Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Genetic genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level and type of the genetic relationship between individuals.
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lyn1982
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Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by lyn1982 »

The ancestry comp report on 23andme seems to be completely wrong or there is something in my ancestry I don't know about.

It's saying I'm 55% Italian, which I can't be more then 50%. My father was Sicilian, with 3 of his 4 grandparents born there. The other was born in Rome and abandoned at birth. My mother on the other hand has no Italian ancestry. I've gotten all her lines back to the countries her ancestors came from, none were from Italy.

When I look at the chromosome painting it is showing several chromosomes entirely Italian on one side, with some Italian on the other side. Chromosomes 11 and 12 for example, both entirely Italian on one side, and both are also nearly half Italian on the other. There are also several other chromosomes with Italian on both sides in the same location. Also, chromosomes 9 and 18 which are both almost entirely Italian on one side are both entirely Greek/Balkan on the other side. I actually have matches to both my mothers paternal and maternal lines on both those chromosomes so I don't get whats going on there.

My mother was half polish (fathers side) and a quarter German and a quarter Hungarian (mother's side). Her Hungarian I believe may have been Slovak according to family story. Could this be wrongly getting classified as Italian perhaps?

The test is picking up my mother's Polish fine, but none of the German or Hungarian is showing up. It did come up in a very small amount on the previous update. FWIW I do have DNA matches to her German line going back to her German 3rd great grandparents who immigrated in the mid 1800s from Mecklenberg and Bavaria.

My Hungarian line (my moms maternal grandmother's line) is traced back to the 1600s, and it doesn't detect any Hungarian under ancestor locations nor can I find any confirmed matches going further back. But as it's on my mothers mothers mothers, mtDNA line I doubt there is a break. Though I do suppose my mothers maternal grandmother's father could maybe not be her grandfather, I have no matches to his line. I do have Sicilian matches from Agrigento that I know don't connect to my fathers known Sicilian lines, but I thought they most likely were connected via my father's grandfather who was born in Rome with unknown parents line. Now I'm not so sure. One of these Agrigento men whose family I DNA match to did live in Manhattan around the time my great grandmother was conceived and my great great grandparents did marry just 3 months before she was born. But also these Agrigento matches don't match any of my known close maternal matches (I have maternal first cousins and first cousins once removed and second cousins on my maternal grandmothers line who have tested) so I don't know what to think.

My MTDNA haplogroup is U2e2 if that helps any.

I've tried to upload an image for reference but no matter how much I resize it keeps saying: "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached." So here is a link to the image in which the blue is italian: https://us.v-cdn.net/6024333/uploads/T2 ... oomuch.png
lyn1982
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by lyn1982 »

Also if I do have a break, is that amount of extra Italian too much to be from one great great grandparent? My thoughts are that a certain great great grandfather may not in fact be my great great grandfather. He married my great great grandmother just 3 months before my great grandmother was born and I cannot find dna matches to his line.
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by MarcuccioV »

lyn1982 wrote: 23 Oct 2020, 13:18 The ancestry comp report on 23andme seems to be completely wrong or there is something in my ancestry I don't know about.

It's saying I'm 55% Italian, which I can't be more then 50%. My father was Sicilian, with 3 of his 4 grandparents born there. The other was born in Rome and abandoned at birth. My mother on the other hand has no Italian ancestry. I've gotten all her lines back to the countries her ancestors came from, none were from Italy.

When I look at the chromosome painting it is showing several chromosomes entirely Italian on one side, with some Italian on the other side. Chromosomes 11 and 12 for example, both entirely Italian on one side, and both are also nearly half Italian on the other. There are also several other chromosomes with Italian on both sides in the same location. Also, chromosomes 9 and 18 which are both almost entirely Italian on one side are both entirely Greek/Balkan on the other side. I actually have matches to both my mothers paternal and maternal lines on both those chromosomes so I don't get whats going on there.

My mother was half polish (fathers side) and a quarter German and a quarter Hungarian (mother's side). Her Hungarian I believe may have been Slovak according to family story. Could this be wrongly getting classified as Italian perhaps?

The test is picking up my mother's Polish fine, but none of the German or Hungarian is showing up. It did come up in a very small amount on the previous update. FWIW I do have DNA matches to her German line going back to her German 3rd great grandparents who immigrated in the mid 1800s from Mecklenberg and Bavaria.

My Hungarian line (my moms maternal grandmother's line) is traced back to the 1600s, and it doesn't detect any Hungarian under ancestor locations nor can I find any confirmed matches going further back. But as it's on my mothers mothers mothers, mtDNA line I doubt there is a break. Though I do suppose my mothers maternal grandmother's father could maybe not be her grandfather, I have no matches to his line. I do have Sicilian matches from Agrigento that I know don't connect to my fathers known Sicilian lines, but I thought they most likely were connected via my father's grandfather who was born in Rome with unknown parents line. Now I'm not so sure. One of these Agrigento men whose family I DNA match to did live in Manhattan around the time my great grandmother was conceived and my great great grandparents did marry just 3 months before she was born. But also these Agrigento matches don't match any of my known close maternal matches (I have maternal first cousins and first cousins once removed and second cousins on my maternal grandmothers line who have tested) so I don't know what to think.

My MTDNA haplogroup is U2e2 if that helps any.

I've tried to upload an image for reference but no matter how much I resize it keeps saying: "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached." So here is a link to the image in which the blue is italian: https://us.v-cdn.net/6024333/uploads/T2 ... oomuch.png
I have the exact same issue. Testing is showing <50% Italian ancestry for me (up to nearly 60%). No Italian on my father's side that I can find (and his side is well-documented). My maternal relatives are ALL from the same town near Rome. Yet my Italian ancestry (and what I clump in with it) is mostly Southern Italian, Sicilian, Greek, West Asian/Levantine & Anatolian (all but the Italian/Sicilian are smaller percentages). I also believe my maternal grandmother MAY have also had some French/Swiss.

Interesting that you mention Agrigento. I knew nothing of any Sicilian previous to my tests (I had a Sicilian Aunt by marriage). Although I have not made any connections, my grandfather's surname (Mattia) can be found in and around Agrigento. Funny where DNA takes you.

As for the 50+% Italian, I also have no answers. I also have 2 chromosomes with Italian on both sides (#2 has 100% on one, 25% on the other, and #15 is 100% Italian for both).

My maternal (Italian) mtDNA haplogroup is U3b...
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afecad
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by afecad »

Autosomal DNA ancestry heritage is all just an estimate and not 100% accurate. Also, the DNA we receive is not the same as our siblings or Aunts and/or Uncles for that matter. Even in my case, my Mom's doesn't match mine exactly in % and/or regions listed, she has Sardinia listed as a region, for me it doesn't even show.

So it's not uncommon to have one sibling who shows a higher % of one heritage than another. The only way to measure this is to test all family members, living and willing.

Also if you test a parent (just one), 23andme will know how to separate Father/Mother's side within DNA ancestors.

My Paternal line has no Italian and does not show any, but the estimates often can range into Southern European, which might flag regions in Northern Italy. As I noted in another posting, all my paid results vary, 23andme, Ancestry and FTDNA as well MyHeritage (with the same data from all those 3) and LivingTree, yield different estimates.

Chromosome painting is also not entirely accurate...

FTDNA is suppose to add this feature this year, still unclear whether or not it will be better than 23andme.

MyHeritage has a Chromosome Browser that allow you to select DNA matches to compare results, not much different than 23andme's DNA relatives.
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by afecad »

lyn1982 wrote: 23 Oct 2020, 15:34 Also if I do have a break, is that amount of extra Italian too much to be from one great great grandparent? My thoughts are that a certain great great grandfather may not in fact be my great great grandfather. He married my great great grandmother just 3 months before my great grandmother was born and I cannot find dna matches to his line.
It could be that nobody has tested, was it a big family? My Grandfather had 9 siblings, many of which were females and had children who show up as matches for me, but not by surname, only way I can connect them is because I know the paper trail and % DNA shared aligns correctly. No direct surname matches to any males, because none tested or show data publicly.
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by MarcuccioV »

I am also awaiting the launch of the FTDNA chromosome paint feature (I have already uploaded to FTDNA for ethnicity comparison). Curious as to how they may compare.

I also did both the Ancestry and 23&Me tests. Ancestry is weak on Italian (their population group for Italy is relatively small). 23&Me seems much better, as it also gave me the regions within Italy that my Italian DNA is most prevalent.

23&Me was one of the matrices that indicated MORE than 50% Italian. As afecad notes, the accuracy is questionable, but the chromosome paint seems to back it up (even on the most conservative setting), so I want to do more comparisons just to be sure.

I'd suggest doing one of the other tests as a backup (23&Me probably best) and upload your raw data to as many sites that will allow it so you have more comparators...
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by afecad »

MarcuccioV wrote: 26 Apr 2021, 15:53 I am also awaiting the launch of the FTDNA chromosome paint feature (I have already uploaded to FTDNA for ethnicity comparison). Curious as to how they may compare.

I also did both the Ancestry and 23&Me tests. Ancestry is weak on Italian (their population group for Italy is relatively small). 23&Me seems much better, as it also gave me the regions within Italy that my Italian DNA is most prevalent.

23&Me was one of the matrices that indicated MORE than 50% Italian. As afecad notes, the accuracy is questionable, but the chromosome paint seems to back it up (even on the most conservative setting), so I want to do more comparisons just to be sure.

I'd suggest doing one of the other tests as a backup (23&Me probably best) and upload your raw data to as many sites that will allow it so you have more comparators...
DNA Painter is another one you can try, I have not yet tested it myself

https://dnapainter.com/

https://dnapainter.com/help/matchdata
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by MarcuccioV »

afecad wrote: 26 Apr 2021, 16:57
MarcuccioV wrote: 26 Apr 2021, 15:53 I am also awaiting the launch of the FTDNA chromosome paint feature (I have already uploaded to FTDNA for ethnicity comparison). Curious as to how they may compare.

I also did both the Ancestry and 23&Me tests. Ancestry is weak on Italian (their population group for Italy is relatively small). 23&Me seems much better, as it also gave me the regions within Italy that my Italian DNA is most prevalent.

23&Me was one of the matrices that indicated MORE than 50% Italian. As afecad notes, the accuracy is questionable, but the chromosome paint seems to back it up (even on the most conservative setting), so I want to do more comparisons just to be sure.

I'd suggest doing one of the other tests as a backup (23&Me probably best) and upload your raw data to as many sites that will allow it so you have more comparators...
DNA Painter is another one you can try, I have not yet tested it myself

https://dnapainter.com/

https://dnapainter.com/help/matchdata
Thank you..! I'm going to give it a shot. It certainly can't hurt any..! :D
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by apersico »

I tested my father at 23 and Me and Ancestry. I tested my grandmother (his mother) at Ancestry. According to 23 and Me, my dad is 66.6% Southern European - 65% Italian and 1.6% Broadly Southern European. On Ancestry, he's 24% Northern Italian, 12% Greek/Albanian, and 2% Southern Italian: so only 38% Southern European... His father is Italian, but his mother is Polish and Swiss. Her ethnicity on Ancestry shows 0% Italian - she's primarily Eastern European and Germanic, with a little bit of others mixed in. I suppose there could be some overlap with the Swiss and Italian ancestry, as far as 23 and Me is concerned. But I have no reason to believe she has any Italian ancestry, unless it comes from her Swiss ancestors going back a few generations. I have a bunch of DNA matches to family on both her Polish and Swiss side.

I just took a look at the DNA painter in 23 and me, and I'm seeing a ton of overlap on multiple chromosomes for Italian. I upped the confidence level to 90% and the overlap decreased significantly, but there is still some. I would suggest trying that and seeing how much overlap there is after.

It's also entirely possible that your great great grandfather is not who you thought, but at this point it would probably be hard to find out without really extensive research on your DNA matches. My mother was always believed to be Italian and Slovak, but her DNA results came back with Scottish ancestry, which made no sense to us. After going through all of her closest DNA matches, we discovered that she had no matches to anyone on her maternal grandfather's side, and a TON of matches to people we had no known connection to. After a lot of digging, I found that all of the matches were descendants of a Scottish family who lived in the same town where my grandmother was born in Pennsylvania. My great grandmother either had an affair (or something else), which resulted in my grandmother. If you have the time and patience, you can start digging through your DNA matches, but since you already have Italian DNA it might be difficult to find your connection to a (possible) mystery man going back that many generations.

If you're able to, I would highly recommend you test both of your parents (or any living grandparents), and if you're looking for DNA matches I would go with Ancestry.
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Re: Test shows I have Italian on both sides, but my mother has no Italian ancestry

Post by MarcuccioV »

apersico wrote: 22 Jul 2021, 14:33 I tested my father at 23 and Me and Ancestry. I tested my grandmother (his mother) at Ancestry. According to 23 and Me, my dad is 66.6% Southern European - 65% Italian and 1.6% Broadly Southern European. On Ancestry, he's 24% Northern Italian, 12% Greek/Albanian, and 2% Southern Italian: so only 38% Southern European... His father is Italian, but his mother is Polish and Swiss. Her ethnicity on Ancestry shows 0% Italian - she's primarily Eastern European and Germanic, with a little bit of others mixed in. I suppose there could be some overlap with the Swiss and Italian ancestry, as far as 23 and Me is concerned. But I have no reason to believe she has any Italian ancestry, unless it comes from her Swiss ancestors going back a few generations. I have a bunch of DNA matches to family on both her Polish and Swiss side.

I just took a look at the DNA painter in 23 and me, and I'm seeing a ton of overlap on multiple chromosomes for Italian. I upped the confidence level to 90% and the overlap decreased significantly, but there is still some. I would suggest trying that and seeing how much overlap there is after.

It's also entirely possible that your great great grandfather is not who you thought, but at this point it would probably be hard to find out without really extensive research on your DNA matches. My mother was always believed to be Italian and Slovak, but her DNA results came back with Scottish ancestry, which made no sense to us. After going through all of her closest DNA matches, we discovered that she had no matches to anyone on her maternal grandfather's side, and a TON of matches to people we had no known connection to. After a lot of digging, I found that all of the matches were descendants of a Scottish family who lived in the same town where my grandmother was born in Pennsylvania. My great grandmother either had an affair (or something else), which resulted in my grandmother. If you have the time and patience, you can start digging through your DNA matches, but since you already have Italian DNA it might be difficult to find your connection to a (possible) mystery man going back that many generations.

If you're able to, I would highly recommend you test both of your parents (or any living grandparents), and if you're looking for DNA matches I would go with Ancestry.
Testing parents/grandparents is not possible, all are long deceased.

I have a couple of potential avenues on my father's side yet to explore. I'm getting closer, but have not found it yet.

I keep getting genetic matches for my paternal side that have 1-15% Italian. I have not found any connections as yet, but I haven't had time to do any in-depth research.

As I posted separately here, 3 of 5 brothers on my dad's side (including him) were olive-skinned. No hanky-panky in recent gens, as there are genetic matches in all branches for at least 2-3 if not more generations.

When I have more time to dig deeper, perhaps I'll solve the mystery.
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