S4C Heno presenter Angharad Mair discovered live on air on Heno tonight (Friday 16 January) the results of her ancestral DNA test done as part of the exciting, far-reaching CymruDNAWales project.
Beti George, one of the presenters of S4C’s forthcoming series DNA Cymru, revealed to Angharad to which haplogroup she belongs. A haplogroup is a lineage group of people who share a common ancestor.
Angharad's maternal lineage is K – Levantine.
Scientists believe that the haplogroup K arose in the Levant – on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, where the countries of Lebanon, Syria and Israel are situated today. The first women of haplogroup K came to Europe between 9,000 and 7,000 years ago.
This genetic marker was spread throughout western Europe by women who brought farming techniques from the Middle East.
About 8% of women in Wales belong to haplogroup K.
Angharad also discovered that 49% of her genome is from the Northwest European ancestry cluster but, interestingly, 21% comes from the Ashkenazi-Jewish ancestry cluster and 15% from the Balto-Slavic. Her results suggest that the Ashkenazi-Jewish element arose within the last 6 to 8 generations.
Communities of Ashkenazi Jews from eastern Europe have been in Swansea since the middle of the eighteenth century and in Cardiff since 1813.
Reacting to the results, Angharad Mair said; "I was looking forward to hear my result, especially after hearing some of our viewers’ results on Heno on Monday night. This project is very interesting because the results will tell us more than just whether I’m from the north or the south!
"I was convinced that I was 100% Welsh, but now I know that if I follow my ancestry back a couple of centuries, this is not the case. Obviously, my roots lay elsewhere! I was surprised to hear that I have some Jewish blood. I’m definitely going to research more into this."
The series DNA Cymru begins soon on S4C. Presented by Beti George, Jason Mohammad and Dr Anwen Jones, it aims to use ancestral DNA testing to discover the genetic make-up of the people of Wales and to answer certain fascinating historical questions.
Watch Heno online on demand on S4C Clic. And find out more about the CymruDNAWales project on s4c.co.uk/cymrudnawales