View Full Version : Skeptical about Results

07-15-2017, 12:37 AM
I'm not sure how reliable DNA Land is, and if anyone else was in a similar situation, please tell me what you figured out.

I took my FTDNA test and received my results in late May...
~ British Isles (English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, etc.): 47%
~ Central/Western European: 38%
~ Jewish Diaspora (all Sephardic): 7%
~ Southeastern European: 4%
~ East Middle Eastern: 3%
~ West Middle Eastern (trace origin): less than 2%

I knew I had a lot of British, Irish, and German ancestry. I was pretty surprised because I had thought I was 1/8 Italian when my mom found her biological mother's records. Apparently I'm barely ethnically Italian at all. I hypothesized that a lot of my Italian ancestors were actually Sephardi Jews.

This was basically proven when I did GEDMatch...
When I took the Eurogenes test (version K13), these were my Oracle matches under a distance of 2:
~ 78.1% Orcadian, 21.9% Italian Jewish [1.69]
~ 83.3% Southeast English, 16.7% Tunisian Jewish [1.79]
~ 81.9% Southeast English, 18.1% Sephardi Jewish [1.83]
~ 83.5% Southeast English, 16.5% Libyan Jewish [1.95]
~ 82% Southeast English, 18% Italian Jewish [1.96]

I'm mostly WASP (minus the Protestant part; I'm not religious), so this made logical sense.

Now this was where things got weird, when I went on DNALand:
~ Northwest European: 54%
~ South Central European: 17%
~ Balkan: 7.4%
~ SW European: 7.6%
~ Sardinian: 3.1%
~ Finnish: 7.1%
~ Central Indoeuropean: 2.9%
~ Ambiguous Ashkenazi/Levantine: 1.1%

I have no clue where the Finnish came from. I wish there were better DNA resources for Sephardi Jews, besides FTDNA. Most of them focus on Ashkenazi, which is logical since most American Jews are Ashkenazi, but I'm not Ashkenazi at all (I'm not taking DNA Land at face value since I'm definitely not Scandinavian or Finnish.)

I'm assuming that the Sephardi Jewish heritage would be reflected in the Southwestern European and maybe Levantine/CE Indoeuropean? What did other Sephardi Jews get when they uploaded their data to DNALand?

07-17-2017, 11:00 AM
FTDNA doesn't seem to have some of their sample populations well tuned.

07-18-2017, 02:31 PM
Try uploading to MyHeritage and see if you get Sephardic there?

A Norfolk L-M20
07-18-2017, 03:47 PM
DNA.land really loves to give Finnish and Balkan.

I'd recommend that you should be skeptical of ALL autosomal DNA test for ancestry results. Below a Continental level, they only work well with populations that have restricted gene flow from surrounding populations. Most European populations are very admixed, and have been so ever since late prehistory. DNA tests using reference data sets based on modern populations, often set across poorly thought out geographical or ethnic areas, struggle to correctly define our ancestry. I'm not a doomsayer, claiming that it's all genetic astrology - tests, particularly more than one, and run through relative matches, heritage calculators, etc. These can be useful indicators of our ancestry when or where no documented record exists. However - keep that skepticism.

Also, be careful with the hypotheses. We all do it, but the truth is often very different. Enjoy the journey, keep researching.

07-19-2017, 02:08 AM
DNA.land really loves to give Finnish and Balkan.

hah, I guess it depends, which means something can't be tuned so well

The ironic thing is my dad actually does have a little bit of Finnish and DNA.LAND gave him none specifically! (although it did give him 2% ambiguously Northeastern European, maybe actually having so much Northeastern European made it less sure to specifically pick something out as Finnish, which those with little ancestry from the region maybe it feels confident to toss Finnish out with ease and the tuning makes it too uncertain to give it out in the former case and too easily to give it out in the latter even though in the former case it would be more likely for someone to actually have that ancestry)
And he extremely probably does have a bit of Balkan and DNA.LAND gave him none!

They also still have not fixed a few very misleading things:
1. they have a component name Northern Slavic that peaks in NON-Slavic people! but they insist on calling it a Slavic component
2. the heatmap makes it appear someone has almost no chance that their Northeastern European ancestry is from the Baltics or Poland unless they also have some Ashkenazi. That makes no sense and the heat map comes out absurd.