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Thread: Great Britain DNA Category - Is it really Germanic?

  1. #1
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    Great Britain DNA Category - Is it really Germanic?

    So my AncestryDNA results came in recently, and I must admit that I'm absolutely crushed. Here they are:

    Great Britain - 73% (50-99%)
    Ireland - 6% (0-18%).

    The rest are trace regions:
    Iberian Peninsula 6%, Europe East 4%, Scandinavia 3%, Europe West 2%, Finland/NW Russia 2%, Italy/Greece 1%.

    I've wanted to do an Ancestry test for a long time specifically because it has an Irish category. My family history is very much "Celtic". My relatives tell stories about our Welsh speaking ancestors, our and how we're all red haired because we're mostly Scottish blood - a large portion of our paper trail ancestry is rooted in people from Skye, Orkney, and Balquhidder area. One of my grandparents wouldn't stop talking about how proud he was to have red hair and how his people came from County Cork. My idea of my ethnicity up until this point was very Celtic, and through calculations of my paper trail I figured that at the very worst case I'd end up with 20-25% Irish on the AncestryDNA test.
    Therefore, these results are worse than I could have possibly imagined. From what I read, the Great Britain samples come from people who are very Anglo Saxon, and people with deep roots in Germany often score high in this category. From my background these results are unimaginably awful, and it's triggered some kind of miniature identity crisis!

    I've also tested with 23andme (52% British and Irish, 8% French and German, 4% East Europe), and FTDNA (51% West and Central Europe, 36% British Isles, 11% Scandinavian) in which I found the results more in line with what I would expect given my paper trail. The relative matches on both 23andme and FTDNA are a mix of Gaelic and English Surnames with some French. The Relative matches I was given on Ancestry are almost entirely French surnames (which is a bit weird as I'm only 9% French on my paper trail).

    As I can't seem to cope with the idea that I may be 3/4 Germanic (no offense intended) I'm wondering if the Ancestry test could be wrong, or if the British category isn't actually as Germanic as I seem to think it is.

    I'm also happy to accept any sympathy or similar stories.

    Thank you

    -S.

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  3. #2
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    1. We are what we are. Not what we wish to be.
    2. Not everyone even feels comfortable with concepts such as Celtic or Germanic. Nothing to do with political correctness, just that it isn't clear what they are with regards to biology, culture, ethnicity, or history.
    3. British is an inclusive term that includes the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Cornish.
    4. Recent studies (including POBI), suggest that the English themselves are an admixed population, that although having a significant North Sea ancestry (if you like, Germanic), have circa 60% ancestry from late prehistoric British populations - if you like, "Celtic". The majority genetic signal for the entire Irish and British Isles corner of NW Europe appears to have originated from late prehistoric populations that settled there during the Early Bronze Age. Yes, even for the English, and more so for many Irish, Scottish, Welsh, etc.

    I'm not offended that for some sort of preconceived reasons of personal identity, that you might want to distance yourself from us English. But the old fashioned idea that the English are the descendants only of Anglo-Saxon invaders that committed an act of genocide against the SE British "Celts" has been pretty much debunked now. We appear to have an admixed foot in both camps.

    I don't know the reference population of AncestryDNA's "Britain" reference, but I'd be highly surprised if it reflected any common genetic signal other than the shared late prehistoric "British" signal, that appears to be common to Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and to slightly lower percentages, to us English.
    yDNA: L1b2c L-SK1414 (Oxon/Berks at Generation 9)
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    279 of my direct ancestors recorded. 277 appear SE English. 2,400+ names in my kid's joint family tree.
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    I'm Welsh with a Welsh name and was a initially a bit disappointed to find out my Ydna is U106, probably of Saxon origin but I agree with the post above.
    As far as Britain goes, the way I look at it is I'm the product of thousands of years of migration and history, I've got dna from different people from different periods. That's what made Britain what it is.
    Possibly you might have some Norse ancestry if that makes you feel better.

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    Hi A Norfolk L-M20,

    I want to thank you for your reply. It makes me very hopeful to learn that recent studies (POBI especially) indicate that the English are largely comprised of prehistoric British populations.

    JohnHowellsTyrfro,

    Thank you for your response as well, forgive me for asking but have you done any of these autosomal DNA tests? I'm curious as to if a Welsh person would end up in the Irish, the British, or some other category. As for the Norse ancestry, the little bit I may have had from my Orcadian ancestors would probably be long gone.

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much, most results I have seen have seemingly too high an Irish figure (including mine). If you havent done so yet upload the raw data to GEDMatch and try some of the free admixture tests there (Eurogenes etc).
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  11. #6
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    I wouldn't worry too much. My core results were 60% Europe West and 30% Irish. I got >1% Great Britain. As far as I know I'm English with an Irish great grandmother so the tiny GB amount is disappointing.
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    Known ancestry: English (mostly S/SE England) + Irish (Cork)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    Hi A Norfolk L-M20,

    I want to thank you for your reply. It makes me very hopeful to learn that recent studies (POBI especially) indicate that the English are largely comprised of prehistoric British populations.

    JohnHowellsTyrfro,

    Thank you for your response as well, forgive me for asking but have you done any of these autosomal DNA tests? I'm curious as to if a Welsh person would end up in the Irish, the British, or some other category. As for the Norse ancestry, the little bit I may have had from my Orcadian ancestors would probably be long gone.
    I was just reading your post again and was going to reply further because I replied in haste earlier. I have to admit though I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to understanding dna.
    I have no say firstly that I'm a bit wary of the term "British" dna - what does that mean? British dna come from successive migrations of peoples and it all came from somewhere else at some point.There are some genetic influences in relation to Britain which are earlier than others which you could define as "celtic" or earier It may be helpful if you can post more information on your tests as people with more knowledge than me may be able to advise on the origins and time periods relevant to Britain and Ireland.
    I tested originally with Cymru/Britain's dna and I think I'm right in saying they don't even use the descriptor "British dna". I would guess that anyone with origins in Great Britain will a fairly broad range of genetic influences although they will vary across the country. It is too simplistic to think of the English just in terms of Anglo/Saxon.
    I'm doing more tests and waiting for the results of FTDNA "Family Finder" to see where I might get matches either in Britain or elsewhere and I may follow that up with Big Y. I think we have to be very cautious in drawing conclusions from some of these results, because there is an awful lot that still has to be discovered.

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    Mispost duplicate. Deleted
    Last edited by A Norfolk L-M20; 09-15-2016 at 08:54 AM.
    yDNA: L1b2c L-SK1414 (Oxon/Berks at Generation 9)
    mtDNA: H6a1a8 (Norfolk at Generation 9)
    279 of my direct ancestors recorded. 277 appear SE English. 2,400+ names in my kid's joint family tree.
    Hidden Content .

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacUalraig View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it too much, most results I have seen have seemingly too high an Irish figure (including mine). If you havent done so yet upload the raw data to GEDMatch and try some of the free admixture tests there (Eurogenes etc).
    Good to know. My gedmatch results seem to differ depending on which kit I use: with the ancestry kit, I'm getting southeast English primarily, with my 23andme kit, it usually has Irish or Orcadian in the top spot. I thank you for your input

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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    So my AncestryDNA results came in recently, and I must admit that I'm absolutely crushed. Here they are:

    Great Britain - 73% (50-99%)
    Ireland - 6% (0-18%).

    The rest are trace regions:
    Iberian Peninsula 6%, Europe East 4%, Scandinavia 3%, Europe West 2%, Finland/NW Russia 2%, Italy/Greece 1%.

    I've wanted to do an Ancestry test for a long time specifically because it has an Irish category. My family history is very much "Celtic". My relatives tell stories about our Welsh speaking ancestors, our and how we're all red haired because we're mostly Scottish blood - a large portion of our paper trail ancestry is rooted in people from Skye, Orkney, and Balquhidder area. One of my grandparents wouldn't stop talking about how proud he was to have red hair and how his people came from County Cork. My idea of my ethnicity up until this point was very Celtic, and through calculations of my paper trail I figured that at the very worst case I'd end up with 20-25% Irish on the AncestryDNA test.
    Therefore, these results are worse than I could have possibly imagined. From what I read, the Great Britain samples come from people who are very Anglo Saxon, and people with deep roots in Germany often score high in this category. From my background these results are unimaginably awful, and it's triggered some kind of miniature identity crisis!

    I've also tested with 23andme (52% British and Irish, 8% French and German, 4% East Europe), and FTDNA (51% West and Central Europe, 36% British Isles, 11% Scandinavian) in which I found the results more in line with what I would expect given my paper trail. The relative matches on both 23andme and FTDNA are a mix of Gaelic and English Surnames with some French. The Relative matches I was given on Ancestry are almost entirely French surnames (which is a bit weird as I'm only 9% French on my paper trail).

    As I can't seem to cope with the idea that I may be 3/4 Germanic (no offense intended) I'm wondering if the Ancestry test could be wrong, or if the British category isn't actually as Germanic as I seem to think it is.

    I'm also happy to accept any sympathy or similar stories.

    Thank you

    -S.
    Hi, Your post did make me smile a bit... as a Welsh person I can say I follow the Welsh/Celtic post a bit more than others, and there does seem antidotel evidence that the Welsh score high with Irish ( on Ancestry DNA), with 23andme they lump British and Irish together, and mine scores 89%, I am not sure how they separate them on Ancestry actually, but I imagine they are very similar, which leads me to suspect that the Irish and West Side of Britain 'minus' the Viking Element was very early Celtic migrations (Halstadt) and the rest of the British mainland, mostly South and South East, was later Celtic Migrations (La Tene)'minus' Romans,Vikings,AS,Normans, etc
    hence the simularity, this actually explains allot, and makes more sense that implies that the British on Ancestry is mostly La Tene (Celtic)

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