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Thread: What is my father, genetically?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Spence View Post
    Background:

    My father is a white Southerner and his ancestors were relatively poor (they were sharecroppers). From looking at his ancestry, he mostly descends from English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish colonizers of Virginia and North Carolina in the 1600s. However, a lot of the English and Scottish colonizers in the South were second sons of English nobility.

    "North Carolina’s earliest settlers were the second and third sons of aristocratic English families, former English indentured servants, and German Palatines fleeing war." - Ancestry.com

    I'm guessing a lot of aristocratic English families were originally of Norman descent and I would say about 1/2 of the last names in my father's tree were of Norman origin (the other half being a mix of Old English, Welsh, and Gaelic last names). I have found some Norman ancestors in his tree as well, but a lot of my ancestors I can't trace back 1700. Even the ones I can trace back, I usually can't get back 14-1300s. However, the few ones I could were a large part Norman.

    Genetics:

    Ancestry.com says he is 59% England, Wales, and Northwestern Europe and 24% Ireland and Scotland. 23&Me says he's 81.8% British & Irish. However, I would've thought he'd show more French ancestry since a lot of his ancestors were English aristocrats with French last names.

    Here's his K13 results:

    Population

    North_Atlantic
    49.85 Pct
    Baltic
    20.90 Pct
    West_Med
    14.68 Pct
    West_Asian
    5.17 Pct
    East_Med
    5.63 Pct
    Red_Sea
    0.97 Pct
    South_Asian
    -
    East_Asian
    0.81 Pct
    Siberian
    0.22 Pct
    Amerindian
    0.98 Pct
    Oceanian
    0.46 Pct
    Northeast_African
    0.33 Pct
    Sub-Saharan
    -

    Oracle:
    #
    Population (source)
    Distance
    1
    Southeast_English
    2.87
    2
    Southwest_English
    3.62
    3
    Orcadian
    4.93
    4
    South_Dutch
    5.37
    5
    West_Scottish
    5.54
    6
    Irish
    5.63
    7
    North_Dutch
    6.41
    8
    West_German
    6.74
    9
    Danish
    6.91
    10
    North_German
    7.8
    11
    Norwegian
    8.88
    12
    French
    9.42
    13
    Swedish
    11.05
    14
    Austrian
    13.92
    15
    East_German
    14.89
    16
    Spanish_Cataluna
    16.17
    17
    North_Swedish
    16.67
    18
    Spanish_Castilla_Y_Leon
    17.3
    19
    Southwest_French
    17.6
    20
    Spanish_Galicia
    17.86

    #

    Primary Population (source)
    Secondary Population (source)
    Distance
    1

    81.7%
    West_Scottish
    +
    18.3%
    North_Italian
    @
    1.64
    2

    94.8%
    Southwest_English
    +
    5.2%
    Lebanese_Druze
    @
    1.7
    3

    63.8%
    West_Scottish
    +
    36.2%
    French
    @
    1.72
    4

    93.4%
    Southwest_English
    +
    6.6%
    Italian_Jewish
    @
    1.73
    5

    77.8%
    Irish
    +
    22.2%
    Spanish_Murcia
    @
    1.74
    6

    92.8%
    Southwest_English
    +
    7.2%
    Ashkenazi
    @
    1.75
    7

    93.9%
    Southwest_English
    +
    6.1%
    Tunisian_Jewish
    @
    1.77
    8

    93.4%
    Southwest_English
    +
    6.6%
    Sephardic_Jewish
    @
    1.79
    9

    95.1%
    Southwest_English
    +
    4.9%
    Lebanese_Christian
    @
    1.79
    10

    77.4%
    West_Scottish
    +
    22.6%
    Portuguese
    @
    1.79
    11

    78.1%
    West_Scottish
    +
    21.9%
    Spanish_Murcia
    @
    1.79
    12

    94%
    Southwest_English
    +
    6%
    Libyan_Jewish
    @
    1.82
    13

    84.6%
    West_Scottish
    +
    15.4%
    Tuscan
    @
    1.82
    14

    95%
    Southwest_English
    +
    5%
    Samaritan
    @
    1.84
    15

    94.9%
    Southwest_English
    +
    5.1%
    Palestinian
    @
    1.84
    16

    80.4%
    Orcadian
    +
    19.6%
    Spanish_Murcia
    @
    1.85
    17

    75.5%
    West_Scottish
    +
    24.5%
    Spanish_Cataluna
    @
    1.86
    18

    93.7%
    Southwest_English
    +
    6.3%
    Algerian_Jewish
    @
    1.87
    19

    94.5%
    Southwest_English
    +
    5.5%
    Cyprian
    @
    1.87
    20

    91.7%
    Southwest_English
    +
    8.3%
    Italian_Abruzzo
    @
    1.9


    K36 results:
    Population

    Amerindian
    -
    Arabian
    0.60 Pct
    Armenian
    -
    Basque
    2.32 Pct
    Central_African
    -
    Central_Euro
    7.29 Pct
    East_African
    -
    East_Asian
    -
    East_Balkan
    0.55 Pct
    East_Central_Asian
    -
    East_Central_Euro
    4.30 Pct
    East_Med
    -
    Eastern_Euro
    2.60 Pct
    Fennoscandian
    8.14 Pct
    French
    7.36 Pct
    Iberian
    14.39 Pct
    Indo-Chinese
    -
    Italian
    11.20 Pct
    Malayan
    -
    Near_Eastern
    -
    North_African
    -
    North_Atlantic
    16.55 Pct
    North_Caucasian
    2.77 Pct
    North_Sea
    19.11 Pct
    Northeast_African
    -
    Oceanian
    -
    Omotic
    -
    Pygmy
    -
    Siberian
    -
    South_Asian
    -
    South_Central_Asian
    -
    South_Chinese
    -
    Volga-Ural
    1.55 Pct
    West_African
    -
    West_Caucasian
    0.44 Pct
    West_Med
    0.82 Pct


    What does his results look like genetically and does his results suggest he's French and Norman or English?
    Despite what some people may think -- and even what Ancestry itself implies, but doesn't outright say -- "England, Wales & Northwestern Europe" is not just "Great Britain" by a different name. Just look at the map of the region to see how much of the European mainland is included within it.

    In particular, you should note that Normandy is very much within this region. In fact, only a very small part of modern day Normandy lies within what Ancestry calls the "France" region. So if you have Norman ancestors, any DNA you or your father inherited from them may be more likely to show up as part of "England, Wales & Norwestern Europe" than it is to show up as "France".

    What's weirder yet to me is that with one eighth of my ancestry coming directly from Spain, Ancestry only "gives" me 1% "Spain". That isn't because of any NPE -- I connect to both of my maternal grandmother's grandfathers (and their parents) in Ancestry's ThruLines. Both of them immigrated with their parents and siblings directly from the island of Menorca. Yet clearly Ancestry is unable to distinguish even their DNA from "England, Wales & Northwestern Europe".

    Other companies can do so to a much greater degree -- 23andMe, LivingDNA, MyHeritage. Just not Ancestry. They also do a pretty poor job with German DNA in many cases. So is it any wonder if they also don't handle "France" very well?
    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

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryS. View Post
    so with a rather mixed group of NW European heritage, what would give him higher than normal east med and west Asian? he said something about French, and southern French have some genetic similarity to north Italians and north Spaniards.
    I don't know if French ancestry could produce those results. Thomas Spence was speculating about distant French ancestry through his English ancestry, which is probably a given, but not the same as recent French ancestry. My father has some 17th-century Huguenot and slightly more distant Tuscan ancestry through his New Netherland ancestors. Thomas Spence could very well have Huguenot ancestry from Virginia. But I'm not sure if that would be a significant factor behind the Mediterranean in his and my father's K13 results.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    Despite what some people may think -- and even what Ancestry itself implies, but doesn't outright say -- "England, Wales & Northwestern Europe" is not just "Great Britain" by a different name. Just look at the map of the region to see how much of the European mainland is included within it.

    In particular, you should note that Normandy is very much within this region. In fact, only a very small part of modern day Normandy lies within what Ancestry calls the "France" region. So if you have Norman ancestors, any DNA you or your father inherited from them may be more likely to show up as part of "England, Wales & Norwestern Europe" than it is to show up as "France".

    What's weirder yet to me is that with one eighth of my ancestry coming directly from Spain, Ancestry only "gives" me 1% "Spain". That isn't because of any NPE -- I connect to both of my maternal grandmother's grandfathers (and their parents) in Ancestry's ThruLines. Both of them immigrated with their parents and siblings directly from the island of Menorca. Yet clearly Ancestry is unable to distinguish even their DNA from "England, Wales & Northwestern Europe".

    Other companies can do so to a much greater degree -- 23andMe, LivingDNA, MyHeritage. Just not Ancestry. They also do a pretty poor job with German DNA in many cases. So is it any wonder if they also don't handle "France" very well?
    EDIT:

    Since 23andMe combines "British & Irish" into a single category, they and Ancestry are actually within a couple of percent here. Both say your father is chiefly a British & Irish combination. But again don't take that too literally -- especially since you say that 23andMe is identifying most of his non-British & Irish ancestry "French & German".

    I'd say that makes your father they fairly common southern colonial blend of British, Irish, and Palatine German. Some French would also be believable, especially if it's from the northern region. These groups can sometimes be hard to distinguish in DNA testing.
    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

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryS. View Post
    why does K13 give those secondary population sources if he is all NW European? of all the other groups available to pick from why such Mediterranean?
    I wouldn't make anything of this, especially given how close the oracle is to SE English (and that the numbers in Gedmatch aren't based on huge sample sizes and haven't been updated in a while). There's more variability within the categories than it likely shows.

    Here are his numbers compared to the spreadsheet for SE English (I rounded a bit):

    Population

    North_Atlantic
    49.9 vs. 50.5 -- tiny bit lower but hardly enough to seem anomalous

    Baltic
    20.9 vs. 23.3 -- lower but basically still not enough to be weird

    West_Med
    14.7 vs. 14.0 -- seems like a meaningless difference

    West_Asian
    5.2 vs. 4.5 -- same

    East_Med
    5.6 vs. 5.1 -- same

    Basically, the mixed oracle tries to get people as close to a 0 difference as possible, but that ignores the fact that many people within a group (even 100%, unlike here), are not going to be close to perfect matches. Under 3 as a match is going to fit many actual natives (and others will be farther from the average).

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    He's probably overwhelmingly British/Irish descended. 80% British/Irish on 23andme shouldn't be taken literally as 80% genealogically , since it isn't unusual for fully English individuals to score only 50-60% British on 23andme with the rest being French/German and broadly NW Euro. 80% British is in the Scottish/Welsh range; only Irish and Catholic Scots (Of Irish descent) score close to 100% British on 23andme.
    Last edited by Ayetooey; 06-23-2020 at 11:57 AM.

  7. #16
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    The Norman aristocracy typically descended from Norsemen who married into the French elite who were, at the time, mostly of Germanic origin (Franks and Saxons.) I believe there was a DNA study back in 2016 on Normans which took 89 men of Nordic last names and they found that most men were R1b but there were some I1 and R1a. In my opinion there are a lot of problems with that study

    1. They didn't sample any DNA from Norman elite just regular folk.

    2. They didn't release the subclades. It could be that the majority of the R1b was of Germanic origin.

    3. aDNA is much better at determining ancestry than Y-DNA.

    That being said, does anyone know a site or resource I could use to determine how Germanic or Norse I am? I know MyTrueAncestry is popular but it tells me by adding them up that I'm 81.5% Germanic (noted I only did the free version), but I highly doubt that considering I have Irish, French Canadian, and Polish ancestry. So is there an alternative resource or site to measure ancient ancestry of an individual?

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  9. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Spence View Post
    That being said, does anyone know a site or resource I could use to determine how Germanic or Norse I am? I know MyTrueAncestry is popular but it tells me by adding them up that I'm 81.5% Germanic (noted I only did the free version), but I highly doubt that considering I have Irish, French Canadian, and Polish ancestry. So is there an alternative resource or site to measure ancient ancestry of an individual?
    I think you got it the other way around, MTA is actually very unpopular. It appears to simply be Eurogenes K15 applied to ancient samples with a 2-pop oracle-like model, but K15 isn't very reliable for ancient samples.

    If you want to know how Germanic you are I suggest you first browse some of the threads about that same topic, there have been plenty of discussions on the genetic impact the migration and viking periods had in the British Isles* but the question is very complex because we're dealing with populations who were genetically similar to begin with.





    *sorry for the chosen name, Irishmen
    Last edited by Ruderico; 06-23-2020 at 03:00 PM.
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    mtDNA - H20. Monica Vieira, b. circa 1700 Hidden Content , Porto, Portugal

    Hidden Content
    Global25 PCA West Eurasia dataset Hidden Content

    [1] "distance%=1.3492"

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  11. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Spence View Post
    does anyone know a site or resource I could use to determine how Germanic or Norse I am? I know MyTrueAncestry is popular but it tells me by adding them up that I'm 81.5% Germanic (noted I only did the free version), but I highly doubt that considering I have Irish, French Canadian, and Polish ancestry. So is there an alternative resource or site to measure ancient ancestry of an individual?
    1 I note that most of the respondents to your question so far have shown themselves over the past few years to be very knowledgeable in their posts, which have almost all proved accurate over time. Just in case you were wondering what their quality was, it's high.
    2 My own ethnicity estimates from DNA companies have been wildly out on occasion and some still are.
    In some cases it may be the company algorithms. That still can't always tell German from English from Scandinavian from French completely reliably.
    In other cases I note that some quite large matches a parent may have, I do not.
    Now, this may be because all of that segment has been lost, but it could be that it was sliced up smaller than is reliable for cousin matching, but the remnants can still indicate ethnicity.
    And that there are almost certainly other tiny segments elsewhere from the same ancestor that still indicates the same ethnicity.
    But the principle remains - some gets lost along the way.
    3 This has been illustrated by a)Ancestry and b) an independent study
    The Ancestry case was used for advertising, and if I remember correctly, involved 3 Irish sisters who had quite different ethnicity predictions.
    The independent study involved something similar but I think with identical twins or triplets (don't ask me how that is possible) and the labs came up with very different answers.

    I find the further back I get in the tree, the more accurate my answers are as to Norman content.
    It is not necessary to go back to the Conquest itself: surname lines by about 1600 provide a fair clue as to the origin of the male line that provided them.

    My point is. Work the tree back if you want greater accuracy.
    Last edited by Saetro; 06-25-2020 at 09:08 PM. Reason: spelling

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