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Thread: 23andme's "German Problem."

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    23andme's "German Problem."

    Per 23andme's own literature, 92% of German DNA does not get labeled as such in your results.

    That's because they only have an 8% "recall" for German and French DNA.

    The largest plurality of Americans are of German heritage (more than English, more than Irish).

    That's an awful lot of customers getting more generic results than ideal.

    I am not complaining, just posting this for people who wonder where their German results went.

    I have a colleague here at school who is 100% German, born in Germany, blonde, blue, the whole package, traced ancestry to 1600s (all German), and she came up as substantially "Generic European," including some odd generic southern European stuff. Just about 5% "German or French."

    23andme is great. A wonderful service. But those of German (or Austrian or Swiss or French or Benelux) ancestry should remember: caveat emptor.

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    You get a similar autosomal problem with regards to FTDNA, they too seem to struggle with central European signatures..

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    Luckily, I don't have that problem. I'm about 37.5% German, and 23andme gives me ~30% French and German.

    23andme's AC gives me way more accurate results than FTDNA and Ancestry.

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    During the great migration various German tribes buzzed around Europe and North Africa like bees around a hive. It does not surprise me that it is difficult to discern an autosomal signal unique to the current nation of Germany.
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    Well, it seems Germans are quite mixed. Not surprising if you look at German history. I'm German with 96.6% German ancestry, of which 70% North German (calculated on the basis of known ancestry). 23andMe gave me only 3.2% French/German in standard mode. With speculative mode it was 26.0% (and 11.3% Scandinavian, 9.1% Eastern European, 8.8% British/Irish, 1.6% South European). In any case there is not a single German genetic signature. North German samples must be seperated from samples from other German regions, if you want to have a clearer picture. With GEDmatch calculators I got North German as well as North Dutch or some British (Argyll, Orcadian, Irish).

    23andMe: My four children got 11.9/14/15.8/26.7% French/German from me, but nearly 50% from their mother, who is French.
    Y-DNA: R1b/U152/Z36/CTS4333/CTS7958, from Thuringia 1634, probably Alsace 1552, -- mt-DNA: H
    EUROGENES K13: North German 3.7, North Dutch 4.85, Danish 5.13, Swedish 5.44, Norwegian 5.7 -- West Eurasia K8: WHG 46.64%, ENF 39.09%, ANE 14.23%
    23andMe: speculative 26% French&German, 11.3% Scandinavian, 9.1% Eastern European, 8.8% British&Irish, 1.6% Southern European, 38% Broadly North Euro
    Known ancestry: 92.6% German (66.8% North German), 4.7% Danish, 1.8% Czech, 0.8% Austrian, 0.1% Swiss

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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticGerman View Post
    Well, it seems Germans are quite mixed. Not surprising if you look at German history. I'm German with 96.6% German ancestry, of which 70% North German (calculated on the basis of known ancestry). 23andMe gave me only 3.2% French/German in standard mode. With speculative mode it was 26.0% (and 11.3% Scandinavian, 9.1% Eastern European, 8.8% British/Irish, 1.6% South European). In any case there is not a single German genetic signature. North German samples must be seperated from samples from other German regions, if you want to have a clearer picture. With GEDmatch calculators I got North German as well as North Dutch or some British (Argyll, Orcadian, Irish).

    23andMe: My four children got 11.9/14/15.8/26.7% French/German from me, but nearly 50% from their mother, who is French.
    I don't doubt some of the statements you made, since Germany (and France) ARE toward the wide-open center of Europe. But then again, so is Poland, etc. Scientists have stated before that there are tiny differences between Poles and Germans, and yet 23andme purports to be able to discern Polish blood as "Eastern European."

    Some of the other statements you made, I respectfully, but strongly disagree. "Germans are quite mixed." So are Spaniards, Italians, Greeks, British, etc. In fact, aside from the well-documented outliers in Europe (Sardinians, Finns, Irish, Turks, Basques), ALL Europeans are quite mixed -- yet apparently 23andme can tell them apart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    I don't doubt some of the statements you made, since Germany (and France) ARE toward the wide-open center of Europe. But then again, so is Poland, etc. Scientists have stated before that there are tiny differences between Poles and Germans, and yet 23andme purports to be able to discern Polish blood as "Eastern European."

    Some of the other statements you made, I respectfully, but strongly disagree. "Germans are quite mixed." So are Spaniards, Italians, Greeks, British, etc. In fact, aside from the well-documented outliers in Europe (Sardinians, Finns, Irish, Turks, Basques), ALL Europeans are quite mixed -- yet apparently 23andme can tell them apart.
    The "precision and recall" is poor for Germans and French. https://www.23andme.com/ancestry_composition_guide/
    They have no trouble labeling Poland under Eastern European. My paternal great grandparents came from northeast Poland. My father's mother's parents were Rusyns from Eastern Slovakia. I am listed as 41.9% Eastern European in their Speculative mode. The other modes are worthless IMHO as my mother and I had large amounts of Unassigned in them. At FTDNA I'm 46% Eastern European. The old Population Finder at FTDNA could not place me properly as being at least 1/2 Eastern European.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    Per 23andme's own literature, 92% of German DNA does not get labeled as such in your results.

    That's because they only have an 8% "recall" for German and French DNA.

    The largest plurality of Americans are of German heritage (more than English, more than Irish).

    That's an awful lot of customers getting more generic results than ideal.

    I am not complaining, just posting this for people who wonder where their German results went.

    I have a colleague here at school who is 100% German, born in Germany, blonde, blue, the whole package, traced ancestry to 1600s (all German), and she came up as substantially "Generic European," including some odd generic southern European stuff. Just about 5% "German or French."

    23andme is great. A wonderful service. But those of German (or Austrian or Swiss or French or Benelux) ancestry should remember: caveat emptor.
    BTW not all Germans are blonde and blue eyed.

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    I agree somewhat....
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    All European descended from the same ancestors, thus, the difference between countries comes mainly from genetic drift.
    I think the British have fewer ancestors than German or French.
    German and French are undoubtedly genetically more varied, and can have genes in common with the British, the Spanish and Italians (especially for South French), Eastern European or Scandinavian (especially for German).
    Which would specifically German and French, becomes very small ..
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    For my autosomal analyses, see Hidden Content

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