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Posts tagged ‘human geography’

Who do I think I am? – My experience with AncestryDNA

By Stephanie Brown (@StephEmmaBrown)

Thanks to programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? there has never been more interest in family history. Since the turn of the century, family historians have started to look beyond traditional records such as the census, and birth, death, and marriage indices to new scientific methods. DNA tests are now being used to shed light on ethnic or biogeographical origins and to identify genetic relatives.[1] In 2017, more people took an ancestry DNA test than in all  previous years combined. Moreover, it is estimated that by 2022, the genetic testing market will be worth approximately £261 million. The ease and reasonably low cost of heritage DNA tests has made this technology accessible to everyone. So, with that in mind, I decided to give it a go.

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9. 1891 Map from Populations Past

By Dr Alice Reid (@amrcampop)

This map, from PopulationsPast.org, shows the sex ratio among working-age adults in 1891, calculated from census data. Areas in red have more men than women and areas in blue have more women than men. Geographical differences in the sex ratio reflect nineteenth century migration patterns and employment opportunities which pulled people towards or pushed people away from particular areas. The mining areas of South Wales, Durham/Northumberland and the Yorkshire/Derbyshire coalfield were particularly attractive to young men. Military and Naval bases in Hampshire and the Thames estuary also turned those areas red. Low sex ratios in some of the blue areas were also due to a job-market which was more favourable for one gender, but this time for women. This can explain the blue blush to the west of London, where there was plentiful work for women as domestic servants, and the area around Manchester where many women were employed in textile factories. Low sex ratios in rural areas, however, are more likely to have been produced by higher migration of men away from such places. Finer geographical detail and a range of other variables and years can be found on the interactive atlas website www.populationspast.org.

Image: from www.populationspast.org, used with the permission of Dr Alice Reid (Principal Investigator)