Friday, 3 February 2017

Living DNA Results

A pleasant surprise awaited me on Tuesday morning, my results from Living DNA. For my sample, which was sent in October, I was initially told to expect results by February 7. Just before Christmas I got notification of a problem will a low call rate on the first sample and to expect a three week delay in getting the results. The results came even ahead of the initial expected date with a note that updates are to be expected. Wow!

The test has paternal (Fatherline), maternal (Motherline) and autosomal (Family Ancestry) components. As I'd already done the BigY and full mitochondrial sequence test with Family Tree DNA I was told not to expect anything different. Those two LivingDNA's results were fully consistent with the previous tests.

With the random nature of DNA inheritance, you never know which half of a parent's autosomal DNA a person is going to inherit and what part will drop out. It's possible if highly unlikely, that the autosomal DNA of a grandparent could be entirely missing, or could account for one-third of a person's DNA. Who knows about the origins of those on the far side of the earliest identified ancestors. As the LivingDNA tweet said . . . you may have ancestors in places you never imagined. So true!

The results are described as "your DNA mix in the last 4-5 generations."

The overview of my result was 82.4% Europe, 7.7% Near East, 3.7% East Asia, 3.4% South Asia,  1.2% African and 1.6% unassigned. With one Jewish grandparent, I was prepared for a non-European component. I was not expecting the diversity as my Jewish line is in Europe for five generations. Repeating "you may have ancestors in places you never imagined."

Subdividing the 82.4%, European component to the regional level the result is 68.8% Great Britain and Ireland, 5% Europe (North and Western) and 8.6% unassigned. The GB&I percentage is within the range of the estimates from the other companies: Family Tree DNA 71%, AncestryDNA 49%, and 23andMe (Speculative) 57%.

For the  British Isles ancestry LivingDNA results are provided at a sub-regional level which aggregates counties. The assignment of counties to sub-regions was provided to me by the company with the caveat that it "approximates what counties (as per currently known borders) fall within our regions and as such, there will likely be much overlap:"

Sub-regionApproximate counties
AberdeenshireAberdeenshire, Angus, Fife, Moray areas
Central EnglandWarwickshire/Bedfordshire/Leicestershire/Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire, Northamptonshire/ Staffordshire areas
Cornwall
CumbriaCumbria, Dumfries and Galloway areas
Devon
East AngliaNorfolk/Suffolk/Cambrigeshire/Essex areas
Ireland
LincolnshireLincolnshire/Nottinghamshire areas
North WalesPowys/Ceredigion/Gwynedd/Conwy/Anglesey/Wrexham areas
North YorkshireNorth Yorkshire/East Riding of Yorkshire areas
Northwest EnglandLancashire/Merseyside/Cheshire/Staffordshire areas
Northwest ScotlandHighland/Argyll and Bute/Stirling/Perth and Kinross areas
NorthumbriaNorthumberland/Tyne and Wear/Durham/Scottish Borders/Fife areas
Orkney Islands
South Central EnglandSomerset/Wiltshire/Oxfordshire/Berkshire/Gloucestershire/Warwickshire areas
Southeast EnglandSurrey/Sussex/Kent/London/Hertfordshire/Essex
South EnglandDorset/Wiltshire/Hampshire and surrounding areas
SW Scotland and Nrn IrelandNorthern Ireland/Dumfries and Galloway/Ayrshire/Lanarkshire and surrounding areas
South Wales BorderHerefordshire/Worcestershire/Shropshire/W Midlands and surrounding areas
South WalesPembrokeshire/Carmarthenshire/South Powys/Swansea/Glamorgan/Monmouthshire areas
South YorkshireSouth Yorkshire/West Yorkshire areas

The table below shows the 21 sub-regions with the percentage of my whole DNA I expect to be from the different GB&I sub-regions based on genealogy and my percentage according to LivingDNA.

Sub-regionGenealogyGenetic
Aberdeenshire - -
Central England14.73.10
Cornwall -1.40
Cumbria4.9 -
Devon -8.50
East Anglia12.3 -
Ireland12.311.80
Lincolnshire -12.20
North Wales 2.5 -
North Yorkshire - -
Northwest England7.4 -
Northwest Scotland -3
Northumbria - -
Orkney - -
South Central England -7.20
Southeast England 12.38.70
South England - -
Southwest Scotland and Northern Ireland-1.20
South Wales Border4.95.90
South Wales - -
South Yorkshire -5.60

For 10 of the 21 sub-regions the results are somewhat consistent, either a percentage where I expected to have some ancestry or none where I expected none. The test showed ancestry in four of the eight sub-regions I expected. The largest percent from genetics, 12.2% in Lincolnshire, was not a matching sub-region.

Seven of the sub-regions where the LivingDNA test indicates I have ancestry do not occur in my genealogical records back to the fifth generation -- remember the coverage description as "your DNA mix in the last 4-5 generations.". It could that there are NPEs, or massive surprises on the other side of my brick wall great-grandfather. More likely the 4-5 generations is statistical. If all your ancestors were from China until 6 generations ago, then all moved to Aberdeenshire you wouldn't expect your genetics to come out as 100% Aberdeenshire.

There are four sub-regions where I have ancestry according to the genealogy but none according to the LivingDNA test. That can happen by chance when half of DNA from the previous generation gets discarded.  However, I'm rather surprised that would happened with the East Anglian ancestry which accounts for five of my 3xgreat-grandparents, all ancestors of my paternal grandfather.

There's more than I've covered here. LivingDNA will be at RootsTech, Feb 8-11 as well as at WDYTYA Live in Birmingham. They'd be glad to explain their service.


1 comment:

Wendy Croome said...

Living DNA has changed their site to say that these results are from about 10 generations ago, not the previous 4-5 generations. In my case, some of the percentages were in line with what I expected from 5 generations ago, but other results were a surprise. For example, I had 11% Devon and no known ancestors from that county. It suggests another place to search as I try to break through brick walls.