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Ancestry DNA Tests/Ancestry Research

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by mrhansduck, May 18, 2022.

  1. mrhansduck

    mrhansduck GC Hall of Fame

    Nov 23, 2021
    I have not seen a thread on this (sorry if I missed one) and will put it here if that's okay. Some responses may be political and others may not be. I'm interested in any feedback, whether political, personal, informational, amusing or whatever. I think it's pretty fascinating.

    I did the DNA Ancestry test last year. Most of my close family have not done it - either for privacy reasons or because they just don't seem that interested. For me, it was just kinda general curiosity. I love languages, cultures, and history and wanted to know more about my background, particularly on my maternal grandmother's side - as she was always suspiciously tight-lipped about stuff like that and said she didn't want too much digging in her lifetime.

    I did match up with my dad, an aunt, a couple first cousins (one of which no one knew about until a couple years ago based upon the DNA testing, which revealed an affair), and many, many second and third cousins. I notice my race/ethnicity results have been updated and revised a couple times and not sure what to make of that.

    I have some expected results to include England/Nothwestern Europe, Ireland, Sweden & Denmark, Scotland and some others. At the lower end of the list, there is 2% France; 2% Basque; 1% Cameroon, Congo & Western Bantu Peoples; and 1% Southern Italy. The surnames on my maternal grandmother's side seem consistent with some French, but I'm confident there is at least one Native American in my line which is not reflected. I also expected Spain given some of those names but maybe that was the Basque result. I know there were unfortunately slave records posted on a private Facebook group I'm on with extended family, so maybe that explains the 1% African. It may also explain why my grandmother did not want people digging into this stuff while she was alive.

    I know we have some folks on here with science and/or medical backgrounds. It seems to me like the DNA tests are quite accurate in terms of matching with people who share common ancestors. I even watched "Our Father" recently on Netflix where more than a hundred people learned they had half siblings whose biological father was a fertility doctor using his own sperm. Pretty tragic.

    But how accurate are these tests in terms of approximating racial/ethnic background? Are they just nonsense or working backwards from people you match with? My understanding is that since they cannot go back in time, they are really comparing DNA samples against populations that live in other countries today? I'm not sure how that all works given migration and other variables.

    On the political front, I have thought about how many of the White Nationalists/White Supremacists who oppose the mixing of races are "pure" White and how strictly those groups define that - something I've read them argue about. My understanding is that race is largely a social construct but there are genetic markers and health issues which are different. We also have historical notions of a "one drop" rule (at least in the U.S.) and other complications.

    Perhaps these sorts of discussions are counter-productive and simply re-enforce racial classifications as being more real or tangible. I don't know. But I wonder if White people (or other races/ethnicities for that matter) who harbor animosity against other races/ethnicities/groups or don't think they should be mixed might soften their views if they found out that they themselves are "mixed."

    Interested in any thoughts anyone has on any of these issues.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Spurffelbow833

    Spurffelbow833 GC Hall of Fame

    Jan 9, 2009
    I don't like it. I couldn't care less about my ancestry. It's dead people's baggage and nothing good can come from it in the long run. These tests are just doing some future Hitler's work for him.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Funny Funny x 3
  3. oragator1

    oragator1 Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Friend of mine found out he had a half sister from one of those sites. His dad had been with a woman before he met my friends mom and even hr likely didn’t know he had a daughter. Weird stuff.

    My dad did one, and his lineage came back almost exactly as expected. His dad’s parents were off the boat EU Jews, his mom’s parents were off the boat Irish. And the test had him 51 percent Irish/British and 48 percent Ashkenazi Jewish. Some traces leftover, but that would be expected I suppose.
  4. officelife

    officelife All American

    Aug 11, 2017
    Mrhansduck’s relatives are nervously waiting on a call.
  5. gtr2x

    gtr2x GC Hall of Fame

    Aug 21, 2007
    I did the test a couple years ago and have a northern European ancestry. I was adopted and was just curious if what I had been told as to ancestry was true. It was actually pretty close. I discovered a family lineage with several half bros/sisters and a bunch of distant cousins, but have no intention of follow up.
    I found it pretty interesting tho my wife didn't see the point. Of course she knows her family going back several generations.

    Nationality seems fluid tho as u could have a couple of generations going back in one country yet be originally from somewhere else.

    Upon reflection, kind of glad I was adopted and raised in FLA, could have been freezing in rural upstate NY. :)
    • Like Like x 3
    • Fistbump/Thanks! Fistbump/Thanks! x 1
  6. l_boy

    l_boy 5500

    Jan 6, 2009
    My mom has over the years done a fair amount of geneology so I have a rough idea of where I come from. I’m not sure I’d find the genetic markers back to 37 different nations with 1% particularly revelatory. Keep going back your and ancestors multiply so it is highly likely that most people have many mutt like qualities.
  7. citygator

    citygator VIP Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    I did it the old fashion way… ancestry.com records search. It’s very addictive. Don’t do it! But very interesting.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. swampspring

    swampspring GC Hall of Fame

    Dec 13, 2009
    Great post, and let me preface this by saying, I do not have a medical or science background. But I have watched a lot of Dateline and also stayed at a Holiday Inn more than a few times.

    But all things serious, I read these tests are only as accurate as the pool of DNA they are working from. Generally speaking, people of European ancestry tend to have a large pool of their DNA accounted for to make more accurate and specific determinations. Those of Asian/African/Native American ancestry, on the other hand, are less likely to have such a cache of DNA to work off of, which in turn impacts the level of specificity and accuracy.

    My personal opinion, while I very much value my culture and ancestry, as it is part of my identity in some regards, it isn't anything that makes me special or deserving as some of these "white nationalist" believe. It's a participation trophy, we all get one, of varying colors, shapes, and sizes. Woo hoo.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. carpeveritas

    carpeveritas Moderator VIP Member

    Dec 31, 2016
    I see no need. I told my daughter she was Heinz 57 when she took the test. A mix of European countries, a mix of ethnic groups, African, Hispanic, Polish, Dutch, Irish and American Indian. She found out I was telling her the truth - we are all mutts no pedigree here.
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. gator_lawyer

    gator_lawyer Premium Member

    Oct 30, 2017
    I thought about doing it, but I don't want my DNA in the hands of a private company.
    • Agree Agree x 6
  11. carpeveritas

    carpeveritas Moderator VIP Member

    Dec 31, 2016
    Back in the 90's IBM partnered with a company to conduct DNA analysis and research. They opened up the program free of charge to all IBM employees. Didn't take it then and I'm not taking it now for very reason you stated. Health and insurance love this type of data.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. gator_lawyer

    gator_lawyer Premium Member

    Oct 30, 2017
    The government loves it too.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. OklahomaGator

    OklahomaGator Jedi Administrator Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    My wife and I did ours and mine came back almost exactly as I expected. Predominately European, heavy in the German are but I did have <1% from southeast Asia.

    My wife's was pretty funny though. Her fraternal grandfather had came from Mexico fleeing being drafted in Pancho Villa's army, at least that is the story my wife told. Anyway, she was expecting it to come back with at least 25% Mexican ancestry but it had 0%, her 25% that she expected form Mexico instead came from Spain
    • Like Like x 2
  14. uftaipan

    uftaipan GC Hall of Fame

    May 31, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    You afraid they’ll make more of you someday? Sorry to say, but there’s probably a mosquito, frozen forever in amber, near your abode that has exactly what they’re looking for to start a whole park of gator_lawyer clones. You might as well give it up willingly.
    • Funny Funny x 4
  15. vangator

    vangator Junior

    Aug 5, 2013
    CEO of 23andMe is Anne Wojcicki (sends all data to China). CEO of YouTube is Susan Wojcicki (Big Tech censorship).
    Bioweapons are made from DNA.
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. gator_lawyer

    gator_lawyer Premium Member

    Oct 30, 2017
    No, I'm worried they'll turn it over to the government, who will discover that I'm the Zodiac Killer.
  17. Gator515151

    Gator515151 GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 4, 2007
    My dad had more that a few murderers in two branches of his family tree. Cap and Jonsie Hatfield were grandaddys 1st cousins. Devil Anse was his uncle. My great grandmother had 3 sisters married to Hatfields. She was also a 2nd cousin of Sheriff Don Chaffin of the West Virginia coal mine wars.. Sheriff Chaffin shot a few folks too. Took a bullet himself once. Some pretty interesting people in the West Va side of the family. Governor Henry D Hatfield was another of grandpas cousins.
    • Like Like x 1
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  18. 108

    108 Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    I have chosen not to have kids, and it’s interesting to think that my specific DNA line will just stop, after making it this far. Stardust no more.

    Also, my ancestry was a bore. 99.9% Northern European white.
  19. g8trjax

    g8trjax GC Hall of Fame

    Jun 1, 2007
    • Informative Informative x 2
  20. mrhansduck

    mrhansduck GC Hall of Fame

    Nov 23, 2021
    Yeah, I agree. For me, I don't really consider my ethnic ancestry - whatever it actually is - to be *my* culture. My dad is from New York and my mom from Mississippi. Beyond those influences, I was raised in Pensacola as a pretty typical White kid with no particular ethnic identification, traditions, etc. My mom did tell me that her grandmother spoke some French in her house, which I always thought was pretty cool.

    Our family actually traced this guy back through traditional research. Pretty interesting character who was born and died not far from me - in Mobile, which used to be considered "French Louisiana" and then "West Florida." Some of all this has just been fun to learn a little history.

    Simon Favre - Wikipedia
    • Informative Informative x 1