Meet John, a true example of how a person’s documented family history can be slightly different than the story in their DNA. John has taken other DNA tests, and his results came back as 98% Western European. Accurate? Yes. Detailed? Not so much. See, there’s a much broader story in each person’s DNA that John, for example, just discovered with the new AncestryDNA test.
Never before had he heard about the North African in his ancestry—no records, old photographs or mention from his great grandparents. But if you look at the migrations and history over the past 500 to a thousand or so years ago in that region, it makes complete sense and reveals entirely new pieces of his family story.
John soon discovered that Southern Europe shares a substantial amount of genetic affinity with North Africa. This is mostly due to the fact that the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Moorish (Berber) invaders—from present-day Morocco—in about 711 C.E. Their legacy can still be seen in Spain and Portugal, ranging up to 15% in some individuals, and as shown above, 9% in John’s case.
In addition, similar lessons in history can be drawn from the Finnish and Scandinavian portions of his results, providing compelling insight into his background. As sea-faring cultures, their trade routes and migration patterns took them all over Europe, causing them to appear in sometimes surprising locations.
|It’s important to appreciate that AncestryDNA is painting a picture that can be older than what you see in your family tree. Your DNA results cover a range of time frames—most prominently represented are the 6-10 generations of your recent history, and a smaller portion covering about 500 to 1,000 years ago. It’s all relevant history (not ancient history) and part of defining who you are.|
So if your DNA results and pedigree seem to be pointing in different directions, remember that your family tree and written records are just part of the overall story. People did a lot of migrating, invading, and intermingling around the world and, sometimes, your DNA is the only record of what really happened. What unexpected ethnicity will you discover in your DNA? Find out at AncestryDNA.com
Here you will find informational, and sometimes fun, posts from the folks behind the scenes here at Ancestry.com. We hope you’ll notice just how passionate we are about family history and about the products we’re building to help connect families over distance and time.Visit Ancestry.com