Revisiting My 23andMe DNA Findings

I had my DNA tested at 23andMe in 2011.  I wrote about it here.  There were no big surprises in the results. No Native American showed up, despite everyone being sure there was some Indian in there somewhere. I haven’t found any new cousins, although they provide plenty of possible cousins, we haven’t been able to prove any of the connections.

I have found it interesting to compare results with people I already know are related to me.  This chart shows the number of segments of DNA I share with each person and the % of DNA we share.  The pink is MtDNA and the blue is the YDNA. It’s also interesting to see what DNA cousins from the same line share with me and with each other.

Relatives_segments shared

When I first got my results, they did not give me as much detail as there is available in the diagram below.

kris_23&me_ancestry_copAfter I received my 23andMe results, I sent the extracted, zipped DNA file to Douglas McDonald ( who analyses the results and sends a more specific interpretation via email. He does this at no cost.  You can see mine below.  I wondered what a Centromere was and looked it up and found thatcentromere is a region on a chromosome that joins two sister chromatids

Each line represents a different chromosome. You recieve half of each chromosome from each of your parents, that is why there are sometimes different colors on top and bottom. On each one I have bits that originated with ancestors from Africa, Europe and North Africa.  The geographic areas are color coded with red for Europe and blue for Africa and violet for North Africa, etc. The dark brown parts are unidentified.  The light brown parts are links between segments of the chromosome.

Kristin_Williams_Full_20120802095052BGA1Doug McDonald wrote the following, along with the above:

Most likely fit is

  • 54.8% (+-  1.3%) Europe (all Western Europe)
  •   8.3% (+-  1.9%) Mideast (all North Africa)
  • 36.9% (+-  0.7%) Africa (all West African)

The following are possible population sets and their fractions, most likely at the top

  • Irish= 0.531 Moroccan= 0.103 Mandenka= 0.366 or
  • English= 0.561 Mozabite= 0.062 Mandenka= 0.377 or
  • Irish= 0.557 Mozabite= 0.067 Mandenka= 0.376 or
  • Irish= 0.528 Moroccan= 0.115   Yoruba= 0.357 or
  • English= 0.559 Mozabite= 0.072   Yoruba= 0.369 or
  • Irish= 0.555 Mozabite= 0.077   Yoruba= 0.368

The Asian and American on the chromosomes are small and weak and likely not real. The North African may or may not be real; if real, its likely smaller than 10%.

Doug McDonald

11 thoughts on “Revisiting My 23andMe DNA Findings

  1. I’m in the final week of a course in genetics offered online through MIT. It has been extremely challenging but extremely rewarding. I find this area so interesting. I like the way you wrote this up. I need more family members to agree to do this.

    1. I am an MIT student and I actually took this course this spring! Eric Lander is a phenomenal lecturer- plus they served us dinner before every class 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed the class (we did, too) and hope you didn’t laugh too hard at some of us falling asleep!

  2. I wish we had spent the $300 it cost at the time to get my father’s brother tested. He was just about the last male in any of my lines, cousins included. There is one distant cousin who I’m hoping will test eventually.

    I would like to hear more about the course. What do they cover?

    1. 😀 I know, right? I will be posting your mother’s soon. Some North African but no Native American. In fact, two members of the family show a bit, one is one of Aunt Josie Cleage’s descendents and even more so my grandson Sean, who must have gotten it from his father’s side. When I get rich, I’m going to test everybody.

  3. Almost every family I know claim Native American ancestry, including my own…I need to be tested but first I need a class.

    1. If you can get some dna from your elders now, you probably want to do that and then take a class. There is a lot of reading you can do online too. I know I got mine done and then started trying to figure it out. Just wish I’d had the chance to get my parents tested. And more aunts and uncles.

  4. I received this response from Doug McDonald.
    I am being swamped by requests for BGA analyses. I simply can no longer
    accomodate all these requests. I am, at least for a while, going to continue
    providing them free, if people will limit themselves to sending only
    “important” ones. These include adoptees looking for answers and people
    whose commercial analyses provide strange answers to whether they have
    Native American, African or Jewish ancestry. Note that the new 23andme “Ancestry
    Composition” is, on a “continent” level, essentially as good as my system.
    FTDNA and Ancestry are much less accurate and if you tested with them
    and they missed expected small bits, I still can take a look. If you are
    Afro-(Euro)American and FTDNA said you are part Eastern European, I’ll
    check that. Try to describe the question you need answered.

    I am still looking for special people to test as comparisons, mostly
    people with Native American not from Central America.

    In particular, I really can’t keep up with requests from essentially 100% European
    people unless they have special questions such as possible Jewish or Roma.
    Also, if you have parents their children, please send only parents. Some people
    have sent me large numbers of files. If these people send more, I can look at them
    only if they have bery very special needs.

    Finally, if you got my address from some Web forum, please copy
    the above occasionally, as I do not frequent these.

  5. Very interesting, I didn’t know this was possible already. Thank you for sharing the results; this insight in your family’s history based on DNA instead of the usual genealogical research. I noticed it isn’t free anymore, and the result for me would probably be 99% North-European, so that is not very interesting.

    1. It wasn’t free before. Doug McDonald would take the results you got from your paid for test ($99 at 23 and Me right now) and break it down more specifically. This is especially helpful for non-European DNA because even 23 and Me only give you the whole, gigantic continent of Africa as opposed to European DNA which they break down by area and sometimes country.

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