Re: Using DNA matches to find Jewish ancestors #dna

Jesse Springer <Jessemspringer@...>

Thanks Adam! I appreciate you sharing your experience and insight with me. My brother took an AncestryDNA and it reported ~16% Ashkenazi. Two sister took 23andMe and it reported ~16% for one and ~8% for the other. So we are still fairly confident there was an Ashkenazi ancestor based on these reports. As far as how long ago this was or how accurate these percentage guesses are, we'll never be quite certain unless we find out who was Ashkenazi in our family tree. 

On Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 9:29 AM Adam Turner <adam.d.turner@...> wrote:
I am not familiar with MorleyDNA, and so I can't comment on how it is predicting your father's haplogroup based on his autosomal data. But I would be very wary about taking MyHeritageDNA's ethnicity analysis at face value, even with a couple of non-randomly-selected Jewish DNA matches as "corroboration."

My ethnicity as MHDNA estimates it is 88% Ashkenazi Jewish, 7% Finnish, and 5% "West Asian - Mizrahi Jewish." The same data run through AncestryDNA, which has a much larger user base to draw on for its reference samples, comes out as 100% "European Jewish."

My late grandfather's DNA test has even bigger discrepancies: per AncestryDNA, he is 99% European Jewish and 1% non-Jewish Eastern European. per MHDNA, he is...75% Ashkenazi, 15% "Italian", 1% Baltic, and 8% Sephardic Jewish. It makes very little sense to me how my grandfather could supposedly have 23% Southern European ancestry, yet my own DNA actually ended up with zero of whatever markers are supposedly typical of these ethnic groups. Much more likely to me is that MHDNA's ethnicity analysis isn't worth the pixels it's printed on, and whatever reference samples they are using to power this feature of the product are probably small enough that lots of customers' results end up with quite a bit of nonsense.

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