Are Any Living Humans Descended from Pre-1492 Trans-Atlantic Contacts?
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In my review of Adam Rutherford’s book, I wrote:

I would add, however, that some geographic barriers to gene flow were extremely formidable until fairly recent times. For instance, although we know that Vikings briefly sojourned in Canada about a thousand years ago, we’ve yet to find definitive genetic evidence that anybody alive today is descended from a man and woman who were born on opposite sides of the Atlantic before the 15th-century Age of Exploration.

A friend points out this article from the American Journal of Physical Anthropology:

A new subclade of mtDNA haplogroup C1 found in Icelanders: evidence of pre-Columbian contact?

2011 Jan
Ebenesersdóttir SS, Sigurðsson A, Sánchez-Quinto F, Lalueza-Fox C, Stefánsson K, Helgason A.

Although most mtDNA lineages observed in contemporary Icelanders can be traced to neighboring populations in the British Isles and Scandinavia, one may have a more distant origin. This lineage belongs to haplogroup C1, 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, preliminary genealogical analyses revealed that the C1 lineage was present in the Icelandic mtDNA pool at least 300 years ago. 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. In an attempt to shed further light on the entry date of the C1 lineage into the Icelandic mtDNA pool and its geographical origin, we used the deCODE Genetics genealogical database to identify additional matrilineal ancestors that carry the C1 lineage and then sequenced the complete mtDNA genome of 11 contemporary C1 carriers from four different matrilines. Our results indicate a latest possible arrival date in Iceland of just prior to 1700 and a likely arrival date centuries earlier. Most surprisingly, we demonstrate that the Icelandic C1 lineage does not belong to any of the four known Native American (C1b, C1c, and C1d) or Asian (C1a) subclades of haplogroup C1. Rather, it is presently the only known member of a new subclade, C1e. While a Native American origin seems most likely for C1e, an Asian or European origin cannot be ruled out.

So it could be that Vikings brought an American Indian (not an Eskimo) woman back from Canada to Iceland around 1000 years ago and her descendants are found in Iceland today. The Icelanders are likely the most DNA-sequenced population in the world due to their having excellent genealogical records so a local company exists to figure out what can be determined from their genes.

I haven’t seen any updates on this question in recent years.

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