Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fun with Ethnicity via DNA Results

A co-worker and I somehow wandered onto the topic of using DNA tests to learn about ethnicity. I've been surprised by the comparison of my own family's DNA results and had even planned to share these charts so that each family member could see at a glance how similar or different their profile is to the others of their generation.

Using the fabulous and free GedMatch website, I have access to DNA results from both Ancestry and FTDNA. As of this month, we now have access to results for ten immediate family members and four more distant, known cousins.

Take a look at this trio. Two are siblings and one is a first cousin. Each profile is different, which truly shows the randomness of inheritance from grandparents. Which two do you think are the siblings?

If you said one and two are the siblings, you are correct. 

The above pie charts use one of the GedMatch Eurogenes models, which focus primarily on European ancestry. GedMatch offers a selection of ethnic models, which is handy when ethnicity is more diverse, as in the next set.

Here are four siblings, using an MDLP model. Siblings one and two are full siblings and they are half-siblings to three and four, who are full siblings. There are two sets of two, if that makes sense. 

You can see that no two of these siblings have exactly the same ethnic profile. One and three have that yellow area. Three and four have a light blue area. Number one has a tiny slice of dark green, which four has in a larger proportion.

While we're looking at half-siblings, here is one more set, using the same Eurogenes model as the first three. One of these is a parent to siblings one and two at the top. 

No, it's not number two. Number one (with no yellow) is the parent. The yellow of the children must have come from the other parent.

I don't have any science to share. I am advocating for testing everyone you can. As always, I believe that GedMatch is a fantastic resource. There you can connect with testers who used other labs and you too can experiment with ethnicity models.

Family, if your profile is here, drop me an email, text, or call, and I'll send you the legend that goes with your chart. And for the missing one of the ten, just ask.