Italians and Ancestry DNA

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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Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by MarcuccioV »

I recently received my Ancestry DNA results. According to my family tree, I am 50% Italian (my mother) and 50% Northern Europe/UK (my father). So my results came back as follows:

Italy (south) – 34%
England & NW Europe – 23%
Scotland – 17%
Germanic Europe – 11%
Italy (north) – 7%
Wales – 6%
France – 2%


Now I know it isn’t an exact science (at least not yet), and the missing 9% on the Italian side could be misreads of the other ethnicities, but my quandary (and thus my question for the genetic experts) is this:

About 95% (or more) of my DNA matches are from my father’s (non-Italian) side. And furthermore, when I did my “Thru-Lines” (comparing your DNA matches to your relatives from parents through 5th great grandparents), I have MULTIPLE matches (in some cases in the high double digits) to EVERY SINGLE PERSON on my father’s side through those generations. On my mother’s (Italian) side, I have 0. That’s right. ZERO. There are NO ADOPTIONS and I have paper trails going back to Italy of the 1870’s. The bloodline is unbroken, yet NOT A SINGLE MATCH..? Through 6 generations..? That’s insane.

So are Italians just that reticent to taking DNA tests..? It’s basically telling me NO ONE on my mother’s side of the family has EVER done an ancestry DNA test..? Is that possible..?

I just can’t get my head wrapped around it. The side that I’m trying to research is the side that keeps pulling the rug out from under me…
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BrownEyedGirl
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by BrownEyedGirl »

You said you traced your family back to 1870 Italy. How long have they been in the US? Could you possibly have close relatives in Italy? I think we, in the US, do more testing than they do in Europe. If your family is more recent to the States, maybe nobody has been tested. But if your family has been here generations (like most of us), I would think that somebody, somewhere, tested. It's odd that there's no one.

Your ethnicity is similar to mine. My mother is Italian (Northern Italy, Campania, Molise), and my father is Northern European (Ireland, England, Flanders-Netherlands).

Anyway, this is an interesting thread. I'm in no way an expert. I responded to follow it. :mrgreen: Hope you find an answer. :)
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by afecad »

MarcuccioV wrote: 26 Feb 2021, 02:51 I recently received my Ancestry DNA results. According to my family tree, I am 50% Italian (my mother) and 50% Northern Europe/UK (my father). So my results came back as follows:

Italy (south) – 34%
England & NW Europe – 23%
Scotland – 17%
Germanic Europe – 11%
Italy (north) – 7%
Wales – 6%
France – 2%


Now I know it isn’t an exact science (at least not yet), and the missing 9% on the Italian side could be misreads of the other ethnicities, but my quandary (and thus my question for the genetic experts) is this:

About 95% (or more) of my DNA matches are from my father’s (non-Italian) side. And furthermore, when I did my “Thru-Lines” (comparing your DNA matches to your relatives from parents through 5th great grandparents), I have MULTIPLE matches (in some cases in the high double digits) to EVERY SINGLE PERSON on my father’s side through those generations. On my mother’s (Italian) side, I have 0. That’s right. ZERO. There are NO ADOPTIONS and I have paper trails going back to Italy of the 1870’s. The bloodline is unbroken, yet NOT A SINGLE MATCH..? Through 6 generations..? That’s insane.

So are Italians just that reticent to taking DNA tests..? It’s basically telling me NO ONE on my mother’s side of the family has EVER done an ancestry DNA test..? Is that possible..?

I just can’t get my head wrapped around it. The side that I’m trying to research is the side that keeps pulling the rug out from under me…
If you can afford it, try 23andme and FamilyTreeDNA as well, you will see varied results. I would say that 23andme is more accurate than Ancestry on Italy, but YMMV. If you are a male, FamilyTreeDNA has more powerful (albeit expensive) Y-DNA testing, I did the Big Y-700 to trace back my Paternal line, but it's expensive. I'm only Italian on my Mother's side so it's of no use, but I do see relatives on her side via 23andme and Ancestry as well. mtDNA however will tend to match you Haplogroup and on many of these sites you will have lot's of matches, but these go back hundreds of years, if not even more.

As well the % Italian for me varied 15 to 30% between DNA testing companies, as did regions in Italy. Being of Calabrian heritage, I also have Greek ancestry and also a small amount of North African.

Thrulines via Ancestry is not too great, I see similar results, suggest you try "Matches" instead.

Other options that are free, Gedmatch.com and LivingDNA.com, you can upload your Ancestry.com data into either one or both and see matches and for LivingDNA you might see different results, I did but to be honest, I spent upwards of $1K on DNA testing overall and really did not learn anymore than I already knew on paper. Much of the data is dependent on others taking it, any well many in my family won't or never have, many are deceased so it pulls data from distant cousins, say you shared a 2nd GGP or so. Also, DNA does not take into account migrations, while I too traced back my Italian side to 1850 or so now on paper, beyond that DNA has not yet and may never unlock some of my family tree.
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MarcuccioV
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by MarcuccioV »

afecad, I'm looking into those options as well...
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by darkerhorse »

In an extreme example, if all your (closer) blood relatives left Italy generations ago, there would be no one (closely) related to you by blood in the so-called Italian reference population used in DNA testing. Also, smaller families are less likely to be represented by definition. DNA reference populations are biased toward larger families and homebodies.
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 27 Feb 2021, 14:49 In an extreme example, if all your (closer) blood relatives left Italy generations ago, there would be no one (closely) related to you by blood in the so-called Italian reference population used in DNA testing. Also, smaller families are less likely to be represented by definition. DNA reference populations are biased toward larger families and homebodies.
Yes, but it also means no cousins (of ANY level) have done the Ancestry test on my mother's side (exception: I have ONE 1st-2nd cousin match that we can't sort the relationship that shares connections from the Italian side but has a matching 6th GGM on my father's side -- bizarre). I have THOUSANDS of connections to my father's side. That's what is so mind-boggling...
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by darkerhorse »

Oh, I agree with you. I was just making a general comment about limitations with DNA testing. It doesn't apply to your specific question.
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by MarcuccioV »

And these are LARGE Italian families which makes it all the more mysterious... :? :?: :|
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by MarcuccioV »

Not to beat a dead horse here, but I have uploaded my DNA info to several other sites for comparison. ALL of them show Italian DNA to a large extent, some indicate Greek/Balkan and Arabic/Armenian as well in smaller proportions. Yet STILL no obvious DNA matches to the Italian(ish) side. On GEDmatch, I don't even show ONE connection who has an X-match to me. Now if I have a majority of Italian (or related) ethnicity over any of the others, I should have SOME matches on that side, no? I know there are no adoptions/illegimate children on that side, but even THEY have parents and relatives, right..? I'd be happy to even find ONE direct relation on that side. I'd be curious to know if ANYONE else here has experienced this same phenomena...
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by darkerhorse »

What is your Y haplogoup?
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MarcuccioV
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 04 Mar 2021, 21:59 What is your Y haplogoup?
I don't know (I have only done the autosomal test). My Y-group is my father's (non-Italian) side...
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by darkerhorse »

You could test your mtDNA haplogroup then.
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by afecad »

darkerhorse wrote: 05 Mar 2021, 15:10 You could test your mtDNA haplogroup then.
My confirmed mtDNA haplogroup is H1, as I said though I'm only Italian on my maternal side. 23andme does confirm this, FamilyTreeDNA does as well, but goes farther showing HVR 1 & 2 + Coding Regions. I opted for mtDNA full sequence testing and well I see matches, but then you read the fine print:

https://learn.familytreedna.com/mtdna-t ... ationship/

Mutation rates vs Y are not the same, I have one Genetic Distance = 0 match, but that relationship can go back hundreds of years.

I did find FTDNA's Family Finder to work well, it picked out my Mother's family, that is known relatives, so to me Autosomal testing is very useful, both of which 23andme and FTDNA both offer.

Distribution

Subhaplogroup H1 encompasses an important fraction of Western European mtDNA, reaching its local peak among Basques (27.8%) and being also very important among other Iberians, North Africans and Sardinians.

It is above 10% in many other parts of Europe (France, British Isles, Alps, large portions of Eastern Europe) and above 5% in nearly all the continent. Its subclade H1b is most common in Eastern Europe and NW Siberia. The highest frequency of H1 found so far in the world (61%) were observed in the Tuareg of the Fezzan region in Libya.

H1 has many subclades with different distribution.
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by MarcuccioV »

My head is spinning, LOL...
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Re: Italians and Ancestry DNA

Post by MarcuccioV »

Upon further uploads of my Ancestry autosomal results to several other sites, plus dozens of matches added in recent days, STILL no matches that I can definitively tie to the Italian (maternal) side. Even of the 8k+ from MyHeritage and 3.5k+ from FTDNA's family finder. I've ordered the 23&me test to see if there are any matches there, plus get my mtDNA haplogroup (I know my Y, but it's not Italian). ALL sites agree to my approx 50% Italian (and related) heritage. So the search for maternal relatives continues...
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