Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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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MarcuccioV
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 09 Jun 2021, 22:19
MarcuccioV wrote: 09 Jun 2021, 21:57
darkerhorse wrote: 09 Jun 2021, 21:34 Have you looked into the possibility that your father's olive skin and apparent Italian ancestry are linked to your new-found cousin? Perhaps they share a common ancestor further back than your uncle, especially since neither of your father's parents seem to fit the bill by skin tone or paper trail?
No. There are too many connections to my maternal side. She has no DNA connections to my dad's side, and her Italian % is too high to be deep in the tree. I HAVE explored that. She also does not match the facial compare to his side. Remember she was a 66% match to my mom...
My mistake. I was thinking she was related to your father's brother.

I understand your reasoning on the olive skin.

You couple that with DNA evidence to point toward Italian ancestry (instead of other ancestry) as the origin of his olive complexion.

Not having had a DNA test myself, I don't really understand DNA results very well.

Can you briefly summarize your DNA evidence linking your father to Italian ancestry in a few sentences in layman's terms?

I can try, LOL. Your DNA markers are compared with various populations that have been tested to find similarities. Once similarities are established, your markers are 'assigned' the ethnicity that best matches the reference populations. Not an EXACT science, but it's pretty accurate.

So in my ethnic breakdowns from the various matrices I've uploaded to, the ones that seem the most accurate (both by my own investigation & the opinions of others), show anywhere from 55-65% Italian (and related Mediterranean) ethnicity. So 50% of that is my maternal side (& even that MIGHT be tempered with some Franco-Germanic), leaving 5-15% of my Italo-Med ethnicity to my father's side.

So let's go conservative and say the 5% extra is from him. That would make him at least 10% (double my amount) by approximation (due to random replication). Even THAT would reinforce the olive complexion possibility.

Of course if it were 15%, then he would be 30%, and so on.

And then there is the chromosome paint report that indicates total Italian ancestry on my 15th chromosome (for both parents) and 100%/30% on chromosome 2 (I assume the 100% is maternal & the 30% paternal). It would be IMPOSSIBLE for there to be Italian ancestry on both sides of a chromosome unless both parents carried at least SOME of that ancestry.

Another strange fact is that more than several of my DNA matches attributed to my dad's side (through connections to known paternal relatives) have some percentage of Italian. yes, I realize there could have been intermarriage in some of their cases with Italians, but there seems to be too many of them to be coincidental. But I'm not putting much weight into that, I just find it interesting.
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darkerhorse
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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It's always best to start at the beginning, to quote a phrase.

I'm not necessarily challenging what you say, I just want to learn.

You wrote:

"So in my ethnic breakdowns from the various matrices I've uploaded to, the ones that seem the most accurate (both by my own investigation & the opinions of others), show anywhere from 55-65% Italian (and related Mediterranean) ethnicity. So 50% of that is my maternal side (& even that MIGHT be tempered with some Franco-Germanic), leaving 5-15% of my Italo-Med ethnicity to my father's side.

I'll grant you the related Mediterranean as "Italian" and call it "Italian-Med".

Certainly these are estimates of ethnicity, not exact percentages. What sort of range of error or confidence interval is associated with them? If they report 55% to 65% Italian, how likely could the percent Italian be just 50% - matching your mother's assumed contribution, leaving no residual Italian for your paternal side? Even the implied residual of 5% to 15% isn't very large (or stable?). I think I've seen discussions on Ancestry.com which downplay ethnic percentages below 15%.

So, the first step is addressing the level of confidence we can have in these percentages (ignoring the olive skin tone for now). You might be able to argue that these estimates are already in the middle of confidence intervals, and use 60% as the pint estimate. I really don't know.

I hope others weigh in, too.

.
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MarcuccioV
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 10 Jun 2021, 00:58 It's always best to start at the beginning, to quote a phrase.

I'm not necessarily challenging what you say, I just want to learn.

You wrote:

"So in my ethnic breakdowns from the various matrices I've uploaded to, the ones that seem the most accurate (both by my own investigation & the opinions of others), show anywhere from 55-65% Italian (and related Mediterranean) ethnicity. So 50% of that is my maternal side (& even that MIGHT be tempered with some Franco-Germanic), leaving 5-15% of my Italo-Med ethnicity to my father's side.

I'll grant you the related Mediterranean as "Italian" and call it "Italian-Med".

Certainly these are estimates of ethnicity, not exact percentages. What sort of range of error or confidence interval is associated with them? If they report 55% to 65% Italian, how likely could the percent Italian be just 50% - matching your mother's assumed contribution, leaving no residual Italian for your paternal side? Even the implied residual of 5% to 15% isn't very large (or stable?). I think I've seen discussions on Ancestry.com which downplay ethnic percentages below 15%.

So, the first step is addressing the level of confidence we can have in these percentages (ignoring the olive skin tone for now). You might be able to argue that these estimates are already in the middle of confidence intervals, and use 60% as the pint estimate. I really don't know.

I hope others weigh in, too.

.
Your point is taken, but I'm weighing many different factors. The matrices I'm considering the strongest are those with the best confidence levels. Nothing is carved in stone, but I do have to consider the law of averages.

Also many of the more 'minor' ethnicities keep coming up in different matrices which base their estimates on different populations. You must also throw into the mix ancient vs modern populations to be more accurate. I've done all that, so my research is at least somewhat grounded.
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darkerhorse
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

Post by darkerhorse »

MarcuccioV wrote: 06 Jun 2021, 04:46
darkerhorse wrote: 06 Jun 2021, 04:44
MarcuccioV wrote: 06 Jun 2021, 03:49 My wife DID give me an idea of checking census records to see if anyone in the family had an Italian boarder (thereby opening up the possibility of an illegitimate birth). I'll have to check for that as I know some did keep boarders. I also found 5-10% Italian in HER DNA that I need to look for as well...
You could check neighbors too. Again, not just Italian.

Do you mind identifying the surnames of his four grandparents?
Van Cleave, Porter, Patterson, Morris
None of these names sound Italian. Do you have the other four surnames for the previous generation?
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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None of these names sound Italian. Do you have the other four surnames for the previous generation?
Connor (or Conner), Corbin, McKee & Reichard.

There ARE no Italian surnames -- that's why I'm thinking it's an adoption, foundling or illegitimate birth...
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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MarcuccioV wrote: 11 Jun 2021, 01:14

There ARE no Italian surnames -- that's why I'm thinking it's an adoption, foundling or illegitimate birth...
Do you have any DNA matches on your paternal side who you can't account for?
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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darkerhorse wrote: 11 Jun 2021, 18:32
MarcuccioV wrote: 11 Jun 2021, 01:14

There ARE no Italian surnames -- that's why I'm thinking it's an adoption, foundling or illegitimate birth...
Do you have any DNA matches on your paternal side who you can't account for?
95% of my DNA matches are to my father's side. I'm nowhere even close to checking all of them. Some of them DO carry Italian ancestry, so when I can I'll probably try to trace them first...
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

Post by MarcuccioV »

I just got yet ANOTHER paternal side DNA match that has 6.5% Italian in their ethnic makeup. This keeps happening over & over again...
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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MarcuccioV wrote: 12 Jun 2021, 18:04 I just got yet ANOTHER paternal side DNA match that has 6.5% Italian in their ethnic makeup. This keeps happening over & over again...

Is their 6.5% Italian ethnicity necessarily in the portion of DNA which is related to you?
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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Also, I wonder if you're seeing Italian often because you're looking for it.

In a sense, Italian is more visible to you.

If you go back to the DNA matches on your paternal side you might find Irish, English, or some other ethnicity showing up over and over again.

If not, then your theory holds more water.

Just a thought.
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 12 Jun 2021, 18:51 Also, I wonder if you're seeing Italian often because you're looking for it.

In a sense, Italian is more visible to you.

If you go back to the DNA matches on your paternal side you might find Irish, English, or some other ethnicity showing up over and over again.

If not, then your theory holds more water.

Just a thought.
No, it's really not that I'm looking for it, although I get your drift. I do find the other ethnicities, without a doubt, and in the majority.

But the fact that Italian keeps popping up peppered throughout a family tree that shows NO Italian ethnicity anywhere, either MANY (and I mean MANY) members of my paternal side intermarried with Italians, or my theory holds water. It HAS to be one or the other.

Considering the revelation of my cousin Debbie (now verified by her own research and family history) on my maternal side (which hit me like a ton of bricks), I have to at least CONSIDER a similar scenario on my paternal side as well. Again hidden perhaps to avoid scandal.

I'm trying to stay open to ALL the possibilities. I understand you're simply playing "Devil's advocate" and I don't fault you for that in the least. It keeps me thinking... :wink:
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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I'm prone toward statistics anyway.

A better test might be to see if the frequency of Italian popping up exceeds the frequency of Italian ancestry in the U.S. population.

I think less than 10% report Italian ancestry.

So, are you finding Italian much more than 10% of the time?

By the way, how's your uncle's family reacting to you identifying a skeleton in the closet?
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 12 Jun 2021, 22:40 I'm prone toward statistics anyway.

A better test might be to see if the frequency of Italian popping up exceeds the frequency of Italian ancestry in the U.S. population.

I think less than 10% report Italian ancestry.

So, are you finding Italian much more than 10% of the time?

By the way, how's your uncle's family reacting to you identifying a skeleton in the closet?
I haven't run the numbers yet, but it seems to be 10% or more.

So far I've only spoken to my eldest cousin, she was not really surprised and like me was totally accepting (despite having no previous knowledge). Her reaction (or lack of it) didn't surprise me. We are a lot alike, nearly no ego and very introverted and quiet. She took it unbelievably well.
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darkerhorse
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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Are you framing it as an adoption?
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Re: Ethnicity vs. skin tone

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darkerhorse wrote: 12 Jun 2021, 23:34 Are you framing it as an adoption?
No, I am being honest with the facts. There's already been enough 'mystery'. Time to swing the closet wide open and let the bones fall where they may...
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