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Can trace ancestry skip generations? Gypsy ancestry

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  • Can trace ancestry skip generations? Gypsy ancestry

    My daughter and I have recently taken our first mtdna tests and found some unique matching genetic origins. However, she also has some traces 1-4% of origin that don't show up on my results and are almost certainly not from her mother's side. I understand that dna is not passed down 50/50 from parents and siblings will inherit different traits, but are wondering if a parent can pass on dna ancestry to a child that might not show up in their own dna test.

    One specific family history we are tracing is my grandmother's story of her maternal line going back 2 or 3 generations to a French Gypsy/Bohemian woman who was a musician. I know that Gypsy/Romani people originate in India and migrated to Persia and then dispersed mostly through Eastern Europe. My daughter has traces of ancestry that correspond to India (S Asia), Persia and France with no other family ancestor on either side linked to those places. My tests also show the Persia and France ancestry but not the Indian. Is it possible that this Indian ancestry "skipped" me or might show up on another test? Or is trace ancestry results of less than 5% too unreliable to clarify such origin

  • #2
    All of your daughter's mtDNA came form her mother. mtDNA is passed from women to all of their children. Men do not pass any of their mtDNA to their children.


    • #3
      Another point to consider: depending on how an admixture algorithm is computed, it is at least theoretically possible that the "signal" is detected through the presence of a set of markers, rather than single markers. If that is how a particular algorithm works, an individual could get some of the key markers from the mother and some from the father, resulting in a "signal" in the child that was not present in either parent. If that is what is happening, these trace "signals" would truly be "noise", rather than a real indication of "ethnic" ancestry, rather like the difference between IBD and IBS autosomal segments. We need more information about how the algorithms work in order to interpret the results.


      • #4
        1) The Ancestral Origin matches shown for you and your daughter's separate mtDNA results have been self-reported by your matches, based on their known ancestry. Their knowledge or research may, or may not, be completely accurate. These Ancestral Origins are not based on FTDNA's analysis of your mtDNA. I'm not sure where you get the 1-4% figure; are you basing this percentage on something from her "mtDNA - Ancestral Origins" page?

        2) No, mtDNA is passed on from the mother basically unchanged. There may be a small mutation difference from one generation to the next, but it does not change the basic result (haplogroup). Even with autosomal DNA (Family Finder test), DNA that is not in the parent's results cannot be passed down to a child. Usually in such situations, a small amount has been misidentifed as the wrong population group.

        3) The Family Finder test has one part that estimates ethnic origins, called myOrigins. I won't get into the recent update (to myOrigins 2), except to say more customers are dissatisfied with its predictions than with the results they'd previously had with myOrigins v. 1.

        If you and your daughter both take the Family Finder test, you may see some indication of your matrilineal line Romani ancestor. From what you wrote, this ancestor would be your 2x-3x great grandmother. You may have inherited some segments from her, but your daughter may or may not inherit such segments from you. It's possible that you could match people who list Romani/Bohemian ancestry, by locations and surnames (shown in the Family Finder Matches page, once you take that test). See ISOGG's page for Autosomal Statistics.
        Last edited by KATM; 8 May 2017, 11:30 AM.