Friday, July 21, 2017

AND THE WINNER IS... (Comparing Admixture/Heritage Tests on Gedmatch)


  • We ran exhaustive tests of several commercial and free DNA-testing labs and ethnicity calculators.  
  • To test the sites, we used only individuals with well-documented, double confirmed, 100% known ancestry.  
  • We tested multiple males from multiple lines to assure as much as humanly possible no extra-parental events (bastardy) occurred.  
  • We even tested minor nobility with documented ties to geographic locales.  
  • We used individuals who do not come from cities or places of cosmopolitanism (influx of foreigners).  
  • We tested only people with all four grandparents from the same locale.  
  • We tested multiple people from different countries in Europe.
As we've posted before, of the commercial labs, 23andme takes first prize, and is the worst.  23andme provides the most conservative and accurate ethnic ancestry approximations.

We have also completed our testing of all of the ancestry composition tests available on GEDMATCH.  Below is a summary, the results, and the rankings.

  • First of all, the specialty labs, Ethiohelix, Gedrosia DNA, puntDNAL, etc. do not even come close to being accurate, at least for individuals of European heritage.
  • None of MDLP's tests passed our accuracy gauntlet and correctly called west European DNA.
1. The overall winner, and the clear winner of all the tools currently available on Gedmatch, is the Eurogenes K13 test.  It was pretty darn good at distinguishing DNA from various western European lands, for people of "purebred" ancestry.

2. Coming in second was Eurogenes EUtest K15 v2, which also had a pretty darn good record of accurate calls.

3. An honorable mention, and a close third, with accurate calls roughly as close to the second-place finisher, was Dodecad's K12b test.

  • No other tests besides those three were even close to "often accurate."
  • No tests, including those three, were much use for accurately calling the ancestry of European "mutts."  We found that the same tests that were accurate with individuals with 100% heritage from one country, were of limited value for serving as an oracle (predicting accurately) the ancestry of individuals of mixed European heritage.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Will Tim Sullivan and Continue Its VIRTUAL Ethnic Cleansing of Germans?

23andme discloses right off the bat that it cannot identify German or French ancestry 92% of the time.

Ancestry doesn't seem to be able to discern German ancestry too well either, but it doesn't tell its customers that.

Noted: Yet another reader of this blogger just wrote in and shared her experience.  She is 100% German, born in Germany, from a small town, not a big city.  Her ancestors are documented in the region she's from for the last 400 years.  Several of them were well-known and documented. called her ancestry as about 50% Scandinavian, 25% Italian, and 25% generic European.  What an epic fail.

How many "white bread" regular Americans, with German ancestry take one of these tests, and misleadingly, their German ancestry is literally wiped away?

We note Germans are America's LARGEST ethnic group, but their ancestry is also often hidden, because German surnames Americanize so well.  For example, Kohl becomes Cole; Schmidt becomes Smith, etc.

As an experiment, with our reader's permission, we ran her raw data through Gedmatch.  Both MDLP (the Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae Project) and Eurogenes were able to call her likeliest ancestry as German.   Dodecad, which specializes in Mediterraneans, was able to call her as German in about half of its tests.

So the question remains:

1.  If the amateurs can call German DNA with reasonable regularity, why the heck can't

2.  If is so bad at identifying America's biggest ethnic group, why doesn't it do the decent thing and tell people?