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40% Scandinavian

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  • 40% Scandinavian

    I was expecting a few suprises when I took my DNA test (the autosomal one) but it was not that I am any, much less 40% Scandinavian/Norwegian.

    There are no Scandinavian names on my family tree, no family rumors about close encounters of the Scandinavian kind, and my mom is sure my dad is actually my dad...

    I also have results that say I am 0% French (or Western European) and one whole branch of my family tree is supposedly French via Canada via France going back to the 1700s. My aunt (my moms sister)has done a DNA test and the French part is there, so I was expecting some but not 0%!

    So since I'm new at this... 40% is an awful lot of DNA to randomly inherit which means this Norwegian ancestor can't have been that far back right? And how am I not even a tiny bit French? Also the French side is my mom's side and I'm guessing the Norwegian side is my dad's somehow. So can you inherit more DNA from one parent and cancel out the other one?

    There is really a learning curve to this DNA thing...

  • #2
    The West Europe, British, and Scandinavian regions are all very similar genetically and sometimes impossible to tell apart. In my experience, FTDNA really favors Scandinavian. I had 2% Scandinavian results from Ancestry.com, 4.8% from 23andMe, but with FTDNA it's 34%! I have one Norwegian great grandparent so on paper about 12.5%. Meanwhile, my British and West Europe results vary just as much - 55% British with Ancestry.com, 0% British with FTDNA, even though I have many confirmed British branches.

    So it doesn't mean you had a recent Scandinavian ancestor - it just means the DNA you inherited from your French ancestors is probably showing up under Scandinavian.

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    • #3
      Test your parents

      You always want to test the oldest generation while you can. Test your parents. We just unexpectedly lost one older family member, a recent tester. So glad I tested my mom a few weeks ago.

      Your parents' tests should help sort out your own ethnicity more clearly. It might even give you a genealogical mystery to solve, in case there is a Scandinavian in your ancestry. You will get more matches, too. My (full) maternal aunt has a test at Ancestry and it is amazing how many more matches she has than I do, even though every match of hers is also my cousin.

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