Monday, June 18, 2012

Good News, Bad News - The Results of My Ancestry Autosomal DNA Test

Okay, so the good news is I received the results from Ancestry's autosomal test.  The bad news is my results don't give us a clue to the Thacker clan's mixed racial identity.

I made a prediction of my own on what the results would look like. I predicted 73% Central European (I have German ancestors all over the place), 25% British Isles, and 2% Uncertain.

Below are the actual results.

So the thing is, I don't have a lick of Scandinavian heritage (Norway, Denmark and Sweden) in my family tree.   Ancestry, however explains it this way: 

For example, if you have German or British ancestors in your family tree, it’s a possibility that your genetic ethnicity may be partly Scandinavian. The Viking invasions and conquests about a thousand years ago are likely responsible for occurrences of Scandinavian ethnicity throughout other regions.

Okay, I can accept that. In addition, a quarter of my family tree came directly from the former German Province of Pomerania.  A portion of this province, known as the Hinterpommern, was in fact part of Sweden from 1630 to 1815.  This happens to be the exact area where this part of my family tree lived.

The Southern European is a bit of puzzler, however.  This area encompasses  Spain, Italy and Portugal.  I swear that I have not found one incidence of any of this ethnicity in my family tree.  It is interesting to note that many of the Melungeon's, (no, we are not Melungeons) a significant portion of whom trace their roots to Louisa County, have claimed that they descend from Portuguese sailors. 

A recent paper appearing in The Journal of Genetic Genealogy entitled, "Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic Population" disputes this notion of a Portuguese heritage. The paper, co-written by Roberta J. Estes, Jack H. Goins, Penny Ferguson, and Janet Lewis Crain, is based on the testing of descendents of the Core Melungeon group.  They used YDNA tests (father to son) and mtDNA tests (mother to daughter ) to base their conclusions.  The findings of these test showed mostly a Northern European heritage with some African American origins and one Native American (the Sizemore's, who were NOT from Louisa County).

Still, these odd ball results of mine are food for thought.

I would be interested in hearing about the DNA results of anyone else who descends from the Nappers, Dortons and Thackers.  If you have had any testing done, please share.  You can either leave a comment or you can write me at the email address found on the left hand column of this page.  Maybe together, we can solve some of the mysteries surrounding The Vinton County Group.

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