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Mon Feb 18, 2019, 12:13 PM

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Very interesting blog re: DNA testing and the results that ancestry.com is coming up with.

It goes into some depth about the number of persons coming up as Scandinavian and Finnish ancestry, most of which seems to be entwined with perhaps other very different types of blood.

I too was recently told by ancestry.com that my DNA results have been modified.

They now tell me that I too have Scandinavian roots as well as Finnish.

What is the truth? How helpful is it to have another DNA test done by another company?

Is it a waste of money or what?

>>The problem is that their admixture percentages are simply WRONG. Period. Not a “tiny error”, not “needs tweeking,” utterly, entirely wrong. Throw it out and start over wrong. There are no secret Scandinavians hiding in the bushes, or in everyone’s family tree, and the fact that they are embracing their error and trying to turn a dime by telling people that they DO have a huge amount of mythical Scandinavian blood and they just need to use Ancestry’s tools to search longer and harder is not only infuriating, it’s unethical and self-serving.

Several bloggers and others have pointed out that after taking many of these types of tests, Ancestry’s results are the only ones showing large amounts of Scandinavian heritage. So every other company and population geneticist is wrong and Ancestry has made a monumental discovery?

Ancestry has been put on notice by many individuals. The gal, Crista, in this video who has the unfortunate job of telling this whopper publicly and attempting to convince you of this newly found “truth” even said that people have been challenging those results and are “confused.” No doubt, they should be.

But instead of looking at the reference population data validity (that Ancestry refuses to share), or the math, for possible issues, Ancestry is lauding this inherent error as a discovery, as stated by their executives at recent conferences and elsewhere in the press, and using is it as a marketing ploy. Well, it is the season for politics and “spin” but this is reprehensible.

Christa Cowan, on this video, uses her own father’s results and genealogy as an example. He has 47% Scandinavian ethnic percentage according to Ancestry, yet his pedigree chart showed line after line of Scotland, England and Wales as his ancestral origins, with holes, of course, representing brick walls, like we all have. Crista was trying to convince us, and probably herself too, that in spite of all that British Isles ancestry, and no discernible Scandinavian pedigree heritage, that in fact this was ALL attributed to Scandinavian ancestors – because her father had NO British Isles heritage, according to Ancestry.

Much much re: this you can read here:


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Reply DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy (Original post)
CountAllVotes Feb 2019 OP
luvs2sing Feb 2019 #1
CountAllVotes Feb 2019 #2
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2019 #3
Sylvere Feb 2019 #5
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2019 #6
The Genealogist Feb 2019 #4
radical noodle Mar 2019 #7
CountAllVotes Mar 2019 #8
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2019 #9

Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2019, 01:27 PM

1. Interesting..

This article is from 2012, but it seems nothing has changed.

My husband and I did Ancestry DNA a year ago. My family history is already well documented back to when dirt was invented. My initial DNA results did not tell me anything surprising. In fact, I thought they were quite accurate.

My husband is Hungarian. My research on his family has been difficult since his ancestors arrived through Ellis Island in the early 1900s, and it has been difficult to trace before that. His results initially came back 95% Eastern European Jew, which was not surprising, with a dab of Iberian Peninsula and Western Europe thrown in.

A few months later, we were notified that our results had been updated and “improved”. Wow. Gone were my connections with Spain, Western Europe, Northern Africa, and a few other areas that I had documentation of being connected to, and Great Britain, Ireland, and Scandanavia were bumped WAY up. Obviously artificially up when compared to my records.

My husband learned that he was now 98% Eastern European Jew and 2% Italian! I cannot completely discount this, as his record is still spotty, but the only Italian I have found are people who marry into his family line and are of no blood relation.

You can count me as another Ancestry skeptic.

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Response to luvs2sing (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2019, 01:37 PM

2. I know quite a bit via family lore (paternal)

My father was related to Niall of Nine Hostages (Irish). I always knew this as did he.

I bear a birth mark that is of his family dated back to an individual that was alive in the late 1500s.

So that makes me 1/2 Irish at least.

Seems my mother (who was adopted) was also of Niall of Nine Hostages (surname).

My record was changed showing I am more British Isles than Irish!

My very German grandmother is now only ~15% rather than 100%.

Too many questions w/no answers.

I feel like tossing the whole thing frankly and no, I did not renew my ancestry.com account when it expired!

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Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2019, 03:02 PM

3. For what it's worth, each one of the companies that tests DNA

has a different data base.

I did mine with 23 and me and got precisely the results I expected, since all four of my grandparents immigrated at the turn of the 19/20th centuries from Ireland. The only small surprise was a fraction of one percent that came up as Sardinian, and according to 23 and me would have come into my ancestral line about 400 years ago.

A friend of mine did hers through National Geographic, which has a better world-wide data base, and she got pretty much what she expected, including verification of some Turkish ancestry. She's a mix of lots of different things, so her results were quite fascinating I thought.

It's up to you about getting another DNA test with another company, but it might prove interesting.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 26, 2019, 08:47 AM

5. What are your thoughts on 23andMe on privacy for their data?


My husband's late dad was adopted, so he did the ancestry.com test. We also did the Family Tree test, but they removed their family finder database because of the privacy concerns brought up by the 23andMe issues.


We want to find some relatives, as his dad had some health issues that might be congenital, but the idea of this data being used by insurance companies to deny care makes us hesitate.

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Response to Sylvere (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 26, 2019, 03:09 PM

6. I'm under the impression they don't share their information.

They certainly don't put me in touch with various relatives, unlike the other one that most people use. Frankly, that was why I went with 23 and Me, that implicit privacy. Other family members have done the Ancestry one and are delighted to discover unknown relatives.

National Geographic also does genetic testing, and I don't think they share information or put you in touch with possible cousins. They are apparently very good for people who have a far more world-wide genetic inheritance. I have a friend in that category. Most recently half Chinese, half Caucasian. Most interesting is that there's a family story about one branch that arrived in China from Turkey. Guess what? The Turkey connection showed up!

My immediate ancestry is that all four grandparents came from Ireland, so there's no genetic diversity for me. Not sure how I'd feel were I, or a parent, or child, adopted. Different people will make different decisions.

23 and Me apparently is interested in tracking various diseases, and I used to respond to their various questionnaires. Lately I haven't.

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Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2019, 03:50 PM

4. I pretty much disregard this part of the results

My test was paid for by another family member who was trying to see if we were related. I really only pay attention to genetic matches. I think for some folks, it is a vanity project or else it is like having your tarot read. For what it is worth, the DNA test told me what I already know, that I am basically a northwest european.

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Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Sat Mar 2, 2019, 10:55 AM

7. When I first got my results

I had a large percentage of Scandinavian DNA according to them. My DNA updated results are entirely different now and make more sense according to what I know from my own research. I think it's likely close to correct now.

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Response to radical noodle (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 2, 2019, 06:00 PM

8. Maybe so!

Hello there *cough* cousin!

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Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2019, 05:30 AM

9. That's a bit old now, Ancestry's updated estimates seem to be a *little* better

although both of my parents still have mystery percentages of "Sweden" and "Norway" respectively (neither has any known Scandinavian ancestry whatever; mostly British Isles). The "Scandinavian" in people of British Isles ancestry seems to be picking up on very old admixture events involving Danes/Vikings and possibly Anglo-Saxons (some of whom were north Germanic).

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