Are you a DNA enthusiast?

0 votes
I am not going to say DNA is wrong, I'm also not going to say it is right. Yes the results have uses but the accuracy isn't to the extent you think it is. Furthermore, as their clientele grows, your results may shift after an update.

A very informative video. This is not to attack or support those that want to take the tests but to inform them. It also is a signal to check back on your results to see if they might have changed. This isn't about lineage as much as it is about ethnicity.

asked in The Tree House by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (179k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

6 Answers

+12 votes
Best answer
The twins in that video are in dire need of a history lesson on all of the invasions of Sicily. Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish. I could sit down with them and explain their results to them in 5 minutes.
answered by Jim Tareco G2G6 Mach 2 (25.5k points)
selected by Kelly Jean Linderman
It's a shame I can only star this once. =)
+13 votes
When it comes to perfect accuracy of ancestral/ethnicity mixtures, yes, you shouldn't rely on DNA tests to be the final say in what countries your ancestors came from.

However, getting your DNA tested can lead to you identifying others who may share ancestors with you, and by extension, discovering which ancestors you thought you had really are related to you, and which aren't. This can be used to more accurately discover what your ethnicity is than a DNA test.

DNA tests are not going to give you every answer you're hoping for without you putting in some work. But they do open the door for exploration that a large number of people (such as adoptees) did not previously have access to.
answered by G. Borrero G2G6 Mach 8 (83.4k points)
+13 votes
I never got my DNA test just to know what my ethnicity was. My family tree already told me that I was Scottish and English. I certainly did not need a DNA test to tell me that.

My husband has chosen not to do a DNA test because his family tree says he is pretty much pure french canadian and the tree is quite well documented. So that would just be a waste of money.

My mother and I did our DNA tests only because she was adopted as a child, and it was literally the only possible means we had left, to learn who her father might have been. It worked too!!

In the last 6 months we found my mothers family, but we are still working to determine which one of three brothers was my grandfather.

My mother is now enjoying meeting first and second cousins that she never knew she had. She has another such meeting set for today. I will find out how it went in our chat tomorrow.

We have also had another cousin get a DNA test so that he could finally know for sure who his biological grandfather was. The results have opened up a whole lot of new relatives that he never knew about and that I can add to the tree!!!
answered by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (498k points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
+15 votes
I am highly skeptical toward "critiques" of autosomal DNA testing for genealogy that only focus on the ethnicity admixture methodology.  It is well established that ethnicity admixture predictions are not reliable.  For example - here is a 2015 blog post by Judy Russell in the Legal Genealogist that critiques the methodology:

While the admixture percentages are not reliable, autosomal DNA matching from second cousins and closer produces consistent valid results.  For example, the twins in this video are almost certain to match one another at around 3,500 centimorgans (cM).  Parents and children consistently match at an average of 3,500 cM, first cousins match at an average of 750 cM (12.5% of their DNA in common)  and second cousins match at an average of 375 cM (6.25% of their DNA in common).  This high level of reliability and validity among second cousin matches and closer makes autosomal DNA matching valuable in genealogy.

As such, I find little use for videos of twins that report differences in ethnicity admixture percentages.  While media reports often sensationalize these as "new evidence against DNA testing in genealogy" genetic genealogists have been discussing this topic for years (for example Judy Russell first posted her concerns about ethnicity percentages back in 2013):
answered by Ray Jones G2G6 Pilot (149k points)
+10 votes
I may have helped a child of an adopted parent find her grandmother and tree. That feels good. Builds my tree too! All through 23 and me DNA relatives.
answered by Sue Hall G2G6 Mach 8 (89.3k points)
+6 votes
This video certainly has been making the rounds hasn't it? I was going to say something similar to what Jim said. But, you know what they say? Great minds think alike.

Europe for lack of a better word has been a melting pot for centuries. The best thing anyone can really do is see how the DNA matches up with their own personal tree.

And on a personal note. That vid's title reeks of click bait.
answered by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (195k points)
Definitely click-bait. The media could do a good service to the genealogy community by debunking the ethnicity stuff and at the same time cover what it is actually useful for. Instead they spend more time on the errors in ethnicity. Of course, Ancestry is really to blame. Their ads make it sound like it is completely reliable on ethnicity and they never mention that the paper trail is what is important.
Agreed. I took my test because I was just curious to see what the percentages were and family members wanted to know if we (My parents and I) took them.

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