Residents of quintessential English village shocked by DNA test, which reveals Irish ancestry

Residents of quintessential English village shocked by DNA test, which reveals Irish ancestry

RESIDENTS of a quintessential English village who believed they were virtually 100 per cent British have discovered a healthy dose of Irish in their genetic make-up.

Census data for the Cotswolds village of Bledington listed the community as 95 per cent white British, however a DNA project involving 120 villagers revealed not one person was 100 per cent British (Anglo Saxon).

And despite the majority thinking they would have no foreign blood, 17 per cent of the DNA of the average person tested was Irish, Scottish or Welsh.

“Don’t tell Nigel Farage,” quipped one of the participants upon finding out her results.

Another participant, Sue Windsor, was shocked to discover she had no British DNA but was 23 per cent Irish.

“I was a bit surprised because I have got 69 per cent Europe West, 23 per cent Ireland and 8 per cent other regions,” she told the Evening Standard.

"I haven't got any British in me, which I was a bit taken back by because my family has always lived in this country."

Collectively, only 43 per cent of the DNA was Anglo-Saxon, with Western Europe (France and Germany) accounting for 21 per cent followed by the three Celtic nations on 17 per cent.

The rest of the DNA was made up of a further 15 global locations, from Scandinavia (10 per cent) to Melenasia in the Pacific (0.01 per cent).

The project was carried out by DNA testing service AncestryDNA, who chose Bledington for its size, scenic location and community spirit.

Saliva samples of 120 residents, aged 19 to 93, were collected and each person’s genome was analysed and matched to a database of 700,000 global DNA samples.

Russell James of AncestryDNA said: “Despite the majority of residents assuming they were British through and through, this fascinating process uncovered some incredibly diverse heritage and allowed us to take a broader look at the genetic history of the village as a whole.

“It seems that Bledington’s picturesque and arguably ‘typical England’ look and feel is deceiving as, on average, less than half of the villagers’ DNA was identified as Great British.”