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Old 10-09-2019, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,634 posts, read 431,919 times
Reputation: 1732

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I started to work on my family tree that I made over a year ago in Ancestry, and went to look at my DNA results since it's been awhile since I looked at them. I still don't fully understand what my results mean. Here are my results:






Ethnicity Estimate

Iran/Persia - 36%


Turkey & the Caucasus - 28%


Italy - 19%
Southern Italy
Lazio & Campania


Middle East - 17%


As you can see with these results, Ancestry was able to pinpoint my Italian side, and map out the entire story for my Grandmother, and Grandfather's side. And they're spot on too. But what does it all really mean? No one has really been able to answer that for me. What I mean is, are the percentages just showing where my ancestors once roamed/lived at, or does this mean I could be more than just Italian and Iranian?


I apologize for my ignorance, as I'm still trying to get a better grasp at this stuff.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
7,890 posts, read 10,122,312 times
Reputation: 4674
I think it just means much of your DNA can be traced to that area, like you said, roamed the area. My mother, father AND sister both have gold areas (like I'm assuming the Lazio and Campania area is for you) whereas mine just says Norway and Eastern Europe. Think of it as kind of like a buffet. You and your family can get all the same stuff, like orange chicken, eggrolls, dim sum, etc. But, maybe your dad got some extra orange chicken and your mom got some extra egg rolls. You may have ended up getting the same amount of egg rolls as your mom. For me, my mother and father got big servings of egg rolls and orange chicken, but I only got a lil bit of both. (My dad has Varmland Norway as a gold community and my mom has the Czech Republic as a gold community but I just have Norway and Eastern Europe). I hope that helps at least a lil bit.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,634 posts, read 431,919 times
Reputation: 1732
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
I think it just means much of your DNA can be traced to that area, like you said, roamed the area. My mother, father AND sister both have gold areas (like I'm assuming the Lazio and Campania area is for you) whereas mine just says Norway and Eastern Europe. Think of it as kind of like a buffet. You and your family can get all the same stuff, like orange chicken, eggrolls, dim sum, etc. But, maybe your dad got some extra orange chicken and your mom got some extra egg rolls. You may have ended up getting the same amount of egg rolls as your mom. For me, my mother and father got big servings of egg rolls and orange chicken, but I only got a lil bit of both. (My dad has Varmland Norway as a gold community and my mom has the Czech Republic as a gold community but I just have Norway and Eastern Europe). I hope that helps at least a lil bit.



Ah I see, thank you! Yes, your analogy definitely helped; makes a lot more sense now. I am trying to get my Dad to take their DNA test but he won't do it. What sucks even more is I barely get any type of information after my Dad and his brothers. My Uncle said it's most likely due to the Shah and the people in power before that burned or had certain parts of documented history removed from Iran.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Southwest Suburbs
4,124 posts, read 7,908,505 times
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DNA companies use present day populations as samples and match your DNA to them to find who you are related to the most. They can be spot on, and other times not, but more often match you with a similar region. When I did AncestryDNA, they designated a significant chunk of my ancestry to Benin/Togo. After doing some research(plus using other DNA companies), it's more likely that a large chunk of my DNA is related to the south of Nigeria, which is still nearby Benin.

Do you identify as Iranian and Italian? You have quite a lot of Turkey and broadly Middle Eastern(technically could include Iran, but maybe they aren't sure). I assume they gave you a community region for your Italian, but not for your Iran. This could mean that your Italian side still has relatives in that region that have been there for a few hundred years; and that the Iranian is so broad it's difficult for them to pinpoint to a specific community or they lack sufficient data on Iran in general.

I suggest to you to is to look into other DNA sites and look for a consistent theme in your results. Gedmatch, for example, is good at detecting ancient ancestry in your DNA that mainstream DNA companies may not take into account. You could also look into finding your haplogroup(s). Although it represents a very small fraction of your DNA, it does go back to a progenitor on your paternal or maternal lineage. AncestryDNA doesn't provide that, but FTDNA and 23andme do.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:57 PM
 
16,222 posts, read 9,031,196 times
Reputation: 8389
I think if you haven't already you should build a tree to see how the percentages map up to your documented ancestral lines.

IMO DNA is not very useful without some sort of tree that they are attached to.

With ancestry's newest update they put a bunch of my DNA in the Benin/Togo spot as well and the other African chunk in Congo. Seems like all African descended people are in these chunks primarily.

I use the search feature to pinpoint African ancestry on specific lines. I'll look up all matches who have a birthplace of "Nigeria" for example and go through them to try to determine if they are actually African from Nigeria. Many of them were/are so I now know where some of my paternal ancestors hailed from in the Nigerian area or groups they are associated with.

Both my dad and I have a small amount of South Asian DNA that is interesting to me. I'm planning on buying some new tests from 23andMe in order to test with them to review it more in depth. I'm also going to have my brother do the test (and an AncestryDNA test) to see if he has this S. Asian DNA to try to figure it out more. I have a paternal first cousin who also has a 2% S. Asian DNA on his mom's side of the family (his mom is my dad's sister) so I want to try to figure out where it came from. That's how I use DNA, I basically compare it to known relatives, figure out what line of our ancestry certain ethnicities are coming from, then try to pin point further.

Some of my genealogy friends suggested I do 23andMe as they say that that company has better ethnicity tools and you can map what chromosomes that ethnicity is represented on. I use DNA Painter and I'd like to compare my DNA on that site that I've plotted (it is 70% complete) with 23andMe and see if I can make sense of certain ethnicities and how they are related to certain ancestors/couples.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,640 posts, read 15,101,248 times
Reputation: 12693
Quote:
Originally Posted by DK736 View Post
I started to work on my family tree that I made over a year ago in Ancestry, and went to look at my DNA results since it's been awhile since I looked at them. I still don't fully understand what my results mean. Here are my results:






Ethnicity Estimate

Iran/Persia - 36%


Turkey & the Caucasus - 28%


Italy - 19%
Southern Italy
Lazio & Campania


Middle East - 17%


As you can see with these results, Ancestry was able to pinpoint my Italian side, and map out the entire story for my Grandmother, and Grandfather's side. And they're spot on too. But what does it all really mean? No one has really been able to answer that for me. What I mean is, are the percentages just showing where my ancestors once roamed/lived at, or does this mean I could be more than just Italian and Iranian?


I apologize for my ignorance, as I'm still trying to get a better grasp at this stuff.
What it really means is approximately those percentages of your DNA most closely match the reference samples for people with full ancestry in those areas going back as far as can be traced. How that represents your ancestors origins is not something that has a definitive answer, which is why no one has really been able to answer that for you. AncestryDNA says their ethnicity results are representative of "several hundred to over 1,000 years" ago, so you could say it means your ancestors were in those areas anytime between several hundred to over 1,000 years ago, but you also have to remember that the ethnicity report is really just an estimate or interpretation of your DNA, and there can be more than one interpretation. It's really best not to take the ethnicity report very literally, or redefine your whole identity because of it.

Turkey & Caucasus and the Middle East probably have significant genetic overlap with Iran/Persia, and probably some with southern Italy too. You may just be getting results in those categories because they are difficult to tell apart from the areas your ancestors are from. There's really no way to know for sure. You can try other companies where you may or may not get similar results, but those will be speculative too. All you can do is research your tree as far back as you can and maybe that will be consistent with your ethnicity results, maybe it won't.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,640 posts, read 15,101,248 times
Reputation: 12693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoland60426 View Post
Do you identify as Iranian and Italian? You have quite a lot of Turkey and broadly Middle Eastern(technically could include Iran, but maybe they aren't sure). I assume they gave you a community region for your Italian, but not for your Iran. This could mean that your Italian side still has relatives in that region that have been there for a few hundred years; and that the Iranian is so broad it's difficult for them to pinpoint to a specific community or they lack sufficient data on Iran in general.
Iran has no Genetic Communities available - none have been created, so no one can get a GC within Iran.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,634 posts, read 431,919 times
Reputation: 1732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoland60426 View Post
DNA companies use present day populations as samples and match your DNA to them to find who you are related to the most. They can be spot on, and other times not, but more often match you with a similar region. When I did AncestryDNA, they designated a significant chunk of my ancestry to Benin/Togo. After doing some research(plus using other DNA companies), it's more likely that a large chunk of my DNA is related to the south of Nigeria, which is still nearby Benin.

Do you identify as Iranian and Italian? You have quite a lot of Turkey and broadly Middle Eastern(technically could include Iran, but maybe they aren't sure). I assume they gave you a community region for your Italian, but not for your Iran. This could mean that your Italian side still has relatives in that region that have been there for a few hundred years; and that the Iranian is so broad it's difficult for them to pinpoint to a specific community or they lack sufficient data on Iran in general.

I suggest to you to is to look into other DNA sites and look for a consistent theme in your results. Gedmatch, for example, is good at detecting ancient ancestry in your DNA that mainstream DNA companies may not take into account. You could also look into finding your haplogroup(s). Although it represents a very small fraction of your DNA, it does go back to a progenitor on your paternal or maternal lineage. AncestryDNA doesn't provide that, but FTDNA and 23andme do.



My Mother was 100% Italian (she passed away when I was 9), and my Dad is 100% Iranian. My Dad and my Uncles and some of my Aunts came here in the 70's for college, and because of the fall of the Shah. My Grandfather was worried about their future. Then the Iraq-Iran war happened, and with the exception of both Aunts, they decided to stay here. I have a lot of family in Iran, but a lot of my cousins have moved to Canada. One of them moved to the US a few years ago with his wife. But I still have a decent amount of family living over there. I'm not too sure if my Italian side has relatives still living in Italy, but they were able to trace their pattern/where they migrated from. They even showed When some of my family fled to the Swiss borders during one of the wars, a story my Grandmother always told me about. And both sides of my Italian side, have the Ancestry stamp for their immigration to America. Both came here at the height of Italian immigration both before and during the turn of the century. My Dad said my results for Iran are slim because Iran probably doesn't have the data as you mentioned.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,634 posts, read 431,919 times
Reputation: 1732
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
What it really means is approximately those percentages of your DNA most closely match the reference samples for people with full ancestry in those areas going back as far as can be traced. How that represents your ancestors origins is not something that has a definitive answer, which is why no one has really been able to answer that for you. AncestryDNA says their ethnicity results are representative of "several hundred to over 1,000 years" ago, so you could say it means your ancestors were in those areas anytime between several hundred to over 1,000 years ago, but you also have to remember that the ethnicity report is really just an estimate or interpretation of your DNA, and there can be more than one interpretation. It's really best not to take the ethnicity report very literally, or redefine your whole identity because of it.

Turkey & Caucasus and the Middle East probably have significant genetic overlap with Iran/Persia, and probably some with southern Italy too. You may just be getting results in those categories because they are difficult to tell apart from the areas your ancestors are from. There's really no way to know for sure. You can try other companies where you may or may not get similar results, but those will be speculative too. All you can do is research your tree as far back as you can and maybe that will be consistent with your ethnicity results, maybe it won't.



Thank you for your input, very helpful. I was thinking of trying other companies, but I have doubts about getting different/more detailed results.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,634 posts, read 431,919 times
Reputation: 1732
Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
I think if you haven't already you should build a tree to see how the percentages map up to your documented ancestral lines.

IMO DNA is not very useful without some sort of tree that they are attached to.

With ancestry's newest update they put a bunch of my DNA in the Benin/Togo spot as well and the other African chunk in Congo. Seems like all African descended people are in these chunks primarily.

I use the search feature to pinpoint African ancestry on specific lines. I'll look up all matches who have a birthplace of "Nigeria" for example and go through them to try to determine if they are actually African from Nigeria. Many of them were/are so I now know where some of my paternal ancestors hailed from in the Nigerian area or groups they are associated with.

Both my dad and I have a small amount of South Asian DNA that is interesting to me. I'm planning on buying some new tests from 23andMe in order to test with them to review it more in depth. I'm also going to have my brother do the test (and an AncestryDNA test) to see if he has this S. Asian DNA to try to figure it out more. I have a paternal first cousin who also has a 2% S. Asian DNA on his mom's side of the family (his mom is my dad's sister) so I want to try to figure out where it came from. That's how I use DNA, I basically compare it to known relatives, figure out what line of our ancestry certain ethnicities are coming from, then try to pin point further.

Some of my genealogy friends suggested I do 23andMe as they say that that company has better ethnicity tools and you can map what chromosomes that ethnicity is represented on. I use DNA Painter and I'd like to compare my DNA on that site that I've plotted (it is 70% complete) with 23andMe and see if I can make sense of certain ethnicities and how they are related to certain ancestors/couples.



I did make a family tree, and my Mom's side matches up quite nicely. But I have little information on my Dad's side, even with him helping me, so I'm not so sure about his part. My Dad's side is from the southern part of Iran, so everyone is dark on his side of the family. I was thinking of doing 23andMe but I am debating about paying for another one of these services.
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