Thursday, October 17, 2013

AncestryDNA Updated Ethnicity Estimates Available for Everyone

This press release rolled across my email this morning (and landed in my Spam folder for some reason) while I was away at the doctor's office:

AncestryDNA™ Now a More Comprehensive DNA Test
for Exploring Ethnic Origins

Update to AncestryDNA gives a deeper level of insight with expanded information for twenty-six regions

(PROVO, Utah) – October 17, 2013 – DNA, LLC announced today an update to its popular DNA test. Armed with one of the most comprehensive collections of location based DNA samples from around the world and the latest DNA testing technology, AncestryDNA now maps a test taker’s ethnic origins to 26 global regions, including expanded regions for people of European and West African descent.

“We are rapidly advancing DNA testing for family history,” said Dr. Ken Chahine, Senior Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA. “The greatest benefit of this test is that it provides an easy way to help explore one’s ancestral background and discover your family’s past in amazing detail never before available.”
Whether you’re just getting started researching your family history or you are an advanced genealogist tracking down a specific portion of a family tree where records are going cold, the new update to AncestryDNA can help people explore their ancestry beyond historical records.

The new update to AncestryDNA includes:

·        Increased number of ethnic regions to 26 from across the globe.
·        More detailed African ethnicity – a total of 10 African regions, including 6 different countries/regions within Western Africa including Benin/Togo, Cameroon/Congo, Ivory/Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.
·        More detailed European ethnicity, including Ireland, Great Britain, the Iberian Peninsula and Italy/Greece.
·        A complete user interface redesign with improved visualization tools, regional educational materials and a detailed description of the science behind the results.
·        Improved science, including extensive testing, validation and an increase in the number of reference populations.
·        A database of more than 200,000 customers.

“Five years ago, a genealogical DNA test would predict the rough proportions of a person’s ancestry from Europe, Asia, or Africa – but most people could determine that without the aid of a DNA test,” said Dr. Catherine Ball, Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics for AncestryDNA. “Today, the AncestryDNA science team has examined more than 700,000 DNA markers to create a genetic portrait for groups of people around the world. By comparing someone’s DNA to this core reference set, we can calculate an ethnicity estimate based on 26 global populations.”

Updates to AncestryDNA Further Advances Family History Exploration

Last year, with the initial launch of AncestryDNA, a test taker was able to receive results that mapped back to 22 different ethnic regions. Today’s announcement marks an expanded range of genetic ethnicity and geographic origins that is currently not available in other consumer DNA tests on the market.

·        The journey of many African American’s ancestors can be difficult to research using historical records alone, as most lose the paper trail around the 1870s or before. But now thanks to expanded capabilities that detail African ethnicity into 10 regions, including 6 different countries/regions within Western Africa, AncestryDNA will help people of African descent better understand where their ancestors came from and the cultures of those places, in a way never before possible.

·        Previously identified as one ethnicity group, the British Isles is now broken down to expanded regions, divided into Great Britain and Ireland. This development provides additional insight to the approximately 21% of Americans who claim Irish or English heritage.

·        Southern Europe is also now separated into two groups including, the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and Italy/Greece, providing more detail for those with Mediterranean heritage where historical records are less likely to be available.

In May 2012, launched AncestryDNA, a service that analyzes a person’s genome at more than 700,000 marker locations. It is available at for $99, plus shipping and handling. The price includes a DNA testing kit, genetic lab processing, online results delivered in a private and secure account, as well as continual ethnicity and cousin matching updates. Additional information on AncestryDNA can be found at

Astute Genea-Musings readers will recall that I wrote about my AncestryDNA test results back in September in:

*  Happy to Have More AncestryDNA Hints (15 October 2013)

For a complete review of the AncestryDNA offerings, check out CeCe Moore's post on her Your Genetic Genealogist blog today titled AncestryDNA's New Ethnicity Predictions Rolling Out to Customers.

I wanted to bring you a full set of screen shots from the revised Ethnicity Estimates (thinking that my previous posts might be out of date), but I got this screen when I checked the AncestryDNA site over the past 30 minutes:

I guess the site is overloaded with genealogists eager to see where their ancestral roots began.  I'm sure that thousands of them will be surprised!  I certainly was...but I'm not sure that I believe the percentages given for my deep ancestry.

UPDATE:  4 p.m. PDT.  The site is back's my ethnicity summary:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Anonymous said...

Hi Randy,

Just a question. If I have 3% Neanderthal, is there a site where Neanderthals upload their GEDCOMs? Or, mayabe

Cormac said...


It seems everyone is a comedian tonight.

Thanks for letting us know that the update finally made it to everyone. I remember when you got the sneak peek. If I stopped by tonight, it would have been a while before I found out!