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New Search Features at AncestryDNA and a Sneak Peek at New Ethnicity Estimates

AncestryDNA_logo

Yesterday, AncestryDNA announced on the Ancestry.com Facebook page the launch of a long-awaited search function for surnames and locations of genetic matches.

The top bar of the AncestryDNA Member Matches section now looks like this:

AncestryDNA

Clicking in the “Search matches” box causes the box to expand and reveal the new search boxes:

AncestryDNA

 

Both seem to work well, and I suggest you use the search feature to mine your matches.  For example, I found a number of matches for several unique surnames and locations in my tree that I had missed in the flood of matches over the past six months.

New Ethnicity Estimates Coming Soon

At “The First DNA Day at the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree,” I discussed the changes to the ethnicity algorithms and reference populations that AncestryDNA was planning to implement by the end of 2013:

The ethnicity calculations at AncestryDNA are undergoing a complete overhaul and a major update will be provided to all customers later this year;

The modified ethnicity algorithm will break West African ancestry into six different populations;

The modified ethnicity algorithm will comprise 26 different regions (up from 22), and will use many, many more SNPs (AIMS) for the analysis

Over at GeekDad (see “Follow-up: AncestryDNA Sometimes Gives Surprising Results“), Jenny Williams discusses her AncestryDNA results.  Her original ethnicity results were 68% British Isles, 30% Eastern European, and 2% Uncertain.

Following these results, she scheduled a call with Ken Chahine at AncestryDNA to go over her results.  Dr. Chahine gave the author a sneak peek at her results run through the modified ethnicity algorithm, and her results were now 69% Europe West, 9% Ireland, 9% Great Britain, 5% Scandinavia, and 7% Other.

Interestingly, her “Other” percentage was actually assigned, and given the small size of these percentages it is likely that they are classified as “Other” because they are below a certain confidence threshold: Iberian Peninsula (2%), Europe South (2%), Europe East (< 1%) Ural Volga (<1%)

There is also a screencapture of the new graphics associated with the modified ethnicity algorithm, although I’m sure these will continue to be modified before the official launch.

I’m looking forward to seeing my new ethnicity percentages, and comparing them to the estimates provided by other algorithms.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

3 Comments

  1. My husband was born in 1946 and was adopted in a pre arranged adoption prior to his birth. He grew up in California and is trying to find his biological mother or father. How accurate or to what advantage would there possibly be if any, for DNA testing?

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