Tag Archive | genetics

Adventures in the Gene Pool

I did the Genographic DNA testing from the National Geographic Society and just got the results back a few days ago. I got the normal for a European 1.1% Neanderthal. And my Regional results came up 52% Great Britain and Ireland , by which I guess they mean Scottish, 34% Western European, 9 % Scandinavian, and 4% Finland and Siberian. The 4% Fin/Siberian is interesting because it can also be Native American, my dad always said his grandfather was a half breed and refused to say word other than that and didn’t talk about his family at all and on the first census he appears in the 1880s he is listed as Tomas and after that he is listed as Thomas and listed as being born in KY when everyone else says PA until they moved to IL so he may have been adopted.

My dad had a very red complexion not a fair one and black really straight hair and he was the least hirsute man in the family, not like my little brother who had chest hair like a pelt. My dad had a full head of hair until the day he died and was almost offended at my brother being bald as cue ball. My brother looked like my mom’s side to the family and I look more like dad’s and I have the same stick straight hair even if I got the redheaded gene for colour. I also have the bump he had at the top of his nose but the bottom is the Swedish nose. Genes are weird things.

I thought the Scandinavian numbers would be way higher since my mom’s father was 100%. Dad did mention exactly once that I remember that someone was from the Alsace Lorraine region on his side. And Grandma’s main clan the Cummings were originally Danes who migrated to Normandy were Du Comyn in Normandy (shades of Darkover) and came over with William the Conqueror in 1066 and were awarded lands in Scotland and became the Cumming clan which may explain the Western European thing.

It wasn’t as diverse as I thought it might be but it is pretty much the groups in my genealogy research.


Here’s what it says about Great Britain and Ireland

This component of your ancestry is associated with the western European islands of Great Britain and Ireland, but traces can also be found along the northern and western coasts of continental Europe. As modern humans first entered Europe, this part of the world was uninhabitable and covered in ice sheets. As the ice sheets retreated, settlers moved to the islands. The earliest settlers likely survived on fishing, but farming eventually reached the islands in the past several thousand years. Stone monuments (e.g., Stonehenge) are associated with some of the islands’ earliest cultures. Historically, these islands were populated by Celts and later marked the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire, thus genetic connections still exist between these regions. Yet it was Britain’s global empire during the 18th and 19th centuries that helped spread this component, as well as the English language, throughout the world.

Today, this ancestral component is seen in people of British and Irish descent, including those throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and most other former British colonies.

Western and Central Europe:

This component of your ancestry is associated with a prehistoric European population that arose from a hybrid of different migrant groups. The region extends from northern Spain east through France, the lowlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Prehistorically, this region of Europe was home to Neanderthals, and it was possibly here where your modern human ancestors mixed with your Neanderthal ancestors as the two related species met 40,000 years ago. Historically, this region saw continuous human migration from the north, west, south, and east, which is evident from the dozens of distinct mitochondrial DNA lineages that exist there today.


This genetic component of your ancestry is seen in most people of European ancestry, but it’s highest among those with Spanish, French, Dutch, Swiss, Austrian, German, and northern Italian ancestry.

Funny but these are all the pathways of the Celts across Europe.


This component of your ancestry is associated with the Nordic regions of Europe. This part of Europe was the last to be settled since it was covered in glaciers for thousands of years longer than the lands to the south. As the name states, this region is associated with the peninsula of Scandinavia and its adjacent regions of Iceland and Denmark. Your prehistoric Scandinavian ancestors most likely survived from hunting, gathering, and fishing, and it wasn’t until a few thousand years ago that farming first reached the area. Historically, Scandinavia was the home of Vikings, who were known to voyage south and west and interacting, both peacefully and violently, with their neighbors in Great Britain and central Europe.


This genetic component of your ancestry is seen in people of Norwegian, Icelandic, Swedish, and Danish ancestry, although it also occurs in people from Britain and continental Europe.


Finland and Northern Siberia:

This component of your ancestry is associated with the polar regions of Eurasia, stretching from Finland to eastern Siberia in Russia. Similar to other northern regions, this region of Eurasia was settled late and primarily by hunter-gatherers who could survive on the edges of the receding icesheets, and did not take on agriculture until very recently. Although this area may appear distant on a map, members of this population eventually expanded as far east as Alaska, Canada, and North America, and their genetic legacy is still seen in Inuit populations as far east as Canada and Greenland, but also Sami populations as far west as Finland and Sweden. Your ancestors were true circumpolar settlers. 

Today, this genetic component of your ancestry is seen in Finnish, Russian, Alaska, and Canadian populations, and in low frequencies among some Native American groups farther south.