I decided to write a brief follow-up to my post from the other day. In my research I’ve discovered some important things.
Firstly: the DNA samples that most sites, but GEDmatch in particular uses are not a good match for me. When I look at their “oracles” (which match your DNA with certain populations or mixes of populations), I get very odd results. Basically, it ranks the population it thinks you’re closest to for a given calculator (such as MDLP or puntDNAL) with a score. The closer to 1 you are the closer you appear to be related to that population. A zero is a perfect match.
I ran my DNA through all of the oracles I could and the top results from the majority of them were Scandinavian or Finnish and Spanish (Basque, Andalucia, Galicia, Valencia, etc). Interestingly, a couple had me as German and Indian (Paniya, Hakki Pikki) or Icelandic and Indian (Puliyar, Punjabi, Bengali), which isn’t too surprising as I do have a decent percentage of South Asian/Indian DNA. Most of the numbers are 3 or 4 and above, which is not a very close match.
I’ve tried to look for posts about the oracles, but honestly, they’re quite confusing. I think, particularly in my case, I’m mixed with uncommon populations. In looking for information, I found posts saying that 23andMe, Ancestry, and myFTDNA are pretty useless when it comes to Scandinavian, Finnish, and North West Russian DNA. In fact, Ancestry is pretty useless overall (I’d kind of figured that out on my own). I’m not even focusing on anything Saami at the moment (assuming that it’s a pretty tenuous connection at the moment).
I actually started going through my data and comparing it to the information in the spreadsheets and it’s so weird. I will match this and that for certain groups but then something is there in the mix that just doesn’t fit. My Asian component is too high for Norwegian (but not just South Asian, North and East, too). My West Asian is too high for Finnish, as is my Samoedic and Siberian. If I take out, for example, the South Asian (that I know is Romany), then I am still left with a whole lot of oddities.
For example, in the puntDNAL K15 spreadsheet, my Siberian, Amerindian, and East Asian are too high for most of the European groups (though closer to North Swedish and Finnish). In the EU test, I don’t actually fit anything – I have levels in various populations, but no more than two or three approximate matches out of the eight admixture groups (such as South_Baltic, West Asia etc). I match two for Denmark, two for Austria, three for both Swedish and Finnish – but that’s not even half. Again with the EU Test K15 and all MDLP tests I am all over the place.
I guess I just need to start my family tree over and find out as much information as I can. I really want to learn Finnish (and I’ll probably start a vlog related to that), as it seems fairly certain at least I am Finnish (whether or not the Saami is being misread [even with the mtDNA group, it could easily be something else like N.W Russian] – have to confirm with relative matches for that one and will be easier to do if I know Finnish). Though, the locations I have for potential relatives in Finland are on the Swedish/Finnish border (and Finland has a long history of colonization by both Sweden and Russia).
Current ‘matches’ on the one-to-many on Gedmatch show surnames such as Sokka (Finnish), Vuorela (Finnish), Tuulikki/Palmu (Finnish), Abrahamsson (Finnish/Swedish), Vik (Norwegian/Swedish), Lindquist (Swedish), Sjödin (Swedish), Egea (Spanish), Serpa (Portuguese), Nasatir (Iberian Ashkenazi), as well as the Romanichal names Boswell, Mitchell, Cooper. The closest of these would be 4th cousin and most are located in the US, which makes me think they’re actually further out than that. Though my maternal grandmother always said we had someone come out to Birmingham, Alabama around the same time as Aunt Annie (maternal grandfather’s… aunt?) left for Australia … which is awfully specific.
|Generation||Relationship||How many?||DNA %|
According to this table, assuming I inherited the necessary segments of DNA from my family in order (this is a ‘perfect’ scenario), my results (let’s use wegene, first) of almost 25% Finnish, must mean that my mother was half-Finnish. So, either my grandfather or grandmother was fully-Finnish. [I’m thinking grandmother, as I know a lot about my grandfather’s family due to other family member’s research]. This begs the question, how did I not know this? Even if I assume that the DNA is inflating my results and my mother was only 25% Finnish, that still means a grandparent was half-Finnish and a great-grandparent fully so. Would they have changed their name? Would they have … I just don’t know.
I think my next steps are:
Begin learning Finnish
Look into the genetic heritage of Finnish Romani and any links between Saami, Karelian Russian, and Romani in northern Finland.
Look into finding UK immigration records to see if I can find any relatives who came to the country around the time I’m looking.