I originally posted on this topic in my blog post of August 21, 2013. You can read this post at DNA and Me. This post is an update.
I recently received the results of the newly updated Ancestry DNA ethnicity estimate from my autosomal DNA. How does it compare to the original estimate that I received from them back in July of 2013?
Ancestry shows what they call Genetic Ethnicity, which appears to be comparable to the Population Finder on FTDNA. For the July estimate, my Genetic Ethnicity was shown as 70% British Isles, 18% Southern European, 6% Middle East and 6% Uncertain. Ancestry defines the British Isles as Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales; Southern European as Spain, Portugal, and Italy; and Middle East as Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, UAE, Lebanon and Israel.
My mother’s paternal line is Irish all the way back to Ireland and her maternal line is German as far back as the 17th and 18th centuries (I have traced some of them back to 1680). My father’s paternal line is Tyrolean (since WWI the Tyrol has been split between Austria and Italy); his maternal line is Italian and Bohemian.
Based on my actual research, this original Ancestry DNA ethnic distribution seemed a bit off—I wondered what happened to my big chunk of Germans? And what was with the 6% Middle Eastern?
The new ethnicity estimate shows my ethnicity as 37% Europe West, 28% Italy/Greece, 20% Ireland and 7% Great Britain. Ancestry defines Europe West as primarily located in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, and also found in England, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic (which includes Bohemia).
What shows in the charts is an average of 40 separate analyses performed on randomly selected portions of your DNA. When you select one of the regions, you will see a drop down window showing the range for all 40 of the tests. Ancestry DNA states that “Our confidence that your actual genetic ethnicity is EXACTLY the average is not high.” I realize this is not an exact science and I am quite content with my averages for now.
Thank you Ancestry DNA for improving your calculations. This new estimate is much more in line with my own research.