The Final Piece of My Genetic Make Up
DNA Never Lies
As previously blogged, DNA never lies. It can take you in some unexpected directions, which is why I enjoy the journey so much. So much to discover about one’s origins.
When I first received my DNA ethnicity results from Ancestry, using their atDNA test, I looked eastwards, as there were some small DNA traces (<1%) on that horizon. Something different to my expected western European mix of resident British ancestry, with Irish, Viking and Huguenot input, typical of one from the British Isles. There was a part of my genetic story that was missing and unexplained.
I had no known Indian or Middle Eastern blood in my family tree, so these traces obviously referred to some earlier origins.
Apparently, a number of families in the Kingswood area of Bristol have Gypsy origins, like many other parts of Britain, which introduces a whole new line of investigation. I have a good part of my origins in that part of the World. Some of the family-adopted surnames include common Bristol-area names such as LOVELL & JEFFERIES, to name just two. Kingswood would have been a natural place for settlement, away from the city of Bristol (Britain’s largest city at the time, due to mercantile shipping).
A 6th cousin and I share proven DNA back to a MONKS = HIGGS marriage in Stapleton, a village situated just outside of Bristol, which took place in 1773. She has known gypsy connections, and my ethnicity shows I have a connection too, possibly from a different source. These families probably intermarried for a long period, so it would only take one marriage somewhere in the area, in my line, to provide this DNA result, or from a similar group elsewhere in England.
The Roma People
The Roma or Gypsy people first settled in Britain in C15th having migrated from their original Northern India homeland. This is a different ethnic group to other travelling people incorrectly called “gypsies”, for e.g. Irish, and have been DNA-matched in studies to the Dalit people from the area now known as Rajasthan. The Roma have been naturalized in Britain over a period of more than 500 years.
The Gypsy in Me, The Gypsy in You
So, if your “Ancestry DNA Story” shows a similar easterly pattern, there’s almost certainly some gypsy in you too!
Mark Grace (“The Geneal Geologist”), Resident Genealogist, Ballynoe House