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Thread: Is the Ethnicity Estimate getting an update? 2018

  1. #2611
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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    It's interesting also to see something Ancestry doesn't have. While they do have a "Germany and Midwestern United States" with seven sub-regions, they do not have any sort of "Germany and Pennsylvania". Yet German immigration into Pennsylvania during the colonial period was tremendous. In fact, by the end of that period German Americans comprised at least a third of the state population, and possibly closer to half.

    The problem, I believe, is that this was a much earlier immigration than the one into the Midwest. That means there were more generations of intermarriage between Germans and non-Germans. This is one reason 23andMe's "timeline" is way off for me. The assumption that a given ancestry will coalesce in a single ancestor in the least possible number of generations simply isn't valid for us.

    For example, my father is 69% German and 31% British and Irish, while his father is 44% German and 56% British and Irish, and his father's father is 38% German and 62% British and Irish -- so on my Americanized German surname line, German ancestry actually diminishes as one goes back through the generations from my father. This, of course, is only temporary, since my great grandfathers grandfather was likely fully German even though he was 3rd generation. What makes up this difference is that my father's mother was 94% German and only 6% British & Irish, and her own mother was actually 100% German. (Or close enough not to matter.)

    My point is, Ancestry appears to be unable to account for German immigration into Pennsylvania. It was much more significant for me personally than my mere 6% "Germanic Europe" can explain. As I've said elsewhere, although my German ancestry is only a bit more than a third -- 34.4% -- this is without considering my 1.2% Swiss ancestry or my 6.2% Alsatian ancestry. I also have 3.1% French ancestry. All of these would likely have factored into my "Europe West", but clearly most of them are now rolled into my "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe".

    They do belong there, in a sense; if you believe that Ancestry is serious in including "Northwestern Europe" in this label. But if they are, they shouldn't be acting as if it's the same as "Great Britain". I do not have 80% British ancestry plus another 11% "Ireland and Scotland". I have at most 40.6% British and Irish ancestry combined.
    Agree on the PA German. 3/4 of my Grandparents have German names. Paternal line arrived in PA 1728 other two arrived in the 1700's. Fourth Grandparent Ulster Scot arrived late 1700's his son married a German woman. All four lines have some mixture to them. Ancestry gives me 53% English/ NW Europe. 31% Germanic Europe. So a big chunk of that 53% has to be German based on paper trail.

    After 23's update they give me 65% German 15.9% British and 15.9% NW Euro. If you take their word that it goes back to before people started coming to America. This is what i'd expect me with 3/4 Grandparents with German origins would get. I am phased with my mom.

  2. #2612
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    United Kingdom Germany Bayern Catalonia France Ireland Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron from PA View Post
    Agree on the PA German. 3/4 of my Grandparents have German names. Paternal line arrived in PA 1728 other two arrived in the 1700's. Fourth Grandparent Ulster Scot arrived late 1700's his son married a German woman. All four lines have some mixture to them. Ancestry gives me 53% English/ NW Europe. 31% Germanic Europe. So a big chunk of that 53% has to be German based on paper trail.

    After 23's update they give me 65% German 15.9% British and 15.9% NW Euro. If you take their word that it goes back to before people started coming to America. This is what i'd expect me with 3/4 Grandparents with German origins would get. I am phased with my mom.
    Yes, I think my "French & German" also makes more sense at 23andMe after the update. It's now 43.0% with a "likely" for Switzerland and a "possible" for Germany. That puts it within a percentage point of my combined German, Swiss, Alsatian, and French ancestry.

    At the same time, my "British & Irish" dropped from 43.5% to 31.3%. Either number would be far more reasonable than Ancestry's 80%. As I said in my earlier post, even the 80% could make sense if it's really understood to include a considerable amount of non-British "northwestern Europe", and on paper that's what Ancestry says. The map, in particular, actually includes more land on the continent than in Great Britain -- despite the name of the category. But it's clear that Ancestry regards "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" as really nothing more than a different name for their old category of "Great Britain".

    It's also annoying how Ancestry completely eliminated my Spanish ancestry. I'm only an eighth, but Ancestry certainly displays other ancestries that are far less than that. My guess is that it really isn't that the algorithm didn't "find" any Spanish ancestry, but that it was simply smoothed out.

    The funny thing is, they do show a small amount of "Portuguese and Spanish" for my daughter, and it seems pretty likely that it's from me -- even though I don't have any, according to Ancestry. 23andMe doesn't show much at all, either, just 0.8%. But they also show 0.9% "Balkan and Greek", and 3.3% "broadly Southern European". That still only adds up to 5%, so less than half of what I have on paper.

    LivingDNA shows "Iberian" of 7.9%, which seems more reasonable. But on the other hand, they also fail to show my Native American ancestry, which my paper trail, 23andMe, Ancestry, and FTDNA all put at about 2%. It's interesting that LivingDNA's map of the "France" region actually includes the Mediterranean island of Menorca, as well as the island of Mallorca. Of the Baleares, only Ibiza and Formentera are included in "Iberia". So it may be that the remainder of my Spanish ancestry (and much of my German ancestry) is actually being included in the 45.5% they show for me for this region. The rest of my German ancestry is shown in my 26.3%.

    There are a couple of things I find significant about the different tests of taken. They mostly do show more-or-less the same ancestries, but sometimes in very different amounts. More than any difference in the actual DNA test, I think this is simply a function of the different reference panels. Just by who a company includes or excludes among their reference samples, it's possible to completely change what a customer's ancestry looks like.

    The ideal panels would actually all consist of DNA samples taken for the period when their customer's ancestors were immigrating, not from people who lived in the areas recently. There's really no way to compare how Germans today actually compare to the folks who lived in the same region over 200 years ago. Not only has there been migration from Europe to America, but there's been considerable migration within Europe. So when companies say that the location of someone's grandparents may be a good proxy for the location of their deep ancestry, that often just isn't true.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  4. #2613
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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    Yes, I think my "French & German" also makes more sense at 23andMe after the update. It's now 43.0% with a "likely" for Switzerland and a "possible" for Germany. That puts it within a percentage point of my combined German, Swiss, Alsatian, and French ancestry.

    At the same time, my "British & Irish" dropped from 43.5% to 31.3%. Either number would be far more reasonable than Ancestry's 80%. As I said in my earlier post, even the 80% could make sense if it's really understood to include a considerable amount of non-British "northwestern Europe", and on paper that's what Ancestry says. The map, in particular, actually includes more land on the continent than in Great Britain -- despite the name of the category. But it's clear that Ancestry regards "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" as really nothing more than a different name for their old category of "Great Britain".

    It's also annoying how Ancestry completely eliminated my Spanish ancestry. I'm only an eighth, but Ancestry certainly displays other ancestries that are far less than that. My guess is that it really isn't that the algorithm didn't "find" any Spanish ancestry, but that it was simply smoothed out.

    The funny thing is, they do show a small amount of "Portuguese and Spanish" for my daughter, and it seems pretty likely that it's from me -- even though I don't have any, according to Ancestry. 23andMe doesn't show much at all, either, just 0.8%. But they also show 0.9% "Balkan and Greek", and 3.3% "broadly Southern European". That still only adds up to 5%, so less than half of what I have on paper.

    LivingDNA shows "Iberian" of 7.9%, which seems more reasonable. But on the other hand, they also fail to show my Native American ancestry, which my paper trail, 23andMe, Ancestry, and FTDNA all put at about 2%. It's interesting that LivingDNA's map of the "France" region actually includes the Mediterranean island of Menorca, as well as the island of Mallorca. Of the Baleares, only Ibiza and Formentera are included in "Iberia". So it may be that the remainder of my Spanish ancestry (and much of my German ancestry) is actually being included in the 45.5% they show for me for this region. The rest of my German ancestry is shown in my 26.3%.

    There are a couple of things I find significant about the different tests of taken. They mostly do show more-or-less the same ancestries, but sometimes in very different amounts. More than any difference in the actual DNA test, I think this is simply a function of the different reference panels. Just by who a company includes or excludes among their reference samples, it's possible to completely change what a customer's ancestry looks like.

    The ideal panels would actually all consist of DNA samples taken for the period when their customer's ancestors were immigrating, not from people who lived in the areas recently. There's really no way to compare how Germans today actually compare to the folks who lived in the same region over 200 years ago. Not only has there been migration from Europe to America, but there's been considerable migration within Europe. So when companies say that the location of someone's grandparents may be a good proxy for the location of their deep ancestry, that often just isn't true.
    23's update smoothed out all my small percentages which I think is correct. However My son's results just came in last week. He gets 1.4% Spanish from me that I don't show. And .01% East Asian/ Native that I lost with the update which used to show on either 80 or 90% confidence level for me prior to the update. Each time they update my German goes up and my British goes down. At this point for me to continue to consider it accurate that should stop. 65% I think is in the margin of error, but should'nt go much higher if at all.

    Odd on your Spanish. That they would smooth out that much, but your daughter gets some.

  5. #2614
    Quote Originally Posted by ianz91 View Post
    LivingDNA is only useful for people of British or Irish descent, and they're new, so even attempting to put them up to the major DNA companies is laughable. I disagree about 23andme beating AncestryDNA on ethnicity estimates, that is a really bold claim. 23andme is not good for ancestry breakdown, period. 23andme's primary focus is health and traits, not ancestry. The v5 chip has been a disaster and was essentially 23andme's downfall. 23andme misses minor admixture while AncestryDNA does not, they only go back 300 years. A lack of a chromosome browser means nothing when AncestryDNA tests more autosomal SNPs than 23andme and has a largest database of over 7 million+ people. The reason why I think Ancestry is the best now is because they focus primarily on Ancestry, while 23andme does not. We'll see how LivingDNA does in the future.

    Jesus... so embarrassing to see my old posts like this. It's a reminder that we all say stupid things sometimes, I admit my response to fostert was ridiculous and over the top defensive, for something I didn't even fully understand.

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  7. #2615
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    Is there another Update happening as we speak?

    I saw this post on Instagram, and the individual stated that "Wow, there was an update and I went from 3% Ireland to 33%", and this was posted 17hrs ago.

    Here is a picture of it, and it makes me think it's a new update because you can still see that "Sweden" and "France" and "Germanic Europe" are their own categories (which wasn't the case in the original form of AncestryDNA), but that "Great Britain" is now its own category, as is "Ireland/Scotland/Wales".

    Who knows, maybe it's nothing, but thought I should post it.

    NewMaybe..PNG
    AncestryDNA Genetic Communities
    Father: Saint Lawrence River French Settlers, Newfoundland English Settlers, Scotland, New York Settlers, Nova Scotia & Massachusetts Coast Settlers
    Mother: Southeastern New York Settlers
    Paper Trail: Irish: 35%, English: 28%, German: 19%, French: 9%, Scottish: 7%, Dutch: 3%
    AncestryDNA: England, Wales & Northwestern Europe: 70%, Ireland and Scotland: 30%

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  9. #2616
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    Perhaps they were forced to take the new update? I know a few of my matches didn't take it.

  10. #2617
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    Doesn't seem to be any change on my end.
    Ethnogene (most accurate so far IMO): Frisian 2.8%, Scottish 19.2%, Welsh 2.4%, English 29.0%, Irish 31.7%, Cornish 1.9%, Irish Traveller 4.0%, French 2.6%, Dutch 1.0%, German 1.8%, Western Indian 1.1%, Central/Southern Ashkenazi 1.0%, Norwegian 1.5%

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  11. #2618
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    No change with me either but it does look to be a new update since as already said Ireland/Scotland/Wales and Great Britain have never been reported alongside France and Germanic Europe. Either that or someone just created false results.
    Ancestry: Ireland (Paper trail ≅ 81.25% Roscommon, 12.5% Galway, 6.25% Mayo)
    Paternal ancestor (Y): Kelly b. c1830 in Co. Roscommon (Uí Maine)
    Father's mtDNA: Fleming b. c1831 in Co. Roscommon (H27e)
    Maternal ancestor (mt): McDermott b. c1814 in Co. Roscommon
    Paternal great grandfather (mt): Connella b. c1798 in Co. Roscommon (T2a1a8)

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  13. #2619
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    I don’t want Ancestry bringing those old British Isles categories back again!

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  15. #2620
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    Hmm. No change to mine. I'd find it unacceptable if they simply changed "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" back to "Great Britain".

    Although some people seem to think there's no real difference -- including Ancestry, who reported my 80% in their new category of "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" as an increase of 55% to my old category of "Great Britain".

    Clearly, the new category is not simply Great Britain. Even the name reflects that fact. The map reflects that fact. The reality that no more than 40% of my British and Irish ancestry combined came from Great Britain reflects that fact. But combined, my "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" and my "Ireland and Scotland" are 91%!

    This is at the expense of 29% of my 35% German ancestry (since my "Germanic Europe" is only 6%), my 6% Alsatian ancestry, my 3% French ancestry, and my 1% Swiss ancestry. It's also at the expense of all of my Spanish ancestry, which on paper is 12.5%. About the only thing they actually got "right" was my 2% Native American ancestry.

    Technically, if you ignore how Ancestry characterizes "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" -- that is, if you accept what the map itself shows, plus the idea that "Northwestern Europe" is in the name for a reason -- then it's possible to see how the 80% could be close to reality, except for the mysterious disappearance of all of my Iberian ancestry. (Which I think may have involved over-zealous smoothing, but this is relatively recent ancestry -- two 2nd great grandfathers.)

    Ancestry, however, would have us believe that the reason so much "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" shows up on the continent is because the British brought it there. (I know that isn't actually what they say -- just the impression they leave by how they treat the category.)

    The reality is actually the other way around, for the most part. The reason there's so much of this category in Great Britain is that the British have a lot of ancestry from Northwestern Europe.

    So as I said, I hope that whatever they do they don't just drop "Northwestern Europe" from the category. My 44% "Europe West" was a far more reasonable estimate than what I have now.
    Last edited by geebee; 02-09-2019 at 07:10 PM.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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