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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!

April 2, 2015 — 9:46 pm
Comments: 11