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  • Not matching parents Family Finder results

    My family finder results show 9% Iberian but neither mother, father, or brother show any Iberian. Results do show they ARE my parents and sibling. What is going on???? Can anyone explain this? Thanks so much!!!

  • #2
    This is not an exact science. It is more of a parlour game.

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    • #3


      Here are some links that do explain your Iberian results :

      https://dna-explained.com/2018/12/28...te-yes-really/

      https://dna-explained.com/2016/02/10...g-a-conundrum/

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      • #4
        The result you obtained, that the child has "ethnic" components not found in either parent, is indeed a logical inconsistency that should not happen if the "admixture algorithm" works as most of us imagine it should. In effect, this result shows the limits of the algorithm and the "reference groups" that have been constructed from DNA samples of living people to represent various "ethnic" groups. The "ethnic origins" results have improved over the years, as vendors have refined their methodology and especially from the availability of much larger sample sizes from which to derive the "reference groups". However, the history of much of Europe is full of large and small migrations, to the extent that individual countries or regions probably don't have a unique genetic signature. Individual results vary: some people have found that their "ethnic origins" results were helpful in their search for an unknown ancestor, other people found that the results were not very different from what they already knew, or else just misleading.

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        • #5
          Are you on Gedmatch?
          If you are and ever used the Admixture calculators and clicked on Oracle 4, it gives you top 20 best fits for a single population, best fit for 2 and 3 populations, and top 20 best fits for 4 populations.

          Testing companies ethnicity results are similar in that they give a few different outcomes, but you are only shown the one with the best "fitness score" based on their own alogrithms

          One of the possible outcomes may not of shown Iberian, but it did not have the best " fitness score",
          or maybe even for your parents one outcome also showed Iberian, but again it did not score the best fit.

          Comparing 2 files of the same person will give slightly different results.
          Image attached is my fathers, one from him testing directly at FTDNA, and the other his 23andme transfer
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mel C View Post
            My family finder results show 9% Iberian but neither mother, father, or brother show any Iberian. Results do show they ARE my parents and sibling. What is going on???? Can anyone explain this? Thanks so much!!!
            Are your parents in your match list? Matches matter more than ethnicity estimation (which isn’t an exact science and honestly DNA does not equal ethnicity).

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            • #7
              are you serious, aren't you???

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mel C View Post
                My family finder results show 9% Iberian but neither mother, father, or brother show any Iberian. Results do show they ARE my parents and sibling. What is going on???? Can anyone explain this? Thanks so much!!!
                It happens, on Ancestry, I show as 9% Eastern European, my father shows 0% despite his paternal grandparents hailing from the Duchy of Bohmeia(Czechia today). He has a 1st cousin who shows as 72% Eastern European, and a 2nd cousin scoring as 92% Eastern European, so we know exactly which line my 9% estimate is coming from. We feel it's likely an under-report for myself and my siblings, but it is what it is. But that doesn't fully explain how my father managed to score a 0% rating on that.

                Until you dig into history and learn about the Polabian Slavs who settled across much of Eastern and Northern Germany back around the 9th Century AD. And then bring in the matter that his mother was descended from German immigrants, where her respective lines came from along the baltic coast of Germany and the German coast of the north sea not far from The Netherlands. So because of his ending up with a mix of Slavic + German DNA (Which has a fair bit of "Slavic" DNA mixed into it) those "6 generation reference panels" from Germany are causing him to be flagged as far more German by their algorithms than he actually is. It isn't until you get to his children, and the introduction of British Isles DNA c/o my mother that the Slavic markers are once again being properly flagged as Slavic("Eastern European")

                It's an unenviable task for the testing companies in some respects. Like with the descendants of the Polabian Slavs, many of whom have likely been "Germanized" since sometime between the 12th and 14th Century AD. How would they respond to taking a test and having a company declare them to be largely Slavic by their DNA when they may very well have paper trails running back almost to the 16th Century(if not a bit earlier for a very small group) where everything (correctly) points to Germany?

                For some even more "fun" on the Ancestry DNA side, my Brother tested all of his children. Ancestry's most recent reference panel took him down to 0% Eastern Europe, he used to have 6% However, his children are showing anywhere from 1 to 3% Eastern Europe...
                Last edited by bartarl260; 22 March 2020, 05:15 PM.

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