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  • Lack of Europeans in database

    I know this topic has come up before but wanted to add this. I wrote to the press release section of a European DNA tester in the UK to ask why certain European countires are under represented in DNA databases. Here was his responce:

    " Hi Mark

    I cannot give you a definitive response to all your questions because in some cases there is limited research or hard evidence with which to answer.

    Many European countries are well mapped for DNA, but generally the further east you go the more patchy it becomes.

    However, overall there is no question that there is greater awareness and
    use of commercial DNA services in the US. The market is far more mature than in most European countries. In some, such as France, DNA testing is illegal. Although commercial DNA testing of all types is growing in Europe it is fairly safe to assume that lack of awareness is not driving sales in paternity, predisposition or genealogy testing in the same way that simply knowing of the options creates sales in North America.

    Received wisdom says that Europeans are much less concerned about ancestry than Americans. Europeans are more likely to feel they know their historical geographic background because that is where they live. Most know where their immediate descendants lived, and having tighter borders provides higher confidence levels in terms of ancestral origin, whether they are right or not. For the majority the question simply does not arise. Interestingly, tests show that individuals can be quite wrong about their assumptions.

    In the UK we expect ancestral testing to grow in response to the growing number of historical factual entrainment programmes being broadcast at prime time. We expect the majority of sales to come from the upper middle income bracket.

    I hope this response helps. Please let me know if you think I can be of further help."


    Anyway I thought it was interesting and others may be curious.

  • #2
    Correct.

    However, he engenders a false-positive way of thinking: the assumption that most europeans have a full grasp of their genealogy. This may be just as correct for them as it is for Americans, the only real difference is the time frame in which mass migrations occurred and HOW they occurred.

    I can say with confidence that europeans do not share the same amount of interest as americans do with regard to genealogy. Their histories are well established for many centuries wherefore many americans are not. With that being said, those european nations who share borders along the mediterranean will have some pretty interesting migratory patterns if they go back far enough.

    There are some cultures that are isolated from mass amalgamation and hence do not have the need that many americans do.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Brunetmj View Post
      In some [European countries], such as France, DNA testing is illegal.
      I have asked some French nationals about that elsewhere and they replied that it's a gray area. The law states that DNA testing for the purposes of establishing paternity can only be ordered by a court. Apparently the government does not ban DNA testing outright, however the man in the street thinks that it does.

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      • #4
        Factors are many. For Finland, which is one of the best represented European countries (at FTDNA, at least), the most determining factors might be:

        General interest to genealogy (more than average)
        Easy internet access to church book data (very good)
        General interest about origins of country's population. (very high)
        General knowledge about genetic genealogy (better than average)
        Accustomization to buy products via internet. (high)
        Accustomization to browse english language sites in internet. (high)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Zaru View Post
          europeans do not share the same amount of interest as americans do with regard to genealogy. Their histories are well established for many centuries
          It depends which Europeans you're talking about: I don't think most Eastern Europeans or people in the Balkans (or for that matter Ireland) can get their pedigrees back before 1800. They might have a sense of continuity because they're still in the same place, but ironically their records could be much poorer than those of Americans.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gtc View Post
            I have asked some French nationals about that elsewhere and they replied that it's a gray area. The law states that DNA testing for the purposes of establishing paternity can only be ordered by a court. Apparently the government does not ban DNA testing outright, however the man in the street thinks that it does.
            We have a number of French citizens in the R-L21 Plus Project, as well as in the Normandy and Bretagne projects. As you point out, they were not breaking French law when they ordered their tests from FTDNA.

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            • #7
              I find it strange that I'm not seeing many Italian-Americans as possible relatives. I had an Affy match (sigh!) with some unique Italian surnames but now I just have Smiths and such.

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              • #8
                they were not breaking French law when they ordered their tests from FTDNA.
                The site I wrote too did paternity testing etc. I believe that was what the gentleman was referring to meaning over the internet. I also know there has been an uproar about immigrants requiring dna testing to prove they have relatives living in France.

                By the way new york state has a law against spitting in public. Consequently the 23andme test (spitoon type) is technically illegal in new york and understanding this law is displayed before you order.
                My point is legal or or not legal would not stop anyone anyway.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by econnore View Post
                  I find it strange that I'm not seeing many Italian-Americans as possible relatives. I had an Affy match (sigh!) with some unique Italian surnames but now I just have Smiths and such.
                  As a Smith I think I am offended.

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                  • #10
                    For Germans there wre several things that come to mind:

                    German Angst:
                    Germans are plagued by lots of phobias and fears.
                    Saint Magnus, who brought christianity to southern Germany mentioned back to the Vatican, the people are totaly afraid by evil magic, dragons and all kind of nonsense so much, that they barely ever leave their houses and that he is working on easing these fears (Saint Magnus killed a Dragon and several other mythical beasts that terrorized the people to save some southern German towns. So the legend goes)

                    Later at the end of the middle ages, when Witches and Warlocks were hunted fown and killed..... who was first?
                    The Germans (Swiss and Austrian numbers added to the German one) killed 50% of all witches that ever have been killed. Spain totals to 9% and holds place 2 in the ranking.
                    The driving force had been the people, not the church or princes. And even the pope wrote to Germany to stop this "sloughtering".

                    Fears once more. Evil magix.

                    Later... the Jews. Suposedly the "Jewish Race" has a secret plan to totaly destroy the "German Race". Fears again.

                    Meanwhile the Germans have developed a phobia about:
                    -Racism
                    -PoepleControl

                    Genetics smells like racism. Germans on paranoia. If they know our DNA, they know ABSOLUTELY EVERYTING about us! NO NO! And soon, the goverment will kill anyone whos DNA is imperfect or alien! So people! Hide your DNA!

                    Look at google street view!
                    No other country made so much problems about it.
                    Google boss: "The talkings with the French goverment to get a permission took 2 weeks. We are discussing since 3 years with the German goverment and still going".

                    5% of all Germans made google to blurr their house. Walking German cities in street view hurts the eyes.

                    Phobias and fears all everywhere.

                    So much trouble for PHOTOS of houses (wich everyone can see anyways if he walks the street!).... and now imagine.... handing your DNA to a company oversea. Having it in the web! Oh no!
                    Last edited by Daniel72; 11 May 2011, 11:05 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Brunetmj View Post
                      By the way new york state has a law against spitting in public. Consequently the 23andme test (spitoon type) is technically illegal in new york and understanding this law is displayed before you order.
                      My point is legal or or not legal would not stop anyone anyway.
                      The New York law is not about spitting per se. From the 23andMe site, "The New York Department of Health considers our Personal Genome Service a test requiring a lab license and direct physician involvement."

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                      • #12
                        If Simon has to look through 10 million american singers before he can find one he doesn't insult then whats makes us think any self - respecting Englishman would trust some dim - witted scientists from Arizona ?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LSSmith View Post
                          As a Smith I think I am offended.
                          My four Smith matches aren't related to each other!

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