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British/French Genetics: What's "Underneath"

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  • British/French Genetics: What's "Underneath"

    On a lark one day, I went on ancestry.com as far as I could for one of my mother's British branches. (Usually, once I find an immigrant ancestor to North America, and even the name of the ship he or she was on, I am satisfied.) What I found (if it is to be believed) is that this supposedly English branch included Scottish ancestors who intermarried with both French (Normans) and Norwegian families before intermarrying with English people. Related to this, I also found a most interesting genetic map of France on Eupedia Forums ("Genetic Make-Up of France"). This map looks like a giant jigsaw puzzle of various populations from the Sub-Nordic (Celto-Germanic) Normans of the north to the Litteral (Greco-Roman) descendants of the Mediterranean coast. The map represents Normans as a mix of both the native Celt population and the later-arriving Viking settlers.

    Now, I wonder how much of what we see through Population Finder, GEDmatch or perhaps any related tool or site is less a representation of the nation-states we associate with our ethnicity or ethnic mix and more with what is truly "underneath" -- far more than we might have initially believed.
    Last edited by mixedkid; 5 December 2012, 03:13 AM.

  • #2
    France has a very interesting history and you do not have to go back to the time of the Normans to understand it's complexity. Unfortunately most history books on European countries focus on kings and queens and rarely on the common people.The French language never became standardized until after the French revolution. In say 1615, if you left Paris and traveled 20 miles you likely could not speak the language (if at all). If you traveled further off a main road you would come across people who dressed strangely and had customs with whom you were not familiar. The interior of the country had not yet been mapped.Celtic shrines were everywhere (often with catholic markers to hide their original purpose , but still used.) My main point is much of these peoples were never , or rarely recorded , even as late as 1615 and later (at least outside of Paris). Regarding older immigrants Romans, Basques, German Franks and Visigoth, Danish Vikings and Irish/English in Brittaney not to mention Mediterranean peoples and of course newer immigrants from around the world. So I would say anything is possible.

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    • #3
      My direct maternal line apparently really does go back to the upper class Normans and Plantagenets of Medieval England. I can't seem to prove that wrong. But it's so far back that I doubt that I have much in the way of autosomal DNA from them. I notice on the list of FF matches, however, one low level match to a person who has a long list of Norman surnames, including "Plantagenet". Strictly speaking, the Platagenets are true French, and not Normans, although they married in with the Normans in England.

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      • #4
        My family were French Huguenots who left France in the 1500's and went to Somerset, England. My YDNA haplogroup is I1d, so underneath my French and English ancestry is Viking/Scandinavian origins.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PDHOTLEN View Post
          My direct maternal line apparently really does go back to the upper class Normans and Plantagenets of Medieval England. I can't seem to prove that wrong. But it's so far back that I doubt that I have much in the way of autosomal DNA from them. I notice on the list of FF matches, however, one low level match to a person who has a long list of Norman surnames, including "Plantagenet". Strictly speaking, the Platagenets are true French, and not Normans, although they married in with the Normans in England.
          Glancing again at this low level match with a list of Norman surnames, she has far more of such names and looks to be multiple threads, whereas I have only a single thread going back to that population. Luckily my thread is also my U5b2b2 maternal line. There are 6 others on that chromosome #22, but 5 of them are grouped together and look to be mostly colonial derived. The other one, seemingly from Canada, may be barely matching the Norman one, but it may be my imagination; anyway it is close. The above Norman match is a subclade of mt-haplogroup K.

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          • #6
            Well the title of this thread is perfect for this post.
            It concerns the newly released ancestry composition at 23andme.
            The French and Germans are lumped into one category and English/ Irish in the other. I am French Canadian and probably 75. % French and 25 %
            Scottish . Yet this ancestry composition almost reverses those numbers.
            This gives me a significantly higher English/Irish score than French/German.
            Some speculation is that Western France is more Keltic ( Gauls) and Eastern France has a Gothic overlay ( from the Franks).
            So French settlers in Quebec may be more akin( DNA wise) to the English/Irish which is categorized as English on ancestry composition. The settlers from the western France are labeled as French/German .
            As a reference my mother is reported here to be 100% French. ( which isn't quite right either since her grandfather was a scot)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mixedkid View Post
              ... I also found a most interesting genetic map of France on Eupedia Forums ("Genetic Make-Up of France"). This map looks like a giant jigsaw puzzle of various populations from the Sub-Nordic (Celto-Germanic) Normans of the north to the Litteral (Greco-Roman) descendants of the Mediterranean coast. The map represents Normans as a mix of both the native Celt population and the later-arriving Viking settlers. ...
              Got a link?

              There ought to be a way to flow our data into such maps!

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              • #8
                I have an hypothesis on how I got my noble maternal DNA. I recall seeing somewhere that one could purchase a knighthood, as well as a manor (revenue-producing land). I saw in passing, somewhere, that the father of the husband of my maternal connection was a London merchant (from Nottinghamshire) in the 1400s. He may have purchased his knighthood and a manor in Buckinghamshire (closer to London). His son, Roger North, "married up" to a traditional lady of Norman inheritance (Elizabeth Fisher). He himself is also given as being a knight (probably also purchased). How's that for a scenario? That may be why it is hard to define the North pedigree prior to his father.

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                • #9
                  france is so mixed and that's a great thing but that it means nothing to talk about french admix without further refences. and I know better because I'm french and I know french from everywhere in recent history (last 50 years) , spain, portugal, england, germany, marroco, algeria, tunisia,senegal, mali, china, japan, romania, yougoslavia.....
                  even in some areas there are no whites where I live and I'm myself from lebanese origins;
                  so this "french" population doesn't exist by itself sorry just a mixture from everywhere.

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                  • #10
                    France has always had a progressive immigration policy much like the United States . ( although this has been under attack in both countries by some) Both countries are becoming more of an admix and more of a rainbow of colors
                    then once was. I for one think this is a good thing.
                    But many of us still research our distant ancestors and hope one day that we find one. One day I would like to see the church of Norte dame du Bon Secours in the city of Guingamp where my ancestor was baptized. It is ok if the color of the people who live there now do not look like my ancestor. My language of Québécois would likely not be understood because it differs from modern French . This to is ok. It is these connections that people like myself look for, not for what exists today. Although what exists today is interesting also for its own uniqueness .

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                    • #11
                      I think this is quite different from the us, in the us, the original and first population (the native americans who where there before) were almost wiped out by the immigrants (the conquest of the west) whereas black people came through slavery.
                      but I agree the result is a mixed population which is great

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