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  • DNA Match, but no shared ethnicities

    Hi everyone. Perhaps silly question, but I would like some thoughts here.

    I understand that ethnicity estimator just estimating ethnicity.

    However, I have many matches, who do not share any ethnicity with me. In all cases those matches are 80% - 100% Ashkenazi with some other ethnicities (if any).

    Those matches can be separated in 3-4 clusters by sharing the same segment on the DNA with me.

    My own results are East Europe 94% and Southeast Europe 4%, trace results (Northeast Asia and Siberia).

    What does this mean? And if this means something why my ethnicity estimator does not show Ashkenazi?

    Would appreciate any thoughts!

    Thank you

  • #2
    From the "myOrigins Walkthrough" page in the FTDNA Learning Center,
    The Shared Origins tab allows you to compare the origins you share with Family Finder matches.
    From Roberta Estes' blog post, "Nine Autosomal Tools at Family Tree DNA," regarding MyOrigins Matching,
    Your matches (who have authorized this type of matching) will be displayed, showing only if they match you on your major world categories. Only your matching categories will show.
    If you have no Ashkenazi showing in your myOrigins ethnicity estimate, something is off because many of your Shared Origins matches show Ashkenazi. It sounds like your ethnicity estimate is incorrect in that way.

    Further, on the "Population Clusters" page in the Learning Center, for the Ashkenazi cluster it says
    The Ashkenazi cluster, who represent the majority of the world’s Jewish population, derived from countries that were located within Central and Eastern Europe. This population is now scattered across the world with the largest concentrations in Israel and the United States and represents a unique mix of Middle Eastern and European genetic elements, which crystallized within the last 2,000 years.
    Since you do have matches with Ashkenazi ancestry, look at your Family Finder match list (not all your matches will show up in the Shared Origins tab). If many of your matches have Ashkenazi ancestry, then you have some Ashkenazi in your ancestry. The ancestry of your matches is a better indicator of your own ancestry than the ethnicity estimates. What do you know of your ancestors? If they were indeed Eastern European, it seems that some of them were Ashkenazi.

    As for why your ethnicity estimate doesn't show Ashkenazi, sometimes the algorithm FTDNA uses for myOrigins can mistake one ethnicity for another. This happens sometimes with people from the Mediterranean who get a percentage assigned as Ashkenazi, instead of that percentage being assigned as Southern Europe. It's probably the same with Eastern Europe; some of your 94% should have been Ashkenazi.

    I would say you should contact FTDNA by submitting a Customer Support request, using the link at the top right of these pages, to see if they can help. But, if you do, keep in mind that there may be a delay in response, due to the current virus situation. Normally you'd receive a confirmation email fairly quickly, within about 1-2 days, then a reply from a service representative later. Explain what your issue is as you did here. You might want to choose "Family Finder Questions" from the drop menu in the form.

    Otherwise, you can just be patient, because FTDNA is going to release a new version of myOrigins in the near future (myOrigins 3.0). The release has been delayed due to COVID-19. Your estimate may be refined at that time.
    Last edited by KATM; 15 May 2020, 08:11 PM.

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    • #3
      To me, this observation is an example of the large uncertainty that the current "admixture" algorithms have. It might be interesting to export your raw data to, say, MyHeritage (can that still be done without paying a fee?), to see what results another vendor's algorithm will give you. There are many conceptual as well as methodological issues that make "ethnic origins" a very complicated and messy problem. I know of some cases where the results were so at variance with the paper trail that they provided a useful clue for further genealogical research (e.g., someone with supposed entirely Irish origins, but "ethnic origins" report said Italian, and that led to the discovery of an unexpected parentage). However, most of the time the results seem to be far less useful for genealogy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by John McCoy View Post
        To me, this observation is an example of the large uncertainty that the current "admixture" algorithms have. It might be interesting to export your raw data to, say, MyHeritage (can that still be done without paying a fee?), to see what results another vendor's algorithm will give you.
        I find it quite interesting that I have quite different results in MyHertige. I tested with companies separately.

        MyHertiage:

        East Europe 93.1%
        - Baltic 47.9%
        - East European 26.3%
        - Balkan 18.9%

        North and West Europe 4.8%
        - Scandinavian 4.8%

        East Asia 1.2%
        - Eskimo / Inuit 1.2%

        Central Asia 0.9%

        FTDNA:

        European 98%
        - East Europe 94%
        - Southeast Europe 4%

        Northeast Asia <2%
        Siberia <2%


        Interestingly, there is no Scandinavian in FTDNA. I also can understand Balkan and Southeast Europe are similar regions, but the percentage is quite different.

        However, I think FTDNA provide more accurate results about this.

        In MyHeritage, I have the same issue with Ashkenazi matches, 12% of total matches are Ashkenazi. I don't think it's a lot, but there are quite interesting patters. They also share same segments on same DNA chromosomes with me.

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        • #5
          A similar thing happened to me. I had lots of ashkenazi matches on my mtdna and FF, but I did not get any ashkenazi ethnicity in my origins. However, when I run my data through ged match and dna.land, they both show about 9.7-10% ashkenazi. I just think FT ethnicity algorithm missed this somehow. I do have family from east Europe- Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania. Although my family speculated there was jewish heritage , we didn't have a paper trail.

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          • #6
            You cannot make the assumptions that you're making. Sharing one DNA segment with Ashkenazic people, and sharing a mtDNA line with Ashkenazic people, doesn't always mean that the ancestor in common was an Ashkenazi, especially not when you score 0% in all Jewish elements in both MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA. Occasionally, the common ancestor was a Polish Christian, since a small number of Polish women clandestinely converted to Judaism to marry Jewish men in the 1500-1600s during the time of a temporary anti-Catholic movement, and there was also one Polish or Belarusian man involved with an Ashkenazic woman whether consensually or not.

            In GEDmatch's Jtest, the "ASHKENAZI" element up top is not an accurate measure of Ashkenazic ancestry because it is found in varying proportions in nearly all European ethnic groups except outliers like the Saami and the Irish who sometimes score 0 percent.

            DNA.Land is also less reliable than 23andMe and Family Tree DNA when it comes to accurately identifying Ashkenazic element without false positives. While it's true that Family Tree DNA occasionally misses a small amount of Ashkenazic DNA and Sephardic DNA by mistake, it finds it most of the time. If it's missing, that might be for a reason.

            Melissa122, you said in another thread that your mtDNA haplogroup is H1ag. That isn't an Ashkenazic haplogroup. A few of your H1ag matches might be half-Ashkenazic and half-European Christian, or 3/4 Ashkenazic and 1/4th European Christian, from recent mixing. I found several mixed H1ag and H1ag1 carriers in my Family Finder list. I didn't find any H1ag carriers who had 4 Ashkenazic grandparents.

            See http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/aj-...admixture.html and, later, my upcoming article "Northwestern and Eastern European Matrilineal Contributors to the Ashkenazic Population" (will probably be published in the second half of 2020).
            Last edited by khazaria; 4 June 2020, 01:10 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by khazaria View Post
              You cannot make the assumptions that you're making. Sharing one DNA segment with Ashkenazic people, and sharing a mtDNA line with Ashkenazic people, doesn't always mean that the ancestor in common was an Ashkenazi, especially not when you score 0% in all Jewish elements in both MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA. Occasionally, the common ancestor was a Polish Christian, since a small number of Polish women clandestinely converted to Judaism to marry Jewish men in the 1500-1600s during the time of a temporary anti-Catholic movement, and there was also one Polish or Belarusian man involved with an Ashkenazic woman whether consensually or not.

              In GEDmatch's Jtest, the "ASHKENAZI" element up top is not an accurate measure of Ashkenazic ancestry because it is found in varying proportions in nearly all European ethnic groups except outliers like the Saami and the Irish who sometimes score 0 percent.

              DNA.Land is also less reliable than 23andMe and Family Tree DNA when it comes to accurately identifying Ashkenazic element without false positives. While it's true that Family Tree DNA occasionally misses a small amount of Ashkenazic DNA and Sephardic DNA by mistake, it finds it most of the time. If it's missing, that might be for a reason.

              Melissa122, you said in another thread that your mtDNA haplogroup is H1ag. That isn't an Ashkenazic haplogroup. A few of your H1ag matches might be half-Ashkenazic and half-European Christian, or 3/4 Ashkenazic and 1/4th European Christian, from recent mixing. I found several mixed H1ag and H1ag1 carriers in my Family Finder list. I didn't find any H1ag carriers who had 4 Ashkenazic grandparents.

              See http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/aj-...admixture.html and, later, my upcoming article "Northwestern and Eastern European Matrilineal Contributors to the Ashkenazic Population" (will probably be published in the second half of 2020).
              khazaria

              Thank you for responding ! Your validation is hugely helpful about this especially
              For us newbies. On another note, my mother's father's side, my great grandmother 's surname was Korol. I read that this is a Ukrainian Jewish surname, but the man she married, my great grandfather, was orthodox catholic I believe. My g grandfather was from Ukraine, and I thought my great grandmother was from Poland, so I don't know how I confirm the jewish surname thing though. (Also this wouldn't be from my mtdna , but from my maternal-paternal side)

              So from what you are saying , don't take too much stock in ged match or dna.land? In general they seemed to be more accurate than my FT origins, but I did the j test because I read so many others seem to use to it as a source of truth lol. I also did my heritage but
              It didn't seem accurate to what I know about my family.
              Also, all the places I ran my data, including FT dna do put me as having some Baltic, specifically Lithuania, but I do not have direct paper trail for that location.

              Everything you explained though makes perfect sense. Thank you for the link as well. I'm going to read up now
              Here are my results from FT and dna.land . For the J test I didnt see anything 'up top' but went by the % they gave if that makes a difference or not. (sorry the snips are so big lol)
              FT ethnic.PNG
              DNA land

              DNA.land.PNG
              Last edited by Melissa122; 4 June 2020, 09:14 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Some Ukrainians and Lemko Rusyns from Greek Catholic and Orthodox Christian families have inherited 1, 2, or 3 percent of Ashkenazic DNA but they didn't carry any surnames derived from their Ashkenazic ancestors. The Southeastern Poles who descend from Ashkenazic Jews also don't have specifically Ashkenazic surnames. Most of their Jewish ancestors converted to Christianity in the 1750s and 1760s, before most surnames were assigned in Ashkenazic communities in these lands. Several Poles and Ukrainians with genuine Ashkenazic ancestry have participated in this forum, and the shared segments they have with Jews aren't Slavic-painted. That is one way we can distinguish between a segment of Jewish origin and a segment of Slavic origin. Another way to verify Jewish origins was when they share a segment not only with Ashkenazic Jews but also with members of Sephardic communities.

                Some Jews converted to Christianity relatively late, but they were not numerous. An example were members of the Markusfeld family from Kraków who converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1880s and 1890s and later Polonized their surnames to Marski and Kwiatkowski. All members of that family survived the Nazi occupation of Poland. See "A Case Study of Radical Assimilation in Poland. The Markusfeld Family" by Paweł Jasnowski in Scripta Judaica Cracoviensia Vol. 14 (2016), pages 111-132. It's only rare descendants of families like these that would score more than 1-3 percent Ashkenazic in the DNA tests. Most Poles and most Ukrainians can score only those small percentages.

                Some Poles descend from Jews through their maternal lines and carry mtDNA haplogroups like K1a1b1a and L2a1l2a.

                The Lemkos' Jewish ancestor was a man carrying Y-DNA haplogroup G-P303.

                I also need to remind everyone that about 5% of our matches in Family Finder are outright false. They should be phased and triangulated to be sure they are real matches.
                Last edited by khazaria; 4 June 2020, 09:27 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by khazaria View Post
                  Some Ukrainians and Lemko Rusyns from Greek Catholic and Orthodox Christian families have inherited 1, 2, or 3 percent of Ashkenazic DNA but they didn't carry any surnames derived from their Ashkenazic ancestors. The Southeastern Poles who descend from Ashkenazic Jews also don't have specifically Ashkenazic surnames. Most of their Jewish ancestors converted to Christianity in the 1750s and 1760s, before most surnames were assigned in Ashkenazic communities in these lands. Several Poles and Ukrainians with genuine Ashkenazic ancestry have participated in this forum, and the shared segments they have with Jews aren't Slavic-painted. That is one way we can distinguish between a segment of Jewish origin and a segment of Slavic origin. Another way to verify Jewish origins was when they share a segment not only with Ashkenazic Jews but also with members of Sephardic communities.

                  Some Jews converted to Christianity relatively late, but they were not numerous. An example were members of the Markusfeld family from Kraków who converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1880s and 1890s and later Polonized their surnames to Marski and Kwiatkowski. All members of that family survived the Nazi occupation of Poland. See "A Case Study of Radical Assimilation in Poland. The Markusfeld Family" by Paweł Jasnowski in Scripta Judaica Cracoviensia Vol. 14 (2016), pages 111-132. It's only rare descendants of families like these that would score more than 1-3 percent Ashkenazic in the DNA tests. Most Poles and most Ukrainians can score only those small percentages.

                  Some Poles descend from Jews through their maternal lines and carry mtDNA haplogroups like K1a1b1a and L2a1l2a.

                  The Lemkos' Jewish ancestor was a man carrying Y-DNA haplogroup G-P303.

                  I also need to remind everyone that about 5% of our matches in Family Finder are outright false. They should be phased and triangulated to be sure they are real matches.
                  Thank you ! Now all I need to learn is how to phase and triangulate so I can actually get somewhere with my research lol. Your posts are well structured and very Informative, it is much appreciated!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ethnic groups moved around. Because people move over time, (and when they do they take their DNA with them), a group may contribute DNA to other groups at different times.
                    So ethnic groups can be defined by time and place—not just location.

                    For example, if you have German or British ancestors in your family tree, it’s a possibility that your genetic ethnicity may be partly Scandinavian. The Viking invasions and conquests about a thousand years ago are likely responsible for occurrences of Scandinavian ethnicity throughout other regions. ​​​​​​​

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by faceitdna View Post
                      Ethnic groups moved around. Because people move over time, (and when they do they take their DNA with them), a group may contribute DNA to other groups at different times.
                      So ethnic groups can be defined by time and place—not just location.

                      For example, if you have German or British ancestors in your family tree, it’s a possibility that your genetic ethnicity may be partly Scandinavian. The Viking invasions and conquests about a thousand years ago are likely responsible for occurrences of Scandinavian ethnicity throughout other regions.
                      You bring up a very good point. In fact, my “British” ethnicity is also made up of German, French, and Scandinavian. Every ethnicity algorithm I ran my raw file through (that shows more detail) accounts for a good amount of my British DNA as Scandinavian. My maternal line was born out of noble Norman families marrying some Anglo-Saxon families until one of them adopted the surname “Rawlings” (Raulings). One of my cousins did all the work to find our surname origins and takes our Family line back to the 1100’s. Although as you said, the Scandinavian DNA could be from earlier time.

                      Sorry to get off topic here! I think your point is one to definitely consider when trying to match DNA with genealogy. Knowing “when” a relative lived should be just as important as the “where” they lived when it comes to research. Thanks for mentioning this ! I really appreciate the input since I am new to this topic and researching genealogy with genetics. So much to learn!

                      The Jewish connections I was seeing was really throwing me off. Now I understand that my genetics could have some similarities to Ashkenazi, but that doesn’t mean I have a 100% Ashkenazi anywhere in my family. That at some point there may have been some Ashkenazi but not in a way that can be researched and discovered.

                      Does anyone think it is safe then to “ignore” the Jewish ethnicities that showed up, as I have a very limited genetic connection to this group?
                      Last edited by Melissa122; 5 June 2020, 08:25 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by khazaria View Post

                        Some Poles descend from Jews through their maternal lines and carry mtDNA haplogroups like K1a1b1a and L2a1l2a.

                        The Lemkos' Jewish ancestor was a man carrying Y-DNA haplogroup G-P303.
                        This is interesting. Thanks for your response.

                        My ancestors were from around between Zamosc and Tomaszow Lubelski, Poland. I still did not concluded whether or not they were Lemko.

                        However, interestingly, that the Y-DNA haplogroup for those results I displayed is E-Z5017, which downstream from E-M35. This is also quite puzzling, since it's not very common haplogroup for this part of Europe.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In my Family Finder, none of my matches are listed as belonging to the E-Z5017 subclade.

                          My own most specific branch is apparently E-Y87732.

                          My friend Josh Lipson is one of several people who have been carefully studying the Jewish E branches. He is especially interested in E-Y6923.

                          Jewish DNA among Poles mainly appears in the southeastern area of Poland. But, as I said, they usually show a % of Jewish DNA when it exists.

                          Judging by my matches to Slavic segments and other evidence, the Slavic DNA in Ashkenazic Jews appears to come from Poles of northeastern Poland (Suwalki region) and southeastern Poland (discussed in messages I wrote years ago) and maybe from West Belarusians too.

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