On Genealogy: Updated DNA Ethnicity Estimate

As you know, I’m a genealogy nut, or more like nerd. I love working on my family tree, although in the past 6-8 months I’ve barely looked at it more or less worked on it. I can’t even remember the last genealogy blog I posted (hang on let me check — other than a quick update on my Lee side of the family, it was on my relation to Willis Carrier King of the A/C – I posted that one in July in the midst of a sweltering heat wave – in the hotter months I’m sure most people REALLY LOVE my 9th cousin 2x removed.

I did my DNA test back in 2017 – I was super excited to get my results, and to see if they matched what I already knew about my tree.

Ethnicity updates are regularly provided on Ancestry.ca to reflect the most recent AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate.

My passion was reignited because I’ve been binge watching seasons 9 and 10 of Who Do You Think You Are? I  LOVE this show!  I’m not a celebrity but I’d LOVE if someone could collect all the little nuggets that I can’t get my hands on.

Check out my On Genealogy: series in my blog posts to read ALL my historic familial connections to a King of France, filles du roi, Honest Abe Lincoln, John Ritter, Amelia Earhart, founding members of the American Colonies, a connection to the Salem Witch Trials, my family from England, Ireland and France, an Explorer, the first documented marriage between a native and a white man and soooooo much more!

I have SOOOOO MUCH history and so much more to discover. I  have some trees I can date back to the 1500’s and others that stop in 1900 and I can’t trace them back any further – I’m stuck on an Irish line and a Scot line and I can’t find anything more on the 1st Ambrose Richards – where’s he from? Why can’t I find out anything on Joseph Edward Lee’s military records, but I was able to locate all of his brother George’s?  

As I decided to dip into my tree today, I noted some updates to my DNA Story and estimate. Since AncestryDNA first launched, they’ve continued to add new regions and improve the precision of results. DNA research is a fast-paced, cutting-edge field, and we can expect them to make more advancements as DNA science evolves.  DNA is crazy!  Each person gets 50% of their DNA from Mom and 50% from Dad. But that means 50% of each parents DNA also gets left behind. Also, what gets passed down and what gets left behind is completely random. 

This Ancestry.ca update features:

  • 16,000 reference samples
  • 500+ possible regions

What might change?

Percentages for a region could change. Some new regions could appear. Some old regions, especially low-percentage regions, could disappear. Or you might not see much change at all.

Ok, so let’s see what’s changed this time around.

(previous estimate on the left and up to date estimate on the right)

When AncestryDNA launched in 2012, they compared DNA against 22 possible regions. They now have more than 380.

Not only have new data and new methods enabled AncestryDNA to identify new regions, they have also improved the ability to determine how likely it is that we belong to a region. These improvements mean that our percentages for a region could go up or down.

So, I have some minor changes – mainly the elimination of low confidence regions and more clearly defining France (47%), Ireland/Scotland (27%) and England (26%) – which is congruent with my family tree research.  The percentages have also changed to a certain degree – but the findings remain what I know to be true.  The only thing I really don’t see anywhere in this is my first nations heritage – I have roots that I can trace back and I have my Algonquin card.  

How does AncestryDNA predict the migrations in my DNA story?

Migrations are based on Genetic Communities Genetic Communities are groups of AncestryDNA members who are most likely connected because they share fairly recent ancestors who came from the same region or culture.

Once they identify a Genetic Community, they look for patterns in ethnicity and data from family trees linked to AncestryDNA, including ancestral birth locations, to see where their ancestors lived and moved to.

Historical researchers use that time and place data to look for the overarching story that binds the members of a Genetic Community together. While migrations may not tell your ancestor’s story exactly, your DNA suggests that you are connected to this historical journey.

Below is my family’s migration history from Europe from the 1700’s to 1900’s.

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.14.02 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.18.21 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.18.38 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.18.48 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.19.00 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-23 at 9.19.11 PM

This is absolutely fascinating!  

The site has also introduced ThruLines which illustrates how you may be related to your DNA matches through a common ancestor.  This is excellent as it may lead me to common ancestors who can hopefully provide me with some information on the blanks in my tree – like the Lee Tree – and information on George Edward Lee’s military history and death – I’m at a complete stand still on this.

For those of you have Ancetry.ca what do you think of the improvements?  If you don’t have Ancestry, which site do you use?

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