East European results

Introduction

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 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:

***Chart 1 (click to enlarge)

Stats (PL=14)

***

Selection of Finnish & Baltic AncestryDNA results 

***(click to enlarge)

FINBALT (4x)

***

Selection of North Slavic AncestryDNA results 

***(click to enlarge)

N.Slavic (4x)

***

Selection of South Slavic AncestryDNA results 

***(click to enlarge)

Yugo (4x)

***

Selection of Hungarian, Romanian & Romani/Gypsy AncestryDNA results 

***(click to enlarge)

HUNROM (4x)

***

Selection of Ashkenazi Jewish AncestryDNA results 

***(click to enlarge)

ASHK (4x)

***

“Europe East” region peaks for Baltic people & Poles

On this page I will mostly feature the AncestryDNA results of people with an East European background. The geographical definition of East Europe often varies according to intended usage. Either including or excluding the Baltic states, Central Europe as well as the (southern) Balkan (see this link for example). For the purpose of my research I will include only countries which so far have shown a primary share of “Europe East” in my survey (see chart 1). In addition I will also feature the results from persons of Finnish descent as well as results from Ashkenazi Jews & Romani/Gypsies.

As shown above and the following screenshots below it turns out that generally speaking East European DNA cannot be described as merely being 100% “Europe East”. According to Ancestry’s info a “typical native” from East Europe (based on their own 646 samples) would score 82% “Europe East”. Which is actually still quite predictive. But much more so for Baltic people and North Slavs than for South Slavs and other people from the Balkan (see chart 1). Additional regions are needed to describe the genetic background of the Balkan countries. Seemingly according to a gradient which increases going southwards. Only for Baltic people and Poles it seems that the socalled “Europe East” region is tailor-made. Sometimes even to the full 100%.

Despite a great degree of shared origins (especially due to the Slavic migrations) East Europe obviously is home to many distinctive ethnic groups and displays a great deal of genetic diversity.  Not surprising given the many migrations and blending of invaders and “native” populations which has been taking place ever since prehistory. Too much diversity to be captured in just one single lump category.  For a greater understanding of East European genetics follow these links:

 “Europe East” 82% for “typical native”

***(click to enlarge)

Europe East tn

Source: Ancestry.com

***

“European Jewish” 96% for “typical native”

***(click to enlarge)

Ashkenazi tn

Source: Ancestry.com

***

“Finland/Northwest Russia” 99% for “typical native”

***(click to enlarge)

Finland tn

Source: Ancestry.com

***

The “typical natives” mentioned above are naturally to be understood within the context of Ancestry’s Reference Panel. A collection of thousands of DNA samples from around the globe. Your own DNA is being compared by Ancestry with these samples in order to calculate your AncestryDNA estimates.  It remains to be seen how representative these samples might be to cover the genetic diversity existing within the whole of East Europe, especially the Balkan. However for Baltic people and North Slavs these samples appear to be very effective already. At times minor (trace) regions do show up in their results. But these actually tend to be easily explainable for the most part.

This goes even more so for the Ashkenazi Jews and Fins whose respective regions, “European Jewish” and “Finland/Northwest Russia” are a near perfect fit for their DNA. Something which is also showing up in my own survey findings so far. Very useful to know that these two regions can be impressively predictive. Most likely to be explained by the circumstance that both the Ashkenazi Jews and Fins are known to be quite distinctive and homogeneous populations.

“Europe South” compatible with East European (Balkan) ancestry

***(click to enlarge)

Region ESc

Source: Ancestry.com

***

To be sure my preliminary survey findings are not intended to imply that “Europe East” is an indicator of actual Baltic or Polish lineage! However they do seem to suggest that a widespread genetic similarity is being detected which is based first most on shared origins with North Slavs. Presumably to be traced back to ancient Slavic migrations. As can be seen in chart 1 the so called “Europe South” region (formerly named “Italy/Greece”) is especially prevalent in southeastern Europe. These increased “Europe South” scores among South Slavs and other Balkan people do make sense when you regard them first most as an expression of deviations from the seemingly Baltic/Polish “benchmark” set by the “Europe East” region. Despite overall a great deal of shared origins across East Europe such genetic variance is to be expected for both geographical and historical reasons.

For selected countries, in particular Hungary and Romania, also other regions might show up in substantial amounts. This seems only natural given their (partial) non-Slavic background. Ancestral ties with western Europe (both recent and ancient ones) seem to be hinted at by the appearance of regions such as “Europe West”, “Iberian Peninsula” and “Great Britain”. While connections with southeast Europe and Anatolia would seem to be suggested by regional scores for “Caucasus” and “Middle East”. Interestingly Asian admixture to varying degree is also reported for several of my survey participants. Almost always in very minor amounts but still detectable. Mostly “Asia South” in the Balkan. While many Russians also show “Asia Central, “Asia East” or even “Native American” trace regions. That latter region undoubtedly being a mislabeled description of Siberian-like DNA.

Again representing gene flow from various time periods (both recent and ancient). The greater part however probably absorbed within the East European gene pool many centuries or even millennia ago. This outcome might surprise many people at first and can even be misleading without correct interpretation. In order to avoid any jumping to premature conclusions I highly recommend that you at least browse through some of the topics mentioned in the following links:

The basic lesson to be learnt is that the regional labeling by AncestryDNA is not intended to be taken too literally! The regional percentages reported by AncestryDNA first most signal close genetic similarity to the samples taken from the areas/countries after which the regions have been named. And not actual descent or some kind of blood quantum as is too often assumed.

Ethnicity is a construct which evolves across time due to ethnogenesis. Generally speaking therefore ethnic groups do not possess unique DNA markers. Especially in comparison with neighbouring ethnic groups or from within the same wider region. The most common scenario being a genetic gradient which causes ancestral components to gradually fan out. As can be verified from chart 1.

However by closely studying the regional combinations being reported for East Europeans we can still learn a great deal. In spite of individual variation and my still rather small sample size group averages do tend to provide more solid ground to make meaningful inferences when specifying someone’s ancestral origins. Also finding out where a specific region is most prominent or rather most subdued holds valuable lessons. 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, over-representation of certain migrant areas of provenance etc. etc.

As far as I was able to verify all of these screenshots below are from persons of fully East European, Finnish, Ashkenazi or Romani/Gypsy descent. Unless indicated otherwise. But naturally I did not have absolute certainty in all cases. Practically all results have been collected by me from public websites or social media.1 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!

______________________________________________________________________________

Baltic & Finnish results

Convincing estimates shown below. First most to be explained by a very close genetic similarity to Ancestry’s samples in their Reference Panel. Reinforced by a correct assignment to more specific genetic communities or “migrations” since AncestryDNA’s update in 2017.

FINLAND 

***

FIN100a

***

FINLAND 

***

FIN100b

***

FINLAND

***

FIN100c

***

FINLAND

***

FIN100d

***

FINLAND

***

The screenshot below shows the lowest “Finland/Northwest Russia” score being reported among my Finnish survey participants so far (all others being 100% or 99%!). Even when the amount of 89% is still impressive enough. Not shown in the screenshot but remaining regions were: 6% “Europe East”; 2% “Iberian Peninsula” and 1% “Polynesia”. That last region very likely to be mislabeled Siberian genetic affinity similar to the 2% “Asia Central”. Possibly the woman whose test results are being shown has some distant non-Finnish lineage in her family tree. Or otherwise this outcome is just part of genetic variation within the Finnish gene pool. She wrote an interesting blog post (incl. video!) about her results:

***

FIN89

***

LITHUANIA

***

LIT100

***

LITHUANIA

***

LIT99

***

LITHUANIA

***

LIT95

***

LATVIA  

***

LET92

______________________________________________________________________________

North Slavic results

Again impressively homogeneous regional breakdowns shown below. Reinforced by a correct assignment to more specific genetic communities or “migrations” since the update in 2017.  But this time more variation to be seen. Not merely in the low confidence regions. Also secondary regions are occasionally appearing with substantial amounts (above trace level). In accordance with the much greater territory covered in this section as well as its greater exposure to various population migrations. Despite the labeling Russian AncestryDNA results are typically showing “Finland/Northwest Russia” in minor amounts. Even when clearly with a more elevated level when compared with Polish or Ukrainian results. Still also for Russians “Europe East” is their most prevailing and consistent region.

***

POLAND  (Lodz)

***

POL100 (Lodz)

***

POLAND  

***

POL100

***

POLAND  

***

POL99

***

POLAND? or BALTIC?

***

UNSURE99

***

POLAND  

***

POL98

***

POLAND  

***

POL97

***

POLAND (?)

***

POL96c (uns)

***

POLAND  

***

POL96b

***

POLAND  

***

POL96a

***

POLAND  

***

Perhaps some minor Armenian lineage for this person? Armenians in Poland have an important and historical presence going back many centuries.

POL95

***

POLAND  

***

Given that both the “Europe East” and the “European Jewish” regions are pretty distinctive this breakdown seems to strongly indicate minor Jewish lineage. Even when Ashkenazi Jews might have a considerable degree of East European DNA themselves.

POL92

***

POLAND  

***

POL92b

***

POLAND  

***

Remarkably two genetic communities, both including Poland, are being mentioned for this result. Also take note of the minor but striking amount of 2% “Africa North”. Quite exceptional in my East European survey so far.

 

POL91

***

POLAND  

***

Lowest “Europe East” score observed so far among my Polish survey participants. Although the amount of 89% is obviously still predominant. The remaining regions, in particular “Europe West”, seem to indicate some minor German lineage.

POL89

***

UKRAINE (Ivano-Frankivsk)

Given Ukraine’s geography as well as history it’s probably to be expected that results from western Ukraine will show the highest amounts of “Europe East”. Such as this one below.

***

UKR99 (IvanoFrankisk)

***

UKRAINE  (western)

***

UKR96

***

UKRAINE   

***

UKR95

***

UKRAINE 

***

UKR91

***

UKRAINE  

This result as well as the one directly below shows a rather pronounced “Italy Greece” score (renamed into “Europe South” in 2017). Probably indicative of minor ancestral ties with the Balkan, which can however date from both recent and ancient times.

***

UKR83

***

UKRAINE (Chernivtsi)

***

UKR79

***

UKRAINE  (Chernihiv?)

Given the solid predictive accuracy of the “European Jewish” region this person is very likely to have considerable Jewish lineage.

***

UKR76

***

RUSSIA (partially Lithuanian?)

I have no certainty this person with a Russian nationality is actually ethnic Russian. Because of the atypically high “Europe East” score (compared with my other Russian survey participants). As well as because of the genetic communities a partial Lithuanian background seems likely for this breakdown. But perhaps also a Belorussian descent might be possible?

***

RUS99

***

RUSSIA  (?)

***

RUS94

***

RUSSIA  

***

RUS93

***

RUSSIA  

As far as I know no separate genetic communities/migrations have been set up yet for Russia. So therefore the specification of “Europe East” should probably not be taken too literally. But just to be seen as a proxy in lack of a better alternative. The increased Asian admixture is already an indication of a Russian origin for this person. As such scores are quite typical among my Russian survey participants. The 2% so-called “Native American” to be included in this Asian admixture as it is clearly a mislabeled region. But still informative of shared Siberian origins. After all the Americas were originally settled by way of the Bering Strait, thousands of years ago.

***

RUS92

***

RUSSIA

***

RUS92b

***

RUSSIA  

***

 

RUS90c

***

RUSSIA (Siberia)

***

RUS90b

***

RUSSIA  

***

RUS90a

***

RUSSIA

***

RUS87

***

RUSSIA  

The highest “Asia Central” score I have observed so far among Russians.

***

RUS85

***

RUSSIA  

***

RUS84

***

RUSSIA (St. Petersburg)

***

RUS83

***

RUSSIA

***

RUS82

***

RUSSIA (Sakhalin)

Interesting breakdown with the minor yet clearly detectable Asian admixture to be explained by the Siberian background of this person. Possibly also minor Volga-German lineage suggested by the uncommon “Europe West”,  “Scandinavia” , “Ireland” scores.

***

RUS78

***

RUSSIA  

***

RUS77

***

RUSSIA  (Novosibirsk)

***

RUS75

***

RUSSIA  

The highest “Finland/Northwest Russia” score I have observed so far among Russians. Unfortunately I do not know the family locations for this person. However it may already be assumed that this region is far more descriptive of Finnish origins rather than Northwest Russian ones. Outside of Finland it probably mostly indicates diluted ancestral ties with Uralic peoples (ancient ANE connections included). It will be interesting to see how Estonians score for this region.

***

RUS71

***

RUSSIA  

***

RUS70

***

SLOVAKIA  

The various trace regions seem to suggest a western European pull (the country name labeling is not to be taken too literally!). Not surprising given that Slovakia is essentially a Central European country, even when primarily belonging to the Slavic world.

***

SLOK88

***

UNSURE (?)  

***

Unsure (Slovak)98

______________________________________________________________________________

South Slavic results

As already discussed in the introduction AncestryDNA describes the DNA of South Slavs (former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria) as a main combination of not only “Europe East” but also “Europe South”. In this particular context that last region (formerly named “Italy/Greece”) is best to be understood as an approximation of pre-Slavic origins, indigenous to the Balkan. Both ancestral components would have been absorbed within local gene pools for many centuries already. So in that way usually ancient gene flow is being implied rather than anything recent.

This also goes for most of the other recurring minor regions. Usually suggesting shared origins with either western Europe or Anatolia. “Europe West”, “Great Britain”. “Ireland” etc. being proxies for either ancient Germanic or Celtic influences. It’s good to be aware as well that “Caucasus” and “Middle East” scores are also very commonly reported for Italians and Greeks (see this sheet). I suppose they could very well represent neolithic DNA markers in many cases. Although genetic connections dating from a much more recent historical time period (Ottoman and Habsburg empires) could of course also be possible. Additional evidence such as DNA matches could be useful to substantiate any particular ancestral scenario.

I have only collected a very minimal number of South Slavic results but it’s already insightful that as expected the degree of “Europe East” is highest in Slovenia and lowest in Macedonia. Seemingly in accordance with local history and the extent/impact of Slavic migrations.

SLOVENIA  

Interestingly no “Europe South” to be seen in this screenshot. While the “Europe East” score is very prominent and similar to the few Slovak and Czech results I have seen so far. The trace region reporting of “Iberian Peninsula” is most likely to be linked with (ancient) shared origins with northern Italians rather than any recent detour by way of Spain or Portugal. As always the labeling of AncestryDNA’s regions is not to be taken too literally. As actually in my survey so far a minor degree of  “Iberian Peninsula” is quite consistently being reported in northern Italy but also Hungary and Slovakia.

***

SLOV88

***

CROATIA  

***

KRO61

***

BOSNIA  (Muslim?)

I have no certainty about this person’s Muslim background, but based on his surname this does seem likely. Interestingly his breakdown shows a rather pronounced “Caucasus” score. I will need to add more South Slavic results in my survey to find out of this would be atypical.

***

BOS53

***

SERBIA  

***

SERB62

***

SERBIA  

Minor but still considerable degree of “Europe West” showing up. Perhaps to be linked to relatively recent German or Austrian lineage?

***

SERB54a

***

SERBIA 

***

SERB54b

***

MACEDONIA  

A secondary instead of primary position of “Europe East” can be seen in this result below. Even when the main combination is still consisting of both “Europe East” and “Europe South” (formerly named “Italy/Greece”). Still this reversed ranking seems to be a useful marker of greater retention of “indigenous” Balkan genes for not only Macedonia, but also Albania and probably also Bulgaria (judging from 1 single result). The results from these countries will therefore be featured on a separate page:

  • Italian & Southeast European AncestryDNA results (under preparation)

***

MACED52

______________________________________________________________________________

Hungarian & Romanian results

Both Hungarians and Romanians speak non-Slavic languages. However they may still share a great deal of (ancient) origins with their neighbouring Slavic countries, due to language shift and/or assimilation of minorities in the past. The prevalence of “Europe East” scores seem to be indicative for such a scenario. In particular for Hungarians. The Romanian results in my survey do display a much greater shift to “Europe South”. Then again it might also just signal a lack of better fitting samples/regions to model their distinctive origins.

Otherwise the regional compositions below show a great deal of variation. Undoubtedly reflecting the multi-ethnic history of both countries, as well as deeper ancestral ties with both western Europe, the southern Balkan and Anatolia. In selected cases also minor Asian admixture is detected. As already mentioned above “Europe West”, “Great Britain”, “Ireland”, “Iberian Peninsula” etc. are probably best to be seen as proxies for either ancient Germanic, North Italian or Celtic influences. While “Caucasus” and “Middle East” scores could very well represent neolithic DNA markers in many cases. Although genetic connections dating from a much more recent historical time period (Ottoman and Habsburg empires) could of course also be possible. Additional evidence such as DNA matches could be useful to substantiate any particular ancestral scenario. Also insightful to compare with how 23andme describes Romanian DNA:

 

HUNGARY

Interestingly only a trace amount of “Italy/Greece” (renamed into “Europe South”) is reported. While the “Europe East” score is quite elevated and in line with the South Slav results shown above. The 15% score for “Iberian Peninsula” is also noteworthy. Most likely to be linked with (ancient) shared origins with northern Italians rather than any recent detour by way of Spain or Portugal. As always the labeling of AncestryDNA’s regions is not to be taken too literally. As actually in my survey so far “Iberian Peninsula” is quite consistently being reported in northern Italy but also Slovenia and Slovakia (see this sheet).

***

HG71

***

HUNGARY

The migration/genetic community mentioned below “Europe East” is most likely mislabeled due to the absence of a separate grouping for Hungaria. The so-called “Native America” and “Melanesia” trace amounts are obviously mislabeled and most likely reflecting diluted Central Asian and perhaps also Gypsy lineage.

.***

HG67

***

HUNGARY

The migration/genetic community mentioned below “Europe East” is most likely mislabeled due to the absence of a separate grouping for Hungaria. Considerable amounts of both “Europe West” and “Caucasus” being reported above trace level. Possibly indicative of recent lineage. Peculiar appearance of 2% “Africa North” also stands out.

***

HG61

***

HUNGARY

The trace amounts of so called “Melanesia” might seem eccentric but are most likely indicative of diluted South Asian/Gypsy lineage and to be combined with the other Asian trace regions. See also:

***

HG45

***

ROMANIA

Sofar I have not yet seen any “Europe East” amount above 50% for Romanians. Indicating their greater pull towards non-Slavic origins I suppose. Also noteworthy the 18% “Europe West” score. Possibly indicative of German/Saxon lineage?

 

***

ROM48b

***

ROMANIA

Quite elevated “Caucasus” score, this may however be rather common. The same is after all true for both Greeks and Italians.

***

ROM48a

***

ROMANIA

***

ROM47

***

ROMANIA

“Italy/Greece” (a.k.a. “Europe South”) comes in first place instead of “Europe East” in the breakdown below, as well as the following ones. Again highlighting the importance of older (pre-Slavic) origins within Romania.

***

ROM41

***

ROMANIA

***

ROM38

***

ROMANIA

I don’t have any further details on the specific background of this person. However the rather unusual breakdown below seems to suggest close ties with some of the ethnic minorities living in Romania. In itself both Asian and West Asian regional scores to some minor degree are not uncommon. However the elevated level of in particular “Asia Central ” and “Caucasus” are quite exceptional in my survey sofar.

***

ROM33

______________________________________________________________________________

Romani/Gypsy  results

The Romani/Gypsy people have been living in Europe for many centuries already. Especially in Southeast Europe they are significant minorities, both numerically and proportionally (see this map). They have very distinctive genetics. Not only because of their ultimately South Asian origins which are still clearly detectable. But also because of the additional admixture they have acquired during their sojourns in the Middle East, Anatolia and various parts of Europe.

I only have a couple of results to go by (incl. this Youtube video). And in fact I do not have complete certainty about how these people self-identify. Because of intermarriage actual Romani/Gypsy lineage might have diluted across the generations. Even though not conclusive the elevated “Asia South” scores seem to be quite telling. As discussed elsewhere the “Asia South” region is reasonably predictive, going by actual South Asian AncestryDNA results. However in addition it seems also minor scores of  “Melanesia” (possibly cold spot segments?) and “Asia East” are to be expected as mislabeled markers of South Asian ancestry. See also:

 

SERBIA or MONTENEGRO?

***

ROMA42

***

BALKAN or ITALY?

***

ROMA24

***

BALKAN & GREAT BRITAIN?

***

I have no confirmation about this person’s background. However it seems very likely – judging both from the clearly detectable “Asia South” and “Europe East” amounts – that this person is partially Gypsy. Perhaps one grandparent. Otherwise this person appears to be British.

***

ROMA5

______________________________________________________________________________

Ashkenazi Jewish results

Although I usually did not have any full details on their family background it can be assumed that almost all of the results shown below belong to USA-born people of East European Jewish background, a.k.a. Ashkenazi. It cannot be ruled out that some may have minor non-Jewish lineage in addition. However the migrations/genetic communities mentioned in some of the screenshots do provide confirmation and specification. Due to unique history and relative endogamy Ashkenazi genetics are quite distinctive and easily detectable on AncestryDNA. Not surprisingly it turns out that the European Jewish” region is especially predictive of Ashkenazi Jewish lineage.

Many people might already be aware but it is essential to realize that Jewish populations from other places might be characterized by different genetics. Sofar I have only seen a few results belonging to persons of (partial) Sephardi Jewish background. Therefore I cannot make any firm statements. Still it seems quite apparent already that Sephardi Jewish DNA is described more so by other regions such as “Europe South”, “Middle East” and perhaps to a lesser degree also “Caucasus”, “Iberian Peninsula” and “Africa North”. Again new results to be added to my survey are bound to provide more clarification.

The impressively high scores for “European Jewish” may convey the impression of genetic homogeneity. This is however partially just a consequence of AncestryDNA’s analysis and the configuration of its Reference Panel. Which apparently includes very close fitting Ashkenazi samples. It should be kept in mind that using other methodologies more genetic diversity will show up for the Ashkenazi Jews. This type of research is naturally quite controversial and far from being conclusive yet. However according to the latest insights it might be said that the ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews can be modeled as a main combination of Levantine DNA & Italian DNA with some East European DNA to a lesser degree as well. For more details see:

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK100

***

ASHKENAZI

.***

ASHK99

***

ASHKENAZI

The trace amounts of “Asia East” and “Polynesia” are most likely to be combined and likely referring to one single distant Asian family line (Tatar?).

***

ASHK96

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK94b

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK94a

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK93

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK92

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK91

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK89

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK87b

***

ASHKENAZI & minor SEPHARDI/MIZRAHI

***

This person has confirmed minor Mizrahi (from Iraq) as well as Sephardic lineage. It seems to be quite diluted and mainly showing up in the “Europe South” score I suppose.

***

ASK & SEPH90

***

ASHKENAZI & minor SEPHARDI (Greece)

***

Very fascinating to see how the 10% “Italy/Greece” is pretty much in line with one known Sephardic great-grandparent from Greece. I suppose the “Africa North” and “Iberian Peninsula” trace amounts are to be added as well for a perfect 1/8 genetical inheritance. The person whose test results are being shown wrote an interesting blogpost about them:

***

 

ASHK87a

***

ASHKENAZI

***

ASHK83

***

ASHKENAZI & minor DUTCH/GERMAN?

***

Very interesting additional migration from Germany/Benelux being mentioned. It says only “Scandinavia” is associated with it. Nevertheless I’m pretty sure also the rather prominent 15% “Great Britain” score is to be included in any possible Dutch or German ancestry. See also:

***

ASHK& minor EA83

***

1/2 ASHKENAZI & 1/2 POLAND?

No confirmation for this person’s actual background. However the test results shown below seem to be quite convincing in indicating that this person may have one Ashkenazi Jewish parent and one Polish parent.

***

POL & ASHK

***

ASHKENAZI & SEPHARDI/MIZRAHI?

No confirmation for this person’s actual family origins. However judging from especially the elevated levels of “Europe South”, “Middle East” and “Caucasus” it seems a partial Sephardi or Mizrahi background is very likely. It’s too bad AncestryDNA does not yet have a separate migration/genetic community in place for Sephardi Jews. It will be highly useful for many people, also in the Afro-Diaspora!

***

AHK & SEPHAR

***

SEPHARDI/MIZRAHI (Algeria, Egypt & Syria)

The only confirmed Sephardi/Mizrahi Jewish person in my survey sofar. We can verify that the “European Jewish” amount is very subdued. Despite this person having substantial Sephardi lineage from Algeria, quite likely by way of Spain. In fact given that some Ashkenazi Jews are known to have incidentally intermarried within Sephardi/Mizrahi families (outside of Israel and predating its creation in 1948) this score could actually even be indicative of Ashkenazi lineage I suppose. It will be very interesting to see how other confirmed Sephardi & Mizrahi Jews will be described by AncestryDNA.

***

ALG & EGY & SYR

***

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Youtube Videos

FINLAND 

***

***

LATVIA 

***

***

LITHUANIA

***

***

RUSSIA

***

***

SLOVAKIA

***

***

3/4 SERBIAN & 1/8 POLISH & 1/8 SLOVENIAN

***

***

1/2 HUNGARY & 1/2 ROMANIA

***

***

ROMANIA

***

***

ROMANI/GYPSY? (Russian adoptee)

***

***

1/2 ASHKENAZI (Ukraine, Germany, Russia) & 1/2 SEPHARDI (Morocco)

***

***

_________________________________________________________________

To conclude this page I will now describe some of the most important implications for Afro-Diasporans in an attempt to improve proper interpretation of their “Europe East”, “European Jewish” or “Finland/Northwest Russia” scores. This section firstmost reflects my own interpretation and naturally other ancestral scenarios remain possible as well. As always context is everything and solid genealogical research combined with historical plausibility should be leading instead of wishful thinking 😉

Implications for Afro-Diasporans:

1) “Europe East” can be predictive of East European DNA

  • Generally speaking large amounts of “Europe East” (>10%) are quite likely to be associated with especially North Slavic and/or Baltic lineage. Origins from other East European countries (Balkan) will be described by “Europe South” in addition. If this East European connection is relatively recent (2-4 generations ago) you will usually also receive a corresponding migration or genetic community.

2) “Europe East” can also be predictive of German origins 

  • There is no historical plausibility for widespread genuine East European lineage among the Afro-Diaspora. Nonetheless this region does quite frequently show up as minor trace region for Afro-Diasporans. Aside from just generic European DNA some degree of German ancestry might be implied too. Because “Europe East” is also reported in substantial amounts for Germans who test on Ancestry. You will need to perform your own follow-up research in order to find out more specifics.

3) “European Jewish” can be predictive of Ashkenazi Jewish DNA

  • Generally speaking large amounts of “European Jewish” (>10%) are quite likely to be associated with Ashkenazi Jewish lineage, originally from East Europe. If this connection is relatively recent (2-4 generations ago) you will usually also receive a corresponding migration or genetic community.

4) “European Jewish” might also be predictive of Sephardi Jewish origins 

  • Sephardi Jewish lineage (from Spain/Portugal) rather than Ashkenazi Jewish lineage (from East Europe) is historically speaking much more plausible for most parts of the Afro-Diaspora. Although based on the few results I’ve seen it appears that Sephardi DNA is mainly described by “Middle East” and “Europe South” on AncestryDNA. Due to genetic overlap small amounts of  “European Jewish” may also be a misreading of either Middle Eastern or Italian DNA. You will need to perform your own follow-up research in order to find out more specifics.

5) “Finland/Northwest Russia” can be predictive of Finnish DNA 

  • Generally speaking large amounts of “Finland/Northwest Russia” (>10%) are quite likely to be associated with especially Finnish lineage. If this connection is relatively recent (2-4 generations ago) you will usually also receive a corresponding migration or genetic community.

6) “Finland/Northwest Russia” will usually refer to generic European DNA

  • There is no historical plausibility for widespread genuine Finnish or Russian lineage among the Afro-Diaspora. Unless corroborated by solid evidence trace amounts of “Finland/Northwest Russia” are very likely to be suggestive of generic European DNA instead of anything specific. West Europeans, incl. British people, often also receive “Finland/Northwest Russia” as a trace region (see this link). You will need to perform your own follow-up research in order to find out more specifics.

 

High predictive accuracy on average

 ***(click to enlarge)

AncestryDNA breakdown for European “natives”. Source: Ancestry.com

***(click to enlarge)

Reference panel

Predictive accuracy AncestryDNA’s Reference Panel. Source: Ancestry.com

***

As plentifully demonstrated on this page the “Europe East”, “European Jewish” and “Finland/Northwest Russia” regions all have a high prediction accuracy for “typical natives” as well as among my survey participants. In fact especially the last two regions are among the most predictive regions Ancestry has on offer right now. However still not to the full extent of 100%! As can also be verified from the two charts directly above. When reported as main regions (>10%) for someone from the Afro-Diaspora these 3 regions are quite likely to be “the real thing”. However when reported as a minor trace region (which is much more typical!), there are increased chances of these scores just being “noise” or a misreading.

 

“Europe East” is also compatible with German ancestry

***(click to enlarge)

Region EE

Source: Ancestry.com

***

On this page I have established that “Europe East” is particularly equipped to predict North Slavic & Baltic origins (see chart 1). To describe South Slavic origins and other nationalities from the Balkan also “Europe South” is being applied by AncestryDNA. However a German interpretation might be much more relevant for most Afro-Diasporans. As afterall historical German presence in the Americas usually precedes the one for East Europeans. The latter mostly arrived after the mid 1800’s. While Germans often accompanied especially English & Dutch settlers already in the 1600’s.  I have not yet seen that many German AncestryDNA results. But going by Ancestry’s own information (see above) Germans may at times also receive substantial “Europe East” scores. I have observed the same on 23andme actually. Undoubtedly due to geographical proximity as well as both ancient and more recent migrations. Either way this implies that German ancestors may very well have passed on “Europe East” scores to their Afro-Diasporan descendants. See also:

Trace Regions = Low Confidence Regions

***(click to enlarge)

***

As a general disclaimer & reminder it pays to be very careful when wanting to make sense of so called trace regions. AncestryDNA provides *estimates* and not solid claims of membership to any particular ethnic group! From what I have seen so far only in a few selected cases Afro-Diasporans will receive considerable scores (>10%) of either “Europe East”, “Europe Jewish” or “Finland/Northwest Russia”.  I suppose these atypical scores may often then also be in line with their known family backgrounds.  When the ancestral connection is relatively recent (2-4 generations ago) it may also be confirmed/specified by a migration or genetic community on Ancestry. However for almost everyone else it seems that this type of DNA is usually reported as an unexpected trace region. Appropriately termed “Low Confidence” regions by Ancestry since their latest update.  It is well advised therefore to take anything reported at trace level with a grain of salt unless additional clues and corroborating evidence exist.

It can be said that European DNA is also a melting pot if you go back far enough in time. Receiving a multitude of European (trace) regions does therefore not imply that you have a confusingly diverse European background. Rather it suggests that your European ancestors were themselves genetically diverse! But still these ancestors could have been from just one or two ethnic groups only.

The genetic diversity existing among native Europeans has been abundantly demonstrated on this page as well as the other European AncestryDNA sections. This circumstance however does lead to potentially misleading results. I will keep repeating therefore: don’t take the labeling of AncestryDNA’s regions too literally! Especially when reported as trace region! If you keep this in mind you can still obtain insightful information as long as you adopt a broader perspective on European genetics and stop fixating on the regional labeling too much.

Historical plausibility as well as known family genealogy should be leading when you want to correctly interpret your European breakdown. Given sporadic and atypical migration outside of Europe before the mid-1800’s one might already assume that genuine East European and Finnish lineage are very unlikely to be widespread among the Afro-Diaspora. Even so both of these regions do quite frequently appear in the results of Afro-Diasporans from what I have seen. Aside from a possibly German interpretation for “Europe East” I suspect in most cases these scores will reflect generic and difficult to classify European DNA. In particular for “Finland/Northwest Russia” I am guessing there might also exist the possibility that this type of DNA represents socalled “cold spot” DNA segments. Which are least likely to be affected by recombination. Possibly representing the remnants of a very ancient prehistorical European bloodline (ANE or WHG?). See also:

An exception is to be made for minor Jewish lineage which may very well be quite widespread (even if greatly diluted) given their well documented involvement in the settlement of both Cape Verde and the Americas. However a complicating factor would be that this Jewish legacy in the Afro-Diaspora is mostly because of Iberian Sephardi and not Ashkenazi from East Europe. And based on the (very few) Sephardi results I have seen so far their DNA is mainly described by other regions than “European Jewish” on AncestryDNA. I will need to collect more Sephardi Jewish results for any clarification. Still even when reported as a mere trace region I suspect that “European Jewish” will nonetheless often be a genuine indication of minor Jewish ancestry.

Either way rather than make assumptions based on AncestryDNA’s ethnicity  *estimates* it might be a better strategy to search among your AncestryDNA matches for confirming or disproving any East European, Finnish or Jewish lineage. Obviously you will want to verify if your match is indeed East European, Jewish or Finnish on all family lines. Either through their public family trees or the information they are willing to share with you. You can find such matches either by performing a search on birth location. Or more systematically you might also want to scan all your DNA matches and then filter on ethnic region. Follow this tutorial below and select a European filter (4 & 5) instead of an African one.

As another option of follow-up research you might also want to get a second opinion on your AncestryDNA results by taking a DNA test with another company/platform. From what I’ve seen in particular 23andme might provide a greater predictive accuracy for trace amounts of European admixtureTheir Ancestry Composition contains separate categories for Finnish and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. And it even splits Balkan DNA from Eastern European DNA. Also it tells you your haplogroups which in some cases might also be informative for direct paternal lineages.

Ultimately this will all be up to your own personal preferences. But it’s worth repeating again that without additional clues and corroborating evidence your attempts to trace back trace regions to specific ancestors or ethnic groups could very well lead to a dead end. Conjecture and unfounded speculation can then quickly turn to self deception. Admixture results are not conclusive and particularly not so when reported as a trace amount with low confidence. To be sure admixture analysis can still provide you with a great deal of informational value given proper interpretation. Especially your main regions (>10%) will often lead you in the right direction. But in order to confirm you will have to follow up with proper research (genealogy, local history, DNA matches etc.). If you are genuinely interested in finding out the truth you will have to be extra careful & patient in your investigation and resist the temptation to jump to conclusions or seek out “exotic” lineage 😉.

___________________________________________________________________________

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.
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “East European results

  1. I can corroborate East Europe showing up in substantial quantity in German results.

    My dad’s side of the family is roughly 3/4 German in ancestry (with a handful of Bohemian, Irish/Scottish, Canadians & French Canadians thrown in). Dad’s AncestryDNA results are 40% Europe West, 33% Europe East, 7% Ireland/Scotland/Wales, 6% Finland/Northwest Russia, 5% Great Britain, 3% Scandinavia, 3% Europe South, 1% Iberian Peninsula, and 2% Mali (which I suspect was inherited from the French Canadian ancestor, based on the results of known cousins).

    When I transferred my raw data & Dad’s raw data to My Heritage DNA, I found a 3rd cousin from Germany who wasn’t on Ancestry DNA (I hear My Heritage is more popular in Germany). Our common ancestors were a German family that was living in Russian Poland in the 19th century. The ethnic Germans in that time & place pretty much kept to themselves & didn’t get on well with the ethnic Poles. My dad’s line migrated to Wisconsin in the late 19th century, while the 3rd cousin’s line returned to Germany sometime around WWI or shortly thereafter. (During WWI, the Russians started deporting ethnic Germans from Poland to Siberia). The German 3rd cousin comes up as 63% North & West Europe (53.7% North & West European, 9.3% Scandinavian) and 37% East Europe (20.5% East European, 16.5% Baltic).

    Like

    • Thanks a lot for your insightful comment! I probably have some distant German lineage myself too. Although I have not confirmed it yet. On 23andme I found some intriguing matches from Canada but with all 4 grandparents born in Russia. They turned out to be Mennonites of either German or Dutch descent.

      Interesting to see the 2% “Mali” being reported for your father. In case you like to zoom into DNA matches connected with this regional score, you might want to try out this method for first scanning and then filtering/sorting AncestryDNA matches in Excel:

      How to find those elusive African DNA matches on Ancestry

      Like

      • Cool.

        It gets more interesting when I try putting my & my dad’s results through Eurogenes K13 at GEDmatch. My own Ancestry DNA results come up with just a <1% trace of Ivory Coast/Ghana. Eurogenes K13 shows both my & my dad's chromosome # 5 spiking at just over 10% African, with little to nothing on most of the other chromosomes. Kit #s A426640 & A175810, if you're curious.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s