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Maciamo
07-08-12, 16:56
Thanks to population genetics, we are becoming increasingly aware of just how mixed our ancestry really is. The old stereotypes about ethnic purity are meaningless when we think in term of genetic admixtures and deep ancestry spanning over 10,000 years or more.

Yet, ethnic groups still exist and most of us identify with one or several of them. This is because an ethnicity does not require a unique unblended ancestry, but can, and usually is the result of millennia of intermingling in one region. For example, the Germanic ethnicity originated in Scandinavia and North Germany from the admixture of Mesolithic (Ertebølle), Neolithic (Funnelbeaker), Bronze Age (Corded Ware) and Iron Age migrants to the region. As Germanic people later expanded over most of Europe, a lot of Europeans can claim partial Germanic ancestry in addition to other regional ancestry (Celtic, Roman, Greek, Slavic, etc.)

The development of genetic admixtures over the last few years made us realise that most of us have fragments of DNA inherited from ancestors of completely different ethnicities. It is rather common for Europeans to find segments of East Asia, South Asia or East African ancestry in their DNA. And all Europeans have varying shares of Middle Eastern ancestry (which can be subdivided in Anatolian, Caucasian, Mesopotamian, Gedrosian, Southwest Asian, among others).

But just how much ancestry do you feel you need to be able to claim to belong to an ethnic group. This is a question that Americans will surely have thought about more often than Europeans, since Americans (not just from the USA, but the whole Americas) most often have (very) mixed ancestry. That's not a coincidence that ancestry DNA tests were pioneered for the North American market first. Many White Americans, who might pass for "pure Europeans" found out, often to their own surprise that they have a small amount of Native American or African ancestry. Now Europeans can be as surprised to realise that they are not so pure and can also have between 0.1% and 5% of Siberian, or South Asian or African DNA, even if they have red hair, freckles and blue eyes. Looks can be deceptive, as only a small part of our genome has an influence on physical appearance.

We have recently debated the possibility of African immigrants outbreeding Europeans (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?27659), and that made me wonder about the issue of genetic continuity and the sense of belonging. It is obvious that a child with a European parent and an African one will feel both European and African. One's genetic identity is always clear for the first generation of mixed race children. It gets more complicated after 3, 4 or 5 generations.

Would a child with one European great-grand-parent and 7 African ones feel both ethnically European and African, or just African ? What if it was 1 European ancestor out of 256 (8th generation), amounting theoretically to a mere 0.003% of his/her genome (but perhaps even less) ?

Although all my ancestors as far as my genealogy can go back are European, I tried to imagine what proportion of ancestors of one ethnicity I would need to feel that I can reasonably claim that I partially belong to that group. After some consideration, I thought that 10% was a reasonable amount. That is roughly equivalent to one great-grand-parent (theoretically 12.5%, but we inherit more from some and less from others, so between 10% and 15% from any in average). When I look at my admixtures, I usually feel that 10% is the threshold to which one ethnic/regional category becomes relevant to my identity.

Interestingly, great-grand-parents are also generally the most remote ancestors that we will ever know and remember (very few people have the chance to meet a great-great-grand-parent, and even less to be old enough to remember them). Most people who are not genealogists will also know their grand-parents' names and (hopefully) their great-grand-parents' names, but rarely beyond that. It has also been calculated that the emotional attachment between relatives is only meaningful until the degree of great-grand-parent to great-grand-child, or first cousin (who are the equivalent of a great-grand-parent in genetic distance, also sharing a theoretical 12.5% of DNA with us).

I am interested to know how others feel about this, to see if we all feel more or less the same way, or if there are big interpersonal divergences.

Maciamo
07-08-12, 17:20
I noticed an interesting coincidence. 10% happens to be the minimum percentage of Y-DNA haplogroup I1 required for a country or region to be considered (at least partially) Germanic. Have a look at the Y-DNA table (http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml) yourself. It's uncanny. In France, Flanders-Artois and Alsace have just over 10%, but not any other regions tested. Belgium, West Germany, Switzerland and Austria have all around 12%, and South Germany 10.5%. Scotland has 9%, although the Lowlands are over 12%. Hungary 8%, Wales and Ireland 7%, Brittany 6%, Poland and Lithuania 6%... The only exception is the Czech Republic, which is not considered Germanic but has 11%. Finland is a half-exception has it does have a sizeable Swedish population.

It works less well with R1a and Slavic identity because of the co-existence of Germanic R1a. If we isolated only Slavic R1a, I am pretty sure that 10% would also be an important threshold.

This should also work with J1c3 and Arabic (+Jewish) ethnicity, although the table is for all J1 together. We can see that Turkey, Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan have all around 9 to 11% of J1, so obligatorily less than 10% of J1c3, while all Arabic countries have over 20% of J1 (except Morocco, which is anyway really much more Berber than Arabic).

10% is also roughly the minimum percentage of European admixture (though not R1a percentage) among Indian Brahmins.

Jackson
07-08-12, 20:02
This is quite an interesting subject - I agree with you especially about the 10-15% threshold (or one g-grandparent) being important. I also heard somewhere that oral traditions are often only passed on for around 4 generations or so, which could be connected.

For myself i find that 10-15% works pretty well - Most of my documented ancestry is from England with the remainder from South Wales, the Scottish Borders and Dublin. I identify foremost as English, then British, then Northwest European etc. Or from a different perspective as Celto-Germanic - Although a lot of people like to think they are 100% of the group they identify with a lot of the time, it seems kind of futile when you are dealing with closely related groups like Celtic and Germanic peoples - One thing i've realised over the last few years is that a lot of the time to be Celtic is to also have some Germanic ancestry, and vice versa - So i wouldn't like to say how much of each i am, as there doesn't seem to be a clear definable boundary - or only at the extremities of each group.

It also seems that family rumours of non European ancestry are true - Either from North Africa or the Near/Middle East.
I personally don't feel really connected to that part of my ancestry in the same sense that i do to the rest of my ancestry, probably because of where i've grown up, my language, the history i've grown up with and the group identity me and my family belong to. It also appears to be probably about 6% or so of my ancestry, and so fits in with your observations quite neatly. It's small enough so that if i hadn't known anything about this ancestry i wouldn't have suspected anything, but big enough for me to include it as a significant, if only minor, part of my ancestry even if i don't identify on a personal level with the culture(s) from which it came.

I would say in summary that your idea works well for me - I identify most with my Germanic ancestry, but also with my Celtic ancestry (Hence identifying as Celto-Germanic) - I know about my North African/Near Eastern ancestry and although i can't identify with it as such, i still recognise it as an important part of who I am.


How do you currently consider Belgium in terms of it's ethnic makeup? Although it's almost off topic - i'm curious as you are Belgian yourself, and my father went there often when he was younger.

Maciamo
07-08-12, 21:11
I have split the offtopic discussion (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?27667) by ebAmerican about the meaning of ethnicity.

Maciamo
08-08-12, 09:59
How do you currently consider Belgium in terms of it's ethnic makeup? Although it's almost off topic - i'm curious as you are Belgian yourself, and my father went there often when he was younger.

Belgians are mixed Italo-Celtic (including Roman) and Germanic, just like the British, North French and many Germans.

EDIT : Actually, as far as Y-DNA haplogroups are concerned, Belgians only have over 10% of I1 and R1b. I1 is obviously Germanic, while R1b is either the Germanic S21/U106 or the Italo-Celtic S116/P312. Within the latter, Belgium has just above 10% of R1b-S28/U152, which could be either Alpine Celtic or Italic/Roman. As Belgian usually claim partial Roman ancestry, and Walloons speak a Romance language, it would make sense if these 10% of S28/U152 were Roman (or perhaps combined with some G2, J2 and E1b1b, as the Romans were themselves a composite). Unfortunately the Y-DNA subclades are not deep enough at present to distinguish Neolithic from Roman G2a, J2 and E1b1b, and ancient Roman autosomal admixtures have not been isolated yet, so it is impossible to say for sure what portion of the R1b-S28/U152 + G2, J2 and E1b1b are Roman anywhere in Europe (even in Italy).

It's also interesting to note that the main difference between Belgium and the Netherlands is that the Dutch have considerably less S28/U152 (max. 6% in the south, and close to 0% in the north).

Any other haplogroup being under 10% of the population, they don't affect the ethnic description of the country.

zanipolo
08-08-12, 10:32
Where does this part end in ones ethnicity?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_admixture_in_Europe

Maciamo
08-08-12, 16:27
Where does this part end in ones ethnicity?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_admixture_in_Europe

According to me nowhere because African ancestry is under 10% of any European's genome, and under 10% of any European country or region's gene pool.

This is actually what I wanted to discuss here. I found traces of East African, Southwest Asian, South Asian, Siberian and East Asian DNA in my genome, like about any European would. However that didn't really make me feel entitled to go to Ethiopia or China and tell the locals that I was partly Ethiopian or Chinese. 0.1% (or less) of DNA just isn't enough to feel associated at a personal and meaningful level with an ethnic or racial group.

The question I wanted to raise in this topic was what percentage became significant on a personal level ? I have set the bar to around 10%, and I believe this works just as well for autosomal admixtures in individuals as for Y-haplogroup percentages for a particular ethnic or regional group.

JFWR
08-08-12, 17:20
It really depends on what you mean by "10 percent". Do you mean 10 percent in the distant past? 10 percent in the recent past? What?

When I have to succinctly tell people what I am, I say I'm "Celto-Germanic". Do I go around thinking "wow, I'm a Celt and a German by ancestry" all the time? No, because those aren't meaningful ethnicities, but tribal identities of the broad historical foundations of my actual ethnicities.

I'm sure like you, Maciamo, that parts of my DNA, from thousands of years ago, include far flung places. It would be surprising, for instance, if one of my ancestors didn't have a Turkish wife, or had some Egyptian ancestors, or migrated from India, or whatever the case might (but not on my direct paternal line). But I would have no real identification with these identities because it doesn't represent any of my ethnic identities and would be so far in the past that I would have so little connection to it.

Maciamo
08-08-12, 17:33
It really depends on what you mean by "10 percent". Do you mean 10 percent in the distant past? 10 percent in the recent past? What?

When I have to succinctly tell people what I am, I say I'm "Celto-Germanic". Do I go around thinking "wow, I'm a Celt and a German by ancestry" all the time? No, because those aren't meaningful ethnicities, but tribal identities of the broad historical foundations of my actual ethnicities.

I'm sure like you, Maciamo, that parts of my DNA, from thousands of years ago, include far flung places. It would be surprising, for instance, if one of my ancestors didn't have a Turkish wife, or had some Egyptian ancestors, or migrated from India, or whatever the case might (but not on my direct paternal line). But I would have no real identification with these identities because it doesn't represent any of my ethnic identities and would be so far in the past that I would have so little connection to it.

I am referring here to autosomal admixtures as tested by the Dodecad Project (http://dodecad.blogspot.com/) or Eurogenes (http://bga101.blogspot.com//). There are many different tools to compare one's DNA with various regions within Europe or around the world. The results are always fairly consistent though. If you haven't tested with 23andMe or a similar company and run your results on the above-mentioned websites, what I am trying to explain won't make much sense though.

Btw, Celtic and Germanic are not ancient or historical ethnicities. They represent actual genetic divisions today as well, because genes don't disappear over time. We call them Celtic and Germanic, because these are the names that best fit the historical territories where those gene pools were originally present, before things got more mixed up.

The main divisions of Europe based on genetic similarities are :

- Celtic (most of Western and Central Europe)
- Germanic
- Balto-Slavic (of which the Uralic speakers can be seen as a subgroup, despite the different linguistic classification).
- Balkan-Carpathian (ex-Yugoslavia, Romania, Moldova and western Ukraine)
- Greco-Anatolian (Albania, Greece, South Italy)

Dorianfinder
11-08-12, 00:19
I am referring here to autosomal admixtures as tested by the Dodecad Project (http://dodecad.blogspot.com/) or Eurogenes (http://bga101.blogspot.com//). There are many different tools to compare one's DNA with various regions within Europe or around the world. The results are always fairly consistent though. If you haven't tested with 23andMe or a similar company and run your results on the above-mentioned websites, what I am trying to explain won't make much sense though.

Btw, Celtic and Germanic are not ancient or historical ethnicities. They represent actual genetic divisions today as well, because genes don't disappear over time. We call them Celtic and Germanic, because these are the names that best fit the historical territories where those gene pools were originally present, before things got more mixed up.

The main divisions of Europe based on genetic similarities are :

- Celtic (most of Western and Central Europe)
- Germanic
- Balto-Slavic (of which the Uralic speakers can be seen as a subgroup, despite the different linguistic classification).
- Balkan-Carpathian (ex-Yugoslavia, Romania, Moldova and western Ukraine)
- Greco-Anatolian (Albania, Greece, South Italy)

I have to underscore a problem in your question. For a hypothetical 10% admixture to hold it would have to be possible to distinguish the many ethnic groups from one another in a clear and concise manner. The above groups share much of their admixture and the process is still ongoing.

For example: One will find Germanic and Balto-Slavic admixture very similar in most cases. Greeks and Anatolians will have more Caucasian than the average West European but so do Kurds, Armenians and many Sicilians. This creates more questions concerning gene flow and date of ethnic composition. The labels are not clear enough when dealing with haplogroups, attempting to classify admixture proportions is rather ambitious.

JFWR
11-08-12, 04:05
I am referring here to autosomal admixtures as tested by the Dodecad Project (http://dodecad.blogspot.com/) or Eurogenes (http://bga101.blogspot.com//). There are many different tools to compare one's DNA with various regions within Europe or around the world. The results are always fairly consistent though. If you haven't tested with 23andMe or a similar company and run your results on the above-mentioned websites, what I am trying to explain won't make much sense though.

Okay.


Btw, Celtic and Germanic are not ancient or historical ethnicities. They represent actual genetic divisions today as well, because genes don't disappear over time. We call them Celtic and Germanic, because these are the names that best fit the historical territories where those gene pools were originally present, before things got more mixed up.

The main divisions of Europe based on genetic similarities are :

- Celtic (most of Western and Central Europe)
- Germanic
- Balto-Slavic (of which the Uralic speakers can be seen as a subgroup, despite the different linguistic classification).
- Balkan-Carpathian (ex-Yugoslavia, Romania, Moldova and western Ukraine)
- Greco-Anatolian (Albania, Greece, South Italy)

Oh, I am fully aware that Germanic and Celtic genes persist, but in terms of ethnicity these broad designators are useless. Ethnicity is much more recent than the deep ancestry that speaks to the broad strokes of the distant past.

Maciamo
11-08-12, 11:11
Oh, I am fully aware that Germanic and Celtic genes persist, but in terms of ethnicity these broad designators are useless. Ethnicity is much more recent than the deep ancestry that speaks to the broad strokes of the distant past.

So what does ethnicity mean for you ?

Personally, I always try to separate genetic ethnicity from modern languages and cultures. That is in part because people can change language and culture, as did non-British immigrants to the USA, although their genes remain the same. Historically, all the Celts lost their language and culture, first to the Romans, then to Germanic people in the British Isles, and a strip of land stretching from Holland to Austria.

In cities like Brussels, Lille or Liège, most of the local populations had become Germanic in early medieval times, but were progressively converted back to Latin and French. In Brussels the language shift only happened in the last 300 years, so that most "native Brusselers" have Flemish names but speak French.

Another example is the triangle formed by the cities of Maastricht, Aachen and Liège, roughly 30km away from one another, and each belonging to a different linguistic and cultural community today, but all part of a same country in the Middle Ages (actually Maastricht and Liège were always part of the same principality or country until as late 1839). Genetically people in these three cities would be undistinguishable from each others.

spongetaro
11-08-12, 12:53
I am referring here to autosomal admixtures as tested by the Dodecad Project (http://dodecad.blogspot.com/) or Eurogenes (http://bga101.blogspot.com//). There are many different tools to compare one's DNA with various regions within Europe or around the world. The results are always fairly consistent though. If you haven't tested with 23andMe or a similar company and run your results on the above-mentioned websites, what I am trying to explain won't make much sense though.

Btw, Celtic and Germanic are not ancient or historical ethnicities. They represent actual genetic divisions today as well, because genes don't disappear over time. We call them Celtic and Germanic, because these are the names that best fit the historical territories where those gene pools were originally present, before things got more mixed up.

The main divisions of Europe based on genetic similarities are :

- Celtic (most of Western and Central Europe)
- Germanic
- Balto-Slavic (of which the Uralic speakers can be seen as a subgroup, despite the different linguistic classification).
- Balkan-Carpathian (ex-Yugoslavia, Romania, Moldova and western Ukraine)
- Greco-Anatolian (Albania, Greece, South Italy)

I doubt that "Celtic" is still a relevant genetic division. What people probably mean with it is "Western European" but the genetic similarities between western europeans are the results of Milleniums of shared cultures including Megalithic cultures and the Bell Beakers. The Bronze age Celts only added a few (Gedrosia admixture) to the whole "genetic package" of western Europe.

Before the Celts, there were probably differences in the amount of "Southern Admixture" between Insular and Continental Celts because of stronger Neolithic substratum in the latter. The Cardium Pottery culture and LBK affected much the people of Central and southern Europe. As ancient dna shows, there were still E1b1b in Late antique Bavaria and G2a in early middle ages Bavaria. Even today, there are former historical Celtic lands like Austria and Paris region that kept nearly half of their DNA from the LBK.

We also see that "Southern admixture" is higher in French and Spanish populations than in Irish population for instance.There is no reason to think that it was otherwise during the time of the Celts because Spaniards and Irish people lack Roman and German haplogroups.


The later Germanic and Slavic invasion make Central European Celts (Austria, Bavaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia...), a mix of Slavs, German and Celts with strong Neolithic substratum rather than "Celts".

Then as you said we still don't know wether the R1b U152 found near the Limes of the Roman Empire is Roman or Celtic. People of Eastern France, Southwestern germany and Belgium might be a mix of Roman, German and Celts.

Maciamo
12-08-12, 10:07
I doubt that "Celtic" is still a relevant genetic division. What people probably mean with it is "Western European" but the genetic similarities between western europeans are the results of Milleniums of shared cultures including Megalithic cultures and the Bell Beakers. The Bronze age Celts only added a few (Gedrosia admixture) to the whole "genetic package" of western Europe.

I agree that the Proto-Italo-Celtic speakers who arrived during the Bronze Age only represent one genetic component of Western Europeans. However, as they are the last major genetic inflow into the gene pool of Western Europe (before the Germanic migrations, that is), Western Europeans can be considered Celtic. Celtic is not identical to Proto-Italo-Celtic speakers. The Celts are the results of the merger between Megalithic Europeans (already a blend of Palaeolithic Europeans and Neolithic farmers) and Proto-Italo-Celtic speakers from the east (who brought the R1b-S116 lineages). This is what I mean by the term 'Celtic'. I also consider the Italics as a subdivision of the Celts.

However I have to disagree that Proto-Italo-Celtic people "only brought some Gedrosia admixture to Western Europe". I have already explained to you in details (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?27519-Neolithic-farmers-Southwest-Europeans-or-West-Asians&p=395134&viewfull=1#post395134) that the R1b1b branch that would become associated with the PIE speakers moved north of the Caucasus, where they mixed with the local steppe people (Northeast European admixture, linked to R1a1a). Afterwards, R1b (now a mix of Gedrosia+NE European) moved to Southeast Europe, where they stayed for over 1,000 years, adding a considerable amount of Southeast European + Mediterranean admixtures to their gene pool. After that they settled for a few centuries north of the Alps, where they further mixed with the local population, before conquering Western Europe. So when the Proto-Celtic R1b arrived in Western Europe, they were already heavily hybridised with Palaeolithic Europeans (R1a, I2) AND Neolithic farmers (E1b1b, G2a, and surely also J2 from their home region of Anatolia), so that the Gedrosia admixture might not have exceeded 20-25% of their overall DNA.



The later Germanic and Slavic invasion make Central European Celts (Austria, Bavaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia...), a mix of Slavs, German and Celts with strong Neolithic substratum rather than "Celts".

Then as you said we still don't know wether the R1b U152 found near the Limes of the Roman Empire is Roman or Celtic. People of Eastern France, Southwestern germany and Belgium might be a mix of Roman, German and Celts.

You are agreeing with what I wrote above without even noticing it. It's obvious that modern Europeans are not exclusively Celtic OR Germanic OR Slavic, but that in many places like Austria, Bohemia, Germany of Belgium, people will belong to two or three of these ethnicities. I never claimed otherwise.

The actual point of this thread is to determine how much admixture is the minimum to count as part of one's ethnicity. Some French or Italian people might have a few percent of Slavic admixtures in them, but does that make them truly Celto-Slavic or Italo-Slavic ? I don't think so. If 1% or 2% of DNA is enough to qualify as ethnically part of a group, then all Europeans are Celto-Germano-Slavo-Greco-Sibero-Anatolo-Mesopotamo-Arabo-Africans. That becomes meaningless.

This is why I proposed to set a minimum limit to 10%, and explained why 10% and not 5% or 20%.

With 10% as a limit, almost all Europeans fit in only one or two ethnic categories, and a few (notably in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire) in perhaps three ethnicities.

JFWR
12-08-12, 16:21
So what does ethnicity mean for you ?

Personally, I always try to separate genetic ethnicity from modern languages and cultures. That is in part because people can change language and culture, as did non-British immigrants to the USA, although their genes remain the same. Historically, all the Celts lost their language and culture, first to the Romans, then to Germanic people in the British Isles, and a strip of land stretching from Holland to Austria.

In cities like Brussels, Lille or Liège, most of the local populations had become Germanic in early medieval times, but were progressively converted back to Latin and French. In Brussels the language shift only happened in the last 300 years, so that most "native Brusselers" have Flemish names but speak French.

Another example is the triangle formed by the cities of Maastricht, Aachen and Liège, roughly 30km away from one another, and each belonging to a different linguistic and cultural community today, but all part of a same country in the Middle Ages (actually Maastricht and Liège were always part of the same principality or country until as late 1839). Genetically people in these three cities would be undistinguishable from each others.

My definition of ethnicity would be this, broadly speaking:

Your national extraction of your family going back 300-500 years, provided that they were part of that nation (i.e. not Jews, Gypsies, Druze, or other perennial outsiders) for that duration. Specifically, your ethnicity might also include a special designation because of a further historical migration or identities, like say...Hugenot.

For areas that were previously unique countries, it would be most proper to speak of a local identity as your ethnicity (provided your family comes from there and it is not a movement after national unification). So, for instance, one would be properly Bavarian, or Venetian, or Flemish rather than German, Italian, or Belgian.

For Americans, excluding those who came here with the Mayflower and other early immigrants, almost no one is ethnically American. They are nationally American, but ethnically Irish, English, French, Jewish, Chinese, West African or whatever the case might be.

I think the term ancestry would accord well with Celtic, Germanic, Turkic, Meso-American, or whatever the case might be. These represent your deep roots that do not represent ancient ties.

spongetaro
12-08-12, 21:17
I agree that the Proto-Italo-Celtic speakers who arrived during the Bronze Age only represent one genetic component of Western Europeans. However, as they are the last major genetic inflow into the gene pool of Western Europe (before the Germanic migrations, that is), Western Europeans can be considered Celtic. Celtic is not identical to Proto-Italo-Celtic speakers. The Celts are the results of the merger between Megalithic Europeans (already a blend of Palaeolithic Europeans and Neolithic farmers) and Proto-Italo-Celtic speakers from the east (who brought the R1b-S116 lineages). This is what I mean by the term 'Celtic'. I also consider the Italics as a subdivision of the Celts.

However I have to disagree that Proto-Italo-Celtic people "only brought some Gedrosia admixture to Western Europe". I have already explained to you in details (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?27519-Neolithic-farmers-Southwest-Europeans-or-West-Asians&p=395134&viewfull=1#post395134) that the R1b1b branch that would become associated with the PIE speakers moved north of the Caucasus, where they mixed with the local steppe people (Northeast European admixture, linked to R1a1a). Afterwards, R1b (now a mix of Gedrosia+NE European) moved to Southeast Europe, where they stayed for over 1,000 years, adding a considerable amount of Southeast European + Mediterranean admixtures to their gene pool. After that they settled for a few centuries north of the Alps, where they further mixed with the local population, before conquering Western Europe. So when the Proto-Celtic R1b arrived in Western Europe, they were already heavily hybridised with Palaeolithic Europeans (R1a, I2) AND Neolithic farmers (E1b1b, G2a, and surely also J2 from their home region of Anatolia), so that the Gedrosia admixture might not have exceeded 20-25% of their overall DNA.



You are agreeing with what I wrote above without even noticing it. It's obvious that modern Europeans are not exclusively Celtic OR Germanic OR Slavic, but that in many places like Austria, Bohemia, Germany of Belgium, people will belong to two or three of these ethnicities. I never claimed otherwise.

The actual point of this thread is to determine how much admixture is the minimum to count as part of one's ethnicity. Some French or Italian people might have a few percent of Slavic admixtures in them, but does that make them truly Celto-Slavic or Italo-Slavic ? I don't think so. If 1% or 2% of DNA is enough to qualify as ethnically part of a group, then all Europeans are Celto-Germano-Slavo-Greco-Sibero-Anatolo-Mesopotamo-Arabo-Africans. That becomes meaningless.

This is why I proposed to set a minimum limit to 10%, and explained why 10% and not 5% or 20%.

With 10% as a limit, almost all Europeans fit in only one or two ethnic categories, and a few (notably in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire) in perhaps three ethnicities.

I didn't disagree with your minimum admixture part, I'm just arguing about.

Maciamo
12-08-12, 21:37
My definition of ethnicity would be this, broadly speaking:

Your national extraction of your family going back 300-500 years, provided that they were part of that nation (i.e. not Jews, Gypsies, Druze, or other perennial outsiders) for that duration. Specifically, your ethnicity might also include a special designation because of a further historical migration or identities, like say...Hugenot.

For areas that were previously unique countries, it would be most proper to speak of a local identity as your ethnicity (provided your family comes from there and it is not a movement after national unification). So, for instance, one would be properly Bavarian, or Venetian, or Flemish rather than German, Italian, or Belgian.

It is hard for me to connect ethnicity to political countries because :

1) political borders are artificial creations, usually resulting from war of conquests and inheritance through political marriages. For example, France expanded it borders by conquering regions that once belong to the Low Countries (Flanders-Artois), to Germany (Lorraine, Alsace, Franche-Comté), or to Italy (Corsica), and acquired others that were not culturally or linguistically French either through politcial arrangements (Brittany, Savoie, Nice). So why should a Breton, an Alsatian, or a Corsica feel ethnically French just because all their ancestors were French citizens in the last two or three centuries.

2) political borders often don't match geographic divisions of the genetic ancestry. This is especially true in big countries like Russia, Iran, India, China or Indonesia, where there are plenty of completely different ethnicities, yet all belong to a single nation or country, and in some cases (Iran, India, most of China) have belong to that political entity for several millennia.

3) political borders change over time. Belgium was only created in 1830. Before it has belong to Rome, Germany, France, Burgundy, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands... Parts of Belgium were German while others were simultaneously French or Spanish. Some speak (or spoke) Flemish Dutch, Brabantine Dutch, Limburgs Dutch, Walloon, Picard, French, and Franconian German. Yet people have always felt part of the Southern Netherlands (along with Luxembourg and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region (http://www.eupedia.com/france/flanders-artois.shtml) of France), part of a common ethnic and cultural group despite differences in nationalities and languages. The cuisine, architecture, lifestyle, customs, and mindset have remained suprisingly similar in all the historical Southern Netherlands despite political divisions that subsist to this day. The Nord-Pas-de-Calais was annexed to France 350 years ago, but still feels much much more Belgian in every respect than French. 350 years wasn't enough to change the local culture. It also didn't change the gene pool much. More people from Nord-Pas-de-Calais migrate to Paris than the other way round.


That is basically why I cannot link ethnicity to political countries.

Maciamo
12-08-12, 21:40
I didn't disagree with your minimum admixture part, I'm just arguing about.

Do you agree with 10% (approximately) as a minimum ? If not what do you suggest ?

spongetaro
13-08-12, 01:20
Do you agree with 10% (approximately) as a minimum ? If not what do you suggest ?

10% seems to work pretty well with I1 (though we could have add U106 too) and the German "ethnicity". However, the dominance of one haplogroup in a certain area (typically R1b P312 in western Europe) is quite misleading as several ethnicities can "hide" behind it. You maybe get a more accurate picture by using the 10% treshold and the autosomal admixture. It seems to work well with the Gedrosia admixture notably. Autosomal admixture can thus reveal the different "ethnicities" that hide behind R1b that is to say: the different stratas that shaped the western European genetic package over millenia.

JFWR
13-08-12, 04:55
It is hard for me to connect ethnicity to political countries because :

1) political borders are artificial creations, usually resulting from war of conquests and inheritance through political marriages. For example, France expanded it borders by conquering regions that once belong to the Low Countries (Flanders-Artois), to Germany (Lorraine, Alsace, Franche-Comté), or to Italy (Corsica), and acquired others that were not culturally or linguistically French either through politcial arrangements (Brittany, Savoie, Nice). So why should a Breton, an Alsatian, or a Corsica feel ethnically French just because all their ancestors were French citizens in the last two or three centuries.

Excluding the Germanic areas of modern France, I would say there is only a small distinctiveness for these communities that has been part of another nation for some 300 years. Bretons, for instance, are not especially "non-French" because they have been French for centuries. One can be ancestrally Breton, but it is highly unlikely you can be ethnically Breton in any meaningful sense. Just as, for instance, Calais is not ethnically English anymore.


2) political borders often don't match geographic divisions of the genetic ancestry. This is especially true in big countries like Russia, Iran, India, China or Indonesia, where there are plenty of completely different ethnicities, yet all belong to a single nation or country, and in some cases (Iran, India, most of China) have belong to that political entity for several millennia.

Indeed, which is why I suggested one could be an __________-___________. So one might be a Tartar-Russian or a Canton-Chinese.


3) political borders change over time. Belgium was only created in 1830. Before it has belong to Rome, Germany, France, Burgundy, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands... Parts of Belgium were German while others were simultaneously French or Spanish. Some speak (or spoke) Flemish Dutch, Brabantine Dutch, Limburgs Dutch, Walloon, Picard, French, and Franconian German. Yet people have always felt part of the Southern Netherlands (along with Luxembourg and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region (http://www.eupedia.com/france/flanders-artois.shtml) of France), part of a common ethnic and cultural group despite differences in nationalities and languages. The cuisine, architecture, lifestyle, customs, and mindset have remained suprisingly similar in all the historical Southern Netherlands despite political divisions that subsist to this day. The Nord-Pas-de-Calais was annexed to France 350 years ago, but still feels much much more Belgian in every respect than French. 350 years wasn't enough to change the local culture. It also didn't change the gene pool much. More people from Nord-Pas-de-Calais migrate to Paris than the other way round.

Thus why I said 300-500. Some areas are not especially good at becoming distinctly part of another ethnicity.

Maciamo
13-08-12, 09:38
Excluding the Germanic areas of modern France, I would say there is only a small distinctiveness for these communities that has been part of another nation for some 300 years. Bretons, for instance, are not especially "non-French" because they have been French for centuries. One can be ancestrally Breton, but it is highly unlikely you can be ethnically Breton in any meaningful sense. Just as, for instance, Calais is not ethnically English anymore.

That would be like saying that the Irish are English because Ireland has belonged to England for centuries. Actually the parallel between Ireland and Brittany is startlingly similar now that I think of it. Both regions first came under Germanic influence with the Viking invasions in the 9th century (as well as the Franks in Brittany). The Norman English colonisation of Ireland started in the 12th century, which is the time when Brittany became a vassal duchy of France. However, Brittany only became a possession of the King of France in 1532, four years before Ireland was annexed to the English crown by Henry VIII. From the 18th century on, the English tried to suppress the Irish language to replace it by English, and the French did just the same with Breton at the same time. The two timelines match perfectly. This is why saying to a Breton that he is ethnically French sounds just as outrageous as to tell an Irish that he is English.


Thus why I said 300-500. Some areas are not especially good at becoming distinctly part of another ethnicity.

300 or 500 years doesn't make much difference. Most local identities and ethnicities in Europe go back at least 1000 years, but in some cases over 2000 years (e.g. Greek settlements in South Italy). We are back to ancient ethnicities like the Greeks, Romans, Celts and Germanics.

For Germany, eastern France and the Low Countries, I found that the stem duchies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_duchy) of the Holy Roman empire match pretty well the regional ethnic divisions (better than modern political boundaries anyway). For instance, the Duchy of Lower Lorraine encompassed most of modern Belgium, Luxembourg, the northern Rhineland and the southern Netherlands. It only misses the Counties of Hainaut and Flanders (ironically part of France back then) to make up the greater cultural region that evolved from the Frankish settlements in the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. So, this ethnico-cultural region has its roots in the late Antiquity and early Middle Ages.

JFWR
13-08-12, 11:13
That would be like saying that the Irish are English because Ireland has belonged to England for centuries. Actually the parallel between Ireland and Brittany is startlingly similar now that I think of it. Both regions first came under Germanic influence with the Viking invasions in the 9th century (as well as the Franks in Brittany). The Norman English colonisation of Ireland started in the 12th century, which is the time when Brittany became a vassal duchy of France. However, Brittany only became a possession of the King of France in 1532, four years before Ireland was annexed to the English crown by Henry VIII. From the 18th century on, the English tried to suppress the Irish language to replace it by English, and the French did just the same with Breton at the same time. The two timelines match perfectly. This is why saying to a Breton that he is ethnically French sounds just as outrageous as to tell an Irish that he is English.

I would disagree for this reason: Brittany was not subject to being an "other", whereas Ireland was. Native Irish were treated as second-class subjects and colonials, such that they were never meant left to become English. This is in contradiction to Cornwall or Wales (after Edward III), especially the former. The Welsh aren't meaningfully a separate people at this point.


300 or 500 years doesn't make much difference. Most local identities and ethnicities in Europe go back at least 1000 years, but in some cases over 2000 years (e.g. Greek settlements in South Italy). We are back to ancient ethnicities like the Greeks, Romans, Celts and Germanics.

No one in Southern Italy considers themselves Greek. No one in Brindisi, for instance, would go "oh no, we're GREEKS not Italians". 2000 years ethnic ties are absolutely meaningless when the culture has been replaced so many times over. We find an exception to this amongst say...Han chinese, as Han Chinese has largely maintained its unique culture, even under instances of foreign (Mongol) rule.

500 years is enough to essentially erase a unique ethnic identity in almost any case I can think of.


For Germany, eastern France and the Low Countries, I found that the stem duchies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_duchy) of the Holy Roman empire match pretty well the regional ethnic divisions (better than modern political boundaries anyway). For instance, the Duchy of Lower Lorraine encompassed most of modern Belgium, Luxembourg, the northern Rhineland and the southern Netherlands. It only misses the Counties of Hainaut and Flanders (ironically part of France back then) to make up the greater cultural region that evolved from the Frankish settlements in the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. So, this ethnico-cultural region has its roots in the late Antiquity and early Middle Ages.

Are you suggesting that Belgians would consider contemporary Northern Rhineland as part of their ethnic identity?

I am not saying ethnicities, also, do not have -roots- much earlier. But if those ethnicities have been distinctively altered that there is a point (about 500 years at maximum) in which it is unreasonable to suggest the ethnicity remains.

Maciamo
13-08-12, 19:02
I would disagree for this reason: Brittany was not subject to being an "other", whereas Ireland was. Native Irish were treated as second-class subjects and colonials, such that they were never meant left to become English. This is in contradiction to Cornwall or Wales (after Edward III), especially the former. The Welsh aren't meaningfully a separate people at this point.

Actually Bretons have been discriminated against and made fun of by French people for centuries, and it lasts to this day (though much less than a few generations ago).



No one in Southern Italy considers themselves Greek. No one in Brindisi, for instance, would go "oh no, we're GREEKS not Italians". 2000 years ethnic ties are absolutely meaningless when the culture has been replaced so many times over.

South Italians are Italians by nationality and language (although pockets of Greek speakers have survived since the Antiquity), but many would happily acknowledge their Greek ancestry. People interested in genetics in particular often see themselves as Greco-Italian rather than just Italian.


We find an exception to this amongst say...Han chinese, as Han Chinese has largely maintained its unique culture, even under instances of foreign (Mongol) rule.

There are plenty of similar examples. Most Germanic tribes that invaded the Roman Empire weren't able to impose their language or ethnicity because they were only a small ruling class, just like the Mongols in China. I am glad that you raised this point because it seems that 10% is also the approximate minimum that an invading ethnicity must achieve in the conquered population to be able to impose its language and ethnicity.

The Anglo-Saxons in England and the Scottish Lowlands, the Franks in Flanders, the Swabians in Swabia, Alsace and Switzerland, and the Bavarians+Lombards in Bavaria and Austria, were the only cases of Germanic people successfully imposing their culture and language over former Roman territories. The Franks and Burgunds in France, the Goths in the Balkans, Italy and Iberia, the Suebi in Iberia, and Vandals in North Africa, all failed because they were too few compared to the local population. The Vikings also failed.

Those who succeeded appear to have contributed to over 10% of their DNA to the modern gene pool. The gradient is pretty obvious within Britain, and once Germanic genes fall to under 10% of the population like in Wales or the Scottish Highlands, Celtic survived (longer).

Turkey became Turkish speaking and ethnically Turk because the invading Turks from Central Asia made up 10-15% of the total population (as attested by both Y-DNA and autosomal DNA).

What is fascinating here is that 10% is also the minimum genetic limit for the language of a new ruling class to survive in the long-term.


500 years is enough to essentially erase a unique ethnic identity in almost any case I can think of.

It wasn't long enough for the Irish, Welsh, Bretons, Basques, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Finns, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Romanians, Bulgarians, and many other peoples in history who stayed over 500 years under foreign domination.


Are you suggesting that Belgians would consider contemporary Northern Rhineland as part of their ethnic identity?

Northern Rhineland is not an ethnicity. The region is a blend of Celtic (Belgic) and Germanic (Frankish) peoples. I do consider that people from the Northern Rhineland to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais (via Belgium) are very similar ethnically (perhaps removing big cities of the Rhur valley from the Rhineland as they got plenty of immigrants from other parts of Germany during the Industrial Revolution).

sparkey
13-08-12, 20:42
The Welsh aren't meaningfully a separate people at this point.

:confused2::startled::petrified:

I guess the people who live in Monmouth and Pembroke are pretty English. But the rest of the Welsh are meaningfully a separate people for sure. Different cultural symbols, different cultural practices, different language in many parts and different traditional language all over, different history and genetics and perhaps most importantly, different identification. There is lots of overlap between the Welsh and English ethnicities due to a shared border and certain common history, of course, but that's like how there's overlap between any bordering ethnicities, especially when one is significantly more powerful than the other. I mean, almost all Welsh and English people agree that Welsh and English are different ethnicities. It's not even like the Cornish where a lot of Cornish feel "Cornish and English" and a lot of English people deny that Cornish could be its own ethnicity.

Breton, of course, is an ethnicity as well, although there is perhaps less overlap between "ethnically Breton" and "Brittany" as there is between "ethnically Welsh" and "Wales."

spongetaro
13-08-12, 21:47
Actually Bretons have been discriminated against and made fun of by French people for centuries, and it lasts to this day (though much less than a few generations ago).

Which kind of discriminations? French power exclusively allowed the use of "Parisian French" over regional languages not jut the Breton. Is that the discrimination you were thinking of? By the way, nearly half of Brittany wasn't even Celtic speaking.

It is not accurate to say that for centuries Bretons have been made fun of by the French since until the XIX century French people couldn't even understand each other (see The discovery of France by Graham Robb). Furthermore, most French people, especially in the east and the south probably never saw Bretons of their entire life until the apparition of TV. Thus there couldn't have been "national jokes" about the Bretons but only jokes made by their neighbours (Normans especially). Actually most jokes in France, are regional jokes. Alsacians make fun of the Lorrains typically.


South Italians are Italians by nationality and language (although pockets of Greek speakers have survived since the Antiquity), but many would happily acknowledge their Greek ancestry. People interested in genetics in particular often see themselves as Greco-Italian rather than just Italian.

National feeling and ethnicities are two things apart. The way I see it is that Southern Italians, though they may be closer to Greeks, remain strongly attached to the Italian national unity (more than the North notably).

MOESAN
17-08-12, 10:22
the french hostility for ethnies or local identities goes back to the 'jacobine' republican vision of society, after the 'Revolution' - before, nobility (and bourgeoisy) had a global disprise for every kind of folks, whatever the litterary french, french dialect or other languages spoken - the participation of Brittany in the 'Chouanerie' was the first cause of hostility; after, local cultures was looked at as obstacles against the spread of "national folks freedom" linked to the "united french language of progress"

Maciamo
17-08-12, 17:08
Which kind of discriminations? French power exclusively allowed the use of "Parisian French" over regional languages not jut the Breton. Is that the discrimination you were thinking of? By the way, nearly half of Brittany wasn't even Celtic speaking.

It is not accurate to say that for centuries Bretons have been made fun of by the French since until the XIX century French people couldn't even understand each other (see The discovery of France by Graham Robb). Furthermore, most French people, especially in the east and the south probably never saw Bretons of their entire life until the apparition of TV. Thus there couldn't have been "national jokes" about the Bretons but only jokes made by their neighbours (Normans especially). Actually most jokes in France, are regional jokes. Alsacians make fun of the Lorrains typically.

That's not something I can explain easily. But you are right, it wasn't all France that made fun of Bretons, mostly neighbours (and Parisians). Bretons are also not the only "minority" in France, as I said.


National feeling and ethnicities are two things apart. The way I see it is that Southern Italians, though they may be closer to Greeks, remain strongly attached to the Italian national unity (more than the North notably).

That's what I was trying to say. South Italians can all claim partial Greek ancestry (that undeniable), but they are (and feel) Italian by nationality. My argument was that one should not confuse nationality with ethnicity, which is what JFWR was doing.

RaHoWa
21-10-12, 14:40
I am an American and my family history is completely in the Southern United States,David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed shows how even White Anglo-Americans are diverse as to thier regional origins and from where they came from in Northern Europe or the British Isles and are not even genetically 100% identical.Most surnames in my family tree are from Southern England,Scottish Protestants in Ulster,Scottish and English Borderers and a coupe of German names,This ancestry is typical of natives in the southern United States especially the upper south like TN,NC,VA,KY,etc...Both my Y-dna and my autosomal dna reflect my family history and the specific regional originsin the British Isles from where most of it came.My Y-dna is R1b-L21 and it is specifically a Brythonic Celtic type that is found mainly in the western Scottish Lowlands around Glasgow,Ayrshire,and Dumbartonshire but not in Wales or England at all..Most of the Scots who went to Ulster in the north of Ireland to become the Ulster-Scots and the Scotch-Irish had origins in the western Scottish Lowlands and the Border region,So my Y-dna matches the Scotch-Irish history of my family tree,Also my Autosomal dna results reflect specific regions of England that matched my family origins and that of most English settlers who came to the Southern U.S. in colonial times.The Autosomal dna results were Belgic-Celtic and after further testing it showed it was specific to southern England and the West Country which is where both,the main concentration of Belgic tribes were in England and from where most of the English settlers who went to the Southern colonies in America had originated.SO if I think about my dna and genetics in terms of my ethnicity,my genetic ancestry not only shows Anglo-American roots but it reflects the specific origins of the settlers who came to the American South that were different somewhat from the Anglo or British origins of other regions on early America.It shows in part the unique heritage of the American South,so that is where I feel most closely to ethnically speaking.My ancestry is English,Scotch-Irish,and some German.That blend of ancestry is common to all Southerners and not one part is dominant over the rest.I have but just a little Germany ancestry but I have much English and much Scotch-Irish ancestry as do most SOutherners,so my ethnicity is American Southerner,since even Anglo-Americans have different roots and different sub cultures from other Anglo-Americans.

Grubbe
14-05-13, 14:14
Interesting thread. I am of 100% Norwegian ancestry to about 1650 (as far as I know), and consequently I have a Nordic or "Germanic" ethnicity, as I feel it. Before 1650 I have a few Danes, Forest Finns, Germans and Dutch among my ancestors. Except the Forest Finns, they were quite "Germanic" as well, I think. But this is so far back in time, that I don't consider myself part Danish or Finnish etc., but I am especially interested in the history of these countries, since I feel that I am closer to those countries than areas where I have no known roots.

American Idiot
25-11-13, 12:29
as a White American, generally having about 1/4 ancestry , or close to it, of any given European ethnic group is enough for one to identify with that group.

although many White Americans like to say "I am mostly this and that.......but with a little bit of this also."


Race is different.

I you have any African-American blood at all, then you are considered an African-American.......unless maybe it's just some distantly remote single ancestor from 300 yrs ago and that's it.

As for claiming Native American ancestry, for the most part if a white person looks like they have some Native American mixture then they maybe seen as a "White person with some Indian blood"

If they have up to 1/4, or close, of Native American ancestry then they can sometimes just be labelled as Native American.


But again, alot of White AMericans, who may have only the smallest amount of Native American ancestry like to say-"I am this and that and with a little bit of Indian blood too."


it used to be , the federal regulations for enrollment into a recognized Native American tribe meant you had to be of at least 1/4 Native American ancestry.

But now, each individual tribe has it's own genealogical standards for enrollment and it varies.

mitchellsince1893
16-12-13, 02:40
I would say it could be as low as 1.5% (1/64th). If your knew your great grand parent and he/she knew their great grand parent that came from "across the pond" from the old country, then you may have an emotional connection to that ethnic group. i.e. you knew a relative that knew the immigrant. Granted this a from an American perspective. It's at least 12.5% (1/8th) as I knew my Welsh great grandmother and feel a connection to that group.

toyomotor
16-12-13, 03:18
I would have thought this would have been an individual thing in most cases. I know of cases where people claim a certain ethnicity, when their last full blood ancestor was more than five or more generations ago. (I use the term "full blood" cautiously). It concerns me though that second, third or more generations living in a country still identify more strongly with their ancestral ethnicity, rather than the ethnicity/culture of the country where they now live.

English Lad
16-12-13, 10:47
I imagine it varies from individual to individual. I have 0.1% North African in me, would that dismiss me as being European? Yet 90% of my DNA is North European and I've always considered myself English. despite having a Great Grandfather who was Polish, I wouldn't consider myself Polish. Just an individual who had an ancestor who wasn't English and managed to integrate, as I and my mother and her mother ( My grandmother ) consider themselves English first and foremost. To be honest, before I knew my R1a Haplogroup ( likely to be Norse at this point ). Recently I've been very interested into looking at Germanic heathen and the Norse religion across North Europe, even bought a few books on it. When I learnt shortly after all that I may well be a direct ancestor via a viking settler, that just added the cherry onto the cake for me with my interests. I think on FTDNA I found a match who may be related to me just over a thousand years ago who lives in Norway. Yet my 67 marker's yet to determine that.

I'd say if you're overwhelmingly something, IE 90% European, 85% English - Then you can quite easily say you're English and shouldn't have to worry about it. If you feel connections elsewhere through your DNA, that's nothing to be ashamed of. For me though, I don't. Culturally and linguistically, and ethnically even I've always been at home with English folk.

adamo
16-12-13, 10:49
Oh okay, okay; now all of a sudden his g grandfather was in fact polish; well that explains the R1a pretty fast finally lol, looks like a Slavic marker to me buddy : )

English Lad
16-12-13, 10:56
Oh okay, okay; now all of a sudden his g grandfather was in fact polish; well that explains the R1a pretty fast finally lol, looks like a Slavic marker to me buddy : )

On my mother's side, lol. My Father's side is entirely English, hailing from Kent.

adamo
16-12-13, 11:51
Alright nuts; I won't make that error again my dude.

English Lad
16-12-13, 12:07
Alright nuts; I won't make that error again my dude.

It's no problem friend, partly my fault as I never clarified which side he was from lol.

adamo
16-12-13, 14:57
Exactly! Haha but it doesn't matter :)!