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  • Curious about Family Finder results

    I recently received my results and was puzzled by my origins listed there. It indicates I am 92% from the British Isles and 8% from Southeast Europe. The latter is a bit of a surprise but those are expected with deep dives. But my paternal line is from Germany and part of my maternal line is Dutch. Are those too close to the British Isles to distinguish? Thanks

  • #2
    I only just saw this, because I didn't expect any serious questions in the "recreation room", and only came here because I was bored, and had never been in before.

    You might have got more or faster answers if you'd posted on one of the "serious" forums.

    But anyway, Northern European DNA is pretty hard to isolate to specific countries, as there was so much admixing. Dutch or German DNA really isn't going to look sooo different to British.

    Ethnicity doesn't necessarily follow national boundaries - which are an artificial construct.

    I am British, three out of four grandparents were British, my result says 67% European, of which ALL British.

    But the results of my mother, brother and sister show them as mainly European, like me - yet not British at all. Their "European" is made up quite differently to my "European", showing Central, Eastern, Scandinavian and Iberian components, but no British at all! Yet we're all first degree relatives.

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    • #3
      My ancestry is 100% Irish (although this includes some Gaulish and Germanic Anglo-Normans) but I am down as 87% British Isles and 13% SE European.

      This is slightly better than the previous iteration, which had no SE European, but a smallish percentage of Middle Eastern and Central Asian. Perhaps in the next iteration that non-British Isles percentage will sneak a bit closer to home.

      This is easier to understand than my son's results - he is three quarters Irish and one quarter English (Staffordshire), but comes out as 81% British Isles, 14% East Europe, 2% Ashkenazi as well as trace Asia Minor and East Middle East. We don't know who one of my wife's great-grandfather, except he was probably called Robinson, but, if taken literally it would suggest that either one of her grandfathers was eastern European/Jewish (and based on looks it can't be one of them) or her father had a large percentage of a similar ancestry. None of which is supported by known family history. We'll be trying to get some other cousins on my wife's side to test, so we'll see if those numbers can be narrowed down. It is worth noting that all his Family Finder matches are from Ireland or Staffordshire.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Conat View Post
        This is easier to understand than my son's results - he is three quarters Irish and one quarter English (Staffordshire), but comes out as 81% British Isles, 14% East Europe, 2% Ashkenazi as well as trace Asia Minor and East Middle East. We don't know who one of my wife's great-grandfather, except he was probably called Robinson, but, if taken literally it would suggest that either one of her grandfathers was eastern European/Jewish (and based on looks it can't be one of them) or her father had a large percentage of a similar ancestry. None of which is supported by known family history. We'll be trying to get some other cousins on my wife's side to test, so we'll see if those numbers can be narrowed down. It is worth noting that all his Family Finder matches are from Ireland or Staffordshire.
        Don't set too much store by looks. My mother has a blonde, blue-eyed, fully Ashkenazi cousin. Don't count anything in OR out, based on racial stereotyping. Not looking the part doesn't mean it couldn't be.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tmason View Post
          Don't set too much store by looks. My mother has a blonde, blue-eyed, fully Ashkenazi cousin. Don't count anything in OR out, based on racial stereotyping. Not looking the part doesn't mean it couldn't be.
          My sister-in-law looks Eastern Mediterranean. Olive skin and thick curly dark hair. She lived in the States for a while and more than once people assumed she was Jewish.

          One of her gt-grandmothers is a mystery. Her earliest record that has been found is her marriage at a goldfield. The records at that time didn't include parents' names. Perhaps she is where the exotic looks are from?

          A while ago my SIL received her results back from AncestryDNA. She is VERY strongly British and Irish (they add to about 95%). Not a hint of Gypsy, Lebanese or Jewish anywhere.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Conat View Post
            My ancestry is 100% Irish (although this includes some Gaulish and Germanic Anglo-Normans) but I am down as 87% British Isles and 13% SE European.

            This is slightly better than the previous iteration, which had no SE European, but a smallish percentage of Middle Eastern and Central Asian. Perhaps in the next iteration that non-British Isles percentage will sneak a bit closer to home.

            This is easier to understand than my son's results - he is three quarters Irish and one quarter English (Staffordshire), but comes out as 81% British Isles, 14% East Europe, 2% Ashkenazi as well as trace Asia Minor and East Middle East. We don't know who one of my wife's great-grandfather, except he was probably called Robinson, but, if taken literally it would suggest that either one of her grandfathers was eastern European/Jewish (and based on looks it can't be one of them) or her father had a large percentage of a similar ancestry. None of which is supported by known family history. We'll be trying to get some other cousins on my wife's side to test, so we'll see if those numbers can be narrowed down. It is worth noting that all his Family Finder matches are from Ireland or Staffordshire.
            I wouldn't read too much into the Ashkenazi result, I get 4% and my family has lived in rural East Anglia for generations (within 10 square miles, back to the 16th century).

            From what I gather Ashkenazi is a blend of European and Jewish ancestry, so if you don't have Jewish ancestry it could be picking up on the East European elements and flagging them as Ashkenazi.

            I'm curious as to what others think though, there does seem to be a fair few people with Ashkenazi percentages, even though they don't have any Jewish ancestry.

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