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Thread: Ancestry DNA Update of Ethnicity Estimate

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert1 View Post
    I have English ancestry and didn't get 0% in my Scotland range

    38% Scotland (lower confidence 4%, upper confidence 41%)
    25% Ireland (lower confidence 0%, upper confidence 31%)
    21% England (lower confidence 0%, upper confidence 21%)
    16% Wales (lower confidence 0%, upper confidence 24%)
    Likewise:

    Scotland 41% range 39—58%.
    England 28% range 26—31%.
    Ireland 18% range 0—21%
    France 7% range 0—11%
    Germanic Europe 3% range 0—15%
    Wales 3% range 0—7%.
    Paper Trail: 42.25% English, 31.25% Scottish, 12.5% Irish, 6.25% German, 6.25% Italian & 1.5% French. Or: 86% British Isles, 6.25% German, 6.25% Italian & 1.5% French.
    LDNA(c): 86.3% British Isles (48.6% English, 37.7% Scottish & Irish), 7.8% NW Germanic, 5.9% Europe South (Aegean 3.4%, Tuscany 1.3%, Sardinia 1.1%)
    BigY 700: I1-Z140 >I-F2642 >Y1966 >Y3649 >A13241 >Y3647 >A13248 (circa 620 AD) >A13242/YSEQ (circa 765 AD) >FT80854 (circa 1650 AD).

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  3. #42
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    Scotland England Wales Germany Sweden Ireland
    Scotland 35% (4-41)
    England 35% (30-35)
    Wales 12% (0-19)
    Germany 10% (0-17)
    Sweden 6% (0-10)
    Ireland 2% (0-6)

    Looking at my tree, I have a couple 2nd Great-Grandparents and several 3rd. Great-Grandparents, I can't get pass. On up my tree, I only have 70 5th Great-Grandparents with a few cousins marrying. There's more I don't know than I thought. However, I have Scottish and Welsh ancestors on both sides. Is what I have enough to equal 35% Scottish? I dont know, its an estimate! What I do know is this. I searched my DNA matches in the 9 to 10 CM range and listed Scotland as the country. After checking about 200 matches I stopped. I had 1 out of 15 were Scottish, living in Scotland. Some of these matches had 90 to 100% Scottish ethnicity. I did the same thing for Wales and got about the same result. The rest of my estimate is in the ball park except Sweden, I'm not sure where I got that one.. I think the estimate is better "for me", at least better than the last one and nothing really crazy in it. It would really help if Ancestry would go down to 8cm for shared matches.
    Last edited by Dts; 09-17-2020 at 07:15 PM.

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  5. #43
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  7. #44
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    I have tried to go through my matches looking for Scots people, but most seem to be connected me through migrations to Glasgow. I have had to go further back.

    I do have a few people who are 100% Scots. The closest is 17cm's. Most of them have the Scottish lowlands Genetic Community, but not the NI and SW Scotland GC, which would indicate a migration from here if it was present.

    It is a pity that you can't search matches by their birth country.
    Last edited by Nqp15hhu; 09-17-2020 at 07:31 PM.

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  9. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by msmarjoribanks View Post
    The discussion over the new update inspired me to go back to my paper trail and re-estimate my percentages. I did so based on ethnicity of my ggg-grandparents or in some cases 4th g-grandparents. This reminded me that I do have a gggg-grandmother who is supposed to be Scottish. I haven't confirmed it, but included her in the mix as Scottish. My dad is about 63% English, combination of his g-grandfather (who was half Welsh borders and half Essex non-conformists who had some Scottish names in their family) and then a lot of colonial with good records back to England. My mom is on paper about 34% English, but a lot of her colonial lines don't have records back to the British Isles and could include more Ulster or Scots or German than I have on paper (they lived in places where that would not have been uncommon, in fact).

    So for fun, comparing my paper trail to the new results:

    Germanic Europe: on paper (combo of German, German Swiss, and Dutch), 15.5% (I also have 3% French); new update, 17%
    Sweden: on paper, 12.5%; new update, 13%

    England (I'm ignoring the NW Europe here, as mine is mostly accounted for): on paper, 48% (could be less); new update, 12%
    Ireland: on paper (all Ulster Protestants to my knowledge), 9%; new update: 2% (so I'm assuming most of the paper ancestry is in Scotland)
    Wales: on paper, 9% (but indications that it could be more, as with the Welsh border ancestry); new update, 23%
    Scotland: on paper, 1.5% (but I absolutely could have more Scottish or Scots-Irish ancestry than my paper trail shows); new update, 33%

    So overall even though I do think 33% is likely too high, especially given that much of my dad's colonial English (1630s Puritan migration and early Quakers, mostly) have good paper trails, the overall breakdown is great, and I'm happy with it.
    I'm glad you're pleased with your results. As I've said, clearly Ancestry doesn't do badly for everyone. Unfortunately, in some ways this makes it even more frustrating for me, since they seem (since the 2018 update) to do consistently poorly for me.

    It may not be just for me; it may be that others with colonial era-German ancestry often have the same problem. There are several generations for that ancestry to be mixed in with my actual British ancestry. For example, although my 3rd great grandfather on my surname line seems to have been fully German by ancestry -- even though he was part of the 2nd generation born in America -- his wife was half British (Scots-Irish) by ancestry, and half German.

    So their son, my 2nd great grandfather, was 3/4 German and 1/4 British. He, in turn, married a woman I believe was fully British (by ancestry), so my great grandfather on this line was 5/8 British and 3/8 German. My great grandmother was similar -- half British (Scottish) and half German.

    So my paternal grandfather was actually slightly more British than German -- 56% versus 44%. By contrast, my paternal grandmother was almost fully German by ancestry (94%). Just one of her sixteen 2nd great grandparents was British -- all the rest were German. This means their son should be 69% German by ancestry -- though obviously the amount of DNA he actually inherited from his German ancestors may be a slightly different issue.

    So, without even considering any input from my mother, I ought to be not less than 34.5% German, even though Ancestry's estimate is a measly 5% (range: 0-26%.) This is down by half from the 2019 estimate, is 11% less than LivingDNA's estimate, and it's almost 22% less than the amount of "French & German" that Ancestry Composition attributes to my father. My British ancestry from my father should be just a bit more than 15%.

    I have some additional "German" from my mother. I put the word in quotes because none of her contribution is actually from Germany. Instead, my maternal grandmother's paternal grandmother immigrated from Alsace-Lorraine, and a more distant ancestor (who appears in her tree more than once) immigrated from Grisons, Switzerland. Altogether, my grandmother's ancestry was 50% Menorcan Spanish, 25% Alsatian, 12.5% French, 6.2% Irish, 4.7% Swiss, and 1.6% Native American. My maternal grandfather by paper trail would have been about 94% "British" -- possibly including some English -- and 6% Native American.

    So when you bring this down to me, I should have 26.5% British/Irish from my mother; 12.5% Menorcan Spanish; 6.3% Alsatian; 3.1% French; 2.0% Native American; and 1.2% Swiss. Adding these numbers to the percentages I inherited from my father, I end up with something like 40.6% British/Irish; 34.4% (Palatine) German; 12.5% Menorcan Spanish; 6.3% Alsatian; 3.1% French; 1.2% Swiss; and 2.0% Native American.

    Now, if you accept Ancestry's results for Scotland (25%), Wales (6%), and Ireland (4%), the total is 35% -- so you only need about another 6% to get to my paper trail total for British/Irish combined. That would leave 52% of Ancestry's England & Northwestern Europe as being something other than simply "England".

    Clearly, if I actually have any remaining "French" DNA, the Ancestry ethnicity algorithm has labeled it as part of England & Northwestern Europe, along with any "Swiss" ancestry (look at how much of Switzerland appears on the England & Northwestern Europe, and the "Alsatian" ancestry. My 2nd great grandmother was born in Mulhouse, France, which isn't far from Switzerland and is likely in the area covered by the region map for England & Northwestern Europe.

    The biggest mystery is still the missing Spanish. What I'd really like to know is whether, in fact, Ancestry's ethnicity algorithm did in fact come up with a non-zero range for Spain and/or France, but doesn't report it simply because the "official" estimate is 0%. This would certainly be useful information to have, and Ancestry knows that its final estimate for each ancestry isn't the only possible estimate -- in fact, they say so. So why not let us see the other possibilities their own algorithm came up with? (At least some of them.)

    Ancestry had some really nice tools during the period of their original estimates -- back before 2018. I think it would be great to bring them back.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & another NA tribe, possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  11. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    It may not be just for me; it may be that others with colonial era-German ancestry often have the same problem. There are several generations for that ancestry to be mixed in with my actual British ancestry. For example, although my 3rd great grandfather on my surname line seems to have been fully German by ancestry -- even though he was part of the 2nd generation born in America -- his wife was half British (Scots-Irish) by ancestry, and half German.
    I agree with you about how it would be nice to see more information than they let us see.

    I am not sure how Ancestry does with colonial German in general now. (Maybe you should start a thread on that topic -- I would also be interested.)

    As of the update in 2018, I had:

    England, Wales, and NW Europe: 69%
    Ireland and Scotland: 23%
    Sweden: 8%

    The next update gave me 8% Germanic Europe (dropped my EWNWE), but also dropped my Swedish percentage and added some Norwegian instead. This current one increased my Germanic Europe again, to what seems about right, and consistent with what I get at 23andMe.

    I mention this because my German/German Swiss/Dutch is all colonial era and all really intermarried quite quickly with British Isles settlers too.

    I have a little French too (3% on paper), and as noted in an earlier post have matches through the French ancestors, so I know I still have a little of it, at least. I never get any French, but for whatever reason my sister has consistently gotten 3% French since the 2018 update. (I think it's just coincidence, though, as my results have otherwise been generally better than hers, when compared to the paper.)
    Last edited by msmarjoribanks; 09-17-2020 at 08:47 PM.

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  13. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert1 View Post
    I have English ancestry and didn't get 0% in my Scotland range

    38% Scotland (lower confidence 4%, upper confidence 41%)
    25% Ireland (lower confidence 0%, upper confidence 31%)
    21% England (lower confidence 0%, upper confidence 21%)
    16% Wales (lower confidence 0%, upper confidence 24%)
    Just to chain off of you here Robert, FWIW

    I have more English ancestry than I have ancestry from any other region; two great-grandparents were born in England and there's more English-colonial ancestry on top of that.
    Scotland is the only region where I was given a lower confidence above zero - my range is 47 to 67.
    England's range for my estimate is 0 to 20, percentage assigned 13.

    It's impossible in my case that my Scotland percentage does not include my English ancestry, and in case it's relevant, I don't have any English ancestry from the parts of northern England which are highlighted by the Scotland region on Ancestry's map.
    Last edited by sktibo; 09-17-2020 at 09:22 PM.

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  15. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nqp15hhu View Post
    It is a pity that you can't search matches by their birth country.
    Until recently Ancestry at least had the country the tester lived in now.
    But eliminated it due to quote privacy concerns unquote.
    The best you can do is look for people in their tree born in a given country.
    And if they have very very limited people in their tree, that is about the equivalent of what you are seeking.

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  17. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    Here's what Ancestry's Ethnicity 2020 White Paper (https://www.ancestrycdn.com/dna/stat...te%20paper.pdf) says on the topic:

    Because these proportions are estimates, we need a way to determine the confidence surrounding these
    values. To do this, we randomly sample 1,000 non-Viterbi paths, or paths that might not be the most likely
    (but are still likely). In each of the 1,000 runs, a given window is assigned a population pair with a
    probability that depends on the assignment, within the same run, of the previous window and the
    predetermined transition and emission probabilities. These 1,000 values are used to provide a confidence
    range on the reported Viterbi estimate.
    That year I studied something other than statistics.
    I think it's great that Ancestry gave us this detail, but I need to get a friend to interpret it.
    The best most of us can do is black box stuff - measure outputs against inputs.

    And that is what this forum has been doing.
    So far, we have established that:
    Scottish has been separated from Irish - but there may be further tweaking to come.
    Scandinavian countries have had an attempt at refinement, but can still give some inaccurate assignments.
    Some Native American are looking a little better.

    Any more? (On the positive side, even if qualified.)

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  19. #50
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