Most Accurate Ancestry Dna Test – Millions of people took DNA tests over the holidays, and when the results finally started coming in, many of you were seeing the race report for the first time – 39%, 22%, 2% were completely unexpected…these Everything is very exciting.
The answer is negative. Accepting your ancestry report without additional explanation often leads to confusion and inaccurate assumptions about your family history, even if your results contain certain facts.
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Most people never question the results, even if they feel completely lost the first time they see them. They assume DNA is always accurate (how could it be inaccurate?), or may not know how to dig deeper to resolve inconsistencies. Others ignored the confusing report entirely – assuming something was wrong.
Fortunately, however, there are some tips and tools that can help you interpret your results in the right context and gain a more accurate understanding of your genetic past. This article explores some of them.
Please note that we partner with some of the companies mentioned in this article, and if you choose to purchase tests or other services from our site, we may make money to support our work.
Many people who get a racial percentage breakdown (mixed) from companies like AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, or MyHeritage DNA are surprised to find themselves in a different makeup than expected. Maybe you missed a region that you expected to find (like Ireland or Italy), or maybe you have other regions that you didn’t expect (like a lot of British Isles or some Jewish people).
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If you’re testing at multiple companies (or uploading your original DNA), you can be even more confused, as your results can vary from test to test. You may be asking yourself which of these DNA tests is the most accurate. Which result should I trust? Am I really 36% Scandinavian?
Confusing results can completely change the way you think about your ancestral past, or make you question your roots or family history research. And since racial percentages seem so absolute, you might be tempted to take them for granted. Or, you may be tempted to decline them if they conflict with your current family history. Both reactions are actually quite common.
Disclaimer – DNA results can lead to some serious surprises, so understanding how these tests work can help you make sense of confusing results and discrepancies, as some unexpected information may actually relate to unknown facts about your family’s past.
Non-paternal events (the father is not the biological father), hidden adoptions, and downright wrongs in the family history (your family belongs to an area or group that you don’t). Sometimes these things are obvious after the test scores come out, and sometimes they are hidden, but it will definitely give you some double-checking.
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But you shouldn’t automatically assume that your results are the result of accidents, confusion, or mistakes about your past. They usually result from the way you read the report.
Knowing how your race estimates are determined in the first place is the key to making sense of it all. Knowing how these tests work will allow you to determine which information needs to be scrutinized and which matches what you know about your family’s past.
First understand that your results are not a perfect reflection of your ancestry. It’s DNA after all, so isn’t it infallible?
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The “inaccurate” questions on the DNA contest report have nothing to do with your actual DNA. Instead, it has to do with how your DNA is interpreted by the company delivering the results. Each of these companies uses software to compare your information to the sample populations available in their databases—how are these available sample populations structured, their availability (or lack thereof), how they relate to each other, and how the companies Opt-in to provide you with this information. . This can be demonstrated by looking at multiple tests of the same individual by different companies.
Below are examples of differences between tests on the same individual. Note the difference in population names and percentages.
There are some big differences here. The guy’s DNA definitely hasn’t changed with the test — so what? Which of these results is reliable?
Virtually 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 clients with results that accurately reflect their predecessors. Every testing agency wants to be the most accurate option. It’s just good business.
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But these companies also want to provide straightforward results that you can easily read, understand and share. For this reason, a lot of effort has gone into creating attractive layouts, easy-to-understand population groups, and maps that show you where your ancestors came from.
In support of this simplicity, the complex process of presenting genetic data must be constrained, and often excludes more detailed information that would help you better understand the results—detailed definitions of population groups, explanations for population overlap, or how the established science Calculate the percentage.
Populations are not always what they seem. When you receive the results and start looking at the percentages, it’s easy to look at the population and predict what that population will be. But you’ll need to educate yourself on this population to understand what this actually means on the test you’re taking.
The best way to do this is to read carefully the descriptions provided by the testing company to fully understand the geographic boundaries, areas included and excluded, and the people and known historical events that influenced that demographic. Some tests do a better job of providing this information than others, but they all provide some level of access to this data.
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To demonstrate how confusing populations can be and how misleading their names can be, we can look again at the three reports shown above. These tests reflect people with approximately 25% ancestry from the Netherlands (and closely related areas such as Germany, Belgium, etc.). This means that, genetically, 25% of ancestry came from that region because a grandparent and their ancestors came from that region. However, since we do not inherit exact percentages from each grandparent, the actual number may be slightly higher or lower.
25% of our ethnic makeup comes from the region. However, if you notice in the image above, none of the tests we ran showed anything close to those numbers.
The first thing we see is that the Netherlands and surrounding areas do not have their own population. They are included under different names based on testing. So we shouldn’t expect to see “Netherlands” or “Germany”. In fact, many of the sample populations we are looking for do not exist because they are not genetically distinct enough to allow for different “populations” (with our current analysis tools and sample sizes).
Genealogy DNA instead shows the Netherlands and Germany as a subcategory of Europe, labeled Western and Central Europe, and gives a percentage of 13%. This is lower than expected, but we can see that Scandinavia and the British Isles are also included. Since these two populations are much larger than we expected, we can assume that some of our Western/Central Europeans actually show up in Scandinavia and/or the British Isles. A closer look at the map reveals that the population of the British Isles slightly overlaps with our area of interest (the Netherlands).
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While this is not ideal, we must remember that many populations overlap in terms of genetic similarity. The genetic populations used to determine your percentages can be closely related and difficult to distinguish from one another.
It’s further influenced by your own unique makeup. A person of Western European, Scandinavian and British Isles ancestry may be one percent higher than the rest.
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