Author Topic: DNA testing  (Read 440 times)

Offline andrewalston

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DNA testing
« on: Wednesday 08 November 17 21:46 GMT (UK) »
This afternoon my mum mentioned that she might be interested in the "ethnic origin" results of a DNA test, so I went looking for what the various companies offered.

Of course, they have teaser cases on their sites to show how wonderful they are, so I had a read.
Ancestry are headlining three stories.
1. An Australian who knew that her ancestors came from the UK (back to the Norman Conquest, she claimed), Italy and Malta. For some reason, she was surprised to hear that Ancestry thought her ancestors came from Western Europe (basically Italy to Spain), and included DNA from west Asia and north Africa. Well Malta's second closest neighbour is Libya, and Malta has traditional links with the Holy Land (or west Asia).
2. A Londoner who knew his dad had German and Russian grandparents and his mother's side were Greek. Ancestry decided that he was 40% British, 25% German and 35% Greek. Well, seeing as "German" and "Russian" were interchangeable when talking about the world before the 20th century, are you surprised?
3. A Columbian living in New York who discovered, that she was 35% native American, 5% African and 29% from the Iberian peninsula. The same could probably be said of half the population of Columbia.

I could have guessed all these locations from the information that the subjects already knew. I reckon that I could probably have even guessed the percentages within a 10% error margin.

I shall try to convince my mum that she ought not to waste her money!
Looking at ALSTON in south Ribble area, ALSTEAD and DONBAVAND/DUNBABIN etc. everywhere, HOWCROFT and MARSH in Bolton and Westhoughton, PICKERING in the Whitehaven area.

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Offline rlw254

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Re: DNA testing
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 09 November 17 03:23 GMT (UK) »
The only waste is buying into the percentages given for each distinct region. In my opinion the value of DNA analysis lies within finding and reaching out to those who match your mother's kit so that you can put together branches of the family that might not be known previously. The actual regional assignment is really just hand-waving to a point, clustering of population averages that indicates likelihood of someone having lived in that area.

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Offline pharmaT

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Re: DNA testing
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 09 November 17 10:59 GMT (UK) »
It wouldn't be wasting money if you used the results to connect with cousins and to further your research.

I agree though that I don't understand why some of the results are surprising to some people.  Mine made perfect sense to me yet other have expressed surprise.
Campbell, Dunn, Dickson, Fell, Forest, Norie, Pratt, Somerville, Thompson, Tyler among others