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Thread: MyHeritage More Accurate Than 23andme?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJJ View Post
    The Ashkenazi are of European origin that is to say that they have traditionally belonged to Europe (Central-Europe specifically) and have been defined as such. If there was a "gypsy" category, I would also put it into Europe for the same reason. This does not exclude that they have mostly external inheritance.

    If we talked about "Jew" without more then it would be Levantine.
    Well, then they should put African Americans in the American South and French Canadians in Quebec since those are two distinct ethnic groups whose ethnogeneses took place in the Americas despite deriving ancestry from West Africa and Northern Europe...

    I wouldn't say it offends me, but I do find it frustrating because many people see this categorization and assume that it means Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Eastern Europeans who converted to Judaism. And while these companies usually provide an explanation that clarifies it, many (maybe most) people don't read the descriptions. The same is true for non-Asheknazi Jews. I recently read an article in Popular Science that said that some DNA companies can go into enough detail so as to distinguish Sephardim from Iberians, as though Sephardim are Iberians who converted to Judaism. Anybody with basic knowledge of Jewish genetics knows that it is very easy to distinguish the two and that Sephardim derive little ancestry from Iberian non-Jews. So even a science magazine writer was oblivious to well-established facts.
    Last edited by jonahst; 01-09-2020 at 11:53 PM.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aiden View Post
    I tested with 23andme, I found their “broadly” categories annoying, if you don’t have enough confidence to correctly assign ancestry to an individual, then you are severely lacking in reference populations which 23andme is. not to mention the political correctness and euphemisms used. In the video posted above, a Greek Cypriot was called “Western Asian” by 23andme which is absurd. They also call Jews “european”, which is offensive. 23andme just doesn’t seem reliable.
    I'd rather a company use a term like "broadly Northern European" instead of implying that German ancestry is really British ancestry. The problem with reference panels is that typically they include many samples that overlap with other reference panels, until you start tossing them out. The end result is that your final panels simply obscure the fact that it's often very difficult to tell the difference between certain populations.

    The most honest response would be to say something like, "this seems to be broadly Northern European" -- rather than endlessly "tweaking" your reference panel until it says whatever you want it to.
    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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  5. #13
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    The thing that I find baffling with 23andme is how they decided to cluster together Georgians, Saudis, and Morrocans under one category. Let alone having Cypriots having their own subcategory, disconnecting both populations from their Turkish and Greek origins respectively.

    At least Ancestry and Myheritage, for all their faults, make more of an effort with their labeling.
    51% Iberia Northeast Empuries2 + 49% Alan MA @ 2.65

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  7. #14
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    Incidentally, the term "accurate" is misleading when we're not actually comparing people to ancestral populations to begin with. So all we really know is that portions of our DNA resemble that of various modern reference panels who are presumed to have ancestry from the same location(s) as your own ancestors.

    So, for example, even though technically my "German" ancestors weren't from Germany -- since that country did not exist -- whatever DNA I inherited from them is supposed to fit in neatly with the modern "Germanic Europe" reference panel. That panel consists of folks who lived over two centuries after my "German" ancestors did; are now sometimes located in a somewhat different region that my ancestors may have been; and oh-by-the-way those samples from the region who overlap another region to much are eliminated. But who says the "German" population of 200 or more years ago didn't overlap various populations already?

    Ancestry, in particular, told me before 2018 that I had 25% "Great Britain" and 9% "Ireland" -- so a combined total of 34% for these two. This was as opposed to my paper trail result of about 40-41%. They also identified 9% "Iberian Peninsula" with another 2% "Europe South". My paper trail shows 12.5% of my ancestry came from the island of Menorca and consisted of both of my maternal grandmother's grandfathers.

    My biggest score, though, was "Europe West" at 44%. Since my paper trail ancestry also includes 34% from Germany, 3% from France, 6% from Alsace-Lorraine, and 1% from Switzerland, I'd say Ancestry's "Europe West" score was pretty much on the money.

    Then along comes the 2018 update. We get 80% "England, Wales & Northwestern Europe". Now, last I looked "Northwestern Europe" includes more than just the British Isles, but essentially Ancestry treated this as nothing more than "Great Britain" under a new name. As a matter of fact, they told me the 80% represented an "increase" of 55%. They didn't say what it was an increase to, but I only had one category you could add 55% to and get 80%; "Great Britain". Next I had 11% "Ireland & Scotland". So really, Ancestry was telling me my ancestry was over 90% from the British Isles -- despite all the German names in my family tree (including my own surname).

    I also had a mere 6% "Germanic Europe". I have that much ancestry (actually, 6.25%) from my Alsatian 2nd great grandmother. I'd have expected her to show up as either German or French, but who knows? I also had 2% "Native American - North, Central, West" -- which was just about the only ancestry that was a near-perfect match for my paper trail. Oh, and 1% "Finnish" -- which appears nowhere in my tree over the last 300 years.

    These are all reasonably specific -- but also wrong in many, many ways. In particular, what became of my Spanish ancestry? 12.5% is a lot to misplace (or misidentify). I'd have greatly preferred to know what else Ancestry's brilliant algorithm might have considered but rejected, or to have had Ancestry use "broadly" categories for any "close" call. I suspect this would have been illuminating, although since Ancestry doesn't show you where in your genome they think these ancestries are -- unlike 23andMe -- you don't really have anyway to check, in any event.

    With 23andMe, I can at least see where I have "Spanish" or "broadly Southern European" or even "broadly European" and realize that the algorithm maybe struggled with DNA it put into the latter categories. But I can see where the segments are in relation to other segments, and I can compare my results to relatives who may share the same ancestors.

    For example, I have a Native American segment in the same location on chromosome 15 that a third cousin of my also has a Native American segment. It's at one of several locations where we have overlapping DNA. And, yes, as it happens we both descend from a specific Native American ancestor -- via a couple of different lines for each of us. Interestingly, I'm actually related to this particular cousin through both of his parents. His father is my 2nd cousin once removed, and his mother is my 3rd cousin -- so this guy is actually both my 3rd cousin and my 3rd cousin once removed.

    I much prefer being able to see and compare 23andMe's identification of ancestries than just look at Ancestry's ever-changing percentages. (In the latest update, they decided I have 1% Spanish after all. That isn't much, but at least it means that "Spanish" ancestry isn't hidden from me when I'm comparing relatives who decided to only show their matches the ancestry shared by both.)

    By the way, here are my results from MyHeritage based on my Ancestry DNA file:

    Europe 97.5%
    North and West Europe 80.7%
    Irish, Scottish, and Welsh 46.6%
    North and West European 34.1%
    South Europe 16.8%
    Iberian 9.5%
    Italian 7.3%
    America 2.5%
    Native American 1.5%
    Native American 1.5%
    Central and South America 1.0%
    Mesoamerican and Andean 1.0%

    And here, just for fun, are my results from LivingDNA:

    Europe (North & West) 71.7%
    France 45.5%
    Germanic 26.3%
    Great Britain and Ireland 20.4%
    Ireland 12.6%
    Northwest Scotland 7.7%
    Europe (South) 7.9%
    Iberian Peninsula 7.9%

    No Native American here, although it's definitely in my tree and shows up at between 1-2% at Ancestry, FTDNA, and 23andMe. But again, percentages are much less helpful than to see actual locations which can be compared with relatives and (potentially) correlated with actual ancestors. (Ancestry's 2018 update had reported 2%, as both FTDNA and 23andMe do; but since 2019 that's back down to 1%, which is also what Ancestry reported (as "trace") pre-2018. But with all three estimates, the range has been unchanged: 0-3%.)
    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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  9. #15
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    My MyHeritage results are goofy. My 23andMe is pretty good (was better before the last update), and my Ancestry is really close to my 23andMe (pretty much the same as the 23andMe before its last update, so slightly better than the current 23andMe).

    I get that some have issues with both Ancestry and 23andMe, but for me their results are way better than MyHeritage and FTDNA.

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  11. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by msmarjoribanks View Post
    My MyHeritage results are goofy. My 23andMe is pretty good (was better before the last update), and my Ancestry is really close to my 23andMe (pretty much the same as the 23andMe before its last update, so slightly better than the current 23andMe).

    I get that some have issues with both Ancestry and 23andMe, but for me their results are way better than MyHeritage and FTDNA.
    MH results vary wildly, it's like a bipolar person with extreme mood swings. I've seen Portuguese individuals with 30% to 65% Iberian, with the North European categories, Italian, Sardinian and Balkan between 0 and 30%, and North African from 0 to 13%. It paints an image that we're very heterogeneous when we're really not, a quick glance at any PCA shows the variation is relatively small from an European perspective.


    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    I'd rather a company use a term like "broadly Northern European" instead of implying that German ancestry is really British ancestry. The problem with reference panels is that typically they include many samples that overlap with other reference panels, until you start tossing them out. The end result is that your final panels simply obscure the fact that it's often very difficult to tell the difference between certain populations.

    The most honest response would be to say something like, "this seems to be broadly Northern European" -- rather than endlessly "tweaking" your reference panel until it says whatever you want it to.
    I totally agree with you, 23andme even lets you tweak the confidence levels so you can see how reliable the segments' assignments are. For instance I share a 13cM "Spanish & Portuguese" segment with a Canadian (1/4 Scottish) lady with 0% South European, which is odd, but half of that chromosome becomes Unassigned or broadly European once I raise the confidence level to 90%. The only odd thing is that at 80% all but a smidgen of the chromosome is South European for me
    Last edited by Ruderico; 01-10-2020 at 10:00 AM.
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    [1] "distance%=1.6023"

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  13. #17
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    No! not by a long shot.

  14. #18
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    FTDNA & LivingDNA have good coverage accross multiple Ethnic communities
    myHeritage has more coverage in Eurasian populations
    Ancestry is accurate but total count low than others

  15. #19
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    23andme is significantly better at the moment. Though Myheritage is doing a big update this year so we'll have to see how that goes.

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  17. #20
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    I did 23andme, FTDNA and MyHeritage.
    It was almost same ratios except FTDNA which was the only one measuring me a jewish part (9%).
    And 23andme, after the last update: 95% North African, and an exact localisation of my region.

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