New Living DNA project aims to map Germany’s genetic history

An international group of researchers from the UK and Germany have today launched a large scale appeal to German people with four locally-born grandparents to take part in a groundbreaking DNA project that aims to map the genetic history of Germans.

The German DNA Research Project, is a collaborative project by European ancestry firm Living DNA and Germany’s largest genealogy society, Verein für Computergenealogie e.V. (CompGen). Together they are looking for individuals with four grandparents who were all born within 80 kilometres of each other to join their pioneering project by taking a simple DNA test.

By focusing on people whose grandparents were all born in close proximity, the team aims to build up the most detailed and accurate regional map of Germany’s genetic history – prior to the loss of territory and mass departures from the eastern parts of Germany that occurred as a result of WW 2.

Therefore the research team are not only looking for individuals whose grandparents have been born within the borders of contemporary Germany. They are broadening the research to include people whose grandparents were born in regions surrounding contemporary Germany, which have been part of Germany prior to WWI, especially focussing on the former eastern provinces.

In particular, the team is keen to find qualifying people from the following 24 regions, which may be distinctly genetically different: Schleswig Holstein, Lower Saxony West, Lower Saxony East, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia North, North Rhine-Westphalia East, North Rhine-Westphalia West, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, North Hesse, South Hesse, Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Upper Rhine & Black Forest, Württemberg, Swabia, Franconia & Palatinate, Upper & Lower Bavaria as well as the former provinces of Silesia, Posen, Pomerania and East & West Prussia.

To encourage individuals to take part in the project Living DNA is offering eligible persons a discounted ancestry DNA test and lifetime membership to Living DNA for just 89 € (RRP 159 €).

People who meet the research criteria, but who have already had their DNA tested, will be able to transfer their results to the project free of charge and receive a complimentary lifetime membership to Living DNA.

Under the leadership of Living DNA, the German DNA Research Project team is based on the landmark 2015 genetic study of the People of the British Isles - the first study to map the genetic history of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 2015. Key members of CompGen under leadership of German genetic genealogist Dr. Tobias Kemper, are also closely involved in the project to ensure it is as academically robust as possible.

Click here for more information on the German DNA Research Project. A German version of the website can be found here