Over the last year or two, I've been trying to trace some family history, and at the end of last year, I sent off for one of Ancestry.com's DNA tests.
When the results came back, there were no huge surprises - more Scottish and Irish blood than I'd expected, and some Norwegian/Icelandic ancestry (but not much).
This week, though, they sent an email updating the results, because they have now refined the process further and have more DNA samples to compare. And the results are very intriguing (well, to me, at least).
They came out as:
39% Welsh, and specifically south-east Wales, which is my mother's mother's side of the family, and which I already have a lot of background on.
30% English, particularly Devon and Cornwall. Again, I knew about the latter part.
18% Scottish - we'd always known that my dad had some Scottish blood, but this is much more than expected, so it's one of the areas I really want to dig into.
3% Irish - not sure where this comes from at all.
10% Norwegian/Icelandic - certainly no idea where this comes from. Reading the background notes, this isn't anything to do with 'Viking' blood, as that would come under the other headings. It's more recent than that. There is a bit of a Norwegian link to Cardiff, but I think more likely this is from my dad's side of the family (some of whom were trawlermen), possibly connected to the Scottish link.
Funnily enough, I also came across this story online yesterday. It confirms that, back in the so-called Dark Ages at least, what we once thought were ethnic groups were often nothing of the sort - 'Viking' came to be applied to people with no Scandinavian DNA at all, in the same ways as 'Anglo-Saxons' came to be used to refer to any of the Germanic settlers who arrived in the UK - Frisians, Franks and others would have been among them.