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General => Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing => Topic started by: AndyH81 on Monday 06 December 21 16:45 GMT (UK)

Title: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Monday 06 December 21 16:45 GMT (UK)
Hi all,

I was wondering if those a bit more knowledgeable about DNA and ethnicity estimates might be able to help me out?

A few months back, I did an Ancestry DNA test and failed to match to anyone on my paternal side, only those on my maternal side. Subsequently, my father agreed to do a DNA test and when we got the results, we failed to match as father and son, thus suggesting we're actually not biologically related - although we have not had a legal paternity test yet to 100% confirm this.

If you're bored and want to read that whole story, then the information can be found in this thread: https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=854302.0

Anyhow, I noted that in my results I had lots of close relative matches to two families in Ireland that none of us had ever heard of and, vice-versa, they had absolutely no idea how we could be related either.

According to my DNA ethnicity estimate, my heritage is between 12 - 40% Irish (according to Ancestry) or about 35% Irish (according to MyHeritage, which was done as a separate, independent test). This surprised all of us as none of our family, paternal or maternal, have connections with Ireland either by marriage or breeding (that we know of).

My father's DNA by comparison came back with a result of 0-4% Irish ancestry. Now, in my logical mind, the only way I could possibly have more Irish ancestry than him would be if it came from my mother's side... but I know that not to be true. So, I am making the working assumption that my biological father would, therefore, have to have been Irish or have a lot of Irish ancestry. Is that a fair assumption?

I'll be honest and say that, as I cannot find any logical link between myself and these previously unknown Irish family members, my working assumption would be that my biological father would either have to be a member of one of those families or be closely related to them?

Basically, I need someone to tell me whether or not my hypothesis could be even remotely accurate, or whether I am just using tenuous syllogisms to create a story that is just not there!  ;D

Any help or assistance in understanding this would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,
Andy
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: KGarrad on Monday 06 December 21 17:16 GMT (UK)
But - they are estimates!

Not to be relied upon for serious genealogy :D
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: decor on Monday 06 December 21 17:40 GMT (UK)
If you have close matches with those families in Ireland, and it's not through your mother, it must be through your biological father.
The ethnicity estimates are not an exact science, but the centimorgans you share with those Irish families are definite.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: phil57 on Monday 06 December 21 18:00 GMT (UK)
As said above, you need to concentrate on the matches that you have, and research those families and yours to try and establish a connection.

Ethnicity estimates are just that. I have estimated percentages of Scottish, Irish and Scandinavian ethnicity. It doesn't necessarily mean that I or my recent ancestors have any connection with those countries (in the last 250-300 years we certainly don't) only that parts of my DNA share identical regions to those also commonly found in a number of people from those countries. It is more likely that we are all descended from the same people in the more distant past, who came from elsewhere and migrated into those countries.

I have a very close connection to a male who tested with Ancestry, but has only a very small tree and who hasn't responded to my messages. I have spent months researching and building his tree. I have taken some wrong turns along the way and had to retrace my steps, but I now have a reasonable tree of his more recent ancestors, beyond the timeframe that our match suggests.

The only possible connection between us is that several of my ancestors going back 3-4 generations lived in the same town as his great grandmother, some of them in the same street. I have established that his grandmother was born two and a half years after the death of his great grandmother's husband, and that the father named on his grandmother's birth certificate is apparently fictitious, but bears the same forename as one of my great-great-uncles who lived nearby at the time.

I am now pretty certain that the answer to our connection must lie there somewhere, but I doubt I will ever discover the absolute truth unless my match already knows about it, and he's not sharing.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Monday 06 December 21 19:33 GMT (UK)
I agree with others, the cMs is what matters most with your close matches.

What are your closest 5 - 10 matches (cMs) & relationships on your 'unknown' paternal side & do they match each other?

Looking at ethnicity at this stage is only going to confuse you more (in my opinion).

You may find the Leeds method a great help...

https://www.yourdnaguide.com/leeds-method


Annie
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 07 December 21 11:19 GMT (UK)
Okay, so, as I just stated on my other post: Centimorgans don't really mean a huge amount to me because my knowledge is so limited. Pretty much all I know is that we get roughly 50% of our DNA from each parent.

What I can add to this story is that all of my closest matches come from the afore mentioned strangers in Ireland - and 1 woman in England who also happens to be looking for her real father, and I believe also happens to be connected to the same family in Ireland.

According to our result, we share 7.7% of our DNA (543.2 cM total). The system offered the suggestion of 3 main relationships:

1. Great niece (which is impossible based on what I currently know about my known siblings, though I suppose in this scenario I have to accept there may be more I don't know of);
2. 1st cousin once removed;
3. 2nd cousin.

The other closest relationship was offered as a 1st/2nd cousin with whom I share 5% of my DNA (375 cMs), and then other 2nd/3rd cousins from that family with cMs ranging from 221 cMs - 234 cMs). Those individuals, I believe, are either all siblings or cousins.

Does that mean anything to anyone here!?!? Any tips would be appreciated because I am clearly out of my depth here. *facepalm*
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Ruskie on Tuesday 07 December 21 11:45 GMT (UK)
It means youíve sort of hit the jackpot Andy. Those are very high cm matches.  :)

Have you contacted each of those matches in the hundreds of cms?
Do all of those high matches match each other (as already asked by Annie)?
Have any of them contacted you? (Which may indicate their level of interest and curiosity)

Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 07 December 21 12:46 GMT (UK)
It means youíve sort of hit the jackpot Andy. Those are very high cm matches.  :)

Have you contacted each of those matches in the hundreds of cms?
Do all of those high matches match each other (as already asked by Annie)?
Have any of them contacted you? (Which may indicate their level of interest and curiosity)

I have indeed contacted them. The "niece" and I have chatted back and forth quite a lot (we contacted each other at virtually the same time), and we can't figure out how we're related. I've come to the conclusion that it's not on my mother's side - but if my father and I aren't biologically related, I have literally no starting point at all because my mother is dead so I can't even get a clue as to who it might have been.

The only thing we know is that of our mutual matches, they appear to be on her mother's side. I have absolutely no idea how I can be related to them - not even a little bit - although my speculation is clearly that it must be on my paternal side, as I can't find any clear connection on my mother's side.

None of the others contacted me. I contacted them all, and got a few non-responses, and the others simply stated they didn't know how we were related because they weren't aware of any family members living in England.

I might have to rope in Davina McCall for this. ;D
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: phil57 on Tuesday 07 December 21 13:49 GMT (UK)
Have you looked at Ancestry shared matches for you and your match, if there are any? Are any of them people who you already know of or recognise that link to a specific side/branch of your tree? Do any of them have trees that you can also investigate?
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Stanwix England on Tuesday 07 December 21 14:55 GMT (UK)
This chart is useful for understanding what your potential relationship is with someone you have a DNA match is. I know you've sort of got that information already, but this page is so useful for a quick comparison I thought I would share it.

https://eu.customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/204703390-Average-Percent-DNA-Shared-Between-Relatives

It seems to me there is a possibility that your bio-father is from the Irish family. Either a member who was travelling for work in England or a descendent of someone who did.

With that in mind, I would consider looking in the newspapers for your birthplace, at the time you were conceived and see if the surname of that family appears at all. It's an extreme long shot - it relies on your bio father having that surname, and having made the news for some reason - but it is a slim possibility.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Heb66 on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:06 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy,
I have a 543 cm proven relationship on my DNA matches.....she is the daughter of my grandfathers brother.
I have already offered to research your connection for you using your DNA results and  building trees for you.
You now have to get down to the hard work of researching and building trees of your shared matches of this closest family match.
It won't be hard at all with such a close match !!!
Helen.


Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: heywood on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:11 GMT (UK)
I have been following your posts with interest and hope that you will find an explanation soon.
I have found that people are often not forthcoming to answer or help if they do answer.
My closest matches are 247cm and 236cm.
The next being 234cm who is, I know, the child of my first cousin.
The first match replied but his parent is adopted and knows nothing of their biological parent/s.
The second hasnít replied but, as I know my family, I assume that match is a similar situation - certainly an unknown (to me) parents.

I am posting this, just to say, that I did the Leeds method, as mentioned by Rosinish with my husbandís matches. I found that method quite helpful as I could see a pattern emerging re shared links. Just out of curiosity really. There is a Youtube video too.

We both have lots of Irish/American matches and these go way back. In fact, just this week I had a new match - 4th/6th cousin (no details) and then when I was checking my husbandís DNA, I recognised the photo - she is his 5th-8th cousin. We will leave it there -too much to contemplate. :)
 

I did do some work on his paternal line - again Irish - with someone in Australia. We shared the list of Ďshared matchesí to try and find connections. We didnít find a real connection - too long ago- but again that was an interesting exercise.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: lisalisa on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:12 GMT (UK)
Are there any other members of the 'niece's' family, who might be willing to have  a test?

You say the matches you share with her are on her mother's side, so has her mother done a test?

If she had, that might be a closer match (higher cMs) to you.  She might be a cousin?

Depending on all of your ages and whether the mother has any male siblings, might indicate whether you need to be looking at that generation or a generation further back to find a possible father.

If so shared matches between you and 'niece' might indicate whether you'd be looking on her mother's maternal or paternal side.

good luck with it all :)
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:19 GMT (UK)
Have you looked at Ancestry shared matches for you and your match, if there are any? Are any of them people who you already know of or recognise that link to a specific side/branch of your tree? Do any of them have trees that you can also investigate?

There's no connection between our family trees at all, and I've investigated all of theirs and dug as deep in to mine as I can go and find no connection. All I can tell from their trees is that they're related either by blood or marriage. And until this test, I had absolutely no idea they even existed - and vice-versa.

It's 100% total mystery to me. I feel like I am trying to play a game, but I don't know the rules or whose side I am on.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: heywood on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:27 GMT (UK)
I have some matches e.g. 5/8th cousins who when i click on shared matches, there are none.

Do you mean that you have no shared matches? I donít mean the trees, just look at the Leeds method, or similar, and log your shared matches. It is a colour coded way and you see who is likely to be connected to whichever line.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:27 GMT (UK)
This chart is useful for understanding what your potential relationship is with someone you have a DNA match is. I know you've sort of got that information already, but this page is so useful for a quick comparison I thought I would share it.

https://eu.customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/204703390-Average-Percent-DNA-Shared-Between-Relatives

It seems to me there is a possibility that your bio-father is from the Irish family. Either a member who was travelling for work in England or a descendent of someone who did.

With that in mind, I would consider looking in the newspapers for your birthplace, at the time you were conceived and see if the surname of that family appears at all. It's an extreme long shot - it relies on your bio father having that surname, and having made the news for some reason - but it is a slim possibility.

Not at all - that chart is a great and easy guide for me, so it's perfect! Thanks a lot for bringing it to my attention. I did try the paper thing, but it didn't reveal much. I did learn a member of that family, very sadly, died in a crash in my home town the same year as I born (and he wasn't very old, so couldn't have been my father).

I did speculate that perhaps his father and my father *could* have been the same person perhaps, as presumably his father (or another male member of his family) would have been in the area at some point around the time I would have been conceived - but, again, that's just wild speculation based on ideas my brain is spitting out, because I honestly do not have a clue and have no one to ask. I'm still trying to get my father to produce a document which may enlighten me on whether or not I have an older sibling (a different saga, mentioned in the other thread!) - clearly my family is a mess. ;D
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: decor on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:32 GMT (UK)
I have some matches e.g. 5/8th cousins who when i click on shared matches, there are none.

Do you mean that you have no shared matches? I donít mean the trees, just look at the Leeds method, or similar, and log your shared matches. It is a colour coded way and you see who is likely to be connected to whichever line.

This is really useful advice from Heywood. The Leeds method will help you find clusters of your matches...and point you towards the common ancestors.

I'm happy to take a look at your matches for you. If that's something you're interested in, send me a PM
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:35 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy,
I have a 543 cm proven relationship on my DNA matches.....she is the daughter of my grandfathers brother.
I have already offered to research your connection for you using your DNA results and  building trees for you.
You now have to get down to the hard work of researching and building trees of your shared matches of this closest family match.
It won't be hard at all with such a close match !!!
Helen.

I might have to accept help at this point. I just don't know where to begin really. I'd already built as much of a tree as I could using the information they had available, but I was really struggling to find any Irish records - it seems like a lot of them were destroyed or just aren't available publicly?

By rights, the woman with whom I have the closest match (the "niece" / 1st cousin, once removed / 2nd cousin) would have to be the child of a 1st cousin, meaning my father would need to be a sibling of her parent? We'd have to share a grandparent, or for the other suggestions a great-grandparent?

I can find nothing on either side.  :-\
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: heywood on Tuesday 07 December 21 15:50 GMT (UK)
Do you share other matches with her?

Added - donít worry so much about looking for trees - look at shared matches.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 07 December 21 16:19 GMT (UK)
Do you share other matches with her?

Added - donít worry so much about looking for trees - look at shared matches.

It's a bit complicated because I am looking across two different sites (Ancestry & MyHeritage) but, yes, we have shared matches. Those shared matches are clearly from the same family/families too - it's just that some only appear on one of the two sites, and the others appear on the other site... if that makes sense?
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: heywood on Tuesday 07 December 21 17:14 GMT (UK)
I am not that knowledgeable re DNA etc nor how My Heritage works but I would try that method with just Ancestry shared matches and then maybe the other siteís matches.

Just to see what turns up - if you can see anything like this
https://www.danaleeds.com/would-you-rather-use-a-worksheet-the-leeds-method/
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 07 December 21 18:41 GMT (UK)
I am not that knowledgeable re DNA etc nor how My Heritage works but I would try that method with just Ancestry shared matches and then maybe the other siteís matches.

Just to see what turns up - if you can see anything like this
https://www.danaleeds.com/would-you-rather-use-a-worksheet-the-leeds-method/

I think I need to do more research on this method before attempting to use it as I feel there is something I am missing about it. Having watched a few videos, I can understand how it could be helpful to group people together into relationship-based matches. But beyond that, I couldn't really see how it could possibly be used to establish relationships to unknown family members - only to group them as a quick and easy way of seeing who relates to who.

As far as I can tell, it's not going to identify the specific (unknown) individual to whom I relate... so it's kind of limited use. I can understand how it might be helpful if you wanted a quick and easy way to cross-reference relationships though!
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: decor on Tuesday 07 December 21 18:58 GMT (UK)
I am not that knowledgeable re DNA etc nor how My Heritage works but I would try that method with just Ancestry shared matches and then maybe the other siteís matches.

Just to see what turns up - if you can see anything like this
https://www.danaleeds.com/would-you-rather-use-a-worksheet-the-leeds-method/

I think I need to do more research on this method before attempting to use it as I feel there is something I am missing about it. Having watched a few videos, I can understand how it could be helpful to group people together into relationship-based matches. But beyond that, I couldn't really see how it could possibly be used to establish relationships to unknown family members - only to group them as a quick and easy way of seeing who relates to who.

As far as I can tell, it's not going to identify the specific (unknown) individual to whom I relate... so it's kind of limited use. I can understand how it might be helpful if you wanted a quick and easy way to cross-reference relationships though!

It's useful in that it can help you locate the common ancestor between you. That's the person you need to work down from to find your biological father. You can build the common ancestor's tree downwards trying to establish the most likely connections to your biological father.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Ruskie on Wednesday 08 December 21 06:17 GMT (UK)
Andy, if I were you I would take up Helen and Decorís kind offers to help you put together trees for your matches.

This dna lark can be confusing and complicated and although you seem to have a fair idea what youíre doing, it might help to have some more experienced researchers and a couple more helpers on board.

Please let us know how you get on.  :)
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: RossGillbanks on Wednesday 08 December 21 08:44 GMT (UK)
I'm not trying to add confusion, have you considered uploading to Gedmatch? Although not many have a tree on there, what it does is, You can upload your DNA taken from 23andme, Ancestry, Myheritage etc. It is almost like a universal database of DNA across all the family research websites. It is free (there is a paid option also). But it could be worth trying as you may have a close relative thats tested via 23andme that may have uploaded there. Not to cause confusion though as a downside is if they dont have a tree is trying to establish your relation. The plus side is each match will have their email displayed so you can always email them directly rather than relying on a messenger type system. Could be an option if you get a little stuck.

I am also more than happy to help with DNA and tree building :)
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: RossGillbanks on Wednesday 08 December 21 08:50 GMT (UK)
Okay, so, as I just stated on my other post: Centimorgans don't really mean a huge amount to me because my knowledge is so limited. Pretty much all I know is that we get roughly 50% of our DNA from each parent.

What I can add to this story is that all of my closest matches come from the afore mentioned strangers in Ireland - and 1 woman in England who also happens to be looking for her real father, and I believe also happens to be connected to the same family in Ireland.

According to our result, we share 7.7% of our DNA (543.2 cM total). The system offered the suggestion of 3 main relationships:

1. Great niece (which is impossible based on what I currently know about my known siblings, though I suppose in this scenario I have to accept there may be more I don't know of);
2. 1st cousin once removed;
3. 2nd cousin.

The other closest relationship was offered as a 1st/2nd cousin with whom I share 5% of my DNA (375 cMs), and then other 2nd/3rd cousins from that family with cMs ranging from 221 cMs - 234 cMs). Those individuals, I believe, are either all siblings or cousins.

Does that mean anything to anyone here!?!? Any tips would be appreciated because I am clearly out of my depth here. *facepalm*

Could also be a half aunt at 543.2 cM, or half 1st cousin once removed. My own half aunt matches me at a slightly higher cM but its very close.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 08 December 21 11:27 GMT (UK)
I'm not trying to add confusion, have you considered uploading to Gedmatch? Although not many have a tree on there, what it does is, You can upload your DNA taken from 23andme, Ancestry, Myheritage etc. It is almost like a universal database of DNA across all the family research websites. It is free (there is a paid option also). But it could be worth trying as you may have a close relative thats tested via 23andme that may have uploaded there. Not to cause confusion though as a downside is if they dont have a tree is trying to establish your relation. The plus side is each match will have their email displayed so you can always email them directly rather than relying on a messenger type system. Could be an option if you get a little stuck.

I am also more than happy to help with DNA and tree building :)

Yeah, I tried that - but it didn't really reveal anything to me that the other sites hadn't already. Plus I found the data really messy to look at, so I just deleted it!
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Galium on Wednesday 08 December 21 13:28 GMT (UK)

Not at all - that chart is a great and easy guide for me, so it's perfect! Thanks a lot for bringing it to my attention. I did try the paper thing, but it didn't reveal much. I did learn a member of that family, very sadly, died in a crash in my home town the same year as I born (and he wasn't very old, so couldn't have been my father).

I did speculate that perhaps his father and my father *could* have been the same person perhaps, as presumably his father (or another male member of his family) would have been in the area at some point around the time I would have been conceived - but, again, that's just wild speculation based on ideas my brain is spitting out...

That's not really "wild speculation" is it?  If somebody from the family of your Irish relatives is actually your biological father (I'm sorry, because this has come as a shock to you and you are having to deal with that) then he must have been wherever your mother was at some point, mustn't he?

Do  this family have connections with your home town, other than that it was the place where someone died?  If they don't, do they know why the child, and whoever was with him, were in the area?  Do they know who was with him, and if so, what relation that person was to your close matches?
What work did your mother do, that might have brought her into contact with these people while they were here?
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 08 December 21 13:37 GMT (UK)
While I do appreciate the offers of help in building the family tree, and I meant this without disrespect to anyone, I'm just not sure I am comfortable with complete strangers having access to my DNA profile.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 08 December 21 13:47 GMT (UK)
That's not really "wild speculation" is it?  If somebody from the family of your Irish relatives is actually your biological father (I'm sorry, because this has come as a shock to you and you are having to deal with that) then he must have been wherever your mother was at some point, mustn't he?

If you have absolutely no idea whether a person is directly related to you, let alone whether or not you could have the same father, or if the possible mutual father was in the area, then - yes - I would call that wild speculation.

All I know is that a person in that family was in my home town at a similar time I would have been conceived and, from that, I am speculating that other family members might have been in the area at the time. So right now it's really just an unsupported syllogism.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Galium on Wednesday 08 December 21 14:27 GMT (UK)
I'm sorry, I have no wish to offend, and of course you don't know from direct word of mouth evidence that the person whom you know was in the area is a direct relative.

 But you have very clear DNA evidence that this family are related to you.  If there was a mistake with your test kit, and you had somehow got the wrong results, you would not also have matches with your mother's family.

For comparison, my closest match is of 172cM. We share great grandparents.  There is no question at all that we are related. 
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Heb66 on Wednesday 08 December 21 14:32 GMT (UK)
Hi ,
It really can't be that hard to figure this out !!
With a dna match of 543 centimorgans.
I wish many of my searching adoptees had such a DNA jackpot who have a heart longing urge to reconnect with their families.
As a volunteer DNA search angel, over the years I have reconnected many adoptee's with their birth parents with DNA matches of 50 centimorgans with methodical research and other tools I have available.
Stay safe everyone x x




Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Heb66 on Wednesday 08 December 21 14:34 GMT (UK)
Hi again,
I totally agree with GALIUM..........well said !! x x
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Wednesday 08 December 21 16:21 GMT (UK)
While I do appreciate the offers of help in building the family tree, I'm just not sure I am comfortable with complete strangers having access to my DNA profile.

I too feel for you in this dilemma & having to deal with it as it can't be easy, given the circumstances of finding out but I wish you luck in finding your roots.

You don't need to give access to your DNA details.

You can send the info. from the trees you've viewed to Heb66 or if they're public trees then a link to them & take it from there?

543 cMs is definitely one of the highest I've seen for an unknown relation & well worth investigating even if it involves help which can be worked out.

It would be worthwhile checking out reasons for an Irishman being in your town/county at the time of your conception.
I'm sure you said you were 40 yrs i.e. 1979-80 depending on when you were born.

What industries were on the go, were there any Army/Navy/RAF sites, any fishing ports & try to link up what the possibilities were from the area in Ireland your matches lived.
It could've been something simple e.g. a friend's smoker/wedding/funeral or holiday?
It would be worth asking those questions of your matches as it may get them searching deeper out of curiosity alone?

Annie

Add...I forgot to mention, is there any of your mother's friends of that era still living who may be able to give you some info?
It's amazing how little snippets can form a wider picture!

Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 08 December 21 17:43 GMT (UK)
Okay... is there anyone here I could just send a spreadsheet too or something? Let me know what details you need, and I am happy to do it that way. I'd just assumed people would need to have the DNA file itself. Any volunteers???

Sorry, I really never intended to sound ungrateful for the offer, I'm just a little bit cagey about that kind of stuff because I want to know exactly how 'me' is being used, by whom, and where.

Having spoken more with the closest match, it seems it is possible that one of her grandfathers is a candidate for my biological father. I believe he would be English, but his wife was born in Ireland and would be the connection to the Irish family (I think!). Unfortunately these men have all since passed away quite young, is my understanding.

Her mother is going to do a DNA test too, so that (by rights) should highlight what relationship her mother and I have - which I assume will narrow down the search in a relatively major way.

I am also working on the assumption that there might be more half-siblings out there too, depending on circumstances.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 08 December 21 17:49 GMT (UK)
I too feel for you in this dilemma & having to deal with it as it can't be easy, given the circumstances of finding out but I wish you luck in finding your roots.

You don't need to give access to your DNA details.

You can send the info. from the trees you've viewed to Heb66 or if they're public trees then a link to them & take it from there?

543 cMs is definitely one of the highest I've seen for an unknown relation & well worth investigating even if it involves help which can be worked out.

It would be worthwhile checking out reasons for an Irishman being in your town/county at the time of your conception.
I'm sure you said you were 40 yrs i.e. 1979-80 depending on when you were born.

What industries were on the go, were there any Army/Navy/RAF sites, any fishing ports & try to link up what the possibilities were from the area in Ireland your matches lived.
It could've been something simple e.g. a friend's smoker/wedding/funeral or holiday?
It would be worth asking those questions of your matches as it may get them searching deeper out of curiosity alone?

Annie

Add...I forgot to mention, is there any of your mother's friends of that era still living who may be able to give you some info?
It's amazing how little snippets can form a wider picture!

So, my father divulged that my mother used to be 'addicted' to the old CB radio and would spend hours chatting to strangers on there (male and female). Every now and then he would come home and find one of them having coffee or watching TV with my mother. He never actually caught her cheating, but I believe the distrust lead to the breakdown in their marriage. So both he and I suspect that if it was anyone, it would be one of those people. But that, obviously, could be anyone from anywhere in whatever radius the CB picked up. That, of course, is also speculation because there's nothing backing it up.

I do know that the grandmother of my highest match lived on the same street as my own grandparents at about the same time. They may have even interacted, although we have no evidence of that. My dad doesn't remember her gran, and her gran doesn't remember my grandparents.

Sadly, I only ever knew one of my mother's friends and I have not seen her in at least 20 years. I suppose there's a possibility she could even be dead - I have absolutely no idea how to get in contact with her, and I know my dad wouldn't know either.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Wednesday 08 December 21 18:13 GMT (UK)
I do know that the grandmother of my highest match lived on the same street as my own grandparents at about the same time.

It seems more than a coincidence i.e. do you know what children the g/parents had & with such high cMs, is it possible your match may be a half sibling?

Annie
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Wednesday 08 December 21 18:20 GMT (UK)
Having spoken more with the closest match, it seems it is possible that one of her grandfathers is a candidate for my biological father. I believe he would be English, but his wife was born in Ireland and would be the connection to the Irish family (I think!).

If your biological father was English & his wife (who is no blood/DNA relation to you) was Irish then that would be a coincidence as you'd have none of her Irish blood.

Annie
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 08 December 21 23:53 GMT (UK)
I do know that the grandmother of my highest match lived on the same street as my own grandparents at about the same time.

It seems more than a coincidence i.e. do you know what children the g/parents had & with such high cMs, is it possible your match may be a half sibling?

Annie

The only child I know for certain the grandparents had was the mother of my closest match. I suppose it's possible she might transpire to be a half-sibling. She's going to do a DNA test, but I have no idea when... after Christmas, I guess.

I know the following facts about the match's family:

Her grandmother was born in Ireland and is the connection to the Irish family.
Her grandmother has 2 sisters and at least 3 brothers, but the brothers are all dead. If we assumed the suggestion of 1st cousin once removed, then it would be one of those brothers (most likely) who would be my dad.
Her grandfather was adopted and isn't sure of his heritage - although they do know his family are from the same town I am from. I don't know whether this is his adopted family or biological; I assumed the former.
The grandparents had two children (that I know of): her mother and her uncle. Her uncle died when he was 15 in a crash in my home town the year I was born. I did the maths in my head and I don't think there's any chance at all he could be my father, so I completely ruled him out as a possibility.

We're both pulling our hair out as we feel like the answer must be staring both of us in the face but we're missing it.

Now, as for my 2nd and 3rd closest match -

2nd -

We have a 5.4% DNA match (379.1 cMs). MyHeritage estimates we have a 1st cousin once removed/2nd cousin relationship. To the best of my understanding, he is in Ireland and is part of the larger Irish family. According to my closest match, she has the same estimated relationship to him that I do.

3rd -

We have a 5% DNA match (375 cMs). Ancestry estimates we would have a 1st/2nd cousin relationship. She is in Ireland and has the same surname as my 2nd closest match, but I have no idea what their relationship is to each other. I've done my own research but cannot find that information and the information available to me on these other peoples' public trees doesn't provide that info. either... although that could be because they're all still living so the information is hidden by default.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: mowsehowse on Thursday 09 December 21 07:31 GMT (UK)
I'm not sure this helps much but..... I just Googled:

(age of youngest father on record)

What a revelation!!  Might just throw your maths into disarray Andy?
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Galium on Thursday 09 December 21 09:23 GMT (UK)
So you have your close match's young uncle perhaps visiting his father's relatives in your town. 

If he was accompanied by his father (your match's grandfather), and that man is also your father, you would be related to your closest match, but not to her grandmother's family.

Your post suggests that you and your match's two close relatives are from her grandmother's family, is that right? Or is that uncertain.

I can see two possibilities.  One is that the grandfather (since he doesn't know his background) was born to an Irish woman, and you are all related to his biological family.

The other - well some fifteen year old boys look and behave towards women as if they were much older.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Thursday 09 December 21 12:54 GMT (UK)
Deleted response. Not worth it.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Thursday 09 December 21 13:06 GMT (UK)
Your post suggests that you and your match's two close relatives are from her grandmother's family, is that right? Or is that uncertain.

In so far as I know, yes. But logically, if the grandmother is Irish, then presumably her brother's would be Irish too - either by birth or ethnicity. If one of those grandfathers also had children in Ireland, that could explain why I have such close matches in both the UK and Ireland, right?

And it might also explain why the estimates of 1st cousin once removed keeps popping up?

It's not impossible the younger uncle was my father - but I do know that my mother's taste was generally in older men. Not necessarily massively older, but that's what I know of my father, step-father, and the partners she had between the two. Although I suppose that some younger teens do look older than they are. And she herself was only 19 at the time.

Her mother is doing a DNA test so I guess we can narrow this down pretty quickly:

If younger uncle was my father, the mother will be my aunt.
If uncle's father was my father, she'll be a half-sibling.

If it's another relationship, I guess I might have to go back to the drawing board.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Galium on Thursday 09 December 21 14:26 GMT (UK)
So, it looks as though you can rule out your match's maternal grandfather, and (as the most likely contenders) you are left with either her uncle, or one of her great uncles? Or at a pinch, since I don't know the ages of these people, a son of one of the great uncles.

Against which, you would want to consider who was most likely to have visited your town, since it was the grandfather who had connections there, and not his wife's family.

(Of course, I don't know where you live, and whether is somewhere that anyone from Ireland might pop over to on a visit, or a place which makes it much less likely that that would be the case.)
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Carmella on Thursday 09 December 21 14:35 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy,

There is a DNA tool called "What Are The Odds?" I don't know if you've tried it...

You can use it to create a tree with various branches & input shared DNA cM values.
It then generates hypotheses as to where your most likely position in the tree is.

https://dnapainter.com/tools/probability
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Thursday 09 December 21 18:49 GMT (UK)
So, it looks as though you can rule out your match's maternal grandfather, and (as the most likely contenders) you are left with either her uncle, or one of her great uncles? Or at a pinch, since I don't know the ages of these people, a son of one of the great uncles.

Against which, you would want to consider who was most likely to have visited your town, since it was the grandfather who had connections there, and not his wife's family.

(Of course, I don't know where you live, and whether is somewhere that anyone from Ireland might pop over to on a visit, or a place which makes it much less likely that that would be the case.)

I'm from Cheltenham originally, which has always had a relatively high Irish population and gets a huge amount of Irish tourism each year for the races. Not quite sure why that's the case - but it's true.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Thursday 09 December 21 18:50 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy,

There is a DNA tool called "What Are The Odds?" I don't know if you've tried it...

You can use it to create a tree with various branches & input shared DNA cM values.
It then generates hypotheses as to where your most likely position in the tree is.

https://dnapainter.com/tools/probability

Thank you - I'll go and have a look.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: TonyV on Monday 13 December 21 20:46 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy

I've only just seen your original post and it has received a lot of attention from helpful posters here. I see that you seem to have moved to acceptance that your biological dad and the man who brought you up are not the same.

I am acquainted with a similar case where the Ancestry Ethnicity Estimate showed a high percentage Irish background for a man whose previously researched tree showed exclusively English ancestry on both sides. The ethnicity estimate was backed up by the fact that most of his closest matches had original Irish ancestry, so just like yours.

In his case he persuaded a 1st paternal cousin and his own brother to take tests. The cousins's test showed no genetic relationship and the brother's test showed a half-sibling relationship rather than a full sibling relationship as both had believed they were all their lives. So clearly his biological father was not the man he had taken to be throughout his life up to that date or indeed his brother's father.

So while ethnicity estimates are a bit speculative (but their accuracy is improving all the time), in his case, and I suspect in yours too, the DNA proves that the estimate is a pretty good one.

The problems start there and I can well understand how disturbing this discovery might be for you. That nevertheless is a known but seldom acknowledged risk of taking a DNA test.   
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Monday 13 December 21 22:03 GMT (UK)
Hello Tony, thank you for the reply.

I'm actually probably not as bothered as I should be. Over the years, for more than one reason, I'd had a few thoughts that I might not be. I don't really look like my dad at all - and yet I do look a LOT like one of my uncles and my grandfather, so go figure.

We're doing a legal paternity test to confirm it either way. I figured another more formal opinion couldn't hurt. I'm honestly not sure what to believe when it comes to that because when I spoke to someone in the lab (because I had a techy question the 'sales' person couldn't answer), they seemed to be of the opinion that mistakes or cross-contamination happens relatively frequently when done via genealogy sites but didn't offer any statistics or insight. I got the sense his opinion was that they just didn't take much care of what they were doing and didn't interpret the results correctly! *shrugs* I found that quite worrying. But I guess that's just one person's opinion, I'm sure he must have had his rationale for thinking that.

The mother of the closest match is doing a DNA test for Christmas, so I am hoping that will offer more insight into the nature of all our relationships as, depending on what her test reveals, that should narrow down other potential fathers significantly.

My sister was going to do a DNA test too; however, I think she is feeling so bad for my father that she doesn't want to upset him more. I'm honestly not sure what his reaction would be if he found out we both (god-forbid!) weren't his. Although I think she is probably quite safe there as she does look like him. So I'm not sure that will happen.

I'd be curious to find out whether or not I have an older half-sibling too (as per the other thread)... although no idea how the hell to find that out!!
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: TonyV on Monday 13 December 21 22:18 GMT (UK)
Andy

It's good that you are not upset finding out what you've found so far. I'm sure that not everyone in your circumstances is so well-balanced.

I am no expert on DNA analysis but as an amateur genealogist since 2004 I've felt that it is the detective work that comprises much of the fun for me and I've found so many things about my own ancestors that I never imagined when I first started.

DNA tests are only half the picture. To be any use you also need to do the family tree legwork and in this case it means assembling trees for people who are matched to you or to examine any trees they have already prepared (and of course to check them). You need to try to find out who your common ancestors are and work downwards to see who was likely to be in the right place and of the right age to be your likely genetic father. Basic things like remembering that if your match is clearly a 1st cousin, you share grandparents with them, so who are the grandparents? If you are likely to be second cousins you share great grandparents etc.

But you probably know all that. Even so, my basic message is that you have to do the "legwork" to couple it to your DNA matches.

Good luck with it all.
 
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Nanna52 on Tuesday 14 December 21 06:38 GMT (UK)
I have an unknown biological grandfather.  I knew about it and it is one of the reasons I did my dna.  I now know who my great grandparents are on that line, but they had five sons who were alive at the time of conception and in the general area.  I have accepted that may be as close as I get unless someone from my grandfatherís direct line tests.  I have used dna painter, but it tells me the odds are the same for the five of them.  So now it is a waiting game to see if anything new turns up.
You mention ancestryís supposition, but I have two half first cousins that are 572 and 483 cMs.  (Same grandmother, different grandfather).
I think your sister should do a test.  Letís face it there was a sperm diner (biological father) and a real father who bought you up.  Also imagine his relief if it proves she is his biological daughter.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 14 December 21 20:18 GMT (UK)
Andy

It's good that you are not upset finding out what you've found so far. I'm sure that not everyone in your circumstances is so well-balanced.

I am no expert on DNA analysis but as an amateur genealogist since 2004 I've felt that it is the detective work that comprises much of the fun for me and I've found so many things about my own ancestors that I never imagined when I first started.

DNA tests are only half the picture. To be any use you also need to do the family tree legwork and in this case it means assembling trees for people who are matched to you or to examine any trees they have already prepared (and of course to check them). You need to try to find out who your common ancestors are and work downwards to see who was likely to be in the right place and of the right age to be your likely genetic father. Basic things like remembering that if your match is clearly a 1st cousin, you share grandparents with them, so who are the grandparents? If you are likely to be second cousins you share great grandparents etc.

But you probably know all that. Even so, my basic message is that you have to do the "legwork" to couple it to your DNA matches.

Good luck with it all.

Well, my mother's side seems all good. Oddly enough, I have DNA matches to people who would be on my father's side but I cannot find links to via my mother. But when both sides of your family come from a relatively small area, then there's a multitude of reasons that could be. Especially if my biological father has family in the same areas too.

If I toss out everything that I thought I knew about my father's side, then I can build a reasonable amount of my closest match's family tree based on the conversations we have had and information I can find online. I can also build very partial parts of the family tree of the people in Ireland, I just cannot find the person who connects the two.

And, obviously, I'm also not 100% certain of the nature of my relationship to this person.

I have the details of the closes matches in a spreadsheet now, including notes on who they are related to - or how I suspect people might be related. I tried the Leeds method as suggested but there is either not enough data to make it work, or I am not fully understanding how it is meant to work.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Carmella on Friday 17 December 21 19:20 GMT (UK)
Hi,

As you've mentioned possible half-siblings I've had a few more ideas...

So as you know, some people test DNA on one site, others on another. Therefore "fishing in all ponds" MIGHT help. (Or it might help in the future as more people test). As you say, you've already tried Ancestry & MyHeri, but there is also FTDNA "FamilyFinder" and LivingDNA where you can upload your autosomal DNA raw data or buy a new test.  23andme also do an autosomal test but you would have to buy a brand new one. (I've not tried this one yet).

If funds allow, there is also Y-DNA testing from FTDNA which would give you a Haplogroup - if you were assigned one which is very common in Ireland then it would look likely that your bio-father's father's father's etc line is from Ireland in the last few hundred years. If you discovered your Haplogroup was, for example,  R-M269 this would be more tricky as it is common in men across the UK, Ireland and Western Europe. (But you can join a Project on FTDNA & the volunteers are very helpful in figuring out results I've found).

Regarding your trying to link 2 families together, could it be that your bio-father was born to a pre-marriage couple and adopted (informally/formally) as a baby?  Perhaps he was brought up by distant family or an unrelated couple (in England?)  If you bio-gt/grandparents then married each other and had more children you would have quite big DNA matches to the later children.... 

As you say your 500+ cM match is also puzzled about the link, perhaps he/she genuinely had no knowledge of your bio-father's existence for whatever reason. That is, until you did a DNA test.

Of course this theory could be completely wrong but you never know where exploring ideas may lead.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 28 December 21 19:19 GMT (UK)
It's entirely possible the bio-father was adopted, I know of at least 1 person in that family who was adopted as an infant and doesn't know who his biological parents are. Although I think he might be dead now.

My father and I will know for sure, hopefully by new year's day, whether or not we are related or if there has been a mistake as we both did a legal paternity test the other day which is now being processed. :/
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Tuesday 28 December 21 19:22 GMT (UK)
I think your sister should do a test.  Letís face it there was a sperm diner (biological father) and a real father who bought you up.  Also imagine his relief if it proves she is his biological daughter.

My sister is no longer interested in doing a test. She doesn't want to find out anything that would cause her to question what she already knows. It's obviously affected her quite deeply.

I think my father is a bit embarrassed by the whole thing - he doesn't seem to want anyone else to know. Which I suppose I am kind of fine with, but I suspect my second cousin who was the catalyst for this whole thing has already figured it out. She's not stupid.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Maiden Stone on Tuesday 28 December 21 20:02 GMT (UK)

I think my father is a bit embarrassed by the whole thing - he doesn't seem to want anyone else to know.

Perfectly understandable; "a bit embarrassed" may be an understatement. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't want anyone outside the immediate family knowing.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 29 December 21 01:26 GMT (UK)

I think my father is a bit embarrassed by the whole thing - he doesn't seem to want anyone else to know.

Perfectly understandable; "a bit embarrassed" may be an understatement. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't want anyone outside the immediate family knowing.

Well, it's hardly his fault if my mother cheated. It's certainly tainted my opinion of her - but if it is confirmed he isn't my bio-father (which I am almost certain he won't be at this point) - I suppose I can't be too angry at her because I'd be wishing myself away.

I think he probably just doesn't want a big fuss over the whole thing. I've not told anyone yet anyhow, save for a few friends, and only one of my sisters knows. Not because I don't want people to know... but just because it doesn't make a huge amount of difference to our relationship.

I'd like to know how the culprit is, as it were, but not so we can have a relationship - I just want to complete as many of the pieces of the puzzle as I can.

I suppose both of us are also a little concerned of tainting everyone else's view of her too; her siblings, and nieces and nephews etc.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Guy Etchells on Wednesday 29 December 21 09:48 GMT (UK)
If the DNA tests show that the person you thought was your father and you are not related then forget about him as your biological father.
Having said that he is still your dad and a very important part of your family, so donít blot him out of your family life or family history.

Regarding the DNA if at all possible, try again to get your sister to take a DNA test (especially if she is older than you) and any cousins you know about.
Would your sister be happy to take the test on the understanding that you did not reveal her results to her but used them in your research? It would be a big ask but your sister would be doing something very important to you.
We each get roughly half of our DNA from our mother and half from our father, so the more people you are able to test the more complete your DNA history will be.
Cheers
Guy

PS I have just noticed you mention sisters would your other sisters be happy to take a test?
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 29 December 21 17:45 GMT (UK)
I've absolutely no intention of cutting my dad out in any way - he's my dad. I'm surprised that's even entertained as an idea! I can't imagine many people in this position do that, but maybe I'm wrong.

Only one sister is aware of the situation. She was the one who we thought was a full sibling, and she is no longer interested in doing a DNA test in any circumstances. My other sister was a half sibling, but I see no reason to involve her as she has a different father so it would be a moot point anyway. Both are younger.

I haven't seen any of my cousins in decades. But, again, I'm not sure what benefit getting all of them tested would be in looking for my own father?

I strongly suspect this DNA test is going to confirm that we're not biologically related, but I am honestly not sure what to think. A few people who I have spoken to working in this area seem to think that 'mass market' tests are inaccurate, mixed up, or misinterpreted frequently enough that they think it's always worth getting a second opinion. Which is worrying, I guess... but there you have it.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Hillhurst on Wednesday 29 December 21 18:13 GMT (UK)
I've been following this thread with interest. A close relative of mine was the product of an extra-marital affair. She didn't learn this fact until she was in her late teens. When we discussed it years later, she didn't have any negativity towards either "party".  In her words: "Hey, life happens. And if the affair hadn't occurred, I wouldn't be here. So I don't bear any ill will against my mother". As you can see, my relative always put a positive slant on matters.

Another relative was also the result of an extra-marital affair during WW2. Her great-grandson reached out to me a few years ago -- with certain questions/suspicions. I told him who his biological great-grandfather was (everyone in the family knew who he was). But the great-grandson went into an instant denial, saying he didn't want to think anything untoward about his great-granny. So be it.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 29 December 21 18:25 GMT (UK)
In her words: "Hey, life happens. And if the affair hadn't occurred, I wouldn't be here. So I don't bear any ill will against my mother". As you can see, my relative always put a positive slant on matters.

Obviously I am disappointed that my mother did this and the implications it has for certain people, but, yes, this is essentially where I am with it: things happen which can't be undone and had such events not occurred, I wouldn't be here... so it seems a bit weird wishing myself away.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Hillhurst on Wednesday 29 December 21 19:25 GMT (UK)
I presume your mother is no longer around, in order to ask her about the "circumstances"?
With my relative (the positive one), she discussed it with her mother. She learned that her mum was in love with the (unmarried) chap, and that the affair had lasted several years. Knowing that helped my relative accept the circumstances of her existence, as it were. She'd laugh and say it made her feel "special" when compared to her "ordinary" cousins.

The great-grandmother of my other relative (the one in denial) had a casual workplace affair with a fellow married colleague. Not a lot in it, really. But that fling and its consequences have cast a long shadow to this day with the descendants.

Interestingly, both women grew-up in the same market town and were 1st cousins.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 29 December 21 22:46 GMT (UK)
I presume your mother is no longer around, in order to ask her about the "circumstances"?

No, she died when I was a child. My father did say that she had a very close friend who might have been able to shed some light on it - but unfortunately he is now also dead.

And of the more likely candidates for bio-father, they are all dead too. Well, the ones whom I have been able to theorise about myself anyway. A professional could probably do better.

The one thing my father seems to be divulging more about is my mother's personality and mental health. It seems like she was probably a very damaged woman as the result of things she experienced growing up.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Guy Etchells on Thursday 30 December 21 10:50 GMT (UK)
I've absolutely no intention of cutting my dad out in any way - he's my dad. I'm surprised that's even entertained as an idea! I can't imagine many people in this position do that, but maybe I'm wrong.

I only mentioned that as clarification to my "forget about him as your biological father" point, he is still your "dad".

Only one sister is aware of the situation. She was the one who we thought was a full sibling, and she is no longer interested in doing a DNA test in any circumstances. My other sister was a half sibling, but I see no reason to involve her as she has a different father so it would be a moot point anyway. Both are younger.

I haven't seen any of my cousins in decades. But, again, I'm not sure what benefit getting all of them tested would be in looking for my own father?

They won't help in tracing your father but they may provide more of the DNA of your female (mother's) lineage, depending on what side of the family they come from. That can help in distinguishing what DNA may come from your father's side of the family.

I strongly suspect this DNA test is going to confirm that we're not biologically related, but I am honestly not sure what to think. A few people who I have spoken to working in this area seem to think that 'mass market' tests are inaccurate, mixed up, or misinterpreted frequently enough that they think it's always worth getting a second opinion. Which is worrying, I guess... but there you have it.

That depends on what they are referring to, whether it is the DNA results or the ethnicity results. Ethnicity is a construct that changes. Whereas your DNA is fixed in every cell of your body and does not change unless you have other DNA added by various routes, e.g. bone marrow transplant, blood transfusion etc.
Having said that your sample may be contaminated by mishandling.

Cheers
Guy
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Thursday 30 December 21 14:32 GMT (UK)
That depends on what they are referring to, whether it is the DNA results or the ethnicity results. Ethnicity is a construct that changes. Whereas your DNA is fixed in every cell of your body and does not change unless you have other DNA added by various routes, e.g. bone marrow transplant, blood transfusion etc.
Having said that your sample may be contaminated by mishandling.

They weren't referring to ethnicity, but the results themselves as the result of mix ups, cross-contamination, or misinterpretation of the results (not sure what that meant, but I would assume the type of relationships - cousins for siblings and so on). All they really said was they'd had to contradict multiple results in the past. I kind of got the impression that they looked down on the genealogy site tests and were dubious about any results given. *shrug*

I don't know what the statistics are on cross-contaminations and mix-ups etc. are, although I'd like to think it was quite rare.

Either way, I can't imagine mine is wrong given that I've matched with a multitude of people who would be on my mother's side. That being said, I did also match a few more distant relatives who would be on my father's side who have no apparent connection to my maternal family in so far as I can tell. So god knows. This hurts my brain.

But as this final test is deemed good enough for the courts, I am accepting it as the definitive outcome, no matter what it says!  ;D
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Friday 07 January 22 22:16 GMT (UK)
Well, as expected: My father and I are definitely not related biologically.

And now I have no idea what to do, because it would seem that I share a common ancestor with my closest match, but I've no idea who... and she also has no idea who her father is.

Oh, what a mess!
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Nanna52 on Friday 07 January 22 22:42 GMT (UK)
Welcome to my world Andy, although it is an unknown grandfather I am chasing, not father and, more importantly, I knew about it.  After three years I have traced the line, confirmed my great grandparents but donít know which of their five sons alive at the time did the deed.  If nothing else with this hobby Iíve learnt to be patient.  Take a deep breath, and your time before trying to delve further.  I was lucky I found someone who gave me the names of my great grandparents early on, but most donít reply or question my research or say must be my fathers side that I know nothing about. 
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Saturday 08 January 22 00:38 GMT (UK)
Well, as expected: My father and I are definitely not related biologically.

And now I have no idea what to do, because it would seem that I share a common ancestor with my closest match, but I've no idea who... and she also has no idea who her father is.

Oh, what a mess!

I feel so heart sorry for you, although it seemed obvious this would be the likely outcome, knowing now for sure must be quite hurting all round & difficult to take in, regardless how prepared you thought you were?

I'd have been a total wreck if my DNA had shown my 'dad' was not my biological father.

I hope you're able to cope with the knowledge & it has no long lasting effects & wish you good luck in finding who/where you originate from.

Annie
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Ruskie on Saturday 08 January 22 01:50 GMT (UK)
Andy, I wonder if any of the rootschatters who offered to help you previously will still be willing to have a look at your results and see if they can make a connection between yourself and you highest (as well as other) matches? This would require you to supply personal details and give access to your dna kit, so of course that will be something you need to be comfortable with.

It might just be a matter of you waiting for that missing link to match with you. There is hope, especially with all those dna tests being given as Christmas gifts, and results filtering through.

I wish you the best of luck in your search, and donít hesitate to ask for help or support if you need it.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Michee on Saturday 08 January 22 05:42 GMT (UK)

I think my father is a bit embarrassed by the whole thing - he doesn't seem to want anyone else to know.

Perfectly understandable; "a bit embarrassed" may be an understatement. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't want anyone outside the immediate family knowing.

Well, it's hardly his fault if my mother cheated. It's certainly tainted my opinion of her - but if it is confirmed he isn't my bio-father (which I am almost certain he won't be at this point) - I suppose I can't be too angry at her because I'd be wishing myself away.

I think he probably just doesn't want a big fuss over the whole thing. I've not told anyone yet anyhow, save for a few friends, and only one of my sisters knows. Not because I don't want people to know... but just because it doesn't make a huge amount of difference to our relationship.

I'd like to know how the culprit is, as it were, but not so we can have a relationship - I just want to complete as many of the pieces of the puzzle as I can.

I suppose both of us are also a little concerned of tainting everyone else's view of her too; her siblings, and nieces and nephews etc.

Andy, sometimes there are other reasons why a teenager  would find herself pregnant, and through no fault of her own, And Unable to tell anyone what happened.

 also could the date between your conception and her marriage mean she could have been pregnant before the marriage it doesn't always mean your mother cheated on your father. Other things in Life happen. Wish you the best with your search.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: mowsehowse on Saturday 08 January 22 08:19 GMT (UK)
ANDY: I am so sorry that you are having difficulty getting your head around the test results confirming your suspicions. I would suggest your father must be a really wonderful person to have stayed with your mother, and raised you.  I imagine that during the war years many people did all sorts of things they may have lived to regret. I can't even begin to think myself into those circumstances.
      May I clarify on this point from GUY....
QUOTE "That depends on what they are referring to, whether it is the DNA results or the ethnicity results. Ethnicity is a construct that changes. Whereas your DNA is fixed in every cell of your body and does not change unless you have other DNA added by various routes, e.g. bone marrow transplant, blood transfusion etc.......   Cheers  Guy"
I was a committed blood donor for 50 years..... Is it possible I could be handed up to 100 "DNA matches" that have zero ancestral connection, but who have been recipients of my blood donations??


 
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Michee on Saturday 08 January 22 09:00 GMT (UK)
ANDY: I am so sorry that you are having difficulty getting your head around the test results confirming your suspicions. I would suggest your father must be a really wonderful person to have stayed with your mother, and raised you.  I imagine that during the war years many people did all sorts of things they may have lived to regret. I can't even begin to think myself into those circumstances.
      May I clarify on this point from GUY....
QUOTE "That depends on what they are referring to, whether it is the DNA results or the ethnicity results. Ethnicity is a construct that changes. Whereas your DNA is fixed in every cell of your body and does not change unless you have other DNA added by various routes, e.g. bone marrow transplant, blood transfusion etc.......   Cheers  Guy"
I was a committed blood donor for 50 years..... Is it possible I could be handed up to 100 "DNA matches" that have zero ancestral connection, but who have been recipients of my blood donations??

don't worry red blood cells and platelets which are what is used in transfusions don't contain a nucleus, only  the white cells do. The donor blood is spun on a centrifuge before use to seperate white cells from red. Your donation of blood will not permenantly alter a person's own DNA 🙂
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: mowsehowse on Saturday 08 January 22 09:03 GMT (UK)
Thanks Michee. Well explained. :)
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Carmella on Saturday 08 January 22 10:47 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy

I don't know if you are aware that Rootschat has a Private Messaging (PM) system so you don't
have to post any personal details on this (public) thread. If one of the Rootschatters who has offered help is still willing to do so you can PM them and just post a note on this thread to say something like "xxx helping"

I can understand if you want to figure this out yourself, if so there are lots of DNA blogs and help online as you've probably already discovered.  When I first started I joined FTDNA's Adoptee Project as it was useful to me to see how other people had solved their unknown parents/grandparents/ggrandparents line etc.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Saturday 08 January 22 17:35 GMT (UK)
Thanks everyone. It's the outcome that I was expecting, but I guess there was (obviously) still a little part of me who thought things might be wrong.

I forget who mentioned blood transfusions, but I've never had one, and I went and checked and apparently a transfusion would not have any significant effect on the outcome of a DNA test anyhow.

If anyone is prepared to help, I can hand over the information I have gleaned from various sites, the only thing I am reticent to handover is a DNA file. Which, as stated before, is not meant to cast aspersions on anyone - it's just not something I am comfortable with.

Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Carmella on Sunday 09 January 22 15:01 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy

Can I ask if the mother of your 543cM match is still in process of taking a DNA test?

This result would definitely help you both narrow down your relationship - a full Aunt would share
between 1201 - 2282 cM with you.

Earlier on you've also mentioned that some of your known family & one of your DNA matches
family were living in the same street in the same town...  this seems too much of a coincidence to me.   Have you investigated each person in the households to see if there is any "household mixing"  for want of a better phrase...?

If this was my tree I would also be researching the life story of any man descended in any way from the Common Ancestral couple in Ireland who would be alive at the right time.  Electoral rolls and BMD records might help...


Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: scotmum on Sunday 09 January 22 16:28 GMT (UK)
If anyone is prepared to help, I can hand over the information I have gleaned from various sites, the only thing I am reticent to handover is a DNA file. Which, as stated before, is not meant to cast aspersions on anyone -

In case you aren't aware of it, assuming you have tested via Ancestry (sorry, haven't read full thread), you have an option to invite people as 'viewers' of your DNA results. This does not give them access to your actual DNA file per se, but rather allows them to view your list of matches, shared matches and associated cMs info. This explains it: https://www.rootschat.com/links/01r67/ .

This can prove useful in a situation such as yours, where having someone with more experience of DNA  might be beneficial and/or even just having a fresh pair of eyes look over your results to see if you have missed anything in them, that might prove helpful.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Sunday 09 January 22 18:16 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy

Can I ask if the mother of your 543cM match is still in process of taking a DNA test?

This result would definitely help you both narrow down your relationship - a full Aunt would share
between 1201 - 2282 cM with you.

Earlier on you've also mentioned that some of your known family & one of your DNA matches
family were living in the same street in the same town...  this seems too much of a coincidence to me.   Have you investigated each person in the households to see if there is any "household mixing"  for want of a better phrase...?

If this was my tree I would also be researching the life story of any man descended in any way from the Common Ancestral couple in Ireland who would be alive at the right time.  Electoral rolls and BMD records might help...

Yes, she is taking a test but I don't know when the results will be ready. By rights I should be a closer match with her mother. I think my biological father is likely to be someone who bridges the people in England and the people in Ireland. Unfortunately I am struggling to figure out exactly which person (or persons) are the one/ones who are the connection(s). That in of itself makes tracing any male descendants difficult. I'm also finding that the people who might be able to answer these questions aren't particularly forthcoming with information which makes it harder again.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Carmella on Tuesday 11 January 22 18:44 GMT (UK)
Hi again Andy,

So after reading scotmum's good suggestion I've had another idea, which is, that an anonymous family tree of the DNA matches could be created.

The common ancestral couple would go at the top, all known descendants below with DNA cM values attached to the relevant person/people.

Each individual could have a false name to protect their identity but their birth year would need to be true.

On this rootschat thread the opening poster gave their relatives the names "Smith" and "Jones":

https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=854524.0
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: ~Rachel~ on Tuesday 11 January 22 21:23 GMT (UK)
Hi Andy,

I have read your thread with great interest. I can't help with any suggestions other than ones which have already been made, however, I wish you all the best with your search and I truly admire the way that you are handling this.

Life is extremely complicated, and it's only in recent years that we have access to so much information. I suspect that in all of our 'trees' somewhere along the line, there will be similar stories.

Good luck with your search and all the best to your dad too.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Wednesday 12 January 22 02:45 GMT (UK)
In case you aren't aware of it, assuming you have tested via Ancestry you have an option to invite people as 'viewers' of your DNA results. This does not give them access to your actual DNA file per se, but rather allows them to view your list of matches, shared matches and associated cMs info. This explains it: https://www.rootschat.com/links/01r67/ .

This can prove useful in a situation such as yours, where having someone with more experience of DNA  might be beneficial and/or even just having a fresh pair of eyes look over your results to see if you have missed anything in them, that might prove helpful.

This is well worth considering.

I have access to one of my highest matches' trees & he has access to mine, neither of us have access to the others' DNA, only names & trees.

Prior to us having access to each others' trees, we had no idea how we matched (still don't) but I'm almost there now which is also proving to be a NPE or similar (illegitimate).

I'm no expert on DNA but if I can work through the little info. from my matches' tree & find the connection (part of that tree is also wrong) which didn't help, then I'm more than sure Hebb66 will be able to help you.

I've managed to work out quite a few matches of which another was descended from an illegitimate child.
The chap said he had no info. on his mothers' side, whether it was true or not I don't know but he only had his parents' names in his tree, nothing more.  ::)

I done the usual searches, found the death for his mother, was able to get her mothers' m/s & worked back from there with her parents' marriage & bingo in less than 3 hrs  ;D

Annie
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Saturday 15 January 22 16:35 GMT (UK)
I've created a family tree based on the relationships I have been able to reconstruct from information I have been given by others or what was available online. I've also got some other information in a spreadsheet about connections related to the tree made via other sites, just not sure how these all fit together.

Dad spoke to my mum's older sister today and she said she knew nothing whatsoever about mum ever having had another child or that she had ever cheated. I got the sense she was completely blindsided by it all, so maybe there's no weight to the older sibling theory after all. She's not the kind of woman who would lie.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: mowsehowse on Saturday 15 January 22 16:51 GMT (UK)
#81: I hope your Aunt's reaction brings you, (and your Dad,) some comfort Andy.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Saturday 15 January 22 18:38 GMT (UK)
I guess I have mixed feelings about it all. On one hand, it's nice to know she wasn't keeping secrets; on the other hand, it means I haven't gotten any additional insight which I suppose I was secretly hoping for.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Carmella on Monday 17 January 22 15:53 GMT (UK)
So there is further option - you could try applying for your mother's official medical records...

I'm suggesting this but at the same time I don't want to raise your hopes because:

1 some medical records have not survived
2 some medical records remain closed for X years
3 some medical staff comments are very brief i.e. just a squiggle
4 reading a relatives medical records can be a traumatic experience...

On the other hand, from personal experience I know that medical records can provide information which cannot be found elsewehere. 

The cost was £30 in the 2010s but this may be different now and may vary across different parts of the UK. 
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Janethepain on Saturday 22 January 22 14:06 GMT (UK)
Sorry to be late in on this, and I don't  know how accurate what I am going to say reflects the position throughout the rest of the UK, but as I worked until recently in a GP practice in Scotland for 25 years, ( I retired 31/12/2020), I am well aware that the paper records for a deceased patient were transferred back to CSA (Common Services Agency), shortly after their death, and similarly the online record was 'transferred out', back to CSA, when patients either left or died.  In the case of traditional/historical paper records, these records were only held on to (by CSA), for 3 years, and then destroyed. I would assume that the same would be likely for the online/electronic record too.

Paper record making within the practice ( ie clinical notes), stopped in my practice at the millenium (being replaced by entry into the online record for the patient), while incoming letters were scanned to the electronic patient record, starting in 2004.  Initially the letters were still filed in the patient record, but from about 2009 the original letters were shredded once a confirmed system backup had been verified. In the same way, the vast majority of paper based letters to the hospital, etc. disappeared, being relaced by electronic transfer more than a decade ago.

I hope this 'wee' summary might be useful and informative.  I don't know what happens at the hospital end, but I am sure they would have very similar procedures! Certainly, the vast majority of mail to the practice from secondary care (ie the hospital sector), has come in electronically for a number of years!

Jane


My point being that records may not be available for deceased patients for very long!
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Saturday 22 January 22 17:13 GMT (UK)
I already looked in to how I might get hold of her records, but I am legally unable to do so. There's very specific instances when you can, but I don't believe myself or anyone else in my family qualifies to do so based on what I had read.

Now that my father has spoken to my aunt, I think the idea of there being an older sibling is very unlikely now.

I've decided to focus my efforts on the possibility of finding out who the biological father is instead. I'm pretty sure I've narrowed it down to about 5 different men but in so far as I can currently tell, they're all dead.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Monday 16 May 22 21:17 BST (UK)
Ooooh, it's been a while, but I thought I'd come back to this again.

The girl who I initially matched to we now think is my 1st cousin once removed, as her mother has subsequently taken a test and has come back as an even closer match which would rather suggest her mother is my first cousin. In turn, her grandmother has now agreed to do a test to determine our relationship; as if she is my aunt, then we know my biological father must be one of her own brothers... it's just not easy to know which one. Several of them are dead, and the one who is alive would not be interested in finding out.

But what I wanted to check is if anyone knew much about the accuracy of MyHeritage's relationship suggestions as they offer a 'range', rather than a specific relationship? I'm going to use initials to protect identities, but the relationships I know about now are:

BC - first girl I matched with, we share 543 CMs. The suggestion is 1C1R, Great Niece, or 2nd Cousin

PW - mother of the girl I matched with, we share 1,130 CMs. The suggestion is 1C, Great Aunt, Great-grandmother or great-granddaughter.

Would there be any way for me to know definitively which of those suggestions is correct?

For PW I immediately ruled out her being my great-granddaughter or grandmother because I don't have kids and she and I are only about 12 years apart in age, so that would leave a cousin or a great-aunt. Is there any way to actually know?

When PW's mother takes a test: If she is my aunt: Would that give a 100% definitive result? Or would it still provide a range of suggestions?

This is all doing my head in after so many months. All I want is definitive answers.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: TonyV on Monday 16 May 22 22:06 BST (UK)
All your match cM counts come within a range of values and cover more than one relationship. Have a look at this widely used chart linked below that will help. The chart shows the maximum, minimum and average cM figures for every kind of relationship based on data collected from thousands of cases. You will notice that ranges can overlap and that therefore a match cM might be from more than one kind of relationship. You need to eliminate the possibilities by the more usual methods e.g. age, location etc.

Look behind an Ancestry headline match for example and it shows all the possibilities with percentage probabilities. Doesn't mean they're right though!

Cheers
Tony

https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcmv4
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Nanna52 on Monday 16 May 22 23:17 BST (UK)
Just some food for thought.  My half first cousins match me at 572 cM and 483 cM.  Whilst at the low end it is possible that the mother could be a half sibling.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Monday 16 May 22 23:28 BST (UK)
Just some food for thought. My half first cousins match me at 572 cM and 483 cM.  Whilst at the low end it is possible that the mother could be a half sibling.

I'd have to double-check, but I think her father died before I would have been conceived.

Also, I thought that half-siblings generally shared 25% or more DNA with another half-sibling (she and I "only" share 16%) and could be fairly accurately identified as half-siblings without too much guess work.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Biggles50 on Tuesday 17 May 22 20:43 BST (UK)
Also depends upon being tested with the same Company.

My Ancestry DNA matches have quite different cM figures on the comparison websites.

DNA Painter gives your 572cM as a 1/2 First Cousin at a 83% Probability and the 483cM the same at 89%

If you have not used their WATO tool, give it a go and see the vatios hypothesisís that it presents
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Nanna52 on Tuesday 17 May 22 23:35 BST (UK)
Biggles the three of us tested with ancestry and all knew that there was a different grandfather.  Yes, dna painter is a great tool.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 18 May 22 00:07 BST (UK)
Also depends upon being tested with the same Company.

My Ancestry DNA matches have quite different cM figures on the comparison websites.

DNA Painter gives your 572cM as a 1/2 First Cousin at a 83% Probability and the 483cM the same at 89%

If you have not used their WATO tool, give it a go and see the vatios hypothesisís that it presents

I think the percentages the two of us are referring to might be two different things? Yours seem to be saying the percentage of probability of X relationship. The percentages I am talking about is the total percentage of DNA that we share.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: phil57 on Wednesday 18 May 22 09:31 BST (UK)


I think the percentages the two of us are referring to might be two different things? Yours seem to be saying the percentage of probability of X relationship. The percentages I am talking about is the total percentage of DNA that we share.

The only certainty in percentages of DNA shared is between parents and their children. All other relationships are variable, to the extents indicated by the DNA Painter tool and similar charts. You also have to beware of outliers - individuals who might share a substantially higher or lower percentage of DNA than the normal range for any given relationship.

DNA Painter expressed the probability of particular relationships for the percentage or amount of DNA shared between individuals. It is a handy tool, but it is important to recognise that just because a certain relationship has the highest probability, it doesn't follow that it is necessarily the correct relationship for your circumstances.

You have to do the traditional research, look at the probabilities of relationships between individuals you have researched being related in various ways, and compare those relationships with the probabilities suggested by tools such as DNA Painter. Nothing is certain, and trying to establish a specific relationship purely by the amount of DNA shared is fraught with difficulty.

I can give a couple of personal examples. My brother has a relatively low share of 59 cM with a 2nd cousin.

We have three 2C1Rs, all siblings born of the same parents. My shared matches with them range from 23 cM to 147 cM.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 18 May 22 10:25 BST (UK)
Ok. I thought based on everything I'd read that in order for someone to be a half-sibling you had to share at least 25% of your DNA or more to have that relationship and not that it could be lower.

Either way, that's not going to be the case as it's the women in the family I am related to, so the only way I could be the mother's half-brother is if her parents were too related, which to the best of my knowledge, they're not! Nobody was born with an extra head that I know of anyway.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: TonyV on Wednesday 18 May 22 11:02 BST (UK)
Hi Andy

25% is a statistical average rather than an upper or lower limit. Because DNA gets shuffled each time a conception takes place it is possible for the figure to be higher or lower. The best example of the shuffle effect is that siblings get 50% of each parent's DNA but it is a different 50% each time, so they do not share the same DNA as other siblings. Nevertheless statistically the shared DNA is so high that it is highly probable that two people sharing somewhere around 2,600 cM are siblings.

As you get further from the parents the shuffle effect makes the average figures much less certain and it is possible for some more distant genetic ancestors not to pass on their genes to you at all while at the same time they might do to a 1st cousin of yours.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Thursday 19 May 22 04:51 BST (UK)
My half first cousins match me at 572 cM and 483 cM.  Whilst at the low end it is possible that the mother could be a half sibling.

Sorry to jump onboard but I've today found a new (unknown) match with...

1st Ė 2nd Cousin
8% shared DNA
578 cM across 21 segments

I've been in touch & will wait for a reply as to connections prior to jumping to conclusions  ;)

I can't recall if AndyH81 actually listed the % shared DNA & segments with his matches?

Annie
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Thursday 19 May 22 09:57 BST (UK)
My half first cousins match me at 572 cM and 483 cM.  Whilst at the low end it is possible that the mother could be a half sibling.

Sorry to jump onboard but I've today found a new (unknown) match with...

1st Ė 2nd Cousin
8% shared DNA
578 cM across 21 segments

I've been in touch & will wait for a reply as to connections prior to jumping to conclusions  ;)

I can't recall if AndyH81 actually listed the % shared DNA & segments with his matches?

Annie

BC (the daughter) and I share: 7.7% of our DNA, 543.2 cM, 25 segments with the largest being 71.1 cM.

PW (the mother) and I share: 16% of our DNA, 1,130.7 cM, 37 segments with the largest being 88.1 cM.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Carmella on Sunday 22 May 22 15:06 BST (UK)
Hi Andy,

If PW's mother is willing & able to take a DNA test for you that is good news & sounds like the best thing you can do in this situation.  Fingers crossed that your relationship with PW's mother definitely falls into one category or another.

Re. the probability tool WATO which other posters have mentioned - the more DNA values you enter, the better - this thread shows a screenshot:

https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=858274.0

Also, a blog post about the difficulties of figuring out close relationships - it's from 2016 so written before WATO tool was developed but maybe worth browsing - it has 300+ comments...

https://blog.kittycooper.com/2016/08/how-to-tell-the-relationship-from-the-shared-dna/




Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Wednesday 15 June 22 16:45 BST (UK)
Well, we got the last test back:

BC (the daughter) and I share: 7.7% of our DNA, 543.2 cM, 25 segments with the largest being 71.1 cM.

PW (the mother) and I share: 16% of our DNA, 1,130.7 cM, 37 segments with the largest being 88.1 cM.

PI (the grandmother) and I share: 30.4% of our DNA, 2,153.5 cM, 41 segments and the largest is 166.3 cM

So the grandmother is almost certainly my aunt. So I have an aunt, first cousin, and first cousin once removes respectively.

I believe someone else in the family might be prepared to do a test to rule themselves out, but if that were they case, it would only confirm they weren't a parent - just an uncle.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: brigidmac on Wednesday 15 June 22 16:49 BST (UK)
Great news thanks for sharing .

Having concrete examples gives others hints of different possible permutations .
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: decor on Wednesday 15 June 22 19:04 BST (UK)
What great progress & thanks for the update!
Knowing that your biological father is most likely the full sibling of your highest DNA match certainly points you in the right direction.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Thursday 16 June 22 00:19 BST (UK)
BC (the daughter) and I share: 7.7% of our DNA, 543.2 cM, 25 segments with the largest being 71.1 cM.

PW (the mother) and I share: 16% of our DNA, 1,130.7 cM, 37 segments with the largest being 88.1 cM.

PI (the grandmother) and I share: 30.4% of our DNA, 2,153.5 cM, 41 segments and the largest is 166.3 cM

So the grandmother is almost certainly my aunt. So I have an aunt, first cousin, and first cousin once removes respectively.

I believe someone else in the family might be prepared to do a test to rule themselves out, but if that were they case, it would only confirm they weren't a parent - just an uncle.

Great news to have things confirmed on the relationship & good news on the 'uncle' who's possibly prepared to do a test to rule himself out as it will bring you a step closer to which brother is likely your 'biological' father.

I have sent messages to my highest match of 8% shared DNA: 578 cM across 21 segments but they're unread so far although he's been online since I sent the messages & can only assume he either hasn't understood what the 'new' messages feature is (which was previously an envelope) or he hasn't been notified  ???

Annie
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Thursday 16 June 22 23:06 BST (UK)
What great progress & thanks for the update!
Knowing that your biological father is most likely the full sibling of your highest DNA match certainly points you in the right direction.

Well, we're almost 100% certain we know which of the three brothers it is through lots of circumstantial evidence, unfortunately he is dead so cannot be tested, and I am told it's unlikely that his other children would ever be tested - or get tested of their own volition either.

Although one of the brothers is apparently intrigued enough that he's considering testing himself. Which I guess means he's confident enough that it's not him. lol At least it would narrow it down to two.
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: brigidmac on Friday 17 June 22 09:00 BST (UK)
How does it make you feel ?

Is it enough that you've increased the probability from circumstantial evidence . It was for a war baby ...who has totally lost interest now but maintains contact with me and a Liverpool second cousin who knows a lot about the family history .it was a big bonus that we had family photos going back to late 1880s for family members .

several people who get this close ,sometimes talk to aunt's and uncles or see photos + gives a sense of belonging.

I don't know how different an experience it is to someone who knows their father is not their birth father from an early age .

All the programs about finding families make it look very simple and some people get really frustrated when trying to discover their "real " father .

Especially if they feel close ones have been lying to them all their lives .

Although I'm fascinated by DNA results .family traits and full knowledge ...I do believe "real" parents are the ones who brought you up .

Happy Parents day to all  adopters & fosterers and people who have taken on their partners child .
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: AndyH81 on Friday 17 June 22 17:59 BST (UK)
I mean, I'd like to know names and maybe see pictures just so I know who they are. But I'm not really interested beyond that. Of course, if they wanted to say hello, they'd be more than welcome - as anyone would be. But they're not getting invites to Christmas dinner etc. They're just strangers to me and I know who my real family are.

The only real horrific concern I have is "Oh my God! What if I'd snogged or married a cousin/sibling?" and never known. lol

If anything, I just hope stories like these serve as a stark moral warning to others about having affairs or cheating on people: it's rarely the people who have the tryst who end up dealing with the consequences of their actions!
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Saturday 18 June 22 20:21 BST (UK)
I just hope stories like these serve as a stark moral warning to others about having affairs or cheating on people: it's rarely the people who have the tryst who end up dealing with the consequences of their actions!
I was recently contacted by a DNA relative born in circumstances exactly the same as yours, the mother had obviously had an affair.

The biological father (my relative) was 1 of 11 siblings, 8 being male which would seem almost impossible to work out.

My DNA match knew or was 99.99% sure who he was which has been confirmed by 'circumstantial' evidence...

The 'circumstantial' evidence being, the 7 male siblings were all deceased by the time my match was conceived & the 'biological' father was single, in his late 40s - early 50s when my match was conceived to a younger mother!

Of course others may not be able to work out the connection quite so easily.

Annie



Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: brigidmac on Sunday 19 June 22 08:43 BST (UK)
That's s great example Annie and of course even when you have known siblings there's always the chance of another conceived prior to marriage ,adopted and going by a different name
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: brigidmac on Monday 20 June 22 00:38 BST (UK)
# sorry duplicate post
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: Rosinish on Monday 20 June 22 03:52 BST (UK)
That's s great example Annie and of course even when you have known siblings there's always the chance of another conceived prior to marriage ,adopted and going by a different name
Brigid,

Of course I'd considered other factors when looking at the DNA amounts etc.
There's more 'circumstantial' evidence other than what I posted.
The family emigrated 40 yrs prior to the birth of my match when the 'biological' father was a child (the youngest) & his mother was a widow already in her mid 50s.
There's no sign of any illegitimate children born prior to the marriage (1888) on any census' prior to emigration nor on passenger lists, later census', MIs, Obituaries etc.

I think the 'circumstantial' evidence is quite weighty as a possible illegitimate child prior to the marriage would have been at least in his late 60s - early 70s (although not impossible).

However, the 'biological' father was also known in circles to the family of my match (including my match) which almost spells it out.

Annie
Title: Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
Post by: brigidmac on Monday 20 June 22 08:18 BST (UK)
I think circumstantial may be the answer to person I'm helping
Combined with DNA evidence

The bio father would have been 17 years older than his bio mother and not at all the name she told  her child .