There is always much discussion when Ancestry, or any of the providers, provides or updates their estimates. Ancestry just updated their estimates this month and many people are wondering why they changed.
Every company providing DNA results will have slightly different results. So you are unlikely to get exactly the same results from Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andMe and FTDNA. That’s because they all use algorithms and probability and statistics to compare my, or your, DNA to their reference sample. As the companies get larger reference samples and DNA science continues to improved, our DNA estimates should get more accurate.
So did they?
Genealogically, on paper, my ancestry looks like this:
6.25% Northern Ireland
So lets see how close the latest update from Ancestry on ethnicity estimates comes. At first glance, it is from the right regions, but not close to the genealogical paper trail:
37% Sweden and Denmark
13% England & Northwestern Europe
But, clicking on the estimate for each one, Ancestry provides their range:
Norway 11 – 43%, so my 25% falls within that range
Sweden 7 – 37%, so again we are within the range
England and Norther Europe 0 – 37%, yes again
Scotland 0 – 20%, yup that works
Ireland 0 – 17%, yes that also works
Ancestry includes Northern Ireland in their range for both Scotland and Ireland, so it is difficult to tell where it should be matched, but given the numbers here, I am thinking on the Scotland side.
The estimates are still correct in that they did not bring in any other areas. I am not Asian or Egyptian or African, etc.
Where Ancestry did do very well is the DNA Communities. Their comparisons indicate that my ancestors in Norway came from Hordaland, Sunnhorland and Upper Telemark & Vestfold. Since my research indicates Hordaland and Telemark, I would agree with Ancestry’s estimate. Ancestry also includes the Halland region in my Swedish ancestry, which is again correct.
Ancestry also has “Southern Ontario Settlers” as a community. This is correctly where the Scottish, Northern Irish and some of the English eventually settled after coming to Canada and it covers a sufficiently wide area of upper Canada to include the Quebec area where many of them first settled after arriving.
So, overall, the new estimates are correct – providing you look beyond the initial numbers provided on Ancestry’s DNA Estimates screen.