With what ancient ethnicity do you most identify, and what has DNA told you ?

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Europe is an ethnic melting pot. Well, let's not exaggerate. Europeans are genetically among the most homogeneous racial group. Indians, South-East Asians, Middle-Easterners, Central Asians and Africans all have greater genetic diversity than Europeans. But we were taught at school that Europe had a long history of invasions, wars, conquests and migrations. And it is true. What I am interested in here is how do Europeans see themselves. To put it differently, when you read a history book, who do you identify as your ancestors ?

The answer is pretty straightforward for Scandinavians and north Germans, who will have close to 100% of Germanic ancestry, if 'Germanic' means the tribes that lived between the lower Rhine and Scandinavia during Imperial Roman times.

For pretty much everyone else one's ancestry isn't as clear. The Finns, the Balts and northern Russians have mixed Siberian and Slavic ancestry, with a pinch of Germanic.

The Irish and the Scots are of overwhelmingly Celtic descent (whatever that means) but cannot deny a substantial Norse, Anglo-Saxon and Norman admixture (and with the Norman also Gallic and Roman blood).

Central Europeans have the most complex ethnic blend, with pre-Celtic (Balkano-Greek), Celtic, Roman, Slavic and Germanic claims of ancestry.

The Italians may think of themselves as the most representative descendants of the Romans, but the truth is that Rome attracted people from all over the empire, and later Germanic and Hunnic invaders also left their genetic print on the peninsula. Add to this that northern Italy was always more Celtic and southern Italy more Greek. So who should one identify with ? Is it strange for a Milanese to say "our ancestors the Celts and the Germans" ? Probably not. Probably less than "our ancestors the Athenians and the Spartans". In the south, things are reversed.

As a Belgian I wondered when growing up if my ancestors were more Gauls, Romans, Franks or Vikings. I have chosen to identify more with Germanic people based on my looks and character (even though I am from the French-speaking part). But the Belgian DNA project has now made it clear that only half of the male lineages are of Germanic origins, and surely less than that on the maternal side. As the Belgic tribes lost against the Romans it has not been very popular to claim Gaulish or Celtic ancestry in Belgium (unlike in the British Isles, France or Iberia). Belgian French speakers like to identify themselves with the Romans, or to say that they are first and foremost of Gallo-Roman descent (as a fair compromise). And it is true that once the Germanic haplogroups are cut out from the total, what is left looks very much like a northern or central Italian admixture. I suppose I shouldn't discard my Gallo-Roman ancestry too quickly, as it may prove dominant over the Germanic appearance.
 
I identify mostly with the Iberians and celts, which is the overwhelmingly ethnic base of Catalonia and Iberia, but my Y-dna shows that I have some germanic (R1b1b2a1a1c) probably from Franks or Goths.
 
I identify with the Atlantic Celts (particularly Gallaecians), although I have a little Germanic and Basque from the maternal side.
 
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Interesting topic. I’m from Sicily so before DNA testing I identified mostly with ancient Greeks and Romans. Also, the town I am from is near Himera (see http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2008/12/huge-greek-necropolis-from-himera.html) and legend has it my hometown was founded by Carthaginian refugees from the first battle fought in Himera between them and the Greeks. Though I haven’t tested it, my autosomal DNA no doubt incorporates these ancient peoples.

Upon learning my Y DNA haplogroup, however, I had to reassess and my Y-line ancestors likely were not on the island before 1,000 years ago. I am I2b1, which is considered a Germanic haplogroup (oddly my cousins in Sicily would call me tedesco because I was prompt). My best guess at this point is that I descend from the Normans or their Lombard allies. Historical evidence in my hometown supports the Norman theory.

So to sum it up, my view of my ancestry has expanded from the Mediterranean to include northern Europeans.
 
Interesting topic. I’m from Sicily so before DNA testing I identified mostly with ancient Greeks and Romans. Also, the town I am from is near Himera (see http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2008/12/huge-greek-necropolis-from-himera.html) and legend has it my hometown was founded by Carthaginian refugees from the first battle fought in Himera between them and the Greeks. Though I haven’t tested it, my autosomal DNA no doubt incorporates these ancient peoples.

Upon learning my Y DNA haplogroup, however, I had to reassess and my Y-line ancestors likely were not on the island before 1,000 years ago. I am I2b1, which is considered a Germanic haplogroup (oddly my cousins in Sicily would call me tedesco because I was prompt). My best guess at this point is that I descend from the Normans or their Lombard allies. Historical evidence in my hometown supports the Norman theory.

So to sum it up, my view of my ancestry has expanded from the Mediterranean to include northern Europeans.

How about Vandals or Goths bringing I2 to Sicily?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals
 
Yes, can't discount these purported barbarians. It's possible, but I can't say I identify much with them.
 
Lol, maybe they were not much educated or cultured, but being on wrong side of our beloved roman empire, they had their reputation tarnished by roman historians. They generally were like others, some good, some bad, but the biggest mistake they made was that they vanished, at least their country.
 
Surprisingly, being a history buff, I never felt a strong urge to identify myself strongly with country or ethnic group. Maybe that's why I'm an emigrant, lol.
 
I strongly identify with Ancient Greeks and a bit with Franks because where my parents come from the frankish influence was big. Recently I learned that I indeed have Frank ancestors but no one in my family has done a dna test so I don't have any information on y and m haplogroups.

In general, Greeks are very proud of their ancestors and I doubt you will find a Greek not identifying with Ancient Greeks.
 
I strongly identify with Ancient Greeks and a bit with Franks because where my parents come from the frankish influence was big. Recently I learned that I indeed have Frank ancestors but no one in my family has done a dna test so I don't have any information on y and m haplogroups.

In general, Greeks are very proud of their ancestors and I doubt you will find a Greek not identifying with Ancient Greeks.

I believe the Franks first entered Greece during the fourth Crusade, in 1204.
 
I'm 75% daffodil.

Is it ‘cos I’s Welsh?
 
It is an impressive thing to read that a Germanic ancestry can be proved.
So all north Germans and Scandinavians are direct descendants of the
people who lived there during the Roman age.

I suppose that the Netherlands are direct descendants of the ancient
Germanics who lived there in Roman age. But I understand that the
actual Belgiums are a mixed people, half Germanic, half Celtic.

It is a difficult thing for me to accept that fair hair of men in Poland and
Russians has been inherited from the Goths and Vikings. I understand
that fair haired men lived in south Russia about 3000 BC. It is a strange
thing that the Greek author Herodotus wrote about the red haired Budini.
What is known about the eye-colour of the fair haired people who lived
in Russia about 3000 BC? Did they have blue eyes?
 
For me, Germanic/Anglo-Saxon. That ties in with my DNA results to a large extent, but I also feel links to the other elements of English heritage.
 
My paternal DNA results were surprising. My 6th grandfather of my surname reportedly came from Limerick, Ireland to the US in the early 19th century. I expected my DNA results to be typical Irish/ celtic then - R1b plus. Instead my results were Y-DNA I2a which I guess is a rare haplo to have, found largely in eastern Europe.
 
My paternal DNA results were surprising. My 6th grandfather of my surname reportedly came from Limerick, Ireland to the US in the early 19th century. I expected my DNA results to be typical Irish/ celtic then - R1b plus. Instead my results were Y-DNA I2a which I guess is a rare haplo to have, found largely in eastern Europe.
It is very common in Sardinia and central Spain as well.That is were the highest frequencies have been found besides Croatia-Bosnia and north Romania.
I suppose you carry 'western' Sardinian-Castillan subclade rather than Croatian-Romanian one.
 
I believe the Franks first entered Greece during the fourth Crusade, in 1204.
Since the 2nd Byzantine Period of Crete, from 961 A.D, many Western European merchants settled in the island and later on the Venetian occupation came at 1204 and lasted for almost 500 years, so their influence was great :)

Cretans still have a different dialect which includes words that are clearly not Greek, influenced by Wester European languages. There are also many Roman Catholics in the island, more than the average of Greece. So you will find many Cretans feeling a "connection" with Frankish culture. That doesn't apply to the rest of Greeks though, except for those who live at the Ionian islands, because they were also under Venetian rule for quite a while.
 
It is very common in Sardinia and central Spain as well.That is were the highest frequencies have been found besides Croatia-Bosnia and north Romania.
I suppose you carry 'western' Sardinian-Castillan subclade rather than Croatian-Romanian one.

Interesting, thanks for the information! Being part of a more western European group makes greater sense. I've often wondered how my distant relative ended up in Ireland, since the haplo is not commonly found there. I know it is speculation, but any ideas? I know the British Islands have been invaded a few times from the mainland. The Romans were there for awhile of course. And I remember reading that Limerick, Ireland was begun by the Vikings.
 
Interesting, thanks for the information! Being part of a more western European group makes greater sense. I've often wondered how my distant relative ended up in Ireland, since the haplo is not commonly found there. I know it is speculation, but any ideas? I know the British Islands have been invaded a few times from the mainland. The Romans were there for awhile of course. And I remember reading that Limerick, Ireland was begun by the Vikings.


The essential components of Ireland's genetic substratum and the British Isles as a whole is Iberian. Peoples of the Atlantic Facade (Spain, Portugal, Western to Northern France and the British Isles) share elements of a common ancient heritage.
 
Interesting, thanks for the information! Being part of a more western European group makes greater sense. I've often wondered how my distant relative ended up in Ireland, since the haplo is not commonly found there. I know it is speculation, but any ideas? I know the British Islands have been invaded a few times from the mainland. The Romans were there for awhile of course. And I remember reading that Limerick, Ireland was begun by the Vikings.
If you go to Eupedia_top and click the first link, you will see the percent of each haplogroup in each country. I is considered Mesolithic native European, so they were there before the R1b people arrived. The total I is 13%, but I2a is just 2%.

Only Roman traders ever went to Ireland and that on the Dublin side. The Vikings held Limerick town for a while, but weren't in the surrounding county much.

I think that your family has been in Ireland for a very long time.
 
Fascinating stuff! Thanks for the help everyone. Didn't consider that my Haplo might have been been one of the first to Ireland.
 

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