AncestryDNA results from Europe

As the name already implies this blog is dedicated to Tracing African Roots. However many if not most Afro-descendants actually also have additional non-African ancestry. And for some people this part of their DNA might also be interesting to explore further. I have therefore started a new survey featuring the AncestryDNA results of persons from all over Europe. In order to improve correct interpretation of AncestryDNA’s regions by comparing results with persons from verified backgrounds. I am currently creating new blog sections to feature screenshots of these European results. Statistical data, background information and relevant context will also be provided. I shall eventually publish new sections for other parts of the world as well (West Asia, Asia & Pacific, Native Americans).

Follow these links for more details:

 

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EU stats (PT=24)

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A total of 175 samples with backgrounds from atleast 20 different European countries/ethnicities has been used for my main survey findings (see chart above). This seems like a reasonably robust number to pick up on some preliminary patterns. Even when for some of the separate nationalities i was only able to obtain a minimal sample size. Practically all results have been collected by me from public websites or social media.1 Naturally i verified the background of each sample to the best of my capabilities but i did not have absolute certainty in all cases. I like to thank all my survey participants for having tested on AncestryDNA and sharing their results online so that it may benefit other people as well!

Obviously my survey findings are not intended to reflect any fictional national averages! They should be taken as mere indications given individual variation, limitations of sampling, overrepresentation of certain migrant areas of provenance etc. etc.  Even despite (inherent) imperfections of the current AncestryDNA set-up I do believe this overview can already be helpful and insightful. At the very least it will give you an approximate idea of what to expect when wondering about European AncestryDNA results!

As can be seen from the above chart the prediction accuracy of the nine European regions reported by AncestryDNA is variable. The Western European regions (in particular “Iberian Peninsula” & “Great Britain”) being least predictive and the “Ireland”,  “Europe East”,  “Finland/NW Russia” and “European Jewish” categories being quite reliable (atleast for people of confirmed background!). This can also be verified if you carefully read all the helpful information provided by Ancestry.com itself. To get the most out of your results and in order to avoid any jumping to misleading conclusions i highly recommend that you atleast browse through some of the topics mentioned in the following link:

The basic lesson to be learnt is that the country name labeling by AncestryDNA is not intended to be taken literally! See also this link for more disclaimers:

After reading through these links as well as the useful regional descriptions on Ancestry’s website you will realize that it’s only natural that some of AncestryDNA’s regions are more predictive than others. Afterall some types of European DNA are less complex to distinguish than others mostly due to historical reasons. But also the particular constellation of AncestryDNA’s reference panel and its algorithm being focused on detecting origins from possibly “thousands of years ago” are important aspects to take into consideration. The chart above featuring my main European survey findings is therefore best understood when you keep in mind overlapping geography/genetics and ancient migrations across the continent.

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Portuguese results

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TUGA

 

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Spanish results

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ES compil

 

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French results

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FRANCE

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British results

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UK

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Irish results

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EIRE

 

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Dutch, German & Belgian results

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NLBEDE

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Scandinavian results

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SCANDO

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Italian results

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ITALIA

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Greek results

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GRECIA

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East European results

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OOSTBLOK1

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OOSTBLOK2

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Balkan results

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BALKAN

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Ashkenazi Jewish results

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ASHKENAZI

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Notes

  1. I like to express my sincere gratitude to all the persons whose online posting of their results has made this survey possible! Almost all of my samples were collected by me from public websites or social media. As i found them to be of potentially great educational benefit for others. I have asked for prior consent whenever i could but regrettably wasn’t able to do so in all cases. I have naturally taken great care to cut away any name details in order to safeguard everyone’s privacy. Apologies in advance to anyone who recognizes their results and is not comfortable with this blog page featuring them. Please send me a PM and i will remove them right away.
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11 thoughts on “AncestryDNA results from Europe

  1. Is fontefelipe the create of this website. Also, very cool that you are opening up the variety. I am 8% Great Britain so it’s pretty cool to have that.
    I’m a huge fan of this site.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot for your comment Joshua! I will follow up with a separate page for British & Irish results eventually. You can read more about me on this page.

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      • If I could donate to this site I would.
        This site has helped me in many areas of ancestry dna. Thanks for this website, I hope it keeps going.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent. Clearly, some European populations are clearly distinguishable, particularly southern and eastern European; and Finish. This is telling in so far as AncestryDNA is not merely a conversational piece for entertainment but is capable of honing in genetically clustered populations. I see this tool (algorithm) improving even more over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I couldn’t agree with you more! I especially find the new Genetic Communities a very promising avenue to zoom in closer to specific ethnic lineages. The ones i have seen for Europe are quite impressive. I am very eager to see what happens when they will eventually also create Genetic Communities for African populations.

      Currently the threshold might be set up too high though for many people to get assigned to them. Especially for those of us whose African (or also European/Asian etc.) ancestry dates back from more than 200 years ago and therefore has become diluted. But even if it’s more recent it might not yet be picked up on yet because of limitations of Ancestry’s customer database. For example i myself have both recent Dutch & Portuguese ancestry but sofar i am not being assigned to the Dutch or Portuguese Genetic Communities which have already been set up by Ancestry. As ever more people start taking this test, also within Europe, this might very well change though in due time.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I was wandering if you could see what if any genetic communities the nigerians, ghanaians and other west africans fit into as well as congolese and cameroonians.

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    • From what i have seen sofar West Africans often get assigned to the African Caribbean genetic community as well as some of the ones for African Americans. I am actually preparing an overview of the DNA matches reported for Africans in which i will also mention their genetic communities. So keep an eye out for that!

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  4. I wonder why many people, well AAs who I see get tested and post on YouTube, why they never think they might be Scottish. Irish is always the goto.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, for people of confirmed Irish descent the “Ireland” region is actually very predictive. However “Ireland” is by no means exclusive to people of Irish descent. Scottish people and in fact also the Welsh and the English do tend to score substantial amounts of “Ireland” as well and in their case it’s more properly to be interpreted as some ancient Celtic component. I will provide more details on an upcoming separate section for British & Irish results

      Even more confusingly for many Hispanics, Brazilians and Cape Verdeans “Ireland” is also frequently reported. If you review the Portuguese and Spanish results on this page it makes more sense if you just consider this to be a part of genetic diversity which has been present in the Iberian Peninsula for many centuries or even millennia already. A very ancient Ibero-Celtic connection being the most likely explanation. Of course if you do happen to have documented Irish lineage it’s a different story however this will not be the case for the overwhelming majority i imagine.

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    • I am not sure where you are from, but if you are not from the United States, let me explain that having Irish ancestry is kind of an obsession here. Anyone who can claim it claims it, no matter how little of their background it may be. A lot of it has to do with how many Americans, in fact, do have some Irish ancestry either through the Catholic Irish or the Protestant Scots-Irish. There were much fewer Scottish immigrants, and they usually assimilated much more quickly as they were considered British from way back. Because of discrimination, here, the Irish were able to keep their culture for much longer, so it’s even to this day more visible than Scottish culture.

      Anyway, I’m kind of surprised – and maybe it’s just the sample size – the obvious difference between the Spanish and the Portuguese. I’ve been under the impression that the genetic differences between the two has often been overplayed, but these two samples seem to show significant divergence. Even if I weren’t surprised by the magnitude of the differences, I am surprised by regions. I’d expect if Portugal were to get anything significant other than Iberian that it would be Ireland/Scotland/Wales given that there is always talk that the Portuguese have more Celtic ancestry that has survived than the Spanish. Where this Italy/Greece is coming from or what it’s measuring, I have no idea. I was also surprised by the French sample, though that may also be due to sample size. It’s been my experience that French people usually get pretty consistently solid Europe West scores, which would make sense since Ancestry says the region includes primarily Germany and France. Lastly, I can see why people of largely British descent get scores and regions from all over Western Europe and how it’s usually confusing. I kind of wish they had a way of nailing this region down a bit more. Recent genetic studies of the UK show a fairly solid population in the Midland and South of England with some unique populations scattered around the periphery (Cornwall, Devon, Wales, Yorkshire, etc..). This South of England genetic community is very similar to the people across the channel, and maybe it’s just be smarter to group this part of the UK with Europe West. It’s just really too diverse to give it’s own region.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not from the States indeed (i’m living in the Netherlands) but I was already aware of the Irish fetish haha! Even Hispanic Americans who receive socalled “Irish” scores some times tend to get exhilarated, even when for them it’s most likely just a misread part of their Iberian DNA.

        The current regional set-up for Europe on Ancestry is understandably quite confusing and even misleading if you’re not aware of the historical context and population averages for “native” Europeans. My sample size might have been minimal but I think most of the group averages I have calculated are in line with Ancestry’s own data and its Reference Panel as well as what we know about ancient migrations. The genetic diversity of France is often underestimated I find, I think it might even be greater than it is for Great Britain. For which many more detailed studies exist. Due to legal restrictions there are however only a small number of French testers on Ancestry I believe. I have blogged in more detail about the Portuguese and Spanish results as well as French results in these posts:

        https://tracingafricanroots.wordpress.com/ancestrydna/iberian-results/
        https://tracingafricanroots.wordpress.com/ancestrydna/dutch-french-results/

        Frankly I believe (and hope) that the upcoming update on Ancestry will be much more useful than the current European breakdown. Especially if new and separate regions will be introduced for France, Portugal and Spain. Also the new England & Wales region seems poised to make a more reliable distinction with Irish/Scottish origins. Even if not completely of course and it seems there will still be considerable overlap with the Dutch and Germans. We will have to wait and see I guess.

        Returning to the Irish theme I personally do find it very interesting to learn how much Irish lineage African Americans might have, on average. And contrast this with several West Indian populations, for example Jamaicans and Barbadians. I find it fascinating because of the possibly different historical context of interracial relationships with the Irish, again on average. Due to Irish indentured servants and also post-Slavery migrations from Ireland. Not wanting to generalize of course because also other circumstances may have been relevant (Irish slave owners, Irish plantation overseers etc.) I have already performed such a comparison in this chart:

        It seems to suggest African Americans having slightly more Irish lineage than Jamaicans. I sort of expected that the difference might have been somewhat greater though. Because I have read that for Jamaica Irish migrants were relatively less frequent than for the US and also for Barbados. However the current “Ireland” region might not be the best indicator to make the distinction. Hopefully with the next update in place I might get more reliable results.

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