Thursday, May 9, 2019

My Latest 23andMe Ethnicity Estimate and Chromosome Painting

23andMe announced recently that they had changed their ethnicity estimates (they call it "Ancestry Composition."  I last wrote about this in 23andMe Adds New Features to Ancestry Composition Estimates (posted 15 January 2019).

1)  My Ancestry Composition has changed a bit from four months ago.  Here is the latest (2 screens):

My Ancestry Composition has changed (for the 50% Speculative estimates):

*  British & Irish to 37.9% (was 46.7% in January 2019)
*  French & German to 31.9% (was 26.0% in January 2019)
*  Scandinavian to 7.5% (was 2.0% in January 2019)
*  Broadly Northwestern European to 20.6% (was 21.0% in January 2019)
*  Southern European to 1.0% (from 1.3% in January 2019)
*  Broadly European to 0.4% (from 1.1% in January 2019)
*  Trace Ancestry to 0.6% (from 0.5% East Asian & Native American and 0.1% Western Asian & Northern African)

I lost British & Irish, gained French and German, and gained Scandinavian.  I keep recalling that "these are only estimates!"

2)  The next chart of interest is "Your Ancestry Timeline" tells you how many generations back your most recent ancestor for each population:

 I agree with the British and Irish" time frame, but the "French and German" time frame is probably too late (all of my known German lines came before 1750), and I have no clue from the paper trail who my "Scandinavian," "Spanish and Portuguese" and "Native American" immigrant ancestors are.  Of course, I don't know where all of my ancestors since 1700 were born, but I know most of them. 

3)  The section for "Your Ancestry Composition Chromosome Painting" is fascinating to me.  For each chromosome, it "paints" the ethnicity that 23andMe thinks that it reflects (two screens):

From this I can see that my "East Asian & Native American" (0.6% of my DNA) is on one of my Chromosome 12.  I can see that one of my Chromosome 1 is mixed between British/Irish, French/German and Northwestern European; the other Chromosome 1 is Scandinavian and Northwestern Europe, with a bit of Native American at the end of it.

a)  It's easier to see these breakdowns by running my mouse over the sub-groups.  Here is my British & Irish: 

I can see from this that both of my parents had British and Irish ancestry on some of my chromosomes, but not on all of them.  I'm not surprised since my paper trail says my father is about 100% British and my mother is about 50% British and Irish.

b)  The French & German contribution:

I was surprised that there are several chromosomes where a pair has French and German ethnicity (like Chromosome 5 and 7).  My paper trail indicates that my mother has about 45% French and German ancestry, but my father has none.  However, the Saxons and Normans invaded England back in time.

c)  The Scandinavian contribution:

Chromosomes 1, 4, and 9 have some Scandinavian segments.  My paper trail shows my mother has one Scandinavian ancestor from the 1600s.  

d)  The Northwestern Europe contribution:

e)  The Southern European segments are on Chromosomes 6 and 12.  

f)  The X chromosome which I received from my mother is French & German and Northwestern European.

5)  General observations:

*  Some of the French and German and Scandinavian segments may be derived from the Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, etc. that invaded the British Isles over thousands of years.

*  The "Southern European" segments 
may reflect Roman or Iberian invasions of the British Isles in history.

*  My "Native American" ethnicity segment is on one of my Chromosome 12 which has British and Irish, but no French or German or Northwestern Europe.  I think that this may be from my mother's Canadian ancestry from the 1700s.

*  I have been told by experts that we cannot label one of the pair (top and bottom) of the 22 autosomal chromosomes as "from mother" or "from father" consistently; e.g., not all of the top of a chromosome pair is from "mother" - some top (or bottom) chromosomes may be "mother" or "father."  

*  If I can paint my chromosomes in DNA Painter based on shared DNA segments, perhaps I can determine which of each  pair is from my mother or father since I would know who the common ancestor is.

6)  Obviously, identifying the ethnicity of a chromosome segment is based on the reference groups that the testing service uses.  GIGO.  


Disclosure:  I paid for my 23andMe autosomal DNA test back in 2011, and have received no material considerations from 23andMe.

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