As part of becoming a family historian, I signed up for the trial of Ancestry.com’s DNA Analysis for ancestry research. As one of the first people to have access to the Ancestry.com DNA analysis, I recently received my results. It was no surprise to find out that approximately 70% of my genetic heritage is from the British Isles; my Dad is British, and 3 of 4 of my grandparents can trace their heritage directly through England and/or Ireland.
I’m also 10% Scandinavian. I’ve been told I look Scandinavian before – there was never any actual basis for that other than being light-haired and blue-eyed (which could just as easily be mid-European). However, given the Viking forays into the British Isles for much of medieval history, it does make sense that I would have some Scandinavian genetic history, though for the purposes of classification it can’t really be particular to Norwegian/Swedish/Danish because those classifications didn’t arise until after the time the Vikings would have been contributing to my family tree. (If anything, it would be all Danish, since they were all essentially Danish back then.)
I’m also 11% Southern European. This (according to the picture) means Italy, Portugal, and Spain. There was a large southern European influence in the British Isles – particularly Ireland – around the time of the last Ice Age, and this makes sense as well. (This “in-wandering Southern-European” theory is essentially replacing the “Celts showed up en masse” theory of how Ireland was settled.)
I’m also 10% Unknown, according to the Ancestry.com database. However, that would likely reflect the Armenian heritage I possess, as my great-grandfather on my mother’s mother’s side was Armenian. I’ve written to the people at Ancestry.com (to let them know in case it’s helpful), and they’re also aware that their database is currently not complete; it will be moreso as more people engage in the process.
The other neat thing about the Ancestry.com DNA database is that they identify potential long-distance familial relationships, and it looks like they found one of my 4th cousins! I’ve been in contact with this person, and they’re just as excited to have found a potential relation. If you have access to Ancestry.com and are curious as to your heritage, I recommend signing up for the DNA service and getting a better idea of your genetic heritage and potential new family members!