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I'm German-Asian-American yet I have ancestry from the British Isles?

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  • I'm German-Asian-American yet I have ancestry from the British Isles?

    Hey all,

    So my MyOrigins have me at 47% European (39% British Isles, 8% Eastern European) and the rest being East/Southeat Asia with traces of Sephardic Jewish in me (from Spain). What I don't get is why "Western/Central Europe" won't show up anywhere because of my German surname and my ancestry going back to Counts in the Holy Roman Empire.

    I know my Grandmother on my father's side came from Austria (which could account for the Eastern European) and my Grandfather's ancestry goes back to Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen. Some of modern-day Germany was included in the Eastern European area, though (especially the areas of Saxony-Anhalt).

    I just don't get where the British comes from? I mean, maybe it could be because my Grandmother is from Connecticut, and her mother was also born in the USA (although with a German surname) but perhaps because of the British influence in New England/the Northeast that could account for the British ancestry, not to mention many of the HRE's Germanic tribes invaded those islands/married into Anglo-Saxon nobility (like the House of Wettin).

    I also live on the North Shore of Long Island, in a part that's very preppy/wealthy/New England-like.

    It's like a missing link

  • #2
    Originally posted by wtta View Post
    It's like a missing link
    Yes, that is the challenge. One can think of all kinds of scenarios. You will need several to account for all of the British Isles. Perhaps you have an ancestor who was a German-American who took a wife with British Isle ancestory. If he was a Loyalist, given the outcome of the American Revolution, he might have remigrated back to Germany.

    Or maybe a Hessian soldier who took a British Isle wife and deserted, but eventually got homesick. A new identity and a location away from Hesse would have been necessary in such a situation.

    Jack Wyatt


    • #3
      EDIT: There was a "Cecilia Wagner" (maiden name "Mayer") in my grandmother's patriarchical lineage. The marriage happened sometime in the 1700s-1800s in Austria or Germany. Again, she was an ancestor to my grandmother's mother who was born in the USA.
      Last edited by wtta; 10 June 2017, 07:24 PM.


      • #4
        Central Europe

        I have a similar example to you.
        But since my mother tested here it is even more strange.

        My Mother has an Irish Father and German Mother.
        While FTDNA indicates my mother is 74% Central Europe, I have 0%.
        The ancestry reports at FTDNA are worthless in my opinion.

        FTDNA shows my mother as -
        74% West and Central European -
        20% British Isles
        6% Eastern Europe

        My results show
        90% British Isles
        5% Eastern Europe
        4% Middle Eastern

        My father was 100% Irish and Scots-Irish. His brother tested as 100% British.
        My Paternal cousins have tested as 100% British

        23andme ancestry is more accurate.
        my mother is 50% British , 24% German, 15% Eastern Europe, 5% Balkan, 5% broadly Europe, 1% Mongolian
        my results are 74% British, 10% German 8% Eastern Europe, 2% Southern Europe, 5% broadly European.
        Last edited by jova99; 10 June 2017, 07:56 PM.


        • #5
          Can you transfer your results to 23andme and get a better understanding of your ancestry?


          • #6
            Originally posted by wtta View Post
            Can you transfer your results to 23andme and get a better understanding of your ancestry?
            No transfer (the SNP's measured are different anyhow). Get a kit without the medical add-ons on sale through Father's Day (June 18) for $USA 79. I am not happy with 23andMe V4 chipset kits for matching on GEDmatch, but it is worth having on GEDmatch for when you need to compare with another V4 kit.

            All admixtures have major flaws, but maybe 23andMe is best of the worst. I am more into actual matching instead of ethnicity guessing.

            Jack Wyatt


            • #7
              German ancestry

              it seems both FTDNA and 23andme have difficulty picking up German ancestry.

              My grandmother should be mostly German, I have yet to transfer her results here, but even at 23andme they classify her as 35% German. Her Father was born in Saxony , near Dresdon, which is close to it was not surprising to see significant Eastern European ancestry of 33%. Her Mother was born in Austria-Hungary and is a mix of German, Hungarian, Czech and Baltic.

              one benefit of 23andme, you can phase your results with a parent. This helps them identify which segments came from which parent and increases the accuracy of the ancestry reports. My results were phased with my mother and my Mother phased herself with her mother.

              Gedmatch does ancestry analysis. This is a free service, they have many different tools to analyze deep ancestry which are very interesting. I would recommend it.


              • #8
                wtta, have you uploaded your data to DNAland or My Heritage? None of the ethnicity calculators are perfect, but getting a second and third opinion (they're both free) might clarify things a bit.


                • #9
                  You said you had ancestors from Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen (which is surrounded by the state of Lower Saxony). The British are a mix of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic. Saxons in Germany, Saxons in Great Britain... see how some Germans could get British Isles? Add to that the strong Celtic presence in Austria.