Monday, November 26, 2012

DNA Testing - Part 3

My father recently took and received the results back from his own AncestryDNA test.  We were really interested in seeing how our results differed and how our matches would compare after I took my own test a few months ago.  There were a few surprises!

While I won't go into detail about my father's results, I will say that he had no Scandinavian in his results.  This was a big surprise to me because of my mother's French Canadian background.  I've traced many of her lines back a few hundred years through Québec to France, with only a hint of English to be found.  Yet my results indicated that 25% of my DNA is Scandinavian.  Could half of the DNA my mother passed onto me really be Scandinavian?  Her side of my family not only genealogically, but also physically, favors French ancestry.  Perhaps the 25% was an overestimation on the part of AncestryDNA?

I've also been able to compare my father's DNA matches with my own.  I should have matches that he doesn't since half of my DNA is from my mother, but I was surprised that (not looking further than "moderate confidence" distant cousins) he has about 100 matches that I don't.  Three of those matches are in the 4th-6th cousin range with 95% or higher confidence.  I suppose I just didn't get the DNA that matches so closely with these individuals.

Comparing my and my father's results and matches is certainly interesting, and I look forward to taking a closer look at our matches.  I still haven't identified any of my matches as actual relatives; most with public trees don't have any individuals or even surnames in common with my family tree.

If you've taken the test, have you had troubles making relative matches?  Have you and a relative taken the test and compared results?  Please feel free to share your experiences with DNA testing for genealogy!


  1. Linda, I haven't done any DNA testing yet, myself, because I'm still studying the whole process. The little doubt in the back of my mind comes from wondering what the margin of error might be in these tests, what confidence level (statistically speaking) would be assigned to this genetics testing. Stories like the one you just wrote make me want to know more before jumping in, myself.

  2. Jacqi, I should note that the "Distant Cousins" listed are stated as having 50% or less confidence by Ancestry. Fourth cousins seem to have 95% or higher confidence, but I'm not finding matches yet even in that area. Some are close and might be related in a way that I can't trace yet. I don't know.