DNA Reminder . . . the Salzburg Protestants
One of the origins of the term “Black Dutch.”
If you think you have German or Austrian ancestors mixed in with your Native heritage, but were surprised that your DNA test showed test markers typical of the Sami and Basques, here is a possible reason why. By the early 1700s, the majority of the people living in the rugged Tyrolian Alps, west of Salzburg, had become Protestants. This is the region that Joana the Biologist’s family formerly lived in (See the previous POOF article). They spoke a dialect of German, but were not ethnic Germans and perhaps were attracted to a simpler form of Christianity in which ethnic Germans did not compose the ruling elite. After several decades of combined persecution and Counter-Reformation persuasion had reduced their numbers to a slight minority, they were expelled from Austria. Most initially moved to the Protestant states of the Netherlands, Prussia and Hanover. However, being rural mountain folk they often did not like the urban environments that they were forced to settle in.
Several thousand Salzburgers eventually ended up in the British North American colonies . . . many in Georgia and South Carolina. Their Rhetian cousins in Bavaria, the Rhone Valley, the Italian Alps and eastern Switzerland also tended to emigrate to the British colonies more frequently than their ethnic majority neighbors. Most had black hair and tan skin, which gave them a natural affinity for intermarrying with their Uchee, Creek, Chickasaw or Cherokee families . . . who also carried Sami type DNA along with their Asian DNA from the Uchee Admixture. These people were called Black Dutch or Black Germans. However, the term was also applied to Sephardic Jews, who fled to the Netherlands after being expelled from the Iberian Peninsula. They were called Svart Duets or “Dark Dutch” by their neighbors.
On the other hand, you could be descended from the elite Alecmani branch of the Creek Confederacy. Most, if not all, DNA labs will interpret your Archaic English DNA as being English that arrived after Columbus’s voyages, not a people who arrived in North America during the Bronze or Early Iron Age.
This is why I am very wary of the results from DNA labs that are mass-marketing to the general public or of geneticists, who produce simplistic explanations of history based on statistically non-significant DNA test samples. The heritage of the Southeast is one of many, many different ethnic groups settling here over a span of thousands of years. That is not a situation, which can be explained simply.
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