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  • A question for the experts

    I am 96% Ashkenazi with some Sephardic.My husband is from a Caribbean island.His Mother was half black and half Scottish. His father was pure African. I have two children.What are their white/ black percentages?
    My granddaughters father is African American,white and Native.We are going to test her. She wants to know what she is.Her father might also be Melungeon too.His large family admit Native Heritage..No one wants to be tested.It seems like the Native was always a secret.Her great grandfather
    Is called”Chink”.He has the grandmother.native princess comment.about his own mother.(he is 85)
    What percentage white/black/Native do you think she is?
    Will report back after testing.......

    family all say Native.They are a huge family.

  • #2
    In scientific terms, the distinctions that you make are not obvious in DNA, despite My Origins and other "origin" calculators.

    Native American may have some Ancestral Information Markers in mtDNA, but almost none in yDNA, and atDNA has a generational sell-by date and much dilution. So seeing evidence of confirming these stories with DNA is almost impossible, in my opinion.

    No one has ever agreed to what "melungeon" means, for instance, and my ancestors lived near them in East Tennessee.

    Tests as shown by L H Gates on television predict some regional African origins that I find questionable, since most of these tribal distinctions are language groups, same as American "natives."

    I admit that endogamy would account for some of these calculations in a few cases, but most evaluations of such conclusions in the literature (Blaine Bettinger is an example) show that the geopolitical and "racial" distinctions from DNA are so hedged with disclaimers in the journals of molecular biology as to be totally inconclusive. But plenty of $$ are made with this most questionable aspect of DNA.

    Others here will chime in and tell you otherwise. But in my opinion, all such calculations are based on tested people as of today, very small % of population, and are not as historically provable as some presenters and sites will have you believe. I realize that mine is a minority view, but you will find a huge amount of postings as "why didn't [Ancestry, FTDNA, 23andme] reveal my suspected heritage?" Much of our suspected heritage is a political distinction with no genetic component.

    Read the recent posting: Mostly Asia Minor but im not Turkish nor Armenian

    Let the torrent of abuse begin!
    Last edited by clintonslayton76; 12th February 2018, 05:38 PM.


    • #3
      Thankyou,but my questions were not answered.I want to know the percentage of black,white in my children and gramdaughter
      as well as the Ashkenazi,Scottish,African,rough estimates.


      • #4
        I agree that ethnicity calculators are worthless except at broad continental levels. If you have a person whose ancestors lived in China for hundreds of years and another whose ancestors all lived in France for hundreds of years, the tests can, of course, correctly designate the one as Chinese and the other as European. But I don't believe they can accurately distinguish people from countries within Western Europe, including the UK. People have been moving around and intermarrying for too many centuries.

        Ethnicity reports started as fun little freebies that you got with your DNA results. It was with all their commercials designed to deliberately mislead people in order to make money that created all the hoopla about ethnicity testing that we have today. Ancestry knew they couldn't sell many test to serious researchers, so they have ruined DNA testing as a serious tool. Ancestry and 23andMe test fewer and fewer SNPs because it's cheaper and soon FTDNA won't be able to keep up their standards because they won't be able to test a greater number.

        In my opinion FTDNA has the worsts ethnicity predictions, but I'd rather rely on my own research anyway.

        I thought the Melungeon question had been settled though. I imagine some people just don't want to accept the outcome.


        • #5
          Is Ged Match and Genesis any better?
          All the project managers/creators with things no one can really understand.A lot of gibberish.If you ask one for help they want to charge you.Answers are not forthcoming either.The Oracles and population is
          Very confusing. Matches don’t respond ( we know that) and we are left with frustration. It becomes an addiction.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Miamio View Post
            Thankyou,but my questions were not answered.I want to know the percentage of black,white in my children and gramdaughter
            as well as the Ashkenazi,Scottish,African,rough estimates.
            Miamio - please don't worry yourself about the numbers. As MoberleyDrake says, they're just for fun and they're not all that accurate within continents.

            Also ... and more important because it looks like you're interested in "continent-level" results ... how much of an ancestor's DNA a person has will vary. Even siblings can vary in the bits of DNA they get from their parents, and therefore they vary in what DNA they have from their grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, etc.

            When you get your granddaughter's results, that will give you her "My Origins" percentages ... but these percentages will depend on how much of each ancestor's DNA she has inherited - and that's arbitrary. You could work out similar (and maybe more helpful) numbers, by "assigning" an origin to each of the most-distant ancestors and then calculating what percentage they contribute (e.g. a great-grandparent would contribute 12.5%, or a grandparent would contribute 25%). You wouldn't get the same results as a DNA "origins" result - because, for example, one of the grandparents might only have contributed 10% of their DNA to that child. But DNA does NOT define the person, so you'd be equally as well informed by doing your own calculations.

            Are the numbers really that important?
            Last edited by Fern; 12th February 2018, 10:09 PM.


            • #7
              Miamio, you might read the following pages from Roberta Estes' blog: "Applying DNA Studies to Family History: The Melungeon Mystery Solved" (it has links to some books about Melungeons, to a scientific paper on Melungeons, and refers to a Melungeon DNA project); and "Melungeon DNA Paper Honored by the North Carolina Society of Historians". I'm not sure if the Melungeon project is here at FTDNA, but it probably is.

              Unless they have some documentation for the Native American, your daughter's husband and his family would have to do DNA tests to see how much percentage of Native American they have (as well as the white and African/black). If the 85 year old great-grandfather, "Chink," would do a DNA test, you could see if he's 50% Native American from his native princess mother (Family Finder), or an mtDNA test to see if his maternal line really was one of the NA haplogroups (A, B, C, D or X). It could be that the Native American being a "secret," as you mentioned, is because it was a family legend passed down, but may not be true.

              From the information you provided, I've attempted a percentage breakdown for your daughters and your grandchildren.
              Keep in mind that the amounts are averages, and:
              • The amounts of DNA, and the different ethnicities that your grandchildren inherit from you and your husband may vary. So, although they can get an average of up to 25% DNA from each of you, one may get a percentage of Sephardic, the other may not; one may get more African or Ashkenazi than the other, etc.
              • Your son-in-law's ethnic breakdown percentages are not known, so I approximated his percentages, and consequently those for his children. Your son-in-law may have more or less of any of the three categories, so again, his DNA contribution to his children could be different than what I show, and may vary between children.

              For your children (50% DNA from you, 50% from your husband):
              • 48% Ashkenazi, with about a 2% trace of Sephardic from you
              • 50% from your husband, broken down as
                • 37.5% African/black (25% from your husband's father, 12.5% from his mother)
                • 12.5% Scottish (from his mother)

              For your grandchildren:
              MATERNAL (50% from your daughters, which is 25% from you, 25% from your husband):
              • 24% Ashkenazi and 1% Sephardic from you
              • 25% from your husband, broken down as
                • 18.75% African
                • 6.25% Scottish

              PATERNAL (Unknown amounts of each group from their father; estimated as ⅓ of each, then divide by half for his 50% to his children):
              • 16.66+% undefined white
              • 16.66+% African/black
              • 16.66+% Native American

              POSSIBLE TOTAL (approximate) for your grandchildren:
              • 25% Ashkenazi, & Sephardic trace
              • 35.41% African/Black
              • 22.91+% white, broken down as
                • 16.66+% undefined white
                • 6.25% Scottish
              • 16.66+% Native American

              This will not add up to 100%, more like 99.98%, but that is why I put a "+" with some numbers. Someone else can check my math, but I think it gives you a rough idea of the possible breakdown for the grandchildren.


              • #8
                Thankyou. I am not worried about the numbers.All of us are curious.
                My grandaughter has shovel teeth,the bump on the back of her neck
                And a very pale skin tone( whiter than mine)She has dark hair and eyes.
                Her surname is on a Melungeon list. One of her own relatives mentioned
                Melungeon to me. They came from the tide waters of Delaware.
                It’s just interesting.
                What are my children’s percentages,please? Thanks for your info and help


                • #9
                  Roberta Estes has written/blogged about the shovel teeth. I have never heard about the bump on the back of the neck. Please tell us more about the bump. Thank you.


                  • #10
                    black,white in my children.
                    This does not exist in DNA, I cannot make it any simpler. DNA has no resolution to offer such percentages for present-day people, despite what you might have seen on television. The "numbers" we refer to are statistical probabilities based on algorithms that are the heart and soul of genetic research, not of genealogical research, and they are interpreted differently by each DNA service.

                    The most "black" man in my project knows that he decends from a white progenitor and he has "European" yDNA. If he did not know this from family history, nothing in his atDNA, mtDNA, or yDNA can give any him any such percentage or indicates to a student of DNA how much of him is "black." His main aid is that he uses the surname of his "white" ancestor, but had he been female, this avenue would have been problematic. You could make guesses from what atDNA people have participated, but only deep family knowledge or civil documentantion contains this information.

                    My direct paternal line cousin is half-Japanese, again, there is no indication that shows this, as many Japanese women share the same Maternal Haplo as my very Irish-descended wife (D). His yDNA is the same as mine. His atDNA might indicate Asian percentages, but that is about it. No DNA will show him as 50% Japanese.

                    Most Native American males have no indicators of the language group (Tribe) that they might claim or suspect. There are only indications in mtDNA of those origins. atDNA often shows Asian for known Native American connections.

                    Roberta Estes cited above is an excellent source, if you read any of the literature from her or Bettinger, you will see that the word estimate for the percentages is just short of guess, based on a growing pool of results with shifting theories as to what the results even mean.

                    DNA is not the main or even applicable source for answering your questions.
                    Last edited by clintonslayton76; 13th February 2018, 05:18 PM. Reason: additions


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Miamio
                      What are my children’s percentages,please? Thanks for your info and help
                      I listed them first in my post:
                      Originally posted by KATM View Post
                      For your children (50% DNA from you, 50% from your husband):
                      • 48% Ashkenazi, with about a 2% trace of Sephardic from you
                      • 50% from your husband, broken down as
                        • 37.5% African/black (25% from your husband's father, 12.5% from his mother)
                        • 12.5% Scottish (from his mother)
                      I do agree with Fern, and clintonslayton76. You shouldn't worry about the numbers. But since you asked for one, I just wanted to provide an estimate ("guess") based on what you knew and put in your first post. These ethnicity estimates are the bane of genetic genealogy, and should not be the main focus that they have become, unfortunately.


                      • #12
                        Two different things, hope my rant was not off-point

                        KATM refers helpfully to the percentages of share for atDNA, and I assumed that the scope of your question is that you expect some indication of the makeup of your particular results. If you search-engine for "ISOGG cousins" you can confirm those, because KATM shows percentages, as used by Ancestry, and FTDNA uses centiMorgans, and there are tables where you can see both.

                        I am not questioning the tables of predicted share amounts, I am questioning the expectation that MyOrigins or any other such predictor has a stable basis in reality.

                        The "continental" level of prediction is always the most likely, those showing geopolitical distinctions within the continents or any suggestion of First Peoples connection are only plausible in the most endogamic (isolated and therefore "in-bred") estimates. But "black" and "white" have no meaning in FTDNA or Ancestry DNA and would require genomic level research where there might be clearer markers for Sub Saharan African vs Euro vs East Asian descent, but as in intellectual construct that might or might not be reflected in any physical characteristics.
                        Last edited by clintonslayton76; 13th February 2018, 05:50 PM.