Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm 9% What?

Earlier today, I received my Ancestry DNA results. There's been a lot of discussion lately about the limited usefulness of their results without the chromosome data to accompany it. Since I had been tested earlier by 23 and Me earlier, I can attest to that fact.

When I tested with 23 and Me, my results showed that I was 100% European. While my Ancestry DNA results do not disagree with that, they certainly provided a quite unexpected surprise, but there are also some interesting questions raised about the accuracy of the Ancestry DNA origins interpretation by the matches I have discovered.

Ancestry showed my ethnicity as:

87% British Isles
9% Persian/Turkish/Caucasus (present-day Georgia, Arminia, Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan)
4% Uncertain

At first I wondered if my Amish ancestry from Switzerland was showing up in this strange 9% category. I looked. There was one potential match there among those tested. The person was in the 5th to 8th cousin category, and I found no common line among the ones I quickly reviewed. I'll have to explore the match a bit more because I'm curious.

I then began looking through my British Isles matches. To my surprise, I found a couple of my Amish matches showing up as British Isles. How did those Yoders, Hartzlers, and Reichenbachs (or Rickenbachs) end up showing up as being of British Isles origin?  Most of them made their way from Switzerland to France (Alsace Region) to Pennsylvania.

I've found a definite match on an Aldridge line. I've found potential Davis and Taylor matches as well. None of those surprise me as being British Isles in origin.

I'm still quite puzzled about that 9%.

My surnames back to the gg-grandparent level:
Thornton - British Isles, probably from the northern part of England near the Scottish border
Lantz - Swiss (Amish)
Fowlkes - British Isles (Welsh)
Hester - probably British Isles although my uncle always wanted to claim it was German
Duke - probably British Isles
Phillips - British Isles (although this is a brick wall for me)
Taylor - British Isles
Harris - probably British Isles
Aldridge - probably British Isles
Allred - probably British Isles
Parish - probably British Isles
Yoder - Swiss (Amish)
Dearborn - British Isles (England)
Cockrell - British Isles
Mosely - British Isles

When I add a generation, I have these names to add: Barnum, Parker, Hertzler, Keim, Rathbone, Perkins, (possibly) Hunt, Pridgen, Davis, and Murry/Murray. All of these are British Isles or Swiss. If I go back another generation, all the names are likely British or Swiss. Although one could possibly be French. Sure - there are a few unidentified ancestors (mostly female) but it's still odd that I have a 9% match, especially when the Swiss are showing as British.

I'm wondering if everyone has such puzzling results. I certainly wish I had more matches on this 9% ethnicity. I also wish I could make a definite match; however, the results state that I may be unable to determine the match at that distance of relationship. I can certainly try though!

Now, I'm off to study some more matches.

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