search this blog

Monday, February 13, 2017

American Midwest: home away from home


Potentially interesting factoid: the American Midwest harbors populations with some of the highest levels of European hunter-gatherer and Early Bronze Age steppe ancestry in the world today, because it was mainly settled by migrants from East Central Europe, Finland, Northern Germany and Scandinavia. Was this by coincidence or design (ie. their preference for the Midwest climate?). I have no idea, kind of cool though. Click for larger view...



Citation...

Han, E. et al. Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North america. Nat. Commun. 8, 14238 doi: 10.1038/ncomms14238 (2017).

9 comments:

jv said...

Wonderful post, and thank you from the American Midwest! Lots of German immigrants specifically in my State.(As a little girl, went to lots of beer gardens!) My paternal Grandmothers family came from the Hannover area(her mtDNA K2a arrived in Germany with Neolithic Farmers and K2a was obtained from the Globular Amphorae Culture in Poland) My maternal ggg left Germany also (Lower Franconia) for Iowa in 1850. But her mtDNA lineage entered Germany about 3000 years later than mtDNA K2a, with the Pontic-Caspian Steppe folks! I hope to go Germany and see the Prehistory Museum in Halle someday. I love the Corded Ware & Bell Beaker artifacts.

jv said...

ie. their preference for the Midwest climate?.......Preference for good farm land. My Dad's mothers(my Grandma didn't speak English until she was 7 years old) family settled in Dubois Co with other Northern German immigrants and farmed. Just a short bit of info: when German immigrants brought their hardy beer recipes to St Louis MO they had to change them due to the HOT HUMID St Louis weather! That heavy beer had to be lightened in the sweltering summers in the Lou!

Chad Rohlfsen said...

Lots of Northern Europeans here in the Upper-Midwest.

Samuel Andrews said...

@jv,
"Lots of German immigrants specifically in my State"
"My paternal Grandmothers family came from the Hannover area"

Yep, wery typical. Definitely well over 50% of MidWestern White Americans from our generation have at least one great or greatx2 grandparent from Germany. Our Vice President and President had a paternal German grandfather.

But Britain is definitely the biggest genetic contributor for White Americans. IMO, British ancestry has been forgotten because British-descended Americans were just Americans while immigrants had a ethnic label.

jv said...

@ Samuel Andrews
I won't say British ancestry was forgotten in the Midwest! Actually, to be an immigrant from Britain was preferred from what I understand. My maternal Grandmother's fathers family settled in Connecticut in 1650. They were Puritan and had many family members in Mass. & Ct. Also, 3 of my Grandfathers on that side served in the Revolutionary War(Yankees) and their daughters and wives joined the DAR. My Great Grandpa Crane was very proud of his Colonial American heritage and felt superior to recent immigrants in Iowa. Even today in my family, there is a bias towards immigration from England. My Great Grandfather Fox came over from England and many members of the family settled in Wisconsin. My mother is very proud of her British ancestry. Probably, when folks are recent migrates to the US or have deeper connections to Colonial America, they are just reaching out to some roots somewhere! Seems all our recent and ancient relatives did nothing but migrate!

jv said...

Here are some mtDNA results from my workplace in the Midwest!(only 22 employees) I believe this reflects the high level of mtDNA diversity in the Midwest. Paternal Grandmother K2a, maternal Grandmother H6a1a2ba, coworker U5a, coworker J1c4, coworker I4. It's all there: Hunter Gatherer, Neolithic Farmer and Bronze Age Steppe Culture...........(I'm rather surprised that I'm the only mtDNA H as mtDNA H is so common!)

Mark B. said...

When Scandinavians started to emigrate to the United States, most were looking for land to farm. They passed by the country that had already been settled, and stopped when they found available land - which was the upper Mid-West. (Unlike my Swedish grandparents, who got off the boat in Boston and stayed). Early German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania and then Ohio, and the last big spurt ended up further west. There were, however, areas in the Mid-West that were settled by New England Yankees, like west-central New York state, Michigan and parts of Ohio.

Ryan said...

It's more just about when each area was settled. When regions went through mass emigration thanks to the population boom associated with the agricultural/industrial revolutions, they went to wherever they could. If folks were picking places based on climate I'd think Australia would never have been settled at all, or entirely by southern Europeans.

Fanty said...

Hm. It was like 1998, when I first read on a website, that Germans are the second largest migrant group in the USA (Irish are number 1) and that they preferably settled in regions with high levels of northern Europeans and that most of them settled in the northern states.

So it seems, this was known since quiet some time.