I’m obviously really excited to have been able to do my DNA. My problem now is that I really want to understand more about my DNA, not just take the pie chart Ancestry provided and be happy about it. I know I have DNA that didn’t show up on the Ancestry pie chart and I’ve heard other genealogists raving about what a great tool GEDMatch is. So I decided to try my results at GEDMatch and see what happened. Wow, am I ever overwhelmed right now! There are so many tools at GEDMatch and uploading my raw data has provided tons of information that I neither understand right now nor do I know what to do with it, LOL. So it’s time for me to look around and see what information I can find about using GEDMatch.
It must be my lucky month because among the many blog posts that appeared in my Feedly feed and I had tagged in Pocket to read later was a post from Randy Seaver at Genea-musings called My First Look at GedMatch Autosomal DNA Analysis. It was totally perfect timing. I still don’t understand a lot of what I’m seeing but it was great to find someone who was stepping through the process of uploading to GEDMatch at the same time I was. Randy’s post inspired me to start clicking on links in GEDMatch to see what I could find. And what I found was pretty interesting stuff. In my post Surprisingly…No Surprises! I shared a clip of my Ethnicity Estimate from AncestryDNA. I knew the AncestryDNA test tools weren’t the best out there and that the estimates weren’t necessarily the most accurate but it was a good place to start. Now that I’ve completed the upload of the raw data and a GEDCOM file to GEDMatch I have quite a few more tools at my disposal.
One of the items I clicked on was the MDLP Ancient Roots K18 Admixture Proportions. My first reaction on seeing the title was “Whaaaa????” So, I did what any researcher would do and I Googled it. What I found was a great blog post and presentation by Kitty Cooper about GEDMatch Tools which helped me understand the functionality of some of the tools at GEDMatch. The MDLP Ancient Roots K18 Admixture Proportions basically just tells you your ancestral composition. Each of the different Admixture calculators gives you a different breakdown of your ancestral composition. On her presentation Kitty explains that “…the number at the end of each name is the number of reference populations the result is divided among.” Okay, so that helps me understand the pie charts that are presented with each calculator I select. So back to the calculator I clicked on, this is the chart I was presented when I clicked on the MDLP Ancient Roots K18 Admixture Proportions calculator:
GEDMatch MDLP Ancient Roots K18 Admixture Proportion
Well that’s really interesting! My Ethnicity Estimate on AncestryDNA said I was 97% European (36% Europe West; 23% Europe East; 17% Great Britain; 8% Scandinavian and 7% Ireland) which, according to my maternal grandparents and what I know of my paternal family is correct. But, oh ho! Look at how much more specific the GEDMatch data set is. According to GEDMatch I’ve got something called Melano-Austronesian and Volga-Uralic in my DNA…whatever THAT is! I really wanted to know what these terms meant but I haven’t had much luck finding any definitions online. I was excited to see the teeny tiny bit of Native America I was rumored to have had shown up. I haven’t been able to prove or disprove the stories about the Native American heritage that my Grandda told until now and while this isn’t 100% written-in-stone proof, it does give me a reason to keep looking for that heritage.
I kept playing around with the different calculators on the GEDMatch site and got some pretty interesting results…maybe one of these days I’ll actually figure out what all these terms mean!
That was my fun for this evening. Kitty mentioned some calculators in her presentation that either currently aren’t available on GEDMatch or have been discontinued. I’m a little disappointed about that because a couple of them looked like fun but maybe GEDMatch will bring them back. So far I’ve been very happy with the tools I’ve tried at GEDMatch. I just wish there was more information out there on how to use the tools and what everything meant. I’m sure the information is there somewhere, I just haven’t looked in the right place yet. If you have any suggestions, dear readers, throw them my way because I’m very curious now!