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Ancestry DNA Matches

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by Tim, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. chrissy1

    chrissy1 LostCousins Star

    My sister has more DNA matches than me, but her matches complement mine because I have lots of matches that she does not and vice versa. Comparing looks alone, it is obvious that we have acquired different genes from the parental gene pool.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. chrissy1

    chrissy1 LostCousins Star

    Not all siblings, but one has parents who were first cousins, the grandmothers both being full sisters of my grandmother, so I would expect her to have a much higher share of DNA from this branch of the family - half as opposed to a quarter.
     
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's quite possible for there to be large variations between 1st cousins, for example if one has Irish or Jewish ancestry and the other doesn't.
     
  4. chrissy1

    chrissy1 LostCousins Star

    Why Irish or Jewish, or am I missing something?
     
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's partly because of endogamy - people marrying within the same group - and partly because they tend to have more children.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  6. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    In reality the reason I rarely look at my own results (and that of my siblings) is because I have been lucky enough to test not only my father and my mother, but also my paternal grandmother. I don't have any DNA that isn't already with one of my parents!

    My Jewish Ancestry has a massive amount of intermarriage - for example, I might be entering a marriage for a distant cousin and the name of the cousin's spouse looks familiar... because they are also a distant cousin of mine, and are already on the tree!
    Equally, my Jewish tree has pedigree collapse due to the marriage of 1st cousins in my own direct line and that wasn't the only marriage of first cousins within that branch of the family.

    Jewishness, I have learnt, was past down the matrilineal line - the women were expected to marry a man within the faith, so that their children were also considered Jewish. If you weren't living within a large Jewish community, then the choices were limited.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Indeed, it makes one wonder why you and your siblings tested at all? It's certainly not something I would have recommended - but perhaps your parents were initially reluctant to test.
     
  8. chrissy1

    chrissy1 LostCousins Star

    Thanks. I wasn't aware of Jewish intermarriage and I would perhaps have limited the Irish reference to Irish Catholics, of whom there are many in NW England.
    However, I too have direct ancestors who were first cousins who married and several other instances in the same branch of my family in rural Devon, but no Irish or Jewish connections. Pure Devonian, but I think intermarriage often occurred in small, isolated rural communities too. The same surnames keep appearing.
     
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Marriage between cousins is rather different from marriage within a group - whilst there are some similarities it's important to understand the differences:
    • When cousins marry there are identifiable relationships and you can adjust the expected shared DNA accordingly
    • By contrast a group can be very large, and there may be no marriages between cousins, but as a result of members marrying within the group over many generations there will be a restricted gene pool; this makes ALL relationships between members of the group appear closer than they are, but without any obvious reason.
    If you remember my examples in the newsletter which used a pack of cards to illustrate how matches occur between cousins, endogamy is like using a pack of cards where all the red cards have been removed, making matches more likely. Cousin marriages are like using a regular deck, but drawing two lots of cards from the pack, rather than one.
     
  10. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Intermarriage is a term best avoided in genealogical discussions as in common parlance it has two opposite meanings, ie marriage within a group or marriage between people from different groups. I'm guessing you weren't referring to either of those - since it's well known that Jewish people tend to marry within the faith - but to cousin marriages. I'm not aware that there are more marriages between cousins in the Jewish community (and in any case I would expect it to vary according to the locality and sect).
    You're partly right, in that Catholics tend to have larger families, but both Catholics and Protestants in Ireland tend to marry within their own communities.

    Of course, the same is also largely true of Catholics and Protestants in England, but there are an awful lot of the latter which means that the gene pool is comparatively diverse.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    Most likely curiosity factor to begin with - I was the first to test before I slowly convinced the others.
     

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