Part of this quest of mine to work out a bit more about myself has lead me toward DNA tests. So far, I have had two. The first, from Ancestry.com is to determine what ethnicity I am. I don’t look typically anything and, not knowing anything about ancesters beyond a few generations, I thought it would be interesting. The second is to do with health and fitness, but they haven’t even gotten around to sending me the pack yet (note to self: email them after this).
The results came in during the week – faster than anticipated, so that was a nice surprise. And the results themselves were also full of surprises. Below is a screen grab of them.
As you can see, I appear to be more Scandinavian than British. Whilst I am not surprised by the Scandinavian results (slightly upturned nose), I figured it would be a bit lower down in the equation. Let’s break this down:
76% Europe West. Primarily Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein.
Stone Age farmers brought wheat, cows, and pigs to Western Europe from the Middle East between 8,000 and 6,000 years ago. Migrations and conquering armies followed, including Romans, Franks, Gauls, and Germanic tribes. Each helped make this region as culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse as its landscape, which stretches from Amsterdam’s sea-level metropolis to the majestic peaks of the Alps and from the boisterous beer gardens of Munich to the sun-soaked vineyards of Bordeaux.
Ireland’s modern culture remains deeply rooted in the Celtic culture that spread across much of Central Europe and into the British Isles. Along with Wales, Scotland, and a handful of other isolated communities within the British Isles, Ireland remains one of the last holdouts of the ancient Celtic languages that were once spoken throughout much of Western Europe. And though closely tied to Great Britain, both geographically and historically, the Irish have fiercely maintained their unique character through the centuries.
6% Scandinavia. Primarily Sweden, Norway, Denmark.
Due to Scandinavia’s location, its natives have often been referred to as “North Men.” The Scandinavians have historically been renowned seafarers, and their adventures brought them into contact with much of the rest of Europe, sometimes as feared raiders and others as well-traveled merchants and tradesmen. Scandinavian sailor Leif Ericson is credited with being the first European to travel to North America—500 years before Christopher Columbus’s first voyage in 1492.
4% Great Britain. Primarily England, Scotland, Wales.
About 12,000 years ago, sea levels were low enough for Stone Age hunter-gatherers to cross from northern Europe into what are now the islands of Great Britain. Farming came to the islands by about 4000 B.C., and the inhabitants erected their remarkable and puzzling stone monument like Stonehenge. The Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all left their mark politically and culturally, but modern studies suggest that the earliest populations continued to exist by adapting and absorbing new arrivals.
2% Finland/Northwest Russia.
Although Finland shares long borders with Sweden and Norway, it stands apart in both language and ethnic identity. For much of its history, Finland was politically controlled by Sweden and Russia but gained its independence in 1917. Today Finland has a highly egalitarian society with strong, state-run social programs, including education and health care. Finland is often rated among the world’s best in education, economy, and quality of life and is the only Nordic country to join the Eurozone.
1% Europe South. Primarily Italy, Greece.
This region gave rise to some of the most iconic cultures the Western world has known. The Greeks were first, with their pantheon of gods, legendary heroes, philosophers, and artists. The Classical Age of Greece began around the 5th century B.C. It was the era of Athens and Sparta, the birth of democracy, and many of Greece’s famous playwrights and philosophers. They subsequently influenced the Romans, whose vast empire spread its ideas and language across Europe and laid the foundations of Western civilization.
<1% Europe East, Africa North, Iberian Peninsula.
The next step for me is to take out a subscription to Ancestry to build up my family tree, and also explore further into these results. Hopefully, the records will go far enough back where a foreign name might appear as it would be great to find out info on one of the descendents of the people that originally made their way over here.