“The Autosomal Me” is a 9 part series published between February 6, 2013 and May 31, 2013 on the blog, www.dna-explained.com. I’ve been asked to do a couple of things. First, to put together a document that has all of the links in one place, and second, to create a pdf file of the compiled articles for download.
The second part turned out to be easier than I anticipated. One of my readers also saw that request and put together the pdf file, which I’ve uploaded to my website at www.dnaexplain.com and is now available (free) with lots of other good things under the Publications tab. Very big hat tip to John for doing this. Thank you so much!
Here’s the list of articles from first to last with their links:
Part 1 was “The Autosomal Me – Unraveling Minority Admixture” and Part 2 was “The Autosomal Me – The Ancestors Speak.” Part 1 discussed the technique we are going to use to unravel minority ancestry, and why it works. Part two gave an example of the power of fragmented chromosomal mapping and the beauty of the results.
Part 3, “The Autosomal Me – Who Am I?,” reviewed using our pedigree charts to gauge expected results and how autosomal results are put into population buckets.
Part 4, “The Autosomal Me – Testing Company Results,” shows what to expect from all of the major testing companies, past and present, along with Dr. Doug McDonald’s analysis.
In Part 5, “The Autosomal Me – Rooting Around in the Weeds Using Third Party Tools,” we looked at 5 different third party tools and what they can tell us about our minority admixture that is not reported by the major testing companies because the segments are too small and fragmented.
In Part 6, “The Autosomal Me – DNA Analysis – Splitting Up” we began the analysis part of the data we’ve been gathering. We looked at how to determine whether minority admixture on specific chromosomes came from which parent.
Part 7, “The Autosomal Me – Start, Stop, Go – Identifying Native Chromosomal Segments” took a deeper dive and focused on the two chromosomes with proven Native heritage and began by comparing those chromosome segments using the 4 GedMatch admixture tools.
Part 8, “The Autosomal Me – Extracting Data Segments and Clustering,” we extract all of the Native and Blended Asian segments in all 22 chromosomes, but only used chromosomes 1 and 2 for illustration purposes. We then clustered the resulting data to look for trends, grouping clusters by either the Strong Native criteria or the Blended Asian criteria.
The final segment, Part 9, “The Autosomal Me – The Holy Grail – Identifying Native Genealogy Lines,” utilized all of the chromosomal information we’ve gathered in the earlier steps. We apply that information to our matches and determine which of our lines are the most likely to have Native Ancestry. This, of course, fulfills the goal of using DNA information to identify small amounts of minority admixture.
In summary, this series has been quite interesting and indeed, it did achieve the goals initially set forth. However, it was very manually intensive and took far longer than anticipated, partly due to circumstances beyond my control, like software updates and vendor changes. A second reason that it took longer than expected was due to the sheer amount of work involved in the various steps, particularly steps 8 and 9. In addition, because Minority Admixture Mapping (MAP) is developmental, I had to try several different approaches to determine which one, or ones, worked best. Despite the immense amount of work, I would describe this approach certainly as useful and successful. In fact, I don’t know how else I would have ever eliminated some genealogical lines as candidates for Native heritage and focused on others without the combination of MAP’s new techniques combined with both old and new tools provided by others.
Having said that, I would suggest that this technique, because of the intensive manual effort required, is only for the very committed genetic genealogist – the warrior, so to speak. It also will not work well with only a few matches. I would suggest that you would need at least 200 or 300 matches, preferably more, which is typical of someone with colonial American heritage. If that is you, and you are desperate to find your minority admixed lines….then this type of project may be for you. Please thoroughly read all 9 articles before beginning.
Many of the techniques in the various steps can be utilized individually, without completing the entire MAP process. For example, comparing vendor and third party results, using the GedMatch admixture tools and the chromosome comparisons for percentages of ethnicity all provide useful information in their own right, outside of the full MAP process.
Bon voyage on your journey of discovery to find “The Autosomal You”! Your ancestors are the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.