Discovering where your ancestors came from is one of the more popular reasons to do a DNA test but the current ancestry composition algorithms have a long way to go. Sometimes East Asian ancestry is actually American Indian and South Asian might be gypsy or Indian Indian. Scandinavian might be British or North German and British and Irish might be Scandinavian.
Most efforts to analyze the deeper roots of your ancestry are based on samples of modern populations who self report four grandparents of a single ethnicity plus some public databases and a few ancient samples. Since each company relies greatly on their own databases of tested people, it is not surprising to see differences in their predictions.
My brother’s Ancestry as shown at DNA.land
Since my brother is tested at all three companies I thought I would post the images of what each company sees in his DNA as well show the new report from DNA.land and a few from GEDmatch (both using his uploaded Ancestry.com DNA data). We are confident of our recent ancestry: 50% Southern Norwegian, 25% Bavarian German and 25% Ashkenazi.
The new DNA.land report is shown above, Hmmm, only 16% Ashkenazi.
It really makes sense for a DNA company or third party DNA tools site to let you link to your profile at a genealogy site rather than reinventing the wheel with their own tree software. So DNA.land now has a feature where you can link your GENI profile to your DNA results page. Then your matches can view your family tree at GENI to see where you might be related.
Last fall I blogged about DNA.land -a nice new web site created by Erlich Lab (a non profit associated with Columbia University). The idea is to have you upload your raw DNA test results in order to contribute to their research and then you get some DNA features in return. The privacy is good: only your matches and the relatives of matches can see your profile and where your DNA matches theirs. So perhaps get your ancestry matches to upload their data there if they are leery of the more open GEDmatch.
At Rootstech I attended a talk by Dina Zielinski from Erlich Lab about DNA.land and the power of big data. She played a wonderful video (above) showing human migration as seen from Erlich Labs analysis of the birth places of 43 million public profiles from Geni.com Continue reading →
Today the new DNA site – DNA.land – did a major update which vastly improved the display page for matching relatives and also got rid of the false matches that we all initially saw.
Personally, I love the concept of crowd sourcing DNA science. This new site, created by a team at Columbia University, promises on its about page that you will “learn more about your dna and contribute to important scientific research.” It is also “in partnership with the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) to better understand the genetic risks of breast cancer.” So of course I had to try it out. I uploaded the raw DNA data for my Dad, myself, and one aunt in the first day of its operation.
On the day after I uploaded, I was able to look at the matches page. My matches to my Dad and a maternal aunt are shown above. I like the compact display of the chromosomes on the right and was fascinated by the “ancient DNA” concept. An improvement today is to show the longest segment. I find having at least one large segment, more than 20cM, to be an important indicator of a close relative especially when combined with total cM or even better “Total Recent cM.”
As of today you can click under the image to get a table of the actual matching segments. This table was easy to cut and paste to a spreadsheet. Aternatively the whole page can be cut and pasted (Control-A to select, Control-C to copy)