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Thread: Am I half Polish, or half a more interesting Slavic mixture?

  1. #1
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    Am I half Polish, or half a more interesting Slavic mixture?

    The folks at the 23andMe subforum told me to crosspost this here, and so I'll do so!

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    I've been trying to uncover the Slavic, maternal half of my roots. Previously, I was under the impression that I was half Polish, and that side of my family of origin was too, but after submitting my spit sample to 23andMe it's unclear just how much of my roots are actually Polish and how much is actually some other Slavic (or even potentially some other non-Slavic!) ethnic group that Poland went in and Polonized, since political borders have fluctuated rather vigorously in the regions from which I have records of known ancestors' birth/residence. I'm a PhD student in molecular bio with a specialty in computational genetics so I understand the limitations of this sort of testing very well and have read about the differences between 23andMe and GEDMatch's references and computation, but my specialty is decidedly not in human genetics or ancestral admixture.

    ---------------------

    Genetic information:
    1) 23andMe has found some real interesting things. At the default (50%) confidence level, I am listed as 47.4% Eastern European, with Poland highlighted (5 dots under the 'scientific details' section) and Ukraine also somewhat (2 'dots'), as well as 1.3% Balkan (basically the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, and Greece). At the 60% confidence level, 23andMe is still confident that I am 45.1% Eastern European and 0.3% Balkan. At 70%, this goes down to 42.4% EE and the Balkan ancestry disappears. At 80%, it is 36.7%, and at 90%, it is 27.5%. It is also confident up to the 80% confidence level that 0.1% of my genome is broadly East Asian, and before 23andMe updated everyone's results, it assigned this to Japanese ancestry, but it no longer does (the most prevalent result for this I get on GEDmatch calculators is Siberian/Altaic).

    2) When I chucked my raw data through the admixture calculators at GEDmatch.com and sent it into DNA.land just for giggles, I got some odd mixed results: not actually many Polish hits, especially from the calculators that actually HAD Polish samples. I actually mostly got hits from four countries: Lithuania, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.

    - DNA.land (kind of cruddy and doesn't have Polish pops) thinks my Slavic ancestry is a mixture of Belarusian, Lithuanian, Russian, and Ukrainian (and for some reason it thinks I've got a chunk of Uralic in there - Mordovian, Estonian, and Finnish pop up)

    All these GEDmatch calculators have Polish populations (using the 4-ancestors tool, since my grandparents hail from four different locations in Europe: British Isles, Germany, northeastern Poland in Podlaskie/Warmian-Masurian voivodeships near Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia/Kaliningrad, and southeastern Poland near the border with Ukraine. I omitted results from Western Europe because that's my paternal ancestry):
    - Eurogenes K13 thinks I'm Lithuanian, Belarusian, Finnish, Estonian, and Russian (the Uralic COULD be actually Slavic, because there are Slavic populations in Finland and Estonia)
    - Eurogenes EUtest v2 K15 thinks I'm Ukrainian (specifically, the Ukrainians around Lviv, which isn't entirely insensible given the Galician ancestry)
    - Eurogenes EUtest thinks I'm Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Northwest Russian, and Belarusian
    - MDLP World-22 thinks I'm a lot more Belarusian, Lithuanian, Russian, and Ukrainian than Polish, though it recognizes the Polish apparently
    - MDLP K23b thinks I'm West/South Belarusian, Kashubian (Polish, I know), Lithuanian, generic Baltic, Latvian, and Russian
    - MDLP K16 Modern thinks I'm Latvian, Belarusian (particularly from around Gomel, which is weird because that's Eastern Belarus), and Lithuanian, and maybe slightly concedes that I'm part Polish (with a particular focus on the Sorbs, which are genetically closest to the Poles and Czechs).
    - Dodecad K12b really, really thinks I'm Belarusian (18/20), with a smattering of Lithuanian (2/20)

    I computed the weighted average distance for each of the Slavic populations that came up in 4-ancestors mode on the GEDmatch calculators by taking the average of each of the distances cited (dividing by two when it came up twice or three when it came up three times) and dividing the average by the number of times it came up out of 20 in the 20-iteration list, then compared how often a given population came up across them and took the average of those. The weighted averages:

    Eurogenes K13: LITHUANIA 0.1656193077, BELARUS 0.5298225, ESTONIA 0.20566821, FINLAND 1.06126325, RUSSIA (SMOLENSK) 2.161569
    Eurogenes EUtest: LITHUANIA 0.4197421983, UKRAINE 2.25824675, NORTHWEST RUSSIA 1.157080438, BELARUS 1.550440111
    MDLP World: LITHUANIA 0.1422681975, LATVIA 0.3163514375, POLAND 0.2780850938, RUSSIA (mostly Russian South but one Russian Center) 0.324255, ESTONIA 1.316871
    MDLP World-22: BELARUS 0.14889506, LITHUANIA 0.16863503, POLAND 0.4655572222, RUSSIA 0.2805137778, UKRAINE 0.5726013333
    Dodecad K12b: BELARUS 0.03279360802, LITHUANIA 0.307153
    puntDNAL K15: LITHUANIA 0.0922446108, BELARUS 0.5040627188, POLAND 0.2942503047

    Rank-ordering the populations by their incidence and rank in these results, I get from most to least Lithuania -> Belarus -> Russia -> Poland -> Ukraine.

    Towns and surnames in question:
    1) On one side of the Slavic part of my ancestry...
    - I have actual living relatives in Pisz, in northeastern Poland (north of Lomza, northwest of Bialystok)
    - I am pretty sure one of my great-grandfathers was from Bialystok
    - I've heard Lomza tossed around a few times

    - The surname 'Sielawa' is found pretty heavily on this side, and I am aware it:
    - - clusters mostly in the east of the country in Podlaskie Voivodeship and a bit in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (it's the Polish word for the vendace, Coregonus alba, a kind of European whitefish that is found in the area. c.f. Belarusian 'cялява' and Lithuanian 'seliava'). It is found mostly in Kolno, Borkowo, Lomza, Pisz, Szczuczyn, and Bialystok.
    - - is a surname associated with the szlachta (most famous bearers: Atanas "Anton" Sielawa/Selyava/Seliava, metropolitan of Kiev/Russia/Ruthenia in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and Stanislaw Sielawa, indicted but cleared in the Jedwabne pogrom in WWII),
    - - it is a relatively uncommon surname (approximately 600 people in Poland with it, and a population in the United States clustered around NY/MI/MA/PA), so I'm probably related to everyone bearing the surname.
    - - I have seen one internet source associating Sielawa with Lithuanian origins, and another one associating it with Belarusian origins, but this is confusing. Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania are the only European countries in which versions of this surname exist.

    - Others: Prusinowski (I'm aware this refers to Prussia), Duda (I'm aware this is common)

    2) On the other side...
    - One of my great-grandfathers was from Gorliczyna, in former Galicia (near Przeworsk/the Ukrainian border)
    - The surname 'Burat' is found pretty heavily on this side, and I'm not positive at all this is Polish in origin
    - Others: Taroski (pretty sure this is Anglicized), Bednarz (which I think clusters around Katowice and Opole)

    Other surnames associated with people I've been listed as third to sixth cousin of on 23andMe, and so I share anything from a 2nd-great to 5th-great grandparent with them (and I don't know the names of any of these ancestors): Wyszkowski (Vyshkovsky?), Krutina (almost certainly Russian in origin), Dolinova, Staffova, Kalusek, Vitova (all Slovakian), Trojanowski, Czyzewski (may be Polonized Belarusian, especially because the surnames Hoskowicz and Pietkiewicz are associated with it, and I've heard -owicz and -ewicz are especially likely to be Belarusian), Dzwonkowski, Kowalewski (Kovalevsky?), Gabrych, Generalski, Janczukiewicz, Warminski, Jankoski, Nowakowski (Novakovsky?), Jorsz, Jursz, Zacek, Wysotki, Jablonski, Sendrowski, Krupski, Zilnicki, Pierzchanowski, Perkowski (Perkovsky?), Pent, Androv, Bakardjiev (definitely Bulgarian), Anuszewski (definitely Januszewski - I'm pretty sure that's Polonized Belarusian, Russian, or Ukrainian), Rajniak, Chudik, Benchurik (Ukrainian?), Strzelecki, Radulski, Anton, Wieszek, Terzic (definitely Serbian/Croatian), and Lewandoski.

    --------------------------

    Given this information, how can I tell, and what's the likelihood, of some of these surnames being from somewhere other than Poland? And what the heck am I if not half Polish, am I some nebulous mixture of Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Russian?

  2. #2
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    Not sure what you mean by more interesting. Slav is Slav. Most of these Slavic countries are very very closely related genetically, other than Hungary.
    DNA Tribes

    Balto - North Slavic 22.4%
    Northwest European 18.8%
    Italian Greek 18.1%
    Persian Jewish 9%
    Iberian 6.3%
    Ashkenazi Jewish 5.9%
    Basque 4.3%
    Sephardic Jewish 4.1%
    Balochi Punjab 3.7%
    Caucasus 2.5%
    Urals 1.3%
    Finnish 1.2%
    Lebanese Cypriot 1%
    Other 1.4%

    Sephardic Jewish Turkey 18.8%
    Argyll and Bute Scottish Highlands 18.6%
    Sardinia 18.4%
    Lithuania 15.7%
    Russia Voronezh 7%
    Belgium 5.6%
    Syrian Jewish 4.9%
    Libyan Jewish 4.4%
    Russia Tver 2.4%
    Azerbaijani Jewish 2.2%

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  4. #3
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    Use tool in link below to find your lowest fit:

    http://185.144.156.77:3000/

    You will need coordinates from Davidski (small fee paypal). I am 100% Polish, AncestryDNA I will get 100% Europe East. Here is further breakdown using modern and ancient DNA samples from Global25 database:

    Using 8 outgroups:

    Latvian 44.17
    Moldovan 13.33
    Cossack_Kuban 11.67
    Romanian 7.5
    Montenegrin 7.5
    Macedonian 6.67
    Scythian_Hungary 5
    Serbian 4.17

    Fit: 1.0448

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    My understanding, though, is that:

    - a lot of Polish surnames are likely to be Polonized Belarusian, Lithuanian, or Ukrainian (e.g. if they end in -ewicz or -iuk')
    - the history and ethnic admixture of the region suggests that all the ethnic groups associated with territories in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth are so closely genetically related anyway that oftentimes it makes very little sense to think of them as 'separate' in the genetic sense, and only on a sociocultural level

    Quote Originally Posted by Idwaajeden View Post
    You will need coordinates from Davidski (small fee paypal). I am 100% Polish, AncestryDNA I will get 100% Europe East. Here is further breakdown using modern and ancient DNA samples from Global25 database:

    Using 8 outgroups:

    Latvian 44.17
    Moldovan 13.33
    Cossack_Kuban 11.67
    Romanian 7.5
    Montenegrin 7.5
    Macedonian 6.67
    Scythian_Hungary 5
    Serbian 4.17

    Fit: 1.0448
    Does this tool contain a Polish population?
    Last edited by madeofATGC; 08-20-2018 at 03:30 PM.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by madeofATGC View Post
    Does this tool contain a Polish population?

    Using Polish population and total 10 outgroups:

    Polish 26.83
    Belarusian 25
    Latvian 16.67
    Macedonian 10.67
    Bosnian 5.83
    Cossack_Kuban 5.83
    Scythian_Hungary 2.5
    Serbian 2.5
    Montenegrin 2.5
    Moroccan 1.67

    Fit: 0.9113

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    Interesting. What comes up for you most often on GEDmatch oracle-4s?

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    I can't imagine any calculator would be able to definitively distinguish between Polish and any other Northern/Balto-Slavic group. I think the most reliable result is from the 23andme "dots," since, as far as I understand it, that's actually matching with individuals in Poland.

    My guess would be Polish. Whether that "Polish" genetically contains some Belarus, Lithuanian, or Ukranian (etc etc) is anybody's guess and a distinct probability...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tz85 View Post
    Not sure what you mean by more interesting. Slav is Slav. Most of these Slavic countries are very very closely related genetically, other than Hungary.
    Yeah, he did say more interesting, didn't he? What's more interesting than being half Polish? Well,...

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    Quote Originally Posted by madeofATGC View Post
    Interesting. What comes up for you most often on GEDmatch oracle-4s?
    West Ukrainian will show most often for my particular admixture. Using 4 oracles: Serb_Serbia + Estonian + Serb_Serbia + Estonian @ 2.321056

    I am related with those names you posted, you are part south Polish Szlachic. You can do research online to learn origins of names. BTW I realize you are just trying to learn your Polish origins but word choice you using to name this thread will entice trolls you know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idwaajeden View Post
    I am related with those names you posted, you are part south Polish Szlachic. You can do research online to learn origins of names. BTW I realize you are just trying to learn your Polish origins but word choice you using to name this thread will entice trolls you know.
    Which ones? Sielawa is definitely northeast Polish szlachta.

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