Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Still early as far as the introduction of the new open sharing feature at 23andMe. So far 7 people are open sharing on my mother's match list, and 10 are open sharing with me. I'm hoping the open sharing numbers grow. Anyone interested in using 23andMe for genealogy should agree to open sharing. You do need to check a box in order to participate. You are not automatically included in open sharing. (See this blog to get instructions for participating in open sharing "How To Opt In")
I'm hoping more people agree to open sharing? The wording for the opt in wouldn't encourage many people to share openly.
"By selecting open sharing, it is possible there is the risk that other DNA Relatives or other users will be able to identify certain information about you, including specific genetic variants related to health."
I'm not confident that many people will agree after reading this disclosure?
Before the changes I had access to the exact location of over 1000 shared segments. Half of those contained a match name, and the other half were anonymous. The anonymous matches could also be helpful since they listed the origins of all grandparents. Many of the segment matches were substantial in size. Of those either open sharing, or just sharing with us, most share smaller amounts of DNA. I do like the fact 23andMe provides a chromosome browser. The lack of trees and cooperation of matches makes 23andMe more difficult to glean useful information from.
Below is the now eliminated Countries of Origin information. You can see one match shares a 71.6 cM segment and another a 63.4 cM segment etc. This was very useful information because many of these matches did not agree to accept my sharing invitation. Sadly this information is no longer available. I still think adoptees should test with 23andMe, since you can get some pretty close matches. The more distant matches I'm looking for are more difficult to confirm now. I wouldn't recommend this test to those looking for cousins past 2nd. The cost is too high for the limited information you're likely to get.
The fact AncestryDNA now provides some segment and total cM information does make this product more useful. Today I found a match on my Lambert line. When I looked at the segment information and total cM's I discovered I shared 7.6 cM's on two segments. This doesn't look like a very promising match. Since Ancestry is using the Timber filter further comparison at GEDmatch is needed to see if we actually share more DNA. I would recommend testing with AncestryDNA, but comparison at GEDmatch is often needed to confirm matches.
Monday, November 23, 2015
|AncestryDNA now provides some cM information|
Important steps forward for AncestryDNA. First Ancestry introduced shared matches then a couple weeks ago they began allowing us to see exactly how much DNA we share and how many segments we share. Valuable information to have in order to evaluate matches and make connections. The DNA information isn't easy to find unless you do some exploration of links on your matches' pages. This information is shown when you click the "i" next to the confidence level. I've been able guess at some possible relationships using the shared match feature. Seeing the basis for matches looking at the shared DNA and number of shared segments has allowed me to evaluate the quality of my matches.
I was quite disappointed when a 3rd cousin was predicted to be a 4th to 6th cousin a couple of weeks ago. I feel this is a bad call. According to Ancestry this person shares 50 cMs with me, which is in line with a 3rd cousin relationship. Glad I was able to see the shared cM's so I could dismiss the AncestryDNA prediction (sounds like someone at ISOGG on Facebook has a match sharing 6 cM's on 2 segments???). A second cousin's results came in a week ago and his relationship prediction was accurate. Looking at other matches I see that on average Ancestry is 7 cM's different than Family Tree DNA and GEDmatch. They can occasionally be as many as 20 cM's off. I think AncestryDNA should dump the Timber filter and use a more accurate filter. Sounds like more accurate filters process more slowly and are more costly? I would still like to see a chromosome browser. I'll lift my grade for AncestryDNA to a B. I would give it an A if they would provide a chromosome browser.
23andMe is taking steps backward with their genetic genealogy product. The FDA is allowing them to provide health related results again. The health product was the primary focus for 23andMe, and will be again. They are completely revamping their DNA product. The very useful "Countries Of Origin" tool is now gone. Without this tool 23andMe is far less useful because most matches won't agree to share genomes. The price has increased from $99 to $199. I wouldn't recommend this test for that price. Without "Countries of Origin" you are unlikely to get very much information from matches. The health results aren't generally useful unless you have a clearly defined genetically inherited disease risk. Lowering my grade for 23andMe to C- overall. They do get an A for their ethnicity product, which is virtually the same.
If you'd like to read more about the changes at 23andMe you can read this more in depth explanation at Kitty Cooper's Blog. I noticed I have double the number of matches (about 1800) I had before, but most are anonymous. Also some of the physical characteristics reports were far off. My mother was predicted to have dark eyes. Her eyes were light hazel. My eyes are dark which is correct.
Trip to Nicaragua:
I plan on leaving for a genealogy research trip to Granada, Nicaragua on December 7 (if all goes according to plan).
I have done some preliminary research. I've exchanged emails with an archive employee. He said that a staff member has found some information about my family. I have also learned about what is available at the archives from a distant cousin Alan (who is a DNA match). He has made a number of research trips to Nicaragua. He provided me with an index to the archive holdings.
My primary research location will be "Archivo de la Prefectura de la Municipalidad de Granada, Macario Álvarez", which contains 1,653 bundles of documents. This archive contains important genealogy sources such as Censuses and Military records. Another good source for Nicaragua was explained to me by my distant cousin Alan i.e. "recursos de habilitación are one of the more obviously genealogical series, they are coming of age documents usually the offspring of well to do families, in which they state that they are of legal age to enter into the administration of their patrimony and are x years of age, and their parents are x & x. I have not used this collection very much but it is specially useful for Granada families."
I hope to find more about our cousin Francisco Alvarado Granizo, and more about my Great-Grandparents Nicasio Del Castillo and Elena Garcia. According to my Aunt Grace, the informant on my Grandmother Graciela's death certificate, her parents were Nicasio Del Castillo and Elena Garcia. My Mother knew her grandmother was Elena. She didn't know her maiden name, or her grandfather's name. I believe Aunt Grace was a good informant because she worked as a secretary for many years and was very organized when it came to keeping documents. My mother said her grandfather was a lawyer, which seems to suggest a relationship with Nicasio Del Castillo who left 28 years worth of legal books at the Granada Archives, which dated from 1857 to 1884. This Nicasio would seem to be too old to be my grandmother's father? Since the legal profession tended to be a family profession the elder Nicasio may have been my grandmother's grandfather? My grandmother was born in 1893.
The death certificate for my grandmother Graciela Del Castillo is the only document I have naming my great-grandparents.
A few years ago I exchanged emails with a distant Del Castillo cousin. He was living in Central America at the time. He provided me with the names of the siblings of my grandmother Graciela. I found out her brother Alberto was entombed in a Mausoleum in Granada. I will try to locate his tomb. I was able to find the exact relationship of the cousin pictured right with the help of this Central American man who did some research for me.
Most of Granada's 1856 and before government records were destroyed in that years due to an American William Walker taking over the presidency of Nicaragua, and the violence of that take over. I'm hoping to search an 1859 Census and an 1882 Census. Since I need more information regarding the identity of my Great-Grandparents the fact that earlier records are missing will not affect my initial research. In order to trace my family farther back marriage records called "expediente matrimonial" will need to have to have survived at the Catholic Cathedral diocese archives.
It will be interesting to see where my Grandparents and mother lived. My Grandfather Charles Forgey was born in Indiana. Ran away from home at age 17, joined the Marines in 1916 and was sent to Nicaragua. He married my Nicaragua native grandmother Graciela Del Castillo in 1919. My mother Edna was born in 1921. The family left Nicaragua in 1925 and settled in California. I'm a little apprehensive about traveling to a "Third World" country. I've gotten hepatitis and Typhoid vaccinations in preparation. Hoping all goes smoothly?
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
I noticed Kelly Wheaton's post (Facebook ISOGG) about "The DNA Detectives" a New Zealand based, genetic genealogy themed, TV show. Great idea for a show! Hopefully it will inspire more people to test. I have a few New Zealand and Australian matches; mostly based on my Irish ancestry.
You can watch the show here (see bottom of page) or at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvFAyWoYpaY
The shows host is a little quirky. His animated gestures are funny, like pretending to blow a train whistle at one point, and making a train sound effect. The set in the studio is retro themed, and the host slams a button to display the DNA results. Two celebrity guests were featured, Jack Tame and Ray McVinnie, in this 44 minute show. After an initial ethnicity test reveal, in the studio, the guests travel around the world in search of DNA cousins.
|South Asian segments|
Kelly Wheaton's segments were interesting because they included more historical information, and actually showed the basis for one of the ethnicity percentages. Kelly had researched Tame's line. She found a surgeon, from Scotland, who immigrated to India in the 17th century. He married a native of India, which is where the 1.4% South Asian comes from. When Kelly showed him the large South Asian share from the 23andMe's ethnicity chromosome browser it really brought that fact home to him. He was blown away when he saw that. He had heard about some possible South Asian, but actually seeing the segment made it real. Kelly Wheaton is related to Tame, according to DNA test results, but she was not able to find the common ancestors. These distant cousins did share a resemblance as they noted.
The segment in Jamaica was very interesting also. This took McVinnie to Jamaica in search of the African ancestor who contributed the 2.2% African admixture. He met up with some distant cousins who showed him their family tree. Even though the guest wasn't aware of any connection with Jamaica he shared DNA and surnames in common, which established a definite relationship. The African ancestor was identified, and it sounds like he lived in the 18th century. He didn't expect his trace of Jewish ancestry to also stem from Jamaica, but it did. Portuguese Jews fled to Jamaica during the inquisition and other times of persecution.
The final segment featured someone only identified as James. This man designs software to help adoptees find relatives. He is an expert at hacking into computer systems. He doesn't hack illegally, he does it as a career to help companies find holes in their security. Great to have someone as skilled as he is helping adoptees!
Some educational information coming out of this show:
- Guest Tame's grandmother already knew some of the information which he discovered on his New York trip. This is something that always comes up on these kinds of shows. Relatives will later tell guests they already knew something. Many relatives never share stories unless asked.
- Small 1 and 2 percent DNA shares can go back to the 18th Century. The host said these small shares can go back 200 to 300 years, and are not ancient. Likely correct The featured guests had small ethnicity segments of from 0.40% to 2.2% and these shares went back to the 18th Century.
- Guest two, McVinnie, would seem to have more Italian ethnicity than showed up in his ethnicity results. Southern European is not as well defined as Northern European when it come to these tests. Probably because most testers are of Northern European heritage.
- Always assume information passed down through generations could be wrong until you can find actual documentary evidence to support it. As a misspeak by one guest demonstrates.
Monday, October 12, 2015
I've been trying out the Beta version of DNA Land and, a new site devoted to scientific genetic research. It also provides some of the same features as the DNA testing companies; such as ethnicity results and matching for those upload their raw data file. Sounds like a very worthwhile project to contribute to. I encourage everyone (especially AncestryDNA customers) to contribute their raw data. Register and upload here https://dna.land/ Full instructions on how to get your raw data, and how to upload it are provided after you register. It's free to use.
When I got my initial results back I thought the Ashkenazi on my father's side had finally been recognized. My Ashkenazi came out to be 17%. After uploading my mother's raw data I discovered that she tested as 18% Ashkenazi/Levantine. A cousin thought that this result might reflect our shared German line. Looking at our family tree our German line represents a small fraction of our ancestry. I don't see it adding up to very much percentage wise. Plus most cousins in this line aren't testing Ashkenazi. At 23andMe my Mom and I have less than 1% Ashkenazi. None of the other companies found any Ashkenazi for either of us (except AncestryDNA did find a trace amount for me only).
For background I should say my maternal Grandmother Graciela Del Castillo was Nicaraguan, and my maternal Grandfather Charles Forgey was primarily Scots-Irish with some German. 23andMe found that trace of Ashkenazi, which it placed on my Grandmother Graciela's side after, in my Mother's results, after phasing. I believe all of the Middle East and Ashkenazi results are from my maternal Grandmother, since these results don't show up in Forgey cousin admixture.
|Original Family Tree DNA result Mom|
Looking at my Mom's Native American percentage prediction at DNA Land it looks correct. Native American is much easier to distinguish than some other admixtures.
I'm hoping DNA Land will provide information regarding the populations they are using to come up with the percentages? That would be helpful.
PS Spent the day at the beach yesterday. Got sunburned. I'm a little zonked out today. Hope this makes sense?
Friday, October 9, 2015
Yesterday the need for segment information was discussed at the Facebook ISOGG group, and also brought up by a Kapple DNA match. Many people say triangulation isn't working for them so the fact Ancestry doesn't provide segment information doesn't affect them. Since we all can agree that we can't accept undocumented facts and add them to our trees without substantiation, we should also agree we can't accept a DNA match without the segment information to provide evidence that we really do match, and where on the chromosome we share DNA. This is a form of citation and documentation. I appreciate Ancestry for the hints their DNA product provides, and the resulting collaboration. Occasionally I have been able to persuade matches to upload to GEDmatch from Ancestry. Ancestry isn't required to provide this information. If, and when, they do it will have to be done through permission from both parties agreeing to share segment info. This isn't an ideal situation, but more people would agree to share if they could just click a button and do it. I've had problems downloading the raw data file at times. This feature is sometimes down. It would be so much easier if you could just share the segment info at Ancestry. Ancestry isn't a strictly DNA company. As many have said most users wouldn't know what to do with the segment information if they had. This may be true now, but I believe many will have their curiosity piqued and eventually would use this information.
Thinking further about the importance of segment information as supporting evidence I feel I need to add the exact segment information to the ancestors the segments likely correspond with. I will add the AncestryDNA info to my genealogy software too, but I can only say that Ancestry predicts such and such relationship, but no supporting chromosome information is available. Saying "Ancestry says" isn't the best supporting evidence, unfortunately.
I've decided to add the segment information to notes. I noticed you can add Y and MtDNA information at Rootsmagic. I don't see a way to add segment info? I don't have the most recent version of the software. Maybe more recent versions have more options for adding DNA info? Somehow all of this DNA information needs to be integrated with the rest of my evidence.
We need substantive information from DNA testing companies in order to get the most out of our tests. We need substance so we can more confidently collaborate with our matches. We need segment information if we want to use DNA testing results as serious supportive evidence.
Friday, September 18, 2015
My Mother's results were phased with mine a couple of weeks after her initial results came in.
My unphased results seemed to suggest my father had some Native American admixture. After phasing practically all of my Native America shifted to my maternal side. It does look like around 1% still remains with my paternal line. I've been trying to establish whether my father did have a Native American ancestor? It's possible we descend from the Half King Tanacharison? Probably impossible to prove or disprove a connection from 17th century Pennsylvania?
This is what my phased paternal results look like.
Here is my ethnicity prediction for my Maternal line.
Phasing against my mother improved the accuracy of our results. Instead of ethnicity being assigned to broad categories the results became more specific.
I'm also happy with the fact my matches have an M if they also match my mother.
Testing both parents. or a parent, if possible is very helpful. It's especially useful at 23andMe.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
My mother Edna Forgey-Kapple died on August 24, 2015. She had been bedridden for a couple years. Her quality of life was poor, so her passing was a blessing. She tested with 23andMe about a month before she passed away. I wasn't sure if she would pass their test considering her declining health condition, but she did.
The initial result was the Neanderthal percentage. My Mom had a higher percentage of Neanderthal. She had 3.3 and I have 3.1.
|Unphased X Mom Orange Native |
American Blue European
was Nicaraguan. This seems correct. My own results were also corrected. The Native American on my paternal X is now on my maternal side, which makes more sense. Our Iberian and Southern European percentage also increased substantially after phasing. This makes sense considering our Hispanic/Nicaraguan roots. According to AncestryDNA our Southern European is mainly Italian? This doesn't really make sense considering our Hispanic heritage. I know the ethnicity results aren't conclusive proof of anything, but I do feel like 23andMe's phased results are closest to correct.
Phasing has left a trace amount of possible Native American on both my father's side, and maternal grandfather's side. I do see possible Native American on my father's side, but none on my maternal grandfather's side.
Looking at the phasing that 23andMe did for ethnicity I have to say they were right on the mark when it came to separating out my mother's parents' ethnicities.
The ethnicity predictions also look good when comparing my Mom's two nieces and nephew. It's especially apparent when comparing on the X.
|Two Nieces are green and blue. Nephew Purple |
Shared segments with my Mom
|Aunt's Ethnicity (my mother)|
|Niece 1 Ethnicity results|
|Where Nieces (sisters) share with each other. |
Light blue half identical. Blue fully identical.
It appears that my Mom, her Nieces, and Nephew inherited quite a bit of common DNA on the X. Niece 1 shares DNA along the entire X with my Mom. This is because she inherited nearly her entire X chromosome from her maternal grandfather. Since her mother was my Mom's sister, this could occur. Sisters inherit identical paternal X chromosomes, which is why Niece 1 shares DNA on the entire X.
Another conclusion we can draw is that the Nieces (sisters) share European DNA from their maternal Grandfather at the start of their maternal X. This is because this portion of my Mom's maternal X is Native American, and her paternal X at this position is European. It also supports the fact Niece 1 inherited almost her entire X from her grandfather.
The final results to come in were the match results. I found some close matches. I have been able to get the segment information for most of her close matches. Hoping the segment information may eventually prove helpful in breaking down some brick walls. I'm so glad I tested my Mom with 23andMe. She definitely lives on, along with all of our departed relatives, as can be seen in our common DNA.
Sunday, August 2, 2015
After receiving my 23andMe results I noticed some of my matches were listed as public. I assumed this meant I could see our matching segments without asking? I was wondering where their information was located? I didn't see it in Family Inheritance Advanced. After my Countries of Ancestry information became available, a couple weeks after I received my results, I noticed you could download a spreadsheet with your matches' segment information. This information seems to be from public matches? Some of those listed on the spreadsheet are listed by first and last name. Others are anonymous. Those listed with names, and those who are anonymous, all have some information about their family's countries of origin. So the info can be useful even if there are no names attached. You can get an idea of ethnic origins of the segments. I found that I could use the chromosome start and end points at Kitty's DNA Mapper, and Genome Mate, if I added 5 zeros; plus removed the decimal point. I just added the information to my Family Tree DNA CSV spreadsheet. Then uploaded the CSV spreadsheet to Kitty's DNA Mapper
This info is especially helpful if they list a place of origin other than the United States, or any other country with a large immigrant population. Finding Irish and Nicaraguan matches has been helpful. I was able to make a segment map using Nicaraguan matches' segment data, from Family Tree DNA and 23andMe. Now I'm able to see where I've inherited DNA from my maternal grandmother.
It's a very handy feature when you've found a common surname also. I found a Browning match who hadn't got in contact with me, on the list. Nice you can access this information even if someone won't agree to genome sharing.
|Nicaraguan Segment Map|
Saturday, July 18, 2015
The chromosome view at 23andMe's Ancestry Composition is very interesting. It's especially interesting if you have an ethnically mixed background. It's difficult to separate the various European ethnic groups. If you're 100% European it isn't as useful. If you're wondering whether you have Jewish, Native American, African, Asian, etc. ancestry it is very helpful.
In my case my Grandmother was from Nicaragua, a place with a great deal of ethnic mixing. Most Nicaraguans are either more than half European, Native American, or African. I believe my Grandmother was a little more than half European. She was probably around a quarter Native American, based on my Mom's DNA results at AncestryDNA. I've been finding the X data at 23andMe to be informative regarding the ethnic mix on our maternal grandmother's side. I'm also beginning to understand the way the X recombines, or doesn't. Sounds like the X is more resistant to recombining than the other chromosomes. So it's possible that an unrecombined X could be passed on, as may be the case with a male cousin, and myself. I looked at the X sharing chromosome inheritance charts. I assumed that I could have inherited X DNA from most of the close lines. Looking at my X DNA I see that I didn't inherit DNA on the X from all close ancestors who could have contributed to my X. Instead I received a majority of the DNA on my X from my maternal Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather, based on the Native American, very little if any from anyone else. At least I'm unaware of my Maternal Grandfather having any Native American blood? I plan on testing my Mom to get a better idea of exactly who contributed the most to my X. If my chromosome is completely Native American and Southern European I may have gotten an entire X chromosome from my Nicaraguan Grandmother.
|My X chromosomes. Orange is Native American, Purple African, Blue European.|
However, looking at maternal cousins results the Southern European may be Northern European? In that case I probably did inherit some X DNA from my Maternal Grandfather. My brother and sister cousins also share segments on in my European region on the X. However one of my female cousin's shared regions is identified as Northern European while the same segment is Southern European according to her brother and a sister's results. The cousins with the Native American and Southern European results look more like my own, overall. You can see from the last X chart that brother and younger sister share half identical DNA across nearly the entire X chromosome (as shown by the green bar).
|Orange is Native American, Purple African, Blue European. Brother and younger and sister|
His results and the younger sisters results are starkly different than their oldest sister whose maternal and paternal X is practically completely Northern European. Unless some of her Northern European is actually Southern? It's 3 to 1 that our shared European DNA is Southern European.
I noticed when I compared the female cousins to their brother the European and Native American lined up very well, when comparing side by side, looking at the share regions. When I compared the two sisters I was surprised the sisters matched all the way across the chromosome, but didn't share the same ethnicity predictions. I forgot that females received identical X chromosomes from their father. Fathers pass on their one X chromosome, unchanged, to their daughters. It appears they match across the chromosome; but, in reality its combined DNA from different lines. An expert on the subject of the X chromosome inheritance, Dr. Kathy Johnson, advised using either GEDmatch or 23andMe's Family Traits chromosome browser to see the half identical and fully identical regions (see ISOGG Wiki for examples of half identical and fully identical segments shared by relatives on the X). The fully identical regions mean DNA is shared on both the Maternal and Paternal X. The sisters only share half identical regions with their bother because males have only one X and can't be fully identical with sisters. The first fully identical region is in a place where they don't match their brother (see blue chromosome below). The two sisters and brother share DNA where the sisters have their second fully identical segment. The half identical region for the two sisters, not shared by their brother comes from their father. We know this because this is a half identical region for the two sisters, which the brother doesn't share (remember the brother and younger sister do match there. So the older sister inherited more X DNA from her maternal grandfather who was Scots-Irish and German. The younger sister and brother inherited more X from their maternal grandmother who was Nicaraguan). Looking at half identical and fully identical regions is a great way to find out where siblings DNA is inherited from, since this is not shown in the advanced inheritance chromosome browser at 23andMe.
|This is from Family Traits Browser at 23andMe|
Showing full identical dark Blue and half identical light blue
Here is a chart Dr. Kathy Johnson made for us.
|Chart shows my 2 female and one male cousins ethnicity results|
From Family Traits and the Ancestry Composition chromosome views 23andMe
I have a few more distant cousins who match me on the X. One of them is also Nicaraguan and confirms that that region of the X is Nicaraguan. I have a couple matches on my father's side also. One is a 3rd cousin. Since fathers don't pass down their X to their sons we know this DNA doesn't come from our shared French Canadian line.
The X is very useful when you have a question involving the X lines of inheritance. My X DNA has confirmed what the other tests seem suggest regarding Nicaraguan marriage patterns. It looks like males with European direct Y lines often married either Native American or African females. Seems like it was more acceptable, and probably because of the smaller female European population, males often married outside their own ethnic group. European females didn't marry out of their own ethnic population as frequently as males. The European males were probably financially better, off making them more attractive marriage partners.
I'm attempting to test my Mom with 23andMe. She is very advanced in age, and in failing health. Not sure if her test will pass? Keeping my fingers crossed that the test will pass. It would be great to phase my results with hers. I could then get a better picture regarding the ethnicity on my maternal X. Curious to see if I've inherited any DNA from my maternal Grandfather or is it all from my Maternal Grandmother? I also see a small bit of Native American on the chromosome which represents my father. Looking at the X lines on my father's side I am unaware of any family tradition regarding Native American in those lines? Another question I would like to find an answer for? I mailed my Mom's kit in yesterday. I'm following its course through the mail using USPS tracking.