Author Topic: DNA test vs the Paper Trail.  (Read 780 times)

Offline fizz83

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DNA test vs the Paper Trail.
« on: Tuesday 02 January 18 05:03 GMT (UK) »
Hi All,
I hope that someone may be able to shed a little light on my DNA results. I have worked on my family tree for more than a decade now, and have found nothing outside of the United Kingdom as far as the paper trail goes.
Though, My DNA results through Ancestry tell me that I have 50 % European West DNA. I then had my mother tested, who returned a result of 70% European West in her own DNA. I have traced back as far as the early 1700's and even beyond on my mother's line ,with nothing to suggest we have any connection with Europe.
I know very little in understanding the DNA tests in depth, but was hoping someone may be able to help me understand, why I would have such strong DNA results with nothing appearing on the paper trail?

Any help would be so greatly appreciated,
Thanks, Bek

Thanks so much in Advance, Bek

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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: DNA test vs the Paper Trail.
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 02 January 18 08:03 GMT (UK) »
Hi All,
I hope that someone may be able to shed a little light on my DNA results. I have worked on my family tree for more than a decade now, and have found nothing outside of the United Kingdom as far as the paper trail goes.
Though, My DNA results through Ancestry tell me that I have 50 % European West DNA. I then had my mother tested, who returned a result of 70% European West in her own DNA. I have traced back as far as the early 1700's and even beyond on my mother's line ,with nothing to suggest we have any connection with Europe.
I know very little in understanding the DNA tests in depth, but was hoping someone may be able to help me understand, why I would have such strong DNA results with nothing appearing on the paper trail?

Any help would be so greatly appreciated,
Thanks, Bek

Thanks so much in Advance, Bek

You should regard the DNA ethnicity results as little more than guesses. They are the DNA equivalent to Ancestry Trees or Hall of Fame names.

It does not pinpoint where ancient ancestors came from but simply points to areas where such DNA results most frequently appear on that particular company's DNA database.

Due to the history of Europe the population of countries such as the UK everyone contains some DNA from people from practically ever “country” in Europe. That DNA is more often than not meaningless in family history terms as it has been passed through the generations for thousands of years. This is far longer than any paper records identifying individuals and is therefore irrelevant for any family history purposes.

It is also meaningless in ethnicity terms as the practices and customs of the ancient ethnic groupings they purport to claim will have changed out of all recognition between then and now.

You could compile as accurate a result by laying a map of Europe out on the floor, closing your eyes and throwing 100 darts at it to discover where your ancestors originated.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline Eric Hatfield

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Re: DNA test vs the Paper Trail.
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 27 January 18 03:05 GMT (UK) »
I agree a lot with Guy. The difficulty with ethnicity estimates is twofold.

(1) They are very approximate. Every company gives different results, often because they define their areas differently.

(2) They show, as Guy said, where you came from, but it isn't clear exactly how recently. You could have traced your ancestry in UK back to the 14th century within UK, but before that you might have Celtic, Roman, AngloSaxon, Viking, Norman, French, Spanish, etc, background, and earlier on, some Middle Eastern, Balkan or even Neanderthal.

It can be fun finding out all that, but it is unlikely to assist much with finding ancestors, and shouldn't disturb you to doubt your paper research.

Offline hdw

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Re: DNA test vs the Paper Trail.
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 27 January 18 21:18 GMT (UK) »
Yes, you have to remember that the earliest people to inhabit what's now the British Isles were wiped out, or moved south, in the face of various Ice Ages, and it wasn't till about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago that the Isles were re-populated again, with settlers coming from further south and east. Strictly speaking, all British people are immigrants!

You won't be able to trace your ancestry by "paper-trail" methods for more than a few hundred years back, but your DNA changes very, very slowly, and that's why you will have at least partial DNA matches with people in far distant countries.

To take an extreme case, I am one of a minority of Europeans who have mitochondrial DNA - inherited from my mother's mother's mother (etc.) - which started its journey about 50,000 years ago in what's now the Middle East. Although many other Europeans share this mtDNA J "haplogroup" with me, it's still commonest in the Middle East and Caucasus, and apparently commonest of all among the Bedouin!

Harry