Thursday, January 12, 2017

Comparing My Living DNA Results With Other Autosomal DNA Tests

I wrote about my Living DNA autosomal test results in Received my Living DNA Autosomal Test Results - Post 2.  It showed that I have:

*  86.2% British Isles
*  13.8%  Europe

The British Isles numbers were further broken down as:

*** South Central England = 21.0% (orange)
*** Central England = 18.6% (blue)
*** South England = 18.5% (green)
*** East Anglia = 10.1% (red)
*** Devon = 8.5% (light blue)
*** Cumbria = 2.5% (brown)
*** Northumbria = 1.7% (teal)
*** Southeast England = 1.1% (purple)
*** Unassigned England = 4.1% (gray)

How does that compare to my perceived genealogical ancestry and the ethnicity estimates from autosomal DNA tests I've taken on AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe and DNA.Land?

1)  Perceived Genealogical Ancestry

I estimated my perceived genealogical ancestry, based on where my ancestors in each line resided in 1500 CE (this had to be an educated guess!) in My Autosomal DNA Quandary Persists:

68%  British Isles
24%  Germany/Switzerland
1%  Holland/Belgium
1%  France
6%  Unknown (perhaps some are French, Dutch, Scandinavian, Belgian, English, Native American, or other places)

2)  AncestryDNA Autosomal DNA Ethnicity Estimate:

The AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate by sub-region is:

*  66% Europe West
*  18% Ireland
*  9% Great Britain
*  3% Scandinavian
*  1% Italy/Greece
* <1% Iberian Peninsula
*  <1% Pacific Islander
*  < !% Native-American

3)  FamilyTreeDNA Autosomal DNA Estimate:

My FamilyTreeDNA ethnicity estimate by sub-region is:

*  45% Scandinavia
*  32% Western and Central Europe
*  19% Southern Europe
*  4% British Isles

4)  23andMe ethnicity estimate:

My 23andMe ethnicity estimate by sub-region is:

*  47.9% British & Irish
*  26.0% French and German
*  2.0% Scandinavian
*  21.0% Broadly Northwestern European
*  1.3% Southern European
*  1.1% Broadly European
*  0.5% East Asian and Native American
*  0.1% Middle Eastern and North African

5) Ethnicity Estimate:

My ethnicity estimate by sub-region is:

*  82% Northwest European
*  8.6% Balkan
*  1.6% Ambiguous South European
*  7.6% Ambiguous West Eurasian

6)  Conclusions and Comments

a)  All five DNA ethnicity estimates do not match one another.  This is because they have different sub-regional groupings, and different reference groups (persons tested and assigned to each grouping), that they are basing their estimates on.

b)  For those services that identified a sub-region of British Isles and Ireland, the results are:

**  Living DNA:  86.2% British Isles
**  AncestryDNA:  27%  Ireland and great Britain
**  FamilyTreeDNA:  4%  British Isles
**  23andMe:  47.9%  British and Irish

Compared to my perceived genealogical estimate of 68% for the British Isles (including Ireland), the Living DNA estimate overestimates the DNA contribution, while the other services underestimate the DNA contribution.    

Obviously, the British Isles were a place where invasions from the Romans, the Angles, the Saxons,  the Vikings, and the Normans have occurred over the past 2,000 years.  I probably left some out.  

c)  The Living DNA sub-regions have South Central England with 21.0% (this includes most of Somerset and Wiltshire, I think).  My great-grandfather, Thomas Richmond (1848-1917) was born in Wiltshire, and so were his known ancestors.  So that's 12.5% of my DNA.  My third-great-grandfather, Samuel Vaux (1815-1880) was born in Somerset, and so were his known ancestors.  so that's another 3.1% of my DNA.  That's 15.6% known for South Central England.  The balance of my British Isles ancestry is from the hundreds of migrants in the 1600s, and it is impossible to estimate where the rest of my British Isles DNA is apportioned, since we don't know the origins for some of them.  

d)  Based on my perceived genealogical ethnicity, and the five DNA autosomal test service results, I still think that 23andMe provided the best ethnicity estimate.  I may be wrong, of course!


Disclosure:  I purchased the 23andMe autosomal test.  I received a complimentary test kit from AncestryDNA.  I won a contest for the FamilyTreeDNA autosomal test kit.  I used raw data from the 23andMe test for the DNA.Land and Living DNA test.

Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Celtic Tree said...

Interesting stuff! And it will just continue to evolve as the different services expand and enhance their abilities to figure all of this out!

Travis LeMaster said...

I bought a LivingDNA kit at RootsTech. Will be interesting to see how the results pan out compared to the other DNA companies.