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Ancestry DNA Results

Ancestry DNA Results

Posted: 4 May 2012 5:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 28 Aug 2012 8:57PM GMT
Surnames: Barry
I received the results from my participation in the Ancestry.com DNA Beta test. I was surprised by a two aspects. First, my surname is Anglo-Norman in origin and I expected to find some Scandinavian ancestry since the Norman invaders of Ireland were Viking in origin. Second, my mother's father's family is clearly documented as German, but that didn't show up at all. Instead the test shows 93% British Isles, 7% undetermined.

In addition, in looking through the possible matches, I am noting that some of them include individuals from what may be very minor branches of my tree, originating in Wales. But there are very few Irish surnames in the trees of the possible matches, and none so far from Cork, where my family name predominates.

I know this test is in its infancy, but had hoped for something more useful. If you have any thoughts about how to interpret the information I would welcome it.

Jim Barry

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 7 May 2012 3:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Jim, that sounds very familiar to many folks' experience with their results so far. Here is my experience:

I looked at my results yesterday but was disappointed that my pedigree ethnicity was so different than my genetic ethnicity, enough to think perhaps there is a problem with my results. For instance, my results state that my genetic ethnicity is 91% British Isles, 6% Russian/Persian/Turkish, and 3% Other. This does not match my pedigree. My pedigree on both sides of parents is predominantly French, as most of my ancestors were French colonists of Canada, Acadia, and Louisiana. Out of the nearly 3,000 people in my family tree, I have none that are from the Russian/Persian/Turkish part of the world… that was a total surprise (although my surname is from southern Spain, perhaps there was a migration or something to that area from way back). Based on my pedigree, I would expect my genetic ethnicity to be around 50-60% Western or Southern Europe and the rest to be British Isles. I just find it really odd that I received no “hits” for Western Europe (France/Spain) given this is the predominant portion of my family tree. I sent feedback to Ancestry, but I was curious if anyone else has something similar to this or could anyone provide some insight for me?

I just wonder if since most of my ancestry is from French colonists of North America, then perhaps they are confusing the results with the British colonists of North America? I had one person that was a 4th cousin match, and in fact we had some common ancestors. Based on their family tree, many of their ancestors were French Canadian and Louisianan as were mine and their results were 86% British Isles, 6% Southern European, and 8% Other… which again, seems kind of odd.

As I am reading more on Autosomal DNA, my results seem plausible, but it is rather different than what I have on paper and feel that my tree is mostly well-documented. I think that one thing that is needed is to know how far back the tests go to the point of should we be considering Germanic tribes when looking at different regions.

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 7 May 2012 4:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks--I am reading more also, and have consulted a specialist in genetic genealogy. She characterized the Ancestry test as "wide but shallow," that is, it is primarily useful for identifying or confirming fairly close relationships. However, the recombination of DNA over many generations can obscure origins. She also offered the opinion that some of my German ancestry was Saxon and was included in the British Isles category, a conclusion that is supported by the fact that several of my German ancestors were from Lower Saxony.

Hopefully there will be more detailed results eventually. In the meantime, I ordered a Y-DNA test from Family Tree DNA and we'll see what that reveals.

Jim

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 7 May 2012 10:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
I plan to do a Y DNA test as well, hopefully that will shed some more light on things.

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 12:05PM GMT
Classification: Query
I find my ancestry DNA results to be off target as well. The wide but shallow comment makes sense! My family tree is documented quite a way back with most origins in England, Ireland and Scotland with a few Swiss and French thrown into the mix. I was surprised to find my results were 85% Scandinavian, 8% British Isles and 7% eastern European. I've had a lot of fun with the results and my newly identified heritage.

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 4:46PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Barry
I just received my Population Finder results from FTDNA and they indicate 100% "Orcadian," which is the reference population for the British Isles. The reference sample seems to be a mixture of Norse, Celtic and Germanic ethnicity, possibly from pre-Roman times. So those results are consistent with the Ancestry.com results, an neither company has a specific German reference population.

Jim Barry

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 8:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
My test results were not accurate either. My grandparents were born in Italy and came to the US in the 1920's. We are certain about three generations back who lived in Italy. My report shows no Italian ancestry. It also does not show any ancestry from the UK and I am certain of that also. I'm very disappointed.

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 11:07PM GMT
Classification: Query
The test results can only reflect comparisons with the reference samples. Ancestry has not, as far as I know, released a description of its reference samples. FTDNA has.

If you have the raw data, you can also upload it to GedMatch and send it to Dr. Doug McDonald for independent analysis. These may show different results. Ancestry has not released the raw data, but FTDNA and 23andMe routinely do so.

Initially, I expected to find (and was disappointed when I did not) that my documented German ancestry would show up. As I've learned more about autosomal DNA, however, I have come to understand that the results on both Ancestry and FTDNA are consistent and correctly reflect my family's origins on both sides. My father's side is Norman-Irish; my mother's is German, specifically Bavaria and Lower Saxony. Celts settled in Bavaria in the first millennium BCE and their descendants are reflected in the DNA results as Orcadian or British. And ditto for the Saxons.

One thing to bear in mind is that autosomal DNA is useful for establishing relatively recent family relationships, but the the ethnic origins results may derive from many hundreds or even thousands of years ago, so one cannot expect to see family origins from only a couple of hundred years ago to reliably show up.

Jim

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 5 Aug 2012 8:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
My results were much the same as other respondents. I actually had my 90 year old father's DNA tested and his parents were "pure" German documented from mid 19th century and French Canadian documented from the 17th century. To my surprise, not a trace of either French nor German, rather 40% British Isles, 38% Scandinavian, 15% Southern European, and 7% Eastern European. I understand ethnic migration patterns but was, frankly, I was disappointed in the ethnicity descriptions provided.

Re: Ancestry DNA Results BARRY

Posted: 6 Aug 2012 12:20AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Barry
I am also hoping ultimately for some matches from Cork relatives, but it may be a long wait. My understanding is that there are relatively few Irish participants in DNA testing in general, and even fewer in Ancestry--look at the relative paucity of trees for people whose families remained in Ireland compared to emigrant families. I have been told (but can't confirm independently) that there are two main reasons for low Irish participation. One is the poor state of the economy and the fact that genealogy is a low priority for many families. The other is that DNA testing in Ireland and Great Britain is seen as tied to law enforcement and is viewed with suspicion by some residents.

I have recently identified three possible 5th cousins in Ireland and, when I get to know them better, hope to get at least one to take a test.

Jim Barry
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