07 April 2014

A Genetic Census of America

Image as appears with referenced article
Last week, Ancestry.com posted on its blog a piece titled A Genetic Census of America where data based on AncestryDNA results from over a quarter million people was used to perform a “genetic census” of the United States. “AncestryDNA estimated the genetic ethnicities of over 250,000 U.S. customers* as percentages in 26 regions across the world.” 

Given the diversity of our heritage we are not surprised to learn that DNA-wise our citizenship reflects ancestries from all over the world.  What I do find interesting, is that these maps seem to re-affirm that we are not one big homogenous collection of ancestries.  Our deep ancestries seem to still correlate strongly with where certain immigrants historically settled.  These still appear as “hubs” for that genetic composition.

For example, for Finland/Northwest Russia (image above), the concentrations are in the Pacific Northwest, parts of the Midwest and New England and Alaska.  Based on my own research into three of the four regions mentioned, I am not surprised by this.

I also looked at Europe East and the concentrations in the Midwest, Pennsylvania and parts of New England are even more pronounced.  My own Polish/Ruthenian/Ukrainian ancestors and “cousins” ended up in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.  So, a pretty good fit for this map.

The article also discusses some elements of immigration and migration and shares some other neat tidbits.

Even if you have not tested your DNA and you have family that you have traced to a particular state as their point of immigration or where they ultimately ended up living, these maps might give you some insight into your ancestors and their point of origin.

How well does this map correlate with your family and their ethnicity?

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