Thursday, September 17, 2020

AncestryDNA Updates Ethnicity (on a Regular Basis)

 I have written about AncestryDNA several times since I first received test results in 2012. As Ancestry notes: "Your DNA doesn't change but our science does."

My ethnicity has changed again, but I'm not too worked up about it; in fact, it's probably more accurate than it's ever been.

As of November 2019, my ethnicity estimate showed the following, with 16,000 reference samples:

England, Wales & Northwestern Europe58%57%-72%
Ireland & Scotland36%0%-36%
Germanic Europe6%0%-29%

Within the past couple of months, Ancestry updated my ethnicity estimate (again). AncestryDNA has written that it now has 44,703 reference samples. See What is a Reference Panel for an explanation. My ethnicity estimate now looks like this:

England & Northwestern Europe51%45%-51%

Graphically, you can see how it looks today:

Many AncestryDNA users are wondering why they now have so much Scotland in their results. Ancestry has a blog post that explains that.

I love that Scotland and Ireland have been split. Interestingly, much of my maternal grandmother's ancestors are from Scotland, but with McAlpin in my paternal line, I know there is Scottish there, just quite a few generations back.

However, my mother has also tested at Ancestry, and I'm puzzled as to why she has 55% Scotland and only 2% Ireland, when I know that a good bit of my Scottish DNA comes from both my parents and I also know that some of my maternal ancestors came from Ireland (Hunter and Carr and McIlwaine). (Her father, Lowell Townsend Copeland, has just about all colonial New England ancestry, most of whom came to America from England centuries ago.) She also has 9% Norway and I have 3% Sweden.

Anyway, these are estimates, and are similar to yet more specific than when I first got results, which showed 78% British Isles, 16% Scandinavian, and 6% Uncertain.

What does your update indicate for your ethnicity estimate?

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