Wednesday, August 22, 2018

My Updated AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimate

I've been waiting for my updated AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate for weeks now.  

Yesterday, I read How to get the AncestryDNA Ethnicity Report Update (Beta) by History Chick on the Genealogical Musings blog.  Ha - I'll try it!  And it worked!  Cool.

My last comparison of all of the ethnicity estimates from six autosomal DNA tests was on 31 May 2017 in Comparison of My Autosomal DNA Ethnicity Estimates.  

For reference purposes, my perceived genealogical ancestry, based on where my ancestors in each line resided in 1500 CE (this had to be an educated guess!) are:

*  68%  British Isles
*  24%  Germany/Switzerland
*  1%  Holland/Belgium
*  1%  France
*  6%  Unknown (perhaps some are French, Dutch, Scandinavian, Belgian, English, Native American, or other places)

Before this week, my ethnicity estimate for AncestryDNA showed:

*  66% Europe West
*  18% Ireland
*  9% Great Britain
*  3% Scandinavian
*  1% Italy/Greece
* <1% Iberian Peninsula
*  <1% Pacific Islander
*  < !% Native-American

The updated AncestryDNA "Your DNA Results Summary" page now looks like this:

The updated ethnicity estimate is in the left-hand box on the page above.  It shows:

*  84% England and Wales
*  13% Norway
*  1 Other Regions

What happened to my Germans?

I clicked on the "Discover Your DNA Story" button and saw:

The ethnicity estimate is really:

*  84% England, Wales and Northwestern Europe
*  13% Norway
*  3% Ireland and Scotland

Ah, there are my Germans - they are included in the "England, Wales & Northwestern Europe" region.

I clicked on the link in the right-hand box for the region, and saw a map of western Europe:

In the "Overview" in the right-hand box on the screen above is a summary of origins for this region.  It says:

"The history of Britain, the heart of our England and Wales region, is often presented as one group of invaders after another displacing the native population. The Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all left their mark on Britain both politically and culturally. However, the story of Britain is far more complex. In fact, modern studies suggest the earliest populations weren’t wiped out, but adapted and absorbed the new arrivals."

There is a "More" button in the Overview that leads to a longer explanation of the "England, Wales & Northwestern Europe" region history:

My takeaways from this updated AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate is:

*   The updated ethnicity estimate seems much closer to my perceived ethnicity, but they changed it by redefining the regions.

*  To me, the "Germans" in my ancestry should be a separate region, although they may be some of the stock of Saxons that invaded the British Isles over 1,000 years ago.

*  The 13% "Norway" estimate was 3% "Scandinavian" in the last AncestryDNA estimate.  It is probably related to the Viking and Norman invasions of over 1,000 years ago.  I have only one or two known Norwegian-born ancestors in my genealogy work.

*  The 3% "Ireland and Scotland" estimate was 18% in the last AncestryDNA estimate.  I have only one or two Ireland-born ancestors in my genealogy work. 

*  To produce this revised ethnicity estimate, I believe that AncestryDNA refined their reference groups and that enabled them to refine their Region definitions.

My thanks to History Chick for the AncestryDNA lead - it worked for me!


Disclosure:  I received a complimentary test kit from AncestryDNA a long time ago.  I have had a paid Ancestry subscription since 2000, but have received material considerations (travel, hotel, meals, etc.) over the past ten years as a Geneablogger.

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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Team Spice said...

Does it just update on its own or do you have to refresh or ask for it...

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Team,

I used the hack that History Chick described and it worked for me. It worked for some people, and not for others. History Chick wrote that the hack doesn't work any more since it's been publicized and we haven't figured out the new hack yet. I'm kind of bummed that I may have caused them to revise the URL.

So you will have to wait or it. Check it every so often.

While I have your attention, have you uploaded your DNA to MyHeritage (free to upload, and a tree with under 250 persons is free too) and/or GEDMatch (free to upload)? If you did that, we could figure out which chromosome segments we share, and more importantly, what other DNA Matches also share those segments, which usually means that they are descended from the same part of our tree.

Email me for more info.