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Thread: British and Irish Folks - Who are your closest continental European matches?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    My ethnicity in myheritage shows high Scandinavian (30%) mostly Sweden and Finland but I put my 20 closest matches (none below 20cM) presently living there (no mixed heritage from USA allowed) into DNApainter and it showed the common DNA match was in a uncertain zone. MyHeritage called the matches low confidence and that stacked up too.

    Cheshire has a documented Viking settlement in the early Middle Ages
    I have considered the Viking angle, but I am unsure if it would produce matches greater than what unrelated people from the same ethnic group share. Could a 16 cM segment have been passed down from 1000 years ago?

    Another explanation could be from continental European migration to cities like Liverpool and London that happened outside of my genealogical timeline, but after the Vikings. Some small shred of DNA that’s been in Britain for 200-500 years might not be identified as Scandinavian on AncestryDNA or 23andme.

    200 years ago I had around 64 ancestors who were spread around different part of the England and Ireland, including cities, ports and more isolated areas. 500 years ago this becomes more like 10s of thousands. What if one of them wasn’t from England or Ireland?
    Last edited by lana6765; 02-20-2021 at 01:15 PM.

  2. #22
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    It looks like they’ve had an update to their matching service.

    I no longer match Norwegians and Finns in the pile-up zone on Chromosome 15.

    However, I still match a lot of people from those countries. I’ve noticed a new Finnish match:

    Estimated relationships
    3rd - 5th cousin

    DNA Match quality
    0.4% (31.4‎ cM)
    Shared DNA
    3
    Shared segments
    17.5‎ cM
    Largest segment

    Ancestral Surnames
    All Finland

    Ethnicity
    98.2% Finnish
    1.0% Inuit
    0.8% Central Asian

    The match triangulates with 1 other Finnish person.

    Super exciting! This now reflects what I’m seeing on 23andme with similar segment lengths shared with people of the same ethnic background.

    We share 0 ethnicities. Here is my ethnicity estimate:
    65.7% Irish, Scottish and Welsh
    23.3% Scandinavian
    11.0% Greek and South Italian



    It’s not super accurate for me.

    Are we distant cousins somewhere way back maybe? Did some of my seafaring ancestors make it all the way to Finland? Or did one of them come from Finland?

    Edit: Going back to my history books, Finland was at one point part of Russia. Russia has some relevance to British history, so maybe this is related to the Russian Empire in some way??
    Last edited by lana6765; 03-21-2021 at 10:05 AM.

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  4. #23
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    England United Kingdom
    matches per capita.png
    Blue = Anglosphere
    Green = Europe

    The matches number is not a raw figure, it's the total number of matches minus the number of matches from that country with UK in their tree.
    Seems like I have strong viking influence, which is not surprising since the majority of my ancestry is from Yorkshire and nearby.

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lana6765 View Post
    Could a 16 cM segment have been passed down from 1000 years ago?
    I believe so because it's possible to get ~5cM matches on the gedmatch archaic feature from several thousand years ago.

    One thing I wonder about in general is just how far back the oldest matches are. I have confirmed a DNA match on paper with someone where our shared ancestor was born in 1733, so I am sure there are matches that go back to the 16th and 17th century, but I wouldn't be all that shocked if you could have matches that were significantly further back.

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by V-X View Post
    I believe so because it's possible to get ~5cM matches on the gedmatch archaic feature from several thousand years ago.

    One thing I wonder about in general is just how far back the oldest matches are. I have confirmed a DNA match on paper with someone where our shared ancestor was born in 1733, so I am sure there are matches that go back to the 16th and 17th century, but I wouldn't be all that shocked if you could have matches that were significantly further back.
    Maybe it's possible to get 5 cM segments from Vikings, but these are usually classified as short segments. Anything over 10 cM is usually classified as a long segment.

    So that match from Finland is very likely a real distant cousin. I share 31.4‎ cM, with the largest segment being 17.5‎ cM in length.

    I've been reading about segment lengths here:

    https://isogg.org/wiki/Identical_by_descent

    "In a study of a European subset of the Population Reference Sample (POPRES) dataset it was estimated that for the most part IBD blocks longer than 4 cM come from 500 to 1,500 years ago, and blocks longer than 10 cM are within the last 500 years."

    So if I'm understanding correctly, this Finnish person and I most likely share an ancestor who lived over the last 500 years. There could be several explanations as to how we are related (I might never find out how, but it's interesting to me nonetheless).

    Edit: As a side note, Finns weren't usually Vikings, although some were. But I think Finland was most influenced by Swedish Vikings, whereas England was invaded mainly by Danish Vikings. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Last edited by lana6765; 04-03-2021 at 11:53 PM.

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  8. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by lana6765 View Post
    for the most part IBD blocks longer than 4 cM come from 500 to 1,500 years ago, and blocks longer than 10 cM are within the last 500 years.
    Interesting! "For the most part" does imply that there will be a small fraction of larger blocks from further in the past. Given that we are getting thousands of matches on myheritage, if even 1% are much older links then that's still dozens of them.

    I agree that your Finnish match is probably a more recent link though given you have 3 shared segments.

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  10. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helves View Post
    This is remarkable. Some of you here share over 50 cM with Scandinavians, Germans, Dutch and Frenchmen despite no known ancestry outside of Britain/Ireland. There are people from the small town my parents are from that I share less than 50 cM with.
    People have noticed this before a lot with MyHeritage, they are likely to be inaccurately shown to be closer matches than they really are, probably pile up regions or IBS/IBD that get ignored by Ancestry or 23andme

    https://isogg.org/wiki/Identical_by_...ss_IBD_sharing

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  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadegreg View Post
    That's the million dollar question? In your case, with the long ancestral history of fishing, I suspect it could be either or ! Your Norwegian and Finnish matches are not inconsiderable, especially when considering segment lengths. Do any of the Norwegian or Finns overlap in your matches? Indeed, do any of these matches overlap with individuals you have known ancestry with?
    There could be something else going on here possibly, basically communities in Britain and/or in Scandinavia that have been very static and are pretty inbred. That could be a group of village communities in a heavily Viking settled areas of the British Isles i.e. the Orkneys at the strongest, and then coastal areas of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, other areas of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and similarly in Scandinavia some communities that maybe have commonality with those communities or have high female Irish ancestral lines if commonality is found with Irish descended people.

  13. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus191 View Post
    There could be something else going on here possibly, basically communities in Britain and/or in Scandinavia that have been very static and are pretty inbred. That could be a group of village communities in a heavily Viking settled areas of the British Isles i.e. the Orkneys at the strongest, and then coastal areas of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, other areas of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and similarly in Scandinavia some communities that maybe have commonality with those communities or have high female Irish ancestral lines if commonality is found with Irish descended people.
    I don't think it's true that Britain and Ireland are that inbred or even particularly endogamous as a whole. Ireland was, until the famine, actually overcrowded. Furthermore there's no custom of marrying cousins.

    In addition, a lot of my British ancestry comes from big cities, like London, Liverpool, Southampton. My ancestors actually moved around a lot over time. London was the biggest city in the world at one time so there would be a lot of choice over marriage partners (including, in my case, handsome Irish fellows, lol).

    Edit: Also Norway and Shetland Islands - perhaps there could be some similarity there, some recent common descent via many Vikings. But Finland and County Mayo? Poland and County Mayo?
    Last edited by lana6765; 04-05-2021 at 10:46 PM.

  14. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by lana6765 View Post
    I don't think it's true that Britain and Ireland are that inbred or even particularly endogamous as a whole. Ireland was, until the famine, actually overcrowded. Furthermore there's no custom of marrying cousins.

    In addition, a lot of my British ancestry comes from big cities, like London, Liverpool, Southampton. My ancestors actually moved around a lot over time. London was the biggest city in the world at one time so there would be a lot of choice over marriage partners (including, in my case, handsome Irish fellows, lol).

    Edit: Also Norway and Shetland Islands - perhaps there could be some similarity there, some recent common descent via many Vikings. But Finland and County Mayo? Poland and County Mayo?
    Some areas are known to be pretty genetically homogenous - Orkneys for example. It could be there was a Scandinavian sailor here or there in some Brits ancestry, but I don't think it can account for the large scale unusually high Scandinavian matches for Brits/Irish descended people on MyHeritage. I think it must be pile up /excess IBD/IBS areas that other companies like Ancestry deliberately ignore.

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