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Thread: When shocking genealogy discoveries and DNA tests clash

  1. #1
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    When shocking genealogy discoveries and DNA tests clash

    Hello again community. I have been doing so much genealogy work lately and have discovered some interesting finds. I thought my father had French ancestry, through some surnames and a relative, however it ended up being false. Another shocking discovery is that I thought I had Hungarian ancestry (paternal grandmother) but that was also false. I was more inclined to believe this since I show Eastern Euro on dna tests, but it turns out it's not legit. I found a genealogy site and along with the help of some close relatives I managed to nail down my paternal ancestry, finally! My father's heritage is mainly Northern Irish/Scottish which is what I assumed, but also English and German! which was a surprise for sure. I was blown away that I have both English and German from both my mom and dad. So cool. Now, here is what is troubling to me, and making me question DNA testing. Why do I keep getting consistent Southern European and Eastern European on these tests, when I don't have such ancestry? Even trace amounts of middle eastern. I don't get it.

    Here's how it looks basically on paper

    Mother: German, English, Danish, Norwegian

    Father: Scottish, English, and German

    (Note: My maternal German heritage is Southwest German, now if this is the reason why I score Southern European or not I do not know)


    23andme for the most part was accurate for me, aside from a 5% Southern Euro and 6% Eastern Euro. AncestryDNA was weird with the 18% Iberian it gave me, I thought for the longest time I was part Spanish lol. FTDNA was a mess and gave me a mix of Iberian, Balkan, Middle Eastern, and too much Scandinavian. I think that me being a European mix is throwing off the DNA tests possibly, it does the same with GEDMATCH. I honestly think if I had just believed the DNA tests and didn't do any actual genealogical work, I would be claiming false ancestries.

    So I am curious, based on all this, which should I trust more, genealogy or DNA testing?

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  3. #2
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    Dna cannot be disputed, although mistakes do happen, what you read and hear can. I would trust the DNA, more than the paper trail, eventually it should be OK its a new science and moving too fast at the moment, and is confusing as it is for me, but in a few years it will hopefully be a different story.
    Last edited by Paul333; 08-08-2018 at 04:22 PM.

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    it seems you do in fact have a draw toward the Mediterranean. all of the for profit companies you listed show this in varying degrees. run your data through the various GEDmatch models and see what shows up regularly.... people lie, DNA doesn't. I'd trust a DNA reading over a paper trail. DNA doesn't care about your feelings. people have lied over and over about their origins for many reasons.
    Last edited by JerryS.; 08-08-2018 at 05:03 PM.

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    I would say that the paper trail must be leading, at least for the last ca. 8 generations. There will be gaps, and some people might have different fathers, but without any paper trail it is difficult to interpret the DNA results. In my opinion, DNA matches are very important too. They may show common ancestry, and often you can see where on the genome they are.

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryS. View Post
    it seems you do in fact have a draw toward the Mediterranean. all of the for profit companies you listed show this in varying degrees. run your data through the various GEDmatch models and see what shows up regularly.... people lie, DNA doesn't. I'd trust a DNA reading over a paper trail. DNA doesn't care about your feelings. people have lied over and over about their origins for many reasons.
    Yes that is very interesting how the companies show me having med, however the closest thing I have that would draw me toward that is my Southern German heritage. Nobody in my family tree is southern European though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryS. View Post
    it seems you do in fact have a draw toward the Mediterranean. all of the for profit companies you listed show this in varying degrees. run your data through the various GEDmatch models and see what shows up regularly.... people lie, DNA doesn't. I'd trust a DNA reading over a paper trail. DNA doesn't care about your feelings. people have lied over and over about their origins for many reasons.
    Also I have ran my data through Gedmatch calcs numerous times and none of them make sense. Lukasz did a eurogenes k13 pca for me and I plot between English and Dutch, he stated "you aren't shifted south".

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    In Lukasz' K36 thread some new maps of the K36 components are posted. You may note there the somewhat higher meditteranean ancestry in southern Germany. Not saying that is your source of such ancestry, but it is worth to take a look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylsteen View Post
    I would say that the paper trail must be leading, at least for the last ca. 8 generations. There will be gaps, and some people might have different fathers, but without any paper trail it is difficult to interpret the DNA results. In my opinion, DNA matches are very important too. They may show common ancestry, and often you can see where on the genome they are.
    I did DNA testing first, then researched my family tree and confirmed my paper trail. My DNA tests are clashing with the paper trail though. My DNA matches are mostly British and German, no eastern euros or southern euros at all, very strange

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    Very interesting. In general I trust 23andme to deliver an accurate result. I've seen them do a good job with many of my own friends and family. I would assume you've got some southern European that you haven't found on a paper trail yet. For example, I recently discovered an 18th century Franconian ancestor who moved to England. That came as a surprise.
    Living DNA Cautious mode:
    South Wales Border-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    Cumbria-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,280 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales, 18th century. Mother's Y line (Wales): R-L21 L371

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylsteen View Post
    In Lukasz' K36 thread some new maps of the K36 components are posted. You may note there the somewhat higher meditteranean ancestry in southern Germany. Not saying that is your source of such ancestry, but it is worth to take a look.

    Thank you for mentioning this, I will take a look at that thread.

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