I will discuss my third-party results with reference to both my known paper-trail ancestry as well as my admixture results from 23andMe, Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage. Please see my previous blog post for a detailed discussion about my original testing-company results.
DNA.LandDNA.Land is a research project run by Columbia University and the New York Genome Centre. Uploading your raw data there means consenting to participating in research. The admixture and matching tools are a courtesy to the participant, and not the main purpose of the site.
Below is a screenshot of my DNA.Land results based on my autosomal raw data from FTDNA. The categories are very broad, with no separate Scandinavian category (most of it is probably incorporated into the "North/central European" category). Apart from that, this looks like a plausible breakdown for me.
My European categories seem, in short, correct. There is not much more to say. Everything is roughly consistent with my paper trail as well as my results from the testing companies. Interestingly, the "Northern and Central Europe" category includes a large portion of the British Isles as well as the northwestern part of continental Europe. In my opinion, this seems like a very good representation of ancient migrations and gene flows across the English Channel.
Also, well done Gencove for reporting my Finnish DNA!
The Central Asian is a bit of a puzzle, just like the Kalash at DNA.Land; I will be discussing it at the end of the blog post.
GenePlaza's Ancestry app has no specific Scandinavian category. The region of Scandinavia seems to be split between the "North Slavic" and "Northwest European" categories. The Southern European percentages (5.6% Southwestern European and 4.5% Eastern Mediterranean) are intriguing, and like the SW European and Balkan at DNA.Land, these categories might possibly represent real Southern European ancestors within a genealogical timeframe (cf. my 0.5% Broadly Southern European at 23andMe). GenePlaza also gives me a mysterious Central Asian percentage just like Gencove does; again, I will discuss this at the end of the post. The Central Asian category has no subcategories.
Interestingly, GenePlaza gives me 0.7% Ambiguous. I always like it when there is an Ambiguous or Unassigned category, because it means that the algorithm isn't force-fitting your genes into categories where they don't belong.
K12 Ancient Admixture Calculator
Besides the regular admixture analysis app, GenePlaza also has one that is specifically geared at showing you your ancient roots through comparisons with actual archaeological remains. This one is called the K12 Ancient Admixture Calculator. The results are not really relevant to genealogical research within a historical timeframe, but I still find them interesting, and I might do a separate blog post in the future about "ancient calculators" like the K12 and FTDNA's "AncientOrigins".
ConclusionOn a broad continental level, all these third-party sites are doing a decent job at predicting my admixture.
On a regional level, all the sites report my strongest European categories as being in the North, which is consistent with my paper trail and testing-company results. Several of the third-party sites find more Eastern/Northeastern European DNA ("North Slavic" etc.) than the testing companies do. I wonder if that could have something to do with my Finnish/Russian ancestry, or if it's just something generic found in all Scandinavians. Both DNA.Land and GenePlaza give me Southern European percentages, which could be real; however, if they are, the percentages are probably too high. 23andMe's 0.5% Broadly Southern European is more consistent with my known paper trail and with the fact that both my parents show 0% Southern European at DNA.Land.
Additionally, all the three third-party sites assign me some Central Asian under various labels. I don't know where this comes from, but the consistency indicates that it is probably a reflection of something real. Perhaps it could have something to do with my mother's alleged Russian ancestry? Our Russian ancestor might not have been 100% ethnically Russian; there might well have been some other admixture there, such as Tatar. The Central Asian DNA could also be connected to our Romani ancestry, or to our Finnish and Sámi lines.
In my opinion, out of these three sites, it is Gencove that provides the best admixture breakdown for me, while DNA.Land has the most coarse-grained and uninformative analysis. The fact that DNA.Land assigns me several categories at ≥4% while both my parents get 0% of the same categories, makes me question the reliability of DNA.Land's admixture breakdown more generally. The margin of error seems very high. However, DNA.Land has updated their admixture analysis before, and will hopefully do so again.