Sunday, December 20, 2015

Gedmatch's new SPREADSHEET feature

Gedmatch.com, the preeminent "third-party" site for genetic genealogy enthusiasts, now features a SPREADSHEET option when you run your Gedmatch kit number (ie M123456) through the Gedmatch admixture calculators (ie Dodecad). NOTE: The Spreadsheet does NOT represent your ethnicity admixture results so please refrain from using them for those purposes. This new Population Spreadsheet corresponds to your ORACLE results (a population-fitting program measuring your genetic distance to a set of chosen reference populations based upon your Gedmatch admixture calculator results) and is best described as a utility for examining the population structure of those ORACLE reference populations.  

Some of these reference populations, like most of us, contain genetic ancestry from "outside" populations and some of it may show up in our admixture for those very reasons. For example we may see a small amount of Siberian on our Dodecad World9 results and think it represents Native American when in actually it has something to do with our East African affinity. Huh?

Well the Spreadsheet may help us understand what Siberian would have to do with African by examining the population structures of the Oracles reference populations. In simple terms the Spreadsheet is like taking a person from one of  the reference populations used to represent an ethnicity category on Gedmatch's Oracles program and running that person's  kit number through the admixture calculators. Ultimately the Spreadsheet will help us make more practical inferences about why certain admixture is showing up our results.

In this blog I will show you how to use and interpret the Gedmatch Spreadsheet (in 4 steps):


(1) Assuming you've run your Gedmatch kit number through an admixture calculator (here I use Dodecad World9), simply click on the "Oracle" or "Oracle-4" button as shown here:




 (2) You need to see your Oracle results (below) first before you run the Spreadsheet feature. This is because you'll need to know which of the Oracle reference populations you match on the Population Spreadsheet. For example my Dodecad World9 Oracle results reveal I have genetic similarity to the Bantu NE (Northeast African Bantu)





(3) Next return back to your Dodecad World9 results, and simply click on the "Spreadsheet" button as shown here:


(4) On the Population Spreadsheet for Dodecad World9 (below) you will get a list of Oracle reference populations' (vertical list) admixture contributions based upon the Gedmatch admixture calculator's "ethnicity" categories (horizontal list). Think Gedmatch calculator results for each reference population in the Oracle data set.
  •  Let's look at the first population "Bantu NE" on the vertical list (second to last). As you can see this Bantu NE sample contained African (92.89%) AS WELL AS small amounts of admixture from Southern (6.31%; Eastern Mediterranean), South Asian (0.40%), Siberian (0.20%) and East Asian (0.10%). The smaller amounts of admixture could represent such introgressions of populations (ie Southern) with ancient admixture (ie Siberian) such as could happen with Arab-Islamic contact with Madagascar (the Malagasy population is roughly 50% Bantu South African and 50% Island Southeast Asia), see Capredon et al. The majority of the Bantu NE affinity comes from Africa (multiple subregions), which makes sense if we consider the population migration and dispersal of the Bantu population, and potential gene-flow from those events.  
  • In application to my own results when I look at my Dodecad breakdown and see a strong affinity to Southern (Eastern Mediteranean), and corresponding Oracles program showing affinity to Bantu NE, I may hypothesize that the Southern percentage @ 5.51% may in part be the result of my affinity to Bantu NE shown in the Oracle program.This also means I have European, Siberian/Asian and African markers which look something like the Bantu NE's population structure and thus my higher genetic distance to them on the Oracle program. Further this could also mean I have ancestry from a Bantu population in East Africa, which also makes sense because I've known ancestry from Madagascar. So perhaps my Southern (East Mediterranean) and Siberian admixture percentages on Dodecad World 9 is because of my Bantu NE affinity instead of Native American as I priorly assumed. In context this may be compared to the Luhya-Kenya and Southwest Asian affinity showing on my National Genographic 2.0 admixture results, and thus lending more credence to my having ancestral origins with an East African Bantu population that may have been affected by Arab-Islamic introgression ... like my Malagasy relatives.  
#End#


Sunday, November 15, 2015

FTDNA Holiday Sale 2015

Tis the season to be jolly for ... HOLIDAY SALES and FamilyTreeDNA is the first to light up with savings. See below for all of the great details. 


From Family Tree DNA:
"We're excited to announce the launch of our 2015 Holiday sale! It will start today at midnight and end on December 31st @ 11:59PM Central Time.
You'll find a full list of the sale prices on the FTDNA website. Similar to last year, we're adding a treat to this year's great deals – our Mystery Reward discounts! The Mystery Reward will be a randomized discount (up to $75 off) that can be applied on top of the already reduced Holiday Sale prices. You’ll get a new Mystery Reward every week as well as after making a purchase. You can use the discounts or share them with friends!
The Mystery Reward icon will appear on testers’ myFTDNA dashboard each week. Each code will expire the night before the next Mystery Reward appears. We’ll also send an email notification to the kit’s primary email address when a new code is available for use or sharing."



Holiday/End of Year Sale:

Family Finder - $89

Y37 - $139
Y67 - $228
Y111 - $309

Y37 -> 67 - $79
Y37 -> Y111 - $176
Y67- > Y111 Upgrade - $103

Big Y - $525

mtDNA - $69
mtDNA Full - $169

Monday, November 2, 2015

TYPES OF DNA TESTS SIMPLIFIED! (Videos & Visualization)

If you're a novice or new to DNA testing for genetic genealogy THE VERY FIRST THING you should do is review these five short videos created by the University of Utah. Each video is less than four minutes long and will help you immensely with an inaugural understanding of this complicated field. ALSO take a look at my visualization about the different types of DNA tests following these short videos from Genetic Science Learning Center's Learn Genetics series here. ... Enjoy:

3 TYPES OF DNA TESTS VISUALIZED
A lot of people know about genealogical DNA tests but have no idea there are three main tests to choose from that measure very different parts of your ancestry. So I edited two blog posts to add this screen-grab, which I altered with information to help explain the three different types of DNA tests available. What do you think? Does it makes things slightly easier to understand? If so, share this blog:
(Screen-grab from: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/chromosomes/types4/. Boxed text added by TL Dixon)
    • First, AUTOSOMAL-DNA* (atDNA) Test analyzes your 23 chromosomes to estimate your ethnic contributions inherited from your parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents,16 gg-grandparents, 32 ggg-grandparents, etc., and includes an estimate of your ethnic admixture broken down into percentages, as well as match you to real genetic relatives going back about 500 to 1000 years. 
    • Second, MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA* (mtDNA) Test analyzes your cell’s mitochondria genetic code to determine your ancient maternal ancestry; you inherited your mtDNA exclusively from your mother and her direct fore-mothers going back tens of thousands of years to a common ancestral mother. Therefore the mtDNA test is used to determine your MATERNAL HAPLOGROUP ASSIGNMENT (an identifier for mutation(s) unique to your mtDNA organized on "Phylotree" according to an alphanumerical grouping system ie haplogroups B2 or L1b1a or U6a5b for example)
    • Third, the Y-CHROMOSOME DNA* (Y-DNA) Test, only available to males, analyzes his Y-chromosome to determine his ancient paternal lineage via his father and direct forefathers going back tens of thousands of years to a common ancestral father. Therefore the Y-DNA test is used to determine a male’s PATERNAL HAPLOGROUP ASSIGNMENT (identifiers for mutations unique to a male’s Y-chromosome organized on "Phylotree" according to an alphanumerical system ie haplogroups A0 or E-U290 or R1b1a2).

    #END"

    Sunday, September 6, 2015

    Kyle Winkey's Memorial Fund


    I, TL Dixon set up this GoFundMe page in good faith to honor the memory of my 17-year-old first cousin, KYLE WINKEY, as well as to cherish his legacy, to remember the loving spirit that he was, and to help take care of us his younger brother, who will be starting this school year without his only sibling and best friend. On August 30, 2015 in Plainfield, NJ, Kyle was tragically taken away from us on the birthday of his father, who predeceased him in 2004. I must add that Kyle truly enjoyed learning about our ancestral heritage through my genetic genealogy talks with him. Although we have lost a loved one, we know we’ve gained a heavenly angel whose duty is now to guard over us. Our family is truly grateful for the overwhelming outpouring of love, kindness and support we have received thus far. The idea that so many of you want to keep Kyle's legacy alive touches our hearts and souls. In lieu of flowers, please consider helping us lay Kyle to rest and to help his mother with costs of sending his young brother to school this term. Kyle would love you all for it. You can make donations to the Kyle Winkey Memorial Fund OR through your own Paypal Account (please see "My Paypal" tab at the top of this blog page).

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    AncestryDNA FINALLY introduces new "In Common With" feature, SHARED MATCHES

    SOUND THE ALARMS! RING THE BELLS! RAISE THE SALES! ALERT! ALERT! ... AncestryDNA (Ancestry.com) has just released a new In Common With (ICW) feature aptly titled, SHARED MATCHES, which shows a list of your DNA matches that you and another DNA match share in common, meaning somewhere there is a common ancestor.  If you and your parent tested there is also the MOM/DAD FILTER where you can view your DNA match list by either parent's side. We in the genosphere have been waiting, longing, yearning, and praying for this tool. Before this we didn't know where or how our [unknown] genetic relatives were related to us and each other. We had the arduous task of convincing our DNA matches to upload to Gedmatch.com in order to triangulate, and it's been extremely frustrating to say the least. AncestryDNA had indicated it would not make an ICW feature available. Back on November 3, 2014, AncestryDNA product manager Anne Swayne blogged about other new features in the works and then later the company released New Ancestry Discoveries ("a technical innovation that combines the latest in genetic science, new patent-pending algorithms, and access to AncestryDNA’s extensive database to push the boundaries of human genetics") and DNA Circles ("which brings together a group of individuals who all have the same ancestor in their family trees and where each member shares DNA with at least one other individual in the circle"). However these new features were controversial because they relied on other AncestryDNA customers' family tree information instead of actual shared DNA. Now AncestryDNA has answered our cries, yodels, screams. Since the SHARED MATCHES feature is so new, AncestryDNA did not send out any "official" e-mails and is apparently still tweaking it; for example all of the common matches I share with known family AND my twin kit (I took a second test) did not show up. But I'm very confident this will change soon. Again thank you AncestryDNA. 

    Now let's see how it works and where to find the feature:
    According to AncestryDNA, "The shared matches list shows DNA matches that you and one of your DNA matches have in common. This might help you determine which family line you share or give you more evidence that you’re related to a specific person or match. For example, if you and your brother share DNA with a cousin, that cousin will show up as a shared match for both of you. Similarly, if you have a DNA match and your 2nd cousin has the same DNA match, this person would be a shared match to you and your 2nd cousin—and may help you determine how you’re related to this 2nd cousin." You can read the rest here:


    So how do you find the new SHARED MATCHES list feature? Here are easy instructions: 

    Step 1. On your Ancestry.com homepage, click on the "DNA" tab:

    Step 2. On your DNA homepage, click on "VIEW ALL DNA MATCHES":

    Step 3. Once your DNA matches load, then click on any of your matches (I chose my twin kit, King Genome):

    Step 4. Once you click on your match, there will be a link "SHARED MATCHES" (located right under match's profile name and Ethnicity Results):

    Step 5. The next page will show your shared matches to the DNA profile you selected (As you can see below, I share two pages of matches with my twin kit. Of course I should share all 27 pages but this is an indication the feature is still being worked on):
    And there you have it! Happy Hunting!
    ###

    Thursday, June 25, 2015

    PBS "First Peoples" (All 5 Episodes)

    A great new documentary series from PBS investigating arrival of first humans in Africa, Americas, Asia, Australia & Europe. Based on the latest Archaeology and DNA research, this is must-watch TV. Premieres Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 9/8c.  (See links to all five episodes/videos below)

    FULL EPISODES (5):

    1) First Peoples: AFRICA

    2) First Peoples: AMERICAS

    3) First Peoples: ASIA

    4) First Peoples: AUSTRALIA

    5) First Peoples: EUROPE

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    TribeCode's Newest Features ... Check it out...

    Just sharing new DNA company TribeCode's recent announcements on Facebook ... Yes they are actually listening to their customers! ... Enjoy...

    1. New MELTING POT TIMELINE 

    From FaceBook: Hey TribeCode Facebook fans! We have just released a new feature, Melting Pot Timeline (6/17/15) 
    Melting Pot Timeline reveals even more detail about your ancestry by unlocking the admixture within each population of your ethnicity composition. Using sophisticated data analysis algorithms, Melting Pot Timeline maps the expansion of founding populations from about 1300 BCE to 1900 CE to uncover their contribution to admixture around the world.

    By selecting a population in your ethnicity composition pie chart, you will see the admixture within that specific population as well as any historical event during the same time period that would have influenced populations to migrate.

    To access Melting Pot Timeline, hover your cursor over Experimental Features within the My Ancestry drop-down menu and select Melting Pot Timeline. Select the DNA or question mark icons for details on how to navigate the feature and interpret the results.

    Questions or Feedback? Send us an email to customersupport@tribecode.com.


    2. Hello GERMANY, and new European population update to TribeCode's Ethnicity Composition




    From Facebook: ATTENTION TRIBECODE USERS: EXCITING UPDATE (May 20, 2014)
    For the past few months, our team has been working hard to build upon our reference database to broaden the representation of global populations. We are very excited to share with you that we have expanded our reference data to include a more detailed characterization of European populations.

    The additional reference data has been applied to every customer’s results and is reflected under the European Panel within Ethnicity Composition. This new panel has been added to give customers with high levels of European ancestry a more detailed and higher resolution view of their DNA ancestry. Specific populations referenced include German, Irish, Dutch and more.

    Non-European ethnicity is shown as “Other” in this panel. For Non-European ancestry, you will see a more detailed view of your results on the Ethnicity Composition page.

    We greatly appreciate your patience as we continue to build our reference data and improve our algorithms. We hope that this increases your satisfaction with your TribeCode results. For more detail on the European Panel, check out our latest post on Drum Beat! Please contact us if you have questions.

    Monday, May 4, 2015

    Ethnicity Chromosome Mapping & Determining "Ethnicity" of shared DNA segments between related individuals

    Source: http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-ethnicity-and-culture
    >>>>> Savvy genealogists use autosomal DNA tests to explore their genetic ancestry along with such genetic tools (chromosome paintings and browsers, triangulation) to help them learn more about their relationships with genetic relatives by exploring specific DNA markers or segments shared with them. According to ISOGG, commonly used methods for this are "complementary" techniques known as  chromosome mapping ("determining which DNA segments came from which ancestor") and triangulation ("comparing matching DNA segments to determine which ancestor donated which particular segment"). However we also know that our genetic ancestry (colloquially known as "ethnicity") is more than just shared DNA segments. We often descend from numerous ancestries and thus have inherited DNA contributions from multiple biogeographical populations, often challenging our preconceived perceptions and assumptions about our genetic inheritance. For example "white" Americans with small amounts of "Sub Saharan African" DNA are likely to share only "European" admixture with their "black" American genetic relatives. People with multiple ancestries (ie Latinos, South Africans) or similar ancestries (ie Bulgarians) may share ethnic components contrary to what they might expect (ie Latinos sharing "Ashkenazi Jewish" DNA instead of Native American DNA, or Bulgarians sharing "South Asian" DNA segments due to Romani introgression). What's more adoptees and those with an unknown parent may not know anything about their ancestry. Therefore it's reasonable to assume that knowing the "ethnicity" of shared DNA segments between related individuals is an important consideration when doing genealogical research. Simply put, ethnicity matters! 
    But how do we determine the "ETHNICITY" of these shared DNA segments? In this deep dive my objective is to discuss an underutilized (it's not new) method -- I'll coin this process Ethnicity Chromosome Mapping* (ECM) -- that can be used in conjunction with chromosome browsing, mapping and triangulation to determine the ethnicity of shared DNA segments as outlined here:

    SECTION I.  Instructions (4 steps) for using ECM to find "Ethnicity" of shared DNA segments
    -- STEP 1. Identify location and size of potential shared DNA segments using chromosome browsing and mapping tools (CBaMt)
    -- STEP 2. Identify potential "ethnicity" of shared DNA segments using CBaMt
    -- STEP 3. Find “START POINTS” AND “END POINTS” of shared DNA segments using CBaMt
    -- STEP 4. Confirm “ethnicity” of shared DNA segments using Gedmatch's "Paint the Difference Between 2 Kits, 1 chromosome" tool
    SECTION II. ECM Pitfalls and Technical Notes
    -- (a) What happens when the "ethnicity" of shared IBD DNA segment does NOT match?
    -- (b) Technical notes about Chromosome Paintings
    -- (c) Technical notes about Gedmatch's "Paint the Differences..." tool

    WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
    Your results and access to 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNAAncestryDNAand third-party site Gedmatch.com. For optimal results, ECM works best under these conditions: 
    *Disclaimer: The ECM methods presented herein are experimental, the term"ethnicity" has no legal meaning and is subject to DNA companies interpretation, so be careful about drawing conclusions. The term "Ethnicity Chromosome Mapping" is of my own invention and has not been endorsed by genetic genealogy organizations nor has it been adopted into genetic genealogy lexicon. You may also contact me with any comments or questions here: KingGenomebyTLDixon@gmail.com.
    SECTION I. 
    Instructions (4 steps) for using ECM to find "ETHNICITY" of shared DNA Segments 
    STEP 1. Identifying location and size of potential shared DNA segments 
    (a) Firstly, I would like to introduce you to my sibling JR; my cousin ID; and my new genetic matches CF and sibling RF. I've invited them to help me demonstrate ECM, and you'll see them again as we go along. To initiate ECM whenever you get a genetic match (after taking an autosomal DNA test) or a newly tested relative's results come in, you need to learn some specifics about shared DNA segments. This includes SIZE (aka Genetic Distance, indicating the length of DNA segment in centimorgans); LOCATION on the chromosomes (aka Chromosome mapping; see Kitty Kooper's tool here), and IN COMMON WITH RELATIVES sharing mutual DNA segments [aka Triangulation; see various methods @  Kitty Kooper's chromosome mapper tool, Kelly Wheaton's Lesson 11, & Blaine Bettinger's Visual Phasing]. For ECM these tasks are easily achieved using your DNA company's in-house tools and third-party sites with such chromosome browsing, chromosome mapping and triangulation capabilities as:
    • 23andMe's Family Inheritance: Advanced (FIA) & DNA Relatives Triangulation tool (note: Countries of Ancestry tool is now defunct);
    • FTNDA's Family Finder - Chromosome Browser;
    • Gedmatch.com One to One tool (for AncestryDNA, 23andMe, FTDNA) 

    Monday, March 9, 2015

    The 3 Types of DNA Tests for Ancestry & Genealogy VISUALIZED!

    Disclosure

    A lot of people know about genealogical DNA tests but have no idea there are three main tests to choose from that measure very different parts of your ancestry. So I edited two blog posts to add this screen-grab, which I altered with information to help explain the three different types of DNA tests available. What do you think? Does it makes things slightly easier to understand? If so, share this blog:
    (Screen-grab from: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/chromosomes/types4/. Boxed text added by TL Dixon)
    • First, AUTOSOMAL-DNA* (atDNA) Test analyzes your 23 chromosomes to estimate your ethnic contributions inherited from your parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents,16 gg-grandparents, 32 ggg-grandparents, etc., and includes an estimate of your ethnic admixture broken down into percentages, as well as match you to real genetic relatives going back about 500 to 1000 years. 
    • Second, MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA* (mtDNA) Test analyzes your cell’s mitochondria genetic code to determine your ancient maternal ancestry; you inherited your mtDNA exclusively from your mother and her direct fore-mothers going back tens of thousands of years to a common ancestral mother. Therefore the mtDNA test is used to determine your MATERNAL HAPLOGROUP ASSIGNMENT (an identifier for mutation(s) unique to your mtDNA organized on "Phylotree" according to an alphanumerical grouping system ie haplogroups B2 or L1b1a or U6a5b for example)
    • Third, the Y-CHROMOSOME DNA* (Y-DNA) Test, only available to males, analyzes his Y-chromosome to determine his ancient paternal lineage via his father and direct forefathers going back tens of thousands of years to a common ancestral father. Therefore the Y-DNA test is used to determine a male’s PATERNAL HAPLOGROUP ASSIGNMENT (identifiers for mutations unique to a male’s Y-chromosome organized on "Phylotree" according to an alphanumerical system ie haplogroups A0 or E-U290 or R1b1a2).

    NATIVE AMERICAN DNA Is Just Not That Into You

    Disclosure
    What happens to a dream deferred?
    Does it dry up
    Like a raisin in the sun?
    Or fester like a sore--
    And then run?
    Does it stink like rotten meat?
    Or crust and sugar over--
    like a syrupy sweet?
    Maybe it just sags
    like a heavy load.
    Or does it explode?
    - Langston Hughes
    
    
    Screenshot of AncestryDNA test-taker "MW," whose Ethnicity Estimate shows 0.00% Native American and Asian admixture percentages, including the Range score where trace amounts can sometimes register. 
    Let me guess! You have an "Indian Princess" story in your direct family line? Or your great-great-grandfather was rumored to be half-Cherokee? Or you've got photos, census records, tribal enrollment papers and other anecdotal evidence proving your direct ancestor was Choctaw? In fact people tell you all the time that you and especially your grandmother have features like the Rosebud Sioux Tribe? So when you decided to take a DNA test, you were either mildly expecting or hastily anticipating Native American to show up in your DNA ( = ethnicity admixture percentages)? And now your results are in and ...you got ZERO percent? OR a disappointingly low amount? OR another surprising ethnic component altogether? Yikes!
    Is that about right?

    In this "Recombinant DNA" blog and deep dive I'm going to discuss three general (and simplified) reasons why Native American genes would not show up in your DNA, and what to do if you suspect it is hiding (ie not being reported) in your results. I also provide examples of why you may need to test at more than one DNA company and/or the same company twice to find your elusive Native American ancestry. To choose the best DTC personal genome service(s), please see The Best DNA Tests for Native American 
    Ancestry, where I discuss each offering. Also be sure to join our Native American Ancestry Explorer FaceBook group [recommended by Roberta Estes 2016 blog hereto share your story
    But before I talk about why your results may be void of Native American DNA, I want to go over  a few quick points:
    • One of the most important things you must remember is that having Native American DNA is different from having Native American ancestry. This is because your potential inheritable Native American DNA could be lost every generation but you could still have real Native American ancestry in your family history. 
    • Genealogical DNA tests (including Gedmatch.com) can’t tell you a specific Native American tribe you might belong to. Nor can you use these DNA tests as a basis for tribal enrollment, or to narcissistically declare yourself an "Indian."
    •  If you did have family members that were considered to be Native American, your DNA test results may not reveal any evidence of it. Especially if you come from a complex ethnic heritage. 
    • Only Native American tribes or indigenous families can determine whether to accept you as one of them, even if you have no Native American DNA or a lot of it. [see story of Haitian-born Native American adoptee].
    • What’s more, the Native American diaspora is poorly sampled as many indigenous populations refuse to test, making it challenging for these analyses to adequately identify your Native American DNA. 
    • Another downside to lack of NA samples is you're less likely to find a Native American match from a specific tribe. Moreover, these ethnicity admixture tests only provide ESTIMATES of your affinity (similarity) to reference populations chosen and labelled by each company.  23andMe, for example, built its ethnicity reference panel by choosing "candidate [reference] populations that appear to cluster together, and then evaluate if they can distinguish the groups in practice." 
    • This also means the ethnic percentages in your DNA results doesn’t literally mean you’re related to or have any genealogical connection whatsoever to that specific ethnic population. 
    • And even if you shared Native American DNA with another test taker it may not reveal the tribal origins of your shared common ancestor. As such, you should always test at more than one DNA company to form a range score of your estimated Native American DNA (ie 0% to 3%) and to maximize your overall genealogical DNA experience. 
    • New studies suggest there is NO credible basis or evidence suggesting indigenous peoples of the Americas descend from ancient Europeans (ie Soultrean theory) or ancient Iraelites. (see George Diepenbrock).
    •  Or it could simply be that Native American DNA is just not that into you.
    Three Reasons Why Native American DNA Does NOT Show Up On Your Test Results ...
    (1) Your "full-blood" Native American ancestor may have lived so far back in time that your NA ancestor's DNA has "washed out" by the time it reached your generation.
    According to 23andMe, Native American DNA has been known to "wash out" in a few short  generations (about 5), especially if none of your other progenitors introduced it along the way. Wash-outs usually occur during Random Genetic Recombination, when DNA gets randomly remixed as it passes from parent to child --- some of it (ethnic components/DNA sequences from our direct fore-parents) eventually gets lost over time. This is because each child inherits random DNA contributions from his/her 2 parents (50% each); 4 grandparents (25% each); 8 g-grandparents (12.5% each); 16 gg-grandparents (6.25% each); 32 ggg-grandparents (3.125%); 64 gggg-grandparents (1.56% each), etc. as the table here illustrates:
    As you can see the farther your NA ancestor is removed from your generation, the more likely your average DNA contributions from this NA is to show up in low admixture percentages or none at all. For example, if one of your 32 ggg-grandparents was full-blood Native American, you stand to inherit up to 3.125% of that ggg-grandparent's DNA. Since the DNA you will inherit from your parentage is RANDOM and your ancestors will rarely be 100% of any one ethnicity, it is theoretically possible for you to inherit non-Native American DNA from this ancestor if other ethnic components are present and according to when this NA ancestor was introduced to the bloodline. For example Native Americans are known to have varying amounts of East Asian and Eurasian admixture due sharing ancestral populations with them. And after 15th century, Native Americans became admixed with Europeans and Africans.  NOW HERE'S THE TRICKY PART! You don't inherit your reshuffled DNA in fixed percentages as the chart above suggests. Rather you inherit your DNA sequences in chunks or segments of varying "lengths" (aka CentiMorgans) as shown in this illustration:


    So starting with your grandparents, you will actually NOT get 25% DNA equally from each one. Instead the contributions per grandparent could be more like:
    15% from grandparent #1 
    35% from grandparent #2 
    40% from grandparent #3
    10% from grandparent #4
    Now imagine if we apply my "genetic formula" to your grandparent #4, who in turn was descended from your hypothetical Native American ggg-grandparent mentioned earlier. Your grandparent #4  could have only inherited about 12.5%(+/-) NA DNA from his g-grandparent (full blood Native American) and it might be less than average amount. Question: How much of the 10% DNA you inherited from your  grandparent #4 will consist of the 12.5%(+/-) Native American DNA contribution that he received from his g-grandparent (= ggg-grandparent)? At the 5th generation for YOU, chances are equally likely to be anywhere 0.00% to 3.125%(+/-) NA DNA depending on how much NA DNA grandparent #4 gave your parent, and if your parent passed any of it to you (see How Much Of Your Genome Do You Inherit From a Particular Grandparent). While you will definitely inherit DNA from your grandparent #4 (@ 10%), it may not include any DNA that can identified as Native American. In my own family I have a relative who did not receive any NA DNA from his parents, even though his father has a NA mtDNA haplogroup (B2) and whose DNA-tested close paternal relatives (aunt, uncle, cousins) scoring 2%(+/-) NA (inclusive of shared NA DNA segments). Instead my relative got 4% Southeast Asian (SEA). He just didn't get any of the NA DNA from his father, noting the SEA component in this branch of my family is related to Malagasy peoples (see Sergio Tofanelli, et al and Teresa Vega's blog) ancestry, and much stronger than the Native American. Go figure. 
    Indian Removals. Trail of Tears. Source: Wikipedia
    Wash-outs also happen when no additional Native American DNA is introduced to your blood line. This is very common in the United States where events like Indian Removals prevented indigenous peoples from integrating with the general population. To this point, Latinos in US descend from ancestors whose circumstances allowed for extensive Amerindian intermixing with European and African populations in Latin America, which is why Latinos usually show higher amounts of Native American DNA on atDNA tests. In the US, Native American removal and extermination events coupled with "regional impacts of slavery, immigration, migration and colonization within the United States" [see 23andMe study: Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United Statesbest explains why Native American DNA often shows up in low or ghostly (0.00%) amounts for Americans (and Canadians). The good news is that even in small amounts (below 2%) Native American ancestry can be very REAL so you might not want to be so quick to dismiss it as statistical noise. Of course this also means your ancestors had limited interaction with Native Americans and chances are none of their DNA got into you.
    The following example below illustrates how fast Native American DNA can wash out. Here is a father who is a descendant from the Cree/Salteaux tribe; he inherited 10% NA. His daughter with 7% NA, and his grandson with only 3%. His grandson may not pass any or all of his NA DNA to his own children at the rate of decrease:
    DNA Test results for the family of Amy Fournier Ruffi. Used by permission.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    Selma Glory In My Family's Blood: James E. Gildersleeve, the Courageous Eight & Ola Burroughs Dunning

    Welcome to the ROOTS section of my blog, where I focus on general and personal Genealogical and/or DNA stories of my interest. (NOTE: I still explore Genetic Genealogy subjects in the "Recombinant Genetic Genealogy" section of my blog). This inaugural post pays homage to the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and Selma's role in the fight for Voting/Civil Rights by spotlighting two courageous heroes who also happen connected to my Curry, Dunning, Harper family of Marengo County, Alabama. I briefly discuss(I) James E. Gildersleeve & the Courageous Eight; (II) centenarian Mrs. Ola Burroughs Dunning, and (III) James Gildersleeve's genealogical connections to my Curry, Dunning, Harper family. Also be sure to visit the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute in Selma. ENJOY and LEAVE COMMENTS.
    James E. Gildersleeve's Arrest card, 1965, Selma, Al. Source: Alabama Dept. of Archives and History | 2009. 
    Marchers on Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; Source: Google Images
    Protesters being attacked during Selma-to-Montgomery marches.
    Source: nursingclio.org
    SELMA, DALLAS COUNTY, ALABAMA, is a haunting place that I'm earnestly familiar with. About 20 years after Bloody Sunday, we travelled there often -- sometimes to return my cousin to Selma University on Sunday afternoons, and other times we passed through en route to some place else. When we lived in the Northeast the Selma Highway (aka US Highway 80) was the best route to my dad's rural hometown of Dixons Mills, Marengo County, Alabama, located about 50   miles southwest yonder Selma's legendary St. James Hotel with its facade transplanted right out of Orleans French Quarter; ghostly Spanish moss (New Tillandsia     usneoides) black veiling stoic Oak trees (Quercus virginiana), and oh, that courageous Edmund Pettus Bridge hunching over the clayed Alabama River. It was always approaching this unassuming stubby steel through-arch span that Monarch butterflies swarmed en mass aflutter in my gut as I conjured up brutal images of Jim Crow-era Selma. And day-nightmares of the hell unleashed on "Bloody Sunday," the first (March 7, 1965) of three Selma-to-Montgomery marches against civil injustices against Black Americans that ended with 600 peaceful protestors being attacked by Alabama state police and racist mobs. On one such trip, I asked my dad if he knew whether any of our family participated in Selma's demonstrations, especially since his extensive family -- Curry, Dunning, Harper of Marengo and Clark counties -- migrated there during the first two "great" Black migrations. My dad could only muster foggy details, but he did mention something about the Gildersleeve's (they were severally married into our family in Marengo County) and his first cousin Ola Burroughs Dunning (she was a Selma centenarian that I've met when she visited my grandmother). I remembered these queries to my dad after watching the tour de force film, Selma, and beatifying the song "Glory" as my new anthem. So for the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, I felt compelled to do some research on the information my dad gave me. Turns out he was on to something: