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Confusing results

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  • Confusing results


    Got my results from The Genographic Project. I'm Finnish and so are all my known ancestors.

    The results say 87 % Finland and Siberia and 10 % Western and Central Europe.

    The Finnish reference group:
    Finland and Siberia 61 %
    Scandinavia 19 %
    Eastern Europe 11 %
    Central Asia 7 %

    Does this mean I'm more Finnish than an average Finn?

    I'm wondering what the rest 3 % in me is, since it was not in the results.

    The data was transferred to The Family Tree DNA and the results are 91 % Finland and 8 % British Isles. Why do they tell a different story? And there's still 1 % unknown.

    Could the British/European DNA be from the times people were migrating towards the northern areas? Or do I have to suspect that my great grandmother, who never was married but had three children with unknown men, had an affair with a sailor in the port town she lived in?

    I'm a little disappointed about how Finland and Siberia are put together and not opened up at all. It's a vast area all the way from Finland across the Northern Russia to Canada. Siberia is populated by Fenno-Ugrian folks, the indigenous people of Siberia who look quite Asian. I would have wanted to know how much I have Sami blood running through my vains. Sami people are the indigenous people in the Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian Lapland and a bit in the Russian side. Part of my family is from Lapland and it is very likely I have some Sami in me.

    Have you had similar thoughts and questions about your results? Is there a way to get more accurate results?

    Thank you.


  • #2
    Hi Maura,

    The administrators, or someone, should put up a "sticky" permanent post, which would answer your questions, and a lot of other people's similar questions.

    Most of what you ask can be answered by the fact that each company (National Geographic, FTDNA,, 23andMe, etc.) use their own mix of reference populations. There may be some overlap, but in general there are differences in the groups which the companies use to compare your DNA, to estimate your ancestral ethnicities. Add to that, each company uses a proprietary algorithm to determine their own "formula" to assign groups. And, add to that, none of this is really reliable at much other than a continental level!* It is particularly hard to winnow out ethnicities which line up with current national borders, which are actually fairly recent in terms of populations.

    I don't think there currently is a way to get more accurate results. Some people say that 23andMe's ethnicity breakdown is the best of the major genetic genealogy testing companies. Others like National Geographic or Ancestry's DNA test results. There have been a lot of complaints about results customers are seeing with this most recent version of FTDNA's myOrigins (which is now version 2), compared with the version 1. And yet, others are happy with their version 2 results. So it varies. You could try uploading your raw data to, and trying some of the calculation tools there.

    I'm not sure which ethnicity calculators, if any, have a Sami population, even at, but perhaps someone else will know. Since you seem to be saying that your great grandfather is unknown, that might explain the non-Finn percentages. Maybe some of your matches will be of a specific heritage or from a specific location other than Finnish/Finland, and that will be a clue for you on that branch of your tree.

    *see the links in another post I made in a different thread recently


    • #3
      Thank you, KATM, for your kind reply. It answered many of the things that have been puzzling me.

      Hopefully the results will be updated as more people take the test and more research is done.

      If anyone has any thoughts about the other things I wrote about, I'm more than interested to know what they are. :-)


      • #4
        There have been numerous studies of the Sami - linguistic, cultural, genetic - but the markers used may well not correspond to those currently being used by the commercial testing companies. I don't know. There certainly has been mt and Y testing.

        I checked DNAtribes' list of STR tested populations, but even they don't seem to have a Sami sample.

        Sami genetics - quick summary


        • #5
          Thank you for the link, abuelita, that's an interesting read. For some reason the origin of the sami has always interested me.


          • #6
            gedmatch has models with Sami/Saami/ populations

            Originally posted by M.M.R. View Post
            Thank you for the link, abuelita, that's an interesting read. For some reason the origin of the sami has always interested me.
            Did you upload your FT results to gedmatch? Here is the list of reference populations. When I looked earlier today I found nothing - it's the spelling. At gedmatch it is spelled "Saami" Once you are securely uploaded, go to admixture/oracle and you will see this:
            MDLP Project MDLP K16 Modern Saami
            MDLP Project MDLP K16 Modern Saami_WGA
            MDLP Project MDLP K23b Saami
            MDLP Project MDLP K23b Saami_Finland
            MDLP Project MDLP K23b Saami_Kola
            MDLP Project MDLP K23b Swede_Saami
            MDLP Project MDLP World Saami
            MDLP Project MDLP World-22 Saami

            That gives you 4 ?? suggestions for different models you can run. I don't know how to use these tools well. Someone else will need to advice.


            • #7
              Oh, I did upload my results to gedmatch, but haven't come across that feature yet. Thanks again, abuelita. :-) I will log in and see what I find out!

              If anyone knows how to use the tools well, please share your knowledge!