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Thread: What is the "Value" of Living DNA UK when if POBI went one generation back

  1. #1

    What is the "Value" of Living DNA UK when if POBI went one generation back

    I am curious.

    I have been in a conversation with a POBI researcher who specifically said that had they gone one generation back - from grandparents to great-grandparents - far less of their samples/references would have met the mileage radius criteria.

    And for the record POBI specifically says come to them, not that they go to you [remote areas] so how many people who believe they know their ancestry for hundreds of years are going to bother & how many people with questions are going to test to "confirm" things. Essentially how many references have really old ancestry from a region & how many references have family trees with more holes than swiss cheese.


    Regardless, the researcher's comment, to me that says their samples/references are from a more mobile ancestry than they are trying to pretend.

    Not unusual given in the UK there has been numerous causes for movement - Clearances, Industrial Revolution, etc. means there's been constant movement around the country so Welsh, Scots, Irish, etc. all over. The Colonial / Mercantile aspect of the country means that there have been migrants [Poles, Greeks, Italians, French, Germans, Swedes, Danes, mixed raced individuals such as Anglo-Indians, Indian sailors who were cast off, etc., etc., etc.] throughout the country for centuries beyond the ancestral migrants [Saxons, Franks, Vikings, etc.].

    So, in that case, what value does it have? Like with other ethnicity tests - gedcom just "matching" you with the closest population - it is just going to match you with the most similar of populations. Those populations aren't necessarily your ancestry however.
    Last edited by Ladle; 10-04-2017 at 02:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladle View Post
    I am curious.

    I have been in a conversation with a POBI researcher who specifically said that had they gone one generation back - from grandparents to great-grandparents - far less of their samples/references would have met the mileage radius criteria.

    And for the record POBI specifically says come to them, not that they go to you [remote areas] so how many people who believe they know their ancestry for hundreds of years are going to bother & how many people with questions are going to test to "confirm" things. Essentially how many references have really old ancestry from a region & how many references have family trees with more holes than swiss cheese.


    Regardless, the researcher's comment, to me that says their samples/references are from a more mobile ancestry than they are trying to pretend.

    Not unusual given in the UK there has been numerous causes for movement - Clearances, Industrial Revolution, etc. means there's been constant movement around the country so Welsh, Scots, Irish, etc. all over. The Colonial / Mercantile aspect of the country means that there have been migrants [Poles, Greeks, Italians, French, Germans, Swedes, Danes, mixed raced individuals such as Anglo-Indians, Indian sailors who were cast off, etc., etc., etc.] throughout the country for centuries beyond the ancestral migrants [Saxons, Franks, Vikings, etc.].

    So, in that case, what value does it have? Like with other ethnicity tests - gedcom just "matching" you with the closest population - it is just going to match you with the most similar of populations. Those populations aren't necessarily your ancestry however.
    I mean I'd say that the test is pretty accurate - I wouldn't have just forked another 100 quid to test my mother otherwise. I'm not really getting your last point, surely all ancestry tests work like that? Given that your ancestors are dead, you can't match with them, only other descendants who still live in the same area your shared ancestors did.
    Hidden Content < link
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    Gedmatch: A968357 (Ancestry) & Z225914 (Living DNA)
    Roughly (w/ small amounts elsewhere):
    1/4 Scottish (Aberdeenshire)
    1/4 Anglo-Irish & Ulster Scots
    1/4 West Midlands
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    Earliest paternal (Y) ancestor: Richard Horton/Baker - living in Feckenham, Worcs. in 1530s
    Earliest maternal (mt) ancestor: dubious - possibly Anne Patchet, potential grandmother of Ann Mainwaring b. 1807 Wolverhampton (definite)

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ollie444 View Post
    I'm not really getting your last point, surely all ancestry tests work like that? Given that your ancestors are dead, you can't match with them, only other descendants who still live in the same area your shared ancestors did.
    Areas are very similar to one another due to migration. I mean do you know there were Irish & Swedes alike in Newcastle? Did you know there's been Italians & Greeks in the western side of England for a while? Scottish & Irish throughout the Midlands? The Glasgow Patter isn't compared to the Corby accent because they all like kilts, but because of a similar ancestral background [English, Irish, and Scottish making a "messy" accent].

    I have tried broaching this with Living DNA many a time with my own ancestry - as I'd rather not fork over the quid for a test that as implied by the POBI researcher is good for surface ancestry & family trees full of holes - and all they have given me is garbage answers. Passable if you don't know your ancestry that well, or if you don't know English history too well, but if you know your ancestry well or am well versed in English history don't mean much of anything.

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    For the money Living DNA, based on the PoBI, is the best UK ancestry site we've got today. It's been very helpful for me and closely matches my family history, especially Scotland and Wales. And understanding LDNA weak areas (to be addressed in updates) I can see why my Irish and continent along the English Channel results differ from family records.

    My ancestry reports from AncestryDNA, 23&Me and FTDNA do not come nearly as close to my own records as LDNA does. Making reasonable assumptions of their "Broadly NW European" assignment, 23&Me can look good examining the overall picture, British/Irish and French/German. But it can't begin to offer the county level information that LDNA does.

    I am pleased with the information I got and recently tested three more family members. It's a useful test and well worth the money.
     
    Estimated ancestry after reviewing Ancestry.com, 23&Me, FTDNA My Origins, Living DNA and known family history:
    33% English, 27% Scottish, 18% Welsh, 18% Irish, 4% German/Netherlands

    Y-DNA leads to Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands: R1b>M343>L278>L754>L389>P297>M269>L23>L51>L151/L11>P312>Z290>L21/M529>DF13>L513/DF1>S5668>A7>Z21253> S7834 > S7828 > BY11203 > BY11186 (about 320-550 years old)

    MTDNA leads to Glamorgan, South Wales: K1a4a1f

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  7. #5
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    You'd have far fewer samples, simply because although many families will have history of their four grandparents, far fewer will have comprehensive knowledge of their eight great grandparents. In my own case, only because I am a family historian, I can report that all four of my grandparents were born in Norfolk, East Anglia - but as for the next generation back, seven out of the eight were born in Norfolk, with my surname great grandfather being born on the east side of South London. However, until I started researching, not even his grandchildren knew anything about his family origins (which turned out to be 75% Oxfordshire, and 25% Swiss). How much DNA does he contribute to me? On average, depending on recombination, maybe 8% to 14%? So through the other seven of my great grandparents, maybe 86% to 92% East Anglian? At Generation 6, on my paper trail, it's still at around 75% East Anglian. LivingDNA only give me 37% East Anglia.

    What generation was great grandparent, also depends on age of tester. My great grandparents were born between 1859 and 1884. Your friend might have been referring to the laying of railways. Sure, mine were born around the time that the important lines were being laid in East Anglia. In addition, the agricultural population of East Anglia was becoming a problem. For some time, many had emigrated to other parts of England, or even to Australia and Tasmania. The railways arrived just as the Agricultural Crisis started to hit (the opening up of the North American prairies and Eurasian Steppes to extensive cereal cultivation). However, although an exporter of human DNA, not many people started coming here, until the commuter expansion, and "overspill" (Town Development Act 1952) plans of the post WWII period. Very recently a lot of people from Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania, Czech, Slovakia, and Latvia have settled here.

    Other areas of Britain are different. Some members here have discussed for example, the highland clearances, and the filling of that vacuum since. The point POBI made though, that despite this, that they could still distinguish the early medieval kingdoms as regions through DNA. This doesn't mean that there was no movement of people, just that it was often absorbed into a distinguishable local genome. Surname evidence here in Norfolk for example, suggests around 15% admixture from other parts of England between the 13th and mid 16th centuries AD. In addition to that, the absorption of large numbers of protestant refugees from the Continent during the 16th century.

    It's an interesting question, because it depends on the quantity and quality of samples required to make a good reference data set for these sort of tests. I don't think it is clear cut, I'd love to hear the opinion of the community. I suspect that how you define the limits and boundaries of a reference is equally or more important (and the background admixes of each population). I've recently been very impressed by Ancestry.com's "Genetic Communities" system, that gives me 95% confidence of membership of the "East Anglia & Essex" GC, as well as the "Southern English" GC. A different kind of "peer to peer" referencing (is that a fair description of GC?). I share membership of the East Anglia & Essex GC with 47 of my DNA matches.

    Maybe future systems may develop, that utilise ancient DNA, or perhaps systems like Genetic Communities, or hybrids of. At the moment, I feel that run of the mill autosomal DNA tests are too confused by the backgrounds and limitations of their reference populations.
    Last edited by A Norfolk L-M20; 10-04-2017 at 04:28 PM.

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterBane View Post
    I think the amount of interest in family depends on the family itself. Some families, like yours, do not know much. It might be due to migration & lack of records, it might be due to simple couldn't-careless-attitude about the past, or a some sort of warped inferiority complex (if someone is from the lower rungs of society why would they want to know about similarly dirt-poor ancestors), etc.

    On the other hand there are families who have an ongoing interest in the family history. My family for example. I merely need to send out an email or two, to any number of relatives (aunts, 1st cousins, 3rd cousins, etc.) to clarify anything about any relative up to the 5th great-grandparents.
    Welcome to the forum HunterBane. Sure the amount of interest in lore will vary from family to family. As for your remarks regarding my family:

    1. What migration? I've been researching for the past 30 years. I've only ever found one (so far). On my mother's side, I've only ever found a few outside of Norfolk, and they were just over in neighbouring Suffolk. I'd love to have more recorded migrant ancestors over recent centuries.
    2. " simple couldn't-careless-attitude about the past, or a some sort of warped inferiority complex (if someone is from the lower rungs of society why would they want to know about similarly dirt-poor ancestors)". Was that intended to sound insulting or condescending. You are referring to the British working classes. We are, actually the bulk of the British, and have been for a very long time, since we sort of replaced the peasantry of the dirt poor people in the lower rungs of society. I think that we actually total up into the millions. You should come and meet us sometime. I assume that your family are from the higher rungs of society. It's actually the Bourgeoisie of the towns and urban areas that are more likely to have more geographically dispersed, and migrant ancestry. By the way, I have utterly no value for some sort of desire for a purity or to belong to some sort of local endogenous community, what I find is what it is. I'm very proud of the few migrant ancestors that I have so far found recorded. Everyone should be.
    3. You're very fortunate to be a member of such an English family that has such good knowledge and lore of their ancestry. Make sure that you record all of it, as I did so many years ago, before all of my elderly relatives passed away. However, I'd counter argue that most rural working class families (Rightly or wrongly, POBI had the assumption that rural families were more likely to have long term roots in an area than would urban bourgeois families), do not have such a fortunate library of their family history at their disposals. I'd venture to suggest that a minority of English families could quickly recant the birth and origins of their eight great grandparents with ease to a researcher. Which is the point of this thread, and of my response. I'm pretty sure that some experienced genealogists can't. We dirt poor lower rung types of course like to indulge in NPEs more than our social betters.


    Quote Originally Posted by HunterBane View Post
    Interesting, but you aren't that well versed in some aspects of English history. Scandinavians have been in the Midlands, Scotland & Northern England since the early 1800s, mid 1700s for example. Slavic peoples have been in the Midlands & Scotland since the 15th century. Italians & Germanics have been in the UK since the 16th century, etc.

    While the people you mention at the end of this paragraph have been in England for centuries. There were, after all, enough people of different ethnicities that some of the most respected poets & authors of their generations made mention of them in their works. If you thoroughly examine the census records, the church yard records, or the colonial ship records, you will find obviously non-English names & surnames in the midst or "English" names & surnames that are obviously of non-English origin.

    Do you seriously believe a Pole, for example, would willingly maintain their Polish names in 17th century England?
    I was referring only to East Anglia over the past 300 years. Of course I acknowledge that there has been immigration of "aliens" as they were usually known, even into rural areas. Despite not being "well versed in some aspects of English history" as you have decided. The fact is that between 1820 and 1920, rural East Anglia was overpopulated. Following the Agricultural Revolution, then the Agricultural Depression, and accompanied by large 19th century families, there was a serious surplus of us labouring types, that needed to be dispersed (using poverty as a control measure) to the growing labour-hungry industrialised regions of both Northern England, and to the growing metropolis of London - in addition to Australia, Tasmania, Canada, the USA, etc. I'm not saying that there were no immigrants at all to East Anglia in this period. Towards the end of it, there were some foresters in SW Norfolk and NE Suffolk from Eastern Europe. There were Dutch engineers employed in the new sugar beet industry. However, it wasn't exactly a labour hungry honey-pot magnet to migration during that period. You'll need to show me these census reports of East Anglia with all of that migration here. I must have missed it. Me and my lacking in local history.

    East Anglia has however been a magnet to migration at earlier periods. I did hint at that didn't I? Bell Beaker, Belgae, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Danish, Anglo-Norman, the 16th Century "Strangers" (protestant refugees from the Low Countries. A 16th Century survey of Norwich suggested that a third of the population of that City belonged to the Stranger community - and there were more at the towns of Ipswich, Yarmouth, Colchester, etc). As well as the drip drip feed in the background. Records of Dutch and French aliens, surnames, a record of a ferry full of Lithuanian passengers sinking in the River Yare. The occasional army of Italian knights or Germanic mercenaries being sent in by kings to suppress rebellious local boiled cabbage eating peasants (see Kett's Rebellion of Norfolk). I quoted the surname evidence that suggested a 15% admixture into Norfolk from other parts of England (Yorkshire being surprisingly a favourite) during the later medieval and early post medieval periods. But my passage, was in response to the suggestion that the results of POBI, that claimed to detect regional DNA variations across Britain, that appeared to align with the early medieval kingdoms - and that the results of the study would have been very different, if they limited their samples much further, by only sampling people that had local origins at Generation 4 (great grandparent). I also answered from the perspective of an East Anglian, and pointed out that other regions would have different experiences, such as the Fens following drainage, or the Highlands following the clearances. I was speaking from my local family perspective, not revealing my weakness of national English history, never mind that of British history.

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterBane View Post
    Ironically, coming from an isolated English town, Ancestry's Genetic Communities are utterly worthless for myself because there has been little migration in or out of the region even in modern times. All of my father's, and half of my mother's ancestry, comes from the same 50 mile radius region for the last 400 years. Ancestry can identify my grandmother's Canadian group but the 75% English, I have better luck jumping from a plane with a 70 year old parachute & hoping it opens.

    So in this example the samples are only are useful as long as there is migration to & from the region. It likely applies to all ethnicity guesswork, as long as people have come & gone from there or believe their ancestry is from there as POBI specifically says their Orcadian samples are "traced" ancestry [that means they weren't born there], then you are "okay". Otherwise, like for myself, they are at best vague guesses.
    Anyway, peace. I'm over it now ha ha. Can I ask what part of England that you and your family live in, without divulging anything too personal? I'm not a fanboy or spokesperson for Ancestry or for any DNA-for-ancestry business. How was Living DNA for your very localised family?

    By the way, here is a map of my ancestral events from both parents, from records over the past three or four centuries. Red is my very Norfolk mother, Blue, my slightly less localised father's ancestry. He does have one teeny weeny dot off of the map in Switzerland, from a 3 x great grandfather (very proud of). Ancestry.co.uk gave me 95% probability of the East Anglia & Essex Genetic Community (with 47 DNA matches within it), and of the parent Southern English Community. How did yours do, and how did Living DNA do against your family record?





    EDIT: Oh, he / she has "gone" again already.
    Last edited by A Norfolk L-M20; 10-05-2017 at 03:48 PM.

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