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View Full Version : Western Europe Category - What the heck is it?



sktibo
09-20-2016, 03:44 AM
Hi,

So I've read a lot of ancestrydna forum posts and many of them are from Germans or people of German background expecting to get Western Europe, but instead they get Britain or Scandinavia. French people getting Britain instead of EW as well, and some Italians expecting to land in the Italian category but they end up in West Europe. IIRC one guy who had deep Norweigian roots scored 80% EW. It seems to show up a lot in strange amounts in people from England also.

Why is this category so wonky? it never seems to show up in people who it would make sense for, and when someone expects to land in another category, bam! Europe West'd.
At least, that's the impression I get. Can any of the experts here shed some light on this? it really makes you wonder who Ancestry chose for their reference populations.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
09-20-2016, 05:39 AM
Hi,

So I've read a lot of ancestrydna forum posts and many of them are from Germans or people of German background expecting to get Western Europe, but instead they get Britain or Scandinavia. French people getting Britain instead of EW as well, and some Italians expecting to land in the Italian category but they end up in West Europe. IIRC one guy who had deep Norweigian roots scored 80% EW. It seems to show up a lot in strange amounts in people from England also.

Why is this category so wonky? it never seems to show up in people who it would make sense for, and when someone expects to land in another category, bam! Europe West'd.
At least, that's the impression I get. Can any of the experts here shed some light on this? it really makes you wonder who Ancestry chose for their reference populations.

I'm no expert and will be interested in what people with more knowledge say but it doesn't surprise me that British people who came from Western Europe are similar to people who are actually are from Western Europe. Maybe I'm looking at it too simplistically and should be surprised?

sktibo
09-20-2016, 06:16 AM
I'm no expert and will be interested in what people with more knowledge say but it doesn't surprise me that British people who came from Western Europe are similar to people who are actually are from Western Europe. Maybe I'm looking at it too simplistically and should be surprised?

If I'm understanding you correctly I think you've got a good point. The POBI study shows that the British populations are comprised of several mainland groups, so it really isn't a shocker that so many mainland Europeans score high on the British scale. It's just weird that they actually included a western European category and yet people who fit within this area don't seem to score in it at all. (At least that's the impression i get from reading forums and blogs on the matter).

JohnHowellsTyrfro
09-20-2016, 07:52 AM
If I'm understanding you correctly I think you've got a good point. The POBI study shows that the British populations are comprised of several mainland groups, so it really isn't a shocker that so many mainland Europeans score high on the British scale. It's just weird that they actually included a western European category and yet people who fit within this area don't seem to score in it at all. (At least that's the impression i get from reading forums and blogs on the matter).

I find some of the descriptions used a bit curious and confusing, which isn't helped by different testing companies appearing to use different terms and maybe should define a bit more clearly what these terms actually mean and whether they are relating them to certain time periods, for example does "British" mean pre- Anglo/Saxon? :). I'm sure people with greater knowledge understand them more than I do.

sktibo
09-20-2016, 08:26 AM
Here's what I've found out about the British Category:
1. Its reference populations appear to be based in Central and South England. Figure 3.6 in the white paper: http://dna.ancestry.com/resource/whitePaper/AncestryDNA-Ethnicity-White-Paper
2. I doubt it's indicative of Anglo-Saxon ancestry because one man in North Wales took the test and got 63% Great Britain 29% Irish. I don't think any Welsh man could possibly be 63% Saxon.
3. That doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't include any Anglo-Saxon because it is apparently one of the most admixed region of Ancestry's ethnicities.
4. There are many people who have posted on forums with the majority of their ancestry being from France and Germany and ending up with the majority of their estimate being Britain.
5. Ancestry said in response to a complaint that all of their reference samples come from the regions named, and that the references from Britain do indeed come from Britain.

That aside, if anyone reading this scored high Europe West, I'm curious as to your paper trail or nationality.

Dubhthach
09-20-2016, 08:38 AM
They plan on splitting this in newer version of their calculator which is currently in BETA see:
http://www.rootsandrecombinantdna.com/2016/03/coming-down-ethnicity-admixture-pike.html



Europe Central cluster addition— might prove instrumental for people with genetic ancestry from populations in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland but it remains to be seen what final biogeographical area this cluster will cover. This cluster may prove valuable with customers whose ancestors are from crossroads areas such as the Istrian peninsula (as seen on PBS Finding Your Roots [view here] with guest Lidia Bastinach, who discovered she had both Italian and Croatian roots due to the Istrian exodus). Apparently there will also be an European East cluster, which is even better.


There also be change with "Great Britain/Europe West" as a "new" component, it be interesting to see how with the "Central European" component how this will affect people of recent German ancestry (Eg. will they be mostly "Central European" etc.)

sktibo
09-20-2016, 09:30 AM
That looks like it'll make a lot more sense, Dubhthach. It also sheds light onto the weirdness of the current Europe west category - it's basically the same. I just wish they'd add more categories into the British isles area.

Cinnamon orange
09-20-2016, 11:01 AM
I am a quarter German descent and got just a few percentage points Western Europe on Ancestry. I am also a quarter British isles descent.
Ancestry tends to over do the Scandinavian.
The main problem I have with Amcestry is, they do not give a chromosome view, so you cannot compare their deductions with others, 23andme, Gedmatch calcs. (And no, being able to upload your raw data to Gedmatch is not the same as seeing where Ancestry allocated it.)

JohnHowellsTyrfro
09-20-2016, 12:47 PM
Here's what I've found out about the British Category:
1. Its reference populations appear to be based in Central and South England. Figure 3.6 in the white paper: http://dna.ancestry.com/resource/whitePaper/AncestryDNA-Ethnicity-White-Paper
2. I doubt it's indicative of Anglo-Saxon ancestry because one man in North Wales took the test and got 63% Great Britain 29% Irish. I don't think any Welsh man could possibly be 63% Saxon.
3. That doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't include any Anglo-Saxon because it is apparently one of the most admixed region of Ancestry's ethnicities.
4. There are many people who have posted on forums with the majority of their ancestry being from France and Germany and ending up with the majority of their estimate being Britain.
5. Ancestry said in response to a complaint that all of their reference samples come from the regions named, and that the references from Britain do indeed come from Britain.

That aside, if anyone reading this scored high Europe West, I'm curious as to your paper trail or nationality.

"I don't think any Welsh man could possibly be 63% Saxon."

but that's where these terms become confusing. :) For example many people migrated to parts of Wales from England, particularly during the 19th Century their descendants would have been born in Wales, but even if they were English they wouldn't have been exclusively Anglo/Saxon before they moved to Wales. I suppose what I mean is, even an English person probably wouldn't be 63% Saxon ( is there Saxon dna?) or am I mistaken?
Not being contrary, just trying to learn. :)

firemonkey
09-20-2016, 01:27 PM
Here's what I've found out about the British Category:
1. Its reference populations appear to be based in Central and South England. Figure 3.6 in the white paper: http://dna.ancestry.com/resource/whitePaper/AncestryDNA-Ethnicity-White-Paper


I get Ireland 38 Scandinavian 23 Europe west 22 Great Britain 15 and then Italy/Greece and Europe east at <1 each.

My known ancestry comes from Gloucestershire,Lancashire,Staffordshire,Warwicksh ire,Worcestershire, Yorkshire,Banffshire,Glasgow,Midlothian,Morayshire and Ireland.

I was surprised at how low my Great Britain result was. I have heard when they update they are going to combine Great Britain and Europe west into one category.

sktibo
09-20-2016, 03:47 PM
"I don't think any Welsh man could possibly be 63% Saxon."

but that's where these terms become confusing. :) For example many people migrated to parts of Wales from England, particularly during the 19th Century their descendants would have been born in Wales, but even if they were English they wouldn't have been exclusively Anglo/Saxon before they moved to Wales. I suppose what I mean is, even an English person probably wouldn't be 63% Saxon ( is there Saxon dna?) or am I mistaken?
Not being contrary, just trying to learn. :)

The POBI project stated "the most obvious contribution representing the Anglo-Saxons comes from north and north west Germany ... Denmark is another clear candidate for an Anglo-Saxon contribution. Based on these two contributions, the best estimates for the proportion of presumed Anglo-Saxon ancestry in the large eastern, central, and southern England cluster are a maximum of 40% and could be as little as 10%."
Source: POBI https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.peopleofthebritishisles.org/nl6.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjZ17zvpJ7PAhVQ5GMKHVPKBlkQFggiMAE&usg=AFQjCNElS7qWb8zE8hbq9X723UKlYFPYOA

So the largest estimate for anglo Saxon ancestry in England is 40%, therefore I don't think it's possible that any Welsh person could get a higher number than that.

jpb
09-20-2016, 10:34 PM
I am about 5/8 British, and my mom is about 3/4 British on the paper trail and we get 51% and 59% Europe West, respectively, annd 5% and 8% Great Britain. The test definitely needs tweaking.

mwauthy
07-21-2017, 07:10 PM
I think Europe West is a Celtic/Germanic cluster more specifically Gaulish/Frankish. I'd assume people from the middle of that cluster would score the highest scores in places like Alsace Lorraine. If you are from northern Germany or coastal areas of France I think you'll land in other categories.

My father is 100% Wallonia Belgium and received 66% Europe West. I believe Wallonia is primarily Gaulish/Frankish.

My mother is 100% French Canadian. She received <1% Europe West. I think this is due to French Canadians coming from coastal areas of France such as La Rochelle or Normandy. La Rochelle will cluster more with Mediterranean (Iberia and Italy). Normandy will cluster more with U.K. And Scandinavia.

vettor
07-21-2017, 08:54 PM
IMO, the bulk of EuropeWest is from ancient Gallic-celts ...............they ranged from all modern france , belgium, south and central Germany , northern spain, ...............and then began migrating from the iron-age to austria, British Isles, north-italy, switzerland, slovenia, croatia, serbia, hungary, romania .............and a blob in anatolia (Turkey )

greerpalmer
07-24-2017, 12:21 AM
I think Europe West is a Celtic/Germanic cluster more specifically Gaulish/Frankish. I'd assume people from the middle of that cluster would score the highest scores in places like Alsace Lorraine. If you are from northern Germany or coastal areas of France I think you'll land in other categories.

I'm approximately 37% Germanic on paper. Both my parents have lines from the western borders of Germany (along with Prussia, Northwestern Germany & Bavaria) and into Luxembourg, France & Switzerland. Ancestry assigned me 10% Europe West-- 23andMe had me at 11.7%, familytreeDNA 12% in respective categories.

trolldom
07-24-2017, 02:15 AM
I have done two DNA tests, ancestry.com and myheritage. They both varied greatly. Ancestry gave me Great Britain as my main percentage followed by (big suprise) Europe West. Myheritage gave me Scandinavian as my main percentage followed by Ireland/Wales/Scotland.
Ancestry also gave me a >1% Middle Eastern percentage which didn't show up in Myheritage.

sktibo
07-24-2017, 02:41 AM
I think Europe West is a Celtic/Germanic cluster more specifically Gaulish/Frankish. I'd assume people from the middle of that cluster would score the highest scores in places like Alsace Lorraine. If you are from northern Germany or coastal areas of France I think you'll land in other categories.

My father is 100% Wallonia Belgium and received 66% Europe West. I believe Wallonia is primarily Gaulish/Frankish.

My mother is 100% French Canadian. She received <1% Europe West. I think this is due to French Canadians coming from coastal areas of France such as La Rochelle or Normandy. La Rochelle will cluster more with Mediterranean (Iberia and Italy). Normandy will cluster more with U.K. And Scandinavia.

The French results I've seen showed their primary component as Great Britain (which they were often confused by!) and a friend of mine who took the test who is half french Canadian got about 50% Great Britain too.

mwauthy
07-24-2017, 05:36 PM
I think the high U.K. Scores for French Canadians could be for several reasons.
1. The English Channel is not that big of a barrier between northern France and England. Only 20 miles in one spot.
2. Normandy was ruled by England for over 300 years allowing for gene flow back and forth.
3. Brittany France was populated by the Britons fleeing the Anglo-Saxon invasions. Brittany is right next to Normandy.
4. English and Irish have been in Canada for several hundred years in addition to French Canadians allowing for gene flow.

My mom who is 100% French Canadian since 1650 received 32% UK not 50%. 23% English and 9% Irish.

kujira692
07-25-2017, 01:52 PM
On Ancestry I've received 65% Europe West, 17% Ireland, and 8% Great Britain, and these are a rough breakdown of my family's paper trail:

From Ireland: 28%
From Scotland: 6%
From SW Germany & Eastern France: 15%
From France: 6%
From SE/E England: 28%
From Netherlands/Belgium: 3%
Unknown: 12%

mwauthy
11-28-2017, 01:28 PM
Looks like FTDNA 2.0 might be more accurate for people with French heritage than Ancestry DNA.

Mother (French Canadian)
Ancestry: <1% Europe West
Ftdna: 99% West and Central Europe.

Iím amazed at this extreme discrepancy.

Father (Wallonia Belgium)
Ancestry: 66% Europe West
Ftdna: 80% West and Central Europe

Me
Ancestry: 49% Europe West
Ftdna: 90% West and Central Europe

Huijbregts
11-28-2017, 03:26 PM
Germans or people of German background expecting to get Western Europe, but instead they get Britain or Scandinavia. French people getting Britain instead of EW
There is this statistical problem: you have neighboring populations, the population averages are nearly identical, but the variance within each population is great.
So the sample of a German may deviate from the German average and more resemble the English average. Good luck calculator.

Dewsloth
11-28-2017, 04:36 PM
I think Europe West is a Celtic/Germanic cluster more specifically Gaulish/Frankish. I'd assume people from the middle of that cluster would score the highest scores in places like Alsace Lorraine. If you are from northern Germany or coastal areas of France I think you'll land in other categories.

My father is 100% Wallonia Belgium and received 66% Europe West. I believe Wallonia is primarily Gaulish/Frankish.

My mother is 100% French Canadian. She received <1% Europe West. I think this is due to French Canadians coming from coastal areas of France such as La Rochelle or Normandy. La Rochelle will cluster more with Mediterranean (Iberia and Italy). Normandy will cluster more with U.K. And Scandinavia.


The French results I've seen showed their primary component as Great Britain (which they were often confused by!) and a friend of mine who took the test who is half french Canadian got about 50% Great Britain too.


There is this statistical problem: you have neighboring populations, the population averages are nearly identical, but the variance within each population is great.
So the sample of a German may deviate from the German average and more resemble the English average. Good luck calculator.

I don't have Ancestry results for Dad (who's mostly West German/British with Belgian/Ashkenazi on paper, and looks Frankish in the Davidski's PCA thread), but I do have mine.
Mom is pretty much all Lebanese (so take out a bunch of S. Europe/Levant and you see half Dad):

Ethnicity Estimate

Europe South 47%
Europe West 19%
Middle East 14%
[I] Syrian-Lebanese Subgroup Identified
Caucasus 8%
Low Confidence Regions
Ireland/Scotland/Wales 4%
Great Britain 3%
European Jewish 3%
Asia South 1%
Scandinavia 1%

I think mwauthy's "Gaulish/Frankish mix" assessment seems to work.

kujira692
12-03-2017, 12:21 AM
Hello all,

I score 65% Europe West and the majority of where my ancestors came from within that map region are around the Frankfurt and Heidelberg areas in Germany, and Montbeliard in France. I think that lines up with the Frankish leaning theory.

jshook
12-03-2017, 02:40 AM
My paper trail so far shows about 15% German ancestry and my DNA test with Ancestry put me at 11% "Europe West", which I figure is a pretty okay result. Most all of my ancestry there comes from North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse areas though, so maybe that's easier to pick up.