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Noob question corollary- how to tell which are a person's ancestral populations?

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  • Noob question corollary- how to tell which are a person's ancestral populations?

    One my family finder kits is for a person with U.S. Colonial era ancestry on every ancestral line. Between 220 years ago when we begin to lose track of his Southern U.S. born ancestors and 360ish years ago when we finally find immigrant ancestors for him on the few lines we've managed to track that far, there is a lot of scope for ancestors of unknown origin.

    Most of the known surnames for this person are of English, Irish, maybe Scottish origin. Two might be French or possibly Italian in origin. One surname seems German. One surname is Cornish. Family Finder matches are indicating that he has Native American ancestry way back on the line about which we knew least before dna testing.

    Population Finder indicates 87.03% with 9.06% uncertainty for Western European ancestry (French, Orcadian, Spanish)

    Population Finder indicates 12.97% with 9.06% uncertainty for European ancestry (Tuscan, Finnish, Romanian, Russian, Sardinian)

    This is kind of what I would have expected from this person's known surnames? 9.06% uncertainty is neither high nor low uncertainty, right?

    Then we ran the Dodecad World9 admix utility at gedmatch that is based on Dienikes' Dodecad Project work.

    My dna donor's results with this admixture calculator were
    Amerindian 0.61%
    East_Asian ---
    African ---
    Atlantic_Baltic 72.32%
    Australasian ---
    Siberian 1.10%
    Caucasus_Gedrosia 12.19%
    Southern 13.72%
    South_Asian ---

    Running 'Oracle v1' on the Dodecad World9 results gave

    Admix Results (sorted)
    # Population Percent
    1 Atlantic_Baltic 72.32
    2 Southern 13.72
    3 Caucasus_Gedrosia 12.19
    4 Siberian 1.1
    5 Amerindian 0.61
    6 African 0.05

    Single Population Sharing
    # Population Distance
    1 Mixed_Germanic (Dodecad) 1.89
    2 Dutch (Dodecad) 2.83
    19 Norwegian (Dodecad) 10.27
    20 Swedish (Dodecad) 10.27

    Mixed Mode Population Sharing
    # Primary Population Secondary Population Distance
    1 72.4% Norwegian (Dodecad) 27.6% TSI30 (Metspalu) 0.68
    20 91.4% Kent (1000 Genomes) 8.6% Ashkenazy_Jews 0.96

    Which... seems possible, especially given what we don't know about this person's ancestry. But are these answers possible? Is World9 a good choice for running this person's admixture results?

  • #2
    Those FTDNA results are identical to mine and I am French via French Canada.


    • #3
      Thank you. That helps.

      We had assumed the ancestry for the person in question was entirely European before the Family Finder kit results which might indicate a way for this person to have Native American ancestry also. "Might" because we haven't quite proved or disproved the way we think the Family Finder matches come together. We had assumed anything that looked Asian, Amerindian, etc was noise or was an artifact of the person's European ancestry.

      Hence, the question what do you look for when you don't know a person's (minority) ancestral groups? What does 'small genetic distance' look like when reading admixture oracle reports?


      • #4
        If 23andme ancestry composition is accurate my minority report also shows a small amount of North African at .5 % and my mother shows .1 % NA. However at that small amount it may be just noise. She is however Acadian so
        one never knows for sure.


        • #5
          I can tell you what I look for in all these tests or reports is consistency. I never really believe any single test. However whenever it appears across many tests I pay attention. I know your not working with much information but without it the task is impossible - at least thats my opinion.


          • #6
            I've been trying to figure out the same thing--is there really Native (and African) ancestry or is it just noise.

            The admixture tests that offer any version of Native American, including Dr. McDonald's, do indicate it at very low levels (as you can see in my signature line, Dr. McDonald was baffled by it). What I did most recently was run Gedmatch's individual chromosome results (I forget exactly what it's called, but it's the numbers chart, not the chromosome painting) for each relevant admixture test there. I wrote down the percentages shown for each chromosome for each potentially Native item (I also wrote down some of the Siberian percentages), for each test. What I found was that although the tests didn't entirely agree, some chromosomes never showed anything Native while others always did. This seemed to separate out pretty well from the various Asian percentages.

            From this, I'm concluding that my non-immigrant great grandfather was part Native and perhaps part African (the tinier amount of African could come from one of the European immigrants, after all). However, I wouldn't say it's 100% certain, especially as I'm a rank beginner at this.


            • #7
              Thank you for the ideas, and your experience. :-)