Friday, May 25, 2018

Living DNA Results Analyzed - Something is Wrong in England

I just received my DNA test results from LivingDNA, and wow, are they odd. Not "this must be someone else" odd, but "they are doing something really weird" odd.

Let me walk through this.


In terms of my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the results are exactly what I would expect: H1u. That is consistent with my complete mtDNA test from Family Tree DNA.


In terms of my Y DNA, things are totally whack. (Because I am transgender, I have Y chromosomes, and I can test them.)

Back in the day, when Ancestry DNA had a Y-chromosome test, I came back with an N.  

Then I tested with 23andMe, and they have me as an N-M178. I transferred the results to FamilyTree DNA, which came back with the same. With further testing at Family Tree DNA, I have it narrowed down to N-Y6076  

The N-Y7076 listing suggests that my father's line is originally Balkan, which is consistent with his family being from northeast Poland.

Living DNA has me as a C. 

Even I didn't realize just how far apart those are until I did some research today. C is primarily from Oceania and parts of Asia, and is basically aboriginal. These two haplogroups moved apart before everyone left Africa.

As interesting as it may be to have something totally different from my 100% European background, it is inconsistent with the paper genealogy as well as tests from other companies, which are consistent with the paper trail.

So the Y-DNA test is clearly, unambiguously, and preposterously wrong.


Let's look at the autosomal (atDNA) admixture:


Europe (East)54.7%
Northeast Europe32.7%
East Balkans4.2%
Finland and Western Russia3.1%
Great Britain and Ireland36.3%
Southwest Scotland and Northern Ireland7.8%
Southeast England4.6%
North Yorkshire3.7%
South England3%
Northwest Scotland2.9%
Europe (North and West)8.9%

The atDNA tests are generally consistent with my background and the other tests. 

The paper trail is clear that I am 3/4 Eastern European and 1/4 Irish. That is where my great-grandparents (or their parents) were born.  Pure and simple.

Living NA has me as majority Eastern European, which is good. Together with Northern Europe and Germanic, brings me up to about 2/3, with the other 1/3 being Irish and UK.  

As I suspected, the results really skew to overstating my UK heritage (LivingDNA is based out of England, and has very well developed reference pools there). 

In the early 1800s, all of my mother's fathers ancestors lived in Ireland. 100% of them. 

My admixture from Living DNA has 17.9% from Ireland and adjacent Scotland, and a whopping 18.4% from England and Scotland!

Looking just at England, we are at 15.5%, from areas with lower Irish immigrant pools.

That is about 1/6, or at least one great-grandparent.

Whilst the Brady and McCue families lived in England for a while, none married locally. They were Irish, through and through.

There are a couple of possibilities:
  • There was a mis-attributed paternity on the Brady line (i.e., an affair).
  • I have totally screwed up my Brady research.
  • The test is way off base.
Given my experience with the Y-chromosome, I am inclined to think it was the latter.

(Interestingly, the amount attributed to Ireland is fairly consistent across the tests.) 

By Contrast, here are my current 23andMe numbers:

  • European

  • Eastern European
  • British & Irish
  • Balkan
  • Ashkenazi Jewish
  • Broadly Northwestern European
  • Broadly Southern European
  • Broadly European
  • Western Asian & North African

  • North African & Arabian

  • And here are my current numbers:

  • Ethnicity Estimate

     Europe East
     Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Romania
     Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland & Lithuania

     Ulster, Ireland

     Low Confidence Regions

     Great Britain
     Finland/Northwest Russia
     Asia South
     Europe West
  • Ireland/Scotland/Wales