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Disappointed with ancestry results

(49 Posts)
kitk Wed 29-Jan-20 17:43:14

I just got my ancestry DNA results back and I'm a bit disappointed. I know enough of my family history to know I am mostly Irish and welsh but my paternal grandmother and at least 4 generations back were all Italian and this hasn't shown up in my results at all. I don't look Italian in any way and my love for the food is all I've got to show for the link (and who doesn't love Italian food...) but I'm sad that it looks like I didn't inherit a single percentage of DNA from her line. I know the tests aren't wholly accurate and should be used just for fun but she died when I was 13 and I feel a bit sad that there's nothing in me to show the impact she had on my life. I know I'm being silly by the way... it just feels weird! Hope it's ok to vent here!

OP’s posts: |
DianaT1969 Wed 29-Jan-20 17:46:48

I would feel that too. A bit cheated.
Is this the test which links you to cousins and places or just a breakdown of ethnicity/race? I haven't done one but am interested.

8by8 Wed 29-Jan-20 17:47:07

Thing is, they could have had 4 generations back of being italian, but if their family like came from somewhere else before that then they wouldn’t have had “Italian” dna.

There’s always been a lot of mixing around - so dna doesn’t tell you what cultures your ancestors were actually part of.

In any event these tests are really inaccurate, there was a news story about identical triplets all taking the ancestry test and getting different ethnicities in their results, so try not to dwell on it.

ShesGotBetteDavisEyes Wed 29-Jan-20 17:48:12

It all sounds like a load of bollocks to me which is why I’ve never done it. YOU know you’re part Italian and that should be enough - you don’t need a certificate to prove it.

Obligatorync Wed 29-Jan-20 17:48:30

Same thing happened to my mum and we just assumed that somewhere along the line someone's parent wasn't who they thought. It happens. It's taken the shine off genealogy for her but she tries not to think about it.

LuckyMarmiteLover Wed 29-Jan-20 17:48:55

Do you have any dna matches to Italian “cousins”. The dna matches is a lot more reliable than the ethnicity estimate.

AutumnRose1 Wed 29-Jan-20 17:50:02

I don’t really get why people do these

But in any case, my understanding is they are not accurate.

And can you really have DNA that specific?

I can understand people wanting to prove they are in line to inherit or something but the rest of it, especially if you know your ancestors stories, why does it matter about DNA?

TARSCOUT Wed 29-Jan-20 17:50:39

We researched our family tree only to find out grandfather wasn't biological and neither was great grandmother. Sometimes things get interesting........

LIZS Wed 29-Jan-20 17:52:08

Does it not depend what type of dna is tested for. Some traits do not show up as clearly on a female line. BBC Watchdog demonstrated that these test results are pretty generalised.

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 29-Jan-20 17:53:22

Apparently, I have 11% Neanderthal DNA...... so I guess my ancestors got to Europe over a million years ago....

LittleSweet Wed 29-Jan-20 18:17:16

Plan, I have higher than usual neanderthal percentage in my DNA and I'm autistic. I saw an article on some research that linked higher percentage of neanderthal DNA to autism. Do you mind me asking if you are autistic? The researchers seemed to think looking at neanderthal lifestyle that they were autistic.
Op, even if you don't biologically have the Italian link you do in your heart. Biology isn't the most important thing in my opinion, the love is.

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 29-Jan-20 20:27:19

Little sweet. No, I am not autistic. But that is interesting research about the Neanderthals.

Btw OP, I noticed you said your paternal grandmother was Italian- or your fathers mother. Depending on the dna test, it may have only looked at mitochondrial DNA which is purely through the maternal line. So your grandmothers mitochrondral DNA would not have been passed down from your father to you to be seen by the ancestry test.
You will have other DNA from her though, just not the type the dna tests can look at.

RetreatingWeasels Wed 29-Jan-20 21:24:09

The ethnicity from the DNA is based only on the people who have already tested, which is why it changes all the time.

My paternal line is from the South of England, and my maternal line from the North of England. My initial results had Ireland and Scotland thrown in. Then they rejigged everyone's and suddenly mine are "right".

When people test, they supply the birthplace of the furthest back ancestor known on each line. The labs know that "these 2000 kits" all have ancestry from Western Europe and "these 1000 kits" all have Asian heritage, so when another kit matches these profiles they can give a rough guess and say that one probably comes from there too.

The important bit of the testing is to link to people with matching DNA to confirm the paper record sources. That's the bit that takes the time, and gives you more of a clue. I got my DM to test too, so that anything that doesn't match her is probably from my paternal line. There was always a family legend that we were European Jews, and I am getting links to distant cousins who are indeed Jewish and/or from Europe.

FWIW it's looking like most of my DNA is from my 2 grandmothers and little if anything from my 2 grandfathers, but then it depends who else has tested.

Ylfa Thu 30-Jan-20 11:28:16

It’s recombination isn’t it, my oldest daughter inherited 1275 centimorgans from my dad and 2184 from my mother - you don’t get an equal amount from each grandparent.

AllHeart1 Thu 30-Jan-20 11:33:56

These tests are notoriously inaccurate. Plus I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would knowingly send their DNA to an unknown entity where the recipient could in future do anything they want with it.

These tests are just a way for Ancestry and the like to make money, which is why I’m sure that this will at some point extend to selling that DNA on.

Ylfa Thu 30-Jan-20 11:41:16

If you (and parents) also test with 23andme you get a little more information about your parental inheritance

CobblersandHogwash Thu 30-Jan-20 16:48:34

These tests are weird.

My mother is German. I did a test and it came back with no mention of any Germanic heritage at all.

How can that be?

cdtaylornats Fri 07-Feb-20 22:36:42

Because the generation before may have been immigrants to Germany.

LuckyMarmiteLover Sat 08-Feb-20 16:34:59

I’m adopted so the reason I did the AncestryDNA test was to trace birth family. It was very successful and I have found both of my birth parents plus many cousins smile

zsazsajuju Sat 08-Feb-20 16:40:33

I have done ancestry and been matched to many relatives. The “cultural” bit isn’t all that reliable but dna generally doesn’t lie and the tests tell you a lot.

enjoyingscience Sat 08-Feb-20 16:57:20

please don’t set any store by the ancestry numbers. Genetic ancestry is not an exact science at all, and relies on reference populations. When the references change, so does the percentage ancestry for everyone they’ve ever tested based on these references.

If you think about it, the idea that there’s a special genetic marker for every location, race, culture, is a bit of a mad idea. The best you could say was that a person shared a percentage of features with another person, but it’s never going to be exact.

Your family history is yours to know and relate to as you see fit. A daft test which can’t reliably tell you a single thing about the movement of your ancestors except in the broadest possible terms should be treated as it deserves - as a bit of a novelty item.

tinytemper66 Sat 08-Feb-20 17:02:52

My mother swears blind there is only Irish blood in her so would love to see the results for her!

filka Sat 08-Feb-20 17:45:18

The ethnicity from the DNA is based only on the people who have already tested, which is why it changes all the time.

I'm also hoping that the results will change over time. My ethnicity result is 83% England, Wales & NW Europe but when you look at the Thrulines you find out how many other people in your family tree have done DNA tests.

In my case,
- I am the only DNA-tested person for all my grandparents (4) and great grandparents (8), there is one DNA match each on 3 out of 16 2nd great GPs, it's only on the 3rd great GPs that matches really start to appear.

As a result, the nearest relatives found so far are 3rd or 4th cousins.

But I've been checking back as I write this and see that a number of the GPs are flagged as "updated" and the DNA matches as "new"

I guess it will be a month or so before all the tests are processed that were given out as Christmas presents. Mine came back a couple of weeks before I expected it.

Sporty99 Sat 08-Feb-20 17:54:20

I thought these tests had been debunked a long time ago. Repeat tests coming out entirely differently, identical twins having completely different results etc.

Puts on tin foil hat I heard they were just a way to surreptitiously collect and keep a record of everyone's dna.

SisterAgatha Sat 08-Feb-20 17:57:36

I thought mine was really rubbish and inaccurate. Then I did the research and it’s actually very accurate. The dna trail and the paper trail/historic anecdotes do not always match...

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