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Determining most likely ethnic origins according to matches.

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  • Determining most likely ethnic origins according to matches.

    I understand that everyone says you can better determine your ethnicity by checking the ancestry of your matches, but I've recently started trying to take this a step farther in chromosome browser.
    Pretty much what I do is, if I'm trying to determine what part of a geographic category at FTDNA my ancestors came from, I find a match with either a surname or an ancestral surname or several that originated in that area, for instance if I'm trying to narrow down western European between Dutch and German, I would find a match with a surname from one of those countries, and hit " in common with ". Then, let's say that person is of Dutch ancestry, I would go through our common matches, pick out anybody who is Dutch and German, then check them all in chromosome browser, and if for instance the Dutch matches don't all match me on the same chromosome segment, but the original match I clicked and perhaps all of the Germans match on the same chromosome segment, then I assume that I'm related to the Dutch matches, not because I have Dutch ancestry but probably because they have some German ancestry that they haven't discovered ( especially if they don't have a very complete family tree ), and therefore I am probably of German ancestry and not Dutch. The only reason I'm posting about this is because I wanted to run it past the more experienced genealogists and see if they see any sense in my method.

  • #2
    Yes, it makes sense to focus on segments.
    Are you using DNA painter?
    The tool allows you to play with your matches, choose the colour of each segment, and organize them as you wish.
    Just do it and see what shows up.

    Your bad luck: Dutch and Germans are neighbours, both speaking Germanic languages, descending from Germanic tribes. People move and mix, and segments may be hard to identify as Dutch or German.

    It is much easier to do this type of research with very distinct populations.
    For example, Icelanders and Africans:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Jonatan
    (if you like to read special stories ...)

    Your good luck: you probably have a lot of matches, as both Netherland and Germany are developed countries, and people have money and freedom to do the dna testing. Plus, the paper records are probably available, and they may have good trees.

    Are you researching an unknown line in your tree, with uncertain ethnic origins?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Emona View Post
      Yes, it makes sense to focus on segments.
      Are you using DNA painter?
      The tool allows you to play with your matches, choose the colour of each segment, and organize them as you wish.
      Just do it and see what shows up.

      Your bad luck: Dutch and Germans are neighbours, both speaking Germanic languages, descending from Germanic tribes. People move and mix, and segments may be hard to identify as Dutch or German.

      It is much easier to do this type of research with very distinct populations.
      For example, Icelanders and Africans:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Jonatan
      (if you like to read special stories ...)

      Your good luck: you probably have a lot of matches, as both Netherland and Germany are developed countries, and people have money and freedom to do the dna testing. Plus, the paper records are probably available, and they may have good trees.

      Are you researching an unknown line in your tree, with uncertain ethnic origins?
      I'm not trying to prove that my genetics are entirely one thing instead of the other, I am trying to tell if my Western European is entirely German and without any ancestors from elsewhere because there are sides of my family tree I don't have records of.

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      • #4
        So, all of your known ancestors are German (or some of them from completely different part of the world, easy to put in a different basket),
        and you wish to find out if the unknown lines are also German, or possibly Dutch, at least partly Dutch, or whatever nearby country may show up through dna?

        Agree, a random Dutch outlier in a group of Germans (all on the same segment) is very probably connnected to you through a German line. Yes, that makes sense.

        It would also help if you can compare your dna with your known cousins. Then you can forget about the matches who share the segments with your known lines.
        If your missing line is close enough, and you have many matches, there should be some result of your sifting and sorting the segments on your list.

        To be as certain as possible, you need a lot of matches - to cover most of your chromosomes. Are you that lucky? (if so, I am green with envy, my chromosomes have a lot of space waiting for more matches)

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        • #5
          I have 5,862 matches. Is that a lot ?

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          • #6
            Compared to me, you are rich. 1232 matches at the moment. After a very small number of close family members, there are only 10 matches estimated as 2nd-4th cousins, and 3 of them belong to one family.
            My ancestors are not from Western Europe; less people tested, less matches. A few years ago, the number was under 300, things are getting better.
            Transfered my results to MH and gedmatch; it helps.

            Comment

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