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?DNA test......

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by mowsehowse, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. mowsehowse

    mowsehowse LostCousins Member

    Hello. I have always felt that I would not gain much from DNA testing.
    I know my heritage is entirely from central Europe, and having managed to trace back to 4 x great grand parents, I am aware that my people came from all over Germany, Poland, Hungary and Switzerland, and I know I have many cousins all over Europe.
    I have always assumed testing couldn't prove much more.
    However, I do have an unusual minority blood group, which I have been told by an NHS nurse, indicates "Gypsy, Native Indian (Blackfoot or Crow,) or Polynesian" lineage. o_O
    I might insert here that both parents are dead and neither sibling shares blood group.
    Recently when talking about this with friends, I was challenged to take a DNA test to learn more about the origin of my blood group. BUT, would a DNA test actually solve that riddle?
    I would be glad of thoughts on this, and am hoping for a definitive answer. Many thanks.
     
  2. mowsehowse

    mowsehowse LostCousins Member

    Sorry Peter. Clearly this should be on the DNA board.... :oops: Move it if you wish.
     
  3. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    I have a large chunk of European ancestry as well, and so far my DNA test has been great at helping me find relatives from that side of the family mainly because most of them emigrated out of Europe.
    You can never tell what DNA will give you until you try it to be honest - particularly in the way of who it will allow you to find.

    Most DNA tests don’t really give you a blood group, but they will give you an ethnicity report. Ancestry’s is getting more accurate, but traditionally this is not necessarily reliable. Perhaps that might give you an idea about where this unique blood group may come from?
     
  4. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Star

    I think the best reason for doing an Ancestry DNA test is to connect with other descendants of those 4x great-grandparents (and of 5x and 6x g-grands if you are lucky). I think it is good to connect with distant cousins anyway, compare notes and hopefully help each other with research. After all, if that were not the case, why join Lost Cousins? In your case, you can then ask your distant cousins whether any of them share your unusual blood group.

    Ethnicity estimates are very hit and miss - as jorghes said Ancestry's has improved in recent times (other sites may be more accurate?) but I'm not convinced. Having said that, my son's Australian partner recently tested with Ancestry to try and find relatives on her Scots father's side. Her mother, a 4th generation Australian with English/Scots/Irish ancestry, had already traced her family back and found an apparent Aboriginal ancestor who would have been a 5x great-grandmother of my son's partner. Her ethnicity came back with 1% Melanesia (Australia basically) which would be about right for a 5x g-grandparent (128 of them). I know we need to take all this with a pinch of salt, but I do find this interesting. So you never know, you may get a pointer to the origin of your blood group through an ethnicity estimate, but it wouldn't be definitive.
     
  5. mowsehowse

    mowsehowse LostCousins Member

    Thank you Jorghes and Helen7.
    Interestingly I did discover a cousin in Holland (I think,) on 23rd May this year, so I made contact asking if the person would like to be in touch. I had a reply the next day, and so I explained our connection, but guess what..... no response and no information. Was I surprised? Not really!
     
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    If you know all of your ancestors on every line right back to your 128 great-great-great-great-great grandparents then you're probably not going to learn anything by taking a DNA test.

    But everyone I know has gaps in their tree - generally because the records don't exist or can't be found (or are wrong or incomplete) - so I suspect that you do too.
     
  7. mowsehowse

    mowsehowse LostCousins Member

    Point 1) surely this "128 great-great-great-great-great grandparents" is 5 x great grandparents?
    Point 2) I did not claim to know ALL of my 64, 4 x greats. What I was saying was that in the circumstances I was very pleased with having got ANY that far back. It is easy for people whose ancestors have always lived in the same town in England. It is not so easy when ancestors have been floating all over Europe and beyond! Of course I have gaps.
    Point 3) My question was if DNA testing would reveal my ethnicity which resulted in my minority blood group.
     
  8. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    Sometimes I wish that all my ancestors had come from the same small town in England... or Wales... or Scotland..
    But then other times I realise how much fun following emigrant ancestors can be.
     
  9. mowsehowse

    mowsehowse LostCousins Member

    Jorghes: if I didn't enjoy the puzzle of it, I wouldn't do it, but.... when you speak the language, and know the geography and have an understanding of the history the path is somewhat less hazardous. My limited, poor German and zero Hungarian or Polish makes it all very tricky. I feel very fortunate to have made any headway at all, and never imagined I could get what I have got.
     
  10. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Impossible to answer, like asking if the police taking 1000 finger prints will reveal those found at the scene of a crime. They may or may not. Ethnicity results likewise, with a degree of luck, may allow you to pinpoint the ethnic origins of your distinctive blood group. I would say the chances are very minimal, but not impossible.

    Like the Lottery slogan, 'you have to be in it to win it' , why not give it a go and remember ethnicity is merely the decorative wrapping paper, all the hard work lies in following through with DNA matching and perhaps, just perhaps, communicating with others who may be able to help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    I think I would agree with Bob, and say the short answer to this is "it might". It's also possible that you might get a better idea from comparing your ethnic origins with those of one of your siblings who doesn't share your blood group.

    But family historians are not necessarily the best people to ask about the merits of ethnicity estimates since cousin matching tends to be a far more useful tool in researching our ancestors. Cousin matching will identify our nearer ancestry (those we can hopefully also find via traditional research) while ethnicity reflects our more distant origins.

    How much have you investigated your unusual blood group? Although you say your parents are dead, you may still be able to glean a fair bit of information by looking at blood groups within your wider family - siblings, children, nieces and nephews, cousins (on both sides if possible) etc, and being aware of which groups etc are dominant and which recessive. Does anyone else in your wider family share your blood group? You may also be able to investigate further exactly which populations across the world share this unusual blood group.
     
  12. mowsehowse

    mowsehowse LostCousins Member

    Thank you Pauline + Bob. So, basically, it's a NO. Thanks.
    I will stick with assuming it is Gypsy... either from Hungary or Poland, both of which seem an ethnic probability.
     
  13. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    I think it may depend on what your unusual your blood type is. My blood group is shared by about 8% of the UK population, whereas my daughter’s blood group is shared by only 2%.

    I think your blood group would probably need to be more unusual than either mine or my daughter’s to show up as anything significant in your DNA ethnicity.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  14. mowsehowse

    mowsehowse LostCousins Member

    2% in U.K.
     
  15. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Why not take the test? Who knows what you'll discover by connecting with genetic cousins?
     
  16. CarolB08

    CarolB08 LostCousins Member

    You will lose nothing and maybe gain a lot by taking a dna test, do your homework and choose the right one, they vary so much, as I understand it My Heritage tends to find more European matches, but Ancestry has the largest data base of testers. Who knows you might even match me or Jorghes who have the same European history as you do.
     
  17. mowsehowse

    mowsehowse LostCousins Member

    Bless you Jorghes - or should we just exchange trees instead?? :)
     
  18. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    You can transfer Ancestry results to My Heritage, but you can't go the other way - which makes Ancestry the natural choice.

    Note too that whilst My Heritage will find inevitably more cousins living in the countries where Ancestry don't sell their test, an awful lot of Americans are of European descent, so overall you're likely to get far more matches at Ancestry.
     
  19. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    I don’t speak Dutch, nor German, and if I could get the try far enough back, not Czech either! Luckily as long as you have the correct spelling of the names - which can be difficult when it comes to Dutch names - it doesn’t seem to matter so much.

    My ancestry is Ashkenazi Jewish, and that would show up on a test - definitely Ancestry’s, but not it seems, LivingDNA’s.
     

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