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Could there be a mistake?

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  • Could there be a mistake?

    I recently was tested through the Genographic Project. Because I wanted to trace my paternal line, I had my biological brother take the test. Our results turned out to be E3a, which is somewhat surprising because we are white. I don't know very much about DNA, so I am hoping someone can help me understand my results.

    Do members of a family remain that haplogroup for all time? Or through the years, does your line mutate and become another haplogroup? I guess what I'm trying to figure out is how far back would the African ancestry be. I have traced my paternal line to a white planter in Virginia in 1747.

    Or could it be that the sample was marked wrong or somehow confused with another participant's sample?

  • #2
    There very well could have been a mix up.

    However, your physical expression/phenotype is related only with a high degree of statistical looseness to either your Y chromosome results or your mtDNA. It is more directly linked to and revealed by your autosomal results.

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    • #3
      I'm tall, blond with blond hair and blue eyes (Scandinavian blond hair when I was younger) with an English background, yet my results showed E3b (Middle Eastern/North African/Mediterranian). My wife is very light-skinned with a French/Italian background. She was reported as an M* by the Genographic Project (Asian). Our kids are all strawberry blond. 3 of the 4 have blue eyes--some lighter than others.

      I'm currently finding some answers on how this is possible. Remember that the test is about deep ancestry. One of the answers given at the Genographic Project site is that people turn white because they have lived a few generations in a climate where they don't get enough vitamin D in their bones, so their skin adapts by turning lighter to let more of the sun's rays through. People are also quite good at assimilating into their surroundings. In the town I've recently moved to, everyone seems to have the same "look" after a couple of generations with little immigration (when you get beyond their ages and weight).

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      • #4
        E has been observed among the Russian Saami, so this dont need to be recent migration.

        Source: Tambets 2004.

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        • #5
          Could there be a mistake?

          Thanks to all who replied. So if I'm understanding correctly, I could have received genes from my maternal side that made me look the way I do. Or, through the generations, become whiter because of where my ancestors lived?

          It's all very interesting and confusing. But I can't wait to find a match with someone. Alas, none yet.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CheriR
            Thanks to all who replied. So if I'm understanding correctly, I could have received genes from my maternal side that made me look the way I do. Or, through the generations, become whiter because of where my ancestors lived?

            It's all very interesting and confusing. But I can't wait to find a match with someone. Alas, none yet.
            In theory you have received genes from all your ancestors, that is, not only from your biological father and mother but from their fathers and mothers and so on. We are a randomly assembled genetic composite of all our ancestors.

            The Y chromosome DNA (in males) represents a miniscule portion of all the genetic material that is passed down from one generation to another and it has practically nothing to do with external physical traits of the person.

            The mitochondrial DNA, strictly speaking, isn't even human DNA much less part of any human gene. It is believed that mitochondria are pre-historical micro-organisms that developed a symbiotic relationship with humans, where we provide them with what they need to survive and in turn they provide our cells with the energy they need to live.

            As to your question, I think it is impossible to absolutely rule out the possibility of a mistake, although highly unlikely.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CheriR
              I recently was tested through the Genographic Project. Because I wanted to trace my paternal line, I had my biological brother take the test. Our results turned out to be E3a, which is somewhat surprising because we are white. I don't know very much about DNA, so I am hoping someone can help me understand my results.

              Do members of a family remain that haplogroup for all time? Or through the years, does your line mutate and become another haplogroup? I guess what I'm trying to figure out is how far back would the African ancestry be. I have traced my paternal line to a white planter in Virginia in 1747.

              Or could it be that the sample was marked wrong or somehow confused with another participant's sample?
              It's not all that inconceivable that you belong to the E3a African Haplogroup. There were free men of african ancestry that married into mostly white or native american communities. For example, a Black Male could have married a Woman who was 'Bi-racial' (Black and white), and their offspring could have been able to 'blend' in with the white community, eventually becoming part of the community themselves and 'forgetting' their black ancestry after several generations.

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              • #8
                I'm urging the other researchers who I believe to be in my line to be tested. So far, only two English researchers have been tested. One researcher has his results, but he is R1B. The other has yet to receive his results.

                I guess it's wait and see.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Marttinen
                  I'm tall, blond with blond hair and blue eyes (Scandinavian blond hair when I was younger) with an English background, yet my results showed E3b (Middle Eastern/North African/Mediterranian). My wife is very light-skinned with a French/Italian background. She was reported as an M* by the Genographic Project (Asian). Our kids are all strawberry blond. 3 of the 4 have blue eyes--some lighter than others.

                  I'm currently finding some answers on how this is possible. Remember that the test is about deep ancestry. One of the answers given at the Genographic Project site is that people turn white because they have lived a few generations in a climate where they don't get enough vitamin D in their bones, so their skin adapts by turning lighter to let more of the sun's rays through. People are also quite good at assimilating into their surroundings. In the town I've recently moved to, everyone seems to have the same "look" after a couple of generations with little immigration (when you get beyond their ages and weight).
                  You're wife's hap. mt-M is found largely in India,so the hap map shows.I know little of y-E3b,but I'm hearing about it more often,lately.

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