Skip to main content
Topic: Ancestry Tests (Read 1439 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Ancestry Tests

Ancestry DNA test (or others)…. Anyone done one. I had some interesting results from mine done a few years ago. Every now and then they update it as more tests are done and more information comes in.
Currently mine is…

40% Ireland
39% England and North Western Europe
9% Scotland
6% Wales
4% European Jewish
2% Swedish and Danish

Through the test I’ve made contact with the son of my grandfather (my uncle). He was born after my grandparents separated… and my own father had no idea of his existence. They never met but lived for 30 years in adjoining suburbs.

I was not surprised with most of the results but the European Jewish is an interesting factor.
Given the spread of the Jewish people through Europe, and specifically Germany, through history... I wonder how a certain Austrian painter and his circle of friends would have gone on an Ancestry DNA test. I suspect we may have had a very different history if they’d been available in the 1930s.

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #1
Did you go through a particular site for your ancestry test?
"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #2
Either Nature or New Scientist did a analysis and critique of the commercial ancestry services a couple of years back, based on those findings it would pay to be very sceptical of any "individual" result.

The problem seems to be that the science methodology used by the commercial ventures is a corruption of scientific techniques designed to look at society wide averages using statistical analysis, and is not designed to be accurate for specific cases.

This was exposed by taking the same DNA sample and having it tested in more than one geographic location within each organisation, the resulting reports varied in conjunction with each locations different genetic diversity. It was explained as being due to the broad assumptions each testing location must make based on census type data. They make the analysis by starting with an assumption about the person being tested.

It is not just big geographic moves that cause this problem, like from Sweden to Africa. They even found the tests from some organisations varied widely with relatively small geographic shifts, for example from England to Italy changed the reported result.

That doesn't mean it is not worthwhile or fulfilling as a hobby project, but the results are legally next to worthless.
The Force Awakens!

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #3
My wife did them through ancestry.com, found cousins she didn't know about and not distant ones either. Some uncles having kids out of wedlock etc..it's a small world when dna testing is involved.
Problem is the further you delve the more money it costs to construct your family tree.
We get the updates as the technology improves and my wife loves the new family contacts...

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #4
My wife did them through ancestry.com, found cousins she didn't know about and not distant ones either. Some uncles having kids out of wedlock etc..it's a small world when dna testing is involved.
Problem is the further you delve the more money it costs to construct your family tree.
We get the updates as the technology improves and my wife loves the new family contacts...
That is a different analysis to the ethnicity / race subject matter Lods references, as the database base grows it's much easier to find relatives by pattern matching, but it means next to nothing in terms of establishing ethnicity or race. At 2% difference / variation levels, nearly everybody on earth is matched via some ancient measures. We may all be 2% Denisovan.

Hopefully, @DJC can comment for us in plain language.
The Force Awakens!

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #5
I used Ancestry DNA

The geographic sites match up pretty well to our own known family history.
The most impressive feature is that we've had about a dozen of our family take the tests and they've nailed the relationships.

The long lost uncle (no one knew about) showed up as third in my relationships behind my own daughter and my aunt (Mother's sister) and ahead of my first cousins. His daughters show up as cousins.

You can perhaps question the ethnicity factor but the relationship factor seems to be quite accurate.

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #6
I used Ancestry DNA

The geographic sites match up pretty well to our own known family history.
@Lods As I understand it, some have you answer a questionnaire when you submit the samples, is that correct?

Also for my own interest, how did you get into it, was it from talking to a relative?
The Force Awakens!

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #7
That is a different analysis to the ethnicity / race subject matter Lods references, as the database base grows it's much easier to find relatives by pattern matching, but it means next to nothing in terms of establishing ethnicity or race. At 2% difference / variation levels, nearly everybody on earth is matched via some ancient measures. We may all be 2% Denisovan.

Hopefully, @DJC can comment for us in plain language.
My wife's ethnicity and race results haven't changed much since she took the tests and either have some of her other family members. You will find a lot of people are equally interested in proving who is related to who than the ethnicity side of things.

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #8
Just on location...
Ancestry identifies my wife as having a strong South Australian element to her family and mine shows up as mostly Victorian that's accurate.
They pinpoint the specific area of Ireland where our relatives originated from (Galway Mayo)

On the other hand they do provide a rather broad range e.g My 39% England Northern Europe is actually a range of 30%-51%

Accuracy of ethnicity may be dependent to some extent on the volume of samples in the database.
The more folks that take the test the more dependable the database.
But as LP suggests there may be many other factors involved, so if anyone can enlighten us?


Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #9
@Lods As I understand it, some have you answer a questionnaire when you submit the samples, is that correct?

Also for my own interest, how did you get into it, was it from talking to a relative?

No questionaire...just a saliva sample.
My wife took the test first. She has quite an interest in family history. I thought her results were interesting (although they don't vary a lot from mine). She has a bit more Scottish and some Baltic state showing up in hers.

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #10
Is this is big data at work?

Name, Surname, Relatives, Address, Suburb, State, Country, Email Address, ISP, Bank Details, etc., etc., etc.. All recorded and documented way before a saliva sample is collected or analysed.

I fear the gene testing sites publish an alarming amount of doxx level content, sure it's not nefarious in nature and some of it may even be anonymised, but it's not ignored in compiling the results either and that is basically what the scientific reviews of the industry found relating to the race / ethnicity analysis. Techno fortune telling.

Anyway, I'm not interested in kyboshing your fun, make of it what you will.
The Force Awakens!

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #11
The police love this stuff. It used to be that if the police wanted to match a DNA sample from a crime scene and their database didn't show a match, they had to wait until the culprit was arrested and had to give a DNA sample. Or if they had a particular suspect in mind, they either had to get an order for a DNA sample or they had to try to obtain a DNA sample from something he or she discarded with saliva or blood on it (the old offer the suspect a drink and then take it off for analysis when s/he'd finished with it routine). A crook with something to hide would do his or her best to keep intimate samples away from prying eyes.

Recently, the police have matched DNA via these DNA matching sites and even if the crook hadn't submitted a sample, they were able to turn up relatives who had. They solved quite a few cold cases that way.

But DNA matching sites have now changed their terms of service so that users have to opt in to allowing police to access their data and police aren't happy.

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #12
I feel that this is something I must do some day, even if I can't realistically afford it now. I have considerable interest in my family tree and have close to 25 000 people in my family tree at this time, going back to 40 BC (if Welsh 'records' are to be believed, including considerable numbers of European royalty.
I feel it is a good joke that I can consider myself a 'distant' member of the British royal family, and I treat it that way. If I rolled up at Buckingham Palace and said, "G'day, guys, I'd like to see my cousin 10 time removed, Lilibet, they'd throw me out the door. :)
Besides, I think I have a better claim to the French throne: there is a lot less competition.  :D  :D

One thing I have learnt is that I'm a walking European Union: there are only a handful out countries that I haven't found ancestors in yet (Finland, Albania, Romania), but I am working on that ...

One interesting thing I have learnt is that many of my Scottish ancestors weren't all that Scottish. Close to half of them were Normans who came to Scotland with David I. A large portion of the rest were Vikings, especially those who considered themselves 'highlanders'.
That goes for the English too.

Another interesting thing is the number of weirdos I've managed to find. Three of the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, for example (for fans of the TV show Vikings), The Swan Knight (the basis for Wagner's opera Lohengrin, no less), El Cid (Spain's national hero. I'm related through both of his daughters) and Magnus Maximus (the last of the great Pretenders from the north, he actually became Caesar of the Western Empire before getting too greedy and going for the Top Job). Mt favourite strange ancestor, though, is Thorfinn Skullsplitter. That is a great name.
Live Long and Prosper!

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #13
But DNA matching sites have now changed their terms of service so that users have to opt in to allowing police to access their data and police aren't happy.
It is interesting to see how much of this stuff is being used to tell people "What they are!", but when I look at the roots of this technology it's probably best suited to tell you what you aren't!

Most of the science I read on these sorts of issues will follow a process of elimination, with whatever is left probably being the most likely answer.
The Force Awakens!

Re: Ancestry Tests

Reply #14
Was this testing DNA in general, mtdna (mothers side), or Y (fathers side)? Some sites offer really specific testing (FamilyTreeDna) was one.