Saturday, June 29, 2013

DNA weirdness

I had my autosomal DNA testing done at  Here are my results:

52% British Isles
43% Central European
5% uncertain [at least part of this will be Native American]

This matches my genealogical research perfectly.  I transferred my results to FTDNA and these are the results I got back:

86.53% ± 3.94% Western European (British Isles)
13.47% ± 3.94% Middle East


Something isn’t quite right.  The results pretty much match my research.  The FTDNA results don’t. At this point I am not sure what to think.  FTDNA’s population finder is still in Beta so maybe my numbers will change.  In the FTDNA FAQ it says that Middle Eastern could be European around the Mediterranean but even if I converted the 13.47% to central Europe (all of which is not on the Mediterranean) the numbers still don’t jive. announced that they are updating things on their end and soon their percentages could change a  bit.  I am also looking forward to FTDNA updating their algorhythms.  Maybe one day my numbers will match. Time will tell!

My next DNA adventure will be mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).  The kit is on the way to me.  This will be really interesting because on my mother’s side 100% of my line is in central Europe for as far back as I have been able to research (early 1700s).  I talked with a genealogist friend of mine in Germany to ask her how many people are getting DNA testing done over there and she told me only a very few are.  She said that genealogy is still “an old man’s hobby” over there. 

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. I had the same reaction when I got my results from Family Tree DNA this week.

    For me Ancestry shows-
    Central European 49%
    British Isles 23%
    Scandinavian 17%
    Uncertain 11%

    FTDNA shows-
    Europe 49.80%
    Europe (Northeast European) 50.20%

    Genealogically I am roughly 56% German, 25% Scandinavian, 12.5% British Isles, ~3% French-Canadian and ~3% Native American. Ancestry's break down makes a lot more sense than Family Tree DNA's for me, that's for sure. Trying different tools at GedMatch, they pretty much match Ancestry's and my Native American shows up as anywhere from 3-5% depending on which tool I try. Hopefully they will all improve their population references.

  2. After I posted these results on FB and on a couple of mailing lists, I got several responses from people that had a big discrepancy between the two companies. A couple of DNA gurus (who know a lot more than I do) said to just give it a bit of time, that both companies were working out kinks in the algorhythms. The more data the have, the better the algorhythms will be.

  3. I have discrepancies between all three companies. From Ancestry I've got 98% British. This is the same as what I had when ftDNA first gave me my results. After an update there, I've got 98% Western Europe (British Isles & Continental Europe). But with 23andMe, I've got a much more in-depth breakdown of 98% European (18% British, the rest non-specific Northern European), 0.6% African and 0.2% Native American.

    Personally, I prefer to check out the many different admixture tools at

  4. GEDMatch isn't accepting any new uploads until August :(