Monday, July 10, 2017

My Heritage Offers an Ethnicity Estimate

Most people who ask me about DNA testing are interested in finding out their "ethnicity."

"Do your family tree instead," I tell them.

Why?

First, you do not carry DNA of all your ancestors.

Second, your DNA is not a proportional representation of your ancestors beyond your mother and father.

Third, your results will vary from company to company and over time.

Fourth, modern-day political boundaries of countries do not represent a homogeny of inhabitants now or throughout history.

Three months ago, I uploaded DNA files to My Heritage because it was free.  I am looking for relatives to fill in missing leaves and branches of my family tree.  So far, my mother has two matches in the second to fourth degree cousin range, but neither has responded to my inquiries.

Today an email signaled the arrival of My Heritage's Ethnicity Estimate.  The spinning globe with music, supposedly from the area of origin, is eye-catching and unique.  I could not reproduce the spinning globe here, so I created some screen shots.  It seems that the spinning globe function is limited to five regions.

The beginning of my spinning globe ethnicity display

The end of my spinning globe


Greek is new to me.  The beauty of my situation is that I can compare my ethnicity results with my parents.  From either parent I can inherit all of a particular ethnicity, a portion, or none.

Neither of my parents is Greek, according to My Heritage.  We've done this before with Family Tree DNA and 23andMe.  Some of the purported ethnicities do not line up with my parents.


The remaining ethnicities for my father do not include Greek.
His Baltic and Scandinavian are not reflected in my estimate.

My mother.  I currently describe her as three quarters Irish and one quarter Russian.


My maternal grandmother's first cousin (O'Donnell/Joyce branch) came up 100% Irish.