I keep meaning to delve deeper into DNA research but to date haven't ventured very far. But a recent email from Living DNA offering a Viking upgrade caught my attention. A perusal of the Living DNA site showed more information about the upgrade and I wondered if it would be worth my while. Didn't my ethnicity on the site show Scandinavian ancestry that I'd related to Viking incursions into the Western Isles of Scotland?
Well, Scandinavia used to show up as 13.9% of my ancestry. In the current update to Living DNA's ethnicity results there was no indication that I had any ancestry from that area at all. Ancestry DNA's ethnicity estimate still showed 3% Sweden and Denmark, but then the ethnicity estimates of the various DNA testing companies differ widely.
Living DNA's Viking upgrade offer intrigued me so I decided to pay for it. Perhaps it will add some depth to my Scottish ancestry or a dash of the unknown. Then again, the Vikings in my family's past could come from other parts of my family tree. I was able to trace the roots of my colonial ancestors, the Tripps, from Rhode Island back to Horkstow, Lincolnshire. Trawling the internet I found reminders of Viking incursions on the east coast of England and vaguely remember studying the Danelaw in school. It will be interesting to find out my results.
DNA and the possibilities of its use in historical studies have long interested me. I read a lot of books about history and find that nonfiction accounts of historical events and people have become more readable over the years. Lately, many of them have included DNA as part of their findings in discussions about the origins of populations. But their references can be disappointing at times. I can remember picking up The Scots: A Genetic Journey anticipating an in-depth story of Scotland and its peoples. It was that but, unfortunately the only DNA information included was the male signatures from Y-DNA found in various regions. That's probably useful if you know the Y-DNA signature of your own line but limiting if it is your maternal line that you can trace back to the region. Now that Ancestry has brought out its ethnicity inheritance update and Living DNA its Viking upgrade offer, it seems there is an increased emphasis on population make up. Perhaps these new tools and further fine tuning of population DNA information will lead to books about history which include a wider range of DNA results in their population information. I know I would appreciate books written about genetic origins of populations I could relate to my own DNA results.
Information about Lincoln https://www.visitlincoln.com/blog/when-the-vikings-ruled-lincoln
Moffat, Alistair and James F. Wilson, The Scots: A Genetic Journey. Birlinn Limited, Edinburgh, 2011