Continuing my posts on our 23andMe testing, I continue with a brief description of Kalonji’s Ancestry Painting and what we’ve learned from it.
The Ancestry Painting is a feature of 23andMe that shows an analysis of the 22 non-sex chromosomes we inherit from our parents. The result is a beautifully colored image that illustrates DNA segments and gives a report of if the DNA is likely inherited from Africa, Europe or Asia.
The first part of the Ancestry Painting gives the overall breakdown. Apparently, Kalonji’s DNA is 78% African origin, 21% European origin and 4% Native American (shows up as Asian but is very likely Native American or else statistical noise).
It is not uncommon for African-Americans to have 20% or more European DNA given our history of slavery, so the results were not really surprising. What I found most interesting about the painting was the distribution of the European DNA. If a DNA segment is bi-colored, it means each of the chromosome pairs came from different parents. From reading blog posts from 23andMe, I learned that the coloring is consistent in that the top half of the chromosoume represents one parent, while the bottom half represents the other. 23andMe cannot tell you which half is which parent, but clues in a person’s family history may provide that. In this case, it was true for Kalonji.
When you look at the Ancestry painting, it is clear that one half of all the chromosomes contains more European DNA than the other half for there are more blue segments on the bottom halves of the 22 than their are on the top. This is consistent with what we know of Kalonji’s paternal ancestry and that of all of Kalonji’s 2nd great-grandparents, we are fairly sure that one of them in particular was white and he was on Kalonji’s paternal side (see previous posts on Kalonji’s McClellan ancestry). Given Kalonji’s father’s complexion, paternal grandmother’s complexion, and her father’s complexion and features, we are pretty sure most of the European DNA is coming from that lineage. Thus, we hypothesize that the bottom halves of the Ancestry painting are the portrait of DNA Kalonji inherited from his father. We kinda knew this already, but it was neat to see it in the DNA analysis.