Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ethnicity Through DNA -- Revisited

Earlier this year I shared my questionable ethnicity analysis as provided through AncestryDNA. The more I work with the DNA tools online, the more disappointed I am with Ancestry. So I paid to import my Ancestry DNA map into Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), as well as importing it into the free GedMatch website.

Of the various tools, I like what's currently available in GedMatch for ethnicity evaluation. For me, it has provided several ways to look at my ethnic background and to figure out for myself what fits. The best part is that it is free. As one of my friends says:

Free is in my price range!

First let's look at the AncestryDNA ethnic breakdown and then at one of the models from GedMatch.

Quite a difference! GedMatch lets me put my DNA map through a number of ethnicity models where my DNA is compared with control samples from other countries. That's called admixture. There is no one admixture that tells me all I want to know. By looking at all of them, I found several that flagged my Native American ethnicity, as well as refining European and Asian roots.

Here's a look at a 13-ethnic group test that shows Native American. It doesn't analyze the various European areas in depth, as the 36-group test above did. Nor does the pie chart show the Native American or other small percentages.

All of this requires analysis and thought. It's not as simple as the Ancestry model pretends.

I'll be writing a lot more about DNA. If you're working with DNA genealogy, be sure to check out the DNA Explained blog for explanations, tips, tricks and forms. It's a great resource that I'm leaning on in my own journey to understanding DNA.

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