My dad was recently tested at 23 and me as well, which has been a great tool for finding both relatives on his side and on my mom’s and there were a few surprises.
Both sides have a German contingent which was unexpected for my father and my father has more “All” Irish matches than I would have thought because I wouldn’t have thought there were any. My dad carried the few Danish matches that I had.
In the basic tools his Genome analysis is much like mine. 100% Northern Europe. Not worth posting the graphic.
Shifting over to DIY Dodecad here is my father’s admixture:
FINAL ADMIXTURE PROPORTIONS
And here is his Dodecad Oracle result:
[1,] “CEU” “2.7351”
[2,] “Orcadian” “4.5262”
[3,] “Orkney_1KG” “4.8476”
[4,] “N._European” “5.1663”
[5,] “Argyll_1KG” “5.3784”
[6,] “German_D” “8.1553”
[7,] “French_D” “9.5645”
[8,] “French” “9.7545”
[9,] “Mixed_Germanic_D” “11.0269”
[10,] “Dutch_D” “11.4072”
[11,] “Kent_1KG” “13.6581”
[12,] “British_Isles_D” “15.5764”
[13,] “British_D” “15.603”
[14,] “Cornwall_1KG” “16.3898”
[15,] “Slovenian” “18.3699”
[16,] “Irish_D” “18.9789”
[17,] “Swedish_D” “19.1611”
[18,] “Norwegian_D” “19.8417”
[19,] “French_Basque” “21.5444”
[20,] “Hungarians” “22.599”
[21,] “Portuguese_D” “24.2288”
[22,] “Spaniards” “25.0297”
[23,] “Spanish_D” “26.2921”
[24,] “IBS” “26.5104”
[25,] “N_Italian_D” “27.6466”
[26,] “FIN” “28.1464”
[27,] “Tuscan_H” “29.143”
[28,] “TSI” “29.3426”
[29,] “Tuscan_X” “29.6094”
[30,] “North_Italian” “31.4779”
Again, like me “white people from Utah” are at the top. Orcadian and Orkney are next where I registered as Northern European. Then he hits Northern Europe and Argyll, German, French etc. Bearing in mind that Orkney is a melting pot for Norse and Scots, it seems to be in line with what I would expect about my father’s family. Orkney seems to be a designation for a lot of British people and that’s probably because of it’s position as a crossroads for different colonizations and invasions. I don’t think it would be too surprising if people with a lot of New England roots were compared to Orkney or Argyll.
Having uploaded his results to Gedmatch.com there were some interesting twists. He has matches with those people who first made me suspect Thomas Jacobsson the Finn as well as a few new Finns not in my list. He also carries my Ashkenazi matches and my Irish matches who also themselves seem to have Ashkenzi matches.
And, because Gedmatch shows smaller segments than 23 and me I can see that my dad and I share the largest X match I have.
For those of you familiar with highschool biology and sex ed…that shouldn’t happen. I guess I can’t say “shouldn’t” it’s just not expected. A man gets his X from his mother. So my father got his X unchanged from his mother and I got my X unchanged from my mother. In effect it would mean that my paternal grandmother and my mother are related…distantly.
That is completely reasonable because both my families have a similar background. Migrated to the U.S. in the same time periods, lived in the exact same communities and hung around with the same people. The real question would be “how could they not be related?”.
This brings me to another interesting thing that I’ve been noticing. Hyper-relatedness. I read a lot of people saying that matching beyond 5th cousins is unreliable, yet I seem to only be able to reliably match with people as far away as 6th and 7th great grandparents and 8 and 9th cousins.
The reason I’m able to match up at all seems to be because I can take a family tree to the 1700s…even into the late 1600s. Even to me that seems a bit old to be showing up. None of these are close matches mind you. My dad and I don’t match with anyone more that 0.43%..so less than half of one percent of our DNA is shared with anyone else.
I don’t think it’s any accident that I’m finding these matches in old East Coast, colonial families that are well documented but it makes me wonder if I’m going to be able to connect with someone who is related to my 1834 Thompsons or 1840 Williamsons. How can I find them if I’m overshooting the mark by 100 years?
Also, most of my matches to date have been indirect. Meaning they’re not people who appear in my tree. Most family trees have parents and siblings, somtimes just one child and their parents in a line back to the past. Autosomal DNA is relevant for cousins, wives of cousins, step siblings and moms only listed as “mary” or “elizabeth” so I have to effectively make new trees for my matches with branches that reach wider than tall. I also have to do the same for my own tree. Each mom without parents or siblings is a loss of hundreds of years of information.
The other danger that I’ve seen is in being labelled a “collector”. I’ve contacted genetic matches only to have them ask how many people are in a tree. When I answered thousands they were done working with me. That’s because when people think of genetics they think of their parents and siblings. Some might stretch it to cousins. Rarely will their patience go beyond that.
Trying to use our genes to gather information has been at the same time, fascinating and frustrating. Every step I take leads to more steps.
Now I have my dad to use as a wedge to split out my mother’s family. The next logical step is to find a relative that is outside of one or the other grandparent to split matches even further.
For instance. If I was able to get a Seelye cousin or known Thompson (my dad has no Thompson cousins my grandfather is an only child..as far as we know). I could then split out hits based on matches that overlapped with my dad and that cousin. The same goes for my mom’s family. Finding a known Price or Hutchinson outside of my grandparents family could make matches more meaningful.
Meaningful is “expensive”. In times like these it’s hard to come up with hundreds of dollars to spend on frivolous pursuits. People have families right now they need to take care of, third great grandparents can take a back seat.
I also wonder if some of my hyper-relatedness is the result of a level of intermarrying. There really were only so many choices for marriage in these communities and with both colonial and apparently Quaker relatives on both sides of my family, matches that should be much farther away would show up in my DNA as closer relatives.
Having said that, it bears noting that Gedmatch.com is showing me smaller and even older matches than 23 and me. If I can find a match in a tree in 1715 with a 23 and me match..the Gedmatch.com matches may be beyond any reliable historical record.