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Population Finder - what to choose?

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  • Population Finder - what to choose?

    So I am presented with this choice on PF (emphases mines). Only my paternal side is Ashkenazi Jewish. Maternal side is Irish and some old Colonial lines. Why does PF finder apparently ignore the Irish & Colonial lines?
    I've no idea what to select here.
    I did make this choice once a couple of weeks ago - Jewish. I expected that I'd be able to change it, but was not. Now that the choice is back (apparently after a survey asking how many of my gr-grandparents were of Ashkenazi descent), I do not see the value in it.
    Thoughts from anyone?

    *********************
    Your Population Finder (BETA) results indicate your genetic ancestry partly matches the following population groups. To view your percentage break-down and ensure the lowest margin of error, please select the population group that best fits your knowledge of your ancestry. If you are adopted, do not know your ancestry, or none of the options seems appropriate to you, then you should select None of the Above.


    Jewish
    Caucasus
    Middle Eastern
    Middle Eastern/North African
    Bedouin
    Iranian
    None of the above

  • #2
    Originally posted by manoss View Post
    So I am presented with this choice on PF (emphases mines). Only my paternal side is Ashkenazi Jewish. Maternal side is Irish and some old Colonial lines. Why does PF finder apparently ignore the Irish & Colonial lines?
    I used to keep my ancestral lines in neat little boxes until I found out that my maternal Italian line was Ashkenazi/Sephardi/Mizrahi and that quite a few Lithuanian Jews settled in County Cork, Ireland.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by econnore View Post
      I used to keep my ancestral lines in neat little boxes until I found out that my maternal Italian line was Ashkenazi/Sephardi/Mizrahi and that quite a few Lithuanian Jews settled in County Cork, Ireland.
      Interesting, that. It seems that most arrived late 19th century (even though the first synagogue was 17th century). Is that what you find?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Stephen,

        I am also near Columbus Ohio, and have a similar problem. I am an adoptee, and my birth-father is from Mexico whom I suspect could have some Anousim Sephardic Jewish ancestry. It has been confirmed that he has Native American Indian ancestry (probably from Mexico).

        Here is the responses I have received from the PF questionnaire:
        • Illumina OmniExpress Population Finder (Beta): Jewish, Caucasus, Iranian, or None of the above
        • Affymetrix Population Finder (Beta): Jewish, Middle Eastern, or None of the above


        As you suspect you are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, I would suggest contacting the Columbus Jewish Historical Society (http://columbusjewishhistoricalsociety.org/) as they have genealogy resources available that maybe able to help you. For me, it was not much help as I am adopted, 1/2 Mexican descent (birth-father is Mexican citizen), and of suspected Sephardic Jewish ancestry from Mexico. But if you are an Ashkenazi Jewish, and born in this country, you will probably have better luck with the Columbus Jewish Historical Society researching your background.

        Y-DNA: J2-M319 (J2a4d)
        mtDNA: T2
        Last edited by c_thompson_68; 6th April 2011, 10:30 AM.

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        • #5
          manoss, I would contact them by email and explain the situation. Autosomal tests have trouble classifying people with admixture. They are in effect looking for one population for you, while you match more than one.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by c_thompson_68 View Post
            Hi Stephen,
            As you suspect you are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, I would suggest contacting the Columbus Jewish Historical Society (http://columbusjewishhistoricalsociety.org/) as they have genealogy resources available that maybe able to help you. Y-DNA: J2-M319 (J2a4d)
            mtDNA: T2
            Thank you for the suggestion C-T. Unfortunately, none of my Jewish relatives are in Ohio. My bio father was the only one to come to Ohio. All others lived & died in Boston, MA. His paternal grandparents married in Manchester, England, so I'm focusing there. All others were off-the-boat from Eastern Europe.

            I also understand what econnore points out (about neat little boxes). But I just have no indications of any Jewish background on my maternal side in the recent generations. But - I need to remain open to that, I suppose.

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            • #7
              I don't see what the problem is. The survey is saying that you partly match one of these categories of which Jewish is an option and you are indeed partly Jewish. The other part is Irish and some English. They aren't ignoring those parts it's just the Orcadian part is not in dispute. It's the Middle Eastern part they're having a problem with. They can't tell what kind of Middle Eastern you are and are asking you to specify if you can so that they can pinpoint it.

              So your pie chart for instance will probably be: 70% or so Orcadian (Irish, Colonial English, etc) and 30% or so Middle Easter (insert parenthetical Population... in your case Jewish.)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ahernandez View Post
                I don't see what the problem is. The survey is saying that you partly match one of these categories of which Jewish is an option and you are indeed partly Jewish. The other part is Irish and some English. They aren't ignoring those parts it's just the Orcadian part is not in dispute. It's the Middle Eastern part they're having a problem with. They can't tell what kind of Middle Eastern you are and are asking you to specify if you can so that they can pinpoint it.

                So your pie chart for instance will probably be: 70% or so Orcadian (Irish, Colonial English, etc) and 30% or so Middle Easter (insert parenthetical Population... in your case Jewish.)
                The Orcadian % is also in dispute by many who have mixed ancestry. FTDNA knows PF is "OFF" and they are working on it.

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                • #9
                  I wish FTDNA would send me a heritage survey - the more we share, the more info they can sort out...then they can get this PF calibrated, and therefore we'll have accurate results - or am I oversimplifying it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DelawareNative View Post
                    I wish FTDNA would send me a heritage survey - the more we share, the more info they can sort out...then they can get this PF calibrated, and therefore we'll have accurate results - or am I oversimplifying it?
                    It's not that simple. Especially for typical Americans who are mutts like me. The best reference populations have stayed in the same area for several generations, and generally marry within the same ethnic group. It's far more difficult to analyze admixed populations. Dienekes had an interesting blog post on this using Mexico and India as examples.

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                    • #11
                      Yep, read his article on that. So how will the Population Finder become more accurate? What kind of data will it take to change things? Or, is it the interpretation of the data?

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                      • #12
                        message cut off
                        Last edited by vinnie; 6th April 2011, 11:34 PM. Reason: message was cut off in the posting

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DelawareNative View Post
                          Yep, read his article on that. So how will the Population Finder become more accurate? What kind of data will it take to change things? Or, is it the interpretation of the data?
                          I think interpretation is part of the answer. The way FF works, and the differences between it, 23andMe's Ancestry Painting and Global Similarity (advanced view), and third party tools like Dr McDonald's still isn't clear to me. I've read the entire FAQ, and follow conversations here and on dna-forums, but still don't think I understand well enough. Is it an average, or do we have SNPs in common with those populations? It's not being explained well.

                          The data's already out there to make it better. FTDNA's still using the HGDP for reference populations, which was probably the best available when they first created PF. But now the HapMap and 1000 Genomes projects have more comprehensive reference samples. I think they should either switch to using one of them, or create a composite of all of the above.

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                          • #14
                            something weird's happening to Forum posting...
                            Last edited by vinnie; 6th April 2011, 11:33 PM. Reason: something weird happening to the Forum posting system.

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                            • #15
                              Help! Can't post! What's happening?

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