Friday, November 30, 2012

Swedish roots

Swedish rune-stones often contains genealogical info
During many years I have assisted lots of people to find and trace their Swedish roots. Most of this genealogical research have been traditional, using church-records and other written sources.
Today I am also using DNA as a useful and interesting tool. The possibilities with using DNA in genealogy are many and will probably become even more useful in the near future.

When it comes to Swedish roots and traditional research, it is often possible to go back in time about 350 years and then there are no more reliable sources to use. You may be "lucky" and find parts of your ancestry to be from a "famous" or noble family, letting you get some generations even further back in time, but that is rare and becomes very speculative in most cases.

The autosomal DNA-tests like FamilyFinder, is intended to use for close genealogy, about 5 generations or so. But we are many that have discovered that when it comes to Swedish roots, it is not unusual to find DNA matches that are way further back in time.
One explanation for this could be that Sweden is a small country and that we always have had a rather small population. "We are all related more or less with each other"...

Many people with Swedish roots, notice when looking at their ancestry some generations back, we find that some individual ancestors can be found several times and in several positions in the family tree.
It is estimated that in year 1650, Sweden had a total population less than 1 000 000 people.
So the last 350 years our population have grown to almost 9 500 000 and most of us will find some sort of genealogical connection with each other if we go back 7-10 generations.

This means that the foundation or base for our DNA is somewhat limited and that some parts of it have been able to survive recombination and "wash out" for much longer time than it would in more diverted populations.

This will probably make it possible for us to find out more about our ancestry as the database grows with more DNA-profiles every day. And maybe give us an chance to map parts of our Swedish ancestry perhaps 500 year or more back in time.

If you have Swedish roots and have taken a genealogical DNA-test, please consider to participate in the Sweden DNA project