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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.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Break2015 For This Useful Post:

    fullscott (01-12-2017), Kiltpin (17-05-2017)

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

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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.

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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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    Hi Diana,

    I'm just going to add my 2 cents worth, as well, to this discussion. From what I've studied about DNA, even siblings can come-out w/ Wildly different results. The reason seems to be, that AT "conception", what occurs is that, "of" All our various ancestors' genetic material, we each get a DIFFERENT "shuffle" of, from Whom "our" DNA is drawn. So, for example, to make it simple--let's say that you and your brother come from a 1/2 Irish, 1/2 French father, but your mom is 1/2 German, 1/2 Japanese. The DNA "you" get from that MIGHT only show 25% French, 25% German, but no Irish or Japanese. Your brother might show the opposite components, not shown in Your DNA results. That's WHY it's important to test all those around you, parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, various degrees of cousins, etc., in order to get a full (or fuller) picture of all the ethnic aspects of one's heritage.

    Yes this "Science" is still in its infancy, & yes, of course, all people have overrun all other people for hundreds of thousands of years, but STILL each racial group DOES have distinctive genetic "markers" which CAN tell you the types of ethnicities you possess. And as the tools get sharper in this field of study, the results will become more refined.

    As for the Scandinavian results--that does not JUST indicate roots of the Danes or other Nordics who came to England in waves throughout British history. It can ALSO be an "indicator" you may have NORMAN-FRENCH family lines, as Normandy was peopled by the DANISH VIKINGS, who then mixed w/some French (some did not), then came over in 1066 in England.

    So some of the Irish & Scots names that might be in your Tree, MAY also have come from the Vikings who invaded those areas & contributed to the now-accepted as "Irish" or "Scots" surnames--such as for example, the Irish last name of "Neville" which began as Norman-French DANISH VIKINGS invading Ireland & introducing that surname into that land!

    Also w/ regards to "Iberian"...that can indicate "Welsh", as DNA testing (particularly in Northern Wales) goes back to Spanish-BASQUE patriarchs, who migrated into Britain & eventually were shoved into Wales by the invading Celts.

    It's ALL Great FUN, the history, the peoples, cultures, & DNA is just one more way to "peek" into one's background, but know that as the science grows, your results will be refined or changed & will then give you better info to work with. I would also suggest, when can afford, to test w/ as many of the DNA companies as possible, because each excels at being better at different aspects of the game (i.e.-23 & Me, FamilyTreeDNA, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, etc., etc.). Best Wishes for your journey!! Take Care, Vienna Spencer

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    very wise and very true, dna testing is just another wayof keeping the punter paying money every month, people talk of dna familys.
    As Dr Gates put it, its great for the flow of history, me it has no name nor religeon. As to British dna, its simple the britons were not wiped out by the anglo saxons but over a few hundred years subsumed by the dominant gene.

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