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European but not Scots-Irish?

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  • European but not Scots-Irish?

    I am a 7th generation American, and before that my ancestors were Scots-Irish and English. A relative has compiled a very detailed genealogy, and I am pretty certain about it. However, my Origins map shows only 8% in Great Britain and 67% in Central Europe. I haven’t had Continental ancestors since before the Anglo-Saxon migration. Is this showing my ancient roots, as in Central European Celt or Anglo-Saxon?? And why do the results bypass Great Britain?

  • #2
    By Central Europe do you mean West and Central Europe on MyOrigins?

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. One of my parents comes up with more West and Central Europe than British (50% and 43%) and it's only 2-4 generations since the ancestors left the British Isles. The other (who should have a smidgen of European French ancestry is 86% British and no West and Central Europe.

    I would caution against getting too focused on paternal lines. There can be a tendency to define ourselves by our surname but that patrilineal line is only part of the autosomal picture.

    Now, if you're not finding the cousin matches you'd expect I'd be wondering. Sometimes they don't exactly leap out at you. I just tracked one down today on another site. The match ONLY had her American father on her tree, but we're not American. He had an unusual name. Some records said he died in Bolivia. A bit of sleuthing lead me to her maternal grandfather who also died in Bolivia and lo and behold he's my gt-grandmother's half-nephew.
    Last edited by ltd-jean-pull; 13th December 2017, 02:49 AM.


    • #3
      I'm still puzzled

      I am more interested in tracing old roots than in finding cousins. (I like history more than relatives .) I am still puzzled why My Origins map centers around Switzerland, Southern Germany, and Southeast France and not Britain.
      I assume this is from my father's side. If it is partially from my mother's side, I am surprised. She is Mexican, and her side of the autosomal DNA registers as Native Meso-American.


      • #4
        I wouldn't rely on autosomal testing to trace my "old roots" beyond the continental level.

        I mentioned cousin matches because if you do match cousins that you can trace back to known mutual ancestors then it confirms the tree is correct back to those mutual ancestors. If you can't find the connection to anyone then you might wonder about whether an NPE occurred at some point.


        • #5
          campbellum, the population cluster you describe is called "West and Central Europe." Although it is not depicted in the illustration there, you can read about it in the FTDNA Learning Center page "Population Clusters in MyOrigins," in the section "Population Clusters and Descriptions." It says there
          The West and Central Europe cluster consists of present day countries of France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, and Germany.
          These heatmap "blobs" of color depicting the populations clusters are the same shape, size, and color for everyone who has that population cluster in their myOrigins results. They do not represent personalized ranges. The only difference that I've seen is that the color is less vivid for lower percentages in a given cluster, and more vivid for higher percentages. Since you have 8% British Isles, you should be able to see how that cluster overlaps the West and Central Europe cluster.

          lt-jean-pull has given you good advice. You have to take any ethnicity results from any company with a big grain of salt. They are really most accurate only at the continental level.

          Since your European ancestors were at least 7 generations ago, you have to account for all the other ancestors in the intervening generations of your father's side. Were they all of Scots-Irish and English descent? Every grandparent and great-grandparent? Perhaps some had ancestry from countries within the West and Central Europe cluster.

          While a child gets 50% of their DNA from each of their parents, they don't get the same 50% that a sibling does. Over the generations, perhaps the Scots-Irish and English DNA did not get passed down to you, as much as to other relatives. Your result of 8% British Isles seems within the ballpark for a seventh generation descendant to me, if other ancestors came from elsewhere.