Belgian DNA


Junior Member
Reaction score
I wonder if someone could help me put my Ancestry DNA/GEDMatch into contest: before I took the test, I expected the results to come up with a large proportion of German/French DNA and maybe odd bits of Spanish, Dutch and Austrian to account for the many invasions of Belgium over the centuries. I certainly didn't expect the results to come up with, in addition to a large Europe West percentage, 16% of Scandinavian (Norwegian according to GEDMatch), 11% Italian, 8% of Spanish and 7% of British. I have been wondering, since the results came through, where those genes come from. The British side could be attributed to the migration of Flemish textile workers to the North of England, the Spanish element is not unexpected, but the Italian and Norwegian percentage puzzle me because they are relatively large. For the Italian percentage, would 11% be explained by the Roman invasion of Belgium a long, long time ago ? And does the relatively high percentage of Norwegian DNA suggest a more recent migration? (maybe the Norwegians who left the country to work on Dutch ships in the 17th century ?). My family, as I know it, comes from rural communities who have lived in the same areas of Belgium for generations. The only relative who I know to have left their original community is my Opa, whose family moved from Belgian Limburg to the South in the 1900s. I can only imagine that the Norwegian connection would come through him via the Netherlands. Many thanks in advance if you can shed any light - I am puzzled and curious.
The genes of northwest Europe are very similar so it is very difficult to separate them out. That is why 23andMe uses the category "Northwest European" instead of breaking it down into further categories. The DNA files of Belgians, Germans, French, and southern English are too similar for an automated system to differentiate. If you know where you family comes from for generations in the area, then that is your answer.

Think of the ancient migrations rather than a few smaller recent ones. Start with the hunter/gatherer base, then they were mostly replaced by the early european farmers. Those farmers looked a lot more like southern Europeans (Spanish/Italian element). The Indo-European invasion and bell beaker / celtic dominance changed the genetic landscape further. The Scandinavian/Germanic expansion happened after that.

It's not uncommon for British to get up to 6% Iberian with some additional southern European. There is a scientific study going on for southeast England to determine why there was such a rise in Southern European genes after the bell beaker invasion. Hopefully that may also provide insight to Belgium as well.
I had an update on Ancestry because they moved from 3000 to 16000 reference samples. It raised my English a lot. Log back in and check

Sent from my SM-G935V using Eupedia Forum mobile app
Yes, the Ancestry update got rid of the odd percentages, I am now 52% British, 42% Germanic Europe, 3% Swedish and 3% French. I must say that makes more sense !

This thread has been viewed 6754 times.