Thursday, April 14, 2022

Those Small DNA Percentages - They're Always Real, Right??

With the latest AncestryDNA update, I'm no longer predicted to be 100% "European Jewish," which had been unchanged for several years--and totally matches my paper trail.  (A while back I did have a random 1% Finnish, which disappeared.)  But as of this week, I'm down to 98% European Jewish, along with 1% Norway and 1% Baltics.  Does this mean that I need to start tracing where that 1% came from?  Are these small percentages always real?  Wouldn't it be the case that updates are more accurate than prior predictions?

My Ethnicity Estimate as of April 2022,

The latest Ancestry update allows you to attribute ethnicities to one parent or the other, but it just tells me that the Norwegian ancestry is from one parent and the Baltic ancestry from the other.  I'm fortunate in that I've been able to coerce ask both of my parents to take DNA tests, so I can see which parent actually has each of those ancestries in their predictions to be able to narrow down my new Norwegian and Baltic ancestries.  Or at least that's how it should work in theory.

My Father's Ethnicity Estimate as of April 2022,

My father's previously 100% European Jewish ethnicity is down to 99%, with a prediction of 1% Baltics.  So this means that my mother must have some Norwegian ancestry, right?  Right?

My Mother's Ethnicity Estimate as of April 2022,

My mother has absolutely no Norwegian ancestry in her prediction, although she does have a new 1% Levant prediction.  My parents are both my biological parents (I know some of you were wondering if that was the answer!), so if I really had Norwegian ancestry, I'd have had to inherit it from one or both of them.  But neither of my parents is predicted to have Norwegian ancestry, even though I am.

So yes, small percentages might really be indicative of distant heritage.  But in many cases, such as this one, they're literally just noise and just aren't correct.  So don't get too obsessed with tracing those very small percentages unless there are other indications of those ethnicities in your ancestry.  My Finnish disappeared.  My Norwegian is obviously false.  I'm not going to get too obsessed with or attached to my supposed Baltic ancestry.  If I'd been able to test all of my grandparents, would any of my father's parents be predicted to have Baltic ancestry?  Would either of my mother's parents be predicted to have ancestry from the Levant?  Maybe.  But maybe not.

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