At the 2016 Family Tree DNA 12th Annual International Conference on Genetic Genealogy held in Houston, Texas in November, I was honored to present Lifetime Achievement Awards to both Bennett Greens…
Wow – I knew the X-Chromosome combined differently to the rest of our DNA, I didn’t realise it would be This different. Certainly casts a new light (or shadow) on the various DNA matches I have that appear to match on the X chromosome.
Something is wrong with the X chromosome. More specifically, something is amiss with trying to use it, the way we normally use recombinant chromosomes for genealogy. In short, there’s a problem.
If you don’t understand how the X chromosome recombines and is passed from generation to generation, now would be a good time to read my article, “X Marks the Spot” about how this works. You’ll need this basic information to understand what I’m about to discuss.
The first hint of this “problem” is apparent in Jim Owston’s “Phasing the X Chromosome” article. Jim’s interest in phasing his X, or figuring out where it came from genealogically, was spurred by his lack of X matches with his brothers. This is noteworthy, because men don’t inherit any X from their father, so Jim’s failure to share much of his X with his brothers meant that he had inherited most…
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Very useful information for those doing DNA testing for the purposes of Genealogy or Family history
Sometimes, there’s nothing worse than a little bit of knowledge to get us into trouble. If you need proof of that, I can show you a picture of one of my first quilts which has thankfully disappeared someplace and was known semi-affectionately as “The Ugly Quilt.” I even entered it in an “Ugly Quilt” contest and it wasn’t even good enough, or is that bad enough, to win that!! Fortunately, things have improved! I’ve learned a lot.
Combine a little knowledge with people who desperately want answers, and you have a situation ripe for mistakes, misinterpretation and misunderstanding.
That’s what sometimes happens when you combine the results of two different genetic genealogy tools and you don’t really understand their differences, their application to the specific problem at hand, or what the results are really telling you.
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Some helpful background into DNA and Ethnicity Determination.
It’s no secret in the genetic genealogy community that one of my special areas of interest is Native and mixed race heritage. Both are obscured in the history of this country and this continent, and hampered by the lack of records.
Descendants are left to attempt to piece the history of their family together, many times with nothing more concrete than oral family history, faintly remembered. For these people, and there are many, genetic genealogy is the best and final hope they have of discovering IF the family rumor is true. If it is true, then perhaps by the judicious use of these new DNA tools, we can begin to get some idea of where to look on the family tree, as well as in historical records.
Someone asked a question on the blog the other day about how to interpret these results, and I do want to answer that…
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Having recently had by own origins tested via DNA and having received a small percentage of “Middle East” within those results, I wondered where it may have come from. Reading this article makes me wonder if a certain family rumour may actually have some truth to it. I’ll be following this up a bit to see if something comes of it.
One of our blog followers, Ron, asked this question:
“My late father and his brother were born and raised on Hatteras Island which was a very isolated community until relatively recent times. Curious about their genetic ancestry, I had my uncle do the Family Tree DNA Family Finder test. His results for the Family (Population) Finder were:
Europe (Western European) – Orcadian 91.37% ±2.82%
Middle East – Palestinian, Bedouin, Bedouin South, Druze, Jewish, Mozabite 8.63% ±2.82%
The 8.63% Middle East was surprising since most if not all of his ancestors, going back 4 or more generations, were born on the OBX (Outer Banks). Most of the original families on Hatteras Island trace their roots back to the British Isles and western Europe.
Since my mother’s parents were immigrants from eastern Europe, I thought it would be interesting to know what contributions my maternal grandparents added to my genetic ancestry, so…
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