Posted by on March 26, 2014 in AncestryDNA

One of the great features of the AncestryDNA test is that it details your ethnic origins across 26 geographic regions around the world.

How do we do it? We’ve assembled one the of most comprehensive DNA datasets in the world, with thousands of DNA samples from people with deep roots in each of the 26 different regions. This dataset makes up what we call the “reference panel.” Each person in the reference panel is from a specific location and has a documented family tree indicating deep ancestry in a particular region. To estimate your genetic ethnicity, we compare your DNA to the DNA of the people who make up the reference panel and then upload the results to your Ancestry account.

See a few of the faces of people who define their heritage in AncestryDNA. Each of these individuals represents the past, present and future of their culture and the connection to that heritage for AncestryDNA customers.

faces of ethnicity

Here’s the most recent map of the regions available in the AncestryDNA test results.

Ethnicity-all-regions-map

There are millions of variations in your DNA that make you unique. However, since you inherit these variations from your ancestors, they are also what make DNA a powerful history tool. This allows you to discover connections to your past and learn more about the people and places in your family story. To learn more about how AncestryDNA determines genetic ethnicity click here.

This is an exciting time to be a part of DNA testing especially as we see advancements in the science and technology world that enhance the level of detail and specificity we can use to discover more of our story.

If you have taken the AncestryDNA test already, did you find out about an ethnicity you didn’t know you have? Tell us in the comments below.

If you have not taken the test yet, what are you waiting for? Order it now.

 

About Anna Swayne

Anna Swayne has 8 years of experience in the DNA genealogy world. At Ancestry, she leads efforts in developing education to help our community maximize their experience with AncestryDNA. She believes there is real power behind DNA and the story it can unlock for each of us.When she is not talking DNA you can find her hiking or cycling in the mountains or cooking at home.

13 Comments

Dolores Kinsey 

You bet I found out things from my DNA test that I didn’t know: I have a weensy bit of European Jewish as well as a lot of Scandinavian DNA (those Vikings spread their seed).

I always thought I was 1/2 German, but that area was not in my DNA. I’m wondering why my paternal ancestors who all came to the US from Germany were not German!! ‘Tis a mystery.

And, besides, on my maternal side there are American Indian ancestors, but I got none of their DNA, apparently. What a disappointment.

Dolores Kinsey

March 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm
Dolores Kinsey 

I’ve tried to send this a couple of times, but it appears that the link was not working, so here goes again:

You bet I found out things from my DNA test that I didn’t know: I have a weensy bit of European Jewish as well as a lot of Scandinavian DNA (those Vikings spread their seed).

I always thought I was 1/2 German, but that area was not in my DNA. I’m wondering why my paternal ancestors who all came to the US from Germany were not German!! ‘Tis a mystery.

And, besides, on my maternal side there are American Indian ancestors, but I got none of their DNA, apparently. What a disappointment.

Dolores Kinsey

March 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm
Richard Dale 

I’m located in Australia. I participated in the early beta release of the Ancestry DNA test where the test was mailed out to me and this worked very well.

However, the test is only now available to those living in USA.

When will the test be expanded to include non-USA? Will you consider allowing the import of Autosomal DNA test data from other testing providers such as FTDNA (which I have had to resort to since you won’t ship out to Australia).

Cheers,
Richard

March 26, 2014 at 5:33 pm
Janni 

When will the surname and location search feature be functioning in tandem again? It would be nice to have an update on what is happening with that feature.

March 26, 2014 at 9:09 pm
Adriana 

You didn’t say what your DNA admixture breakdown is, but there’s a good chance that anything being classified as western or northern European, Scandinavian, etc. is coming from your German ancestry. These regions have a lot of overlap genetically and DNA tests can’t necessarily distinguish. Strictly speaking, there’s no German ethnicity. The DNA test can only look at the markers in your DNA, compare those to sample populations, and then make an educated guess about your admixture. When you look at Scandinavia on a map, you can see why Germans and Scandinavians might be genetically similar.

March 27, 2014 at 11:16 am
William J Gagne 

In the many years that I have done research almost everything is accurate, on my fathers side all links lead back to France, all the family has been in Canada from the beginning, With one exception the test shows no Native American ties, yet I know for a fact my 2nd great grandmother was full blooded, and further back there are 2 more links, but the rest was fine, the English all came here in the great migration, with 2 even on the Mayflower and the Germans came here in the 1850′s, a little disappointed, on the one hand, but I do understand all matches don’t show up!

March 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm
Ruth Detjen 

I was surprised by the 3% from the Iberian Peninsula. Who were these people, what were their names – I have yet to find any Portuguese or Spanish in my tree.
The 13 % African was not a surprise and most percentages came from West Africa. I wonder if the Iberian genes were mixed with the African genes during the years of the slave trade .

March 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm
Culsen 

The most important thing to remember when doing DNA : your genetic lineage is NOT your paper lineage. Who you came from began thousands and thousands of years ago. My female Haplogrouping is J – so my ‘first’ mother showed up they believe 50,000 years ago. There is NO way I will ever know who she is.. just that she had children, and those children continued to populate the earth.. as well as travel the continents.

My paternal Haplogroup is I1 – considered the Stonemasons, and they are over 30,000 years old. All those that came in between the original father and my own will never be known.

Autosomally, my groupings seem to match what we see on paper going into the 1500s on some lines (english, german, norwegian and danish – those countries that kept very good church records, making it somewhat easy to track ancestors)

And always remember: our ancestors traveled. Just because they lived in Germany for 400 years, does not mean THEIR ancestors didn’t come from Asia -just as an example. They will be mixed with others in the current region, but if the DNA was there to pass down, it is what it is. One cannot change what DNA is. Get others within your family to test for a larger truer scale of WHO you are, who you all are comprised from

March 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm
Kellyanne 

It seems like every one else is having trouble showing their American Indian heritage as well. My children have native american indian blood but it doesnt show up in the tests results. Is that a flaw in the test?

March 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm
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[...] The Faces Behind AncestryDNA’s Ethnicity Regions by Anna Swayne [...]

March 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm
April 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm
Pamela 

I found out a few blood lines I was unsure of but were confirmed.
However, I am wondering about the lack of information and non information regarding my European Jewish lines that did not turn up when I know without a doubt I have several ancestors from Spain that were Conversos came to the New World and settled in what is now New Mexico in the US. My maternal line goes back to Rabbi Salomon Ha Levi?

April 4, 2014 at 7:12 pm
Melanie 

I took the test because my Dad was adopted in the 1920′s and we have no information about his birth family. Based on the test, it looks like they were at least partly Irish, as I am showing 38% Irish and there is zero Irish on my Mom’s side. On the other hand, Mom was half German and I am showing very little Western European.

April 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm