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  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    England
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    2

    Default 100% British and Irish DNA, now what?

    Hi all,

    Iím relatively new here. Let me start at the beginning.

    Iíve always known that Iím mostly English, Irish and Scottish and thatís it. Having known all of my grandparents I was able to speak to them all and found nothing or rather I was told nothing outside of the British Isles. Recently I sent off my DNA sample to My Heritage and got what I expected:

    55.5% Irish, Scottish & Welsh (Although I wasnít aware of any Welsh ancestry)
    44.5% English

    That was it. I was expecting the odd unexpected small percentage of French or German for example, but no, Iím 100% from the British Isles. I donít really know how far back this test goes.

    Iíve traced some of my family lines back to 1500 and some are 100% English and some back to only 1900 and all Irish but where do I go now? I feel like my My Heritage DNA results have been surprising but have raised more questions than answers.

    Are my DNA results unique or common being 100% British and Irish?

    Please help a novice genealogist. Thank you in advance.

    Dan

  2. #2
    Starting to feel at home
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cheshire
    Posts
    99

    Default

    My Living DNA test also had me as 100% British and Irish - it's supposed to go back for 10 generations, or about 250 years, which in my case is further back than I've managed to get with any of my lines. The Living DNA test breaks down into more sub-divisions for the UK and Ireland than the other services do, and confirmed what my research had already told me, which is that my DNA is roughly half-and-half from SE England and Wales. It picked up the little bit of Irish that I knew about as well. Interestingly, it also had small percentages from other places that I can't explain from my records, so I assume those bits are from further back than the 6 or 7 generations I have managed to trace. As I'm sure others will tell you, these DNA tests are not that conclusive, being based on the similarity of your DNA breakdown to that of the other samples on the company's database. The short answer to your question "Where do I go from here" is - keep searching the records and hope for more to become available as time goes on. Unless you manage to get back 10 generations on all your lines, there's not much more you can do...

  3. #3

    Default

    Agreed, Davyr.
    Go back to the records - only they can tell you who your ancestors actually were.
    The DNA is a tool. So are the records.

  4. #4
    Knowledgeable and helpful
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    Posts
    576

    Default

    Ethnicity results are based on guesses based on the guesses of the ancestry of people living today.
    They are not an accurate representation of where ones ancestors came from and never, repeat never will be.
    They are best viewed as a bit of fun rather than anything that will help the family historian.

    The important part of the DNA for the family historian is not the ethnicity guess but the data revealed by the chromosomes and any resulting matches, but even then care must be taken, as any gedcom associated with a match may not be accurate.

    Cheers
    Guy
    As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

  5. #5
    Reputation beyond repute
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    16,505

    Default

    I sent off my DNA sample to My Heritage
    I was wondering why you thought a company based in Israel was the best choice for you. My understanding is that the usefulness (if any) of the results depends on the database that the testing company has available.

    For example Findmypast use LivingDNA which is based in Europe and which some people argue is more appropriate for British users (or people who think their ancestry is mainly from the British Isles).

  6. #6
    Knowledgeable and helpful
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
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    576

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Goodey View Post
    I was wondering why you thought a company based in Israel was the best choice for you. My understanding is that the usefulness (if any) of the results depends on the database that the testing company has available.

    For example Findmypast use LivingDNA which is based in Europe and which some people argue is more appropriate for British users (or people who think their ancestry is mainly from the British Isles).
    That argument does not really hold water as it is possible to download ones raw data from MyHeritage (and most other DNA testing sites) and upload it to other testers sites such as Ancestry & FTDNA and possibly more importantly Gedmatch.
    That ability allows one to access practically every DNA database available to genetic genealogy.

    Gone are the days when one was tied into ones testing company's site.

    Cheers
    Guy
    As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

  7. #7
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    England
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    Default Thank you for the advice

    Hi all, thank for your reply.

    I find the information youíve given me to be very interesting and I understand that DNA ancestry tests can only tell you so much.

    I have actually had my results transferred over to FTDNA to see potential matches but itís thrown a right spanner in the works. My Heritage said I was 100% Irish, Scottish and English. Now my FTDNA results are showing me as 83% British and 17% Italian/Greek.

    Where the 17% has come from I have no idea. I appreciate those saying that these DNA tests can only reveal so much but does anybody know why thereís such a big difference.

    Some of my family lines I have back to 1500ís and are all English so I knew Iíd have high British DNA results.

    The FTDNA database also has me as having 9,000 current genetic matches on their database, is that a lot?

    I am a total geanology novice so any help would be appreciated.

    Dan

  8. #8

    Default

    It depends on the company's methods, databases, etc. And the sensitivity. It's not always as accurate as they claim. Did they both look at the same areas of DNA?

    Also, you have to remember that the population of the UK, especially England, is remarkably hybrid. Your Italians could have come over with the Romans, perhaps. Or as traders or seamen. Perhaps as refugees or migrants brought in for their skills. Or someone in the military brought back an exotic wife. People travelled, it just took longer. There's probably quite a lot of unexpected Spanish in the UK genome thanks to Armada survivors.

    The only way to try and find out is to search for the records.

  9. #9

    Default

    Ancestry does not allow other companies tests to be uploaded to their database,thats why people test at ancestry and upload to other sites

  10. #10
    Loves to help with queries
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ashurst, near Southampton
    Posts
    135

    Default

    My frustration after finding possible DNA matches a lot of folk do not post a family tree so difficult to see the likely match. Worse still, they have posted a tree, you can see the match, you contact someone who don't bother to reply! Possibly they are only interested in their Ethnic entity which as previously stated is only a guide at best or a bit of fun otherwise. I have a known Irish 2xgreat Grandmother (Mary Jane Eakins born 1832) and a German great Grandfather (Matthew Boor born about 1847) but not particularly highlighted on a couple of DNA tests I have done.
    Hey ho, we carry on regardless!

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