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Thread: Can you have a larger ethnicity percentage than your parents?

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Can you have a larger ethnicity percentage than your parents?

    I can't seem to get a straightforward answer from the various forums I have visited. I understand how you can have less of a particular ethnicity than your parents, but can you register more? For instance, just had an Ancestry DNA test done. For Scandinavian my dad's result is 0%, my mom's is 2%, but mine is 22%. Also for Italian/Greek my dad's is 0%, my mom's is 2%, but mine is 8%. Thanks in advance.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    If the test analysis was accurate, it should never been possible to get 22% from 0% + 2%. It's possible through recombinations to get a bit more than each parents. For example if each parent has 5% of say, Scandinavian, you could get 6 or 7% by inheriting different DNA segments of Scandinavian ancestry. But your total can never exceed your parents' total.

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    Ethnicity compared to parents

    All the results were based on the DNA kits from Ancestry.com
    That's sort of what I thought. I do have Scandinavian in my tree (Denmark), but I know it shouldn't be that high as a majority of my ancestry is English, Irish and French. Regarding the Italian ancestry I have no Italian surnames at all in my tree with almost all lines being traced back at least 6 generations.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickolas View Post
    All the results were based on the DNA kits from Ancestry.com
    That's sort of what I thought. I do have Scandinavian in my tree (Denmark), but I know it shouldn't be that high as a majority of my ancestry is English, Irish and French. Regarding the Italian ancestry I have no Italian surnames at all in my tree with almost all lines being traced back at least 6 generations.
    If you have English and French ancestry then you have Italian ancestry too, through the Romans. The opposite would be surprising. But then it depends how they define their ancestry component at Ancestry.com. Do they mean recent ancestry or ancient ancetsry ? If they use modern terminologies (French, Italian, etc.), then it shouldn't be more than a few generations since Italy was not a country until 1861 (1871 if you count the Latium and Veneto). It wouldn't make sense to lump all the Italians together, who are Europe's most genetically diverse population, if not to follow political borders. 23andMe for example uses separate categories for various Italian regions (North, Tuscany, South, Sardinia) as it wouldn't more make sense to put all Italians under one label as it would to lump the English with the Russians and the Hungarians. Actually it would make even less sense since the Sardinians are more distant from the North Italians than the English are from the Hungarians.

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    Ethnicity compared to parents

    Sorry if this is a duplicate response. When I hit reply, it wanted me to log in again and I think it deleted the message I sent.
    I really appreciate your insight and knowledge. I think Ancestry labels ethnic regions as they are today. They actually lump Italian and Greece together, but even at that I still can find no Greek heritage. I think their DNA results can include ancient as well, but I don't know what they mean by ancient. Many of the results have been fairly accurate. I have been connected with cousins whom I share 4x great grandparents with. The results were accurate in determining my mom's DNA of 2% North Africa which coincides with our family tree. If you were to use exact halving through each generation my mom's results would have been 1/32 or 3.125% so the 2% result was pretty much right on. Also on my dad's side through his mother I have been matched up with people who in the past have shared family tree info with. I just am at a loss to know where the Italian and the high Scandinavian content is coming from since my percentage are much higher than both my parents combined. I don't have much tree info on my dad's side through his father's father. But even without the tree info these ethnicity values should be in his DNA results. I think we may have an unknown factor through my dad's paternal great grandfather. I've had DNA matches through my dad's mother's side and also through my dad's father's mother, but no connections yet through my dad's father's father.
    Thank you again for your responses. I really appreciate it. I'm hoping to get more family member especially my dad's brother to have their DNA tested.
    Thanks.

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