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From Ancestry.com DNA testing, I have 11% Swedish/Danish ethnicity, but no Scandinavians in my tree. My tree is pretty good back 5 generations. My German ancestors immigrated to the USA about 1850. Comparing my ethnicity to the ethnicity of shared matches, I have narrowed it down to one German/Prussian immigrant: "Balz". A second German immigrant family (Reimer/Schröder) contributes zero to my Scandinavian ethnicity.

With the help of some nice people on this site, I have been able to trace Reimer/Schröder back to Blankenhagen, near Rostock. I have not been able to trace Balz back to Germany. But, I know that immigrants, and children of immigrants, often married people not only from their original country, but from the same geographical area of that country.

I am hoping that my Scandinavian ethnicity can be explained by known migration patterns. All of my other ethnicity can be.

I am a 9 cM DNA match to someone who is 100% Scandinavian, so the migration was probably in the early 1700s, about as far back as a DNA match can reach.

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    Does this answer your question? Isolating DNA segments related to specific ethnicity-location
    – shoover
    Jun 14, 2022 at 23:27
  • @shoover - I am hoping that my Scandanavian ethnicity can be explained by known migration patterns. All of my other ethnicity can be.
    – Mattman944
    Jun 14, 2022 at 23:34
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    I know one example in the tree of my wife where a distant relative originally from Northern Germany/then-Denmark (probably already with partly "Danish" DNA) migrated to the US in the late 1700s and married a woman from Sweden (as far as I can tell). Other than that, in particular around Denmark and the Baltic Sea there has always been a lot of social exchange. No real pattern, but very likely that Scandinavian DNA can enter a tree in those regions.
    – jadepx
    Jun 17, 2022 at 8:26
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    Interesting - someone else with German ancestry has Scandinavian ethnicity in their DNA. See genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/18740/…
    – AdrianB38
    Jun 19, 2022 at 21:42
  • Uploading DNA results from Ancestry to My Heritage (free) may show different ethnicity results and provide new DNA matches with Swedish lines.
    – KM72
    Jul 30, 2022 at 21:59

2 Answers 2

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I would say it's plausible - because of the Hanseatic League.

The Hanseatic League (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League) was a commercial confederation between cities around the North Sea and Baltic Sea. It existed for several centuries, between the 13th and 17th century. Cities from the Netherlands, North Germany, Sweden, Denmark and even Russia belonged to the League.

The mobility of goods and people in this network was high. German merchants lived in Norway, England or Sweden, and vice versa. Merchants often sent their sons in another Hansa city for several years to learn the language and culture (and, of course, the trade) of another country.

As Rostock was a Hansa city since 1283, it is more than likely that merchants from Sweden lived there, married and had children.

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I am related to a family--Stander. They lived in Iowa--Maquoketa. Their daughter, Elizabeth Stander was my GG Grandmother. I trace them to the Baltic coast, and Rockstock shows up on my DNA.

I also have a Swedish ancestor who is unknown to me, from Svealand. This individual is a regular on DNA tests.

Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. I am very western as a rule--England and Northwest Germany. One of the Standers had a strong Swedish connection.

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