Sunday, October 5, 2014

So? Can I Join The Tribe?


     The DNA test has returned!  I'm Irish!  Well, I knew that, but there is more to investigate.  Ancestry said 35 percent Irish which seems low since my father is 3/4 Irish.  Dad's other 1/4 is British so the 5 percent British was no surprise.  The rest was West European which encompasses Germany, Netherlands, Belgium... no surprise there either, that's my Mother's heritage.  I was however, disappointed to find no Native American DNA as described by a great-great-uncle.  After much reading on the subject of the human genome and nuclear DNA two things happened, first I began to feel really stupid, and second, things became a little clearer.  The test Ancestry uses looks at different parts of your DNA and then comes up with a "range", it's not exact in other words. The range for my Irish DNA was as high as 51 percent.  And since you inherit your DNA randomly, half from each parent, you can actually miss out on some DNA they carried around; also, the further back you go, DNA can get "watered down" (that's a scientific term), so even if there was Native American DNA way back when, it may not show up in the test. And one other thing, it may show up as something else.

    There was still another avenue open,  I downloaded my raw data to  They came up with an interesting breakdown, rather different than Ancestry's:

     They break down the results by region, not country.  And sure enough, I found Western Asian, South Asian, and Siberian, all known to show up in Native American DNA, and at .21 percent--Amerindian!  By the way, on Gedmatch's homepage in the left column is a section called "DNA For Dummies" that has some very helpful articles.

     Was Uncle George right about our Native ancestry?  It's difficult to say.  I'm currently trying to figure out if I can talk my father into spitting in a tube for me????

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