Blood

So, I received the results of my Geno 2.0 test. I was surprised, because the Northern European component was much smaller than I expected. While half of my ancestors came from Northern Europe, most of them from England and Ireland, and the other half comes from Italy, National Geographic determined me to be 46 Percent Mediterranean, 31 percent Northern European, and 21 percent Southwest Asian.

NatGeo allows you to download your data so that you can play around with it. By doing so, I could tease out where these larger affiliations breakdown. Within the Mediterranean and Northern European groups, there must be a “Western European” component, as the “Atlantic-Baltic” category was the most dominant for my by chromsome analysis using Dodecad. Likewise, about a quarter to a third in the same analysis showed “Caucasian_Gedrosian,” the area of the Caucuses (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan) and modern-day Pakistan. This Globe10 analysis shows 56 percent “Atlantic Baltic,” 21 percent “Southern,” and 21 percent “West Asian.” The Globe13 analysis was closer to the NatGeo results, showing 36 percent “Mediterreanean,” 34 percent “Northern European,” 17 percent “Southwest Asian,” and 10 percent “West Asian.” To me, this shows that the results are basically the same, depending on what categories you use. About a third to half of my ancestors came from the Mediterranean (with a locus closer to France and Spain), about a third came from Northern Europe, and another quarter to a third came from the Middle East (which is why my brother calls me “Abdul” when I don’t shave).

One interesting find was that the Globe10 and Globe13 calculators both pegged me as 1 percent Amerindian. From what I have read on various websites, plenty of people turn up marginal amounts of various ethnicities – (the same calculators showed me as 1-2 percent “South Asian,” which is, essentially, India). I very happily buy the idea that some of my ancestry originated in India, and moved via the Middle East to the Mediterranean and on to Italy. Amerindian ancestry, though, is tricky, because there seems to be an extraordinary burden of proof on anyone who claims Native American heritage.

One way to determine if these results were “real” or just statistical noise is to do chromosome painting. The idea is that if there is a piece of a chromosome that is painted as a certain ethnicity, it’s likely legit. If it’s just small hits sprea across a chromosome, then it’s likely to be noise. After painting my chromosomes though I turned up 4-5 percent Amerindian ancestry on three chromosomes, and an 11 percent segment of Siberian ancestry on another chromosome. To me, this proves that these signals are not noise, that there is real Native ancestry in my DNA.

Where did it come from? I would venture that if it was inherited via the Collinses, then it had some connection with local Iroquoians, the Tuscarora or Meherrin, because the families associated with ours who claim Native ancestry today (other Collinses, the Lewises, the Smiths) are associated with those groups.

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