Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Genetic Analyses

I've been playing with updated GEDmatch analyzers (of my raw genetic data) and here are some of my results! These results pretty much confirm what I already know about myself - that I am predominantly Northern and Northwestern European. The second image also supports my Anglo-Saxon ancestry as a primary one for me as I am genetically closer to the West German (historical territory of the Angles and Saxons) population than to any other, with Southwest England (the English Anglo-Saxon kingdom) coming in second. Although the next orders vary a bit depending on the type of analysis, then comes the Norweigian Viking contribution. Then comes North Sea Celto-Germanics (Saxons and Celts in the area of the Dutch Netherlands) contribution. Then comes Swedish and Danish Viking contributions. Then comes the Gaelic-Celtic contribution. So, even though my interpretation is simplistic, this explains why I am most drawn to the pantheon of my Germano-Scandinavian ancestry than to any others - I am mostly Germanic (Anglo-Saxon-Scandinavian) with Celtic contributions coming in a close second.

Northern & Northwestern European

Western German & English Anglo-Saxon, Norweigian Viking, North Sea Celto-Germanic, Swedish and Danish Vikings, Gaelic-Celtic

Northern & Northerwestern European

Northern & Northwestern European

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Upper Paleolithic Lappish Peculiarities

Me at various ages.

I often write about my Saami (Scandinvaian Lapplanders) ancestors, but my U5b1b1-T16192C! motherline is most likely proto-Saami (although my motherline is also found among the Saami without the extra mutation), as most (but not all) modern Saami carry 1 extra mutation at np 16144 that I don't carry. The defining Saami-specific motif mutation at np 16144 is believed to have split off from my motherline about 4000 years before the present. So, my motherline and the Saami (also known as Lapps) shared a common ancestor (and were of a common genetic people) at least over 4000 years ago.

This being understood, given the high likelihood that I inherited my short 5'2" stature from my circumpolar Lapplander ancestors, the proto-Saami/Lapps, I decided to evaluate other features of myself I may have inherited from these ancestors.

First, my ash blonde hair - while I am also a mixture of Nordic (Germanic Anglo-Saxon-Fennoscandian-Keltic) European racial stocks (where blondism is common), blondism is also found among pure Lapps (without Nordic admixture). When blondism is found among pure Lapps, it is ashen blonde. Ash blonde hair is characteristic of Lapps found in Finland and the Kola Penninsula.

Lapp hair is usually thick and wavy, mine is fine and straight - so while my hair color may have come from my Lapp ancestry, it's texture most likely did not. So, it's still unclear to me if my blondism came from my Lappish or Nordic ancestors.

Graying comes late for Lapps. I haven't a gray hair on my head yet, even at 53 years old, so this physical trait may be Lappish.

Second, my eyes, both color and character - while pure dark eyes are found in Reindeer Lapps and in a few in Norway, fairer light-mixed green-cast brown irises in eyes like mine are also common among Lapps of Finland. (My eyes are lighter than they appear in the attached monochrome photos).

Increasingly, based on my Lappish phenotypic traits, it looks like my proto-Lappish ancestors lived in or migrated specifically to the area of circumpolar Finland.

Not so much as an adult (though still minimally present), but more pronounced during one portion of my childhood, my eyes have a mild fold of skin slightly above my eyelid (see red arrows in attached photo) - this fold is a Lappish trait - it is not a Mongoloid epicanthic fold which covers the inner corner of the eye - according to Schreiner's detailed study of Lapp craniology, it "signifies that the original ancestral Lapps represented a stage in the evolution of both Upper Paleolithic Europeans and Mongoloids (in other words, the eye fold.characteristic of the Lapps is a trait which developed among homo sapiens predating the racial split between Europids and Mongoloids) .. In view of the Upper Paleolithic white and of mongoloids, this divergence of the Lapps from the others must have taken place as early as the Laufen glacial retreat*. Their area of specialization was presumably Western Siberia. Their specialization there shows little interference (from other genetic groups). From there they spread over Finland and northwestern Russia, then to Scandinavia during the first millennium CE". Scientists further write that "some of the Lappish peculiarities may have been common possessions of the Upper Paleolithic peoples (and) there may have been transitional forms between Lapps and Europeans. In other words, Lapps may represent a pure ancestral form common to all admixed European strains of humanity.

*The Laufen glacial retreat refers to the warm phase of the Würm glaciation, the glaciation dated to c. 24,000–10,000 BP (before present).

Interestingly, I'm finding that studying racial phenotypic characteristics is a really good way to find out about one's ancestors and ancestral migrations - information can be found in these studies tracing development of racial phenotypes about ancestral migrations that one won't find anywhere else.

Friday, December 12, 2014

My White Racial Phenotype

Images of me throughout childhood and as a teenager.

I know my genetic ancestry is primary Northwestern European Keltic-Germanic (Keltic-Anglo-Saxon-Fennoscandian with some Saami), so I decided to see if my phenotype matches my known genotype. I know I have a genetic contribution of up to 12% from Central Europe (which includes Slavic and Keltic populations).

Me as a young woman.

The photos shown in this post are of me at different ages throughout my childhood, as a teenager and as a young woman (when my facial features were more sharply defined than they are now at age 53). My eyes look darker in the photos than they actually are - they are a dark green-cast brown in real life. I'm short, with fine bone structure (as opposed to a robust bone structure). I was really pale when I was a child, so much so that school officials thought I was anemic. I do tan without problem though, and I'm not as pale now as I was when I was younger. My skin tone is still pale, but it's a bit more rosy now than it used to be. The white-blonde hair of my childhood has darkened considerably with age, it's now very dark ash blonde. My lips are rather thin. So, I know I'm a phenotypic mixture as well as a genotypic admixture.

After looking at photos of other subrace phenotypes of Caucasoid Europeans, I've decided my European racial phenotype (also supported my my genotype) looks like a hybrid Anglo-Saxon-Keltic-Nordid type touched with some Saami (based on comparing my facial features with types shown on the linked pages and compared with descriptions of the stature/height of the Saami) -

Anglo-Saxon Nordid: - "Iron Age Hallstatt Nordid altered by mixture with Cro-Magnid and probably additional Corded elements. The influence of a Borreby or similar brachycephalic strain may be of secondary importance."

Keltic Nordid: - "The Keltic Nordid type probably shares its earliest formative history with the Hallstatt variety, or a similar proto-strain. The migratory existence associated with the ancestry of the Keltic type clearly involved the absorption of several non-Nordid strains, most importantly central European Dinarid (probably by association with the Bell-Beaker culture of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages). In this respect, one might say it is intermediate between the Hallstatt and Norid types. Additionally, the Keltic Nordid has mixed with Atlanto-Mediterranid (cf. North-Atlantid), the latter of which is probably present at a low level in the Keltic Nordid population as a whole."

None of the other type faces on the website look much like mine. I guess what threw me a bit when first trying to pin down my own phenotype is the fact that I am short, my mom is short and my daughter is short (while the types above tend to be tall types). Nevertheless, my dad is tall and my sons are tall, so maybe the female shortness in my maternal-line female family comes from my Saami genes (especially since my paternal grandmother and paternal aunts are tall, and my Saami connection is through my ancestral U5b1b1-T16192C! genetic motherline).

Saami (stature) - This page ( ) shows photos of Saami people, and while my face doesn't at all look Saami, the Saami are of short stature. So, I am pretty convinced that my shortness and the shortness of my mother and daughter comes from our X-chromosome Saami genes.

So, it looks as if my phenotype matches my known genotype - AngloSaxon-Keltic-Nordic-Saami (i.e. Germanic-Keltic-Saami) - My facial features are therefore, basically admixed Nordid, and even though my overall bone structure is rather fine (as opposed to robust), my height is short.

All of this taken together also identifies some the more ancient genetic cultures which contributed to making me - Hallstatt Nordid, Norid, Corded Ware, Bell Beaker, Cro-Magnid, Saami, European Dinarid, North Atlantid and possibly Borreby.

More information:
a good summary of the Europid types
Nordid / Cro-Magnoid Types 

Monday, December 01, 2014

My African Ancestry

Some of my STR autosomal DNA genetic results from DNATribes.
I have some North African DNA (which is considered to be part of the Caucasoid European - Near Eastern genetic group, see below) and a miniscule amount of DNA from the Horn of Africa (which is considered to be part of Sub-Sarahan Africa, see above). My own North African genetic connection is through the Berber tribe (to which I have distant genetic matches and which are considered to be of Caucasian origin).

The Horn of Africa is known from ancient manuscripts to be the original home of the Berbers (Bilad al-Barbar or Land of the Berbers). My Northern European Saami-North African Berber connection (through my U5b1b1-T16192C! genetic motherline is at least 9000 years old, and given that the amount of genetic input I received from the Horn of Africa is very miniscule as compared to the North African genetic input (which is itself miniscule as compared to the pan-European genetic input), I'm guessing that the Horn of African genetic input likely occurred before anatomically modern humans (AMH) left Africa - in other words, before the differentiation of the races as we know them today.

At the time anatomically moderns humans were all in Africa, the racial type distinctions we are familiar with today (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid) did not yet exist. The different human racial types evolved through time as AMH mixed genetically with other archaic hominids particular to their regions of evolutionary development.

One cool thing I found by re-examining my African genetic ancestry - by oral family tradition, I have some Native American ancestry, but my specific Native American genetic panel came back all negative, yet evidence for it is here in this chart - my Native American genetic ancestry is seen as Mestizo in the graph, which is a mixture of Native American and European ancestry.

Dare to be true to yourself.