Very Surprising Results

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.
debbiemfitalian
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Very Surprising Results

Post by debbiemfitalian » 12 Aug 2018, 16:48

Hi All,

I just got my DNA results back from Ancestry, and have had the shock of a lifetime ! My results are:

52% Ireland/Scotland/Wales
20% Scandinavian
12% Iberian Peninsula
6% Great Britain

Low Confidence Region
4% Europe South
4% Europe West

I expected the 52% Irish, as my paternal grandparents were Irish immigrants. My maternal ggrandparents were Italian immigrants (my grandmother first generation American). My maternal grandfather was English, with my third ggrandfather immigrating from England. I can track their families back many generations in their respective countries.

So how can I be a whopping 20% Scandinavian?? My maternal ggreatparents were from northwest Italy, so I can see how the Iberian Peninsula might come in. And the 4% each south and west Europe do encompass Italy. It seems impossible I can have such a small amount of English and Italian DNA , and 20% Scandinavian! I have no idea how that can be so predominant from recent genealogical lines ! It would seem that would have to go way back in time, so how can it be so predominant? Even considering migrations way back when, that is a significant percentage.

Any thoughts by those with more knowledge than I, would be greatly appreciated !

Thank you!
Debbie

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by scoziaitaliano » 13 Aug 2018, 21:03

Is there any way that you can challenge results on ancestry or seek to have a sample re-tested? That does seem rather odd. From my own perspective, my results came back from ancestry as 40% Southern Italy and 34% Ireland / Scotland / Wales, which, with an Italian father and Scottish mother, was pretty much where I expected it to be!

debbiemfitalian
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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by debbiemfitalian » 13 Aug 2018, 22:16

I was thinking the same thing, maybe contacting them to give them some feedback, and see where it goes. I know the results are approximations, but I just don't see how that could be accurate, and would think if there is Scandinavian, it would have to be from long ago, so then don't see how it could be as high as 20%. I fully expected 50% Irish, and then a mix of Italian and English. I expected the Italian to have some breakdown within it, like the Iberian Peninsula etc. But to have Scandinavian be so prominent was a shock!

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amerital43
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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by amerital43 » 02 Sep 2018, 14:19

The 20% Scandanavian is coming from the Irish/Scots bloodline as well as the English. If you've gone back far enough, and probably there are no records for that far back, when the Vikings/Danes invaded the British Isles. Having multiple generations interacting in the old country only strengthens the various genetics. Most likely in further back generations people didn't move around or very far from their origins, so it's only natural the similar genetics were strong. It's not as unusual as you think. Take a look at your family---are they small, dark Celts or big, brawny Scots/Irish?

debbiemfitalian
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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by debbiemfitalian » 03 Sep 2018, 21:51

Hi Amerital43, thanks for your response. I actually called Ancestry and the woman gave a lot of feedback, and was terrific. It is actually not my Irish side. My fathers relatives have no Scandinavian at all. It is from the English and Italian side. That NW corner of Italy, is one of the strongest admixed regions and has strong Scandinavian influences.

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by ftosie » 05 Sep 2018, 03:10

New member here, but your results sound like mine. I expected to see about 25% from Southern Europe but it showed up far less. My paternal grandfather came from Piedmonte in NW, which could explain the Iberian reference. I’ll have to post the numbers in the morning for you.

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by ftosie » 05 Sep 2018, 17:56

Here are my numbers, which were a surprise as well:

Great Britain 41%
Europe West 23%
Ireland/Scotland/Wales 14%
Iberian Peninsula 9%
Europe South 8%

Low Confidence:
Scandinavia 4%
Europe East <1%

Like you, I wondered where the Italian portion was. My paternal grandfather came over in the early 20th century, so i guess that could be the Europe West percentage.

I've been able to trace my mother's side back to the 13th century (including 2 beheaded at the Tower of London!), but my father's side is a struggle. Name changes and lack of any immigration info has made it about impossible so far, which is why I'm on this site - hoping someone with the same surname will have my grandfather in their tree so I can have a starting point.

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by debbiemfitalian » 07 Sep 2018, 17:37

Wow two beheaded ! What were they beheaded for if you don't mind me asking? That is something. What is your GF surname ftosie? My GGM is from Santo Stefano Roero in NW Piedmont. And my GGF is from Bisuschio in NW Varese. I have learned from Ancestry that that NW corner of Italy is one of the most admixed regions anywhere, as is Great Britain, hence, the surprising large Scandinavian %.

I have a total roadblock with my Italian side also. I spent years finding their marriage document in NYC to see if it would say where in Italy they were from, and give parents names,which it did. I was thrilled. However, after many searches, their baptism records are not in either of the parishes where they claim to have been born. We think we found their families based on names, but without baptism records, we can't be 100% certain! And I don't have an immigration record that I can verify is him either.

I don't know if you have done this yet, but you can search your surname in any of the forum topics to see if it has ever been discussed. Many here are professionals and extremely helpful.

Also Italy has records on their Antenati website. Have you been on there? It is not complete, especially in that NW corner.

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by ftosie » 08 Sep 2018, 04:44

Great news! A wonderful person on an Italian genealogy forum found his immigration/ship info in less than an hour. Optical character recognition made Tosi in to Cosi for him and his brother. That info has really helped.

As for my mother’s side, and the beheadings, they were from the Seymour lineage - one from the time of Henry VIII :

http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/ ... eymour.htm
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_ ... of_Sudeley

I’ll have to find the other.

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by Uxoiraq » 28 Oct 2018, 20:44

debbiemfitalian wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 21:51
Hi Amerital43, thanks for your response. I actually called Ancestry and the woman gave a lot of feedback, and was terrific. It is actually not my Irish side. My fathers relatives have no Scandinavian at all. It is from the English and Italian side. That NW corner of Italy, is one of the strongest admixed regions and has strong Scandinavian influences.
Thanks. My results came back with 8% Scandinavian, and I was very shocked. This explains it.

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by Bob » 16 Nov 2018, 02:58

I think Ancestry’s updated results are out of wack.

My dad’s comes up as

90% Italy
10% France

My mom was Polish/Slovak

My new estimate is

67% Eastern Europe and Russia
14% Greece and Balkans
13% Italy
3% France
3% German

My old one was

47% Poland/Slovak
32% Europe South w/Sicily migration
7% Caucasus

This old one matches much more of what I factually know about my family history for several generations.

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by LucchettiFam » 21 Nov 2018, 11:11

That just happened to me also when Ancestry recently updated the results. As far as any of my family members are aware, we descend from Francesco Lucchetti (b1838) who opened San Francisco's first Italian restaurant, "Lucchetti's" on Davis street. It burned down in the 1906 fire, he rebuilt and later sold. He was a director on an Italian club in San Francisco, Ciupino and Chowder Club. We know he came from Chiavari, Italy as some of my now deceased relatives used to travel there to visit cousins.

There is no Italian in my results. However, I am 13% France and 7% Scandinavian, which sounds similar to the results you discuss. Chiavari is in the NW corner of Italy. However, it is also close to France and there were wars between the two. Is there any thought that the Lucchetti's might have been from France?

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by bbivona » 02 Dec 2018, 23:03

I'm baffled by mine. I've always thought I was 1/4 Sicilian. I have a report from 23andme as well as ancestry.com and they are not similar. The one from 23andme indicates about 21% is a combination of Italian, Sardinian, Southern European, West African and Iberian which are the ones I would expect from Sicily, so that makes sense. Ancestry.com on the other hand says that I'm 2% Italian, 1% Swedish, and 1% African, and 1% Middle Eastern, a total of only 5% from where you would expect to see the DNA of a Sicilian. It has me at 85% from Great Britain, Ireland and Northwestern Europe, with another 10% from France and Germany. There really can't be ancestral surprises in the most recent 3 generations. I knew my Sicilian grandfather and my Sicilian great grandparents, and the familial resemblances are quite strong. Going back from there, I have their genealogical paper trail back to the early to mid 1700s in the same town in Sicily.

While I'm not surprised that the make up isn't precisely what I would have expected, I'm surprised that the two services give answers that are so different.
Researching Gibellina, Sicily surnames Bivona, Bonafede, Zummo, Ponzio, Bevinetto, Beninati, Fontana, Cipolla, Bruno, Manfrè, Lanfranca, and Navarra

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by Spera219 » 05 Dec 2018, 22:35

As ancestry does updates I’m shifting all over the place. After receiving and email about an update today I decided to take a look. It now says 42% Irish, 24% Italian, 23% French and then small percentages from virtually every other country in Western Europe.

This has changed with every ancestry update. I expect a bit of Irish, but 42%? My father was 100% Italian and I’ve traced my decedents on his side back to the 1600’s in southern Italy, so a little confused.

For reference, the first result had me at 43% Italian and then after the update in the summer had me at 35%. I guess by the this time next year I will be 2% Italian and a mix of every other country.

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Re: Very Surprising Results

Post by lcafarel » 11 Dec 2018, 21:38

Many people take a DNA test to see their ethnicity results and don't realize that every company will show different results and results from individual companies will change over time. This is because when a testing company like Ancestry or third-party site like GEDmatch provides ethnicity results, they are based on two things that evolve over time: (1) the algorithm they use to measure and describe each ethnic category and (2) the test results from everyone in their database at the time you view your results. To see this for yourself, download your raw data from your AncestryDNA profile into a zip file, upload it to a few other sites (GEDmatch, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage) and compare the results you get from all of these sites using the very same raw data, which does not change over time. This area of DNA has a long way to go and will develop as we learn more about human evolution. As genealogist Judy Russell says, "It's not soup yet."

For the purposes of genealogy research, which focus on the period for which historical records exist in a particular locale, ethnicity results don't offer much--possible clues, but nothing more. For one thing, they reflect the DNA each of us has inherited from all time, filtered through recombination in each generation, when we inherit about 50% of each of our biological parents' DNA, as the other 50% falls off. If we have full siblings, each of us will have 50% of each parent's DNA, but not the SAME 50%, so each sibling will have a different mix of ethnicities. That's where surprises really come in.

I've been working with DNA evidence for several years, along with historical records, for genealogical research. The main value of DNA evidence, other than in helping some people for whom one or both biological parents are unknown, is in helping to identify direct ancestors from a few generations back, where historical records are scant because certain types of registration weren't yet mandatory or were destroyed, and to discover other branches of a family, who may even have historical artifacts or information on your direct ancestors. For these, ethnicity results aren't useful; DNA segmentation and comparison with DNA matches and their family history are the keys. Since each full sibling inherits a different combination of DNA from the same parents, what makes them unique, I persuaded three of my husband's siblings to test with Family Tree DNA in order to find additional matches to those of my husband. Their grandparents were Italian (1) and a combination of Irish/Scots-Irish, Scottish, and English, including Huguenots who fled there (3). This has proven very helpful for my research, where historical evidence, not ethnicity, is at the core. By having results from at least three full siblings, I was also able to learn how to use a technique called Visual Phasing, which provides a way to map which DNA segments came from which grandparent. This involves comparing each sibling's segmentation with the others' and with that of DNA matches whose close genetic relationships have been confirmed through analysis of historical evidence plus DNA results that meet certain criteria (total shared DNA + size of longest segment). BTW, you need to use a Chromosome Browser or exported spreadsheet/table showing DNA segments by chromosome in order to do this; Ancestry doesn't provide these tools, but you can download your raw data from your DNA profile page and upload it to GEDmatch.com, Family Tree DNA, or another site that has them in order to do the research. (Ancestry provides DNA Circles and comparison of people in your family tree with those of matches, but only if you and they have linked your trees (most don't). But then family trees are not proof, and the majority of online trees are found to have errors.)

Even though it's not helpful for genealogy, I was curious to compare the ethnicity results of these four Cafarelli siblings, and had the opportunity to share my findings with them when two came across country for a visit. The biggest surprise: One brother has more than 25% Iberian DNA according to FTDNA, while the others have none or a tiny fraction. Iberian DNA is found in populations across Europe and especially in Italy and Ireland, so it makes sense. Another sibling's DNA primarily reflects the British Isles, Ireland, and Scandinavia.

So, if you're interested in using DNA for genealogy, focus on learning how to do that. There are lots of great resources out there: Legacy Family Tree Webinars (a year's subscription is well worth the price); blogs by Blaine Bettinger, Pamela Boyer Sayre, Kitty Cooper, and Roberta Estes; books by Bettinger and others; learning resources on all the DNA websites; and more.

If you find your ethnicity results interesting, checking on them periodically provides one small way to see how the science is evolving.

Lesley K. Cafarelli
Diaspora Genealogy Research
Minneapolis, MN, USA

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