atDNA Compare Tests Haplogroups
Taiwan Austronesia DNA Markers

Taiwan Admixture Example

Findings to date

The autosomal Wegene and DNA Land tests serve as an example of a Taiwanese Southeast Asia paternal ancestry estimate.

1. My ancestry is 41% ethnic Chinese.
2. My specific admixture is 21% idigenous Taiwan Amis and Atayal populations and 20% mainland China, mostly southern Han.
3. Geographical coordinates are provided for paternal ancesty.

The Y-Chromosome tests by other labs are in line with the Out of Taiwan Austronesian Southeast Asia expansion ancestry.


While I know when my O-M122 MRCA lived, I only know the general locations where my nomadic ancestor lived his hunter-gatherer existence. Figure 20 shows my ancient father-line ancestry geographically in what today is China. Yet as a proto ethnic Han Chinese, he likely lived as a nomad staying near rivers and lakes, possibly along the 600 mile stretch of the Yangtze River believed to be the cradle of ancient civilizations. To that possibility, my O-M122 ancestor ~19,400 years ago may have lived in the river section known as the Middle Reach and, in the vicinity of the present day, Hubei Province of China, the location of the famous Three Gorges.

About 23,200 years ago in the Yangtze River Delta, my O-M122 ancestor gave rise to a new ancestor bearing the DNA Marker O-P201 in the possible vicinity of present-day Chongqing. Chongqing. The O-P201 marker is a major branch of haplogroup O in Asia.

It might have been the harshness of ice age weather or global cooling that drove both animals and man south and prompted my O-P201 ancestor's continued southern migration. It resulted in the emergence of an O-P164 ancestor ~19,200 years ago. Interestingly, with the advent of the Neolithic Period 18,000 years ago the matriarchal clan society existed in China with the mother as head of the family and descent traced through the mother's side.

So, continued mainland migration into Southeast Asia with the emergence of the O-F996/F871 ancestor ~13,800 and the O-F706/F1903 ancestor ~12,200 years ago would shape the pattern of genetic variation among my subsequent nomadic ancestors as shown in Figure 20. Their journey may have even taken them overland into the then existing continent of Sundaland, which was connected by a land bridge to the mainland. Sundaland wholly sank under the sea ~12,000 years ago.

Figure 20
Map of My Genetic Paternal Markers

The WeGene company determined my father-line ancestry to be reflected by the DNA markers located in southern mainland China and the island of Taiwan. Early humans lived in Taiwan ~50,000 years ago at a time when the current Taiwan Strait was above sea levels and served as a land bridge to the mainland. Around 5000 years ago farmers from mainland China settled on the island. These people are believed to have been speakers of Austronesian languages, which dispersed from Taiwan across the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The current Taiwanese aborigines are believed to be their descendants.

The WeGene lab ancestral findings for me matched with the DNA of populations living in the geographical area of present day Taiwan and the Southern Han population living some 81 miles across the waters of the Taiwan Straits in mainland Fujian.

Table 9
company map coordinates for my reference populations and my admixture percentages
WeGene Lab Autosomal Test


As reported in Table 9, my ethnic Chinese admixture is 41.37% ethnic Chinese of which is 21.36% is specifically, that of the indigenous Amis and Atayal people. It is estimated about 85% of Taiwanese people might have some genetic markers of the indigenous tribes.

Figure 21
Map Locations of My Paternal Marker Migration
used by WeGene Lab


Table 9 also shows 13.49% of my admixture is Southern Han, which are dominant in Taiwan. The Chinese Han migration into Taiwan began in the 17th century and presently constitute more than 90% of China's population and 20% of the global population as discussed in this video.

Figure 22
My Asian Ancestry Admixture
DNA Land Analysis


Similarly, my admixture in Figure 22 reports 21% Taiwanese ancestry. Of my 44% East Asian ancesty, 37% is Southeast Asian. Austronesian ancestry is predominant in paternal lineages of Taiwan’s indiginous Amis/Atayal population. They are the unassimilated, highland-dwelling aborigines of Taiwan who are linguistically related to the Austronesian-speaking ethnic groups of the Philippines and, more broadly, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia (SEA) islanders. But, in other areas of Asia and Oceana the marker is no more than 4%.

Taiwan itself during the period of my genetic ancestors was part of the mainland of present day China. The theory is the Taiwan’s Gaoshan indigenous people originated from one branch of the ancient Yue ethnic group living during the Stone Age along the eastern edge of the mainland connecting with the then Sundaland, which at the time was above sea level. But, with the retreat of the glaciers accompanied by climate change and the rising sea level, present day Taiwan and the islands of Southeast Asia would become isolated from the mainland.

Yet, DNA gene flow for several millennia would occur from the mainland into Taiwan around 100 miles distant, and from Taiwan a continued flow to the Southeast Asia islands. Taiwan's southern tip is ~300 miles from the northern tip of the Philippines, and within easy reach of Malaysia to the south. Even farming-voyaging immigrants sailed from Taiwan to the Japanese Yaeyama islands 160 miles to the north from which on clear days, the silhouette of Taiwan in the distance can be seen.

Migrations also occurred into Taiwan from neighboring islands. Just 500 miles across the water migrations have occurred within the last 10,000 years from the Visayas in the southernmost islands of Luzon, and the northern and eastern coastal parts of Mindanao in the Philippines. For example, a modern day study sample of the Philippines as recent 1900, shows an almost pure composition, very close to the modern Taiwanese South Island Gaoshan people such as the Amis and Atayal.

Such a scenario is reflective of the paths of my ancestoral markers. Each of these markers represent my most recent common ancestor (MRCA) from which all the men with that marker are directly descended. In my case, each marker is identified by the 23andMe company in the U.S. and the WeGene company located in China with an extensive Asian reference population database.

WeGene's analytical algorithm uses machine learning and is based on the Admixture ancestor analysis tool developed by the University of California (UCLA) in Los Angeles. The algorithm compares the tested person's autosomal DNA information with that of reference populations in the their database, and quantifies the similarities.

That said, genetic affinities between aboriginal Taiwanese and populations from Oceania and Southeast Asia have been explored through analyses of Y chromosomal DNA in connection with the peopling of the islands of Southeast Asia emenated from Taiwan. Also interesting in January 16, 2020 the company 23andMe published the report What is Austronesian ancestry by Samantha Ancona Esselmann, Ph.D. to explain "saying it was that we were missing a big part of the human migration story." Apparently their testers with little or no "Filipino" ancestry who were designated as such reached an average of 75 percent in customers from other island locations as shown in Figure 23. In my case, such locations would include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and even the southern mainland.

Figure 23
Out of Taiwan Migration
Pattern of Austronesian Expansion

Austronesia Map


CLICK to email me at: herbert@herbertholeman.com