Posted by Kristen Hyde on August 16, 2017 in AncestryDNA

We gave AncestryDNA tests to the residents of Bledington in Gloucestershire, in a landmark study that tested the DNA of a community of people in a concentrated area.

The residents of Bledington thought they’d just be your average Brits, but what we uncovered was a community rich in diversity who were a lot more connected to each other than they ever thought possible.

This is one of their stories.

Sylvia Reeves

Sylvia Reeves is 93 and is the oldest member of the Bledington community.

Though not born in the village, Sylvia (93) has lived in Bledington for over a quarter of a century and led the local historical society for several years. She holds a keen interest in local history and was excited to take an AncestryDNA test and learn more about her own personal heritage.

She took the AncestryDNA test knowing a fair amount about her background already and was pleased to be able to confirm she was 87% British and 5% Irish. She also had 4% Western Europe heritage present in her DNA.

Yet a much bigger surprise came in the form of a cousin match in the village. In fact, Sylvia was related to another local resident and family friend, Steve.

Talking about the discovery, Sylvia said:

“I’ve been here in Bledington for 56 years and I’ve known Steve’s family ever since I have been here. I even watched his parents courting, so, to find out we are related is amazing. I would have never have dreamt it especially because Stephen is rooted round here whereas I came to Bledington by chance.”

Born in London, Sylvia’s Genetic Community showed a strong affinity with the South of England but also the Midlands, reflective of her family in Essex, Suffolk, Devon, and Lancashire.

Genetic Communities is based on innovative new analysis techniques developed by Ancestry’s science team. Applying rigorous statistics and scientific development, their analysis can connect you through your DNA to places your ancestors called home and the migration paths they followed to get there.

Talking about the experience of the village being tested and discovering her new relation, Sylvia said:

“It’s amazing – I’d never have dreamt it, but I’m so pleased it’s happened.”

If, like Sylvia, you’re looking to find out more about your personal heritage – your DNA results could help uncover more about your family and the movements that led you to where you are today. Take an AncestryDNA test to find out more.

Kristen Hyde

Kristen is Ancestry's Social Media Manager for the United Kingdom.

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