My AncestryDNA results. Confirmed: I’m Diverse.

I’m exhausted. I got 2 1/2 hours sleep (I’ve been up since yesterday) but I got my AncestryDNA results back. The kids and I looked at the results together. The way the page loaded, the first person I saw when I logged in was my cousin Tommy, meaning my mother’s father was the man my grandmother was married to even though they were separated. Woot! I wish my Mom and grandmother were living to finally know, for sure, who my Mom’s father was because my grandmother told me she was unsure.

The next person I saw was my cousin Tara (because the page froze for a bit loading), so my father is my father. Yay! That was truly a perfect way to see my results, having those two questions answered.

I have 80 pages of matches with 50 per page, so I have approximately 4000 match (the last page is about 1/2 full), 176 of them being 4th cousins or greater.

Looking through my matches, which seem mostly new with no family tree, when I went back to the DNA home page, Tori showed up along with some other cousins as the page fully loaded this time. Tori and I share, according to Ancestry,  1931 centimorgans across 81 segments of DNA. I could run it through GEDmatch (too tired right now) but that much DNA (which is on the high side for half-siblings) proves she’s my sister and we share the same father. /smile

Now, on to the ethnicity part of the test. The thing to keep in mind with ethnicity tests is that they are not accurate. They will give you an idea but the percentages will be off and some things might be missing completely. In my case, I took one look at it and knew it was off.

The Asia East picked up the Asian trait I knew I had from a medical test and it is the right one (China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, etc.). I think this is a tad higher. I may upload my DNA to Family Tree DNA because they have a larger Asian sample than Ancestry (from what I am told). I’m still waiting for my DNA to propagate through GEDMatch but one test showed Japanese heritage, which is interesting.

My AncestryDNA test is not showing any Native American, while the tests at GEDMatch is showing some amounts. The tribes where my family resided do not participate in DNA testing, so Ancestry admits they don’t have a sample to compare it to and on census records they could easily have been reported as black due to the mix between black, Native Americans and the ethnicity rules like the one-drop rule. While I fully support the decision not to participate in DNA testing, it results in people who legitimately are part Native American, having their history stripped away. I’m too tired to thoroughly look through the DNA matches, but just randomly clicking on some based on their names show I am DNA connected to people who have high amounts of Native American ancestry. My conclusion is that I have some a small amount of Native American DNA but my family history might be rich with Native American ancestry.

The shocking part of the DNA test for me is that I have all the African segments they test for! Right now, Ancestry is getting a large number of African American people taking the test due to their holiday promotion, which is great for the genealogy part in finding relatives, but the algorithm for the ethnicity test needs to reflect that because they obviously do some rounding and fudging of the numbers to equal 100% (and to count for the missing samples – like Native American). I think these numbers would be different if I took the test before the holidays. I think more realistic numbers, using their algorithms, are:

  • Africa 65%
  • Europe 30%
  • Asia 4%
  • Native American 1%

Realistically, I am too closely related to relatives migrating from Europe to have such a small portion of Europe and randomly clicking on matches I have more white matches than anything else. The European ancestors I found in my family tree match the locations on the DNA test. As I learn more about DNA, I will learn how to determine other elements, like Hispanic or Latino ancestry.

The other thing to keep in mind with ethnicity tests is that Ancestry does not share how they come up with the numbers. Right now, my DNA matches are still coming in yet the ethnicity portion is not changing to reflect that. Ordinarily, the amount of matches increases but the ethnicity portion does not change unless a major change is made to their algorithm. Ancestry announced new technology they are working on at RootsTech a couple of weeks ago. When it launches, both the ethnicity and the DNA matches would be recalculated.

Overall, I’m pleased with the results because it gives me a general idea where I come from and a lot of it I can prove in my family tree. For me, the gem of the DNA test is in the DNA matches. I am going to wait a while for my results to propagate across their servers, then I will start going through them more thoroughly. Ancestry is unstable due to the increased number of people using the site. Their customer forums are filled with complaints of things not working. Waiting awhile might yield better results, with less frustration.