Ethnicity Estimation Project
Ethnicity estimation has become a global genealogical project as people carry out investigations to learn about their ancestry and discover their ethnic roots. Consequently, the construction of family trees is essential for ethnicity prediction. There is a need to gather information such as the number of ancestors over certain generations to calculate ethnicity percentages.
Ethnicity Percentage Prediction
As discussed above, the number of ancestors within a given number of generations is essential for determining ethnicity. Subsequently, the ethnicity percentage is calculated by dividing the number of ancestors from each origin by the total number of ancestors and multiplying by 100. Thereby, having eight ancestors from England, two from Germany, four from France, one from Italy, and one from an unknown country within four generations gives the following ethnicity percentages: 50% England, 12.5% German, 25% France, 1% Italy, and 1% that is unaccounted.
Limitations of Ethnicity Estimation
The major limitation of ethnicity estimation is DNA recombination. DNA recombination is a process by which DNA is randomly jumbled before its inheritance (Genetic Science Learning Center, 2016). As a result, DNA undergoes several mutations such that some of its pieces get lost over generations. To elaborate, an individual (Lucy) whose biological 3rd great-grandparents (Andrew and Marie) are of Sub-Saharan African and North American origin discovered that she only possesses the North American genes. Due to recombination, the Sub-Saharan African DNA got lost during inheritance, and DNA tests can only account for the North American DNA.
Major genealogical tasks include ethnicity prediction. This project revolves around family tree construction and the calculation of ethnicity percentage. Family history and family trees are important factors to consider. Understanding DNA inheritance is essential as well. Understanding DNA inheritance is a critical guide in the interpretation of ethnicity estimation results.
Genetic Science Learning Center. (2016). Introduction to Molecular Genealogy [Video]. Retrieved 10 December 2021, from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/molgen/.
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