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Thread: Ancestry vs Gedmatch vs Paper Trail

  1. #1
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    Ancestry vs Gedmatch vs Paper Trail

    I recently got my results back from Ancestry and ran it through multiple calculators on Gedmatch, and aside from the strong Scottish/Irish/English component, most of it doesn't match each other or my paper trail!

    On Ancestry, I got:

    54% Scottish/Irish/Welsh
    28% Great Britain
    8% Europe West
    4% Scandinavian
    2% Europe South
    2% Asia Central
    1% Finland/Northwest Russia
    1% Iberian Peninsula

    I understand the Scottish/Irish/Welsh, Great Britain, Scandinavian and Asia Central - but the rest completely puzzles me. I do have some fairly recent road blocks in my family tree due to illegitimate births, but all of the ancestry I've been able to trace has been Scottish and English, with a very small amount of Irish and Indian.

    I ran my DNA through Gedmatch, and became very confused. All of the calculators showed a large amount of Baltic/Russia/East Euro (changing depending on the calculator), but I have absolutely no known Eastern European ancestry! Even if I did, it would have to be very recent to appear at 20% or more, or a huge number of Eastern Europeans coming to Western Europe and having a lot of children, and I just happen to be descended from most of them!

    Also, most of the Oracle 4 results on Gedmatch showed East German and/or Austrian, which again, I have no known ancestry from. If I'm not mistaken, the Oracle 4 results show you the combination of ethnicities your DNA most closely matches, but most of them reflect the Orcadian, Western Scottish, and South West English ancestry I have, so I have no idea where the German comes from.

    Could someone help me work this out? I would post my Gedmatch results, but I have no idea which calculator would be best!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ais View Post
    I recently got my results back from Ancestry and ran it through multiple calculators on Gedmatch, and aside from the strong Scottish/Irish/English component, most of it doesn't match each other or my paper trail!

    On Ancestry, I got:

    54% Scottish/Irish/Welsh
    28% Great Britain
    8% Europe West
    4% Scandinavian
    2% Europe South
    2% Asia Central
    1% Finland/Northwest Russia
    1% Iberian Peninsula

    I understand the Scottish/Irish/Welsh, Great Britain, Scandinavian and Asia Central - but the rest completely puzzles me. I do have some fairly recent road blocks in my family tree due to illegitimate births, but all of the ancestry I've been able to trace has been Scottish and English, with a very small amount of Irish and Indian.
    Which of these are low confidence regions? Because anything low confidence could just be noise, which is like a false positive due to random chance (ie, a small portion of your DNA matched randomly matched those samples by coincidence, not because you have ancestry in those places).

    Additionally, neighboring regions typically share a lot of DNA so it's not unusual for British ancestry to show up in Europe West or Scandinavia, or vice versa. If you click on each category and click on "Read More" - then look at "Genetic Diversity" you'll see that 49% of people native to Great Britain get results in Europe West, and 18% of people native to Ireland/Scotland/Wales get results in Europe West. Historically, the British do, after all, have genetic influences from Germanic tribes. Keep in mind the ethnicity report is only an estimate. With that understanding, I'd say this report is fairly consistent with your known ancestry.

    I ran my DNA through Gedmatch, and became very confused. All of the calculators showed a large amount of Baltic/Russia/East Euro (changing depending on the calculator), but I have absolutely no known Eastern European ancestry! Even if I did, it would have to be very recent to appear at 20% or more, or a huge number of Eastern Europeans coming to Western Europe and having a lot of children, and I just happen to be descended from most of them!

    Also, most of the Oracle 4 results on Gedmatch showed East German and/or Austrian, which again, I have no known ancestry from. If I'm not mistaken, the Oracle 4 results show you the combination of ethnicities your DNA most closely matches, but most of them reflect the Orcadian, Western Scottish, and South West English ancestry I have, so I have no idea where the German comes from.

    Could someone help me work this out? I would post my Gedmatch results, but I have no idea which calculator would be best!
    In my experience Gedmatch's Admixture Calculators and Oracle can be way off - they are interesting to explore, but for me, they aren't anymore accurate than AncestryDNA. Take them with a large grain of salt.

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  4. #3
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    The Scandinavian, Europe South, Asia Central, Finland/Northwest Russia and Iberian Peninsula are all low confidence regions. The Asia Central is correct though, as I have the paper trail to India.

    I was wondering how accurate gedmatch was, but I've heard that if something appears fairly regularly then it's worth noting. For me, the Gedmatch calculators consistently get large Baltic and Mediterranean percentages, and my Mixed Population Sharing is almost always North/Central European and around 10-15% Russian/East European. For example, on EUtest these are my top 5 mixed populations.

    1 90.1% IE + 9.9% UA = 2.55
    2 90% IE + 10% West_Russian = 2.56
    3 90.6% IE + 9.4% Ukrainian-Russian = 2.58
    4 95.6% IE + 4.4% Kalash = 2.65
    5 89.7% IE + 10.3% PL = 2.66

    And these are my Eurogenes K15.

    1 88% Southwest_English + 12% Kargopol_Russian = 3.18
    2 62.8% Orcadian + 37.2% East_German = 3.22
    3 89.5% Southwest_English + 10.5% Erzya = 3.22
    4 89.9% Southeast_English + 10.1% Erzya = 3.24
    5 88.6% Southeast_English + 11.4% Kargopol_Russian = 3.27

    MDLP K16 Modern

    1 85.3% English (Kent) + 14.7% Pole (Poland) = 1.76
    2 85.1% English (Kent) + 14.9% Belarusian (Belarus) = 1.8
    3 88.1% English (Kent) + 11.9% Russians-West (WestRussian) = 1.81
    4 87.8% English (Kent) + 12.2% Lithuanian (Lithuania) = 1.83
    5 67.3% Orcadian (Orkney_Islands) + 32.7% German (Germany) = 1.84

    I do take these results with a large grain of salt, especially since it doesn't match my known ancestry, although if I hadn't already know about my Indian heritage then I would have thought that 2% was just noise as well. The thing that's strange about these results is how consistent they are, it shows up in the mixed populations of most of the calculators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ais View Post
    Could someone help me work this out? I would post my Gedmatch results, but I have no idea which calculator would be best!
    I probably can't help you, but more knowledgeable people around here should be able to. EU13, EU15, and MDLP k23 seem to be pretty accurate for Europeans depending on the individual. Keep in mind that everyone's experience with those calculators are different. LukazM has been doing some interesting things with EU36, so that may also be worth a look.

    You never know about the Eastern European. Those Polish pilots at RAF Northolt/303 Sq during WW II were some pretty busy fellows .
    The more I learn about this DNA stuff the less I know.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    I probably can't help you, but more knowledgeable people around here should be able to. EU13, EU15, and MDLP k23 seem to be pretty accurate for Europeans depending on the individual. Keep in mind that everyone's experience with those calculators are different. LukazM has been doing some interesting things with EU36, so that may also be worth a look.

    You never know about the Eastern European. Those Polish pilots at RAF Northolt/303 Sq during WW II were some pretty busy fellows .
    Haha, I know people in my own family who were certainly busy in WWII as well

    My EU13 actually reflects my Asian ancestry in the mixed mode population sharing:

    1 94.3% Orcadian + 5.7% Kalash = 3.04
    2 94.9% Orcadian + 5.1% Balochi = 3.11
    3 87.5% Irish + 12.5% Moldavian = 3.11
    4 95% Orcadian + 5% Brahui = 3.14
    5 94.7% Irish + 5.3% Burusho = 3.14

    MLDP K23 is very different:

    1 96.3% Frisian ( ) + 3.7% Algonquin ( ) = 1.49
    2 96.3% Frisian ( ) + 3.7% Cree ( ) = 1.53
    3 97.3% Frisian ( ) + 2.7% Navajo ( ) = 1.53
    4 96% Frisian ( ) + 4% Ojibwa ( ) = 1.54
    5 97.1% Frisian ( ) + 2.9% Athabask ( ) = 1.57

    Funnily enough, on my grandmother's Ancestry test, she got 4% Native American, and my aunt got Native American as well. It didn't show up on my Ancestry, but it appears on the gedmatch calculators.

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    You might want to try the 4-ancestor oracles and see if you can find other Scottish results here.
    The more I learn about this DNA stuff the less I know.

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    You might want to try the 4-ancestor oracles and see if you can find other Scottish results here.
    I've had a look at all of the Eurogenes Oracle 4 results, Scotland appears in the single population matching (usually around 5+), but it only really appears in the K15's 4 population:

    1 East_German + Orcadian + Orcadian + South_Dutch = 3.461935
    2 East_German + Orcadian + Southwest_English + West_Scottish = 3.472593

    And in K13 with a bigger distance:

    4 East_German + Irish + Irish + West_Scottish = 4.030105
    5 Austrian + Irish + Irish + West_Scottish = 4.080005
    8 East_German + Irish + West_Scottish + West_Scottish = 4.150598
    9 East_German + Irish + Irish + Orcadian = 4.209802
    10 Austrian + Irish + West_Scottish + West_Scottish = 4.217192

    My paper trail shows I'm mostly West Scottish, Orkney, Scottish Highlands and Southwest English, but no German, Dutch or Austrian at all. Also, the distance is higher than I would have expected. The rest of the Eurogenes 4 Oracles are all a mishmash of Irish (likely Scottish), East German, Austrian and Danish - most with a distance of over 3.

    Do you have any idea about what could cause these results? With entirely British/Irish ancestry, and one distant Indian line, I don't understand why Eastern Europe, and even East German/Austrian, would feature so prominently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ais View Post
    The Scandinavian, Europe South, Asia Central, Finland/Northwest Russia and Iberian Peninsula are all low confidence regions. The Asia Central is correct though, as I have the paper trail to India.
    Yeah, low confidence results can still be legit - I get 2% Scandinavian but I had one Norwegian great grandparent. But if there's no known ancestry in a low confidence region, I would consider it more likely to be noise.

    I was wondering how accurate gedmatch was, but I've heard that if something appears fairly regularly then it's worth noting.
    Could be, but hard to say anything with certainty when it comes to admixture/ethnicity.

  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinBMc View Post
    Yeah, low confidence results can still be legit - I get 2% Scandinavian but I had one Norwegian great grandparent. But if there's no known ancestry in a low confidence region, I would consider it more likely to be noise.



    Could be, but hard to say anything with certainty when it comes to admixture/ethnicity.
    Agreed, it's noise until proven otherwise with low confidence regions. I think with those regions, you have some DNA that the company can't place, so they give an approximate region as best they can. For example, my 2% Asia Central is actually Asia South, a completely different region on their map. I wonder why they're unable to place it, I can only think that it's quite different from the DNA they were able to place in Northern Europe.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ais View Post
    Agreed, it's noise until proven otherwise with low confidence regions. I think with those regions, you have some DNA that the company can't place, so they give an approximate region as best they can. For example, my 2% Asia Central is actually Asia South, a completely different region on their map. I wonder why they're unable to place it, I can only think that it's quite different from the DNA they were able to place in Northern Europe.
    Once you get down to the single digit percentages I think you'd get a similar result by tossing out chicken bones and sprinkling lime juice on them. Like Robin said, might be real or might not. At least according to Eurogenes, something's being dragged pretty far east in your case.
    The more I learn about this DNA stuff the less I know.

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