The numbers game

So despite the fact that The Legal Genealogist keeps saying, over and over, that the admixture percentages we see in all the autosomal DNA test results are only good for cocktail party conversation, the fact is, hey, at this time of year there are a lot of cocktail parties.

And, of course, a lot of admixture tools. One of ’em just got updated, and I couldn’t resist taking a look.

K13The tool is the Eurogenes K13 admixture tool; it’s accessed through my favorite third-party utility site, Gedmatch.

You head over to the site, log in, choose Admixture from the Analyze Your Data options, select Eurogenes from the drop-down menu and “Admixture Proportions (with link to Oracle)” from the radio button choices, and then click on continue.

Enter your kit number at the top, select Eurogenes K13 from the drop down list for calculator models and click continue again.

And then you wait while it runs through 1000 iterations comparing your raw data to the data in its population samples using its algorithms.

The first thing I wanted to see was how my mother’s two brothers and one sister whose kits we have at Gedmatch compare to each other. It was intriguing to see how their results are close — but not exactly the same.

Eurogenes K13 Admixture / Percentage
 Uncle 1Uncle 2Aunt
1North Atlantic 48.58North Atlantic 46.72North Atlantic 48.03
2Baltic 23.33Baltic 23.11Baltic 25.31
3West Med 13.43West Med 13.22West Med 12.63
4West Asian 6.75East Med 6.83East Med 5.1
5East Med 4.27West Asian 5.7West Asian 4.94
6Red Sea 1.33South Asian 2.18Red Sea 1.23
7Northeast African 0.98Northeast African 0.99South Asian 1.06
8East Asian 0.47Red Sea 0.74Oceanian 0.52
9South Asian 0.44Sub-Saharan 0.32East Asian 0.5
10Oceanian 0.34Oceanian 0.18Northeast African 0.41

You can see from that table that the top five general areas that make up the admixture of all three are the same — but not in the same order and not in exactly the same percentages. (And, by the way, everything under one percent is pretty much just noise.)

Then we can match them up against the specific sample populations used by this tool to see which modern populations they’re most like. And, again, they’re close but not exactly the same:

Eurogenes K13 Single Population / Distance
 Uncle 1Uncle 2Aunt
1Southeast English 3.28German 3.54Dutch 2.34
2Dutch 3.46Southeast English 4.23German 3.29
3Orcadian 3.99Dutch 4.86Southeast English 3.41
4German 4.16Danish 5.66Danish 3.7
5Southwest English 4.19Orcadian 6.01Orcadian 4.09
6Danish 4.22Southwest English 6.3Irish 5.26
7Irish 4.48Irish 6.99Southwest English 5.41
8West Scottish 5.04West Scottish 7.36West Scottish 5.77
9Norwegian 7.53Norwegian 8.82Norwegian 6.19
10Swedish 8.52French 9.23Swedish 6.94

Then I wanted to look at a more personal comparison. The comparison between me, 50% German and 50% colonial American mutt, and my half-brother, 50% German and 50% Swedish (all four of our father’s grandparents were born in Germany and all four of his mother’s grandparents were born in Sweden).

I wanted to see how well this particular tool discerns the German and the Scandinavian in that sort of mix since all of my German results disappeared in the most recent AncestryDNA admixture analysis, And here’s what we got:

Eurogenes K13 Admixture / Percentage
 Half-sister (me)Half-brother
1North Atlantic 44.55North Atlantic 47.3
2Baltic 26.14Baltic 30.8
3West Med 12.93West Med 8.67
4East Med 6.22West Asian 6.29
5West Asian 5.48East Med 3.81
6Red Sea 1.84South Asian 1.27
7South Asian 1.62Red Sea 0.89
8Northeast African 0.95Amerindian 0.84
9Amerindian 0.27Oceanian 0.07
10Sub-Saharan 0.07

Those are the overall numbers — now for the populations:

Eurogenes K13 Single Population / Distance
 Half-sister (me)Half-brother
1German 2.23Swedish 3.02
2Dutch 4.46Norwegian 4.14
3Southeast English 6.35Dutch 5.51
4Danish 6.8German 6.26
5Orcadian 7.23Danish 6.88
6Norwegian 7.91North Swedish 7.44
7Swedish 8.04Orcadian 7.83
8Irish 8.26Irish 8.37
9Southwest English 8.35Southeast English 8.95
10West Scottish 8.94West Scottish 9.18

So… this admixture tool spots our German (which appears to look a lot like Dutch), and spots my brother’s Swedish (which appears to look a lot like Norwegian).

There are two things I find interesting about this tool, since we’re chatting now over our cocktails.

The first thing is that, unlike the recent change in the analysis by AncestryDNA (see DNA disappointment, posted 15 September 2013), this admixture calculator doesn’t seem to have any trouble finding the Germans. I get ’em, my brother gets ’em, even my mother’s siblings get ’em (and that makes sense — we have a Shew line that I expect goes back to some German Schuhs).

And the other thing is how very alike these reference populations must be for the results to be coming out the way they are. German and Dutch and Danish all so very close, Southeastern and Southwestern English and Irish and Orcadian.

I still want a magic wand I can wave that would put an ethnic and geographic origin stamp on every segment of my DNA. For that matter, I want a magic wand that will mark each segment with the name of the specific ancestor I inherited it from — maiden names of women included.

But in the interim, it’s really fascinating — here around the Sunday cocktail table — to see that we’re really not French or German or Dutch or Danish.

We’re simply human.

And so much more alike than we are different.

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