Author Topic: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results  (Read 49563 times)

Offline trystan

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #117 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 15:36 GMT (UK) »
I'm really enjoying reading a lot of these replies.

A quick question.

If DNA samples were not taken in the past, how do the companies determine the ethnicity of a DNA sample?
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Offline lizdb

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #118 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 15:37 GMT (UK) »
I am not interested in having a DNA test.  Like many others here, I prefer to work back through surviving records of my ancestors to establish a family history.

Lets face it, as you get further back, then there are more and more lines that go forward, if you see what I mean. For example if each great grandparent had, say, 5 siblings, then that is 5 lines going forward for each of the 8 then if each great great grandparent had 5 siblings then that is 16 x 5 lines potentially going forward. 
So, there are an awful lot of people out there who share our DNA to some extent or other. So, if a test showed up that there was a match in, say, USA, or outer Mongolia, would I be surprised? No. To establish how they were related, I would go through exactly the same process as I go through anyway to trace my family history.
If a DNA test revealed I was part , say, Nordic and part Indian, for example, yes I may be intrigued, but it would be frustratingly meaningless without the traditional work to set out just who the ancestor was bringing that DNA into the mix. I'd rather stick to what all links together.
As an additional "tool" it may sometimes in some circumstances, have its uses. But not enough to tempt me. And certainly not all it seems to be hyped up to be.

These are my thoughts, as requested.
As Janan pointed out earlier, this isnt a thread for discussion, it has asked for each of us to give our opinion, not to comment on someone else's opinion. So I would appreciate that remains the case.
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Offline Pennines

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #119 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 15:42 GMT (UK) »
I am quite interested in having my DNA traced (is that the correct word?) -- However, as someone else has said, I really don't understand the subject. The technicalities are way over my head.

I don't know if there is a 'Noddy Guide' somewhere, in layman's terms, but that might help me have more of a grasp of the subject. I will be interested in seeing how this progresses though.
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Offline Sinann

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #120 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 15:48 GMT (UK) »
I'm not in the study area, but I wouldn't bother getting a test.
The paper trail runs out early in Ireland and no amount of DNA testing is going to change that.
Knowing what percentage I am of the various peoples who settled here might be nice to know but isn't worth the cost. The collection of surnames I've gathered will suffice for now and saves me the pile of study I'd need to understand all that DNA jargon.

Offline clairec666

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #121 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 15:56 GMT (UK) »
I know that my parents were raised by their parents and so on back through seven or eight generations but whether any of them were the product of pre- or extra-marital relationships I have no idea (and don't really care). For me, family history is about the lives of people who lived together as families rather than their genetic relationships (but finding out about black sheep and skeletons in the closet is always interesting!). If you believe in the equivalence of nature and nurture DNA testing certainly doesn't tell us who we 'are'.

I'm with you there. I'd still be interested in what routes DNA took me down, though. But I'm having enough fun with paper records for now.
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Offline mike175

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #122 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 15:58 GMT (UK) »
I've not yet felt the need to take a DNA test for genealogical purposes, although I did consider it for assessing my deeper origins as I also have an interest in ancient history. However my interest would be purely academic, and I have never really considered my 'ethnicity', in fact I'm not even sure I understand its significance. My documented family history suggests an entirely English ancestry as far back as I have managed to go so far, which only takes me back to the 1500s, but having studied a certain amount of European history and pre-history I am well aware of the huge amount of migration that has taken place over thousands of years. Given that the Vikings and the Normans were from Scandinavia and were renowned for 'putting themselves about a bit'  ;) it would be unremarkable if I had some Scandinavian ancestry, along with many millions of others.

Similarly it is claimed that a high percentage of men now living could trace their Y-DNA back to Ghengis Khan, again unsurprising being mindful of the vast extent of the Mongol Empire. The Romans and others forcibly moved millions of people around their part of the world as either soldiers or slaves. Many of these mingled their genes with the local populations.

A small portion of our DNA is apparently Neanderthal; it would be quite a challenge tracing that family tree!

Having assumed I am basically European I suppose it would be interesting to discover some 'alien' DNA but unless there was documented evidence for the means of inheritance it would be meaningless.

Mike.

Quote
If DNA samples were not taken in the past, how do the companies determine the ethnicity of a DNA sample?
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Offline cathayb

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #123 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 15:59 GMT (UK) »
hi.i have spoken to some folk who have had DNA testing and found they have Romany roots they then come on my family research site with unknown Romany surnames and ask me to find their families history.those who i have helped research have no connection to English Romanies as far as i can see researching back to the 1700s.only one in America could i help find a Romany connection with and even that was questionable.The DNA test didnt give them access to third or second cousins ect on the database thats held so in my opinion its not much help to be DNA tested.i do know of a man in America who has found it very useful and has found Romany links in America from English descendants who emigrated or were transported to America back in the late 1700s.however the man in question and his near ancestry do not live a Romany life in anyway.
i do have a cousin who is not Romany who has been put in touch with close family ties to other folkie and he found it very useful.i dont think my husband or i would do a DNA test as we have followed the paper trail back on our families and are happy with the linage we have found and know it to be true.i hope this helps a little.thank you.Cathay Birch.
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Offline trystan

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #124 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 16:02 GMT (UK) »
Thank you Cathay.  :)
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Offline angie29

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Re: The Times wants your views: DNA ethnicity results
« Reply #125 on: Wednesday 03 February 16 16:13 GMT (UK) »
Have any of you read "The Tribes of Britain", by David Miles. As it was published in 2005 some of the science may be a little out of date, but the findings are pretty similar to those from the sort of DNA projects that this forum is discussing .