Genetic estimate of percent Irish ancestry in US

'Based on AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates for over 300,000 AncestryDNA customers*, the AncestryDNA science team set out to discover the “most Irish” regions of the U.S.':

States with the highest Irish ancestry

First, for all AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates of people born in the same state, we averaged their fractions of Irish ethnicity. Then, we found the U.S. states whose residents have the highest, and lowest, amounts of Irish ancestry.

On the map are the top five states with the highest average Irish ancestry. Massachusetts is #1, and all of the other top states are also in the Northeast.

AncestryDNA estimates its Massachusetts-born customers average 28.5% Irish genetically, which is reasonably close to my surname-based estimate of 26% (using 1940 census data).

AncestryDNA's estimates of Irish ancestry for much of the rest of the country are likely inflated, however. AncestryDNA's "Irish" cluster spills over into Scotland and Wales, and to a lesser extent even into England and France. While (in an analysis shown in the AncestryDNA white paper) 95% of Irish are placed into the "Irish" cluster, only something like 60% of British are placed into the "Great Britain" cluster (with most of the rest presumably being placed into either the "Irish" or "Europe West" clusters). AncestryDNA's estimates rely on ADMIXTURE, an allele frequency-based approach, whereas I think very large data sets and an approach that makes use of haplotype information will be needed to clearly dissect recent ancestry within Northwestern Europe.


Anonymous said...

Yet people like Jayman believe the Wasps still exist.

pconroy said...

"AncestryDNA's estimates of Irish ancestry for much of the rest of the country are likely inflated, however."

I don't agree with this at all - in fact I think the reverse is probably more true.

I grew up in Ireland and I'm Irish, as in all my family are Irish for at least 300 years.

I tested with 23andMe and have over 2,500 genetic relatives - more than most people of "Colonial American" descent. But here's the thing, about 2/3 of these relatives live in 5 US states in the American South, yes South, not North East. They live in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana.

I have no record of any relatives immigrating to the Americas, much less to the American South - so how can this be?! Answer, Oliver Cromwell exported hundreds of thousands of Irish as slaves to the new world, including the Caribbean and the Carolinas. Among these were over 100,00 children between the ages of 10-14. Mot of these people eventually lost their identity as Irish and became, "Scotch-Irish", "English" or "American" over time.

I am in contact with one relative in South Carolina who traces her Irish ancestry to a 13 yo Irish slave, who arrived in the Carolinas in 1665. I'm in contact with another Southerner who though she was 100% English by descent, and told me that her last European relatives came over by 1620.

So the North East Irish just measures mostly the descendants of the Second Irish Genocide (aka the Great Famine or the Potato Famine), not all the countless Irish who arrived from the 1600's onwards.

Also, worth pointing out that the first Irish in the Americas - apart from St Brendan the Navigator in the 6th century - were the Hispano-Irish, who were descended from the Irish in Spain, and went with the conquistadors to the New World. Some went directly to New Spain from Ireland as colonists, particularly to the province of New Spain called Texas - yes that Texas. Indeed the last "Spanish" governor of New Spain was Juan O'Donoju (Sean O'Donhoue, of Hispano-Irish descent). Both my parents and I have relatives in Texas of supposed Hispanic descent, also relatives in the Santa Fe hispanic and Hispano communities, as well as many Mexican relatives.

Some Americans think that John F Kennedy was the first Irish president, when in fact there were over 10 Irish descended presidents before him. He was just the first Catholic Irish president.

Anonymous said...

pconroy is an Irish nigger concern troll.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is a simpering coward!

Anonymous said...

Texas and the Mountain West and places like Washington state as as well at least a couple upland south states (Kentucky for example) have had a lot of Gaelic Irish settlement. Place names, and common name frequency analysis bear this out. Saying this is an underestimate because they were actually Welsh or Scotts-Irish is not telling the whole truth of American settlement.