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Got my ancestry percentages in!

March 17, 2011

In December I took a DNA test that tells you the percentages of different populations that you’re made up of.  Unlike the Y-Chromosome test or the Mitochondrial test that only looks at one particular branch of your family tree, this test looks at your autosomal DNA, which includes all your ancestors. I used Family Tree DNA because they already have my DNA on file from the National Geographic Genographic Project, it was cheaper than one I looked at a while back  and they have a new test that seems to get more specific with breaking down your  admixture into the different populations than other tests I researched. For example, they don’t just lump everyone in Europe, North Africa, Middle East and India in one category, they give you subcategories. The test is called Family Finder and it includes the Population Finder analysis. Here’s the FAQs if anyone is interested.

And on to my results… ::drum roll please::

I knew I had Spanish and  North African/Berber/Guanche genes on both sides of my family from previous testing my extended family has done. I think these would be common results for Canary Islanders (and Spaniards in general). I thought my North African contribution would’ve been bigger though.

Next, I had the raw data from my test analyzed by an expert (Dr. McDonald) just to see if anything was missed. He noticed a small but reliable Native American signature at 0.8%. The test failed to pick it up because at less than one percent it gets lost in the statistical noise. I asked him how far back would that have to be to show up as 0.8% and he said very far, like 500 years or so. Very cool. I’m a little bit TaínoCiboney too.

For more details about my experience with genetic genealogy click here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jose (Cheo) Hernandez permalink
    March 17, 2011 10:07 pm

    Alex, congrats! I think you graded out exactly as expected. That makes you a person of Mediterranean descent much like a large number of Spaniards, Portuguese, and Italians. Part Western European and partly North African. I expect I will come out much the same way.

  2. Mariano permalink
    April 6, 2013 6:10 pm

    Is there any way I can contact Dr.McDonald?

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