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View Full Version : Why am I showing so much Italian ancestry?



euromutt
04-11-2018, 10:05 PM
Iíve done a ton of research on my family tree and Iíve gone back a considerable amount of generations. On my mothers side back to mid-1800s at minimum, on my fathers side back to 1890s before I hit a brick wall. Hereís what I know:

Assumed ancestry
Italian: 50% (fathers side)
French: 37.5% (motherís side)
English: 12.5% (motherís side)

My Ancestry DNA results:
Europe South: 47%
Europe West: 29%
Caucasus: 12%
Ireland/Scotland/Wales: 5%
Great Britain: 2%
Scandinavian: 2%
Iberian Peninsula: 2%
Middle East: 1%

Just for reference Iíve also run my raw dna through my heritage, FTDNA, and dna.land.
Dna.land gave me about the same as my assumed ancestry.

FTDNA gave me fairly high for what Iím assuming is the Italian ( southeast europe: 17% and Middle East:28%) also 9% east europe (no idea where that much is from)

My heritage gave me 65.2% south Europe and 11% west Asian. Also assuming those are for the Italian ancestry.

Why such high amounts for the presumably 50% Italian I should have?
I seemed to register far less French or English (or similar) dna than I would anticipate

Can anyone help me understand this better?

greerpalmer
04-12-2018, 04:22 PM
Your Europe South is likely reflecting some of your mother's DNA as well. If you had 1 Italian parent I would guess your Europe South, Caucasus, Iberian and Middle East would be coming from them--in your instance that represents 62% so if you're mother is predominately French, its not uncommon she too would have Iberian and Italian ancestry. Also, the English and French could be interpreted interchangeably.

I have no known ancestry from Italy; rather, I'm about 30-40% German/Luxembourgian/French/Swiss and I receive 10% Europe South, 1% Iberian and 1% Caucasus

euromutt
04-12-2018, 10:42 PM
If the England and France are possibly showing interchangeably that would account for the super tiny percentage Ancestry is giving me for Great Britain.

Have you (or anyone reading this) found one testing company to be more accurate than the others? Granted my raw DNA is from Ancestry so I imagine it’s still skewed a bit. The high amount of Middle East/Caucasus/West Asian made my high Italian areas always throw me for a loop considering I’d always expected more Northeast Europe, but the French also showing as Iberian makes sense too, I should’ve thought of that.

msmarjoribanks
04-12-2018, 11:54 PM
The testing companies are widely variable in how accurate they are from person to person.

Mine vary from Ancestry: 42% Europe West; 28% Scandinavian; 19% Ireland, etc. (rest trace Iberian, Southern Europe); 4% Great Britain (in the low confidence region) to FTDNA: 83% British Isles; 14% Eastern Europe (rest trace Central Asia/Asia Minor).

So as you can see it's pretty all over the place. My most accurate results are probably MyHeritage, but I don't think they are a more accurate test, their guesses or algorithm just happened to fit my known ancestry better: 55% English, 17% Irish, etc., 12% N & W Europe, 7.5% Scandinavian (trace others).

I am unaware of any Eastern Europe at all, but figure it's just how things get split up that for someone mixed 83/14 British Isles/EE could look like 70-75% British Isles, and various German and Scandinavian inputs, among others.

I don't think the percentages of various European groups which are all mixed up and look pretty similar are going to be all that accurate. You need to add the paper evidence.

greerpalmer
04-13-2018, 05:37 AM
Have you (or anyone reading this) found one testing company to be more accurate than the others?

Unfortunately, all of the major testing companies are good at identifying certain groups, and bad at others. LivingDNA is my favorite because of the detail it gives, but it fails to identify any German. Ancestry is an overall great estimate, but gives me 33% Scandinavian where just about every other test places me in between 0-5%. FamilyTreeDNA shows only my known ethnicities of origins, but does so inconsistently in two different tests making me almost all English and one, and 50/50 English German in another. 23andMe provides seemingly accurate groups, but is very vague/conservative at specifying groups. I could go on, but unfortunately, there is no good answer. If your parents are still around I would highly recommend testing them.

JerryS.
04-13-2018, 11:40 AM
try Dodecad V3 and MDLP K23b mixed mode populations groups (regular oracle) to see what they show.

euromutt
04-13-2018, 01:49 PM
try Dodecad V3 and MDLP K23b mixed mode populations groups (regular oracle) to see what they show.

Both seem super off.

MDLP 23b

1. 70% French 30% Jew_Tat. 1.3
2. 66.2% French 33.8% Assyrian Iraqi 1.33
3. 66.9% French 33.1% Georgian Jew 1.37
4. 72.6% French 27.4% Assyrian Arzni 1.69
5. 59.1% Welsh 40.9% Greek Smyrna 1.98
6. 64.4% French 35.6% Turk Kayseri 2.02

Dodecad v3
1. 61.6% N. European 38.4% Cypriots 2.15
2. 57.7% Ashkenazi 42.3% CEU 2.35
3. 60.3% Ashkenazi 39.7% Orkney
4. 59.9% Ashkenazi 40.1% Orcadian
5. 59.6% Ashkenazi 40.4% Argyll

But perhaps I’m taking them too much at face value?

euromutt
04-13-2018, 01:50 PM
Also my kit is A860277 if anyone cares to give it a look. Thank you in advanced!

greerpalmer
04-13-2018, 03:35 PM
The Eurogenes K36 Taux de Similitude may be worth a gander. Looks like you peak in Southeast Switzerland, West Austria. Surprisingly, K36 gives you 1% French and 14% Iberian. What is your mother's known ancestry? How far back can you trace the lines?

RobinBMc
04-13-2018, 05:41 PM
I'm not sure the AncestryDNA results are that far off. Iberian and Middle East are low enough to just be noise - so even if you add Europe South and Caucasus together, that's 59%, and therefore only overestimated by 9%, which isn't that much. Additionally, AncestryDNA actually provides a percentage range for each category. What are your ranges for Europe South and Caucasus? The ethnicity report is only an estimate and 9% off is well within a margin of error and I'd consider this fairly consistent with your known ancestry.

As for FTDNA and MyHeritage.... well, in my experience, both of those companies tend to produce less accurate ethnicity reports than AncestryDNA and 23andMe (but of course sometimes it depends on the individual).

My dad is half Italian as well and at AncestryDNA he gets 44% Europe South - that's only 6% off and I consider that fairly accurate. He also gets 4% Caucasus and 5% Middle East, but those could be noise and even if you add them in, that's 53%, still very close to accurate. Meanwhile at FTDNA, he only gets 8% in Southeast Europe - and even adding in the 22% Asia Minor and 2% East Middle East and 2% West Middle east, that's only 34%, which is way off from 50%. At MyHeritage, he gets 23.7% Italian and 46% Greek, totaling 69.7%, also way off.

JerryS.
04-13-2018, 08:06 PM
Both seem super off.

MDLP 23b

1. 70% French 30% Jew_Tat. 1.3
2. 66.2% French 33.8% Assyrian Iraqi 1.33
3. 66.9% French 33.1% Georgian Jew 1.37
4. 72.6% French 27.4% Assyrian Arzni 1.69
5. 59.1% Welsh 40.9% Greek Smyrna 1.98
6. 64.4% French 35.6% Turk Kayseri 2.02

Dodecad v3
1. 61.6% N. European 38.4% Cypriots 2.15
2. 57.7% Ashkenazi 42.3% CEU 2.35
3. 60.3% Ashkenazi 39.7% Orkney
4. 59.9% Ashkenazi 40.1% Orcadian
5. 59.6% Ashkenazi 40.4% Argyll

But perhaps I’m taking them too much at face value?

Ashkenazi and Cypriot are similar to Southern Italian DNA.
MDLP usually favors the Balkans for its Mediterranean groups, so those numbers/regions seems right as well.

also, The Caucuses/West Asia show up in small percentages for many NW European groups. The French on your mom's side could very well be from the Mediterranean region of France thus increasing your "Italian" numbers since Northern Italy often has overlapping DNA traits with Switzerland, France, Austria, Southern Germany..... this is just a layman's view.

euromutt
04-13-2018, 11:17 PM
The Eurogenes K36 Taux de Similitude may be worth a gander. Looks like you peak in Southeast Switzerland, West Austria. Surprisingly, K36 gives you 1% French and 14% Iberian. What is your mother's known ancestry? How far back can you trace the lines?

My mother is 75% French and 25% English. On both sides I’ve traced back her French heritage through French Canada and back to France. The French on her mother’s side is back to 1730s and her fathers is back to 1700s at least on all lines, some back to 1500s.
I’ve been able to trace her English line in Yorkshire to 1860 on one half and the other back to 1700s.

I’m very surprised K36 gives me 1% considering how extensive the paper trail is.

euromutt
04-13-2018, 11:21 PM
I'm not sure the AncestryDNA results are that far off. Iberian and Middle East are low enough to just be noise - so even if you add Europe South and Caucasus together, that's 59%, and therefore only overestimated by 9%, which isn't that much. Additionally, AncestryDNA actually provides a percentage range for each category. What are your ranges for Europe South and Caucasus? The ethnicity report is only an estimate and 9% off is well within a margin of error and I'd consider this fairly consistent with your known ancestry.

On Ancestry my Europe South is ranged 29%- 61% and my Caucasus is ranged 2%-20%.
If weíre talking 9% error would that then make the Caucasus more ancient noise?

euromutt
04-13-2018, 11:26 PM
Ashkenazi and Cypriot are similar to Southern Italian DNA.
MDLP usually favors the Balkans for its Mediterranean groups, so those numbers/regions seems right as well.

also, The Caucuses/West Asia show up in small percentages for many NW European groups. The French on your mom's side could very well be from the Mediterranean region of France thus increasing your "Italian" numbers since Northern Italy often has overlapping DNA traits with Switzerland, France, Austria, Southern Germany..... this is just a layman's view.

The majority of her family is from the Normandy region with the remainder alll being in the Loire region. Alll about the same area but also why Iím surprised if the French is coming through as Europe South, I suppose Iíd expect Iberian if anything.

RobinBMc
04-14-2018, 03:13 PM
On Ancestry my Europe South is ranged 29%- 61% and my Caucasus is ranged 2%-20%.

Yeah, that more than covers a 9% error. Theoretically, either or both of these could be a little lower than then final average they gave you - maybe your "actual" numbers were something like 47% Europe South and 3% Caucasus, or 40% Europe South and 10% Caucasus. The way AncestryDNA calculates percentages is they run 40 different analyses on your DNA and each one may results in different results. So then they average the 40 results out to get your final percentage, while the range shows the lowest and highest percentages you got for that category during the 40 different analyses. Knowing that the final percentage is just an average shows just how much this is only an estimate and that your actual percentage could theoretically be anywhere within the range.


If we’re talking 9% error would that then make the Caucasus more ancient noise?

I don't think it's noise - my understanding is that noise is like a false positive due to random coincidence. The Caucasus results are too high for that. It could be a more ancient component of your Italian ancestry though - which my understanding simply means that historically, the Italians and people of the Caucasus area intermixed enough that they now share DNA, which means some Italians get results in Caucasus and vice versa.

Low confidence regions are ones where the lowest of your range is 0% and the average doesn't exceed 15%, or where the average is below 4.5%. They are marked as low confidence regions because they are more likely to be noise - this is why I dismissed the Middle East and Iberian results as noise. I'm guessing the lowest of your range for those is 0%?

euromutt
04-14-2018, 11:33 PM
Yeah, that more than covers a 9% error. Theoretically, either or both of these could be a little lower than then final average they gave you - maybe your "actual" numbers were something like 47% Europe South and 3% Caucasus, or 40% Europe South and 10% Caucasus.

That would definitely make more sense than the over abundance of Italian/Italian derived ancestry.


Low confidence regions are ones where the lowest of your range is 0% and the average doesn't exceed 15%, or where the average is below 4.5%. They are marked as low confidence regions because they are more likely to be noise - this is why I dismissed the Middle East and Iberian results as noise. I'm guessing the lowest of your range for those is 0%?

Correct, the Middle East is ranged 0%-5% and the Iberian is ranged 0%-8%. Taking the 9% error into consideration could negate both of them entirely I suppose.

Does that same 9% error hold true for MyHeritage and FTDNA as well? FTDNA gives me 28% Middle Eastern, 27% British Isles, 17% Iberia, 17% Southeast Europe, 9% East Europe (which Iíve got no paper trail for)

MyHeritage sticks me at 37.6% Greek, 27.6% Iberian, 23.8% North and West Europe, and 11% West Asia.

JerryS.
04-15-2018, 12:04 AM
Ancestry dot com gave me less than 1% Iberian. Eurogenes K36 gives me over 12%.

take the commercial for profit company results with a grain of salt.

RobinBMc
04-15-2018, 04:44 PM
That would definitely make more sense than the over abundance of Italian/Italian derived ancestry.



Correct, the Middle East is ranged 0%-5% and the Iberian is ranged 0%-8%. Taking the 9% error into consideration could negate both of them entirely I suppose.

Does that same 9% error hold true for MyHeritage and FTDNA as well? FTDNA gives me 28% Middle Eastern, 27% British Isles, 17% Iberia, 17% Southeast Europe, 9% East Europe (which I’ve got no paper trail for)

MyHeritage sticks me at 37.6% Greek, 27.6% Iberian, 23.8% North and West Europe, and 11% West Asia.

FTDNA and MyHeritage haven't been as accurate in my experience. They are also estimates, of course, but their margin of error seems a lot bigger. They may do the same averaging of several analyses but they do not include the lowest and highest range like AncestryDNA does - another reason I prefer AncestryDNA.

RobinBMc
04-15-2018, 04:50 PM
Ancestry dot com gave me less than 1% Iberian. Eurogenes K36 gives me over 12%.

take the commercial for profit company results with a grain of salt.

But you are part Italian, not Iberian? So that makes AncestryDNA more accurate than K36? Certainly, I'd say take any ethnicity/admixture with a grain of salt but I generally find AncestryDNA is more accurate than any of the Gedmatch calculators.

JerryS.
04-15-2018, 08:36 PM
But you are part Italian, not Iberian? So that makes AncestryDNA more accurate than K36? Certainly, I'd say take any ethnicity/admixture with a grain of salt but I generally find AncestryDNA is more accurate than any of the Gedmatch calculators.

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