Were The Early Muncys Vikings?

For many years Muncy genealogies have stated that the Muncy line originated in Normandy. It was assumed that one or more Muncy ancestors came to England with William the Conqueror, and that the Muncy name (and similar spellings) were a corruption of De Monceaux. An eminent authority “Dr. Whitaker” contends that the line originated from Roman families who possibly settled in Gaul and then came to England with William the Conqueror. All these assumptions are based on the “Munsey-Hopkins Genealogy” by D.O.S. Lowell in 1920. As far as I know, this century-old theory has never been fully investigated or authenticated.

Is this true? I don’t know. I once accepted the theory as fact but now have serious doubts.

Dr. Whitaker and D.O.S. Lowell were using information available to them at the time. Today, we have access to far more information and records and what we now know casts a serious shadow on the Rome to Normandy to England theory.

DNA is telling us a lot. And Y-DNA is opening our eyes to new possibilities. For those who aren’t familar with Y-DNA, this form of DNA is passed down ONLY from father to son. Mutations can and do occur along the way, but I have essentially the same Y-DNA as my Muncy ancestor 1000 years ago. Through Family Tree DNA I tested my Y-DNA at the 111-marker level. That is normally as high as you can go without going to a very expensive, very detailed test known as the “Big Y.”  You can’t really go any further than the “Big Y.”  I felt no need to do the Big Y test because my 111-marker test was giving me comparisons I needed and wanted and was proving very, very helpful in my genealogy searches.

I was surprised when I received an email from a group asking if I would take the Big Y test – and they would provide a scholarship (covering the entire cost) for the test.  It seems that they had seen my 111-marker results and some additional SNP testing I had done and were intrigued. They believed my results matched the groupings from Norway and Sweden and they were interested in Viking descendants in England. I was a good candidate for their search and I consented to the test.

It took a long time to get the final results, but the results confirmed what they believed.  I am currently classed as I-S8104. A few others in the Muncey Project who have had more extensive testing done are also included in the I-S8104 group. I am confident that others in the Muncey Project would also be included in this group if they extended their testing.

ALL OF THE OTHERS CLOSELY MATCHING ME IN I-S8104 ARE IN NORWAY OR SWEDEN. No one closely matching me in this group is in France or Normandy.

Starting in the eighth century B.C., Viking invaders began incursions and settlements in the British Isles. The BBC has a good summary of Viking activity in England that I won’t repeat here. (summary of Viking activity)

So, does this prove that the male ancestors of today’s Muncy family came to England as Viking invaders? Although I believe this is probably the case, it does not rule out that our ancestors came as invaders from Normandy with William the Conqueror since there were also some Viking descendants in Normandy. However, we currenly show no close matches in France and we do show close matches with Norway and Sweden. It is possible that more extensive testing in France will show the presence of I-S8104 descendants.

DNA testing is changing how we research our family history. For those males who carry the Muncy surname, I strongly urge you to consider having a Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA and joing the FTDNA Muncey Project.

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