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Our genomic data showed significant population structure and relatedness present in the contemporary Quebec population, also reflected in LD and homozygosity levels.Our extended genealogical data corroborated these findings and indicated that this structure is consistent with the settlement patterns involving several founder events.One of the great things about the mass personal genomic revolution is that it allows people to have direct access to their own information.This is important for the more than 90% of the human population which has sketchy genealogical records.And importantly, in the French Canadian population you do have copious genealogical records.The origins of this group lay in the 17th and 18th century, and the Roman Catholic Church has often been a punctilious institution when it comes to preserving events under its purview such as baptisms and marriages.In this study, we examined genetic structure and distant relatedness and their effect on the extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD) and homozygosity in the founder population of Quebec (Canada).In the French Canadian founder population, such analysis can be performed using both genomic and genealogical data.

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Admixed ancestry and stratification of Quebec regional populations: Population stratification results from unequal, nonrandom genetic contribution of ancestors and should be reflected in the underlying genealogies.Rather, these inferences were generated from genealogical records which go back to the founding of Quebec and maintained coherency and integrity from generation to generation.Some of the members of the same research group now have a paper out which looks at the Characterizing the genetic structure of worldwide populations is important for understanding human history and is essential to the design and analysis of genetic epidemiological studies.Both methods showed evidence of a distinct identity of the northeastern and eastern regions and stratification of the regional populations correlated with geographical location along the St-Lawrence River.In addition, we observed a West-East decreasing gradient of diversity.Combined with the power of the new genomics you could really crank up the level of insight. A reason that Jewish genetics is so useful and interesting is that there is often a relative dearth of records when it comes to the lineages of American Ashkenazi Jews.Many American Jews even today are often sketchy about the region of the “Old Country” from which their forebears arrived.Because of the earlier migration of the French founding stock, they left a stronger impact on future generations: Much of the difference here is because earlier ancestors in a population which went through demographic expansion would have more of an impact on the nature of the population than later contributors (the earlier ancestors would show up in many more downstream genealogies).But notice that the Amerindians in the pool are a much larger proportion of ancestors than their final genetic contribution (50% of the French Canadians had at least once Amerindian ancestor).I suspect this may be due to differential fertility because of variation in social status by race (i.e., mixed-race French Canadians having lower fertility, perhaps by way of their exclusion from highly fecund elite families), and not just later absorption of Amerindians than French (on the contrary, I suspect that Amerindians were assimilated earlier, not later).But this research did not look directly at genetics.

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  1. In Canada, the idea and meaning of a separate and distinct French Canadian culture carries with it variable meanings. Some identify French Canada as only those parts.

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