Moderator Control Panel ]

The Great Genealogical DNA Scam!

Share your thoughts with your fellow family historians – and the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine team – here

The Great Genealogical DNA Scam!

Postby eurogordi » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:43 pm

Hopefully I have caught your attention with my subject heading and I certainly don't want to underestimate the power of DNA testing, but being somewhat cynical I am starting to wonder if this has become something of a money-making scam by the various companies offering an ancestral DNA service.

It is almost 12 months ago that I finally paid to have my DNA checked, choosing Ancestry above the other companies available. When I received my results (please see attached) I was astounded at how accurately these reflected my personal research spanning more than 40 years, even picking up on my medieval ancestry from north-west Russia!

At that time I thought it was money well spent and, as I started to discover distant cousins who shared the same common ancestor from five or six generations ago, I was even more convinced that DNA was the future of helping us all connect with our recent and not so recent ancestral origins... until I received a message from Ancestry saying that my results had been updated due to further developments in the scientific techniques used.

Expecting to find even more detail of my various ethnicities, I was horrified to discover that I had suddenly become 100% English overnight so chose to retain my original analysis as part of my Ancestry account. After all, not only was I losing my Russian ancestry according to the update but the Scandinavian connection, which comes from my late mother's 2x great grandmother, had also disappeared.

I have now received a further message from Ancestry informing me that my results have been updated again, albeit still 100% English, but that my original analysis will become unavailable within a few short weeks from now. I have, of course, downloaded my original report but cannot help feeling that I have wasted money on a test that does not reflect my research as originally informed. And if the test is correct, does this mean that I have then spent the greater part of my life researching a family tree that is now bordering on fiction, even those this is backed up with primary and secondary resource evidence throughout?

Despite messaging Ancestry, I have not yet received a received a reply and I am now wondering if any other researchers have unexpectedly found that their own DNA results have changed so drastically, irrespective of which company was used. I recognise that medieval genealogies can be questionable, even when we find that often elusive gateway ancestor, but that still doesn't explain where my mother's more recent Scandinavian line has gone!
Attachments
DNA Estimate 20181.jpg
DNA Estimate 20181.jpg (658.74 KiB) Viewed 889 times
eurogordi
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Re: The Great Genealogical DNA Scam!

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:15 am

Eurogordi,
I think you are placing too much emphasis on your ethnicity results, which to my mind are only guestimates at best, very pretty looking, but are of absolutely no use in helping you find your ancestors. I don’t think I’ve looked at mine again since I first got my results. Your comments about your known Russian ancestors proves my point, the latest guestimate is clearly wrong in not picking them up!

I think the real benefit of DNA testing comes from verifying your research, and not a substitute for it. It was no surprise to me that some of my matches were to fellow researchers, who I already knew shared common ancestors with me.
PS Take out the Image from your post, it is causing viewing problems. i.e. your text is shrunk to accommodate the image, making it virtually unreadable.
Mick Loney
 
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:39 am

Re: The Great Genealogical DNA Scam!

Postby brunes08 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:20 am

I do not know what you are using to view eurogordi’s post. I have no problems viewing any of it using my i-Pad. The main post is normal size. The DNA results are small but if I tap on them they pop up to normal size.


Sent from my iPad using WDYTYA Forum
brunes08
 
Posts: 1057
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:49 pm

Re: The Great Genealogical DNA Scam!

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:02 am

For what it's worth I don't have any problems viewing the first post either, using my Android phone and the app for the forum. Text is normal size and the image is using the maximum width of the glass - so the image may have been shrunk but that shrinking doesn't affect the text.

I have seen the tiny text issue with a big image issue, but different board and different software entirely.

Sent from my Moto G6 Play using Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine Forum mobile app
Adrian
AdrianB38
 
Posts: 2650
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:07 pm

Re: The Great Genealogical DNA Scam!

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:17 am

I am viewing the post using safari on an iPad 2 air. Safari shrinks everything to accommodate the image on the screen, so text is reduced accordingly. What is annoying is that the app is not affected, and shows it very well. I have encountered this before, when posted image is very wide, then everything shrinks to get get it on the screen.
As I visit more than one forum, and have to use Safari for the others, I can’t be bothered swapping between Safari and the App.
I’ll raise it as a technical issue, after all, the website should be usable wherever you’re viewing it from.
Mick Loney
 
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:39 am

Re: The Great Genealogical DNA Scam!

Postby Guy » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:02 pm

eurogordi wrote:Hopefully I have caught your attention with my subject heading and I certainly don't want to underestimate the power of DNA testing, but being somewhat cynical I am starting to wonder if this has become something of a money-making scam by the various companies offering an ancestral DNA service.

It is almost 12 months ago that I finally paid to have my DNA checked, choosing Ancestry above the other companies available. When I received my results (please see attached) I was astounded at how accurately these reflected my personal research spanning more than 40 years, even picking up on my medieval ancestry from north-west Russia!

At that time I thought it was money well spent and, as I started to discover distant cousins who shared the same common ancestor from five or six generations ago, I was even more convinced that DNA was the future of helping us all connect with our recent and not so recent ancestral origins... until I received a message from Ancestry saying that my results had been updated due to further developments in the scientific techniques used.

Expecting to find even more detail of my various ethnicities, I was horrified to discover that I had suddenly become 100% English overnight so chose to retain my original analysis as part of my Ancestry account. After all, not only was I losing my Russian ancestry according to the update but the Scandinavian connection, which comes from my late mother's 2x great grandmother, had also disappeared.

I have now received a further message from Ancestry informing me that my results have been updated again, albeit still 100% English, but that my original analysis will become unavailable within a few short weeks from now. I have, of course, downloaded my original report but cannot help feeling that I have wasted money on a test that does not reflect my research as originally informed. And if the test is correct, does this mean that I have then spent the greater part of my life researching a family tree that is now bordering on fiction, even those this is backed up with primary and secondary resource evidence throughout?

Despite messaging Ancestry, I have not yet received a received a reply and I am now wondering if any other researchers have unexpectedly found that their own DNA results have changed so drastically, irrespective of which company was used. I recognise that medieval genealogies can be questionable, even when we find that often elusive gateway ancestor, but that still doesn't explain where my mother's more recent Scandinavian line has gone!


Ignore the Ethnicity results they are little better than guesses, the value of the DNA tests is in the Chromosome Browser and Shared DNA Segments, etc. I.E. the actual data contained in the DNA rather than the estimates of ethnicity, whatever that means in the real world.
Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
Guy
 
Posts: 389
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: The Great Genealogical DNA Scam!

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:58 pm

In a follow up on image size, I have just looked at the original post in Firefox on a Windows 10 PC, and although text is now normal size, I can't see the whole image, just the top left corner, and can only see whole image by right-clicking to view image!
Mick Loney
 
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:39 am


Return to Genealogy chat


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests