This is Part 6 of a multi-part series.
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 this segment, Part 6, “DNA Analysis – Splitting Up” we’re going to focus on specific aspects of those tools and begin our analysis of our minority ancestry.
Analysis. Sounds like I’m climbing on the shrink’s couch. But I’m not, I’m saving all my dollars for DNA kits! Besides, I don’t want to stop! This analysis, we’ll do by putting several pieces of data together and sorting the wheat from the chaff. And yes, we’ll be splitting up…well…splitting our DNA up into pieces contributed by our father and mother.
Let’s start with looking at the DNA segments that mother and I share that are Native.
According to Doug McDonald, we have significant Native matches on chromosomes 1 and 2, with third party tools confirm that finding. Unfortunately, the only company where Mom’s DNA resides is Family Tree DNA whose test did not reveal the Native ancestry. 23andMe did confirm Native segments in my DNA in those locations.
I’ve used several third party tools at GedMatch to see where Mom and I both have Native heritage, where she has it and I don’t, and equally as important, where I have it and she doesn’t? What is that so important? Simple, it means my father had Native heritage too, and tells me on which chromosomes his Native DNA is located This could, when matching people in the future, on particular segments, help to isolate who our common Native ancestor was, or at least which line. That is the ultimate goal we are working towards with this entire process.
In this case, to identify my father’s Native lines, if Mom and I neither or both have Native markers at a particular chromosome location, the values are irrelevant, because the Native lineage came from mother. I did notice in a few cases that I had more than mother, and of course, in that situation, it means that my father contributed some too, or my mother had a misread in that region or a categorization issue exists. For that reason, I am looking for patterns, not single instances. We’ll discuss using patterns in a future segment.
Using the MDLP chromosome mapping tool, as MDLP appears to be the most comprehensive, I created a spreadsheet using my results as a base. I then added mother’s values in the spaces where I had no values, and then I highlighted my results in the locations where mother had no value. The essence of this is that the red, bold, underscore values mean Mom had a Native result here, but I didn’t receive it. A yellow highlighted cell means I got the entire amount from my father, because my mother has no percentage showing. In other cases, of course, it’s possible that both mother and father contributed Native ancestry on some adjacent chromosome segments. The MDLP mapping tool with my additions is shown below for chromosomes one through eight. Chromosomes 9-22 are similar, but the chart is too big to display as a whole. This provides an example of how to do this analysis with your own results.
The results were very interesting.
My two primary regions, North-East-Europe and Atlantic-Mediterranean-Neolithic, were represented on every chromosome for both my mother and myself. No surprises there. The other regions would be considered minority admixture.
In 2 categories, North-European-Mesolithic and East Siberian, only my father contributed genetic material on some chromosomes and there were no chromosomes where my mother alone contributed.
In 1 category, Melanesia, only my mother contributed genetic material on some chromosomes and there were no chromosomes where my father alone contributed.
In all other categories, both parents contributed on some chromosomes where the other didn’t. This is important, because it will allow me to associate a match with a particular segment of a chromosome on a particular parent’s side with Native ancestry.
In the minority categories for Native American, Mesoamerican, Arctic-Amerind, South America Amerind and North Amerind, grouped together, both parents contributed on some chromosomes where the other didn’t, and in two categories, on 3 chromosomes, I carry more than my mother, indicating an additional contribution from my father.
This is a repeated occurrence, with Native ancestry for my parents and I combined showing on a total of 42 chromosome locations across 4 geographic/ethnic categories, and in at least three cases, both parents contributed.
In the African categories, South African, Sub-Saharan and Pygmy, I had contributions from both parents on a combined total of 18 chromosome segments. The African admixture, in total, was less than the Native, and they are assuredly below 5% combined. If they were present at higher levels, I wouldn’t need to go through these genetic gyrations to prove or disprove the heritage and which parent contributed, because it would be evident in the testing results of all companies.
In our next segment, Step 7, we will be further scrutinizing Chromosomes 1 and 2 for additional information about Native heritage and assigning specific Native segments that I carry on various chromosomes to either my mother or father’s lineage.
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If you don’t have a parent to test, what are other ways you can determine where your minority heritage comes from?
Never mind. I have to get cousins on different sides of my family to test, right?
Yes, aunts and uncles are preferable, then cousins. Multiple people are best because you never know who inherited what piece of DNA from your common ancestor.
This is so very fascinating and FUN. I have may mothers brother tested, and my fathers sister and me. How wonderful!
Thank you so much. I have searched and searched for this kind of info.
That would be a great test plan!
When chromosome matching with a specific ancestral surname, should I block third party matches?
If you block third party matches, you’re eliminating anyone who transferred results from 23andMe. They won’t show up anyway unless they have entered their suranmes.
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My father tested to mtDNA C1c but no Native American showed up in Family finder.
That’s not terribly unusual if the Native ancestor is more than about 5 or 6 generations back. It would be interesting to download his file to GedMatch and see what their admixture tools pickup.
his father’s line is Q1a3a which you and I have discussed awhile ago. That would be Nova Scotia from England. Other is South Uist and Harris Scotland. And then more English. The NA line was 9 generations back through Gaspe but everyone French (Canadian) in subsequent marriages.
I just tried, but the raw data choice is temporarily not working. Lynne
Where were your father’s paternal ancestors from geographically?
don’t know past first one who came to Nova Scotia, but he was British.
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Thank you for these posts, they are extremely helpful. I have a question regarding the geographic location of the population sets listed. Where are they? Is there a reference somewhere? Atlantic-Mediterranean-Neolithic…is that British Isles, Mediterranean and ?? where is Neolithic? Thanks!
I would suggest asking the authors of the various tools. There is not consistency.
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