Posted by Anna Swayne on April 25, 2014 in AncestryDNA

In 1953 scientists shared their discovery of the double helix. In 2003 scientists completed the human genome project. Today AncestryDNA celebrates a few achievements we’ve had. And, we want to make it even easier for you to start to making a few discoveries of your own – take a DNA test.

So, what ground-breaking advancements has the AncestryDNA science team made in the last year? Let’s take a look. In the past year we have:

Expanded and updated our ethnicity regions

Only a year ago, your AncestryDNA test provided a personal ethnicity estimate based on 20 regions in the world. Now, those regions are up to 26. Our update included:

  • Detailing West Africa into 6 unique regions
  • Refining the British Isles into Ireland and Great Britain

Here is a view of the regions currently covered in the AncestryDNA test.

And we won’t stop there. One of the great advantages to AncestryDNA is, once we learn something new that will enhance your results, we pass that along to benefit everyone who has taken the test.

Identified almost 3 Million DNA Hints

AncestryDNA is the only DNA test that provides DNA hints, a unique feature that combines the power of DNA and online family trees to predict the ancestor with you share a DNA match. We’ve sent users a million DNA hints since January and that number grows every day as more and more people take the test. What is a DNA hint? Here is an example of one of my DNA hints where I connected to my mom’s 3rd cousin.

shared ancestry hint cowan

Connections have been made

Matching is happening every day and many of the stories of matching have connected families. Some of those stories went national and have been featured on programs like Katie, Piers Morgan and the Steve Harvey show.

But plenty of others took place via email, phone calls, and road trips as people connected to 2nd, 3rd and even 4th cousins they never knew they had. After matching with these cousins through AncestryDNA they have been able to swap stories, pictures, and memories with each other—linking to other individuals who have additional pieces to their family story.

You’ve told us about some of those connections, but we’d love to hear more. What discoveries have you made? Have a great story? Share it will us, we would like to feature it here on the blog. Click here to share.


Anna Swayne

Anna Swayne has 9 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.


  1. Roberta Foran

    I am trying to purchase the DNA kit as a gift, but the site will not allow me. The sale price for $79 ends at 11pm tonight, it is only 8:30 PM pst here. Help?

  2. John Vaughan

    with the new AncestryDNA test kit it only been sell in the USA, as I live in Australia we cannot get it, as it is not being sell out side of USA.

    John Vaughan

  3. Owen

    It would great if Ancestry would incorporate some of the tools of Gedmatch to actually be able to make better use of the DNA. It sucks that I have to contact people all of the time to ask them to upload their data to Gedmatch so we can see where we are matching and use that to derive the common ancestor. The hints and matches on Ancestry are okay, but not all that useful. I don’t get why they don’t have a feature to show me all of the ones that I match and who else matches the same ones I do.

  4. Catherine Costa


    If there is a better email to send this question to, please advise. I cannot find it on your website.
    I have already called and they did not have any explanation for the significant difference of results between and National Geographic Geno 2.0.

    The test I had done with did NOT show any of the 21% Northern European DNA. I think that’s a very big difference. Can you explain why the DNA study does NOT show any Northern European DNA in my study?
    Does the Nat’l Geo DNA test go further back in genetic history than the test?

    Which test do I trust?

    I am female. DNA test showed:
    Europe 82% including Italy/Greece 80%
    West Asia 17%
    Africa <1%
    National Geographic Geno 2.0 kit study showed:
    Mediterranean 57%
    Northern European 21% (“Northern European This component of your ancestry is found at highest frequency in northern European populations—people from the UK, Denmark, Finland, Russia and Germany in our reference populations. …”)
    Southwest Asian 19%

    Which test do I trust?

    Thank you for your help.

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