Thursday, January 28, 2016

Three Siblings' DNA Ethnicity Results

I have previously written about DNA test results for my family - this link shows all posts with the DNA tag.

After I tested myself at FamilyTreeDNA, I had my mother's and one brother's autosomal DNA tested with that company. I just got the results from another brother and I thought I'd share one example of why it's interesting and helpful to have all siblings tested.

See my earlier blog post Autosomal Testing with FamilyTreeDNA (April 2014) which explains autosomal DNA and provides additional links to other helpful blogs.

The following colorful images are from FamilyTreeDNA's MyOrigins feature which shows estimates of an individual's ethnicity going back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The key word here is estimate - this is really just a fun way to see where your distant ancestors came from.

My family's autosomal DNA shows that we are 100% European. (No surprise there.) FamilyTreeDNA confirms that my brothers and I are full siblings, however, we received slightly different DNA from each of our parents and our estimates of ethnic makeup are slightly different.

My mother's DNA shows her ethnic makeup to be:
42% British Isles
26% Western and Central Europe
22% Scandinavia
9% Southern Europe

I think the 99% total is a rounding error.

My DNA shows my ethnic makeup to be:
57% British Isles
35% Scandinavia
8% Southern Europe

It appears that I didn't receive whatever DNA my mother has that came from her Western and Central European ancestry.

One brother (R) has the following ethnic makeup:
52% British Isles
26% Western and Central Europe
12% Southern Europe
10% Finland and Northern Siberia

It appears that my late father may have had deep ancestry going back to Finland and Northern Siberia that got passed down to R, but not to me. And R did not receive the Scandinavian DNA that I got from my mother.

I recently received test results for my brother, S. His ethnic makeup is as follows:
40% British Isles
30% Scandinavia
19% Western and Central Europe
9% Southern Europe
2% Finland and Northern Siberia

My brother, S, appears to have a little of that Finland and Northern Siberian DNA that must have come from our father, and he also has the Scandinavian DNA that came from my mother.

Please remember that these are estimates, and are for fun. Because our ancestors have been in this country for many generations (all of my second great-grandparents were born in America and most of my third great-grandparents were born here too), it's almost impossible to figure out exactly which ethnicity estimates come from which ancestor, though it's possible that the Scandinavian DNA could possibly have come from my maternal grandmother's Scottish ancestry. Of the American immigrant origins that I do know (and it's not really that many), most came from England, Scotland, and Ireland.

I thank my family members for scraping the insides of their cheeks for me and I am hoping that more family members will consider taking an autosomal DNA test because there is more to learn than our ethnic makeup. I will get into more of the science of our DNA results in a future blog post.

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