line male ancestors are direct descendants of the first modern humans who entered Europe about 35,000BC-40,000BC. They were among the Cro-Magnon tribes that inhabited the caves in Southern France and Northern Spain about 20,000BC, where numerous cave paintings have been found, when Britain was still covered by the 'Ice Age' ice-cap. This Y-DNA is a highly dominant lineage in Western Europe, covering about 40-70% of paternal gene pool of continental Western European populations (Spanish, Catalans, Portuguese, French, Danes etc.) and reaching up to 82% in Ireland. Interestingly, this is also the same as Basque Y-DNA and I have Basque, Spanish (Andalusian & Catalonian), & Portuguese results in my overall DNA comparison with current world populations [see My DNA]; the Basques have remained racial separated from the rest of Europe since ancient times. It should also be noted that the Basque (Vascon) area of Spain, known as Navarre (French side being Navarra), was where Sir Edward Drax fought and died there alongside The Black Prince at the Battle of Nájera (also called Navaret) in 1367 [see Trees]. It seems possible that his family had ethnic roots in the Basque region, which once spread northwards into modern France as far as the Loire Valley. See: Basques


Pays Basque farmhouses


Basque, Tolsa in 1874 & cattle at Attelage Basque


Basque peasants: old man; mountain man; woman & child



Basque musicians at Bayonne & Basque pelote player


If you are interested in a very readable and enjoyable fictional-history of the Basque peoples, then I thoroughly recommend: The Lords of Navarre - A Basque Family Saga by José Maria Lacambra- Loizu, published in 2004 by iUniverse Inc., Lincoln, USA (available via amazon.co.uk) This brilliant book tells the Basque story from the Cro-Magnons of 40,000 years ago, through their occupation of the caves near the border of France and Spain 20,000 years ago, during the last Glacial Maximum, through to 1367 and the Battle of Nájera where Sir Edward Drax died, and on to the early 16th century, giving a very readable insight into contemporary life that is well grounded in known history. There is also a chapter about the author's visit to the region. This book has a very useful chronological timeline, and a good list of sources for further research.

If you are interested in a very readable non-fiction history of the Basques, then I also thoroughly recommend: The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky, published in 1999 by Jonathan Cape, London (available via amazon.co.uk) This excellent book gives a insight into political, religious, and trading World as seen by the Basques and their early explorers, who fished and traded in Newfoundland before Cabot discovered the region; it also give details of, and reasons for, several periods of Basque migration around the world.