Wednesday, 25 April 2018

My parents' Gencove admixture results

In an earlier blog post, I presented my results from the third-party DNA analysis website Gencove. Today I uploaded both my parents' FTDNA raw data to Gencove (with their consent, of course) in order to see what their admixture results would look like.

My father's result is quite consistent with his paper trail as well as his FTDNA result. However, his trace of East Asian is lacking. It might be that it was too small for Gencove to detect. The Finnish is interesting; my father does have a 4th great-grandfather of Finnish ethnicity (as well as a 5th great-grandmother of Sámi ethnicity), and 3% is consistent with his old result of 2% in FTDNA myOrigins version 1.0. It is, however, a little bit higher than expected.

My mother's result is also consistent with her FTDNA result. Gencove also gives her Finnish, which is actually more correct than FTDNA (which gives her no Finnish). The "Northern British Isles", although consistent with FTDNA, is a mystery; could it be noise? Viking Age migrants from Britain to Norway? Or perhaps something related to her Romani ancestors? Some of the earliest Romani in Scandinavia were deportees from Scotland. My mother's 19% Northeast Europe is significant; it seems to confirm the Eastern Europe she gets at FTDNA, which might be connected with our story of Russian ancestry. However, she gets no Ashkenazi Jewish at Gencove, which challenges my hypothesis that there might be Jewish ancestry further back on the Russian side.

Both my parents' results are consistent with my own, with one exception: I get 2% Central Asian, which none of them get. I'm hesitant to say that this must be noise, since FTDNA clearly shows a strain of East Asian DNA passed down from my grandfather to my father and to myself. 23andMe and WeGene provide confirmation of this East Asian trace (even after the last update at 23andMe), so I am confident that it is real and that I do have Asian DNA. It might be that when some of my mother's Eastern European connected with the trace of East Asian from my father (left unreported in his result because of its smallness), it created a mix in me that reads as Central Asian. But that is just a speculation. A second possibility is that the East Asian in me is in fact too small for Gencove to read at all, in which case my Central Asian and my mother's Eastern European might be the same thing, a segment of DNA coming from ancestors living on the border of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Perhaps part of my father's somewhat elevated Finnish percentage might also be a mix (in his case, of Scandinavian plus East Asian) causing a misreading.

Conclusion: Gencove is still the best of the third-party admixture tools. They seem to be at the same level of accuracy as FTDNA myOrigins; however, they still have a long way to go until they can compete with 23andMe.

1 comment:

  1. Am mailing off my 23andMe sample today! It'll be very interesting to see how that compares with my Ancestry, FTDNA, DNAland, MyHeritage, Gencove and GenePlaza results. I'm excited!