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Which ancient British group?

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  • Which ancient British group?

    Hi all,
    I am trying to determine which groups my British ancestors may have come from. Celts, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Britons, etc. Is there any way to narrow this down? I got 54% British DNA (I'm American) but most of my ancestors have a paper trail back to England, Scotland, or Ireland with spatterings from Germany, France, and Switzerland. My DNA shows about 30% of German or French DNA, however, and the rest is Scandinavian. So, I'm unable to determine if the German comes from my German immigrant family or Germans that invaded Britain (Anglo-Saxons). Is there any company that can analyze my DNA and tell me which groups I likely came from?

  • #2
    You can't determine what ancient groups you descend from through autosomal DNA testing (or DNA testing in general).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by spruithean View Post
      You can't determine what ancient groups you descend from through autosomal DNA testing (or DNA testing in general).
      Well that's pretty disappointing. I did do my dad's y-DNA and my mitochondrial. Are those any more helpful? Would researching surnames prove useful at all?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SpitFire View Post
        Well that's pretty disappointing. I did do my dad's y-DNA and my mitochondrial. Are those any more helpful? Would researching surnames prove useful at all?
        Of course the patrilineal and matrilineal lines are each one out of many possible lines (go back 10 generations and you have more than a thousand possible lines). Sometimes you can trace those really far back especially the Y-DNA for patrilineal. However you quickly will get past the point where surnames can be followed, even if a Non Paternal Event does not get you off track earlier.

        Given your interests, you probably ought to concentrate on the Y-DNA and see where it takes your patrilineal line.

        Jack

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        • #5
          I wish there was a way to compare my DNA to the samples used for this study. I feel like that could answer some of my questions.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SpitFire View Post
            Well that's pretty disappointing. I did do my dad's y-DNA and my mitochondrial. Are those any more helpful? Would researching surnames prove useful at all?
            Y-DNA tends to follow migration patterns better, but still there is a great amount of overlap and DNA is not restricted by borders on a map. This is why you will find similarities between people from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany or Germany and Alsace-Lorraine in France. While we can analyze the DNA of ancient samples found in ancient graves we are still only looking at ancient DNA which is not the same as modern DNA in terms of migration and mixing, there has been quite a bit of time since the original migrations of Celtic and Germanic people in Europe and in that timeframe between then and now there have been thousands of autosomal recombinations, DNA passed on, DNA lost.

            Autosomal DNA is generally well traceable roughly 6 generations, beyond that portions of ancestry are missing this is because we basically have two family trees, a standard family tree and then another one composed of our genetic ancestors.

            Originally posted by SpitFire View Post
            I wish there was a way to compare my DNA to the samples used for this study. I feel like that could answer some of my questions.
            Again, that study is assessing fairly modern DNA of people with a multigenerational link to the region they are from, yes we can predict that one group is more likely to be Celtic or Germanic influenced, but keep in mind that people migrate and DNA is not limited by borders.

            I believe there was another associated image with that study that showed the Isles compared to the rest of Europe. I'll see if I can find it.
            Last edited by spruithean; 17th August 2018, 06:23 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by spruithean View Post
              Y-DNA tends to follow migration patterns better, but still there is a great amount of overlap and DNA is not restricted by borders on a map. This is why you will find similarities between people from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany or Germany and Alsace-Lorraine in France. While we can analyze the DNA of ancient samples found in ancient graves we are still only looking at ancient DNA which is not the same as modern DNA in terms of migration and mixing, there has been quite a bit of time since the original migrations of Celtic and Germanic people in Europe and in that timeframe between then and now there have been thousands of autosomal recombinations, DNA passed on, DNA lost.

              Autosomal DNA is generally well traceable roughly 6 generations, beyond that portions of ancestry are missing this is because we basically have two family trees, a standard family tree and then another one composed of our genetic ancestors.



              Again, that study is assessing fairly modern DNA of people with a multigenerational link to the region they are from, yes we can predict that one group is more likely to be Celtic or Germanic influenced, but keep in mind that people migrate and DNA is not limited by borders.

              I believe there was another associated image with that study that showed the Isles compared to the rest of Europe. I'll see if I can find it.
              Thank you for putting that into perspective for me. There are no quick, easy, definitive answers when dealing with this kind of research, that is for sure. I did some research on the Living DNA autosomal test and it supposedly breaks down which regions of Great Britain your DNA most closely matches with subgroups much like those in the image. I am going to try that test and see if that matches my ancestry research at least. Have you taken that test? (I'm assuming you're English or part since this is the B.I. thread)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by georgian1950 View Post
                Of course the patrilineal and matrilineal lines are each one out of many possible lines (go back 10 generations and you have more than a thousand possible lines). Sometimes you can trace those really far back especially the Y-DNA for patrilineal. However you quickly will get past the point where surnames can be followed, even if a Non Paternal Event does not get you off track earlier.

                Given your interests, you probably ought to concentrate on the Y-DNA and see where it takes your patrilineal line.

                Jack
                Thank you for the advice, I have *pretty much* determined that my dad's line came from the Iberian peninsula to England. His earliest known ancestors lived in Cornwall and I read an article which suggested those settlers were originally Spaniard fishermen? His haplogroup is G-M201 and I've gotten it narrowed down to the L-497 subgroup, doing more SNP testing to narrow it further.

                Anyone else here have that haplogroup? I've read it's rare in Europe?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SpitFire View Post
                  Thank you for putting that into perspective for me. There are no quick, easy, definitive answers when dealing with this kind of research, that is for sure. I did some research on the Living DNA autosomal test and it supposedly breaks down which regions of Great Britain your DNA most closely matches with subgroups much like those in the image. I am going to try that test and see if that matches my ancestry research at least. Have you taken that test? (I'm assuming you're English or part since this is the B.I. thread)
                  I've not yet taken the LivingDNA test, however I have thought about it a few times. I'm Canadian, however my father's family is mostly Irish+UK and my mother's is Dutch. This of course will influence my results at LivingDNA as they have more of a British bias in their results due to the the "white paper" data they have in their database.

                  Originally posted by SpitFire View Post
                  Thank you for the advice, I have *pretty much* determined that my dad's line came from the Iberian peninsula to England. His earliest known ancestors lived in Cornwall and I read an article which suggested those settlers were originally Spaniard fishermen? His haplogroup is G-M201 and I've gotten it narrowed down to the L-497 subgroup, doing more SNP testing to narrow it further.

                  Anyone else here have that haplogroup? I've read it's rare in Europe?
                  Well, we can refer to those early settlers of Cornwall as "Spaniards", they weren't exactly Spanish in the modern sense. G-L497 is certainly not a common haplogroup in the Isles so that could prove very useful in your genealogical research.

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                  • #10
                    curious to know what a typical DNA result is for Cornwall

                    Originally posted by spruithean View Post
                    Well, we can refer to those early settlers of Cornwall as "Spaniards"
                    I am curious to know what the average DNA result is for Cornish people. One of my mother's grandparents was from Cornwall. We do not have any ties to the Iberian peninsula or anything closer than Cornwall on our paper trail. Our Iberian results: FTDNA both 0%; Ancestry mom 3%, me 1%; MyHeritage mom 2.9%, me 0%. It looks like our Cornish DNA may have been categorized as Irish/Scottish/Welsh on Ancestry and MyHeritage. FTDNA's British Isles figures: mom 23%, me 30%. Ancestry assigned me, but not mom, to the Southern England genetic community. Overall, our ethnicity estimates are all over the place, even among full siblings testing at the same company. Our match lists are much more useful as far as determining ethnicity breakdown within Northern Europe.

                    Our paper trail, recent immigrants for the most part:

                    MOM:
                    25% Scotland
                    25% Sweden
                    25% Cornwall
                    12% Germany
                    6% Northern Ireland
                    6% colonial New England American
                    <1% Finland

                    ME:
                    56% Scandinavia
                    38% British Isles (12% Scotland, 12% Cornwall, 3% Northern Ireland, 9% early American New England)
                    6% Germany
                    <1% Finland (Finnish Swedes)

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                    • #11
                      I have a similar background as you; my paper trails show European immigrants to the US as early the Mayflower; most came from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France and a couple Swiss families. My dad's mom was born in England, so she is 100% and he and I both show 60% British Isles, give or take. He, however, shows 8% Iberia and 12% Southeast Europe and I don't show either of these. I've tentatively traced his surname to Cornwall, so that was kind of my guess as to where those traces came from, seeing as how we have no paper trail ties to any countries south of France. So idk if there's truth to it, but I read it somewhere and it seemed to prove something I otherwise couldn't explain.

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                      • #12
                        I did a little more digging on this; I have a first cousin (British) from my grandma's side (the British one). I compared his DNA to mine on MyHeritage and he doesn't show any Iberian or South European so that would suggest my dad's doesn't come from her side, but one of the English immigrants we're mixed with, i.e., his paternal side. MyHeritage also does show Iberian for me while FTDNA, Ancestry, and 23andMe do not. So that's...interesting as well.

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                        • #13
                          https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...ds-416727.html

                          This is the article I believe I read. I'm not familiar with him or his work, or if it's credible or not. Perhaps some of you are?

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