It is that time again… I was a bit nervous for what the new algorithm would show as my newest ethnicity estimates, because it hasn’t always gone in the way I believe that it should. First of all, there are certain ethnicities that are not showing up that I believe should.
There was also A LOT of talk coming up to this update that a ton of people thought that their Scottish and Irish were WAY off and too high compared to their paper trails. My paper trail is showing a lot of both, so I felt that mine (with this last update before this) was FINALLY showing around the right amount of Scottish and Irish. I do still think that I probably have a bit more Irish than it shows, although I now know that I am more Scottish than Irish.
My Native American that should show up only shows up on my 23andMe results, but it is still A LOT lower than it should be according to my paper trail. That is, I totally believe, still because they (neither company) do not have an adequate sampling to compare with. It truly seems that they mostly just have Native Americans from Alaska and South America adequately represented. One of the big reasons for this is that a lot of the tribes do not feel comfortable sharing their DNA with anyone. They don’t trust what will be done with it. I totally understand, because the track record is not good.
Our Cherokee and Choctaw are more from the east half of the United States and the “few drops” of Shoshone are more from the mid-level part of the west. I say “few drops”, because that is what my grandma always said. We were supposed to have significant amounts of Cherokee from her side and the same amount of Choctaw from my grandpa’s side. I don’t know exactly where the Shoshone was supposed to come from, but it would definitely be on my maternal side. I have not had even a wiff of anything Native American on my biological father’s side.
I believe these days that our full-blooded NA Ancestors are a bit further back than we understood and a lot of it simply washed-out of our DNA. My great-great-grandmas (two of them) were said to be 50% NA themselves, but I am not seeing that. My grandma’s maternal grandma was supposed to have hers from her mom’s side. That is still one of my brick walls. The names seem to not be NA, though, and by assumptions come from other European countries.
I have unexpectedly found, however, that her father has NA ancestry, but there is a possibility that this 5th great-grandmother of mine may not actually be 100% like is believed. There is talk that she was actually adopted by an 100% NA family in the tribe (and may not have been NA by blood… or maybe not 100%). She did, however, live her life as 100% Native American.
All of this still doesn’t automatically do away with the possibility of NA blood through this branch, though, because she was said to be NA on her mom’s side, she lived on a reservation at least two time periods during her life, and she shows up on at least one census as NA.
Either way, we definitely had family members who were made to go on the Trail of Tears on my maternal grandma’s side.
The great-great-grandma on my maternal grandpa’s side doesn’t show even that promise as of yet. I still have more to do, but it appears that if she had NA in her, it wasn’t nearly as much as we thought. Her daughter (my great-grandma) passed when my grandpa was still a toddler, so we really don’t know much about her and her side yet so that isn’t too surprising… just disappointing.
My Latest Ancestry DNA Estimate
Unfortunately, my Scottish went down from 37% to 31% and my Irish went down from 6% to 5%. That is honestly not bad at all given the way that everyone was saying that the last update was WAY off with these two ethnicities. So, I went from being 42% Scottish and Irish to 36%. Still not bad. Either way, these estimates both reflect what I am seeing on my paper trail, although I believe that I should be a bit more Irish (even if that takes away from my Scottish). My biological father seemed to be the majority of these two ethnicities and my mom’s side is also now showing a little bit of these, too.
My Wales went up from 3% to 7%. That to me seems closer to the truth. I was guessing around 10% or a little less, so this 7% is likely about right.
My Germanic Europe has gone down from 5% to 3%. I believe this is very likely about as correct as it can be. I have only seen one branch several generations back that appear to be German. This category also includes most of Switzerland and Austria. I should have at least a little bit of Swiss in my DNA and I have found at least one ancestor way back from Austria. Given all of this, my estimate probably could be 5% like the update before this shows. Ancestry has been much more accurate on my German DNA than 23andMe, for sure. 23andMe usually has me around (or over) 20%. That is NOT correct unless every bit of my short branches are German and I don’t see that at all.
My Norway went away… which I did not know I had until it showed up on my DNA results and maybe I just don’t. I SHOULD, however, have some other Scandinavian in there. It even shows up on my paper trail.
As for the England and Northwestern Europe category, I think that my 46% estimate last time was probably relatively close to correct. I believe that my current 54% is a bit too high and that they may be lumping in some DNA that is not as clear to them (or that they just consider “noise”). This section (at least the current one) includes: England, Belgium, Channel Islands, and dips down and encompasses maybe a third of France. I clearly show a significant amount of French ancestry on my paper trail; definitely enough to clearly be included in my DNA results. If my French ancestors were from the east side of France, this explains a lot.
My Previous Ancestry DNA Estimates
As you can see above, they were way off in regards to my Irish and Scottish even though they were definitely heading in the right direction. My initial estimate showed me as less than 1% Irish, Scottish, and Welsh combined. Now, my estimate shows me as being 43% Scottish, Irish, and Welsh combined. Less that 1% was SO wrong and laughable knowing even part of my paper trail.
The most accurate (in my opinion) on this initial estimate was the Scandinavian. If I truly do have a bit of Norwegian in me, than this might be close to correct since I think I should have about 5% Scandinavian in me according to my paper trail and some other companies’ estimates.
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Which Test Do I Recommend?
If you are searching for an unknown parent (especially if both are unknown), I highly recommend that you test through both companies. It really helped me discover who my biological father was (without even a name) relatively quickly. It still took some hard work, but it was a lot easier and worth it. Many who really know their stuff in finding unknown parents recommend this as well; they are the ones who recommended it to me. Also, remember that some families tend to test more on one test than the other. You will not know until you test at both companies which one has more for you to work with . My mom’s side tends to test more on Ancestry and my dad’s side tends to test more on 23andMe.
If you are primarily interested in finding family and how your matches are related to you, I recommend Ancestry. There are more helpful family trees easily accessible and I really like their ThruLines, Common Ancestors, Filters, creating and tagging your own groups and labels, and the availability to clearly mark your known family members with exactly how they are related to you and through which side. Several of these features are relatively new and I love them!
If you are primarily interested in health reports, I recommend 23andMe. They, however, are adding some new features that can help more. Your raw data results from 23andMe can also be used in a few more places to upload your DNA data to other companies than Ancestry. They both can be used, though, and I highly recommend that you upload wherever you can.