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Thread: How to interpret GEDMatch kit results?

  1. #1
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    How to interpret GEDMatch kit results?

    Hello!

    I just inserted the raw data from my Ancestry.com DNA results into GEDmatch to try to get more information on my results. My family is in denial that no Native American ancestry popped up in the test results. They are telling me I am a liar because apparently, my great grandmother was supposedly part Native American. I am wondering if someone could help me translate these results somehow? My kit # is A202425. I just put them in tonight so I am not sure if more info gets uploaded over a few days or not but I wanted to see if someone could possibly translate or give me more input into what my DNA is showing as. My Ancestry results list this...

    Italy35%
    Ireland and Scotland24%
    England, Wales & Northwestern Europe20%
    France14%
    Greece and the Balkans6%
    Mali1%

    Please help!!!
    Thanks!!
    Ryan

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    I just ran a couple tests and I see little to no Native American beyond noise levels. Meaning there doesn’t seem to be any present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digital_noise View Post
    I just ran a couple tests and I see little to no Native American beyond noise levels. Meaning there doesn’t seem to be any present.
    Thanks! Do you know the accuracy of this test? My aunt told me she had some sort of testing done that told her she was Native American. I am not sure if other tests show different results now? She pointed me to 23andme. Is it possible that the raw data would be different from that specific test? I am fine with not having Native American in me but my relatives are dead set on being Native Americans. I was even told that I personally offended my other Aunt by telling people there was 0% Native American in my results! She was so mad! She said I had insulted the family by giving out results that were possibly false. I told them I was merely posting my DNA results and since there was no Native American in mine...I could assume that they would also have none. Am I wrong?

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    If the Native American is far enough back, you could simply not have inherited any, while other family members could have a little bit. If your great-grandmother was already a small percentage Native American, that wouldn't be surprising.

    That said, these kinds of family stories are often untrue. I've gotten in touch with cousins descended from my gg grandmother's sister, and they all have family stories that she (the sister) was 100% Native American (in some cases) or at least significantly so. Based on my mtDNA, which comes through that line, she's definitely not 100%, and I don't see any indication that she was significantly so, although right now I have a theory that the daughters may have actually had different fathers, so who knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK1981 View Post
    Hello!

    I just inserted the raw data from my Ancestry.com DNA results into GEDmatch to try to get more information on my results. My family is in denial that no Native American ancestry popped up in the test results. They are telling me I am a liar because apparently, my great grandmother was supposedly part Native American. I am wondering if someone could help me translate these results somehow? My kit # is A202425. I just put them in tonight so I am not sure if more info gets uploaded over a few days or not but I wanted to see if someone could possibly translate or give me more input into what my DNA is showing as. My Ancestry results list this...

    Italy35%
    Ireland and Scotland24%
    England, Wales & Northwestern Europe20%
    France14%
    Greece and the Balkans6%
    Mali1%

    Please help!!!
    Thanks!!
    Ryan
    "Part" is pretty imprecise, and the percentage actually makes quite a bit of difference. If she was half Native American -- meaning perhaps that her mother was Native American -- you'd be about 1/16 or 6.25%. That would almost certainly show, even if it turned out to be somewhat lower than that.

    But when we look at these fractions or percentages, it's important to understand the difference between an ancestor's genealogical share of your ancestry in their generation, and their genetic share. For parents, it's essentially the same: 1/2 in each case. Even by the grandparent generation, however, it's starting to look different.

    Each grandparent represents 1/4, or 25%, of your genealogical ancestry from that generation. But they don't necessarily represent 25% of your genetic ancestry. For example, my father has five tested grandchildren at 23andMe. He shares 28.0% with one grandson, but only 18.5% with another.

    Part of the difference here is that the first grandson is a daughter's son, and grandfather and grandson share almost 100 cM of their X chromosome (in two segments). But even if you subtract out this 100 cM, the first grandson still shares about 300 cM more with my father than the second grandson does. Counting the Y chromosome shared by my father with this second grandson would only make up a small portion of that difference.

    The difference in sharing between my father and the three tested granddaughter's isn't nearly so dramatic, but it is still noticeable. He shares 20.4% with one granddaughter, 22.5% with a second great granddaughter, and 25.4% with a third. Interestingly, the granddaughter with whom he only shares 20.4% is the only one of the three that he shares any X chromosome DNA with. She's the sister of the grandchild with whom my father shares 28.0%. In this case, there is just one shared segment on the X chromosome, and it's a mere 11.06 cM.

    My father also has a tested great grandson. He's the son of my sister's daughter. My father and his great grandson share only 7.34% of their DNA. This is at the same time that their genealogical sharing is 1/8, or 12.5%. So their genetic sharing isn't that much higher than half the "expected" sharing. This is obviously likely to reduce whatever ancestries might be inherited on this side.

    At the same time, my sister's sharing with her grandson is 21.5%. Whatever her grandson inherited from her but not from her father, he must have inherited from her mother -- who is also my mother. That's 14.16%, which is a little more than the "expected" 12.5%.

    My point is, in real life you can't rely on inheriting "expected" amounts of DNA. Beyond your parents, it will begin to vary. For some ancestors, it will end up varying a lot. I showed you an example in which the inheritance from one member of the same great grandparent was nearly double the inheritance from the other. This is going back just three generations.

    That's why there can be a huge difference in the ancestries inherited by various descendants of the same ancestors. If the total DNA inherited from the same ancestor is different, why wouldn't you expect it to affect the individual components inherited?

    Using your account number at GEDmatch, Eurogenes K13 shows 0.52% "Amerindian". Possibly, the 0.53 "Siberian" could be related, but you can't be sure. On the same test, even with documented Native American, I get 2.18% "Amerindian" and 0.39% "Siberian".

    My closest two Native American ancestors -- one on my maternal grandfather's side and one on my maternal grandmother's side -- are pretty distant, but I have multiple paths to each of them (due to some endogamy on both grandparents' sides).

    Still, I have a bit of a problem with saying that if there's "little to no Native American beyond noise levels" that this means it isn't present. My sister's percentage of NA in Eurogenes K13 is a bit higher than mine at 2.91% (but with no Siberian). My sister's Native American ancestry is, of course, exactly the same as mine.

    The same grandson I mentioned earlier obviously includes all of his grandmother's ancestry at least on paper. He's simply two more generations removed. In spite of that, he shows 0.9% Native American, though at 23andMe since his data file has not been uploaded to GEDmatch. Considering the locations, it appears that this is all from my mother, his great grandmother. It's nearly identical to the amount my niece -- his mother -- inherited, which further underscores that what's "expected" (halving of each ancestry from one generation to the next) isn't necessarily what actually happens.

    The end result is that one person removed the same number of generations from an ancestor might show nothing, while another may show a detectable amount.

    Nevertheless, I think you can say with some confidence that if your great grandmother was part Native American, it probably was already a fairly small fraction. I'd say likely less than an 1/8.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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    I should have taken the time to be more clear. I didnt mean anything beyond that at an initial glance it doesn't look present. That doesnt mean its not there however. These things, especially when we are at the 1/16th level need more than just a calculator run to confirm or deny the presence. Sorry if I confused with my poor job at explaining

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK1981 View Post
    Thanks! Do you know the accuracy of this test? My aunt told me she had some sort of testing done that told her she was Native American. I am not sure if other tests show different results now? She pointed me to 23andme. Is it possible that the raw data would be different from that specific test? I am fine with not having Native American in me but my relatives are dead set on being Native Americans. I was even told that I personally offended my other Aunt by telling people there was 0% Native American in my results! She was so mad! She said I had insulted the family by giving out results that were possibly false. I told them I was merely posting my DNA results and since there was no Native American in mine...I could assume that they would also have none. Am I wrong?
    Are you wrong? Yeah, in a way. You're not wrong in saying your own result was 0% Native American -- that's simply what the testing company is telling you. But you can't presume that just because "there was no Native American in [yours]" that your relatives would also have none.

    This is especially true for someone like an aunt, who at the very least is a generation closer (presuming such ancestry exists and is on that side). The testing company can also make a difference. One may find ancestry that another does not. You'd hope that both would find the same ancestries, but this isn't the case.

    When I first took the Family Finder test at FTDNA, the original "MyOrigins" showed no Native American. It did, however, show East Asian. As I began to upload family members' files from 23andMe, I noticed that MyOrigins said that my brother does did have Native American ancestry. One of my sisters, like me, reportedly had East Asian.

    As soon as MyOrigins 2.0 came along, suddenly my siblings and I all had Native American. Mine was 2% -- just as 23andMe's Ancestry Composition was reporting all along. When I first took Ancestry's autosomal test, they told me I had a "trace" 1%. After their latest update, it's now 2%. So even at the same companies, the results can change as either reference populations change or their detection algorithm changes.

    You've also noticed by now that members of a family can be seriously invested in the family's legends. Although I have not only DNA results but documentation with respect to my Native American ancestry on my mother's side, I grew up with the idea that I had Native American ancestry on my father's side -- but not on my mother's!

    On my father's side, the most highly developed version of the "legend" was this. After the Civil War, my great grandfather's father went "out West" with the U.S. Army. There he met his future wife, who was Sioux. He married her, and brought her and her entire family back with him to central Pennsylvania.

    I was willing to believe the story, because I'd grown up with the idea of my great grandfather being "part Indian". It was something people actually asked him about when they met him. (Nobody seemed able to believe his ancestry was simply German and Scots-Irish.)

    Anyway, as I examined the story more closely, I began to notice a few holes. In particular,

    • I obtained my 2nd great grandfather's military pension file. The only military service it mentioned was from the Civil War, and that was as an infantryman. There was nothing about subsequent service with the cavalry.
    • I found my great grandmother and her family in U.S. Census records for 1850 and 1860. They were already living in Pennsylvania, and were enumerated as "white".


    And when I convinced my father to test at Ancestry, his results came back as 100% European. The roughly 2% Native American that all of my siblings and I have at 23andMe is all from our mother, as is whatever percentage each of us passed on to our own children (and grandson, in my sister's case).

    And as I've said, there is also documentation on my mother's side, but nothing on my father's other than legends. Legends can be true, but they often are not. I really wouldn't want to rely on that alone, especially since sometimes those legends are demonstrably false.

    The fact that one version of my father's family's "Native American" legend is false doesn't prove that he and his siblings have no Native American ancestry. Neither does the absence of "Native American" in my father's Ancestry Composition. It simply makes it more doubtful, and at the very least further back than has been claimed.

    I might also mention that at Ancestry, I have five "1st cousins once removed". All of them are great grandchildren of my paternal grandparents. It's only possible for me to see the "Ethnicity" for three of them -- evidently there's a setting that will let you share you with your matches or hide it from them -- but of those three, none shows any "Native American".

    This is very different from my closest relatives on my mother's side -- at least for those who are on either my maternal grandfather's mother's side, or my maternal grandmother's mother's side. These are the sides where my Native American ancestry is. Many of the cousins on these sides show "Native American" at a trace level or sometimes higher.

    (It frequently depends on how many lines of descent they have from the Native American ancestor in question. Among both my grandfather's mother's ancestors and my grandmother's mother's ancestors, there were several instances of marriages between cousins of some degree. The result is that their descendants have multiple lines of descent from several of the same ancestors.)
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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    As geebee said, considering that your great grandmother was supposed to have been 'part' Native American, it could be just one of her grandparents that was Native American which would make you 3.125% Native American or it could be further back again. It's always possible that you just didn't inherit a lot of this DNA as well. For far back ancestry, it's probably better to try to prove it with records instead of DNA results since such small percentages could be dismissed as noise. I know of course that the records aren't always available but I don't know if such small percentages really 'prove' anything.

    My dad's autosomal results do make me doubtful of using such small percentages to prove Native American ancestry or any ancestry that is possibly a good bit back. He's Irish and gets <1% South Amerindian with FTDNA, 2.27% Amerinidian with K13 and he gets a percentage with every calculator. It dips at 1.22 with K36 and peaks at 3.34 with K9b. I highly doubt that it's real. The only ancestor of his that I know to have gone to America was his grandfather who returned to Ireland to help his elderly father on the farm since all of his older brothers had emigrated to America and he had been in America for the shortest time and hadn't had a family yet. He met my great grandmother's sister in America and she gave him a pair of red shoes to bring back to her sister in Ireland and that's how my great grandparents met. I had Fenian relatives that were going back and forth between America and Ireland so it is possible that I have some ancestors that did likewise but I doubt that they married any Native American woman and brought her back to Ireland either!

    It would seem likely to be some sort of ancient DNA for my dad but then that could also be said to anyone who gets these small percentages. I suppose the best way to prove these things when there's doubt is if you have an oral history of ancestry from a certain country, DNA and if possible records to back it up.
    Ancestry: Ireland (Roscommon, Galway, Mayo)
    Paternal ancestor (Y): Martin Kelly b. c1830 in Co. Roscommon (Ui Maine)
    Father's mtDNA: Catherine Fleming b. c1831 in Co. Roscommon (H27e)
    Maternal ancestor (mt): Anne McDermott b. c1814 in Co. Roscommon
    Paternal great grandfather (mt): Mary Connella b. c1798 in Co. Roscommon (T2a1a8)

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    I'm no expert, but I took a quick peek at your Eurogenes k13 results. Your Siberian + Amerindian + Oceanian = 2.5+ percent. That seems just a little higher than what I have observed in my family. It may be possible that in these calculators, at very small levels, NA dna ends up sort of split among these categories? Something to consider...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK1981 View Post
    Hello!

    I just inserted the raw data from my Ancestry.com DNA results into GEDmatch to try to get more information on my results. My family is in denial that no Native American ancestry popped up in the test results. They are telling me I am a liar because apparently, my great grandmother was supposedly part Native American. I am wondering if someone could help me translate these results somehow? My kit # is A202425. I just put them in tonight so I am not sure if more info gets uploaded over a few days or not but I wanted to see if someone could possibly translate or give me more input into what my DNA is showing as. My Ancestry results list this...

    Italy35%
    Ireland and Scotland24%
    England, Wales & Northwestern Europe20%
    France14%
    Greece and the Balkans6%
    Mali1%

    Please help!!!
    Thanks!!
    Ryan
    I'm no expert, but I took a quick peek at your Eurogenes k13 results. Your Siberian + Amerindian + Oceanian = 2.5+ percent. That seems just a little higher than what I have observed in my family. It may be possible that in these calculators, at very small levels, NA dna ends up sort of split among these categories? Something to consider...

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