View Full Version : Help my dad out! Ashkenzai Jewish Results

01-06-2019, 02:46 AM
I manage my dad's DNA kit. I recently uploaded his Living DNA test to MyHeritage and got a surprise this morning when I received the results - 1.1% Ashkenazi Jewish and 1.1 Central Asian - the rest of his DNA is completely NW European. Living DNA gave him a 1.2% Eastern European result. We have no known Jewish ancestry in a tree I've built back to the 1700s and in some cases, the 1600s.

(Apologies for not uploading screenshots of his Living DNA and MyHeritage results - the I'm getting an error message when I try to upload the JPGs.))

Here are his results from the JTest oracle calculator on yourdnaportal:
Population Percentage
South Baltic 13.06%
East Euro 8.84%
North-Central Euro 30.48%
Atlantic 23.17%
West Med 8.93%
Ashkenazim 5.69%
East Med 4.83%
West Asian 3.50%
Middle Eastern 0.00%
South Asian 1.49%
East African 0.00%
East Asian 0.00%
Siberian 0.00%
West African 0.00%

My dad is really surprised and already skeptical of DNA results no matter how many times I explain it. Should he take this new result seriously?

01-06-2019, 04:53 AM
My dad is really surprised and already skeptical of DNA results no matter how many times I explain it. Should he take this new result seriously?

In short - no. MyHeritage's ethnicity estimate is pretty bad, and I've said many times on this forum: anything less than abt. 3% simply cannot be trusted, because the variability from kit-to-kit (uploaded or tested for the same person) is at least this much!

Now if you want concrete evidence, test at Ancestry,23andme, and maybe LivingDNA. Upload all your kits to GEDMATCH (including your MH raw DNA) and run them through Eurogenes K36 or some such test that can find Jewish. Look at the average (mean) amount of Jewish you get, and divide that by the standard deviation of all these estimated percetages. If the ratio is 5 or more you have a real signal. If not, forget it.

01-06-2019, 03:54 PM
Check for jews amongst your more confident matches in myheritage and gedmatch. Usually shared Ashkenazi DNA will triangulate with lots of other jews and few or no non-jews, while this won't happen if your common ancestor wasn't jewish.
Jtest sometimes fails because the Ashkenazi and East Med/West Asian components are very similar and gets pulled into the wrong category.

01-06-2019, 04:51 PM
Maybe MyHeritage has mistaken Eastern European for Jewish and Central Asian...

01-06-2019, 05:32 PM
My Heritage often gives odd results. For a while everyone was getting 2% Nigerian. One of their things seems to be higher Balkan -- some of my family gets it, some doesn't, but it's not reflected elsewhere and doesn't make sense with the paper trail. Both of my parents currently get a little Ashkenazi (neither my sister nor I do), and neither of my parents get Ashkenazi matches, and none of us get it elsewhere (my sister and I are on Ancestry, my parents are on FTDNA, and I am also on LivingDNA and 23andMe).

I'm pretty confident it's just MyHeritage being a little weird again.

The JTest result for your dad is a bit higher than average for the various NW Euro groups, but without matches I don't think you have anything to take as especially meaningful or signifying likely Ashkenazi ancestry here.

01-07-2019, 12:15 AM
Thank you all for the advice here. My dad does not have any close matches with Jewish ancestry. He's tested with Living DNA and received a similar percentage in eastern European. It won't exactly deepen his faith in DNA when I tell him MyHeritage messed up - oh well!!!

05-03-2019, 03:10 PM
Yeah, it's probably a mixup. Myheritage is absolutely notorious for not being able to tell certain closely-related ethnicities apart. As an example, I get 1.4% Balkan. I have no known ancestry from the Balkans, and in my case is likely to be really Ashkenazi and/or Romani given my results and matches on other sites.

The only way to be sure is to test with a ton of sites but that can be VERY expensive.