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  • Help with DNA Results Please!

    Hello, everyone! New to this website but I've seen a lot of DNA questions answered here so I thought I'd ask mine and see if anyone had suggestions for me lol
    In different DNA results, I score fairly significant percentages of West Asian.

    FTDNA: 4% Asia Minor
    MyHeritage: 5% West Asia
    23andMe: 0.2% Broadly West Asian (this one is very low but 23andMe tends to give me lower percentages on things I know should be higher)

    I think that means I have recent West Asian ancestry maybe? I've traced it to a certain cluster of cousins though that are connected to an unknown 3x great-grandma so it would make sense.

    Does anyone know if there's any other DNA test I can take that may help me figure this out better? Because of FTDNA's result of Asia Minor, I assume my 3x great-grandmother was either Turkish or Armenian but I'm not certain which. Is there any good GEDmatch calculators geared towards more recent West Asian ancestry? I'd

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    This will seem unhelpful, but you must realize that these geo markers are not necessarily from scientific data, but questionable statistical inferences that includes anecdotal reportage. Dr. Mark Thomas of Leicester University, a pioneer in analyzing alleged Ancestral Information Markers, points out that these cannot be taken seriously. They are marketing tools, and while I will not deny that some things that just look wrong from suspected endogamous communities can lead to such situations as written about in Dani Shapiro's Inheritance, these estimations are more akin to astrology than genetic genealogy.
    Let the haters weigh in on how wrong I am, with examples of tiny "racial" markers that in fact refer to language groups, not living cells. There are "Turkic" peoples from all over Asia and Turkish and Armenian people share patrilineal and matrilineal haplogroups.

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    • #3
      Well, I was unsure if it signified more recent ancestry or not but most of what I've found that people are referring to as Ancient West Asian DNA that most people of NW European descent inherit have been found on ancient calculators on GEDmatch. And the fact that it shows up on 3 different websites for me as well as other cousins of this same group seem to point to a recent ancestor.

      In short, I'm really just searching for a test or calculator that does indeed test for more recent ancestry so I can get a second opinion lol
      Last edited by QueenofHearts96; 27th April 2020, 05:55 PM.

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      • #4
        Anyone know anything maybe? I recently discovered my great-great grandpa was adopted so this could explain where the West Asian is coming from...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by QueenofHearts96 View Post
          Hello, everyone! New to this website but I've seen a lot of DNA questions answered here so I thought I'd ask mine and see if anyone had suggestions for me lol
          In different DNA results, I score fairly significant percentages of West Asian.

          FTDNA: 4% Asia Minor
          MyHeritage: 5% West Asia
          23andMe: 0.2% Broadly West Asian (this one is very low but 23andMe tends to give me lower percentages on things I know should be higher)

          I think that means I have recent West Asian ancestry maybe? I've traced it to a certain cluster of cousins though that are connected to an unknown 3x great-grandma so it would make sense.

          Does anyone know if there's any other DNA test I can take that may help me figure this out better? Because of FTDNA's result of Asia Minor, I assume my 3x great-grandmother was either Turkish or Armenian but I'm not certain which. Is there any good GEDmatch calculators geared towards more recent West Asian ancestry? I'd

          Thanks so much!
          4-5% is not a sizable enough amount to be from a recent West Asian/Asia Minor ancestor. It might be from a 2nd or 3rd great-grandparent, though. You may want to read Roberta Estes' blog post, "Ethnicity and Physical Features are NOT Accurate Predictors of Parentage or Heritage." It features an example, including percentages going back three generations (from a child to a great-grandfather). Ethnicity estimates can give clues, but usually are to be taken with a large grain of salt.

          You should see a few matches from West Asia, or Asia Minor (Turkey, Armenia, maybe even Greek) in your match list, if the estimate is true. Also, FTDNA will be updating myOrigins to version 3.0 in the future; it was scheduled to come out about now, but may be delayed due to the current virus situation. Your ethnicity estimates may change somewhat with that update.
          • MyHeritage doesn't seem to define "West Asian," other than to have it in a list of ethnic groups they use for Asia.
          • 23andMe seems to break down their West Asian & North African category into "Anatolian" (includes Turkey), "Iranian, Caucasian & Mesopotamian" (which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, and eastern provinces of Turkey), and "Cypriot" (Cyprus).
          • Of the four major genetic genealogy DNA testing companies, 23andMe is generally thought of as being one of the best for ethnicity estimates, along with Ancestry. Those two seem to update their ethnicity estimates more often, and seem to do well at a more granular level. MyHeritage currently is generally rated the lowest of the four.
          If you haven't done this already, you can download your raw data Family Finder file, create an account at GEDmatch, and upload it there. There are many population calculators there, not just for Ancient West Asian. The spreadsheet for "Gedmatch Admixture Populations" may help you choose among the various calculators, including the tabs labeled "Best Calculators" and "Oracle Populations."

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          • #6
            For what it's worth I've always found 23andme to be the most accurate.

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            • #7
              QueenofHearts96, just wondering if your 3x great-grandmother is in your direct maternal line? Also, is your 2nd great grandfather (who you just found had been adopted) in your direct paternal line? See Roberta Estes' blog post, "Concepts – Paternal vs Patrilineal and Maternal vs Matrilineal," if you are not sure if they are.

              I ask because, if either is along the appropriate direct line, perhaps a haplogroup test for Y or mitochondrial DNA at FTDNA might shed some light. If they are not along your direct lines, determine if any of your relatives are descendants in those direct lines:
              • A mitochondrial test for a direct matrilineal descendant of your 3x great-grandmother may show a haplogroup that is common in a particular region.
              • In the case of your 2nd great-grandfather, a Y-37 test of his direct patrilineal descendant may help if he gets several matches with the same surname (which differs from his own surname).
              You can use a chart by Charles F. Kershner, Jr., showing Y-DNA Inheritance Descendants and Mt-DNA Inheritance Descendants, to determine which of your relatives may qualify to carry those haplogroups, so you can know who to ask to test for them. FTDNA usually has sales around Mother's Day for mtDNA tests, and Father's Day for Y-DNA tests.
              Last edited by KATM; 30th April 2020, 02:00 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                4-5% is not a sizable enough amount to be from a recent West Asian/Asia Minor ancestor. It might be from a 2nd or 3rd great-grandparent, though. You may want to read Roberta Estes' blog post, "Ethnicity and Physical Features are NOT Accurate Predictors of Parentage or Heritage." It features an example, including percentages going back three generations (from a child to a great-grandfather). Ethnicity estimates can give clues, but usually are to be taken with a large grain of salt.

                That's actually what I meant, yes! I believe it must be at least fairly recent - not a grandparent or anything like that but perhaps a 2nd or 3rd. And it does seem to match my great-great grandfather's line, it seems. I did find a cousin with an Armenian surname though so that may be worth looking into! Also, I will try downloading the FTDNA raw data, that's a great idea! I had uploaded my 23andMe raw data to MyHeritage but maybe that would glean some different results since I got a larger, more specific percentage for FTDNA.

                Originally posted by KATM View Post
                QueenofHearts96, just wondering if your 3x great-grandmother is in your direct maternal line? Also, is your 2nd great grandfather (who you just found had been adopted) in your direct paternal line? See Roberta Estes' blog post, "Concepts – Paternal vs Patrilineal and Maternal vs Matrilineal," if you are not sure if they are.

                I ask because, if either is along the appropriate direct line, perhaps a haplogroup test for Y or mitochondrial DNA at FTDNA might shed some light. If they are not along your direct lines, determine if any of your relatives are descendants in those direct lines:
                • A mitochondrial test for a direct matrilineal descendant of your 3x great-grandmother may show a haplogroup that is common in a particular region.
                • In the case of your 2nd great-grandfather, a Y-37 test of his direct patrilineal descendant may help if he gets several matches with the same surname (which differs from his own surname).
                You can use a chart by Charles F. Kershner, Jr., showing Y-DNA Inheritance Descendants and Mt-DNA Inheritance Descendants, to determine which of your relatives may qualify to carry those haplogroups, so you can know who to ask to test for them. FTDNA usually has sales around Mother's Day for mtDNA tests, and Father's Day for Y-DNA tests.
                Hm, no, it's not my direct maternal line - this ancestor was my grandmother's maternal grandfather. Actually though, I've found more info on this line and as it turns out, the father I'd found for him was not the biological father nor was the mother. So basically at the moment, I have no idea who his parents were. I'll look back though at the direct lines of my relatives and see if I have any that have been tested that are direct maternal or paternal descendants!

                Wow, that's a great idea, I never thought of that!! Okay, great, thank you! I'll definitely check that out. Maybe it will help me figure it out a bit better!

                Comment


                • #9
                  The ancestral origins that your matches show are more reliable than the ethnicity estimates. Your best bet is to see what you can do with your matches. There are various ways to work with them:
                  • You could try the Leeds method, to help sort out your matches into groups of your four grandparents, then concentrate on those matches for the grandmother who has your mystery 3rd great-grandmother as her ancestor.
                  • MyHeritage also has their AutoClusters tool, which may help sort your matches.
                  • You may want to try DNA Painter (website, intro video, and help here), where you can "map" your chromosomes. With DNAPainter, you upload the shared matching segment information (from a chromosome browser, for where your matches share segments with you), from 23andMe, FTDNA, MyHeritage, and GEDmatch, and assign ancestral groups to known relatives. You do NOT upload yours, or anyone else's, raw data. So if you have a match with a known second cousin, your common ancestral couple would be your shared great-grandparents; if you upload the shared segment information for how this cousin matches you, you can label it with the name of your shared ancestors.
                  Videos and sites which you may find informative for the above:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KATM View Post
                    The ancestral origins that your matches show are more reliable than the ethnicity estimates. Your best bet is to see what you can do with your matches. There are various ways to work with them:
                    • You could try the Leeds method, to help sort out your matches into groups of your four grandparents, then concentrate on those matches for the grandmother who has your mystery 3rd great-grandmother as her ancestor.
                    • MyHeritage also has their AutoClusters tool, which may help sort your matches.
                    • You may want to try DNA Painter (website, intro video, and help here), where you can "map" your chromosomes. With DNAPainter, you upload the shared matching segment information (from a chromosome browser, for where your matches share segments with you), from 23andMe, FTDNA, MyHeritage, and GEDmatch, and assign ancestral groups to known relatives. You do NOT upload yours, or anyone else's, raw data. So if you have a match with a known second cousin, your common ancestral couple would be your shared great-grandparents; if you upload the shared segment information for how this cousin matches you, you can label it with the name of your shared ancestors.
                    Videos and sites which you may find informative for the above:
                    Those are great ideas! Thanks so much, I'll try them out - maybe I can find my 3rd great-grandparents through this!!

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                    • #11
                      I'm glad you find the ideas helpful. Good luck in your search!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        QueenofHearts96:
                        Just found and watched one more video, although quite advanced in part, that might be helpful: "Crème de la crème: Targeted Autosomal DNA Testing to Isolate Pertinent Genetic Cousins," which is free to view only through May 13th.

                        The first parts show how using other targeted descendants of your "person of interest" or research subject (in your case, 3rd great-grandparents or 3rd great-grandmother) who can provide more coverage of the research subject's DNA. You need to have access to these descendants match lists, so if they have tested, you need to ask them to download their match list and share it with you, or if you have relatives whose kits you manage, you can do that yourself.

                        The advanced part is using a spreadsheet with formulas to narrow down the pertinent matches relevant to that research subject, by comparing the match lists of the tested descendants. It was over my head, and he did use match lists for individuals at Ancestry, obtained by using the DNAgedcom Client tool (a subscription service) for his example. If you have any experience with spreadsheets (Excel), this may be very useful. He was able to narrow down 15,000+ matches, down to <100 matches to consider. There is a syllabus with the formulas, so it's worth reviewing the video and see if any of it is helpful. Watching the advanced part numerous times may help.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KATM View Post
                          QueenofHearts96:
                          Just found and watched one more video, although quite advanced in part, that might be helpful: "Crème de la crème: Targeted Autosomal DNA Testing to Isolate Pertinent Genetic Cousins," which is free to view only through May 13th.

                          The first parts show how using other targeted descendants of your "person of interest" or research subject (in your case, 3rd great-grandparents or 3rd great-grandmother) who can provide more coverage of the research subject's DNA. You need to have access to these descendants match lists, so if they have tested, you need to ask them to download their match list and share it with you, or if you have relatives whose kits you manage, you can do that yourself.

                          The advanced part is using a spreadsheet with formulas to narrow down the pertinent matches relevant to that research subject, by comparing the match lists of the tested descendants. It was over my head, and he did use match lists for individuals at Ancestry, obtained by using the DNAgedcom Client tool (a subscription service) for his example. If you have any experience with spreadsheets (Excel), this may be very useful. He was able to narrow down 15,000+ matches, down to <100 matches to consider. There is a syllabus with the formulas, so it's worth reviewing the video and see if any of it is helpful. Watching the advanced part numerous times may help.
                          Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this!! This may really help me out! This is really great not to mention very informing! I bet I could figure it out using this, thank you so much for letting me know!

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