AncestryDNA Revises Ethnicity Estimates

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    • #4784

      Yesterday (September 12, 2018) AncestryDNA released updated ethnicity estimates for all of its DNA customers. Everyone who is in the AncestryDNA database will see some change in their ethnicity estimate. This update represents one of the most significant revisions of AncestryDNA’s ethnicity estimates. Both the reference populations and the ethnicity algorithm underwent significant changes.
      The size and makeup of the reference populations increased from approximately 3,000 reference samples to approximately 16,000 reference samples, many provided by test takers who consented to participate in AncestryDNA research. The update adds 17 new regions to the ethnicity analysis, an increase from 363 to 380. Many regions were redefined or their names were changed to more accurately reflect the region.
      In addition to changes in the reference populations, the method by which AncestryDNA calculates ethnicity changed significantly. The algorithm now uses stretches of DNA to perform the calculation instead of individual SNPs. If you took an autosomal-DNA test at, you will want to check your updated ethnicity estimates.

    • #4834
      Coit R. Morrison

      Rene, have you seen any interesting changes connected with Morrison-Q?

    • #4835

      I can’t really say if there were changes in ethnicity estimates for other Morrison-Q members who have tested their autosomal DNA at Ancestry. I did see changes for myself, but those changes were mostly due to the changes that Ancestry made in their ethnicity regions or locations. Some of the smaller amounts have been redistributed to another region. I think my ethnicity percentages are more accurate now: 67% – Primarily England, Scotland and Wales; 23% – Primarily Ireland, Scotland and Wales; 10% – Primarily Germany.
      Perhaps some members who have tested at Ancestry would like to share their updated results!

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