Millions of U.S. citizens have ancestry spanning the European continent, and a lot of that is made up of Germanic Europe DNA ethnicity.
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Not only do many people in the U.S. have direct German ancestry, but due to the various migrations from Europe to North America over the last 400 years or so, there are millions of people who will have Germanic Europe DNA without even knowing it.
When testing your DNA with companies like Ancestry DNA, you’ll have seen that there have been significant changes to the way that they report the results.
This doesn’t mean your results were wrong before, but rather that there are constant advancements in the field that provide more detail when reporting results. One of the most important changes has been the renaming of “Europe West DNA” to “Germanic Europe DNA”.
This change was made a few years back in 2018 during the summer, so if you were to relook at your results, your ethnicity estimates may look a bit different from before and your results for your ethnicity estimates may have changed as they are an estimate of results.
The reason this was done is to give a more refined geographical location to your DNA ethnicity when you conduct the test.
Where previously the whole of Western Europe would have been included, the results are more refined to include areas of Western Europe, such as the Germanic regions of Western Europe.
This article covers what exactly “Germanic Europe” ethnicity and region are, how Germanic Europe DNA originated, and much more about the Germanic Europe DNA on Ancestry, so read on to learn about your Germanic ancestry!
What Countries Belong To The Germanic Europe DNA Ethnicity?
You can find the Germanic Europe DNA region in the northwest of Western Europe. This is next to the Eastern Europe and Russian DNA region. Surrounding this region is France, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Croatia.
The region of DNA that is the Germanic Europe DNA is attributed to DNA and ethnicities found mainly in Germany. However, there are several countries around this region that are included in this region of DNA.
These include the countries of The Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, the Western Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and France.
Because the region borders Italy and Croatia in the south, there may even be instances where people of known Italian descent may have percentages of Germanic Europe DNA ethnicity.
There may also be instances where people with significant Swedish ancestry would show up to have a percentage ethnicity of Germanic Europe DNA.
Some people that have a family history directly from the geographical region will typically show a robust percentage of Germanic Europe DNA in their ethnicity results.
This could go up to percentages of 75%. However, it is important to note that there could be overlaps due to migrations over many years.
If you are from British descent, for example, you could exhibit a high percentage of Germanic Europe DNA purely based on the fact that over the years there have been several migrations of people to and from the Germanic Europe DNA region.
The same applies to Eastern Europe or Russia.
How Did Germanic Europe DNA Come About?
The DNA that is found from the Germanic Europe region is from many sources due to the prolific amounts of conflicts, invasions and migrations that have occurred over hundreds of years.
Geographical boundaries like oceans, seas and mountain ranges have also played a massive role in the development of Germanic Europe DNA as it is today. What is so great about DNA is its vastness.
This region of DNA for example, although named for it being predominantly from the country of Germany, is not just from the country of Germany.
This region of DNA, as already discussed, is attributed to many other countries each with their own identity-especially regarding linguistics and customs, even if these countries share in a portion of DNA.
The tern “Germanic” came from Roman descriptions of the tribes of people that lived in Lower, Upper and Greater Germania.
Who Were The First Inhabitants Of Germanic Europe?
According to studies and history, the first people that are considered to be “modern humans” (i.e. non-Neanderthal people who moved to this area) were the Celtics and of course, the Germanic Tribes.
The Celts were a tribe that migrated to all parts of the globe, even the most common association with them is with their presence in the British Isles in countries like Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
However, the Celts were in the Germanic Europe region around 2600 years ago and lived there for quite some time, as per evidence from many archeological studies and excavation evidence, which was long before they even thought about coming to the British Isles.
From what we know, they were quite an organized society and quite advanced for their time, despite what the Greco-Roman historians documented them as barbarians.
The Celtic society was grouped into three groups, warrior aristocracy, intellectual classes consisting of druids and poets, and then everyone else.
The Roman Celtic societies were linked to a network of trade routes that spanned the whole of Eurasia.
They also had differing gender roles than other societies of the time, as archeological evidence has found that women being warriors were commonplace.
The Germanic tribes were groups of people, originating from Scandinavia, that each had similar language innovations but different dialects, and each had variations in cultures.
Most of these tribes lived in settlements with farmsteads and when they made their way through the western part of Europe, they overpowered the Celtic tribes that were there and pressured them to either form part of their tribe or to move elsewhere.
The Germanic tribes were fierce warriors and had a strong military presence wherever they went. They raided and pillaged wherever they went to claim territory and resources.
What About The Romans?
When the Germanic tribes arrived in Europe, the Western European Roman Empire lost its military strength and what political cohesion that they were famous for, was all but diminished.
The Germanic tribes stopped the further expansion of the Roman Empire to the north and the east, which resulted in a split of Western Europe.
This was because of the Germanic tribes’ own population growth and because of invasions coming from Asian tribes, the Germanic people migrated west into Europe, the British Isles, the Mediterranean and Northern Africa – essentially overrunning the entire continent.
When the Roman Empire disintegrated in 400 A.D., conflict between tribes increased and lead to the European Migration Period—what is known as the “Völkerwanderung”.
During what is known as the Dark Ages, there was a lot of migration throughout Europe, which had a big impact on forming the Germanic Europe DNA region as we know it today.
This migration period occurred due to the conflicts described above and pressures from tribes in Asia and Eastern Europe which included the Slavs, the Huns, Bulgars, Alans, Vandals and Goth tribes.
Despite the Germanic tribes having to migrate out and fight in a lot of wars and conflicts, of all the tribes settling in Western Europe, they were successful in maintaining their tribe, which has led to the present-day Germanic Europe DNA region of countries.
Where Do The Franks Fit In?
Eventually, certain groups of Germanic tribes came together, forming Frankish Empire.
This Kingdom held the territories of the whole of Germany, most of France, Austria, The Netherlands and Northern Italy.
Because the countries in Europe have close borders, it’s not unusual for people in a certain area to have similar or some shared DNA with those people in nearby regions.
This was made easier by not having to travel long distances or by special means of transportation to get to other people.
Groups as far away from the Germanic Region like Russia, Italy or even the most northern parts of Scotland may have DNA from the Germanic Europe DNA region or vice versa.
Why Is Germanic Europe In My DNA Results?
When using Ancestry DNA, and you receive an ethnicity estimate indicating that you have Germanic Europe DNA, you may be confused as to where it comes from. Navigate to the Germanic Europe section in Ancestry to see how much DNA correlates to this region and which countries it may be associated with.
If on your results you only have a little bit of Germanic Europe DNA or if your percentage of Germanic Europe DNA ranges from 0% to another percentage, it is more likely that your relatives are not exactly from the Germanic Europe DNA region, but somewhere else close by.
As DNA science and technology continue to evolve, there is no current way to pinpoint an exact DNA percentage for each specific region and country. But, if you see a specific subregion or migration case connected to your Germanic Europe DNA on Ancestry, then you can be assured that you do in fact have Germanic Europe DNA.
There are 24 subregions or migrations that are shown on a map with your results in Ancestry and if you received one of these subregions, it will help you find out more about your ancestors.
If you only know about your ancestors to a certain extent and know that your family has lived in the U.S. forever, then you may be confused as to why you received a Germanic Europe DNA result on your test.
The U.S. falls part of these specific migrations or subregions that are indicated on your results.
Over hundreds of years, there has been a large amount of immigration of Germans to the United States, and because of this, Ancestry DNA has been able to find connections between DNA and the specific migration events stemming from Germanic Europe DNA regions, even down to which states these people migrated to.
Because groups of immigrants coming to a new country have a tendency to stick together and form communities with each other, Ancestry DNA was able to trend these movements and develop the feature of the subregions to identify where exactly our ancestors hailed from.
Connections from the Germanic Europe DNA region that are specific to the United States on Ancestry DNA are included under the sub-category of Germanic People from Austria-Hungary and the Don Steppe.
This includes groups of Germans in these areas: Dakota Drift Prairie, Southeast South Dakota, and Western North Dakota.
However, you may not get a result that has a U.S. state connection. This just means that your ancestors were just not from that specific group of Germanic people.
For instance, your ancestors could have formed from the Dutch colonies which started in New York state in the 1620s, or Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1680s or even from the South.
Most people that get the Germanic Europe DNA result on their ethnicity estimates will not be connected to subregions that are connected to specific U.S. states; instead, you may receive a result coming from one of the other six subregions of Germanic Europe DNA.
These other six subregions aren’t associated with the migrations that took place in history from the Germanic European region to the U.S. These subregions include DNA from Central and Northern Germany, Central and Southwest Germany, Coastal Northwest Germany, Germans in the Central Russian Upland, Northwest Germany, and Bavarian Forest and Pilsen.
There could be instances where you didn’t get allocated to a specific subregion on your ethnicity results, which may be because your Germanic ancestors are too distant for Ancestry to calculate or have records of, or there may have been a mixing of your ancestry from different areas within in the region of Germanic Europe.
How Do I Find Out The Specific Countries I Am From?
When conducting a DNA test with Ancestry, you will receive an ethnicity estimate. An ethnicity estimate does not necessarily mean that you have direct roots from these regions or subregions, but it may mean that there is a close association of your DNA with this specific region.
With these test results, there will be an indication of where your DNA is from through a basic overview of percentages, which will include countries such as Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Austria, France, Belgium, Poland, Hungary and other countries in the Germanic Europe region too.
If you cannot see specific countries such as The Netherlands, it could be because it is included in the Germanic Europe section.
Thus, you will not be able to see exactly which countries your Germanic Europe DNA comes from as it covers a whole region where there was a lot of migration, as discussed above.
Having a researched family tree to discover the entire story of your origins is helpful as it can help you trace the movements of your ancestors as accurately as possible.
Ancestry tests are only available in 35 countries and so Ancestry may not be able to retrieve your DNA ethnicity estimates from countries that are not on the list as there is no data for them.
This may be a reason you were expecting results from a specific country or region and did not receive them.
How Does Ancestry Calculate Your DNA Ethnicity Estimate?
When using Ancestry, you will need to submit a sample of saliva which contains DNA and thus, your genetic code specific to you.
The test is conducted using a microarray autosomal DNA test which checks for markers in your DNA and traces it back to over 700,000 different locations.
After submitting your saliva sample and doing the test, Ancestry will compare the results received on your DNA to a panel of DNA from all over the world.
These comparison DNA panels are global samples and as Ancestry receives more DNA and information from other countries, more DNA can be traced and related back to you as a user of the service.
If you have done the test before and the results are different the second time, this may mean that Ancestry received more samples to give a more accurate representation of your ethnicity estimate.
How To Use Ancestry
All you need to do to use their service is to set up an account with Ancestry. They offer a free trial which allows you the option to try out some of their features before subscribing.
Then, you can build a family tree and trace back some of your ancestors using their database. To complete the story, you can purchase a DNA test to find out your ethnicity estimate-the process of which was described above.
Ancestry can also be used to connect with familial connections and to discover records and pictures of long-lost or forgotten family members.
How To Build A Family Tree To Trace Back My DNA Results
To make discovering your roots easier, you can build a family tree and use your DNA estimates as a guide to help you get to the bottom of where you came from.
You will need an account with Ancestry to build a family tree which will give you access to worldwide records which can include censuses, birth, marriage and death certificates, immigration records, travel movements and baptism.
The tree stars with you at the center, and you can add on as many relatives as you know.
Additionally, it would be helpful to add their birth records or other records to solidify their status-this also makes it easier to trace your daily back as far as possible.
As one of the leaders in heritage sites, Ancestry can really help you get to the bottom of your roots.
Hopefully, through this article, you have a better understanding as to why you have Germanic Europe DNA on your results and can pave the way for a total understanding of who you are and where you came from, originally.
Use these to stay organized as you discover your family history!