Regional ancestry (500 years – 10,000 years ago)


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Regional ancestry (500 years – 10,000 years ago)

This forms part of my Genographic results (edited) in November 2019.

These numbers represent the rough bio-geographical breakdown of DNA that Everard shares with people across a number of regions around the world.

Based on their different destinations, humans migrating out of Africa developed regional affiliations over time. These affiliations are present as patterns of DNA and are visible today in the variety of physical traits humans possess. Scientists have identified typical individuals, genetically speaking, from different parts of the globe and defined them as “reference populations.” Genographic participants are assigned to the two reference population they most resemble genetically. The significant mixing of peoples over time, however, means that a reference population may only provide the best estimate of an individual’s closest match.

We are all more than the sum of our parts, but the results here offer some of the most dramatic and fascinating information in Everard’s Geno 2.0 test. In this section, we display his affiliations with a set of nine world regions. This information is determined from his entire genome so we’re able to see both parents’ information, going back six generations. Everard’s percentages reflect both recent influences and ancient genetic patterns in his DNA due to migrations as groups from different regions mixed over thousands of years. Everard’s ancestors also mixed with ancient, now extinct hominid cousins like Neanderthals in Europe and the Middle East and the Denisovans in Asia. If you have a very mixed background, the pattern can get complicated quickly! Use the reference population matches here to help understand Everard’s particular result.

Northern European 41%

This component of Everard’s ancestry is found at highest frequency in northern European populations—people from the UK, Denmark, Finland, Russia and Germany in our reference populations. While not limited to these groups, it is found at lower frequencies throughout the rest of Europe. This component is likely the signal of the earliest hunter-gatherer inhabitants of Europe, who were the last to make the transition to agriculture as it moved in from the Middle East during the Neolithic period around 8,000 years ago.

Mediterranean 40%

This component of Everard’s ancestry is found at highest frequencies in southern Europe and the Levant—people from Sardinia, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia in our reference populations. While not limited to these groups, it is found at lower frequencies throughout the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Central and South Asia. This component is likely the signal of the Neolithic population expansion from the Middle East, beginning around 8,000 years ago, likely from the western part of the Fertile Crescent.

Southwest Asian 18%

This component of Everard’s ancestry is found at highest frequencies in India and neighboring populations, including Tajikistan and Iran in our reference dataset. It is also found at lower frequencies in Europe and North Africa. As with the Mediterranean component, it was likely spread during the Neolithic expansion, perhaps from the eastern part of the Fertile Crescent. Individuals with heavy European influence in their ancestry will show traces of this because all Europeans have mixed with people from Southwest Asia over tens of thousands of years.

Everard’s regional ancestry summarized

Genographic compared Everard’s DNA results to the reference populations they currently have in their database and estimated which of these populations were most similar to him in terms of the genetic markers he carries. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he belongs to these groups, but that these groups were a similar genetic match, and can therefore be used as a guide to help determine why he has a certain result. Remember, this is a mixture of recent (past six generations) and ancient patterns established over thousands of years, so you might see surprising matches. Read each of the population descriptions below to better interpret Everard’s particular results.

Note by Everard: Genographic has placed Greek as my first reference population and German as my second. However, looking at the numbers, it seems to me it should be the other way around. (An earlier iteration of these results had German first.) E.C.

Everard’s first reference population: Greek

This reference population is based on samples collected from the native population of Greece. The 54% Mediterranean and 17% Southwest Asian percentages reflect the strong influence of agriculturalists from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, who arrived here more than 8,000 years ago. The 28% Northern European component likely comes from the pre-agricultural population of Europe—the earliest settlers, who arrived more than 35,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic period. Today, this component predominates in northern European populations, while the Mediterranean component is more common in southern Europe.

Greek reference population comparison

Greek reference population comparison

Everard’s second reference population: German

This reference population is based on samples collected from people native to Germany. The dominant 46% Northern European component likely reflects the earliest settlers in Europe, hunter-gatherers who arrived there more than 35,000 years ago. The 36% Mediterranean and 17% Southwest Asian percentages probably arrived later, with the spread of agriculture from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East over the past 10,000 years. As these early farmers moved into Europe, they spread their genetic patterns as well. Today, northern and central European populations retain links to both the earliest Europeans and these later migrants from the Middle East.

German reference population comparison

German reference population comparison