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Still puzzled by something

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  • Still puzzled by something

    Well, I have been enjoying figuring out how to optimize my ancestral research on Family Finder. I have also uploaded my GEDCOM on Gedmatch, as well as beginning a family tree here through extrapolation of the tree that I created on Ancestry.

    With that said, I am puzzled by several things...

    *my Eurogenes K12 Admixture on Gedmatch comes up with significant North Sea, Western European, South Baltic and Mediterranean ethnicity. In fact, both Ancestry and FTDNA also point to Finnish/Russian, Greek/Italian ancestry. This was totally unsuspected, as I always heard from family sources that our heritage was almost completely English, Scots/Irish, with perhaps a bit of French Huguenot and Dutch thrown in. Not one iota of Mediterranean ancestry was ever mentioned. It certainly makes me very curious to determine what the source of that unusual (for me) ancestry is. I also understand that it is possible that I may never know.

    The other thing that has me greatly puzzled is my inability to determine almost *no* DNA matches on my mother's paternal line. I have also done the comparison of GEDCOM files on Gedmatch and nothing is appearing. It could be that I am not doing this correctly, or I am missing something. I heard rumors growing up, there may be a family connection out there who was never revealed.

    For those who have greater genealogist/detective skills and know-how than I, here is my DNA Kit #B107209, and my DNA Resource # is A092440 on Gedmatch. My GEDCOM file # is 8755467. Any and all insight is greatly appreciated!

    I have also been making use of the many tutorials available, however, I am still not quite sure how to look at the chromosome browser, the cM matches and to look at the segments to determine which ones may be particularly relevant and worth diving in to further.

    Again, thanks for any and all help!

  • #2
    I just realized that I should clarify that my genealogical/genetic/DNA roadblock starts with my mother's father.

    Again, I have discovered very few connections going back through the Gibson line. I have had absolutely no trouble discerning who my ancestors are on both of my father's lines, and it appears that there are many people researching theses same ancestors. On my mother's maternal line, I am having some fair success, however, it's a bit more difficult.

    Anyhow, the fun continues!


    • #3
      There are two issues:

      1) The K13 calculator is not that helpful for many people. You can easily find calculators that give you results much closer to your putative heritage, such as Eurogenes EUtest V2 K15 4-Ancestors Oracle (try it).

      Remember the results are not meant to be taken as an accurate reflection of your 4 grandparents, but an average that will put you in approximately the same place that you are now. So, just as an example, a calculator might say English + Russian more or less equals German (not saying this is exactly right, but it's the general principle of these calculators), and give you a mix with English+Russian instead of German.

      That said, you can take a look at your most distant relatives by sorting the Generations. That shows a few people who may be Latino (but many Europeans and not just Spaniards emigrated to the Spanish-speaking Americas), and people from Sweden and the Netherlands, among what appear to be a vast number of colonial-descended Americans (of course anyone may be behind a name, but there's no surprising ethnic trend in the list). Take a look and see what you think.

      2) Not many matches on your mother's paternal line. Some family lines are much more prolific and prone to testing. Do you have any of your mother's paternal relatives you can ask to test (you don't have to say you are worried about a non-paternal event)? A few strategic tests will reveal the truth, and it will be very hard to figure out otherwise. But there's nothing indicating that a bio grandfather with unexpected ancestry is out there -- if there is an NPE, it's probably with someone of a similar background.

      Try, too, but for sure do not take what it says very seriously. I wish the calculators had more warnings with them, as people get so concerned when the results seem wonky, but they are more of an experimental tool than anything.


      • #4
        Thanks so much for your reply! I will definitely check in to that other calculator to see what it tells me.

        Quick question - how do I sort my distant relatives as you mention? I'm going to try to figure it out, but if you could point me in the right direction, it would be great. If there are other tips and tricks, please let me know!

        I was also struck by the lack of matches on the maternal side. I am going to test my aunt (mother's sister) on Ancestry and see how it compares, particularly since I will also upload the DNA to both Family Tree and DNA. My father has also agreed to be tested, so we can see what else we may find on his genetic line.

        Again, this really helps and I am most grateful!


        • #5
          See where it says Gen (under Autosomal) and you see the numbers increasing as you go down the page? Click the red arrow to change the sort order.

          Given you are doing heavy-duty investigation, I think it's worth a $10 donation to get Tier 1 utilities for one month. This will really help isolate your chromosomal segments, and save you many, many hours doing this by hand. You may see some patterns pop out so far as family lines, much more readily, if you use these utilities.


          • #6
            I paid for a Tier 1 membership for the month and I just did the matching segment search. I am not sure how to interpret the results.

            I have been reading other posts in the Forum where people discuss matching segments on different chromosomes. What is represented by this information? Does it tell more about ethnicity, or if there is a maternal or paternal match?

            Here are a few examples:

            Kit Chr Start Position End Position cM SNP
            A441487 14 31,438,685 55,869,750 27.0 5,630

            M505940 1 93,031,781 119,262,919 25.6 2,698

            M542825 1 159,162,471 190,677,297 32.0 3,104

            A938283 5 112,010,951 143,011,218 28.8 6,771

            A few questions -

            Also, what does it mean if there are more matches on certain chromosomes than others?

            Does a larger cM match indicate a closer genetic match?

            What does it mean if there are overlapping matches on different chromosomes with different kit numbers? That we all share the same DNA/genetic material? I understand that people do provide multiple kits for their relatives, so this could be part of the answer there.

            I am sure that I will think of more questions along the way. I appreciate help with my crash course in genetic genealogy!


            • #7
              In general, a larger cM number does indicate a closer match, but after about 2nd or 3rd cousin, the relationship becomes more random, and you can't tell as much. The difference between 25 and 30 cM may not mean much.

              The matching segments are step 1. Suppose you notice PersonA and PersonB match you on chromosome 2 from 100,000,000 to 150,000,000. You might think this means PersonA and PersonB are related to each other. They might be, but it might also mean that PersonA matches you on your mother's side of the chromosome, and PersonB matches you on your father's side of the chromosome. To check if PersonA and PersonB are related on that chromosome, do a One to One comparison (I recommend turning down the defaults a bit for the 1:1 - try 500 SNP and 5 cM instead of 700 and 7) between them.

              If PersonA and PersonB match each other as expected in the 1:1 on chromosome 2 on that segment, then you can be pretty sure (if the match if of sufficient size and SNPs) that you all share an ancestor.

              What the Triangulation utility does is skip this extra work, but I think it only looks for triangulations originating from the 500 closest matches. But with Triangulation, you can be sure that if PersonA and PersonB are listed on the same line, they both relate to each other and all of you to the same ancestor.

              Read (and of course other sites) to get a really good understanding of all of this.

              Did you see any obvious ethnic patterns jump out in your list of segments? (Of course it may not be very easy if most people are American-born and mixed ethnicities, but it's pretty clear if you see a long list of Finns, Hispanics, Russians, or Ashkenazi Jews, for example.)


              • #8
                Which chromosome you have the match on does not mean much. Look at the size of the cM number, and the number of SNPs (the higher for each, generally speaking, the closer the match).

                Also use the GEDCOM + DNA feature on GEDMatch to pull people's family trees that have DNA matches to you.

                If there's no obvious sign from the names of the people who form a triangulated group (You, PersonA, and PersonB, and possibly more persons if you repeat the process above), then you have to investigate to figure out whom you might share as a common ancestor. If this is a colonial American, it can get dicey due to the multiple endogamous lines involved.
                Last edited by loisrp; 20 April 2016, 09:33 PM.