DNA results are in from Family Tree DNA. As of today, I have 4,868 distant relatives I've matched with. I'll have to start comparing those, and working them back into the FamilySearch Tree. Below is the macro view of my test results.
Uncover the unique genetic assemblage that has been passed down to you from your ancestors, and see to which of our 90 reference populations from around the world your autosomal DNA is connected. Our clusters highlight major historical and genetic events, thus shedding light on the complexity of your genetic tapestry. Though we are all unique and distinct, we are also woven from the same fundamental elements. The meaning of each thread is yours to decipher.
The European Continent has been witness to many episodes of human migration, some of which have spanned over thousands of years. The most up-to-date research into these ancient migrations on the European Continent suggests that there were three major groups of people that have had a lasting effect on present day peoples of European descent: Hunter-Gatherers, Early Farmers, and Metal Age Invaders. The graphics below display the percentages of autosomal DNA that you still carry from these ancient European groups. You can click on these graphics to display more information.
Following the Neolithic Era (New Stone Age), the Bronze Age (3,000–1,000 BCE) is defined by a further iteration in tool making technology. Improving on the stone tools from the Paleolithic and Neolithic Eras, tool makers of the early Bronze Age relied heavily on the use of copper tools, incorporating other metals such as bronze and tin later in the era. The third major wave of migration into the European continent is comprised of peoples from this Bronze Age; specifically, Nomadic herding cultures from the Eurasian steppes found north of the Black Sea. These migrants were closely related to the people of the Black Sea region known as the Yamnaya.
The climate during the Pleistocene Epoch (2.6 mill – 11,700 YA) fluctuated between episodes of glaciation (or ice ages) and episodes of warming, during which glaciers would retreat. It is within this epoch that modern humans migrated into the European continent at around 45,000 years ago. These Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) were organized into bands whose subsistence strategy relied on gathering local resources as well as hunting large herd animals as they travelled along their migration routes. Thus these ancient peoples are referred to as Hunter-Gatherers. The timing of the AMH migration into Europe happens to correspond with a warming trend on the European continent, a time when glaciers retreated and large herd animals expanded into newly available grasslands.
Roughly 8,000–7,000 years ago, after the last glaciation period (Ice Age), modern human farming populations began migrating into the European continent from the Near East. This migration marked the beginning of the Neolithic Era in Europe. The Neolithic Era, or New Stone Age, is aptly named as it followed the Paleolithic Era, or Old Stone Age. Tool makers during the Neolithic Era had improved on the rudimentary “standard” of tools found during the Paleolithic Era and were now creating specialized stone tools that even show evidence of having been polished and reworked. The Neolithic Era is unique in that it is the first era in which modern humans practiced a more sedentary lifestyle as their subsistence strategies relied more on stationary farming and pastoralism, further allowing for the emergence of artisan practices such as pottery making.