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View Full Version : Father to Son documented genealogy V LDNA test results



A Norfolk L-M20
11-07-2017, 10:06 PM
I received my son Edward's Living DNA results yesterday, 26 days before the deadline (albeit second sample as first failed. Edward was born severely disabled with severe development delay and doesn't always want to give a swab sample). Here I review all of the Living DNA results against what I believe ancestry is based solely on documented genealogical sources. These documented sources are supported only by family history, interviews, thirty years of documentary research - much of it very local, photographs (likenesses), social background (mainly rural working class, many very localised), local social history, and also in my case by DNA cousin matching:

http://www.anthrogenica.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=19630&d=1510090086

NPEs and genealogical mistakes (particularly over six generations ago) are possible. However, bearing in mind the above factors, I feel that I have a reasonably good documented record to compare DNA-tests-for-ancestry against.

The two tests in the table below, are my son Edward (left), and myself (right). We are both British by nationality and English by ethnicity. We live in East Anglia, home of many of our documented ancestors. I am mainly of East Anglian ancestry, but with some Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Northants, and Swiss lines. Edward's mother by ancestry is half English (Berks, Wilts, East Anglia, Beds, Somerset) and half Irish.

The "actual documented ancestry" are percentages divided into LDNA sub regions, based on Generation 6 (32 x 3rd great grandparents) with some references to Generation 7 when noteworthy.

http://www.anthrogenica.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=19627&d=1510089600

Discussion.

Living DNA has made great commercial headway through the use of the POBI dataset, that had been acclaimed by the original team, as demonstrating a distinguishable pattern that aligned well with the Anglo-Saxon period British kingdoms. The reference samples were well chosen, with geographically local born grandparents, and a bias to rural testers over urban (that see more mobility). However, LDNA, we know, have made lot's of alterations with their sub regions.

In both the case of Edward's and my documented East Anglian ancestry, the LDNA saw less than 50% of what I'd expect. I believe that some of our EA went elsewhere - Lincs, SE England, Germanic, Scandinavian, etc.

Edward got a big chunk of Lincs and SE England that I just do not think is real.

I got 10% Tuscan that I don't believe. Something could however correlate to a Swiss 3 x great grandparent. But that percentage? I know it is possible. Edward got no Tuscany.

Edward, with his 25% actual Irish ancestry received 98% GB & Ireland. His father, myself, although 97% actual, received only 70% GB & Ireland. I think that rather like with other test companies - Ireland, Scotland, and Wales look more "British" than do the English on tests. Yet Edward only received a mere 2% Irish on the test! That is an even more serious underscore.

Before I tested with Living DNA, I really was starting to lose faith in autosomal DNA testing for general ancestry. When Living DNA launched, my hopes were raised that with the right references, computing power, and chips, that one day, they could be much more accurate and meaningful than they have been up to now.

After Edward's results, I'm starting to lose a bit of faith again. I feel that these tests are good for pin pointing a corner of Europe at best. Beyond that, there may be average PCA plots, but they are far too fuzzy to base "ancestry composition", my origins", or "ethnicity estimate" percentages on with any degree of certainty or accuracy. Fun yes. Useful to build a personal DNA "ancestral population flavour and PCA plot" yes. But that's all. Beyond that is a roll of the dice. Too many testers take their results far too literally. Too many testers also display brand loyalty.

As for haplogroups, Edward's results were disappointingly basic.

Y-DNA L1
mtDNA H (only 4 mutations listed on the csv file).

Any comments or discussion welcome. I hope that we have provided an interesting benchmark for testers interested in English or Irish ancestry. I've always tried to be fair and unbiased with DNA companies.

ollie444
11-08-2017, 10:56 AM
I received my son Edward's Living DNA results yesterday, 26 days before the deadline (albeit second sample as first failed. Edward was born severely disabled with severe development delay and doesn't always want to give a swab sample). Here I review all of the Living DNA results against what I believe ancestry is based solely on documented genealogical sources. These documented sources are supported only by family history, interviews, thirty years of documentary research - much of it very local, photographs (likenesses), social background (mainly rural working class, many very localised), local social history, and also in my case by DNA cousin matching:

http://www.anthrogenica.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=19630&d=1510090086

NPEs and genealogical mistakes (particularly over six generations ago) are possible. However, bearing in mind the above factors, I feel that I have a reasonably good documented record to compare DNA-tests-for-ancestry against.

The two tests in the table below, are my son Edward (left), and myself (right). We are both British by nationality and English by ethnicity. We live in East Anglia, home of many of our documented ancestors. I am mainly of East Anglian ancestry, but with some Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Northants, and Swiss lines. Edward's mother by ancestry is half English (Berks, Wilts, East Anglia, Beds, Somerset) and half Irish.

The "actual documented ancestry" are percentages divided into LDNA sub regions, based on Generation 6 (32 x 3rd great grandparents) with some references to Generation 7 when noteworthy.

http://www.anthrogenica.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=19627&d=1510089600

Discussion.

Living DNA has made great commercial headway through the use of the POBI dataset, that had been acclaimed by the original team, as demonstrating a distinguishable pattern that aligned well with the Anglo-Saxon period British kingdoms. The reference samples were well chosen, with geographically local born grandparents, and a bias to rural testers over urban (that see more mobility). However, LDNA, we know, have made lot's of alterations with their sub regions.

In both the case of Edward's and my documented East Anglian ancestry, the LDNA saw less than 50% of what I'd expect. I believe that some of our EA went elsewhere - Lincs, SE England, Germanic, Scandinavian, etc.

Edward got a big chunk of Lincs and SE England that I just do not think is real.

I got 10% Tuscan that I don't believe. Something could however correlate to a Swiss 3 x great grandparent. But that percentage? I know it is possible. Edward got no Tuscany.

Edward, with his 25% actual Irish ancestry received 98% GB & Ireland. His father, myself, although 97% actual, received only 70% GB & Ireland. I think that rather like with other test companies - Ireland, Scotland, and Wales look more "British" than do the English on tests. Yet Edward only received a mere 2% Irish on the test! That is an even more serious underscore.

Before I tested with Living DNA, I really was starting to lose faith in autosomal DNA testing for general ancestry. When Living DNA launched, my hopes were raised that with the right references, computing power, and chips, that one day, they could be much more accurate and meaningful than they have been up to now.

After Edward's results, I'm starting to lose a bit of faith again. I feel that these tests are good for pin pointing a corner of Europe at best. Beyond that, there may be average PCA plots, but they are far too fuzzy to base "ancestry composition", my origins", or "ethnicity estimate" percentages on with any degree of certainty or accuracy. Fun yes. Useful to build a personal DNA "ancestral population flavour and PCA plot" yes. But that's all. Beyond that is a roll of the dice. Too many testers take their results far too literally. Too many testers also display brand loyalty.

As for haplogroups, Edward's results were disappointingly basic.

Y-DNA L1
mtDNA H (only 4 mutations listed on the csv file).

Any comments or discussion welcome. I hope that we have provided an interesting benchmark for testers interested in English or Irish ancestry. I've always tried to be fair and unbiased with DNA companies.

Classic Living DNA bunging the South Central England into South East England!

Opium
11-08-2017, 11:10 AM
Has he done any other tests to compare to?

A Norfolk L-M20
11-08-2017, 01:12 PM
@ollie444 Remember that old POBI map?

http://www.anthrogenica.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=19641&d=1510145480

I don't think that Living DNA can distinguish between their sub regions within the Red English Zone as well as they'd like us to believe, or that we want to believe. Although they saw my East Anglian ancestry, they only spotted less than half of it, but I was pleased enough with that, thinking some had splashed over into SE England, Germanic, etc. However, with Edward's results, although again, they have spotted just under a half of his East Anglian ancestry, they have these grossly inflated Lincolnshire and SE England sub regional percentages.

@Opium. Regards the pre-edited post and message, yes I am aware of C18 - C20 Irish immigration into Britain. Indeed Edward's Irish born ancestors migrated during C19 into the iron and coal towns of South Wales, where there was a huge demand for growth and labour - but I don't think that rural Lincolnshire in Eastern England had quite the same attraction to Irish immigrants. The POBI research sampling quality was pretty good, certainly better than that of many commercial DNA enterprises:

http://www.anthrogenica.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=14038&d=1487017017

I would have hoped that the original POBI researchers would have filtered out any obvious non-English surnames, and indeed, the results of POBI were that the peoples of Eastern England were very distinguishable in their DNA from people from the West or in Scotland or Wales. So I don't think that C19 Irish immigration damaged the samples in Lincolnshire. However, have LDNA that then took this data set, made too much of sub regional differences within SE Britain? Have they carved up the sub regions in a way that possibly still works?

The missing Irish percentage has gone into to the Scottish, Welsh, and Cornish sub regions in his report, that I'm pretty confident of.

@Opium, no, Edward has not been tested with any other business. If I did, it wouldn't explain anything, as the other tests do not attempt to break the Irish and British Isles down into sub regions. At LDNA regional level, Edward's report is pretty good. 94% GB & Ireland. Mine on the other hand underscores at regional level, giving me only 70% GB &Ireland. On the other hand, yes I have tested elsewhere, including 23andme, AncestryDNA, FT DNA: FF, Y111, Big Y, full seq mt. The variance in results is quite amusing between different companies.

I'll post some GEDmatch admixture comparisons later if I get time.

A Norfolk L-M20
11-08-2017, 01:41 PM
Comparing genetic distances on Eurogenes K13, between my son (who has 25% Irish recorded ancestry, 73% Southern English recorded ancestry, 2% Swiss), with my own (97% English recorded ancestry, 3% Swiss).

http://www.anthrogenica.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=19643&d=1510148424

Eurogenes K15 appears to recognise Edward's Irish ancestry even better:

1 Southeast_English @ 7.428945
2 Irish @ 7.604006
3 Southwest_English @ 7.924984
4 West_Scottish @ 8.398882
5 Orcadian @ 10.391862
6 South_Dutch @ 10.577398
7 North_German @ 10.666646
8 Danish @ 10.870383
9 North_Dutch @ 11.374905
10 French @ 14.013601

1 French_Basque + Irish + West_Scottish + West_Scottish @ 3.359353
2 French_Basque + Irish + Irish + West_Scottish @ 3.363978
3 French_Basque + West_Scottish + West_Scottish + West_Scottish @ 3.374941
4 French_Basque + Irish + Irish + Irish @ 3.426466
5 French_Basque + Irish + Irish + Orcadian @ 3.457087
6 French_Basque + Irish + Orcadian + West_Scottish @ 3.504393
7 French_Basque + Orcadian + West_Scottish + West_Scottish @ 3.591609
8 Danish + French_Basque + Irish + West_Scottish @ 3.682194
9 Danish + French_Basque + Irish + Irish @ 3.686343
10 Danish + French_Basque + West_Scottish + West_Scottish @ 3.717590

As opposed to my own K15:

1 Southwest_English @ 2.803687
2 Southeast_English @ 4.765065
3 South_Dutch @ 4.879929
4 Irish @ 6.794285
5 West_Scottish @ 7.562399
6 North_German @ 7.663987
7 North_Dutch @ 7.721341
8 West_German @ 8.026512
9 Danish @ 8.191299
10 French @ 8.347345

1 North_Dutch + North_Dutch + Southwest_English + Spanish_Cantabria @ 1.303750
2 Irish + Southwest_English + Spanish_Cantabria + Swedish @ 1.433516
3 Orcadian + Southwest_English + Spanish_Cantabria + Swedish @ 1.483449
4 Irish + Southwest_English + Spanish_Cantabria + West_Norwegian @ 1.513265
5 Southwest_English + Spanish_Cantabria + Swedish + West_Scottish @ 1.524916
6 French + Southwest_English + Southwest_English + Southwest_English @ 1.541753
7 Orcadian + Southwest_English + Southwest_French + Swedish @ 1.563073
8 North_Dutch + Southwest_English + Spanish_Cantabria + West_Norwegian @ 1.563120
9 Irish + Norwegian + Southwest_English + Spanish_Cantabria @ 1.567114
10 North_German + Southwest_English + Spanish_Cantabria + West_Norwegian @ 1.598411

So the Irish component is certainly there on GEDmatch Eurogenes calculators!

ollie444
11-08-2017, 01:51 PM
@ollie444 Remember that old POBI map?

http://www.anthrogenica.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=19641&d=1510145480

I don't think that Living DNA can distinguish between their sub regions within the Red English Zone as well as they'd like us to believe, or that we want to believe. Although they saw my East Anglian ancestry, they only spotted less than half of it, but I was pleased enough with that, thinking some had splashed over into SE England, Germanic, etc. However, with Edward's results, although again, they have spotted just under a half of his East Anglian ancestry, they have these grossly inflated Lincolnshire and SE England sub regional percentages.



I'll agree with you there - my grandfather's results (he's 1/2 shropshire/worcestershire, no SE England): 196441964519646 Look at the South Central England percentage!! Look at the spread of regions in the results too, it's huge despite very focused ancestry and no big city ancestry.

Living DNA completely missed my 6.25% East Anglian in my own results. It may have been put into my South East England or I may just not have inherited it.

avalon
11-10-2017, 03:01 PM
Remember that old POBI map?

I don't think that Living DNA can distinguish between their sub regions within the Red English Zone as well as they'd like us to believe, or that we want to believe. Although they saw my East Anglian ancestry, they only spotted less than half of it, but I was pleased enough with that, thinking some had splashed over into SE England, Germanic, etc. However, with Edward's results, although again, they have spotted just under a half of his East Anglian ancestry, they have these grossly inflated Lincolnshire and SE England sub regional percentages.


Interesting points Norfolk, I'd agree with much of what you say in this thread.

I have followed LDNA quite closely and from what I've seen at anthrogenica, the accuracy of results is a real mixed bag. Clearly at this stage, the LivingDNA test is very much aimed at people with large amounts of British ancestry and people without this often get very odd results. The Irish reference population obviously needs to be updated and I believe they are working on other projects too, like in Scotland.

I would also agree about the large red English zone, it probably was hard for them to split this up and I think it is further complicated when the LivingDNA test attempts to match us to their regional reference populations. None of us here are actual POBI samples, we may be quite closely related to some of them, but we are not necessarily exactly the same, so it's never going to be totally accurate without a mass database.

From what I've seen though, where LivingDNA assigns % to the wrong regions it is usually to a neighbouring region so not too unreasonable as there will be genetic overlap with different red cluster regions. Eg, we see South Central England and SE England mixed up or East Anglia and Lincolnshire.

In my own case the results were very accurate, they gave 100% British and nearly all of my ancestry in complete mode was assigned to Central England, NW England and North Wales, which matches almost perfectly with my known paper trail. My only criticism of the test is that the % are out somewhat (though this is understandable for neighbouring regions) and their labelling of NW England would make more sense if they had a North Wales Border region, but it's probably only down to lack of sampling in Shropshire and NE Wales that they didn't see the population structure there.

Phoebe Watts
11-10-2017, 03:19 PM
Remember that old POBI map?


I don't think that Living DNA can distinguish between their sub regions within the Red English Zone as well as they'd like us to believe, or that we want to believe. Although they saw my East Anglian ancestry, they only spotted less than half of it, but I was pleased enough with that, thinking some had splashed over into SE England, Germanic, etc. However, with Edward's results, although again, they have spotted just under a half of his East Anglian ancestry, they have these grossly inflated Lincolnshire and SE England sub regional percentages.


I think you are right that one of the issues is distinguishing between parts of the Red English Zone. I did a similar exercise comparing my father's standard mode results to mine. It was pretty accurate in all our main sub regions across Wales and the borders. The only real issue for us in standard mode was that my father's South Wales Border @ 19.6% was showing as South Central England @ 10% for me. But these are neighbouring sub regions.

avalon
11-10-2017, 04:14 PM
I think you are right that one of the issues is distinguishing between parts of the Red English Zone. I did a similar exercise comparing my father's standard mode results to mine. It was pretty accurate in all our main sub regions across Wales and the borders. The only real issue for us in standard mode was that my father's South Wales Border @ 19.6% was showing as South Central England @ 10% for me. But these are neighbouring sub regions.

Exactly. There is probably a lot more genetic overlap between neighbouring sub-regions than it appears from just looking at POBI or LivingDNA. The true picture doesn't always fall into such neat regions. It's not just the red zone though, as a similar thing is likely going on between NW England and NE Wales but just wasn't picked up on by POBI due to lack of samples, and maybe with other neighbouring regions such as Cumbria/Northumbria, etc.

Having said all that, Norfolk on balance, should still probably be getting more than 37% for East Anglia. His missing % appear to be getting assigned to lots of other sub-regions but in small traces.

sktibo
11-15-2017, 07:54 PM
I've also lost my faith in this company as of late, but I hold out hope that if we can transfer our results from companies we have tested with that did not use imputation based chips that our results might be much more accurate than we see with the chip Living DNA uses. However, I'm beginning to think that without full autosomal sequencing tests we'll never have DNA testing which actually comes close to known ancestry for people of any kind of "mixed" origins.