I really wanted to give a thumbs up to Ancestry’s new Chromosome Painter. (Although a Chromosome Browser would make me much happier.) Sadly, Ancestry has missed the mark.
My mother, my brother and I have all taken Ancestry’s DNA test. And yes, we are the appropriate centimorgans match to show mother and child, and full siblings. Therefore, I should be a half-match to my mother’s ethnicity, on each chromosome. My brother should be likewise. As for my brother and I, we could be a full match, a partial match or no match depending on which segments we inherited from mom and which segments we inherited from dad.
Here is what our ethnicity looks like for each of us on Chromosome 12.
The color on this chromosome is deceptive in that mom’s colors represent Germanic Europe for her parent 1 and Scotland for parent 2.
My colors on the same chromosome represent Sweden and Denmark for parent 1 and England and Northwestern Europe for parent 2.
My brother’s colors represent Sweden and Denmark for parent 1 and England and Northwestern Europe for parent 2.
You can see that each of us has a green component to our Chromosome 12, but the green stands for different ethnicities on my mother’s chart as opposed to my brother and me. In our case, green denotes England and Northwestern Europe, while on my mother’s chart it denotes Scotland.
Looking at this, you might draw the conclusion that my brother and I are a full match on this chromosome, but we are not.
By looking at all the chromosomes I can tell that for me, my mother is represented by parent 1 and my father is parent 2. My brother is the opposite. Parent 1 for him is my dad, and parent 2 is my mom. How do I know this? My mother has no Eastern Europe or Russia in her ethnicity, but my father’s German side (half of his DNA) also has some Kashubian thrown into the mix. Kashubian’s were one of several Slavic tribes that settled in Pomerania along with Germans. Dad gets this mixture from his maternal grandparents who emigrated from Pomerania in 1906.
On my chromosome painter all the Eastern Europe and Russia show up on parent 2, while for my brother, they show up on parent 1. Which means according to Ancestry, I received my Sweden and Denmark ethnicity from mom and my England and Northwestern Europe from dad. My brother, on the other hand, received the Sweden and Denmark ancestry from dad, and the England and Northwestern Europe from mom. Confusing, yes?
Because I am a visual person, I put all our chromosome ethnicities on a spreadsheet. I coded each ethnicity with a specific color so that I could see immediately where we matched and where we didn’t.
My mother and I don’t match ethnicities at all on Chromosomes, 1, 12, 13, 14, or 15. My brother and she do not match on Chromosomes 4, 7, 10 and 12.
Below you can see Chromosomes 12, 13, and 4 for each of us.
Logically, not matching ethnicities with my mother on specific chromosomes does not make sense. I give Ancestry a B for effort, and a D for execution. The worst part, it makes me question all their ethnicity assumptions. They have tagged me with Scandinavian (now Sweden and Denmark) since I first took the test in 2012. I have yet to find a Swede or Dane in the family tree.
Until Next Time . . .