What do you think you are?

Interesting what analysis of DNA can tell us about heritage and movement of different cultures.

Looking for the descendants of Alexander the Great’s army, whom he actively encouraged to settle, there have been many claims disputed. The Kalash of Pakistgan, Pathans in Afganisthan and Kashmiris in India have all made claims but extensive DNA testing has not been able to produce conclusive proof. In part, because culture groups have intermingled through 2000 years.

Long another subject of intense interest has been the biological inheritance of ancient Egyptians. Modern Egyptians, by comparison, share much more DNA with sub-Saharan populations, inheriting 8% more ancestry from African ancestors than the mummies that have been studied. DNA of New Kingdom (~1,300 BC to ~400 AD) mummies studied indicate the ancient Egyptians were most closely related to the peoples of the Near East, particularly from the Levant. This is the Eastern Mediterranean which today includes the countries of Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. There are some caveats given that this research comes from only 90 mummies excavated from a single site 70 south of Cairo.

And then there are the intriguingly well preserved mummies found in the dry region of Xingiang in northwest China. Looking more like Europeans than Chinese, these were at first thought to be visitors. Not so. Studying their genomes, researchers determined the Tarim mummies had descended from a population known as the Ancient North Eurasians (ANE). This population was once widespread during the Pleistocene, but largely disappeared following the end of the last Ice Age. Today, they survive only by way of their DNA, 40 percent of which can be found in indigenous populations from Siberia and America.

These discoveries are by no means definitive explanation for the complex history of humanity but they can give us perspective in how we are all linked.

Although, in some cases science may categorically disagree with the political agenda of some.

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If what you are interested in is an analysis of origins then, to be honest, I wouldn’t bother! It’s a lot of money for, at best, a guess based on the current location of the people who have already tested with that particular company. If the model changes in the future then, possibly…

If, however, you are researching your family and could do with some help going back, say, up to 5 generations, then the cheapest route into a DNA test is usually Ancestry around Christmas or Mother’s day when there’s an offer on.


a former SF member was a noted genealogist - pity his other skills proved somewhat lacking…

I did a test years ago with 23andme and all it has produced are occasional 4th cousins who have no real connection to me (4th Gt.Grandparents I think). So whenever they send me a new batch I just look for one of my common surnames, about half a dozen and then ignore it, because they never show up.

My most common DNA appears to be, like a lot of people I think, North European with a dash of Neanderthals. :rofl:


Do you think your Neanderthals heritage has anything to do with your hate of things technology :thinking: :slightly_smiling_face:

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Never mind that, what I want to know is ‘who gave them permission to use my photo?’ :slightly_frowning_face:


SInce these tests first came out, other companies have overtaken 23andme in terms of numbers of customers and therefore possible matches. From time to time, MyHeritage (for example)has free offers to accept transfers of DNA from other sites so you might get more matches that way if you are still interested… It also tends to have more UK people signed up so, depending on where your more recent roots are, it might be a better bet for you :thinking:

My daughter got them done for her two dogs, both looking like several other breeds. The result was a surprise as the golden labrador cross was more pitbull than lab and the small ankle biter was more chihauha and dachund than first thought. Both are such cuties though.


Not really interested enough to be honest @AngelaR . I do know that the largest population in the world with my surname is in Ohio, the most concentrated was Bornholm, a small Danish island in the Baltic between Poland and Sweden, and the route across the northern continent to the UK was via Devon to South Wales. All over many hundreds of years and I think that will do for me now. :grinning:


Our daughter married an Austrian from Graz, where they got married.
She now has dual UK/German nationality and the boys were born in Munich. They will be able to choose their nationality when they are 18. Not British I would assume unless things change drastically.
When asked if I am English, I say that I am a Europeenne Britannique.


I feel like I’m a “citizen of the world”.
I’ve lived, travelled and spent a lot of time in many different corners of the world and I feel confortable wherever I am (even though I have preferences).
However I suppose I will always be English deep down inside as that’s where I grew up and had all my early influences.


I remember once being taken for a Spaniard in Seville.

I couldn’t work it out, because I’m rather taller than most Spaniards, certainly than most Andalucians.

It was only when Mrs P spotted that my trousers were of the exact shade the council employees wore that the penny dropped.

Such an interesting thread indeed! Fascinating to hear everyone’ s backstory. I am one quarter solid centuries old freemen from northeastern Germany, one quarter Schlesien refugees, one half Saxon. I have done the first 18 years in Germany, ended up in Blackburn at 18. I spent my formative years there and became English. My manners and ways became english, and I absorbed humour and culture. My son’s father iis a quater irish, a quater English and half Scottish. He was brought up in Wales and moved to Germany at 20 where Uni is free. I spent the next 28 years in Wales and England, and have now settled in France. I have german and british nationality. I am a product of all the above, and speak English, French and German daily, the language of my early years, which is Platt, I spea only with my mother now. I also try to keep my very limited Welsh alive, but the two minority languages are just that. My son considers himself German, but I find him to be quintessentially British…


Fascinating @Soggydoggy , I had never heard of Platt before so Googled it. In my own ancestors’ journey from Bornholm through N. Germany to England and Wales, you’d have thought a little Platt would have rubbed off on the way. :thinking:

My parents were cousins so my Grandfathers were brothers, from a Welsh family in Llanelli. Their mother was Cornish and was discriminated against when taken back to live with the in-laws in Llanelli. Their 1st language was Welsh, they could speak English but refused to use the language in front of her. She was very strong willed, my Great Grandmother Ella, now famous in the family lore because she refused to allow her sons to speak Welsh and insisted on English only in her family. Both did learn/retain Welsh though and I remember even my Dad, born in Southampton with an appropriate local accent, still used certain Welsh words when talking about his Dad.

My name in the family was always Dafydd Bach (Little David) and I would love to speak the language, but sadly can’t, but I always have a Welsh/English dictionary by my side. :wink:

It is not an easy langugae, another cousin married a Welshman who was punished at school for speaking the language. He later became a teacher himself and spent his whole working life in England. When they retired, back to Wales, they took up learning Welsh at night school but gave up. Too old and too difficult. His own language had literally been beaten out of him. So sad.

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I love hearing Plattdeutsch because I speak German and Dutch so along with English it’s teasingly familiar and unfamiliar but very satisfying to decipher for me. I did a quiz with a friend from the Netherlands on how much Ostfriesisch we could understand and it was a hoot.

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