Question of the Week: What are your DNA ethnicity estimates?

+28 votes
2.4k views

If you have taken a DNA test, what does the testing company report for your ethnicity? Please tell us about it with an answer below or use the question image to share your answer with friends and family on social media.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)

Per AncestryDNA:

46% Scottish

25% Irish

23% English & NW Europe

6% Wales

When analyzed by a myHeritage it was fairly close, though with a smattering of Viking (which I had taken to be a refinement of the Norman influence in the Ancestry test) and Ashkenzi Jewish which seems to show up in quite a few MyHeritage tests I have seen listed.

While mystery contained in family verbal history always surrounded the Scots-Irish roots, It wan’t until very recently that I was able to pinpoint how many of my ancestral families actually predominantly came to America from Scotland between late 1600s up and through the mid 1800’s.

Names found in my tree: McMasters, Masters, McDonald, Nesperly, Veatch, Rementer, Wood, Davis, Spratt, Keithley

AncestryDNA

58% English, Northwestern Europe.

29% Scotland.

8% Wales.

2% Norway.

I actually have a genetic mutation that proves my Viking Ancestry. Dupuytren’s contracture is associated with Viking genes. I have just the beginnings of the disease.
MyLivingDNA:

Great Britain and Ireland: 71.8%

Europe (North and West): 28.2%

Bottom line is I am Anglo-Saxon - no surprises there! I'm related to Ron Rowland (see his entry above? - his article is very enlightening). Wish I had the information before I paid for DNA tests for me and my brother. I was hoping the test would identify my Scottish or Irish path but it didn't provide the detail I was led to believe it would. Several of my closest relatives have red-hair, blue-eyes, some have black/very dark brown - so I feel I have reason to believe there's rather a bit o'Irish-Scottish genes. Thank you Ron, for trying all the different DNA-testing suppliers so I know not to bother.
Oh goodness! We all strive for truth but perhaps some of the validation isn't necessary. I do hope it will be manageable and without burden, but at any rate all I can do is wish you well on an unexpected path.
Sherry Miller, my best friend has that and has even had surgery on her hand.  She said her Father even had it.  She has never had a DNA Test.
That’s for sure!!
Mine has been doing well. It’s weird how our genes will show up way down the way!! My mother-in-law had hemochromatosis which is Celtic, English east coast, genetic disease.

My Heritage (1st kit)

65% English, 32.2% Irish, Scottish, Welsh, 2.8% Italian (didn't see that coming!)

Compared to Ancestry (2nd kit)

37% Ireland (Ulster), 32% Scotland, 16% England, Nth Western Europe, 13% Wales, 2% Norway

My daughter has given me permission to include her ethnicity, she is a WT Family member. 

Ancestry 

55% England, Nth Western Europe (Nth West England & Isle of Man, Lancashire & Greater Manchester, Yorkshire & East Midlands, England) 

28% Scotland

17% Ireland

My Heritage (Upload)

47.9% Scandinavian

36.8% Irish, Scottish, Welsh

14% Italian

1.3% English

I've also just realised this doesn't come to 100%

Sherry Miller, my daughter and I are carriers of Hereditary Hemocrotosis.
Genetics is a interesting subject. I think it’s important that we all share the genetic illnesses in our tree. I actually had a gggrandparents that had 2 dwarf children.

80 Answers

+21 votes
I used ftdna for my test, and they recently added some new “reference populations”, so now I’ve got:

West Slavic - 24%

Magyar - 17%

Ireland - 25%

England, Wales, Scotland (also covers Normandy on the map) - 15%

Italian peninsula - 15%

Greece & Balkans - 4%

Some of this information matches what I have in my tree but it also opens up more questions.
by Christina Jobe G2G6 Mach 1 (11.8k points)
Love this Christina, thank you.

We are almost twins with this lineage
+18 votes

I had my DNA analysis through both Ancestry and MyHeritage.  Ancestry came back with a mix of : 

  • 38% Ireland
  • 32% Scotland
  • 28% England
  • 2% Wales

Which was what I expected.  

MyHeritage came back with 

  • 66.7% England 
  • 15.6%  Eastern European
  • 13.3% Ireland/Scotland/Wales
  • 2.5% Ashkenzi Jewish
  • 1.1% Indigenous Amazonian (?!?), and
  • 08% Middle Eastern.


I followed the directions for both tests exactly, but I'm very skeptical of the MyHeritage results.

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 4 (46.5k points)
edited by Dorothy O'Hare
Dorothy, you are right to be skeptical of MyHeritage.  Their estimates are absolutely not correct.  Shows me as 25% Italian, with neither of my parents with any Italian (and yes, I share 50% of my DNA with each of my tested parents).  We all know that's impossible.  I continue to hear stories of people with crazy estimates on MyHeritage.  Even heard a person at Target discussing it with a co-worker the other day!
+19 votes

Ha, Ha! Every time I have looked at my ethnicity estimates, they are different. And the estimates depend on who produced them, because different estimators look at different time periods -- some focus on the last few hundred years, while others attempt to connect us to human populations a few thousand years ago.

23andMe recently updated its estimates (for what seems like the umpteenth time since I tested there). They tell me that before the latest update I had:

  • 42.5% French & German
  • 35.6% British & Irish
  • 6.9% Scandinavian
  • 14.3% broadly Northwestern European
  • 0.6% Southern European
  • 0.1% broadly European

After the update, 23andMe says that I have:

  • 52.3% French & German (particularly from Hesse, Hamburg, and the Rhineland-Palatinate)
  • 41.4% British & Irish (from several areas in England and Scotland, plus a possible bit from Donegal)
  • 1.6% Scandinavian
  • 4.6% broadly Northwest European
  • 0.1% Ashkenazi Jewish

Based on the very same data, FamilyTreeDNA currently tells me that I have:

  • 81% England, Scotland, and Wales
  • 7% Ireland
  • 10% West Slavic
  • <2% Magyar
  • <1% Anatolia, Armenia, & Mesopotamia

There are still more estimates from other sources.cheeky Overall, I have seen estimates get more precise over time as the companies improve their methodologies, and they now mostly seem to agree that I am European (I used to see strange details like Japanese ancestry), but the seemingly precise details are still not awfully accurate.

ADDED:

DNA.LAND has another interesting contribution to the mix:

Northwest European 70%
Northeast European 13% North Slavic 8.9%
Finnish 4%
Balkan 10%
Mediterranean Islander 5.7%
Southwestern European 1.3%

My genealogy leads me to believe that I am more than half British, and the rest is German-Dutch-French and possibly a bit of Scandinavian.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
edited by Ellen Smith
I'm just gonna say you're 100% Awesome. Seems about right.
+16 votes
This is very close to what I have discovered by doing genealogy, and it was recently changed a little by Ancestry.

Scotland                                         35%

England and Northern Europe.          26%

Ireland                                            17%

Germanic Europe.                             9%

Norway.                                            6%

Wales                                               6%

Baltic                                                1%
by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (321k points)
+15 votes
My DNA test was done with FTDNA. Their estimates were wildly off - did not match the family tree at all. I have NO East European Ancestry at all!!!

72% British, 22% East European and 3% Scandinavian.

So I uploaded my DNA to My Heritage. My results were much more accurate - following the family tree.

75% Irish, Scottish, Welsh, 21% Scandinavian, 2% Baltic, 1% Middle Eastern.

This is why I accept My Heritage estimates to be much more accurate than FTDNA.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (875k points)
+15 votes
I tested with Ancestry and my ethnicity estimate is:

Scotland - 61%

England and Northwestern Europe - 32%

Norway - 5%

Ireland - 2%

My father is Scottish and my mother is English so it seems to be reasonably accurate. Before the update in September 2020 I was only 20% Scotland & Ireland which was too low.
by Samantha Thomson G2G6 Mach 7 (76.3k points)
edited by Samantha Thomson
+15 votes

I did the DNA testing with ancestry. My ethnicity estimate is:

  • 71 % German speaking regions in Europe
  • 19 % England and North West Europe
  • 5 % Sweden
  • 3 % Eastern Europe and Russia
  • 2 % Baltic states
That is also what I thought; the Eastern DNA came from my mother who had also Eastern European DNA included.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G6 Pilot (435k points)
Since your results seem closer to mine than any of the other replies that I have seen, I will post my most recent Ancestry ethnicity results near yours:

78% Germanic Europe

12% Eastern Europe and Russia

7% Sweden

3% England and Northwestern Europe

My ancestors came from Bohemia and Prussia, places that are currently in Chechia and Belgium.
+14 votes

Same test, but different computer evaluation programs.  I think 23andme is more accurate.

23andme.com - European 99.9%

  • British & Irish 62%
  • French & German 36.3%
  • Other NW European 1.6%

FamilyTreeDNA.com - Europe 100%

  • Central Europe 47%
  • England, Wales & Scotland 44%
  • Scandinavia 8%
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (542k points)
+14 votes
As best as I recall, when I first tested a few years ago at FTDNA, they said I was 89% Ashkenazi, but I just looked now and I'm 97%.
by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (817k points)
What is the other 3%?

Here's the paste:

Europe100%

European Jewish

Ashkenazi Jewish

97%

Baltic

Baltic

<2%

Western Europe

Ireland

<2%

and here's the map that goes with it:

It is easy to imagine that some non-Ashkenazi genetics from the Baltic region got blended into your ancestry. As for the Irish part, do you suppose they looked at your current last name and figured you needed to see some Irish heritage?  devil

I have been taken for Irish my whole life.  I have red hair, green eyes and skin so light it's practically transparent, but with lots of freckles.  It's weird - my mother has always been taken for Italian, with olive skin, jet black hair and brown eyes  Her 2 sisters and 3 brothers looked the same.  My father had dark brown hair and brown eyes and his skin wasn't especially fair.  My paternal grandmother, however, had blue eyes, but dark brown hair, but she was from Lithuania, not Ireland.
+14 votes
I have tested at multiple sites but will list my 23andme results as they are probably the most accurate

96.8% British and Irish

2.0% Southern European

0.4% Filipino and Austronesian

0.3% Ashkenazi Jewish

0.2% Central Asian

0.2% Unassigned

0.1% Broadly Melanesian
by Maxx Martin G2G6 Mach 2 (23.7k points)
+13 votes
Because it can change on Ancestry in a few months, here's how my estimate stands right now:

34% Southern Italy (Campania and Calabria communities)

30% France

11% Northern Italy (I added that into my southern Italy because...Romans)

4% Germanic Europe

4% Greece and Albania

Add that all together and you get 100% New England mutt. I suspect I am always going to hover around 50% Italian since that's how the tree looks. It gels with the tree. But, you know it can change.

For comparison, my dad has 74%  Southern Italian, 18% Greece and 8% Cyprus. My great-aunt who was born in Italy has 91% Southern Italy 4% Middle East, 3% Northern Italian and 2% Greece and Albania.

My mother has France at 69% with Quebecois communities. I have those, too. 31% England.

Not bad. Everything gels with the tree.
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (400k points)
+13 votes

I've taken DNA tests with Ancestry.com and with CRI Genetics.

Ancestry.com claims that I am 100% French which seems a bit ludicrous.  CRI genetics says that my ancestry is...

  • 98.9% European
    • 30% from France
    • 26% from Germany
    • 11% from Southern and Central Slavic
    • 10% from the British Isles
    • 6% from Scandinavia (Vikings in northern France)
  • I have confirmed Micmac (Native American) ancestry but CRI called that 1% South Asian!  Ancestry.com didn't pick up on it at all.
by Robert Daigle G2G6 (9.9k points)
+14 votes

I took an Ancestry DNA test years ago, and it has helped a ton in determing cousin relationships and just overall confirming where my DNA comes from. Here are most up to date results:

England & Northwestern Europe: 40%

Ireland: 25%

Scotland: 24%

Norway: 6%

Wales: 5%

I hope to continue using DNA to solve family mysteries. One big one is who the father of my 3x Great-Grandmother Minnie A. Mastin was? She was born out of wedlock, and I've trying my best to triangulate DNA matches to no avail. But I have managed to narrow down to a few possibilities.

by Robert Ward G2G6 (8.6k points)
Robert,

Are you using any other genealogy sites? I only joined here (Wikitree) last week, but I've been using Ancestry and FamilySearch.org (free) for one year.
I also have a tree on FamilySearch. But it's nowhere near as filled out as the one I have on WikiTree. I mainly use FamilySearch to look for records and sources. And I do have an Ancestry subscription at the moment. But that's subject to change.
+11 votes
They change every few months depending on who you're asking.
by Shanna Leeland G2G6 Mach 5 (54.5k points)
+13 votes
I tested through Ancestry. They just updated my information to reveal my DNA.

55% England & Northwestern Europe

28% Scotland

5% France

4% Wales

3% Northern Italy

3% Eastern Europe & Russia

1% Southern Italy

1% Indigenous American-North
by Susan Ellen Smith G2G6 Mach 1 (11.0k points)
+11 votes

Ancestry DNA Ethnicity Estimate

August 2020 Revised Estimate

  • 48% - England & Northwestern Europe
  • 32% - Scotland
  • 09% - Ireland
  • 05% - Germanic Europe
  • 03% - Wales
  • 03% - Norway

February 2020 Estimate 

  • 80% - England, Wales & Northwestern Europe
  • 15% - Ireland & Scotland
  • 03% - Sweden
  • 02% - Germanic Europe 
by Tommy Buch G2G6 Pilot (140k points)
Tommy, when the new estimates came out, I had loads of variations, too.
+12 votes

According to MyHeritage (as mentioned on my profile):

  • 47.9% English
  • 20.7% Scandinavian
  • 16.9% Irish, Scottish and Welsh
  • 13.7% North and West European
  • 0.8% Middle Eastern
by Richard Shelley G2G6 Pilot (196k points)
+12 votes

Most recent analysis 

Living DNA  

Great Britain and Ireland              94.9%

South Central England   50.6%

Southeast England          14.3%

South England   11.6%

Devon   8.5%

East Anglia          6%

South Wales       1.4% 

Cornwall              1.3%

Orkney and Shetland Islands      1.1%

Europe (North and West)             2.8%

Northwest Germanic     2.8%

Europe (South)                 2.3%

East Iberia           1.1% 

Tuscany                1.1%

MyHeritage

English                  78.0%

Southeastern and Eastern England

England

UK and Ireland

West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania

English settlers in Canada (Southern Newfoundland)

Iberian                  9.6%

Irish, Scottish, and Welsh             5.0%

Finnish                  4.8%

AFRICA

North African     1.6%

Nigerian               1.0%

by Hilary Gadsby G2G6 Pilot (137k points)
+10 votes

I used Ancestry, Myftdna and Helix through National Geographic Genome Project, this has been shut down and I can't get into my data.  I hate Helix!!!

Ancestry Updated July 2020

British Isles 48%

East Europe 44%

Southeast Europe 5%

Trace Results

Scandinavia <1%

South America <1%

Asia Minor <3%

Myftdna Update unknown

Ireland 32%

*Central Ireland

**North Leinster & East Connacht

**North East Leinster & South Ulster

**Roscommon

**East Roscommon & Longford

Germanic Europe 25%

Eastern Europe & Russia 13%

*Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Romania

England & Northwestern Europe 12%

Baltics 8%

Wales 7%

Scotland 3%

Ancestry is much closer than Myftdna,  My paper trail shows a good portion of my ancestry is from Germany (Hesse mostly) and Alsace Lorraine.  These are not mentioned on Myftdna.  

These changes and omissions are why I still am not a firm believer in DNA at the present time as a main genealogy tool and more of a hint or possible verification device.  Give me a paper trail over a test tube.  LOL

by LJ Russell G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
+10 votes

Ethnicity Estimates

Ancestry

· 41% Scotland

· 31% England and Northwestern Europe

· 11% Ireland

· 8% Norway

· 4% Wales

· 3% Germanic Europe

· 2% France

Family Tree DNA

· 43% England, Wales and Scotland

· 28% Ireland

· 18% Central Europe

· 10% Scandinavian

· <1% Basque

· <1% Magyar

· <1% Ashkenazi Jewish

23 & Me

· 80.7% England, Wales, Scotland

· 14.3% French and German

· 0.9% Scandinavian

· 2.7% Broadly Northwestern Europe

· 1.4% Sardinian

My ethnicity estimates have evolved over time, as the pool of DNA test results expands. The results from all three companies appear to be broadly consistent. The Ancestry DNA ethnicity estimates coincide most closely with my own research, though the 8% Norway was a bit of a surprise. It must be due to all the Viking raping and pillaging in the British Isles in the 8th and 9th centuries. My James surname is possibly Welsh, but I don’t know from where my most recent James forefather emigrated, only that he died before 15 Apr 1673, when his son, Benjamin, was born posthumously in Newbury, Massachusetts. The Irish comes most directly from my maternal grandfather. The large amount of Scottish ancestry is also a surprise, since I have no known immigrant ancestors from there. The biggest disappointment, since my ancestry is largely Maine and New Hampshire for the last 400 years, is that I have zero French Canadian DNA.

by David James G2G6 Mach 1 (12.0k points)
edited by David James

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