DNA and ancestry

Taking a DNA test can be a useful addition to research. My DNA showed a strong British Isles heritage but also with origins in Northern France, the Low Countries, North-West Germany and Norway.

DNA and ancestry
DNA and ancestry

My DNA, which may well be different from yours, shows this distribution:

Anglo-Saxon: England, Wales & Northwestern Europe: 88%
(Northern England & the Midlands: Yorkshire & Pennines)
Norway: 8%
Celtic: Ireland and Scotland: 4%
(Munster, Ireland: North Kerry & North Cork)

There is a very strong focus on Yorkshire and the Midlands. This is born out by the family locations and movements described on this site. It also backs up the Irish and Welsh components that have been found in the research.

Historical origins

Historically one should bear in mind the movements of peoples into the British Isles that have occurred at different points in earlier history. Working backwards, there is a small element of Norman, and therefore Nordic, movement from around 1066, which might relate to the webpage on our medieval Anglo-Norman ancestry on this site. In terms of the whole population this is however considered to be almost negligible numerically. But before that there were the Viking incursions and settlements that occurred from 793 AD, from in particular Norway and Denmark. Before then, after the fall of the Roman Empire in around 410 AD, Angles, Saxons and Jutes from North-West Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands invaded and settled in most of present-day England and merged with the vast majority of the local population.

This is a timely reminder, in an age that obsesses with identity, that “who we really are” is a creation of movements and integration of peoples going back eons in time, and from a homo sapiens that originated in the Rift Valley in East Africa.