A Surprise in Dad’s DNA


Both of dad’s parents came from what is now western Ukraine. Consequently, I was expecting to see 100% eastern European in his DNA results. Imagine my shock to see that isn’t the case!

I know! In my last post, I basically stated that these ethnicity results are really nothing but ‘cocktail conversation.’ Nonetheless, these results provide a clue that I need to keep in mind as I continue to research our family. As interesting as the DNA results are, nothing replaces old-fashioned research. Anyway …

The screenshot below (at 70% confidence) shows dad to be 50.1% eastern European and 34.9% broadly European. The ‘Broadly European’ simply means that they were not able to assign that DNA to a more specific population. It’s the remaining 15% that holds the surprise! Which ancestor (or ancestors) was NOT eastern European?

John Winowich - 23andme chromosome browser - 70% confidence level

Screenshot of dad’s 23andme ethnicity results painted onto a chromosome browser (70% confidence)

As a male, dad has one X-chromosome passed to him by his mother and one Y-chromosome passed to him by his father. Observe that the screenshot above shows ethnicity painted on the X-chromosome. In other word’s, ethnicity attributed from his mother.

What may be hard to see is that the ethnicity falls under the Northwestern European category, which includes British and Irish. This means that, at a minimum, there is at least one non-eastern European ancestor somewhere on the Protsack/Procak side of the family tree!

23andme attempts to estimate when in time a user may have had an ancestor who descended from a particular population. The take-away from the screenshot below is that the non-eastern European ancestor is rather far up the family tree, i.e., far back in time. I hope I can find the records to prove or disprove this. Wish me luck!

John Winowich - 23andme Ancestry Timeline

Dad’s ancestry timeline given at 23andme