Shanker Annaswamy was born in Guntur in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradhesh. He was raised in Chennai (formerly called Madras) in the state of Tamil Nadu, also in southern India.
He can trace his genealogy back only to his great-grandfathers on both sides of his family.
"My father's side of the family hailed from the southern city called Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu state) and more precisely from village called Arumugamangalam," said Shanker. "I've visited this village, and there are hardly any of my relatives still living there. Most of them seem to have moved to more metropolitan areas of India. My grandfather was a lawyer in Madras.
"My mother's side family hailed from a town called Mayavaram (Tamil Nadu state). Similarly those families later migrated to bigger metropolitan areas. My grandfather was a civil engineer."
Shanker's DNA matches that of Haplogroup R1A, a group that scientists believe probably formed in what is now Pakistan and northern India about 30,000 years ago. About 20 percent of the men in India are in Haplogroup R1A.
But Shanker probably has many distant relations in Europe as well. For example, R1A is the predominate type of DNA found in Poland. Geneticists believe that the group spread westward from India in an arc that went through central Asia to Russia and as far west as eastern Germany.
That connection to Poland and how people from India could have moved to Eastern Europe surprised Shanker when he saw his Genographic Project results.
"This kind of scientific work will bring the world together and narrow the differences that arise due to location and geographic boundaries," he said.