Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ancestry DNA: The Ethnicity Update

I convinced my youngest brother to take the Ancestry DNA test not because he's interested in genealogy but because he was curious about ethnicity and what I was learning by watching videos and reading blogs about the topic.   I wrote about the differences between our ethnicity here.

Late last year announced an update to their DNA ethnicity results. And, based on the changes in my test results, it was no minor thing.

My ethnicity when my DNA results first were posted on

My DNA ethnicity before the latest enhancement

My ethnicity after the update:

My DNA ethnicity after the latest enhancement

We all know we get half our DNA from each parent, and they got their DNA from their parents, and so on. Our DNA is essentially a map of our ancestors. When tests your DNA, they compare it against a reference library of DNA from people with deep roots in a particular geography. In a nutshell, increased the size of that DNA reference library, which enabled them to provide customers with more precise and granular ethnicity results. There are now 26 overlapping worldwide regions based on DNA patterns in the reference library. They have also increased the number of separate analyses during DNA testing to 40.

Ancestry's 26 worldwide ethnicity regions

To learn more, I encourage you to read this blog post, Unraveling the Science Ethnicity Estimates or watch this video.

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