AUTOSOMAL-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > AUTOSOMAL-DNA > 2013-01 > 1357498421
From: Cyndi Norwitz <>
Subject: Re: [AUTOSOMAL-DNA] Gedmatch
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2013 10:53:41 -0800
On Jan 5, 2013, at 11:32 PM, Tim Janzen wrote:
> I don't think that the Eurogenes Jtest is the most reliable
> test for picking up Ashkenazi ancestry. This test says that my mom has
> 3.65% Ashkenazi ancestry. Based on my knowledge of her ancestry, I don't
> see how she can have nearly that much Ashkenazi ancestry. Based on her
> genealogy, she has no known Ashkenazi ancestry. 23andMe's Ancestry
> Composition doesn't show her as having any Ashkenazi ancestry. The
> Eurogenes Jtest says that my dad is 3.18% Ashkenazi. I don't believe that
> estimate either. Genealogical evidence would suggest that he is about 0.8%
> Ashkenazi. 23andMe's Ancestry Composition says that he is 0.4% Ashkenazi.
> 23andMe's Ancestry Composition gives a range of 0.6% to 0.9% Ashkenazi for
> his sisters. I think that the 23andMe estimates are much closer to the
> truth than the Jtest estimates.
>From my reading of the authors of that test, it's not really good for small amounts, but is better for the larger amounts. IIRC, they say that anything over 20% generally means you're 100% Ashkenazi. I'm about 31% They suggest using the EUtest to then see what lies "under" the Ashkenazi.
What's happening to a lot of us who are "100%" Ashkenazi, is that 23andme, Ancestry, and others (including McDonald) just say we're Jewish (some say "Jewish" some say "Ashkenazi"). Which isn't helpful at all. I mean, I *want* that analysis. It *IS* helpful to know that my family was Jewish going back for a while and that any admixture with the communities where they lived is older. It's just not enough. Now that I know my known family history matches up with my DNA, I want to see what else is there. Hiding it all under the "Ashkenazi" label won't tell me that. That's why I love these tools.
My Jtest says:
Ashkenazi Jewish is still my number one Oracle match, by an order of magnitude. Then we get into Italian and so forth (I have no known Italian ancestry but I do have matches with people who do and it appears to be a path for my maternal line, among others). After that is Middle-Eastern (no recent ancestry there but ancient, yeah well).
My EUtest says:
Oracle gives me AJ as number one but the rest aren't as far behind (7's instead of mid-20's). Again, Italy and Middle-East. Plus some helpful info that the GD to Hungarians is 28, even though my mom was born there and both sides of her family are from the Slovakian portion of Hungary…meaning our admixture was not recent. My dad's side is from Poland and Belarus. No obvious Oracle population matches there but there are so many abbreviations I don't understand that I can't be sure.
What these tools tell me is that most of my admixture comes before my family lines came to Central/Eastern Europe. There were likely some stops in Southern Europe along the way. It puts the lie to the idea that light skinned Jews like me are just Europeans and have no connection outside of Europe (no more than any other European anyway).
This is all a heck of a lot more interesting to me than "you are 100% Jewish." Note: the other places I've used (AncestryDNA, 23andme, and Doug McDonald) don't say completely 100% Jewish; there are blips and unknowns and etc, but it's very close to 100%.
I realize a lot of people do want tools that will show small amounts of Jewish ancestry. You're probably right that this set of tools is not the right one for that.