How English is the typical English village? We DNA tested the residents from the town of Bledington, Gloucestershire in a landmark DNA study that aimed to explore the ethnic origins of a community in a concentrated area.
Along with learning more about their ancestral heritage, some of the villagers also discovered they were more closely connected to their neighbours than they expected.
This is one of their stories.
A member of the parish council, Steve (46) has lived in Bledington and its surrounding villages his entire life. Steve’s great grandparents moved to Bledington in the 1920s and before then he believes his family was located in Chipping Camden, just 30 minutes away.
Because of his known family history, Steve expected his DNA to be largely Great British with perhaps a hint of Irish and didn’t think the test would show any unusual or exotic heritage.
But while Great British ancestry accounted for 62% of his DNA, it was this remaining 38% that came as a surprise. Going through the results, Steve learned that his DNA also had traces of European West (22%), Irish (6%), the Iberian Peninsula (4%) and European Jewish (2%).
As well as being happy to discover that his genes revealed more diversity that he expected, Steve was also pleased to find out that he was related to another villager and family friend, Sylvia (93).
Commenting on the fact that Sylvia was in fact his distant cousin, Steve said:
“Of everybody in the village, I’m really happy to be related to Sylvia. I’ve known her and the family for years so it’s fantastic to think that the connection runs a little deeper.”
In fact, Steve found that the whole experience has worked to bring residents of the village much closer together.
“This whole experience has been wonderful – a real opportunity” he said. “It’s really brought the community spirit back to Bledington.”
Just like Steve, your DNA results could uncover some surprises about your own heritage and even connect you with some long lost family. Take an AncestryDNA test to find out more.