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  1. #11
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    While I can certainly understand the appeal of these "ethnicity" reports run by DNA companies they're by & large widely worthless unless you belong to a specific group - e.g. Jewish, Finnish, etc. - that can be readily identified against everyone else. Why are they worthless? Because there has been movement across the world for centuries which accounts for genetic overlap between regions.


    But there is a very painfully erroneous belief on some "DNA forums" that people were trees & rocks who never moved. I say erroneously because it is rather amusing when someone points out well those trees & rocks were mobile. I am sure, for example, on one forum where it was pointed out 50,000+ Scots migrated to Poland for trade & treaty reasons in the 1500s some of the more naive people's jaws landed on the floor.


    The best, and really only worth, to DNA testing is finding relatives & confirming paper-trails. In your case, I would suggest getting your mother tested as well if she is still alive. Why? It is her grandfather you are after. Your relatives are going to include your father's & thus you can't quite identify who is whom unless distinguishing surnames and/or you know them [e.g. your 1st cousin has tested too].

    But you can then compare your relative results to your mother's. From there you can nicely start asking people.

    Or you can do as Lesley suggested & ask here.

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  3. #12
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    That (Break2015's comment) is one of the most sensible comments I have read in all the mixed opinions and rubbish placed on the internet

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Break2015 View Post
    While I can certainly understand the appeal of these "ethnicity" reports run by DNA companies they're by & large widely worthless unless you belong to a specific group - e.g. Jewish, Finnish, etc. - that can be readily identified against everyone else. Why are they worthless? Because there has been movement across the world for centuries which accounts for genetic overlap between regions.


    But there is a very painfully erroneous belief on some "DNA forums" that people were trees & rocks who never moved. I say erroneously because it is rather amusing when someone points out well those trees & rocks were mobile. I am sure, for example, on one forum where it was pointed out 50,000+ Scots migrated to Poland for trade & treaty reasons in the 1500s some of the more naive people's jaws landed on the floor.


    The best, and really only worth, to DNA testing is finding relatives & confirming paper-trails. In your case, I would suggest getting your mother tested as well if she is still alive. Why? It is her grandfather you are after. Your relatives are going to include your father's & thus you can't quite identify who is whom unless distinguishing surnames and/or you know them [e.g. your 1st cousin has tested too].

    But you can then compare your relative results to your mother's. From there you can nicely start asking people.

    Or you can do as Lesley suggested & ask here.

    I would have had my mother tested but she died many years ago. My brother has been tested and his results are somewhat different, shows less Irish and a bit more British. My daughter, who has more Scots and Irish than I do, but has a huge dollop of English New Englanders from her father's side, shows no British at all. My mother's half-nephew's results just came through and his predominant group does seem to be British.
    It is confusing. The cousin links on the Ancestry test do show a family in the same area who are related to me but not to any other of my known Sussex lines back 6 generations or more, including those of my half first cousin, mentioned above. My tentative reasoning now is that line may tie in to my grandfather, as he would not be related to my maternal half first cousin. The latter and I share a grandmother, my mother's mother. I am able to rule out my father's lines, as his are found in Lancashire and Yorkshire and other northern locations.
    I have a lot of letters my mother sent over the years, with the envelopes, perhaps one day those can be used for DNA extraction.

    I agree that the current tests are not entirely reliable for ethnicity, but DNA with family research is in its infancy and as it looks like big business, they will work to improve it!

  5. #14
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    As I pointed out in message 10, there is not a lot of difference among the Brits, thanks to assorted invaders and immigrants.

    Also, since the English, Welsh and English together make the British, you can't say that any individual has a lot of Scots, but no British....

  6. #15
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    I had my DNA tested and that of various close relatives in order to validate my research.
    I had already developed a tree and the link ups through the DNA have helped expand it further.
    I do find it irritating when people who haven't submitted a tree expect everything to fall into place once they have located a match with the DNA.
    My Gt Grandmother was a foundling who knew nothing of her origins. With the help of DNA testing of my Grand Uncle, we found 5 very strong matches on his maternal side which have helped to discover his most likely maternal grandparents and their lineage, certainly a chance in a million which for us paid off.
    DNA testing certainly does have a place in research as long as the expectations are realistic.
    As a previous poster has mentioned, moving raw data over to Gedmatch also helps as it will identify X chromosome matches, essential in my Grand Uncles case to confirm that the matches were indeed on his mothers side.

  7. #16
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    "Quote from Diana: I have never known the identity of my mother's father so when I saw 25% Irish I was thrilled, as this seems to isolate his genetic line (dunno how he ended up in rural Sussex in the 1920's but maybe my grandmother was in a larger place when she met him as she worked as a maid)."



    Although I take the ethnicity side of a DNA test with a large pinch of salt, it can be useful. For instance, an adopted friend of mine who was born in England has 100% Iberian Peninsula DNA. Now that was a useful clue! For most people, though, it's just interesting speculation and the DNA companies are very clear about it only being an estimation.

    I just thought I'd mention that your Irish side on Ancestry might be a bit misleading. If you read their small print it explains that 'Irish' can include parts of Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. It's not an exact science ... just a bit of fun ... but I shall still feel entitled to celebrate St Patrick's Day with extra gusto!

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