Genotype tests reveal most Brits have Neanderthal DNA—and all of them are immigrants

May 4, 2023

Hmmm, if you are a Brit, your ancestry might be a bit different from what you thought it was, reports Eastman’s Online Genealogy News (EOGN).

Indeed, if you ever have felt that you don’t quite fit into modern society, that could be the “caveman” in you. According to EOGN, every Briton has inherited DNA that stretches back 50,000 years and more—and still may play a part in both their appearance and their world views.

New tests focusing on elements in our DNA called Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs) can track ancestry back to the Stone Age (Palaeolithic period) and map our lineage across time and locations.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that it’s possible that certain genetic variations inherited from our ancient ancestors could even play a role in everything from Britishers’ present-day height and hair texture to their sense of smell, and whether they hate heights.

Leading testing expert, Dr. Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: “Modern humans like ourselves only reached the British Isles around 40,000 years ago and, because of the impact of the last ice age, Britain was only continually settled around 12,000 years ago. Much of our DNA dates back much further than this, meaning our origins can be traced back to places far beyond Britain.

“The journey that each of our ancestors took may be very different from that of our friends’ and neighbors’ ancestors, however, and these different migratory paths, from thousands of years ago, are still captured and represented in our blood.

“Fascinatingly, the majority of Brits have a small amount of genetic material from humans who actually arrived here far earlier than modern man. Genetic testing reveals that people of European or Asian backgrounds have around 2% Neanderthal DNA, with some individuals having even more. People of African descent, in contrast, are likely to have far less, around 0.3%.

Research contact: @Eastman’s Online Geneology