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Well, the SS would take me

And there it is. It’s a color-coded pie chart showing the different components of my ancestry. The charts come in three flavors: conservative (90% confidence, but boringly generic), standard (75% confidence and a little more detail) and speculative (51% confidence but breaks it out by country as best it can).

This bit is wobbly science at the moment. They have to decide at the outset the time period they’re trying to tweeze out of the data. 23andme concentrates on what of your DNA dates from the last 500 years. Other services (and, yes, you can submit your raw data to many other services, some free) looks at ancient DNA, or specifically European DNA, or…well, lots of things. These filters are evolving (and, one hopes, improving constantly).

Anyway, I am (more or less) 99.7% European, of which 46.5% British. A little less Brit than I thought, but I did have a German great grandfather and a French one. Also, apparently, their specific model for British/Irish and French/German is not very good (hence the way all four are lumped together).

What’s that? The other 3%? Those little strips of different color at noon? Um, one each of Ashkenazi, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. That’s, um, not necessarily what it looks like. It may mean 3% of the DNA was too old to slot into a European framework and so pointed to older DNA from nearer the human diaspora. Or it could mean my great-great-great grandmother slept with a mixed race field hand.

You choose!


Comment from Nina
Time: April 2, 2015, 9:55 pm

So you basically just went home when you married Uncle B, eh?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 2, 2015, 10:06 pm

It’s the magnetic attraction of the, uh, weather, Nina 😉

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 2, 2015, 10:07 pm

Heh. More or less, Nina. Most of the surnames in my family (with the exception of the two afore-mentioned names) were English. Most of the history we know is English. That’s why I was surprised the percentage wasn’t higher.

Still, the rest was mostly Northern Europe, so same diff, really.

Comment from JeffS
Time: April 2, 2015, 10:36 pm

Still, the rest was mostly Northern Europe, so same diff, really.

Yep. Thanks to the Vikings and other invaders/colonists.

Comment from Nina
Time: April 2, 2015, 11:37 pm

I expect mine will be about the same when I do it–I’ve got a bit of Irish on both sides, one g-grandfather from Germany, mostly England as far as I know.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: April 3, 2015, 1:37 am

Okay, well, now I kinda want to know my percentages. I don’t even know what my family’s heritage is supposed to be (we have been in America long enough that I don’t know much beyond having a Cherokee great-great-grandmother and a Czech grandmother). *goes to website*

Comment from mojo
Time: April 3, 2015, 2:03 am

“Pleasure me, Mandingo”

I expect it’s paleo

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2015, 1:15 pm

The biggest complaint I’ve seen in the forums, Mrs P, are from people who had a firm story of a Native American ancestor, but no DNA traces.

Some identifications are better than others. They’re apparently pretty good at correctly noting Ashkenazi heritage. But I was very surprised to see the Irish and British lumped together, without a Celtic/Anglo divide. Same for the French and German — surely there are differences!

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: April 3, 2015, 5:22 pm

Hrm, I would have guessed you were at least ½ Cimmerian.

Comment from Karen
Time: April 12, 2015, 4:52 am

What is the website ?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 12, 2015, 9:32 am

Karen: 23andMe is the service I used. There are others, but I think this is the best bang/buck out there.

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