Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, May 22, 2017

DNA Update: Results Are In.

Well, according to, my connection to India and my Jewish Heritage both disappear and now I am Spanish. I have to believe that some of the conclusions from Ancestry are in the margin of error. When I received the results from the test, I could immediately see a correspondence to my own extensive research. However, I have never found any connections to the Iberian Peninsula in all my research. Here is what had to say about my DNA test.

The results are as follows:

  • Great Britain 55%
  • Scandinavia 29%
  • Iberian Peninsula 11%
  • Ireland 5%
Here is the report from, which I have posted previously, for comparison.

The results here are as follows:
  • British and Irish 87%
  • Scandinavian 9.3%
  • Ashkenazi Jewish 2.5%
  • South Asia 1.2%
By the way, now has an interesting fan chart that shows your origin according to the records in your part of the Family Tree. Obviously, if you had someone from one part of the world move to another, the fact that a person was born in the place of arrival does not affect your ethnicity. But, you can see the results of your research rather than what a DNA test might show. Here is the fan chart.

Another obvious fact is that this is a report of existing research, not a glimpse into ancient origins. This fan chart also lumps all of the people in the United States together. Here the unknown people are those with no birth place information. 

What is the reality? Who knows at this point. After spending a year reading and studying the genealogical DNA process, it looks to me that the margins of error erase any possible fine point conclusions. 

One important fact for me is that the DNA test conclusions are and were immediately explainable from my own research. Even the small percentage link to Southern Asia has a possible explanation backed up by research. However, the DNA connection to the Iberian Peninsula is really interesting because my wife showed up with the same connection and neither of us in all our extensive research has found any possibilities that would indicate such a connection. 

Now let's get into a hypothetical situation. What if I had taken both these tests before I had done any genealogical research at all? What would I think? How would I proceed? Would either test have been at all helpful? Would I have been motivated to begin the research process because of the tests? I really can't answer any of those questions. My personal motivation to start doing genealogical research had nothing to do with a curiosity about my ancestry. Maybe someone else would be so motivated, but how would the average researcher approach their genealogical research any differently given the discrepancies between the two tests?

What will I now do differently than I would not have done before taking the tests? Absolutely nothing. I am still doing intensive research in Rhode Island. Oh, I didn't mention the two findings from about their Genetic Communities that I have very likely had Mormon Pioneers in the Mountain West as ancestors and that I had Settlers of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts as ancestors. Both of those conclusions could have easily been determined from my family tree. 

I guess I am left to speculate whether or not speaking Spanish almost all my life has somehow altered both my own and my wife's genetic makeup someway. 

More on this later when I calm down. 


  1. What an interesting result. It sounds like we should all take the DNA test results with a grain of salt!

  2. Can you tell us how to display the new origins chart on FamilySearch? Thank you.

    1. Yes, the instructions are on a BYU Family History Library YouTube Video. You can also see both on my post

    2. Thank you. When I log on to FamilySearch and click on Get Help, there's no option to Help Others. I wonder if you need to be logged in as a church member or consultant.

    3. I know that the option is not available without logging on, I am not surprised that it may not be available to those who are not registered as members.

  3. My MyHeritage test came back with 0% German, despite a paper trail that connects me to a German immigrant ancestor. It's possible that person originated elsewhere, but I'm dubious about that result. I'll be taking other tests to both confirm this and use other methods (YDNA and mtDNA) besides just the one atDNA test.

    1. I am not sure what is meant by the terms "German" or "Great Britain" as used in this context. I will be writing about my concerns in the near future.

    2. That isn't how DNA inheritance works. You can be descended from but not have DNA from an ancestor, especially with the smaller amounts.

  4. Go to your test results on Ancestry and click on all test results. Go to the Jewish test and click on it. You might discover that during their testing they actually did get a hit but made a determination to show it as zero. Many of my DNA matches were showing up with Finland/Russian but zero for me. When I click on the test results it shows 0-2%
    So it's obvious there is some Finland/Russian in my distant pass but Ancestry made the decision to show it as zero. You may find your India this way. Debbie

    1. Thanks, I will be expanding my comments to the entire test in the near future.

  5. James,

    I'm sure you've figured it out. Your Spanish DNA obviously is from your speaking Spanish! It has to be, just like my Eskimo DNA must be from my living in a cold climate all my life!

    Too bad we can't trade with other people. I'll give you 2% Eskimo for 1% Spanish and 1% Irish.


    1. I'll take that trade but I'm not sure how to effectuate the transfer.

  6. Genetic Communities is skewered. I have same ancestors as you do (including Tanner and allied families, in common). I get only 2 Genetic communities for
    1. Early Settlers of the Ohio River Valley, Indiana, Illinois & Iowa
    2. Mormon Pioneers in the Mountain West

    now where's "Settlers of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts"? More than half of my early ancestors are among them. My first Tanner is Maud Thankful Tanner, daughter of William Tanner and Deliverance Briggs.

    1. I am doing some intensive research right now on my Tanner line in Rhode Island. Right now, my line ends with Francis Tanner. We have yet to positively identify his father. So, for the time being, I can't say we are related. There is still a good chance that there are multiple William Tanners in Rhode Island at that time.