View Full Version : skin deep

01-08-2019, 12:34 PM
Hello, Just a bit of information please.
I did my husbands dna with Ancestry, to try to clear up some mysteries in his tree, and thought the results proved my paper trail, but reading some past posts about the Ethnicity results, I am now wondering.
Family tales said his paternal grandmother was a Maori from NZ, but his results came back as fully Irish and English, with nothing from any South sea islands.
Is there another explanation as to why she would have such a dark complexion, as she was called black grannie, when they were kids, (not very PC) but apparently she was not at all fair skinned.
Any ideas please. Does the basic Ancestry test account for the mothers side or just the fathers side or both. I am a bit confused by all this.

Lesley Robertson
01-08-2019, 4:47 PM
Your best bet is to proceed with the more traditional genealogy methods and see whether there’s a paper trail. It’s hard to know what you consider “dark”, but there are Irish and scots with a distinctly Mediterranean appearance, traditionally attributed to Spanish survivors of the Armada being washed up along the coast.
People have been rampaging around Europe for thousands of years - I remember an obviously African skeleton being unearthed in a Roman sarcophagus on one of the Time Team episodes. Many of them must have left their genes behind!
Didn’t Ancestry tell you what they measure when you did the test?

01-08-2019, 11:01 PM
Thank you, that is what I thought, but it is good to get some sort of confirmation.
And hard to know what the kids thought was dark back some 60 years ago, but a few were insistent she was a native Maori, but maybe these were just stories told for whatever reason. Someone who was of Mediterranean appearance back in the day would have stood out to them.
There was nothing in the paper trail I found to support the story, so I did the DNA to try and further prove my point, and to connect with lost relatives.

And on the net, just found this - (think they only do 1 type of test)
"AncestryDNAź uses an autosomal DNA test that surveys a person's entire genome at over 700,000 locations. It covers both the maternal and paternal sides of the family tree, so it covers all lineages."

I had not really thought about all the races that invaded Britain and Europe over the years.
Thank you.

Lesley Robertson
02-08-2019, 7:20 AM
Most of what comes out of these commercial analyses is probabilities rather than definite - the very accurate analyses used in forensics, for example, is seriously expensive. I don’t think that they consider history... For example, Spain was part of the Moorish empire for centuries. If I remember rightly, it was Henry VIII’s first set of in-laws who broke away, but it might have been a little earlier. Whenever it was, they certainly would have left their genes behind.
Another example, if you look at me, you’ll see (formerly) ginger hair and the sort of skin that needs factor 50 run cream, but if you look at my mitochondrial DNA it’ll tell you that I am from Bombay, thanks to a slave belonging to the Dutch East India company back in the 18th century.

DNA analysis is an excellent tool, but it’s just one of the tools we need.