Question of the Week: What are your ethnicity estimates based on your DNA test(s)?

+21 votes
3.1k views

I always think it's fun to see people's DNA test ethnicity estimates. Even though they aren't 100% accurate, it can still be helpful. It gave me a glimpse at my biological make-up long before I was able to start piecing together the paper trail on my biological father's side of the family.  

Here's mine from Ancestry:

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Langholf-2-3.png

What's yours?

P.S. Reshare the question image on Facebook so your friends and family will see your answer.

asked in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Eowyn Langholf
Are you 3% South Asian Indian, or 3% Native American Indian? South Asian isn't too unlikely for a person of British descent -- you had an Anglo-Indian ancestor at some point in the past couple centuries. Native American would be more unusual but not impossible -- you'd have an ancestor who was mixed Native/European who moved to the British Isles, probably right after the Revolutionary War.

South Asian Indian -probably not to much of a surprise, really

North and West European - 75.7%
Irish, Scottish, and Welsh - 18.1%
Iberian  - 4.8%
South Asian - 1.4%
No Scandinavian there which is a surprise, as my skin type and colouring are definitely far northern!

I found the Basque bit intriguing. Lots of my maternal heritage is concentrated near the Pyrenees.

England, Wales & Northwestern Europe51%
Germanic Europe19%
France13%
Ireland and Scotland6%
Spain4%
Basque4%

Sweden1%
We found a bit of South Asia in my family's DNA. Seems after much research that it is due to some Romany migrants. My mother feels that her wanderlust was finally validated. :)
Cheryl, do you have South Asian plus Balkans and/or Eastern European? If so, you almost certainly have Romani ancestry. Most Romanies have a bit of Balkans or EastEuro mixed in.
Yes, that's pretty much the mix that we have. I'm pretty sure I know where its from. Family lore makes SO much more sense after getting your DNA done.
Wow! That's unusual to have all of your DNA located on one island. I think it is weird to call the UK an island, but that is technically what it is. My U.K. estimate is not nearly as detailed, although thanks to my amateur sleuthing I can trace it myself.

My 23&Me ancestry composition is shown below. It makes sense given the nature of my family tree.

23&Me also stated the following about my Neanderthal Lines: "David 's Neanderthal variants number 317. This is more than 96% of 23andMe Customers."

Does anyone know what this means? Is a vast Neanderthal tree a good thing?

  • British & Irish
      43.8%
    United Kingdom, Ireland
  • Scandinavian
    9.2%
  • French & German
    5.3%
  • Iberian
    1.6%
  • Broadly Northwestern European
    33.8%
  • Broadly Southern European
    3.5%
  • Broadly European
    2.8%
    I am 99% European, which translates to 50% British Isles, 4% East Europe, 20% Scandinavian, 25% West and Central Europe, <1% West Middle East.

    Which actually is fairly accurate. Most of my lines trace to England, Scotland, and Wales. I have only one Irish ancestor. The 20% Scandinavian is interesting, that's my Johnson line, haplogroup R1a, coming through strongly.
    Or your invading line of Vikings connection.  Pretty sure most of Scotland, Wales and Ireland were a constant recipient of Viking DNA.

    69 Answers

    +7 votes
     
    Best answer

    GEDmatch’s Eurogenes K36 Admixture for my deceased paternal aunt Betty Maxwell:

    Eurogenes K36 for Roberts-7132

    answered by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (429k points)
    selected by Fann Fann
    How did you produce this graphic? I couldn't reproduce it, but I'm just learning how to use GEDmatch. It looks like a combination of the several Eurogene reports available there.
    I used Photoshop to combine "Chromosome Painting-Reduced Size" and "Admixture Proportions (With link to Oracle)".
    Neat! Good to know, but way beyond my skill set, at present. I am still stumbling my way around Lightroom.
    +7 votes
    Ancestry DNA - England, Wales & Northwestern Europe-78%, Ireland and Scotland-11%, Norway-9%, and Native American—North, Central, South-2%
    Genes For Good - North Atlantic-50.36%, Baltic-21.70%, West Mediterranean-14.35%, West Asian-7.36%, American Indian-2.76%, East Mediterranean-1.52%, South Asian-0.83%, Siberian-0.94%, Northeast African-0.18%

    answered by Christopher Odom G2G Crew (630 points)
    +7 votes
    I just got mine results back last week and they are pretty much what I expected.

    Germanic Europe 42%

    England Wales NW Europe 30%

    Ireland/Scotland 11%

    Eastern Europe 8%

    Baltic states 5%

    Sweden 2%

    Norway 2%

    Now to figure out how to use the data :)
    answered by Angela Herman G2G3 (3.9k points)
    +10 votes

    Ancestry DNA - England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 64%;Ireland and Scotland 34%; Norway 2%

    answered by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Mach 5 (57k points)

    Oh how I wish I knew how to use the DNA to help find family!

    I read and read and look at #'s and it all looks like gobbly gook to me sad

    Maybe after I get more family entered here at Wikitree I'll start working on learning and understanding DNA....

    Hello Louise,

    Please don’t try to use admixture to help find family.  Use matching. 

    For example, go to your profile at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Salvatore-85 .  On the right side under DNA Tested, click on A593513 to the right of GEDmatch.  You share ancestry with those cousins.  Share this compact ancestral tree with each of them: 
    https://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Salvatore-85/5  Ask each of them if they share any of those ancestors.  Invite each of them to join WikiTree and add their GEDmatch ID to their DNA Tests page in WikiTree.

    Sincerely, Peter

    Thank you so much for your help Peter! It truly is appreciated!
    Great comment Peter, which is why I gave this answer an up vote!
    Once I added my family tree to Ancestry, I started finding cousins...many, many cousins. So it helps to do that.
    +7 votes
    I did my test through FT DNA and it said I was 97% European - breaks down to 72% British, 22% East European and 3% Scandinavian.

    I have no idea where the East European came from - so far I have not found any family from East Europe.

    When I uploaded my raw data to My Heritage. I got these results -  99% European - broken down to - 75% Irish/Scottish/Welsh, 22% Scandinavian and 2% Baltic. There was also 1% Middle Eastern.

    Again I have no idea where the Middle East Ancestry comes from.

    My mothers Ethnic Estimate from My Heritage shows her as being 86% Irish/Scottish/Welsh, 7% English, 3% East European, 2% Central Asia and 2% Ashkenazi Jewish.

    I have no English, No Central Asian and no Jewish Ancestry.

    My mother and I both have some East European but again I have no idea where that fits into the family trees.

    We are both mostly of Celtic origin as seen in the high levels of Irish, Welsh and Scottish ancestry!!

    Please see my profile for my 2 ethnic maps and my mothers results.
    answered by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (433k points)
    You may be interested in reading about the ancient migratory paths to Ireland. It's possible those traces come from middle eastern movement into europe, specifically Spain, and then trade routes also went up the coast to Ireland.
    I should have remembered the Spanish - as in the Black Irish.

    My own mother had black hair and blue eyes when she was younger. She still has the blue eyes, but her hair is now white.

    And of course the Spanish ancestry has the Moorish history. That is most likely where the Middle Eastern and the Central Asian DNA came from.

    And somewhere in there, was someone who was Jewish from Eastern Europe.

    Thank you Tannis!!
    I too was surprised that my ftdna came back that I was 32% Eastern European. I know for a fact that I have German ancestors but know of no Eastern Europeans. Also, I can trace my family back to Normandy, which is Western European.

    52% British Isles

    32% Eastern European

    14% Scandinavian

    1% Finland

    No African American, Native American, Jewish or Asian.

    Wonder how correct it could be. May try another test.
    I am on Heritage and show up with Middle Eastern. I recently found an ancestor with Jewish roots from Holland. That would be listed as Ashkenazi Jewish which of course has Middle Eastern roots. Look for the Post family.
    The Eastern European may be coming through your German side -- a decent chunk of what is now Germany was originally settled by Slavic tribes, and they didn't disappear. They began speaking German, practicing Christianity, and assimilated into German society, but their DNA is still closer to that of their Slavic relatives.

    ... Or there could be a "milkman" situation going on somewhere!
    +7 votes

    Short answer: 100% Mutt smiley

    Longer answers:

    Ancestry: Ireland & Scotland 37%; Germanic Europe 18%; Eastern Europe & Russia: 14%; Sweden 10%; England, Wales, & Northwestern Europe 10%; Norway 7%; Baltic States 2%; European Jewish 2%.

    23andMe: British & Irish 34%; Eastern European 17%; French & German 9%; Scandinavian 5%; Balkan 3%; Ashkenazi Jewish 1%; Finnish < 1%; Broadly Northwestern European 24%; Broadly Southern European 2%; Broadly European 5%.

    FTDNA: West & Central Europe 41%; East Europe 25%; Scandinavia 17%; British Isles 11%; Finland < 2%; South Central Asia < 2%.

    GEDmatch Eurogenes K13: North Atlantic 42%; Baltic 31%; West Mediterranean 13%; West Asian 6%; East Mediterranean 3%; South Asian 3%; Northeast African 1%; Siberian < 1%; American Indian < 1%; Oceanian < 1%.

    MyHeritage: North & West European 60%; Irish, Scottish & Welsh 23%; East European 9%; Finnish 5%; West Asia 3%.

    Soooooo ... out of curiosity, understanding the limits of accuracy for each of these evaluations, which of these 5 is supposedly the most "accurate"?

    answered by Susan Keil G2G6 Mach 1 (18.7k points)
    Susan I like your short answer best. Partly because it makes everything easy!

    The long answer you gave is kind of what I was wondering if it was worth doing more, I've done Ancestry and Family Tree and uploaded Ancestry to GEDMatch. I keep saying some day I'll start trying to figure it out.

    I almost forgot, I got a notice from Ancestry that my DNA had been updated. I looked at it and it had changed and what I took away from their explanation was that they had 3,000 and now added 16,000 to compare so they could get better results. So I guess when they get another big batch in they'll update again.

    Then I always wonder didn't National Geographic work on, and are still working on their DNA project, and come up with like five places on the planet where everyone comes from?
    They have a wonderful documentary available on youtube called the search for Adam. I made my grandson watch it with me and they found the person they were searching for through DNA. The one man who every single man descends from. Pretty interesting stuff.

    Being thirteen my grandson, Pharaoh only heard the part about 33% of all men in the world descending directly from Genghis Khan. He then wanted a DNA test. lol
    Instead of looking for matching percentages. look at GENERAL percentages and geographical areas. Your reports are all very similar, after all.
    +6 votes

    FTDNA: 

    West and Central Europe: 55%, Southeast Europe: 14%, British Isles: 14%, East Europe: 13%, Scandinavia: 2%, West Middle East: <2%, Sephardic: <1%

    Ancestry.com:

    France: 75%, England, Wales & Northwestern Europe: 20%, Germanic Europe: 2%, Baltic States: 2%, Ireland and Scotland: 1%

    My older ancestry.com result was very odd, stating that the majority of my ancestry (and that of other French Canadian cousin matches) was from the British Isles.  I'm glad that they decided to update their ethnicity estimates based on better data-the result is certainly more accurate in my case.

    answered by Greg Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (140k points)
    +5 votes
    Family Tree DNA  -  West and Central Europe 50%; British Isles 28%; Ashkenazi Jewish Diaspora 12%; Southeast Europe 5%; Finland <2%; West Middle East <2%
    answered by Laurie Segers G2G4 (4.8k points)
    You have a considerable amount of Jewish ancestry, approximately the correct amount for one great-grandparent being fully Jewish, but from a glance at your tree, no obvious route for this ancestry. I do wonder if the unknown father of your Cornewell ancestor was a Jew...
    Mitochondrial DNA goes upward through the female line from mother to mother to mother, etc.  Also, my father and mother both had DNA tests done, too.  My father has "0" Jewish diaspora while my mother has a larger percent than myself - leading to the conclusion that I received that DNA from her.  We suspect that the Jewish DNA may have come from her Germanic Hansel line, but are unable to trace it back further.  Until the DNA tests were done, we weren't aware of any Jewish background.
    +10 votes

    LivingDNA Admixture for Peter J. Roberts

    LivingDNA Admixture for Peter J. Roberts

    answered by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (429k points)
    edited by Peter Roberts
    I love this map.
    i love this map too. I've done Living DNA but can't figure out how you got this map with place names on it. Please let me know. Thanks!
    Photoshop.

    I enhanced the colors and then I typed in my percentages and names for the regions from the LivingDNA key that goes with that map (for my results).
    +6 votes
    My results from Ancestry's new algorithm came out pretty much exactly as expected, almost all my ancestors are from the British Isles (mostly Scotland, Ireland, and Wales) with one Pennsylvania German line, one Swiss immigrant from the 1700's, one possibly Swedish immigrant from the 1700's, and one Native American line.  

    74% England, Wales, northwestern Europe

    24% Ireland and Scotland

    2% Native American  (I'm about 1/32, so this is pretty close)
    answered by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Mach 4 (47.7k points)
    Hi Kathryn, where did you find the native American on this dna?

    I don't know what all the colors mean etc. very confusing. can someone explain it to me. does ancestry send out paper results?

    thanks,

    Lilly Anderson g2g-6
    Ancestry doesn’t send anything out.  Just click on DNA on the menu bar, then select DNA story from the drop down.  You’ll see your ethnicity estimate, which is based on their comparison of your DNA test with their panel of 16,000reference samples.  They may show you migration regions which uses information from your tree.  DNA circles aggregates people whose DNA matches yours AND who have a common ancestor in an Ancestry tree.

    Native American DNA results are notoriously inaccurate because few fullblood Native Americans have done a DNA test - they have no reason to - so the basis for comparison is small.  Even people like me who have a documented line (I am a Cherokee citizen) may not show any Native American markers in their DNA results because the ancestor is too far back.
    thank you Kathryn, I also am Cherokee. but I don't even know what to look for when I get my tests back. I am not comp savy. is there a special notice or symbal to look for? you can email me direct if you care to. tawahna10 at gmail.com
    If Ancestry thinks they have found NA DNA it will say exactly that:  Native American, with a % and then a range.  Most people who show up with Native American DNA are connected through South or Central American ancestors.  You really have to use traditional genealogy, person to person with a paper trail to find North American ancestors. DNA just isn’t very useful.
    The Natives of the entire American hemisphere are descended from a founding population of only about 250 people. That's before admixture with Europeans, Africans, etc. So the Central and South American Native results are not that far off from what one could expect from say, a full-blooded Navajo. The gene pool just isn't that vast. NA DNA is quite distinctive from European and African, and if it's there, the test will find it. The problem is that a LOT of people with a Cherokee princess story in their ancestry are not, in fact, descended from Native Americans, or their sole NA ancestor was so many generations back that the Native DNA has been washed out.
    It’s true that most people have a only a story of a Native American ancestor, not an actual ancestor, but it’s also true that many documented descendants will not show any Native American DNA markers because their ancestor is too far back.
    So true.  Both my kids are card carrying Cherokees through their father, but neither one showed native american DNA when we had their DNA tested.  Their grandfather's grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee woman listed on the Dawes Rolls.  They have lots of relatives left in Oklahoma.  My dad has 12% Sub Saharan African DNA (I was able to track down that ancestor!) but I didn't get any of that DNA either.
    +6 votes

    I have only tested with Ancestry so far:

    Original Estimate was: Great Britain-52%, Europe West-19%, Ireland, Scotland, Wales-15%, Iberian Peninsula-8%, Finland, NW Russia-3%, Scandanavia-2%, Caucasas-1%. This was a poor representation of my ancestry as I am 100% UK and Ireland back 6 generations.

    The new estimate is much closer: The admixture from Norway is likely the Viking heritage in the Scottish and Northumberland ancestors and the NorthWest Europe is reasonable because there are Norman French surnames from England. The estimate also suggested that my family was part of both the migration from Scotland to North America and New York settlers.

    England, Wales and Northwestern Europe - 57%, Ireland and Scotland - 38%, Germanic Europe - 3%, Norway - 2%.

    The addition of over 13,000 DNA profiles certainly helped Ancestry to be more accurate in my case.

    answered by Anne Farrar G2G2 (2.6k points)

    It is interesting the changes in the DNA ethnicity suggestions in the Ancestry update mine is similar. It got rid of the obscure micro portions like the Iberian Peninsula and the Caucasus. 

    Mine before the Ancestry DNA update: Great Britain 50%, Ireland/Scotland/Wales 23%, Scandinavia 17%, Europe South 5%, Iberian Peninsula 1%, Caucasus 1%, European Jewish <1%, Europe West <1%, Finland/Northwest Russia <1%.

    After the Ancestry DNA update: Ireland and Scotland 50%, England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 47%, Norway 3%.

    I find it interesting that Nova Scotia is circled with a dotted line same as Scotland and they are linked on the map. I know my direct ancestors on my dad's side migrated to Australia in the 1800s from both England and Ireland. On my mum's side, it is English, Scottish and Irish with my mum's family migrating to Australia in the 1950s.

    I think the reason Ancestry shows a likely migration to Nova Scotia area is that in their test group there are more North Americans than Australians and many of the English/Scottish emigrated there. Thus their numbers are weighted more strongly to migration from UK/Ireland to North America. It is all dependent on the ancestry of their test subjects (the reference group). As Ancestry's number of test subjects increase in number their Ethnicity estimates will become more accurate.
    +6 votes
    Ancestry DNA -

    Norway (Western Norway) 39%

    England, Wales and Northwestern Europe 37%

    Ireland and Scotland 17%

    Sweden 6%
    answered by Sheryl McPhee G2G5 (5.2k points)
    +5 votes

    23andme says:

    British & Irish 55.1%

    French & German Switzerland  8.5%

    Scandinavian 5.7%

    Iberian 1.3%

    Finnish 0.8%

    Broadly Northwestern European 26.0%

    Broadly Southern European 1.0%

    Broadly European 1.5%

    I transferred this test to FamilyTreeDNA and the results were evaluated as:

    West and Central Europe 84% 

    Scandinavia 16% 

    answered by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (454k points)
    +5 votes
    MyHeritage: North and Western European 53.5%, English 35.9%, Scandinavian 10.6%

    Living DNA: 95.3% European, 3.5% Near East, 1.2% Asia Central

    My family tree going back to the 1600's all dutch except for one german ancestor.
    answered by Peter Zijderveld G2G Crew (880 points)
    +5 votes
    66% England, Wales, Northwestern Europe

    34% Ireland and Scotland

    per Ancestry's new update.  It's funny, some people do genealogy to prove their pure white-ness or royal-ness or some such, but, to me, it's disappointing.  Was hoping for Blacks, Jewishness, indigenous people anywhere, Neanderthal, gosh anything but a small slice of one part of the world.  Oh well.
    answered by Robin Anderson G2G6 Mach 2 (26.4k points)
    I believe Gedmatch would show you the trace amounts from ancient people.
    Robin, I was hoping for something a little exotic. Ended up with a very boring dna report.
    Yes, Glenn, it does.  Makes me very happy to see Lapp people (the reindeer guys, who are also somewhat antisocial - yes!), and some Neanderthal...I just don't know how much to depend on it.
    Yeah, Pip, boring is the new black.  Or green.  Or something like that.
    I hit pretty well on Clovis to cover Amerind but no Denisovian to speak of. I hit better on two in Hungary, one in Stuttgart, and one Siberian.
    +5 votes
    Mine was done through myHeritage. I got :

    North and Western Europe. 70.7%

    East European 10.4%

    Balkan 5.0%

    Iberian 9.3%

    Central American 3.1% (not sure where this came from.... possible combination of Iberian and native?)

    Native American 1.5%

    My mom, dad, and sister have also done theirs. It's quite fun to see who got which genes. Somehow my sister and I did not get any of specifically Irish, british, or welsh European genes (although II suspect there's some hiding in the north western european label). The analysis fits well with the paper trail, with the exception of the central american percentage on my moms side.
    answered by Tannis Mani G2G6 Mach 1 (12.1k points)
    edited by Tannis Mani
    +5 votes

    From 23andme, my results were

    • British & Irish
      60.5%
      United Kingdom
    • French & German
      13.8%
      Germany
    • Scandinavian
      2.6%
    • Eastern European
      1.4%
    • Broadly Northwestern European
      20.7%
    • Broadly Southern European
      0.2%
    • Broadly European

      0.4%

    • Siberian
      0.2%
    answered by Kathryn Morse G2G6 Mach 1 (10.4k points)
    +5 votes

    Ancestry:

    100% European ... no surprise there.

    • 77% Eastern Europe & Russia
    • 23% Baltic States

    This seems to me the most accurate. Based on my currently known paper trail all of my known ancestors have been born in the Eastern part of Germany, south of Berlin as well as in Poland and fall perfectly into those geographical regions.

    MyHeritage: 

    • Eastern Europe 84,1%

                   Balkan 43,2%  

                   Baltic 23,3%

                   Eastern European 17,6%

    • North and Western Europe, specifically Skandinavia 15.9%

    I have no idea whatsoever where the Balkan and Skandinavia comes from. As of right now, there seems to be no indication that my ancestors had any connection to the Balkan region.

    23andme:

    • Eastern European 94.8%  - Poland

    • French & German  2.6% - Germany

    • Broadly Northwestern European 0.7%
    • Broadly European 1.9%

      Pretty accurate as well.

      The only test that really doesn't fit well with known facts, is MyHeritage.

      answered by Mandy Munoz G2G Crew (930 points)
      MyHeritage test probably has a hard time differentiating between Scandinavians and Germans. They're related populations. Probably much the same situation going on for the Balkan/EastEuro results. A lot depends on the reference population used by that company. Due to two World Wars and the rise of Communism, Eastern Europe went through massive population changes in the 20th century. If you sample DNA from someone who believes they're 100% Polish, but in reality one of their gg-grandparents was ethnic Austrian, another was half Tartar, etc., then it's gonna skew the results for others.

      I've noticed people of East German, especially Prussian, ancestry get Baltic results. Old Prussia, pre-Christianization, was inhabited by Baltic tribes who spoke a language related to Lithuanian and Latvian. These people didn't just vanish; over the course of the centuries they became Germanized, spoke German and had German names, but still carry some of that Baltic DNA.
      +4 votes
      My Heritage DNA. 91.2% English. 8.8% Italian. Most if not all Royalty or Nobility.
      answered by Charles Patterson G2G5 (5.5k points)
      edited by Charles Patterson

      I was intrigued by your comment about Royalty or Nobility, so I went to your profile, but it was locked so instead I used https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Patterson-4382

      not sure what relationship you have with this person but I got a lot of common ancestors in the last 30 generations that is if my paper trail is right, I still not happy with some of the sources I have, and still trying to find better ones. While my paper trail has these common ancestors with Paterson-4382, I have many more ancestors that were coal miners, carpenters, farmers, etc. The further I go back the probability that most of them were serfs is about 100%,  but their names will never be known to me. Out of all your ancestors, probably the most important one was https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Falaise-2

      She was not Royalty or Nobility, in modern terms her father was probably an undertaker.

      So  while I cannot trace my more "humble" ancestors, they are as important to me as any Emperor or King, Queen etc.

      Fantastic
      +5 votes
      AncestryDNA

      England, Wales and Northwestern Europe 39%

      Germanic Europe 33%

      Sweden 14%

      Ireland and Scotland 11%

      Norway 3%
      answered by Dallace Moore G2G6 Mach 3 (30.5k points)

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