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Cite: Bryc, Katarzyna, et al. "The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States." The American Journal of Human Genetics (2014).

Cite: Bryc, Katarzyna, et al. “The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States.” The American Journal of Human Genetics (2014).

The recent paper, The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States, brings together a lot of results which 23andMe has been letting slip in bits and pieces over the years. Most of the press coverage has focused on racial dynamics at the level we’re used to talking about today in the United States. White, black, and Latino (of whatever race). But as I told the first author at BAPG a few weeks ago the dynamics among white Americans is probably where their massive data set can shine. You see it in the figure above, which confirms what many have suspected: the states of the inland South have retained a predominant Anglo-American settler population down to the present. This is clear in their very high fraction of people of “British-Irish descent” in 23andMe Ancestry Composition nomenclature. Including the black American population the overwhelming majority of the population likely descends from people were already resident in the future continental United States in 1776 in this region. Additionally, you can tell that these results are not crazy because in the north Indiana has higher fractions than either Ohio or Illinois, which is exactly what you’d expect if you knew something about the demographic histories of these states. Indiana experienced less migration from European populations who were not of settler stock than Illinois (Chicago) and Ohio (Cleveland and Cincinnati). Similarly, Maine’s elevated fraction makes sense since rural Yankees are demographic more dominant in northern New England than they are in the southern states. Finally, the states of the old Yankee Empire of the northern Old Northwest have been totally demographically transformed by the massive waves of migration from Germany and Scandinavia.

The distinction between settler and immigrant Europeans is clear in relation to detectable non-European ancestry:

We find very low levels of African and Native American ancestry in Europeans with four grandparents born in Europe. We estimate that only 0.98% of Europeans carry African ancestry and 0.26% of Europeans carry Native American ancestry. These levels are substantially lower than the 3.5% and 2.7% of European Americans who carry African and Native American ancestry, respectively…Excluding countries that had major and minor ports in the Atlantic with strong connections to the slave trade (namely Portugal, Spain, France, and United Kingdom) and Malta, which has been the site of migrations from Africa and the Middle East, we obtain a data set of 9,701 Europeans, where we find African and Native American ancestry is virtually absent, with only 0.04% of individuals carrying 1% or more African ancestry and 0.01% carrying 1% or more Native American ancestry, within the margins of survey error estimates.

32081 The African admixture in places like the American South is almost all a function of admixture in the first 150 years or so of settlement (the exception might be Louisiana, where Spanish Creoles may have contributed some African ancestry). The historical and genetic data seem to align there. Though the racial caste system in the American South had an early origin, it became progressively more calcified and stationary as the decades progressed. But by the late 19th century when Jim Crow laws were enacted the African admixture in many Southerners was a very distant memory and thoroughly diluted. To gauge the social and demographic import, recall that detection of genetic fragments does not reflect the total genealogy. Many people with ancestors who were black American slaves do not carry any segments from those individuals, while the ones being detected in this study exhibit a relative enrichment.

In the future I would be very curious about exploring the patterns of relationship of the Anglo-American folkways, as outlined in works such as Albion’s Seed and the The Cousins’ Wars. A major problem though is that these are genetically very close to begin with. The first author of the above work suggested to me that they would need the People of the British Isles data set to get good reference populations. Perhaps in the near future that will be feasible.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: History 
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  1. Cool. This map should be seen by every reader on unz.com.

  2. “and 0.26% of Europeans carry Native American ancestry”

    Where do Europeans get Amerindian ancestry from? Spaniards migrating back from the colonies?
    And does the “Irish ancestry” in the map above refer only to Irish Protestants (Scots-Irish) or are Irish Catholics included?

  3. re: NA in europeans. i’m pretty sure it’s a false positive due to common ANE ancestry which dates back ~10,000 years ago. the irish includes all people from ireland. the british isles is somewhat hard to disaggregate, and on average shows similarity in comparison to the continent (some germanic admixture with loci around east anglia and parts of the danelaw notwithstanding).

    • Replies: @Michelle
    I have recently had my DNA tested through 23andme. I already knew that I was descended from a family of Dutch colonists to New York. I also knew we were Welsh but thought that was a more recent ad mixture. I found out that that was to the contrary and that my Welsh, G grandfather to the max was also in the colonies during the 1700's.

    As to Europeans having small bits of Native American ancestry, I believe I can answer to that. Some Native Americans did tours of Europe. Some were brought to Britain by admirers and patrons some were paraded about as exotics like animals. My family descends from New England, then, after the Revolution, from Canadian United Empire Loyalists My distant, to the max, I guess he is a cousin, as he was the son of my, great, great, etc, grandfather's brother, was a half Mississauga, Indian. My great, etc, grandfather's brother, Augustus Jones, a well known surveyor in Saltfleet, Ontario, a friend of the Mohawk Chief, Joseph Brant, had 2 Native American wives, (I know, but in this case the joke about the Native American princess in the family is documented and true) one a Mohawk and one a Mississauga. Both were daughters of Chiefs who were enemies of each other. Their son, Peter Jones,

    http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/jones_peter_8E.html

    took several trips to Britain as an adult. He was handsome by any standards, and I am sure, though he became a Christian missionary, that there were many British ladies just dying to see what was under the "Savage's" loin cloth. He being raised by his mother in a polygamous culture would have had no reason to resist such blandishments. I am sure most of the "Indian Savages" who toured Europe felt the same.

    There are also British aristocrats who are descended from Pocahontas living in the UK today. They affectionately refer to her as, Pokey.
  4. I would love to see these maps broken down to county/parish levels. Upstate New York probably looks more like Vermont; downstate Illinois might look more like Indiana, and whither the different states of California? Or maybe the effect would be to concentrate ethnic variety in “small” pinprick urban centers, leaving broad territory to a British/German rural identity.

    • Replies: @JayMan

    I would love to see these maps broken down to county/parish levels.
     
    Me too! But interestingly, at least on the state level, these agree to a rather surprising degree with Census reports. I'd see that.
  5. An anecdote that might interest you is that Birmingham, Alabama has a much higher proportion of Central Europeans, Greeks, Italians, and Lebanese than is typical in the South. As I was taught in Labor History class almost 50 years ago this is because Birmingham was booming in the late 19th and early 20th century when that wave of immigrants was arriving, unlike the rest of the South which was somewhat stagnant and had no jobs to offer them.

    Birmingham was named “The Magic City” because it grew from nothing to a fair sized city in just a few decades. Like most fast growing industrial cities it was a pretty rough place in parts.

    There was even a small Russian community with a Russian Orthodox Church.

  6. The results look robust, but I have always thought from personal experience that something is a bit off on the British/Irish versus French/German calculation on 23andme.

    My grandmother is 100% ethnic German. Her parents were “Transylvanian” Saxons (actually lived in Romanian Banat, I found as an adult) who migrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century. We have extensive family histories going back for her side of the family for centuries – all her ancestors were German, although they were from all over Germany (Alsace, Swabia, Bavaria, etc). Even on Speculative, she only shows up as 30.3% French/German, and has 8.8% British/Irish ancestry (much cannot be determined). My mother and myself, although 50% German by ancestry, come out as having way more British/Irish than French/German ancestry.

    I remember in a recent post you noted that all the Germans do not actually cluster together genetically – that some cluster with Slavs, while others cluster with the French. I wonder if this is the issue they have in their calculation – they picked a French-leaning German population, which makes the signals between the two countries hard to disentangle, and results in a large amount of German ancestry coming across as “Broadly North European.”

  7. The African admixture in places like the American South is almost all a function of admixture in the first 150 years or so of settlement

    Much of the African admixture in the newer South (e.g. Alabama) is a function of admixture in a relatively small group of families of Virginia and the Carolinas, followed by migration to the west as large extended families.

  8. The Upper Midwest is notably the least British, though still 85-90% white. These three states were strongly dissident during much of the first half of the 20th c., often being ruled by third parties. I have argued here in the past that the Albion’s Seed analysis applies poorly here. The first settlers were mostly Yankees but Scandinavian, German, and Slavic immigration overwhelmed them, and many Yankees were restless entrepreneurs who moved on to farther frontiers. The power break only came in 1920 when the Farmer Labor candidate Shipstead defeated the Republican Yankee Kellogg for the Senate, and another FL member defeated the Prohibitionist Volstead a couple years later. These white v. white elections were more ethnically more significant than you’d think, since Germans and Swedes tended to be opposed to WWI and there had been long bitter debates about alcohol and foreign languages schools.

    • Replies: @JayMan

    The first settlers were mostly Yankees but Scandinavian, German, and Slavic immigration overwhelmed them
     
    Yes. That said:

    1. the area is non-trivially British (probably mostly Yankee)
    2. Many of the settlers (probably the Scandinavians) have many similarities with the Yankees they were settling with, giving the area a Yankee character, even if that's incidental.

    But yes, the differences are significant.
  9. Before statehood (1850) names in the census were almost all British or French; the French were probably mostly Metis (mixed French-Indian).

    http://us-census.org/image-index/mn/1850/f-g.htm

  10. @Razib Khan
    re: NA in europeans. i'm pretty sure it's a false positive due to common ANE ancestry which dates back ~10,000 years ago. the irish includes all people from ireland. the british isles is somewhat hard to disaggregate, and on average shows similarity in comparison to the continent (some germanic admixture with loci around east anglia and parts of the danelaw notwithstanding).

    I have recently had my DNA tested through 23andme. I already knew that I was descended from a family of Dutch colonists to New York. I also knew we were Welsh but thought that was a more recent ad mixture. I found out that that was to the contrary and that my Welsh, G grandfather to the max was also in the colonies during the 1700’s.

    As to Europeans having small bits of Native American ancestry, I believe I can answer to that. Some Native Americans did tours of Europe. Some were brought to Britain by admirers and patrons some were paraded about as exotics like animals. My family descends from New England, then, after the Revolution, from Canadian United Empire Loyalists My distant, to the max, I guess he is a cousin, as he was the son of my, great, great, etc, grandfather’s brother, was a half Mississauga, Indian. My great, etc, grandfather’s brother, Augustus Jones, a well known surveyor in Saltfleet, Ontario, a friend of the Mohawk Chief, Joseph Brant, had 2 Native American wives, (I know, but in this case the joke about the Native American princess in the family is documented and true) one a Mohawk and one a Mississauga. Both were daughters of Chiefs who were enemies of each other. Their son, Peter Jones,

    http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/jones_peter_8E.html

    took several trips to Britain as an adult. He was handsome by any standards, and I am sure, though he became a Christian missionary, that there were many British ladies just dying to see what was under the “Savage’s” loin cloth. He being raised by his mother in a polygamous culture would have had no reason to resist such blandishments. I am sure most of the “Indian Savages” who toured Europe felt the same.

    There are also British aristocrats who are descended from Pocahontas living in the UK today. They affectionately refer to her as, Pokey.

  11. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You see it in the figure above, which confirms what many have suspected: the states of the inland South have retained a predominant Anglo-American settler population down to the present. This is clear in their very high fraction of people of “British-Irish descent” in 23andMe Ancestry Composition nomenclature. Including the black American population the overwhelming majority of the population likely descends from people were already resident in the future continental United States in 1776 in this region.

    Exactly. We’re those “American-Americans”, even when we tried out that Confederate States of America. By new world standards, we’ve been here a while (my ancestors since 1630, with everybody here by about 1720). When you let a sense of place sink in, you get some of those “irrational” attitudes that are nonetheless considered normal in other parts of the world. Cosmopolitans, forgive us for not getting with the program to become interchangeable consumption units.

  12. I wish I had caught this earlier, but by far the key thing to read (if you can’t read either Albion’s Seed or Colin Woodard’s American Nations – and even then since I add a lot of information) is my series of posts on the matter:

    American Nations Series | JayMan’s Blog

  13. @PD Shaw
    I would love to see these maps broken down to county/parish levels. Upstate New York probably looks more like Vermont; downstate Illinois might look more like Indiana, and whither the different states of California? Or maybe the effect would be to concentrate ethnic variety in "small" pinprick urban centers, leaving broad territory to a British/German rural identity.

    I would love to see these maps broken down to county/parish levels.

    Me too! But interestingly, at least on the state level, these agree to a rather surprising degree with Census reports. I’d see that.

  14. @John Emerson
    The Upper Midwest is notably the least British, though still 85-90% white. These three states were strongly dissident during much of the first half of the 20th c., often being ruled by third parties. I have argued here in the past that the Albion's Seed analysis applies poorly here. The first settlers were mostly Yankees but Scandinavian, German, and Slavic immigration overwhelmed them, and many Yankees were restless entrepreneurs who moved on to farther frontiers. The power break only came in 1920 when the Farmer Labor candidate Shipstead defeated the Republican Yankee Kellogg for the Senate, and another FL member defeated the Prohibitionist Volstead a couple years later. These white v. white elections were more ethnically more significant than you'd think, since Germans and Swedes tended to be opposed to WWI and there had been long bitter debates about alcohol and foreign languages schools.

    The first settlers were mostly Yankees but Scandinavian, German, and Slavic immigration overwhelmed them

    Yes. That said:

    1. the area is non-trivially British (probably mostly Yankee)
    2. Many of the settlers (probably the Scandinavians) have many similarities with the Yankees they were settling with, giving the area a Yankee character, even if that’s incidental.

    But yes, the differences are significant.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    2. Many of the settlers (probably the Scandinavians) have many similarities with the Yankees they were settling with, giving the area a Yankee character, even if that’s incidental.
     
    Rather reminds me of Fischer's comment in Albion's Seed about how the German settlers in colonial Pennsylvania overlapped with the English Quakers on a lot of social metrics.

    RE: Being Overwhelmed,

    Well, one should also keep the cultural version of the Founder Effect in mind. Massachusetts, for example, has seen a large infusion of non-Yankee peoples (French, Irish, Portuguese, etc), but the Yankee imprint is still quite visible.
  15. @JayMan

    The first settlers were mostly Yankees but Scandinavian, German, and Slavic immigration overwhelmed them
     
    Yes. That said:

    1. the area is non-trivially British (probably mostly Yankee)
    2. Many of the settlers (probably the Scandinavians) have many similarities with the Yankees they were settling with, giving the area a Yankee character, even if that's incidental.

    But yes, the differences are significant.

    2. Many of the settlers (probably the Scandinavians) have many similarities with the Yankees they were settling with, giving the area a Yankee character, even if that’s incidental.

    Rather reminds me of Fischer’s comment in Albion’s Seed about how the German settlers in colonial Pennsylvania overlapped with the English Quakers on a lot of social metrics.

    RE: Being Overwhelmed,

    Well, one should also keep the cultural version of the Founder Effect in mind. Massachusetts, for example, has seen a large infusion of non-Yankee peoples (French, Irish, Portuguese, etc), but the Yankee imprint is still quite visible.

  16. 14 Jayman: Well, I am somewhat Yankee (3/8) and grew up in that area. I don’t know what you mean by “non-trivially British”. It’s hard to find accurate statistics on the net, but at the link (2000) English ancestry ranks behind German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Irish at 6.3%, with 18.6% still unaccounted for, including Finns, Danes, several groups of Slavs, and 10.6% nonwhite.

    The “many similarities” amount to Protestantism and not much else, but all of the “Four Nations” were Protestant. At the very least Germans and Scandinavians should be credited as a fifth Protestant naion. In addition, 28% of Minnesota is Catholic, and an unknown but rather small number Orthodox. (I do grant that Minnesota’s moderate number of Dutch are much like the English, as rather severe Calvinists). That leaves the founder effect, and that is certainly a factor on things like the way towns are platted, etc. but not necessarily much else.

    I remain uncertain that the Albion’s Seed thesis added much. As of 1800 or so four American zones were well established, and three fit the book’s thesis: New England, Appalachia, and the lowland South. However, these grouping were already known. Interpreting the Midlands area as Quaker is the new idea the book brought, but that seems quit doubtful to me. Not only was this area also heavily German and Dutch, but this was the area through which all groups of mostly non-English immigrants were funneled after 1800. talking about Pennsylvania Germans as being Quakerlike strikes me as special pleading.

    Finally, there’s geography. Appalachia has special circumstances (generally a crappy place to make a living) not derived from English subcultures, and so did the slaveholding south.

    My own interpretation of America is that 1800 America, whatever it was, was transformed by multiple waves of non-English migrations (5/8 of my ancestry) to produce the country we see today. To me these migrations changed everything, above all in the Midlands area and the West, but also in New England (but not much in Appalachia or most of the South.)

    http://names.mongabay.com/ancestry/Minnesota.html

    • Replies: @syonredux

    I don’t know what you mean by “non-trivially British”. It’s hard to find accurate statistics on the net, but at the link (2000) English ancestry ranks behind German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Irish at 6.3%, with 18.6% still unaccounted for, including Finns, Danes, several groups of Slavs, and 10.6% nonwhite.
     
    One assumes that "non-trivially" is the opposite of "trivial." As for reported English ancestry, please bear in mind that it is rather notoriously under reported:

    Fashions change. For example, the fraction of Americans who report English ancestry has dropped drastically since 1980 – so much that so that you would have to wonder about secret death camps if you took it seriously. But it’s fashion. I looked at the census numbers for my home county, and then looked at the phone book: Census result was 20% English ancestry, real number was more like 80%. Of course this means that people in the US claiming a particular ethnicity can not only have limited ancestry from that group, but be oddly unrepresentative as well.
     
    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/being-the-dutch/

    The “many similarities” amount to Protestantism and not much else, but all of the “Four Nations” were Protestant.
     
    Well, one could also point out similarities in terms of low-levels of inter-personal violence, patterns of comity, etc. As for all four nations being Protestant, one should also bear in mind the different flavors of Protestantism that each group brought (cf, for example, the liturgy-centered Anglicanism in the Tidewater South, the more cerebral, preaching centered Puritanism in New England, etc)

    That leaves the founder effect, and that is certainly a factor on things like the way towns are platted, etc. but not necessarily much else.
     
    Town-planning is a pretty important thing in terms of establishing how towns will grow, be organized, etc. One could also point to the Founder Effect in terms of influencing patterns of elite behavior (cf how Yankee folkways still have a disproportionate influence on America via the prestige associated with attending New England boarding schools and unis)

    My own interpretation of America is that 1800 America, whatever it was, was transformed by multiple waves of non-English migrations (5/8 of my ancestry) to produce the country we see today.
     
    Changed, yes, transformed is more debatable

    To me these migrations changed everything, above all in the Midlands area and the West, but also in New England (but not much in Appalachia or most of the South.)
     
    Well, not everything, seeing as how English is the dominant language, Anglo-Saxon legal traditions remain in place, the 1789 Constitution is still the founding document, etc
  17. Passionating.

    What could be interesting would be to place white americans on the PCA of autosomal DNA of europeans, as it was done with hispanics :

    Where would white americans from Mississipi be, compared to those from Minnesota or California, … ?

  18. @John Emerson
    14 Jayman: Well, I am somewhat Yankee (3/8) and grew up in that area. I don't know what you mean by "non-trivially British". It's hard to find accurate statistics on the net, but at the link (2000) English ancestry ranks behind German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Irish at 6.3%, with 18.6% still unaccounted for, including Finns, Danes, several groups of Slavs, and 10.6% nonwhite.

    The "many similarities" amount to Protestantism and not much else, but all of the "Four Nations" were Protestant. At the very least Germans and Scandinavians should be credited as a fifth Protestant naion. In addition, 28% of Minnesota is Catholic, and an unknown but rather small number Orthodox. (I do grant that Minnesota's moderate number of Dutch are much like the English, as rather severe Calvinists). That leaves the founder effect, and that is certainly a factor on things like the way towns are platted, etc. but not necessarily much else.

    I remain uncertain that the Albion's Seed thesis added much. As of 1800 or so four American zones were well established, and three fit the book's thesis: New England, Appalachia, and the lowland South. However, these grouping were already known. Interpreting the Midlands area as Quaker is the new idea the book brought, but that seems quit doubtful to me. Not only was this area also heavily German and Dutch, but this was the area through which all groups of mostly non-English immigrants were funneled after 1800. talking about Pennsylvania Germans as being Quakerlike strikes me as special pleading.

    Finally, there's geography. Appalachia has special circumstances (generally a crappy place to make a living) not derived from English subcultures, and so did the slaveholding south.

    My own interpretation of America is that 1800 America, whatever it was, was transformed by multiple waves of non-English migrations (5/8 of my ancestry) to produce the country we see today. To me these migrations changed everything, above all in the Midlands area and the West, but also in New England (but not much in Appalachia or most of the South.)

    http://names.mongabay.com/ancestry/Minnesota.html

    I don’t know what you mean by “non-trivially British”. It’s hard to find accurate statistics on the net, but at the link (2000) English ancestry ranks behind German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Irish at 6.3%, with 18.6% still unaccounted for, including Finns, Danes, several groups of Slavs, and 10.6% nonwhite.

    One assumes that “non-trivially” is the opposite of “trivial.” As for reported English ancestry, please bear in mind that it is rather notoriously under reported:

    Fashions change. For example, the fraction of Americans who report English ancestry has dropped drastically since 1980 – so much that so that you would have to wonder about secret death camps if you took it seriously. But it’s fashion. I looked at the census numbers for my home county, and then looked at the phone book: Census result was 20% English ancestry, real number was more like 80%. Of course this means that people in the US claiming a particular ethnicity can not only have limited ancestry from that group, but be oddly unrepresentative as well.

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/being-the-dutch/

    The “many similarities” amount to Protestantism and not much else, but all of the “Four Nations” were Protestant.

    Well, one could also point out similarities in terms of low-levels of inter-personal violence, patterns of comity, etc. As for all four nations being Protestant, one should also bear in mind the different flavors of Protestantism that each group brought (cf, for example, the liturgy-centered Anglicanism in the Tidewater South, the more cerebral, preaching centered Puritanism in New England, etc)

    That leaves the founder effect, and that is certainly a factor on things like the way towns are platted, etc. but not necessarily much else.

    Town-planning is a pretty important thing in terms of establishing how towns will grow, be organized, etc. One could also point to the Founder Effect in terms of influencing patterns of elite behavior (cf how Yankee folkways still have a disproportionate influence on America via the prestige associated with attending New England boarding schools and unis)

    My own interpretation of America is that 1800 America, whatever it was, was transformed by multiple waves of non-English migrations (5/8 of my ancestry) to produce the country we see today.

    Changed, yes, transformed is more debatable

    To me these migrations changed everything, above all in the Midlands area and the West, but also in New England (but not much in Appalachia or most of the South.)

    Well, not everything, seeing as how English is the dominant language, Anglo-Saxon legal traditions remain in place, the 1789 Constitution is still the founding document, etc

  19. Looks pretty similar to the “adjusted” maps I constructed with ancestry.com’s state-level DNA data (at least in relative terms).

  20. I don’t quite understand the enthusiasm for the Albion’s Seed book. There are a lot of differences between America 2000 and America 1800, and many of them can be attributed to non English, non-Protestant immigration. The idea that everything was set by 1800 just seems wrong, though not quite as bad as French racial theories about the Gauls v. the Franks, or British theories about the Anglo-Saxons v. the Normans. Any historical event leaves traces, there are Norse traces in Northern English, bbut they shouldn’t exaggerate them. During the 19th c. it was a historian’s vice to see the real nation in the origins, the Germans in Arminius and the French in Vercingetorix or Charlemagne, but that’s myth making.

    It was already known that we live under English law with English institutions, but the book’s contribution is about whether differences between American regions can be correlated neatly to differences between British regions. The identification of the “Quaker” region, as I said, seems particularly suspect, and that’s the new idea in the book. And I doubt that, if the cavaliers had settled in New England and the Puritans had settled in Virginia and the Carolinas, the relations between the two regions would be simply reversed.

  21. don’t think the thesis is aiming toward anything ‘neatly.’ also, the book is good because many contemporary americans who are conditioned by the civil rights movement don’t really understand the deep historical roots of white sectionalism. the idea that white anglo-protestant americans had divisions is somewhat radical, even though there’s consciousness of the civil war (which i think many moderns have totally transformed into a materialist narrative about an argument about the morals of the means of production).

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