Wellcome Trust Mapping Britain’s Genealogy

Mapping British Genealogy

The Wellcome Trust’s Map of British Genealogy creates a fascinating picture of the DNA heritage of the people of the British Isles. The process of collecting the 2000 samples from the UK, was in itself, an interesting process, selecting from people who had both sets of grandparents originating from the same rural area as themselves. Not an easy task, when one considers the amount of migration that took place in the latter part of the C19th.

They also sampled 7000 participants from Europe and looked at 500,000 markers. The results are interesting for lots of reasons, not least though because they reflect so well what we know about the history of our islands and the regular incursions from our neighbours in continental Europe. It adds ‘scientific glue’, to historical knowledge and conjecture.

What perhaps is most surprising, is not that the results reveal migration patterns that we assumed would be there but that they show where there has been little migration, where communities have not had much interference from migrant communities.

More to explore about Mapping British Genealogy

This work heralds the beginning of a whole new area of study and research, showing how science and it’s methodology can help unravel history.

  1. Oxford University 2015 News Letter on the Project’s continuing progress.
  2. It formed the centre piece of The Royal Society’s free summer exhibition 2012
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