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Thread: Are there any white Americans who are 100% European?

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by passenger View Post
    For anyone who's interested, I just came across and skimmed through an interesting dissertation on "mulattoes in English Colonial America" http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.ed...028E_13422.pdf

    It only looks at relationships between blacks and whites, and focuses on the South, more specifically the Chesapeake Bay area

    Some of this is information I was already familiar with. especially the story of "Irish Nell" and "Negro Charles"; Maj. William Boarman, who owned Charles, is my 10th great-grandfather (not mentioned in the paper: over a century later, some of Nell Butler's descendants successfully sued for their freedom on the grounds that their ancestor was a white woman).

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    The average white American is ~0.2% Native American and ~0.4 African-American according to several studies (this and this recent one). I think there are many (probably most?) that score ~0%, especially if their four grandparents were born in Europe. Overall, non-European admixture is quite low, especially if you compare it to that of neighboring countries like Mexico.
    Last edited by Milkyway; 11-19-2019 at 12:57 PM.

  3. #93
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    I think the new 23andMe ancestry composition display is an improvement over any of the others I've seen, including theirs since 2011 when I started looking at them. FTDNA and LivingDNA aren't nearly as accurate/specific -- at least for broadly NW European, 13-colonies type USA ancestry.

    I dislike Ancestry on principle (having to do with that company's business model) so I don't test there; but their relative strength for those with immigrant ancestors during recent generations seems to be offset by their weakness for those of us with mostly or entirely colonial-era ancestry. I'm only judging by the grumbles of their customers on public forum, not personal experience -- although some of the grumbling customers are my relatives.

    Circumstances have compelled me to concentrate on YDNA, anyhow. It's a tiny fraction, but a pretty reliable tracker of what it tracks.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by razyn View Post
    I dislike Ancestry on principle (having to do with that company's business model) so I don't test there; but their relative strength for those with immigrant ancestors during recent generations seems to be offset by their weakness for those of us with mostly or entirely colonial-era ancestry.
    Ancestry's "relative strength" for people with American colonial ancestry isn't in the ethnicity estimates (which are less refined than 23andMe's, but also broadly similar), it's in the DNA matches (which are a lot more genealogically significant). I have mostly colonial-era ancestry that goes back to before 1700 on both sides, and I have 120K DNA matches, and between Ancestry and GEDmatch have been able to use autosomal DNA to verify some lines going back 9 or 10 generations (someone with recent immigrant ancestry will get more precisely pinpointed "ethnicity" results, but far fewer relevant DNA matches).
    Last edited by CJH; 11-20-2019 at 02:25 AM.

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    I would imagine most European Americans are 100% European in ancestry (excluding MENA input which is often inherited indirectly from European ancestors).

  7. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJH View Post
    Ancestry's "relative strength" for people with American colonial ancestry isn't in the ethnicity estimates (which are less refined than 23andMe's, but also broadly similar), it's in the DNA matches (which are a lot more genealogically significant). I have mostly colonial-era ancestry that goes back to before 1700 on both sides, and I have 120K DNA matches, and between Ancestry and GEDmatch have been able to use autosomal DNA to verify some lines going back 9 or 10 generations (someone with recent immigrant ancestry will get more precisely pinpointed "ethnicity" results, but far fewer relevant DNA matches).
    No, I'm afraid that someone with "recent immigrant ancestry" won't necessarily "get more precisely pinpointed 'ethnicity' results".

    I won't go into detail now, but I have two 2nd great grandfathers who immigrated from Spain (from the island of Menorca), which means that 12.5% of my ancestors were Spanish immigrants. A 2nd great grandmother immigrated from Alsace-Lorraine, so 6.25% of my ancestors were Alsatian immigrants.

    How much "Spanish" does Ancestry show for me? 1%. This is at least better than before the update, when it was 0; but worse than it was even before the previous update, when it was 9%. Nor does Ancestry report any "French" ancestry for me. It's of course possible that the "Alsatian" appears as German, which Ancestry says is 10%. The thing is, all of my German ancestry without counting Alsatian as German consists of colonial-era "Palatine immigrants", and on paper this ancestry totals 34.4%.

    Again, this is without considering the Alsatian, which would bring the "German" total up to over 40% (plus there is a small percentage of Swiss).

    What does Ancestry say my ancestry now is, after the most recent update? 73% "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" -- down 7% from previous estimate, which was up 55% from the "Great Britain" estimate before that; 14% "Ireland and Scotland" -- up 3% from previous estimate, which was up 2% from the one before that; 10% "Germanic Europe" -- up 4% from previous estimate, which was down 38% from "Europe West"; 1% Spain -- up 1% from previous estimate, which was down 9% from the "Iberian Peninsula" estimate before that; 1% "Indigenous Americas - North" -- down 1% from previous "Native American - North, Central, South", which was up 1% from previous "trace Native American"; 1% "Finland" -- nowhere in my tree, yet it's been close to this amount in all three Ancestry estimates.

    I'm afraid that Ancestry's breaking its "Indigenous Americas" categories into even more regions may have an unintended consequence. For most "white" Americans with this ancestry, it's typically a century of more back. We have no way of knowing how much anyone's "Indigenous Americas" ancestors would have tested at Ancestry, if such testing could have been done.

    So, would the ancestors who contributed my 1% "Indigenous Americans - North" tested as 100% in that category? Or might they also have also shown some percentage of "Indigenous Americas - Yucatan Peninsula" or "Indigenous Americas - Mexico"? Now, for those who have elected to show their matches all of their ancestries, there's no problem. So I can see, for example, that one of my "3rd" cousins who shares a Native American ancestor has not only the 1% "Indigenous Americas - North" ancestry that I do, but also has 1% "Indigenous Americas - Mexico". Now, this could certainly reflect different ancestry, but might it also not reflect the very same ancestry -- just from different parts of the ancestor's genome?

    The fact is, tribes moved. Now, post-Columbus, most of this movement may have been westward. But there was also considerable movement before Columbus, in all imaginable directions. My point is, it isn't too difficult to imagine a tribe like the Choctaw having some DNA -- especially over a century ago -- having at least some DNA that Ancestry would call, "Indigenous Americas - Mexico", and not just "Indigenous Americas - North".

    So, for customers who elect to only show their matches ancestries both share, for "Indigenous Americas" ancestry to appear, it will have to be from the same region. I've already seen relatives that used to show "Native American - North, Central, South" no longer showing any "Indigenous Americas" percentages. The problem is, in many cases there is a missing percentage -- of something. I can't tell what it is.

    And all because Ancestry is trying to break down a category on the basis of its present-day reference panels. Who knows how they represent ancestry from the 1800s, or even the 1700s, when Native Americans have experienced as much change during that time as they have.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & another NA tribe, possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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