Friday, March 31, 2017

AncestryDNA Genetic Communities

AncestryDNA released a new feature this past week: Genetic Communities. They have put together a short video at YouTube that introduces this new feature.

Other genealogy bloggers with particular expertise in DNA have shared information about Genetic Communities:
Blaine Bettinger: AncestryDNA’s Genetic Communities are Finally Here!
Roberta Estes: Genetic Communities
Kitty Cooper: Genetic Communities at Ancestry are live

When I visit my AncestryDNA page, the page has been slightly reconfigured with part of the page displaying the following image:

When I click on "View Your Genetic Ancestry," I can explore my ethnicity estimate (which I wrote about here and here) and explore my genetic community. (I only have one right now, but hope there will be more.) The ethnicity estimate displays deep ancestral roots, going back thousands of years; genetic communities suggests where ancestors may have come from within the past 200-300 years.

My ethnicity estimate has not changed and, not surprisingly, my genetic community is "Settlers of New England & the Eastern Great Lakes." This DNA comes primarily from my father's mother and my mother's father.

My father's mother's mother was born in Kentucky and had Virginia roots; I look forward to seeing if Virginia/Kentucky appears as a genetic community in the future. My mother's mother, who lived her entire life in Pittsburgh, has primarily Scottish and Scots Irish ancestry; I wonder if one of the Scottish genetic communities will appear for me in the future.

There are currently over 300 genetic communities, and these will likely change (and grow) over time. I can view all genetic communities by clicking on "View All."

After clicking on the genetic community link, I can view "Story" which looks like this:

I can click on each of the year ranges in the left-hand column and read about the history of the region at the time; this also causes the map view to change.

For example, when I click on 1750-1775, I see the lines representing migration from mostly England and a little bit from Germany (though I've only found English, Scottish and occasional Dutch immigrant ancestors so far in my paper trail).

When I click on 1775-1800 and expand the selection, I see more detail, including icons that represent individuals in my online tree at Ancestry. (Another reminder to those of you who have tested at AncestryDNA: please upload a tree, even if it's a partial tree, and link your DNA results to it!)

I clicked on one of the icons and see that it represents Martin Adsit, my 4th great grandfather. He was a Revolutionary War veteran and his line is typical of this genetic community. (See my post: Surname Saturday: Adsit of Lyme, Connecticut to read about this line's westward migration.)

The other choice besides "Story" is "Connection." Right now, it states that I am genetically linked to this genetic community with a 60% confidence level. (I can confirm that with a 100% confidence level, based on my paper trail.) It also suggests that I, 276 of my DNA matches, and 206,123 other AncestryDNA members belong to this Genetic Community.

I should note that throughout these pages, as well as the blogs I noted above, there are plenty of links to additional information, providing lots more explanation of these Genetic Communities than what I'm providing here.

Using Genetic Communities is another way to filter my DNA results. The red arrow points to the new filtering option.

If you have tested your DNA with AncestryDNA, be sure to log into your account and explore this new feature. If you are a blogger and have blogged about it, share your link in the comments.

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