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myOrigins and French Ancestry

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  • myOrigins and French Ancestry

    I received my results and I'm very confused since they don't match my genealogy. My lines have already been traced back on both sides of my family, so the work has already been done. There are no mysteries within the last few generations. All of my 16 great grandparents were French, and their origins can be traced back to France. I was therefore expecting a large percentage of Western and Central Europe. Instead, I received:

    68% British Isles
    19% Southeast Europe
    7% Eastern Europe
    4% Middle East (Asia Minor)
    > 2% West Middle East.

    I could understand if most of my lines were from northern France, such as Brittany or Normandy, but this is not the case. I have several lines from Western France, the southwest and northeast France. These are not represented at all. At 23 and Me, my highest southern European percentage is Iberian. I also have 43% French and German, which is quite high. I understand that this test is reflecting a much more ancient time period, but it doesn't make sense to me. If someone could explain how these results reflect French ancestry, I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Oceane19; 29th September 2018, 10:49 PM.

  • #2
    The "My Origins" results are based on comparisons of your sample with a number of "reference groups" selected by FTDNA. The "reference groups" consist of samples from modern, likely still living individuals, with self-reported ancestry and with statistical analysis of some sort to eliminate outliers and to assure that each "reference group" is in some way homogeneous and distinct from other groups. However, there is currently no way to guarantee that any reference group actual contains the genetic variability of any historical population. It is certain, also, that France, and thus
    French ancestry in general, is seriously under-represented in the FTDNA autosomal DNA database, at least in part because of legal obstacles to DNA testing in France.

    One way to interpret the "My Origins" results is that they show the degree of affinity to the "reference groups" that FTDNA is currently using. "My Origins" can't show how well you match "reference groups" that don't yet exist, or how well you match historical populations whose genetic diversity is not adequately represented by today's "reference groups".

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    • #3
      Originally posted by John McCoy View Post
      It is certain, also, that France, and thus
      French ancestry in general, is seriously under-represented in the FTDNA autosomal DNA database, at least in part because of legal obstacles to DNA testing in France.
      Thank you very much for your response and for the explanation. Yes, I thought it might have something to do with the lack of French samples.

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      • #4
        It's also worth remembering that Western Europeans share a lot of history and ancestry. Celtic groups, Germanic groups, etc migrating to the Isles and to France, Germany, etc. What is more valuable than your ethnicity estimates are your matches to people, do you match people who have surnames you know to be in your family tree?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by spruithean View Post
          It's also worth remembering that Western Europeans share a lot of history and ancestry. Celtic groups, Germanic groups, etc migrating to the Isles and to France, Germany, etc. What is more valuable than your ethnicity estimates are your matches to people, do you match people who have surnames you know to be in your family tree?
          Yes, my matches have names that are found in my family tree. I know that my parents are my parents. They have both been tested at 23 and Me. It's just the ethnicity breakdown that is completely different. The southeast European is also very confusing. At 23 and Me I have 15% Iberian. That's not the same region at all.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Oceane19 View Post

            Yes, my matches have names that are found in my family tree. I know that my parents are my parents. They have both been tested at 23 and Me. It's just the ethnicity breakdown that is completely different. The southeast European is also very confusing. At 23 and Me I have 15% Iberian. That's not the same region at all.
            I meant do the matches who aren't your parents share any common names and common ancestors? Matches will outweigh ethnicity estimation. Ethnicity estimation is questionable and mostly strikes me as entertainment value. DNA does not respect borders all that well, and you will find large amounts of overlap within regions.

            Ethnicity estimations will vary between companies because they have different reference populations within their database.

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            • #7
              Yes, these DNA testing facilities know absolutely nothing about the ethnic French, and it's only made worse by the severe disrespect of that sub-category of the Caucasian race. Everyone, from historians and genealogists to even some of the amateurs interested in these topics are so lazy and hung up on the basics of haplogroup I equals Scandinavian and Celts used to inhabit ALL of Europe (a statement which enrages French historian Jean-Louis Brunaux ) that they dismiss the ethnic French who inhabit most of France radiating from it's center outward as a mere mingling of Germans ( ignoring the fact that ''German'' is also a grossly broad term ), Celts ( yet again, Jean-Louis Brunaux's opinion, Celtic is a sweeping statement in and of itself as well ) and Romans who really never inhabited France but rather owned it so they would have someone else to de their work for them. Normally I blame it on the regions, and there are Basques in southeast France which could have an effect, not to mention a little Greek/Tuscan in Provence, but also remember that the French are hardly well represented by these companies. We could blame it on the supposed plethora of Germans ( VERY broad term ) in eastern France if they actually had a separation between French and German ( which they don't ) and you had German, but that's not the case and you don't even have the western European ''blob'' that they attribute to Germany and France...blah...these geneticists! I have compassion on them, though, I suppose it is difficult, especially when a nation outlaws DNA testing.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rhonda Hatton View Post
                Yes, these DNA testing facilities know absolutely nothing about the ethnic French, and it's only made worse by the severe disrespect of that sub-category of the Caucasian race. Everyone, from historians and genealogists to even some of the amateurs interested in these topics are so lazy and hung up on the basics of haplogroup I equals Scandinavian and Celts used to inhabit ALL of Europe (a statement which enrages French historian Jean-Louis Brunaux ) that they dismiss the ethnic French who inhabit most of France radiating from it's center outward as a mere mingling of Germans ( ignoring the fact that ''German'' is also a grossly broad term ), Celts ( yet again, Jean-Louis Brunaux's opinion, Celtic is a sweeping statement in and of itself as well ) and Romans who really never inhabited France but rather owned it so they would have someone else to de their work for them. Normally I blame it on the regions, and there are Basques in southeast France which could have an effect, not to mention a little Greek/Tuscan in Provence, but also remember that the French are hardly well represented by these companies. We could blame it on the supposed plethora of Germans ( VERY broad term ) in eastern France if they actually had a separation between French and German ( which they don't ) and you had German, but that's not the case and you don't even have the western European ''blob'' that they attribute to Germany and France...blah...these geneticists! I have compassion on them, though, I suppose it is difficult, especially when a nation outlaws DNA testing.
                You are aware that the majority of Roman Gaul was inhabited by Gauls and Roman aristocrats? Eventually Germanic foederati were settled in Gaul and among those foederati were the Franks, whose very name gave rise to the name of France.

                Please provide citations on these so called non-Celtic and non-Germanic origins of France. Yes the Basques and Aquitanians were present in France and everyone knows they are neither Celts or Germanics.

                It's not that these DNA testing companies "disrespect" the French by making them out to be a conglomeration of Germanics and Celts and whatever else, it's that France like the rest of Western Europe has had various stages of migrations take place that make the people so similar to their neighbours. Firstly we have the Celts who settled France, parts of Spain, Britain, Ireland and elsewhere, then we have Germanic movements during the Migration Period, during the Migration Period there was a back migration of Celtic Britons who settled in Brittany.

                No OP doesn't have the Western European blob, however he has the British Isles blob, a region which saw similar migration patterns as France. Not to mention the eventual conquering of England in 1066 by Normans with their Norman, French, Breton and Flemish soldiers and the eventual invasion of Ireland by the Anglo-Normans (many who still spoke French), even Scotland saw Norman settlement thanks to King David I of Scotland.

                To top it all off, Western Europeans and Europeans in general aren't necessarily so easily distinguishable at first glance by DNA testing. Because people move, people migrate. People you thought you knew in your family tree may not be who you think at all, they could be adopted, the result of NPEs or surname adoptions to hide original origins.

                Also in regards to Haplogroup I, you've grossly misinterpreted the information on that. Haplogroup I (I-M170) is not Scandinavian no, it's European. It's subclades of I2 and I1 are distributed in various ways, I2 can be found pretty much throughout Europe depending on the subclades of I2 and I1, specifically the branch DF29 is so overwhelmingly present in I1 Northern European lineages that it would be unreasonable to assume that DF29 didn't arise in Jutland or some area nearby.
                Last edited by spruithean; 4th October 2018, 08:02 AM.

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                • #9
                  This reminds men of, when years ago I tried to trace one of my hypothetical lines back to ancient Rome, ha ha. Anyway going back in time from Charlemagne, a former Consul of Africa retired in Lyon, France. He had a governing position, but was fired by Emperor Valentinian (which Valentinian I don't recall) for his gendarmes coming out second best with a confrontation with some intruding Germanic tribe or other (Burgundians, I think). Anyway he raised his family there in Lyon, at least one descending line of which led to England.
                  Last edited by PDHOTLEN; 5th October 2018, 12:55 AM.

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