Ancestry updates their ethnicity yet again

As of November 13, 2019, everyone’s AncestryDNA results were updated.  Back in late October, only a few people have been getting the new update and all new testees.  Now we are all on the same page.

They did several changes which include increasing the number of genetic communities for various populations, increasing the size of their reference samples, renaming of categories and adding in a few new categories such as Guam, Samoa and Tonga.

We are going to concentrate on Samoa and Tonga, which they attempted to split off from the rest of Polynesia.

When AncestryDNA created the Polynesia category back in December 2013, it only consisted of 18 Polynesian samples which included at least one (or possibly more) of the samples that have distant European ancestry.  They updated their category and rolled out the new update to everyone back on September 12, 2018 with an additional 40 more samples increasing to a total of 58 for Polynesia.

In June and December 2018, I had the opportunity to speak to David Turissini, Ph.D who is a population geneticist at AncestryDNA.  I expressed my concerns with him regarding more specific categories among Polynesians.  Basically splitting eastern from western Polynesia.  I also explained why I thought that would be much better for us particularly for matching as we all tend to match each other at a very closely predicted relationship.  And that I thought the low number of reference samples could possibly affect the way we get our results.

He told me that I already understood how Polynesians lack genetic diversity so increasing the number of samples would not make any difference.  But then I pointed out how it was not that difficult for me to distinguish a western Polynesian (Samoan, Tongan, Tokelau, Tuvalu) versus an eastern Polynesian (Maori, Tahitian, Cook Island Maori, Hawaiian, Marquesan, Rapa Nui).

Despite all that was said, I was surprised to see how they increased the number of reference samples for Polynesia along with adding in Samoa and Tonga.

New categories & increase of samples for Polynesia

You can read more about it here:

https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/ethnicity/estimates

So their reference samples of 16,638 has increased by 23,379 samples to a total of 40,017.  Of that amount, they added 130 more samples to the Polynesia category and creating Samoa with 73 and Tonga with 97 samples.

While I have not noticed a lot of Tongan results yet, I have seen several Samoans.  Most of the ethnicity results I have seen are either Hawaiians or Maoris.  For the most part, eastern Polynesians are getting either Samoa and/or Tonga in the range of 1% – 4%.  For Samoans, I’ve seen about 60% – 70% Samoa and the rest Tonga.  A few Cook Island Maoris seem to have a higher percentage of Samoa compared to other eastern Polynesians but that may be due to the fact that they have ties to Aitutaki or its neighboring islands versus Rarotonga.  Or maybe Cook Island Maoris just have a higher percentage because of another group of people that settled earlier and/or it could be due to the original people who just so happened were genetically more like Samoans.

This whole classification, while it cannot be accurate as it is nothing but an estimate, really makes it interesting and gives us a bit more of an insight as to the settling of Polynesia.  Of course we can also see this as more people are getting Y-DNA tested and mtDNA and we slowly learn more about these different migration patterns which no surprise, confirms our oral histories.

My results have changed throughout time since I tested with AncestryDNA back in January 2014.  The biggest breakthrough came last year as they actually created the Philippines category which correctly allocated my Filipino side from Polynesia, therefore decreasing my amount.

But what does my tree look like compared to my current DNA results?

 

With the latest update it made my color scheme more difficult to accomplish but in the tree I do point out the foreigners.  While my father was born in Lahaina, Maui, Hawai’i, both of his parents were from the Visayas region in the Philippines.  For my maternal grandmother’s mother – Rose Holbron, her paternal grandfather was from Hull, England while her maternal grandfather was from Queens, New York, U.S.A.  And for my maternal grandmother’s father – Frank Kanae, he had distant American ties.  His great-grandfather Isaac Lewis Kanae was the son of Captain Isaiah Lewis.  I still have not pinpointed his origin yet.  And Isaiah Lewis’ father-in-law Oliver Holmes arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1793 from Plymouth, Massachusetts.  At the time Oliver Holmes left Plymouth, there were only 15 states in the U.S.A.

So what I did was place their ethnicities under a continental level and compared it to my DNA results, which all adds fairly nicely, taking in random inheritance.  My mother gets 17% European compared to her sister who gets exactly 15% which is consistent with the genealogy.  And in turn my mother gave not one but both of my brothers about half of her European – 8% and 9% for them while I ended up with the higher percentage – 11% which appears as about 11% – 12% at different testing companies.

And while I show 2% Samoa, my mother ended up with 1% of both Samoa and Tonga.

 

For my cousin who is not admixed, it was interesting to see, despite the erroneous genetic communities that would come up, how hers changed.  Because we match other Polynesians at a very closely predicted relationship, and the fact that my cousin is not admixed, she matches a lot of part Polynesian people who fall into a specific genetic community among others of whom she also matches.  So she ends up with the same genetic community.

 

 

With this latest update, they finally got rid of the Native American category for both my cousin and my mother.  But now with Samoa and Tonga, it is no surprise that they would give us a small percentage of that.  And having gone through several of these 1% – 2% categories of Samoa and Tonga, they all seem to range the same – 1% – 4%.  Interestingly for my mother, her range for Tonga was 1% – 3% while her Samoa was 1% – 4%.  But the way it ended up was both 1%.

I have also been witnessing those who previously had small amounts of Polynesia now being reclassified as Samoa, Tonga or Guam.  Usually, these are people with either Melanesia or some other Southeast Asian from various parts of Indonesia.  I would be really interested in seeing more results who have ties to that area.

So while I was told the number of increase of samples would not do anything, it obviously did quite a bit.  If only they would have renamed the Polynesia category by specifying Eastern Polynesia.  They should also do the same renaming their genetic community.  It would make more sense as we know that both Samoa and Tonga is part of Polynesia and of course, their map for Polynesia would include Samoa and Tonga within that area.  I would have expected western Polynesia as I mentioned to them versus eastern Polynesia, but they really got very specific.  And in the end result, Samoans will see that they are about 30% Tongan and probably the same for Tongans where they will see a smaller percentage of Samoa.  These people do get about 0% – 1% Polynesia in their results.

We will just have to wait to see what the future updates would bring.

Previous entries about AncestryDNA’s Polynesia category:

https://hawaiiandna.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/polynesia-category-ancestrydna-com/

https://hawaiiandna.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/polynesia-category-ancestry-com-part-2/

myOrigins 2.0 update – FTDNA

Back in April, FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) finally updated their myOrigins.  This was initially set to roll out shortly after November 2015’s 11th Annual International Conference on Genetic Genealogy held in Houston, Texas.

FTDNA started off with Population Finder, which was replaced by myOrigins in May of 2014.  With Population Finder, they had an Oceania (Papuan, Melanesian) category.  When they switched to myOrigins, they removed the Oceania category.  Since Polynesians are about 75% Southeast Asian and 25% Melanesian (Oceania), Polynesians would show up as just Southeast Asian.

They increased their population clusters so now they have a total of 24.  I believe prior to this newer version there were about 18 of them.  While a lot of people have reported how “off” these results are, focusing on just the Polynesian genome, I notice that there is a consistency to have about 3% – 9% Northeast Asian along with the predominantly nearly 75% Southeast Asian.

Population Finder, myOrigins 1.0 and myOrigins 2.0

These are the different versions.  FTDNA seems to be ever increasing the amount of European that I have for whatever reason.  I usually range between 8% – 12% at various DNA companies.

Below is a breakdown of what other Polynesians have been getting with the new version of myOrigins.

 

Click for full image

Percentage breakdown by the various East Asian and Oceanian categories.

For now it seems that the new version of myOrigins are giving a lot of people many trace regions.  While I did not include them in the image above, I have been seeing this for eastern Polynesians so far.  Maybe in the future there will be an update that could refine these trace regions so that it appears less for everyone.

Determining half-relationships with Polynesians

I recently got my cousin’s results to compare to my mother and my brothers.  This cousin’s father was my mother’s half-brother George, so a half-first cousin relationship.

Prior to making contact with my mother’s relatives I was thinking of having these cousins tested as a means to figure out who my mother’s biological father really was.  But a couple of months ago when I did make contact with these long lost relatives it was revealed that my mother’s biological father was Joseph Kaapuiki Akana, the man whom I doubted was my mother’s father based on his name (Akana is of Chinese origin) and the fact that my mother remembers her father being pure Hawaiian and her DNA composition does not support Chinese ancestry.  I thought that maybe testing these half-cousins would determine if their grandfather was my mother’s biological father.  But it is more complicated than I realized.

Like my mother’s father Joseph Kaapuiki Akana, George’s father was also Hawaiian.  George and my mother shared the same Hawaiian mother.

This is what the ISOGG Wiki Autosomal DNA Statistics page says about how much should be shared between a half-aunt and also to half-cousins.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.17.17 PM

Combining with Blaine Bettinger’s Shared cM Project, the total shared for a half-aunt would range from 540cM to 1348cM, averaging 892cM.  The average is around the amount indicated by the ISOGG Wiki page.

For a half-first cousin, Blaine Bettinger’s Shared cM Project says it would range from 262cM to 1194cM, averaging 458cM.  Again, that average is what is indicated on the ISOGG Wiki page.

This is how GEDmatch.com compares my half-cousin to us.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.33.09 PMIt is obviously on the high end, for a half-aunt while half-first cousin, not that extreme.  But we are talking of one example only.  There are more half-cousins that I could have test and probably will in the future.  And all of these cousins have had a grandfather that was Hawaiian, so I would expect their amounts to be high.

Comparing to non-endogamous groups, I compare my paternal aunt to her nephews and nieces and a great-nephew and great-niece on GEDmatch.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.45.46 PM

My cousin Terri may share the lowest total among the 1st cousins but it does not seem that significantly different from the average 1700cM.  It is interesting to see that her largest segment is 104.7cM.  When I look at my half-first cousin and how much she shares with her half-aunt (my mother), the total is 1412.8cM, and largest segment is 103.3cM.  That figure can be misleading.  I have more cousins on my father’s side that I have yet to test and there may be other cousins who share less or more with our aunt than the cousins that have already tested.

If I take my aunt out of the equation, this is how the cousins compare to each other.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.50.04 PM

A couple of my paternal 1st cousins share much less with each other than my half-cousin does with me and my brothers.

It will be awhile before I can get an ample amount of Polynesians who have close relatives tested to fully make a comparison.  Initially I wanted to see if testing half-cousins would help determine if my mother’s siblings were half or full siblings and when I was not certain that Joseph Kaapuiki Akana was her biological father.

It is clear now that any type of half-relationship is difficult to determine if the other parent is also Polynesian, and in our case Hawaiian.  My grandmother married 3 different Hawaiian men and so far from what I know, they have ties to geographically different places.

The endogamous nature just makes it hard to determine the relationship even if it is a close relationship.  It does not have to be a distant 3rd cousin and beyond to appear as a closer relationship.  Even with cousins (half or full) and half-siblings, they seem to appear on the higher end of the relationship, possibly giving a false prediction if the true relationship was not known.

Recent Founder’s Effect, bottlenecking and 6 Tahitian women on Pitcairn island

I finally got the autosomal results of a Pitcairn resident who has been a member of the Polynesian project for a year now.  Previously I had another member who is a Norfolk island descendant and whose ancestors moved to Norfolk but were originally from Pitcairn.  Another Norfolk descendant tested at another company, but his raw data were uploaded to GEDmatch.com in order to be compared.  Now having that this particular Pitcairn resident tested, I can make a comparison for these 3 people since they all have ties to Pitcairn.

 

HISTORY OF PITCAIRN ISLAND

Pitcairn was settled in 1790 by mutineers of the HMS Bounty and Tahitians1.  The initial population of 27 consisted of 9 mutineers, 6 Tahitian men and 11 Tahitian women along with an infant girl.  Only 6 of the mutineers and 6 Tahitian women would produce descendants.

Mutineers:
1) Fletcher Christian
2) Edward Ned Young
3) John Mills
4) William McCoy
5) Matthew Quintal
6) John Adams

Tahitian women:
1) Mauatua Maimiti
2) Teraura
3) Teio
4) Tevarua2
5) Vahineatua
6) Toofaiti

 

POPULATION GROWTH, DECREASE & RE-POPULATION

The population started with 27 people but only 12 of them would produce descendants.  By 1840 the population exceeded 100, and by the mid-1850s the community was outgrowing the island3.

On May 3, 1850 the entire community left for a 5 week trip and settled on the island of Norfolk on June 8.  Nearly 3 years later 16 of them returned to Pitcairn.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.03.27 AM

 

EFFECTS WITH AUTOSOMAL DNA

I have mentioned in previous blog entries that eastern Polynesians are genetically less diverse than western Polynesians.  So it should be no surprise that Hawaiians and Maoris as well as Tahitians will come up as closer matches to each other despite sharing common ancestors 8 centuries ago.

Now we are looking at two things.  Firstly, a founding population where only 12 people produced offspring, and half of the 12 being Tahitian women, or eastern Polynesians.  And these 12 were not paired off equally.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.32.29 AM

They married multiple times, some of them never produced descendants with their other spouses.

Secondly, there was a population bottleneck in 1859.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.35.35 AM

In 1856 the population expanded to 193, then the entire population left.  That population was already interrelated just 66 years after the initial 12 founding people started the population.  They all left, but 16 of them returned.  Eventually, a few more returned but the remaining population continued life on Norfolk island while the rest of the Pitcairns were starting the population again. It would take only 23 years to repopulate the island increasing the population to 250.

 

ANALYZING A PITCAIRN RESIDENT’S AUTOSOMAL DNA

The Pitcairn resident descends from all of the 12 founding people.  No surprise, given that small amount plus that was just 225 years ago and 7 generations ago for this particular person.

Although I cannot show with a family tree how many times they descend from the 12 founding people due to size and the complexity of the tree, I decided to list the number of times they descend from each of the 12.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.50.22 AM

This resident’s paternal grandparents are 2nd cousins one way, and 3rd cousins another way while their maternal grandparents were 2nd cousins two ways.  There are more ways that they are related going further back as well, but my genealogy software cannot pick up the multiple relationships and it seems to select the closest relationship but selected 2nd cousin once removed, so not sure which line it was picking up.  This person’s maternal grandfather was born on Pitcairn but there is no known genealogy for him.  For their other grandparents, here is who they descend from.  (Founding people in bold)

Paternal grandfather – Christopher Warren, son of George Warren whose mother was Agnes Christian, and Alice Butler whose mother was Alice McCoy.
Paternal grandmother – Mary Christian, daughter of Sidney Christian & Ethel Young.
Maternal grandmother – Ivy Young, daughter of William Young & Mercy Young.

Agnes Christian and Alice McCoy were 2nd cousins, great-granddaughters of Fletcher Christian and Mauatua.  Ivy Young’s parents William and Mercy Young were 2nd cousins two ways to each other.  Great-grandchildren of Edward N. Young and Toofaiti and of Fletcher Christian and Mauatua.

As confusing as it seems, you can imagine how would DNA show up.  After uploading the raw data to GEDmatch.com for further analysis, I immediately ran the “Are Your Parents Related” tool.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 10.07.52 AM

It predicted 3.3 for the most recent common ancestor (MRCA).  Still not sure how to interpret GEDmatch’s MRCA estimation, but in reality, the most recent common ancestor would be their 2nd great-grandparents – Thursday October Christian II and Mary Polly Young.  And there were other Youngs as I previously mentioned and Christians as well.

When I ran my mother’s kit through that same tool, her largest segment was 13.9cM, and there were a total of 5 segments that would total 51.5cM.

Largest segment = 13.9 cM
Total of segments > 7 cM = 51.5 cM
Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 4.1

Unlike the Pitcairn resident whose largest segment was 24.7cM and with 11 segments.  My mother’s parents were from different islands and as far back as I was able to trace their ancestries, they did not intersect nor did their ancestors come remotely near to each other given that they were from 3 different islands.

I would love to get more Pitcairn residents to test, to see if there is any noticeable pattern using this tool, or David Pike’s ROH.  If there is, we definitely could use it in helping to determine a true close genetic match versus an endogamous one.

 

COMPARING TO NORFOLK DESCENDANTS

There are 2 particular matches to many of the Polynesian DNA project’s members and both of these 2 people are descendants of Norfolk residents.  I will refer to them as Norfolk #1 and Norfolk #2.

Norfolk #1’s maternal grandmother was from Norfolk and she was the daughter of Francis Nobbs and Ruth Christian.  Norfolk #2’s maternal grandfather was from there, and his parents were William Adams and Sarah Christian.

A further breakdown where I bold the founding people.

NORFOLK #1
Francis Nobbs’ ancestry, son of Alfred Nobbs & Mary Christian:
Paternal grandfather – George Nobbs
Paternal grandmother – Sarah Christian, daughter of Charles Christian & Tevarua
Maternal grandfather – Benjamin Christian, son of John Buffett & Mary Christian
Maternal grandmother – Eliza Quintal, daughter of John Quintal & Maria Christian

Sarah and Maria Christian were daughters of Charles Christian & Tevarua, while Mary Christian was their 1st cousin.

Ruth Christian’s ancestry, daughter of Isaac Christian & Miriam Young:
Paternal grandfather – Charles Christian, son of Fletcher Christian & Mauatua
Paternal grandmother – Tevarua, daughter of Teio
Maternal grandfather – William Young, son of Edward N. Young & Toofaiti
Maternal grandmother – Elizabeth Mills, daughter of John Mills & Vahineatua

NORFOLK #2
William Adams’ ancestry, son of John Adams & Caroline Quintal:
Paternal grandfather – George Adams, son of John Adams & Teio
Paternal grandmother – Polly Young, daughter of Edward N. Young & Toofaiti
Maternal grandfather – Arthur Quintal, son of Matthew Quintal & Tevarua
Maternal grandmother – Catherine McCoy, daughter of William McCoy & Teio

When comparing the two Norfolk descendants to the Pitcairn resident, I was surprised to see no overlapping segments.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 1.36.43 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.58.16 PM

It is interesting to see how for Norfolk #1, the largest segment is 40.85cM for the largest segment and a total of 134.5cM.  The largest segment is significant, and although Pitcairn & Norfolk #1 are related multiple ways, the closest known relationship makes them 4th cousin once removed.

Comparing Pitcairn to Norfolk #2, the largest segment is 27.3cM, which for Polynesians in general could be pretty distant.  Total shared is 95.1cM.  And just as with Norfolk #1, Norfolk #2 and Pitcairn are related multiple ways, but the closest relationship makes them 4th cousins.

At the moment I cannot compare Norfolk #1 and Norfolk #2, but I am trying to get one that taken care of in order to upload Norfolk #1’s raw data to GEDmatch for further analysis.

I was expecting to see the overlap at least when comparing to the Pitcairn resident given that their ancestors’ have been on the island since the beginning, but it goes to show how unpredictable and random DNA can be.

A list of all 3 and how many times they each descend from the following founding population.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 1.46.23 PM

And while various Polynesians can be compared to all three of these people and may show overlapping segments, there is really no way to map these segments.  These 3 testees would match other project members based on segments inherited by one or more of these 6 Tahitian women that settled on Pitcairn.  And we all would have shared common ancestor(s) from at least 8 centuries ago.

Below I compare the Pitcairn resident to a Hawaiian, a Maori and a Cook Island Maori as well as my Hawaiian mother.  Incidentally, there is a project member whose father was from Tahiti, yet that person does not come up as a match.

(default setting)

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 3.40.11 PM

(1+cM setting)

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 3.48.43 PM

 

Comparing Norfolk #1 with the same people with the exception of not being a match to the Cook Island Maori.

(default setting)

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 3.41.18 PM

(1+cM setting)

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 3.51.14 PM

Norfolk #2 did not test at FTDNA but at 23andme, and although their raw data was uploaded to GEDmatch.com, all the others being compared were not uploaded except for my mother’s raw data.

For additional information about the DNA study of the descendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty, see ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’: the genetic history of Norfolk Island reveals extreme gender-biased admixture.

Footnotes

1. History of the Pitcairn Islands.
2. Pitcairn Settlers lists an additional Tahitian woman known as Sully, as the wife of Matthew Quintal and the mother of Matthew Jr., John, Arthur, Sarah and Jane Quintal. Another source, as well as the Pitcairn resident who got DNA tested, claims that there were only 6 Tahitian women of whom they descend from.  There was no mention of Sully, although Tevarua is listed as being married to Matthew Quintal and the parents of  Matthew Jr., John, Arthur, Sarah, and Jane Quintal.
3. Historical Population of Pitcairn.

Botocudo ancient DNA sample uploaded on GEDmatch

Felix Immanuel, a software professional at Hewlett-Packard based out of Canberra, Australia who has a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Forensic Computing and Cyber Security from University of South Australia, has been uploading a bunch of ancient DNA to GEDmatch.com.  The most recent uploads were samples taken from skulls of two extinct Botocudo (Brazil) men.  I blogged about it in December 2014.

https://hawaiiandna.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/polynesian-mtdna-in-botocudo-of-brazil/

At that time, they hypothesized a few ways how the Polynesian motif could have made it into the genome of these now extinct Botocudo tribe.  But recently in Two ancient human genomes reveal Polynesian ancestry among the indigenous Botocudos of Brazil (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25455029), they talk about the hypotheses again and how they came to the conclusion that these samples are definitely Polynesian.

One thing that was consistently repeated, was how the skulls analyzed had no detectable Native American ancestry.  They say, “[w]e find that the genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectible Native American component.”   That “all the genetic data point towards two individuals with Polynesian ancestry and no detectable Native American ancestry.” And they continued again saying that a “clustering analyses suggest that they have no detectable Native American ancestry and share the same components as the Polynesian population.”

The two male individual samples used, known as Bot15 and Bot17, presented a combination of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants common in present day Oceanian populations.

They pointed out a few hypotheses that was mentioned in the other paper, and that “the 1862-1864 AD Peru-Polynesia slave trade can be excluded, given that the 14C calibrated dates for the skulls predate the beginning of this trade.”  Because these skulls have been radiocarbon dated, the dates that they came up for Bot15 was 1479 – 1708 AD and 1730 – 1804 AD, and for Bot17 was 1496 – 1842 AD.  So the fact that the Peru-Polynesia slave trade occurred after the death of these people excluded the hypothesis that Polynesians were brought over during that slave trade.

Also, the Madagascar-Brazil slave trade hypothesis has been excluded due to the recent genomic data that demonstrated that the Malagasy ancestors admixed with African populations prior to the slave trade, and no such ancestry is detected in the Botocudo sample.  Madagascar was peopled by Southeast Asian and not Polynesian populations.

And finally, trade involving Euroamerican ships in the Pacific only began after 1760 AD.  By 1760 AD, both Bot15 and Bot17 were already deceased with a probability of 0.92 and 0.81, respectively, making this scenario unlikely.

These two samples analyzed had no Native American component detected.  Felix was able to extract SNPs from the raw data to come up with C-PH3092, and  C-Z31878, which are Melanesian in origin and the C haplogroup is common in eastern Polynesia.  The mtDNA haplogroups were B4a1a1a and B4a1a1.  B4a1a1a is pretty common throughout Polynesia especially in eastern Polynesia.  And most importantly these samples are a match only to eastern Polynesians.  There is no doubt that these particular samples are Polynesians.  Question is, how did they get there?  Did they manage to produce offspring with the local Botocudo groups like the Crenaques, Nac-Nuc, Minia-Jirunas, Gutcraques, Nac-Reques, Pancas, Manhangiréns or Incutcrás?  Or did they have offspring but they never survived?  Were these samples that were found the actual people who traveled directly from Polynesia?  Or did they arrive as a group and intermarried within their own group of Polynesians but later were found among the other Botocudo people?   And why travel thousands of miles over mountains and crossing rivers, possibly going through or bypassing the Pantanal that borders Bolivia and Brazil and continue to head towards the east?

We have other evidence like the kumara [sweet potato] or ‘uala [Hawaiian word for sweet potato] that originated from South America, and not to mention our many oral traditions of all the famous travelers who went abroad to Kahiki [foreign lands; Tahiti] and towards ka hikina [the east] where the rising of the sun is.  Travelers like Kuali’i, Hema, Kaha’i, Wahieloa, Laka and Luanu’u. Now DNA is showing the scientific community what we have known based on our oral traditions.

Now that Felix uploaded both of these samples up on GEDmatch.com, we see that both of the samples matches a few of us [both admixed and non-admixed] Hawaiians (including my mother), Maori, and a Cook Island Maori.  No surprise that eastern Polynesians are a match, given how they lack genetic diversity much more than the older western Polynesians. But it may also suggest, if not confirm, that it was specifically part of the expansion of eastern Polynesians.  But was there another expansion that late in the 1600s?  Another not so surprising thing about these matches is that there may be small segment matches, but when utilizing GEDmatch’s graph when comparing ONE TO ONE, we can still see small segments of full identical region for a few of these matches.

Bot17,Brazil,0.4ky1
Kit # F999964
mtDNA – B4a1a1
Y DNA – C-Z31878 (C1b2 [2015])

Bot15,Brazil,0.4ky
Kit # F999963
MtDNA – B4a1a1a
Y DNA – C-PH3092 (C1b2 [2015])

You can check out Felix’s blog for other ancient DNA uploaded. http://www.fi.id.au/

Also the supplemental information can be accessed here.

Footnotes

1. Y haplogroup C Botocudo sample is carbon-dated to 1419-1477 AD – Ray Banks

Comparing Western and Eastern Polynesians

In my last blog entry “Tiny Segments from the Same Common Ancestors“, I began comparing Western Polynesians (Samoans & Tongans), and Eastern Polynesians (Maori and Hawaiians), and compared them to each other in order to show how the tiny segments appeared like missing teeth on the chromosome browser.  Now I will show how people compare to each other based on total centimorgans and their longest block (FTDNA).

First I compare Tongans and Samoans to each other.  Both Samoans and Tongans are Western Polynesians and are the most diverse.   Polynesian settlement began in the west in the Tonga/Samoa/Fiji area.  I mentioned this in a previous entry “Loss of heterozygosity – from Western Polynesia to Eastern Polynesia.”

T = Tongan
S = Samoan
– = no match

I colored it to make it easier to see or compare Tongans to Tongans in light green, and Samoans to Samoans in light blue.  The ones not colored are comparing Samoans to Tongans.  The top number is the total shared in centimorgans, while the bottom number is the longest block (largest segment).  The average totals seem to be between the upper 200s to mid-300s. The lower numbers (in the hundreds) is due to the fact that the person is admixed.  In other words, they are not pure Samoan/Tongan, and usually have some European ancestry.

WestPoly

Comparing Tongans to themselves:
TOTAL
lowest –  117cM (part Tongan)
highest – 340cM
average – 258cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 5.79cM
highest – 10.51cM
average – 8.54cM

Comparing Samoans to themselves:
TOTAL
lowest – 165cM (part Samoan)
highest – 366cM
average – 271cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 5.66cM
highest – 16.54cM
average – 9.20cM

Comparing Tongans to Samoans:
TOTAL
lowest –  143cM
highest – 321cM
average – 248cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 5.79cM
highest – 11.07cM
average – 7.81cM

This is what it looks like when I compare those same Tongans and Samoans to Hawaiians and Maoris who are Eastern Polynesians.

H = Hawaiian
M = Maori
T = Tongan
S = Samoan
? = unable to determine if a match
– = no match

In this graph, I again colored it for easy comparison.  Hawaiian vs. Tongans in light brown, Hawaiians vs. Samoans in golden yellow, Maoris vs. Tongans in pink, and Maoris vs. Samoans in light green.

West-EastPoly

Most of the Eastern Polynesians are admixed except for two Hawaiians and one Maori.  But those that are admixed are still more than 75% Polynesian which still keeps the totals fairly high as you can clearly see it still above one hundred with the exception of one Hawaiian who is admixed to the Tongan that is admixed.  In fact, that admixed Tongan only shares with one Hawaiian and one Maori, both less than 100cM.  Yet their longest block still falls within the range.

Comparing Hawaiians to Tongans:
TOTAL
lowest – 72cM
highest – 341cM
average – 199cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 5.34cM
highest – 12.12cM
average – 7.94cM

Comparing Hawaiians to Samoans:
TOTAL
lowest –  135cM
highest – 314cM
average – 213cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 5.09cM
highest – 11.50cM
average -7.57cM

Comparing Maoris to Tongans:
TOTAL
lowest –  68cM
highest – 240cM
average – 202cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 5.31cM
highest – 10.94cM
average – 7.87cM
Comparing Maoris to Samoans:

TOTAL
lowest –  147cM
highest – 278cM
average – 229cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 5.28cM
highest – 10.94cM
average -7.81cM

When looking at the average, it seems to be consistent as far as comparing Eastern Polynesians to any Western Polynesian.  However that changes drastically when comparing Eastern Polynesians to themselves.

H = Hawaiian
M = Maori
? = unable to determine if a match
– = no match

I colored Hawaiians in light blue and Maoris in light green when comparing to themselves.  The non-colored portion is when they one group is compared to the other.

EastPoly

Comparing Hawaiians to Hawaiians:
TOTAL
lowest –  225cM
highest – 780cM
average – 463cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 8.45cM
highest – 23.58cM
average -14.90cM

Comparing Maoris to Maoris:
TOTAL
lowest –  581cM
highest – 694cM
average – 641cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 12.51cM
highest – 19.98cM
average -16.66cM

Comparing Maoris to Hawaiians:
TOTAL
lowest –  291cM
highest – 773cM
average – 514cM

LONGEST BLOCK
lowest – 8.98cM
highest – 29.68cM
average -16.20cM

So to recap, showing just the average total shared and the average longest block size:Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 4.45.54 PM

Although I used only 3 Maoris compared to 8 Hawaiians, it was based on the top matches to my mother.  There were a few more Maoris but I did not have access to their data and that would have allowed more “?” in the charts.  But as we can see, the Western Polynesians tend to have lower totals since they are more diverse unlike the Eastern Polynesians.  More admixed Polynesians will result in lower totals, but the longest block is not that much difference from those not admixed.

In the future I will probably attempt to look at admixed Polynesians and compare them to show the average longest block sizes compared to those not admixed.

Tiny segments from the same common ancestors

Disclaimer: This post demonstrates the use of 1+cM when comparing specific groups of people in order to see patterns of multiple descent from a few ancestors.  It should not be used to validate connections with matches, particularly in this example where connections are beyond a genealogical time frame reaching at least up to 500 years.

Recently I have been comparing both western Polynesian (Tongan and Samoan) and eastern Polynesian (Hawaiian and Maori) matches.  I compared western Polynesians among themselves, and  did the same thing with eastern Polynesians comparing them among themselves.  Then I compared the two groups to each other.

To those who are not familiar with Polynesian origins and/or are new to reading my blog, I will recap.  The ancestors of Polynesians originated from the Melanesia area and thrived there for thousands of years. Thousands of years later a group of “Austronesians” originating from Southeast Asia moved into the area, intermingled briefly and continued to move into western Polynesia where Polynesian culture was born.  At least a couple of thousand of years would pass before they would continue to expand further eastward.  As Polynesians moved from west to east, their genome became less diverse due to repeated founder’s effects and bottle necking.

oceania

I analyzed my mother’s results and compared her to a Hawaiian (orange), and a Maori (blue) below.  The Hawaiian is her top match, sharing a total of 693.60cM, longest block 15.52cM, consisting of 158 segments.  The Maori is her 4th top match sharing a total of 517.90cM, longest block 18.08cM, consisting of 119 segments.  FTDNA counts all the tiny segments as low as 1cM once the criteria of a match is met, which is why the number of segments is high.

tinyseg-mom

With the default at 5+cM I did not see anything unusual other than ordinary small segment matches.  But when I reduced the setting down to 1+cM (above), you can see a lot of tiny segments resembling a comb.  The slightly bigger gaps are just the missing teeth of a comb.  Some of these patterns begin to appear at 3+cM, although most do not appear until you reduce it down to 1+cM.  In my mother’s example above I show only chromosomes 1 – 20 since there were no segments that looked like a comb on the other chromosomes.

Then I looked at a Maori woman’s results (below) and compared hers to other Maoris and one Hawaiian.  She also shows the missing teeth at 1+cM, but only in a few areas.  Some areas have the comb pattern while other areas seem random.  The random segments could be IBS (Identical by State) or IBD (Identical by Descent).  Polynesians lack genetic diversity, particularly eastern Polynesians more than western Polynesians, so the random looking segments could be both IBS and IBD segments.

tinyseg-mary

Then I looked at two Tongan men and compared them to other Tongans and Samoans.  With Tongans & Samoans there seem to be more randomness.  A few of the tiniest segments may be close to each other, but nothing resembling too much like my mother’s results, a definite comb-pattern.  Take the purple and green colors for example for this one Tongan man below.  Notice how on some chromosomes they seem to be closer together while on others it just looks random.  Again, these are only using the bare minimum 1+cM.

tinyseg-peni

The other Tongan example.

tinyseg-keni

As you can see, it is hard to look for patterns that resembles a comb, and instead you see random colors all over the chromosomes.  What was interesting to see was how little X these Tongans had.  Unlike with the Maoris and Hawaiians, many of them shared multiple segments with each other.

But what does all of this mean?  These are very small island populations.  They have had repeated emigration from these small islands that resulted in a series of founder’s population.  There there was also bottle necking that occurred a few times.  All of these combined would leave only a few closely related ancestors to populate and repopulate new areas every time.

So the multiple, very small segments that represents a comb with missing teeth is the result of people descending from just a few ancestors who contributed that particular segment, but was inherited from multiple lines going back to the same ancestor over and over again.

Below is an image where I compare my mother with two Samoans (yellow & green) and three Tongans (orange, blue & purple).  There seems to be more randomness, however, there are a few of those comb patterns.

tiny-mom&western

Notice how the X chromosome is much more full, unlike what we saw when comparing the western Polynesians (Tongans & Samoans) among themselves. The yellow color belongs to a Samoan woman. The fact that women have 2 X chromosomes may be the reason why there is a long match versus using two Tongan men whose matches included two women in their examples above.  But these are Polynesians, so you would expect more of a match on the X.  My observance of matches for the past 2 years was limited to only my mother being compared to others, which means I have seen a lot of X matches for her, and the same for myself and my brother.

From what I am noticing so far is that these patterns look like what is mentioned in research papers about Polynesian genome and the loss of heterozygosity going from west to east.  The last place in Polynesia to be settled was in the east, ending at the extreme points of the Polynesian triangle, namely Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the south east, Aotearoa (New Zealand) to the south west, and the Hawaiian islands in the north.  This explains why my mother and the Maori woman have less random looking tiny segments compared to the Tongans and Samoans.  And if we compare western and eastern Polynesians to each other, we may see some randomness but not as much as we would see with western Polynesians alone.  Other types of Polynesians getting DNA tested would help to exhibit any other additional patterns that I cannot currently see with the majority of Hawaiians and Maoris getting tested.

Loss of heterozygosity – from Western Polynesia to Eastern Polynesia

Genetic research on Polynesians will frequently mention the loss of heterozygosity.  This is more noticeable when comparing eastern Polynesians to western Polynesians.

oceania

Map outlining migratory paths of Austronesian speaking populations, including estimated dates. Adapted from Bellwood et al., (2011) “Are ‘Cultures’ Inherited? Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Origins and Migrations of Austronesian-Speaking Peoples Prior to 1000 BC.” [doi: 10.137/journal.pone.0035026.g001

Polynesian populations are relatively homogenous both phenotypically and genetically. Over a span of 3,200 years they moved throughout the Pacific, and unlike in Europe and other large continents, they did not mix with other populations due to isolation.  These small founder populations have experienced several bottleneck effects, which further caused this loss of heterozygosity ending with the settlement of eastern Polynesia.  Polynesians’ lack of genetic diversity is less evident in western  Polynesia where initial settlement began.  Hawai’i, New Zealand and Easter Island are considered to be eastern Polynesia, and these places were the last places of Polynesia to be settled.

Recently I have been able to look at the autosomal matches among Samoans and Tongans of western Polynesia.  Previously, I have been only studying Hawaiian matches and noticed that top matches were both Hawaiians and Maori people.  Looking at Samoans and Tongans was very interesting as I now could compare the two different regions.

My mother is 80% Hawaiian, while I am 40%.  And as admixed as I am, I still get 1st – 3rd cousin predictions on Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), while on 23andme I get 2nd cousin and 3rd to distant cousin predictions.  The centimorgan totals that I show with my matches reach as high as 369cM on FTDNA, and 161cM on 23andme.  For my mother, 693cM on FTDNA and 376cM on 23andme.  I see the same happening with Maoris, ranging between 300cM – 700cM (FTDNA) for the top 20 people.  And for a non-admixed Hawaiian, their top matches are in the 600 – 700cM range.   An admixed Polynesian would logically have lower totals. But even an admixed person can still have a fairly high amount of totals shared, as when I am comparing myself being less than half Hawaiian.

When comparing two Tongans, the highest that they shared was 335cM.   A Samoan compared to another Samoan was 366cM.  And both of these Tongans and Samoans had their remaining top matches in the range of 100cM to 200cM.  Many of their matches are the same Hawaiians and Maori that match each other at a much higher total.  It is amazing to see these autosomal matches and how diverse the western Polynesians are, or rather how Hawaiians and Maoris are not as diverse.  And even if it is an admixed Hawaiian or Maori, the matches to each other are still pretty high, and as high as what non-admixed western Polynesians would have to each other.

When comparing the longest block (largest segment) with Tongans and Samoans, they seem to rarely get close to 15cM, averaging around 10cM.  Anything more than that could indicate a possible closer relationship or perhaps a specific common geographic origin.  The Hawaiians and Maoris usually range between 10cM – 15cM for the largest segment, but can go as high as 28cM which is usually in admixed Hawaiians and Maoris compared to each other.  In other words, all Polynesians in general will have high totals exceeding 100cM, but whose largest segment rarely exceeding 10cM.

I look forward to more western Polynesians getting tested so we can see if there is any pattern to specific islands in their own island group, something I have been trying to do with Hawaiians with the few haplogroups that there are for Polynesians.  What also needs to be analyzed are people from Tahiti and the Marquesas being that they were key dispersal points for eastern Polynesians.  I managed to only see the results of one admixed Tahitian woman and her match totals are identical to mine when comparing totals.  I am curious to find out what non-admixed Tahitians will show, if it is more identical to eastern Polynesians, or to western Polynesians.