"What's remarkable about this is how closely everyone is related to each other," evolution and ecology Professor Graham Coop of the University of California, Davis, said. "On a genealogical level, everyone in Europe traces back to nearly the same set of ancestors only 1,000 years ago."
Coop and study co-author Peter Ralph, now a professor at the University of Southern California, set out to study relatedness among Europeans in recent history up to about 3,000 years ago.
Coop and Ralph said while the degree of genetic relatedness between two people tends to be smaller the farther apart they live, even a pair of individuals as far apart as the United Kingdom and Turkey -- a distance of some 2,000 miles -- likely are related to all of one another's ancestors from 1,000 years ago.
"The overall picture is that everybody is related, and we are looking at only subtle differences between regions," Coop said in a UC Davis release Wednesday.