I noticed Kelly Wheaton's post (Facebook ISOGG) about "The DNA Detectives" a New Zealand based, genetic genealogy themed, TV show. Great idea for a show! Hopefully it will inspire more people to test. I have a few New Zealand and Australian matches; mostly based on my Irish ancestry.
You can watch the show here (see bottom of page) or at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvFAyWoYpaY
The shows host is a little quirky. His animated gestures are funny, like pretending to blow a train whistle at one point, and making a train sound effect. The set in the studio is retro themed, and the host slams a button to display the DNA results. Two celebrity guests were featured, Jack Tame and Ray McVinnie, in this 44 minute show. After an initial ethnicity test reveal, in the studio, the guests travel around the world in search of DNA cousins.
|South Asian segments|
Kelly Wheaton's segments were interesting because they included more historical information, and actually showed the basis for one of the ethnicity percentages. Kelly had researched Tame's line. She found a surgeon, from Scotland, who immigrated to India in the 17th century. He married a native of India, which is where the 1.4% South Asian comes from. When Kelly showed him the large South Asian share from the 23andMe's ethnicity chromosome browser it really brought that fact home to him. He was blown away when he saw that. He had heard about some possible South Asian, but actually seeing the segment made it real. Kelly Wheaton is related to Tame, according to DNA test results, but she was not able to find the common ancestors. These distant cousins did share a resemblance as they noted.
The segment in Jamaica was very interesting also. This took McVinnie to Jamaica in search of the African ancestor who contributed the 2.2% African admixture. He met up with some distant cousins who showed him their family tree. Even though the guest wasn't aware of any connection with Jamaica he shared DNA and surnames in common, which established a definite relationship. The African ancestor was identified, and it sounds like he lived in the 18th century. He didn't expect his trace of Jewish ancestry to also stem from Jamaica, but it did. Portuguese Jews fled to Jamaica during the inquisition and other times of persecution.
The final segment featured someone only identified as James. This man designs software to help adoptees find relatives. He is an expert at hacking into computer systems. He doesn't hack illegally, he does it as a career to help companies find holes in their security. Great to have someone as skilled as he is helping adoptees!
Some educational information coming out of this show:
- Guest Tame's grandmother already knew some of the information which he discovered on his New York trip. This is something that always comes up on these kinds of shows. Relatives will later tell guests they already knew something. Many relatives never share stories unless asked.
- Small 1 and 2 percent DNA shares can go back to the 18th Century. The host said these small shares can go back 200 to 300 years, and are not ancient. Likely correct The featured guests had small ethnicity segments of from 0.40% to 2.2% and these shares went back to the 18th Century.
- Guest two, McVinnie, would seem to have more Italian ethnicity than showed up in his ethnicity results. Southern European is not as well defined as Northern European when it come to these tests. Probably because most testers are of Northern European heritage.
- Always assume information passed down through generations could be wrong until you can find actual documentary evidence to support it. As a misspeak by one guest demonstrates.