How Accurate Is Ancestry Com Dna Test

How Accurate Is Ancestry Com Dna Test – Millions of people took DNA tests over the holidays and when the results finally start coming in, many of you will be looking at the news about ethnicity for the first time – 39% this, 22% that, 2% something completely surprising. ..all this can be very exciting.

The answer is a resounding no. While your results certainly contain truth, accepting your parentage report without further explanation will often leave you confused and making inaccurate assumptions about your family history.

How Accurate Is Ancestry Com Dna Test

MyHeritage offers 2 weeks of free access to their vast collection of 18 billion historical records, as well as their matching technology that instantly connects you to new information about your ancestors. Sign up at the link below and see what you can reveal about your family.

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Despite feeling downright lost when they first see the results, many people never doubt them. They simply assume that DNA is always accurate (how could it not be?), or maybe they’re not sure how to dig deeper to resolve discrepancies. Others will completely ignore the confusing message – assuming there was an error.

Fortunately, there are tips and tools that can help you understand the results in the right context and create a more accurate view of your genetic history. This article explores some of them.

Please be aware that we have partnered with some of the companies mentioned in this article and you may earn money to support our work if you choose to purchase tests or other services related to our site.

Many of you who have received an ethnic breakdown (mixture) from companies such as AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA or MyHeritage DNA will be surprised to find that your makeup is not at all what you imagined. You may be missing areas you expected to find (such as Ireland or Italy), or you may have others you didn’t expect at all (such as many of the British Isles or some of the Jewish Isles).

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If you’ve tested (or uploaded your raw DNA) to multiple companies, you may be even more confused, as your results will likely vary greatly from test to test. You may be wondering which of these DNA tests is the most accurate? Which results should I trust? Am I really 36% Scandinavian?

Confusing results can completely change your view of your ancestral past or cause you to question your roots or family history research. And because nationality percentages can seem so absolute, you might be tempted to believe them exactly as they are. However, if they conflict with your existing family history, you may be tempted to reject them. Both reactions are actually quite common.

A word of caution – DNA results can throw up some serious surprises, so learning how these tests work can help you make sense of unclear results and inconsistencies, and some unexpected information may actually be related to unknown facts about your family history.

A non-paternal event (the father is not the biological father), covert adoption and complete inaccuracies in the family stories (you think your family is from the region or connected to a group, you are not). Sometimes these things can be pretty obvious when the test results come back, sometimes they’re hidden, but they’ll definitely make you want to check again.

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Get two full weeks of free access to over 18 billion genealogy records. You also get access to the MyHeritage discovery tool, which automatically finds information about your ancestors when you upload or create a tree. What will you learn about your family’s past?

However, you should not automatically assume that surprises in your results are due to shocking events, confusion about your past, or inaccuracies. Very often they are the result of how you read your message.

The key to understanding all of this is to understand how your ethnicity score is determined in the first place. Knowing how these tests work will help you better determine which pieces of information require further investigation and which pieces already match what you know about your family history.

Let’s start by understanding why your scores aren’t a perfect reflection of your background. It is DNA after all, shouldn’t it be reliable?

How Accurate Are Dna Tests For Ancestry? The Answer Is Far From Simple

The problem with “inaccuracy” in DNA ethnicity reports has nothing to do with your actual DNA. Rather, it has to do with how your DNA is interpreted and represented by the companies that deliver your results. Each of these companies uses software to compare your information with information about available sample populations in their databases – based on how those available sample populations are structured, their availability (or lack thereof), how they relate to each other, and how the company decides to present you with this confusing information. This can be demonstrated by reviewing multiple tests from different companies for the same individual.

Below is an example of the inconsistencies that can be seen from test to test for the same person. Note the differences in names and population percentages.

There are big differences. That person’s DNA certainly didn’t change from test to test – so what did? Which of these results can be trusted?

The truth is that all major testing companies do their best to give you the most accurate results possible. While they all have weaknesses, it is in their best interest to provide users with results that properly reflect their origins. Every testing company wants to be the most accurate choice. It’s just good business.

Example Of Ancestry Dna Results

But these companies also want to give you simple and easy results that you can easily read, understand and share with others. Because of this, a lot of effort has gone into creating attractive floor plans, understandable population groups, and maps that show you at a glance where your ancestors are thought to have come from.

Emphasizing this simplicity requires limiting the complex process of presenting your genetic data and often excludes more detailed information that can help you better understand your results – such as detailed definitions of population groups, explanations of population overlap, or the science behind how percentages are calculated.

Population is not always what it seems. Once you receive your results and start looking at percentages, it’s easy to see a population and make assumptions about what that population is like. However, to truly understand what this means in the context of the test you took, you will need to educate yourself about this population.

The best way to do this is to carefully read the descriptions provided by the testing company to fully understand the geographic boundaries, included and excluded regions and nations, and known historical events that affect the composition of a given population. Some tests provide this information better than others, but all provide some level of access to this data.

Your ‘ethnicity Estimate’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

To show how confusing the population can be and how misleading their names are, we can revisit the above three reports. The person reflected by these tests has a known ancestry from the Netherlands (and closely related areas of Germany, Belgium, etc.) of about 25%. This means that there is 25% genealogical ancestry from this area because one grandparent and their ancestors are from this area. However, since we do not inherit exact percentages from each grandparent, the actual amount may be somewhat more or less genetically determined.

25% from this region in our ethnic composition. However, if you notice in the images above, we don’t see anything close to those numbers from any of the tests we’ve done.

The first thing we see is that the Netherlands and the surrounding areas have no population of their own. They are included under different names depending on the test. Therefore, we should not expect to see “Holland” or “Germany” at all. In reality, many of the sample populations we could be looking for are simply not present because they are not genetically unique enough (given our current analytical tools and sample sizes) to allow separate “populations”.

The DNA family tree instead shows the Netherlands and Germany in the region labeled Western and Central Europe as a subcategory of Europe, and gives a percentage of 13%. This is lower than expected, but we can also see that Scandinavia and the British Isles are included. Since these two populations show a much larger amount than we would expect, we can assume that some of our Western/Central European countries are actually showing up as Scandinavian and/or British Isles. A closer look at the map shows that the population of the British Isles overlaps considerably with our area of ​​interest (the Netherlands).

How Do Ancestry Tests Work?

Although not ideal, we must consider that many populations overlap in their genetic similarities. The genetic populations used to determine your percentages can be very closely related and difficult to distinguish from each other.

And this is further influenced by your own unique makeup. A person of Western European, Scandinavian and British ancestry may find that one percent takes over the others and shows

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