Posted by Kendall Hulet on March 28, 2017 in AncestryDNA, Website

Today, we are pleased to share the roll-out of a new beta experience for AncestryDNA that we call Genetic Communities™. Applying rigorous statistics and scientific development, we’ve created a unique experience that can connect you through your DNA to places your ancestors called home and the migration paths they followed to get there.

This new experience gives you a more detailed connection to the people, places, cultures, and stories that led to you.

Taking DNA testing to a whole new level

Genetic Communities is based on innovative new analysis techniques developed by Ancestry’s science team, that combine insights from our DNA network and our massive collection of family trees. This new approach stems from research that was made possible thanks to over a million AncestryDNA members and growing around the world who have participated in Ancestry’s ongoing scientific studies. (The science behind this feature was recently published in a recognized and prominent scientific journal, Nature Communications, linked here).

Today, over 300 Genetic Communities all around the world are available to explore, with many more on the horizon. We will compare your DNA to all of the available Genetic Communities and identify one or more community to which you have a connection based on your DNA profile. These Genetic Communities provide coverage around the globe and are often more specific than what’s possible to discover with an ethnicity estimate, thus providing a more recent and closer connection to your past.

Genetic communities_map

And, this is just the beginning. We are just scratching the surface of advancements in science and technology that will translate into faster, more insightful discoveries about who we are and where we come from. Genetic Communities is a very BIG and exciting step in this direction.

Watch this video to see why we are so excited about this new experience.

 

For people considering purchasing the AncestryDNA test, you will get access to this new feature. For existing AncestryDNA customers, we are making this beta experience available for free in your results. It doesn’t matter if you tested four years ago or if you are waiting for your results to come out of the lab, your DNA can now give you even more details about your past—and present—with Genetic Communities. While most users will get at least one Genetic Community, not everyone will at launch, but one of the great things about this product is that the more people that participate, the more Genetic Communities we will be able to discover. So as our DNA network grows, so will the number of distinct Genetic Communities we can help people learn about.

Now it’s your turn. Head to your DNA results to check out Genetic Communities for yourself. It’s possible you may not have a Genetic Community yet, but stay tuned, we are finding new Genetic Communities to share in the future. If you want to learn even more, go to our help content here.

Good luck and enjoy exploring!

Kendall Hulet

Kendall Hulet has served as our Senior Vice President of Product Management at Ancestry since March 2015. He joined the Company in 2003 has held a variety of roles in the product organization including Director of International Product Management and most recently Vice President of Product Management for AncestryDNA. During his tenure, he was deeply involved in some of the most popular innovations at Ancestry, including the “Shaky Leaf” hinting system that has delivered over five billion discoveries; the Ancestry Family Tree system that has led to the creation of over 70 million family trees containing six billion ancestors; and the creation of the award winning Ancestry mobile app, which has been downloaded more than 12 million times.

85 Comments

  1. Eralia

    I can’t wait to see how things go from here, it is pretty exciting and might help me with some brick walls. So far I two genetic communities; both from my dad’s side and what I basically know; but hoping things will expand overtime and I can learn some new things.

    My communities-
    Early Settlers of New Mexico
    Mexicans in Northwestern Michoacán

  2. Jojo

    I’ve had my DNA done years ago at 23andme. Other companies accept the raw autosomal DNA file but Ancestry does not. It would help if Ancestry would start accepting the files from others. Doing so would open up additional DNA connections for all.

  3. Katherine Beer

    Hello, I purchased an AncestryDNA kit in January that was marked as received on Jan 24th. It has now been 9 weeks and there haven’t been any updates and my kit still has not moved into lab processing. Is there any way to find out how much longer I’ll have to wait? On the other hand, the new genetic community thing sounds cool. Hopefully I won’t have to wait much longer to find out if I’m part of one.

  4. Rod

    How can you be part of someone else’s “Genetic Community” on their DNA Matches page, but not have that “Genetic Community” on your Genetic Communities list?
    According to my mother’s DNA Matches Genetic Communities, my half-brother and I are part of her “Settlers of Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts” community but neither of us have that as a Genetic Community.
    According to my father’s cousin’s DNA Matches Genetic Communities, I am part of her “Settlers of New England & The Eastern Great Lakes” community but I don’t have that as a Genetic Community.

  5. John W McDavid

    Interested in discovering Genetic Communities.
    Long aware of primary Scotch & Irish ancestry, I have recently discovered that I carry elements of Scandinavian heritage as well.

  6. James

    As someone said elsewhere how accurate is this going to be when most Ancestry.com trees are terribly inaccurate. Any serious genealogy researcher knows the site, and many public trees, are jokes.

  7. Betty Jackson

    have had my DNA done and it sais much to my very great surprise that I was almost 50% Irish and it should be Scottish…maybe this is something that will help me.

  8. Lynn

    In response to this new feature, Genetic Communities. This is my first pass, and I will investigate further tonight. I seem to have only two genetic communities that only cover only my African American heritage: Louisiana and Deep South. What happened to the 45% European genetic communities? Did they just disappear? If I am correct, I have about 3,013 DNA relatives on Ancestry. That’s 131 pages at 23 people per page. Most of these people are of European heritage, yet you assign me solely to my African American relatives (my people whom I love dearly), who amount to 331 people? And most are equally as distant in relation as my European 5th to 8th cousins. So please help me understand where are ALL of my communities, reflecting ALL my DNA, because right now Ancestry, it’s looking a little segregated.

    Best regards,

    • Jessica Latinović

      Lynn,

      It’s possible you only received the one Genetic Community as that’s where you have the strongest DNA relationship.

      The more generations that separate you from the ancestors of one of our Genetic Communities, the less likely it is that you’ll connect. It’s also more likely that you’ll connect to a population that both your parents have descended from, for example, than to a population that only one of your grandparents is from.

      We invite you to visit answers to Genetic Communities FAQs here: https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/communities

  9. ERR

    I agree 100% with Lynn. It’s not a fault of Ancestry, but it’s sad to see how racially segregated the U.S. really is when expressed through tracking genetic communities. I’m 51% African and 49% European, but the only two results I received were “African Americans in Virginia & the Deep South” (pretty much a no-brainer) and a “possible 20% chance” of “Early Settlers of the Lower Midwest & Virginia”. Again, I don’t blame Ancestry, but it’s a bit frustrating to those African Americans looking for more insight into their genetic history.

  10. Allie Moon

    Jojo, if you are still reading these comments, consider uploading your raw date to Gedmatch.com. They accept data from several labs giving you more to work with.

  11. Veronica B Vale

    I love that these “communities” are now available. Also, I wish that ancestry.com would caution their programmers in genealogy standards. I spend 1/4 of my time correcting mistakes that are either transcribers mistakes are new things that have slipped thru as in the case of the full month being carried over in records which should only be the three letter month. Hints are not refined to the one person any more. I get all kinds of people from multiple generations which makes checking and adding additionally time consuming. thanks

  12. Skip DeCoste

    I don’t think I will live long enough to see anything helpful to my search from any of the sites I belong to, including this one. I find one thing in common with most of these sites, promises and money….but, I’ll keep searching until subscriptions run out.

  13. Susan Costa

    As of today I am unable to access any of my DNA reports on my laptop. I am able to access Search, Home etc. Please let me know what I can do to remedy this. March 28

  14. Miriam Redmond

    It is a good feature. I’m part of the Munster Irish which is good because that is where my mother is from but my father’s side is all from Connacht (and has been for generations) but this doesn’t show up in my genetic community.

    • Jessica Latinović

      Miriam, We assign you to Genetic Communities™ based on your DNA matches and you’ll only connect to the Genetic Communities where you have a strong DNA relationship.

      So, the more generations that separate you from the ancestors of one of our Genetic Communities, the less likely it is that you’ll connect. It’s also more likely that you’ll connect to a population that both your parents have descended from, for example, than to a population that only one of your grandparents is from.

  15. Ancestry quote: “…you’ll only connect to the Genetic Communities where you have a strong DNA relationship.” Then, please explain why my half siblings (we share our Mother, who is Irish on her paternal and maternal sides; their father is Polish on maternal/paternal sides; my father is Irish on maternal/paternal sides) AS WELL AS all my 1-2 cousins, and my closest third cousins and fourth cousins, who are almost exclusively maternal matches, are NOT in my genetic community? In fact, my closest DNA matches are my daughter, three third cousins (out of six), 24 fourth cousins (out of 79) and the rest are distant matches (57 matches total). I have, out of these 57 matches, many matches with no trees. But I have identified *for certain* only three maternal matches out of the three categories left as closest DNA matches (my daughter, third, and fourth cousins). Of the “closest DNA matches” you supposedly used, twelve of them in my DNA matches, all maternal, are missing compared with only two paternal matches missing (a third and fourth cousin).

    I’d also like to point out that my half-siblings and I are in different genetic communities: I am Connacht Irish (reflected in my paper tree from my paternal family) and they are in the Ulster Irish community (reflected in the paper tree for our Mother; they are also in the Poles in Pomerania community, which would be from their father) …interesting because we all share the same maternal DNA matches! So…I have recombined Connacht DNA?!? and they have recombined Ulster DNA?!? even though all our maternal DNA matches here on Ancestry are exactly the same folk???

    So am I to determine from this that because there are overlapping surnames in BOTH these communities, as reflected in my family tree (ie, maternal Duffy and Kelly as well as paternal Duffy and Kelly), this is what placed me within the Connacht community? :sigh:

    In any case… I am disappointed. I assumed that by closest DNA matches, I would find my actual blood family in my community. I don’t. Not any of them, with the exception of my daughter (who is in three communities, reflecting her shared DNA between me and her father). As an adoptee, all this has done is confuse the search issue. Thank goodness, I’ve found everyone before this tool was put in place!

    And you know what they say: there’s lies, damn lies, and statistics… 😉

    Laura.

    • Jessica Latinović

      Laura,

      You’re assigned to Genetic Communities™ based on your DNA matches. While your close family members will match many of the same people you do, because genetic inheritance is random, there will be some differences in whom you match and how strong those matches are. That’s why you may not share all the same Genetic Communities. For example, if you have parents from different Genetic Communities, their connection to those Genetic Communities will likely be stronger than your connection because they’re a generation closer to the ancestors of the Genetic Community. Or maybe you didn’t inherit enough segments of the DNA that connect one of your parents to a Genetic Community, so you aren’t assigned to that Genetic Community.

      Learn more about how we make assignments to Genetic Communities: https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/communities/assigned-community.

      Additionally, As the AncestryDNA database grows and we develop new ways of examining genetic data, we’ll discover new Genetic Communities™ and can further refine our estimates of which Genetic Communities you might belong to.

      You can find additional answers to Genetic Communities FAQs here: https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/communities

  16. Morganfell

    Jojo said,

    “It would help if Ancestry would start accepting the files from others. ”

    Then they would not make money off of you. That is the entire point. They cut every corner. It is why they oversell their ability to handle the current DNA load. They told me my DNA test would be delayed and stated “You should soon receive an email notifying you that your DNA sample is in its final stages of processing. From the time of that email, it should only take about 2-4 weeks until processing is complete.” I find this time extension unacceptable. They are giving me a mythical time. “2 – 4 weeks after the email.” When does the email arrive? Soon? Define soon. 1 month? 2 months? 3? Then they closed down the forums because people are complaining. When was the last time you saw a customer service contact for these people. They are advertising a service they cannot fulfill in any timely manner and they are minimally staffed in order to squeeze every penny free. They are no about to let you import a DNA test regardless of it’s origin.

  17. J Johnson

    I sent in my DNA test in January, and it was received on February 1, 2017. Today marks 8 weeks since Ancestry has received my test, and as of today, online my test still is in the status of “arrived”, and not processing. A few of my friends sent in their test the same day as I did, and they received their results a week ago. Can I please receive a timeframe on when I can expect my results? I called the customer service number and was advised that there is not a timeframe. However it is frustrating that others have mailed in their testing kit the same day as mine or after mine, and they have already gotten their results.

  18. JONATHAN SOTO

    The old platform allowed you to share by email or Facebook right from the DNA page but the new platform does not. Will that option come back? Also, it used to allow printing of the DNA results and now it does not. Will that come back? The results for my 80 year old father’s DNA kit was made available Monday and I was able to print out the results as well as information from each region but then the results for my mother’s kit came on Tuesday and I can’t print anything or do a simple share to my siblings.

  19. Jojo

    @ Allie Moon & Morganfell

    I have my DNA uploaded to GEDMatch, FTDNA, MyHeritage and 23andme. I would be happy to upload it to Ancestry for the possibility of additional matches from people who are not on the other systems.

    But I am not going to pay to get a whole new test done by Ancestry (actually whomever they outsource the task to). I “might” be willing to consider an “upload fee” of say $20 if Ancestry wants to make a few more pennies of revenue. Of course, I would need to be able to access the results and to contact matches by email.

    Are you listening Ancestry?

  20. Enrique Legaspi

    Looking forward to ancestry.com accepting DNA raw data from others. This will enrich the database and enhance everyones search for its history.

  21. Chuck Crannell

    I found it interesting that my genetic communities were generally more accurate than my ethnicity estimate. Of course the former is based off trees, too. My tree is heavily researched, so the fun graphics just put it in pictorial form. It’s a cool tool, much I much wish for a chromosome browser. Please?!

    • Jessica Latinović

      Chuck, Genetic Communities takes into consideration what you’ve inherited more recently, where as your ethnicity estimate traces what you’ve inherited up to 500-1000 years. If you have questions about Genetic Communities, we invite you to visit answers to FAQ’s: https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/communities

      We’re glad you like the new visualization and hope you continue exploring the new experience and providing us with your feedback, we greatly appreciate it!

  22. Dana Fortuna

    I appreciate the fact that a BETA release of the new “Genetic Communities” feature, along with a newer looking user interface, has taken a lot of work to develop. This blog post and the YouTube video Ancestry.com has published, refer to the RESEARCH that has been conducted in developing these Genetic Communities.

    I have concerns/ questions as to why one particular group, in Louisiana, are being labeled as “African Americans in Cajun Country”. I feel this completely ignores the documented history of the Louisiana Territory, and promotes the “Cajunization” of history in the region.

    The facts are that France explored the territory in 1682 and by 1699 started establishing the first settlements. In 1710, the first African Slaves were brought to the territory. Many families today, can trace or know our family oral histories, that tie us to the original settlements in what are now known as Biloxi, MS and Mobile, AL. Our family histories, span the transition & move westward… to establish the settlements in New Orleans, LA and surrounding areas throughout the region. Although Creole does not identify a color/ creed/ race, it does identify a culture. That culture was alive an well, from the establishment of the colony settlements in the territory.

    Approximately 53 years following the arrival of the first slaves, in 1763 the Treaty of Paris was signed (following the Seven Years’ War). The lands east of the Mississippi were then transferred to Great Britain, while the land immediately west (New Orleans & surrounding areas of Louisiana) were transferred to Spain. After the Treaty, the British drove the Acadians out of Nova Scotia. The Acadians struggled to find “friendly shores”. Again and again, they were turned away. In 1764, the first Acadians started to arrive in Louisiana.

    These Acadians arrived 65 years after the first French settlers and 54 years after the first African Slaves. Referring to their descendants as “African Americans” in Louisiana “Cajun Country” is CULTURALLY OFFENSIVE on 2 notes: 1) We are not “African Americans” and 2) It is not “Cajun Country”. The label is truly Historically & Culturally Insensitive. I would appreciate if Ancestry.com would take pause, in this BETA Phase, to review some of the titles and hypertext/ script, that pops up when you hover over this Genetic Community.

    Your Creole history, culture, and especially our language are on the brink of disappearing. We don’t need Ancestry.com to create labels that contribute to that loss.

    Disappointedly,
    Dana

    PS I have Acadian roots as well. So please know I have DEEP and EQUAL respect for all the cultures that have contributed to the beautiful gumbo pot of culture of the Louisiana region. Those extended cultural roots span so many countries across the globe!

  23. Anne Reeves

    So far this so called new feature Genetic Communities has shown me, at least, absolutely nothing I hadn’t already uncovered by careful research (and the purchase of many vital records).

    Many of my “genetic” matches as per the DNA Matches lists are not included, even though they – apparently – share larger segments of DNA with me than a goodly number of those in my “Genetic Community.” This surely indicates that once again and, as problematically, as has been pointed out in an earlier post, this “new” feature seems to rely heavily (though not entirely) on one’s matches members’ trees, which is dubious given how many trees are unreliable.

    Given that the comparison groups which Ancestry uses for its Ethnicity determination are so small, and apparently weighted towards some ethnic groups rather than others (the comparison groups for the countries of Africa – a) heavily biased toward West African countries and b) miniscule in number: e.g. Mali 16, North Africa (as a whole) 26; the comparison group for their Great Britain “ethnicity” purpose is 111 as compared to the one for the Ireland at 138; Europe West is 166; Europe East 432; European Jews 189). These numbers bare little or no relationship to the size of the populations of the various regions chosen to represent “ethnic groups.” Yet we are supposed to accept that the ethnicity readings have any relationship to historical reality.

    So which programme are we to believe as more likely accurate? The DNA Matches? Or the Genetic Communities? (Not to mention the so-called DNA circles/New Ancestry business.)

  24. TS

    Is there a way to be able to sort through my DNA Relatives’ Genetic Communities for GCs I’m not actually listed as being part of myself? For example, I want to be able to find which DNA Relatives are in African Caribbeans, but because AncestryDNA doesn’t think I belong in that GC, it won’t let me sort by that GC. Can Ancestry expand the drop-down menu that allows DNA Relatives to be sorted to allow you to sort by all the GCs?

    • Jessica Latinović

      This is a great suggestion which we’ll pass along to our product team, thank you!

  25. CMcGuinness

    I actually like this idea. Over time, I think ancestry will be able to become more accurate with these groups. I can imagine it being extremely complicated. I have New England colonial genealogy as well as Irish from different areas of Ireland, some Scottish, and also recent immigrant English from Lancashire and West Yorkshire. One thing I have noticed about my DNA matches—many have early southern roots (Virginia, Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, etc.) I have also noticed many Utah roots. I can imagine it can be very confusing, because some people, who have immigrated to the south and New England are also from the same areas my recent Lancashire and Yorkshire ancestors came from (one side of my family immigrated in the 1890s and early 1900s from those area). I also see similar surnames from my colonial New England ancestors in the southern trees. Perhaps some of these extended families immigrated to Virginia instead of New England. I have a few Scottish in my tree as well, who settled in New England. Many Scottish settled in the south. Perhaps these people are related to my Scottish. As for the native Irish, they have me in the right genetic community, but i still have unknowns. Some may have come from the Ulster area and Cork area. I have some mysteries in my tree. The more ancestry.com studies and researches–the better they will get a tighter result in these groups. It is complicated. US citizens, in particular, are a very mixed group. I have many black and white cousins in the south. I find this extremely interesting. We are so connected–more than we know. I’ve learned so much.

  26. RBR NJ / NM

    Received results a couple of months ago, have not replied as I wanted to verify the results. For some reason “Ancestry DNA” wants to put me and my family in the English Isles. Both of my parents are German with a well documented heritage ( in the Elberfeld and Cloppenburg area). Have been to the family farm and families are German; not English, Irish, nor Scottish. Only family members to put to sea… where my parents. Admittingly there is the possibility of some wayward Viking from Denmark my have passed thru Niedersachsen; but that does not have me nor my family background concentrated in the Isles. Looks like there is an error.

    • Jessica Latinović

      DNA can often reveal unexpected results and despite your traditional research, it sounds like you inherited some English ancestry. If it’s not possible to test one of your parents, can you test a cousin from either side to help confirm this mystery?

      Remember, AncestryDNA shows what you’ve inherited from your ancestors going back 500-1000 years whereas, Genetic Communities shows what you’ve inherited from more recent generations. If you have more questions about Genetic Communities, visit answers to frequently asked questions here: https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/communities

      Thank you for your feedback. It does help us improve the beta feature for you and other users so please keep it coming!

  27. John

    With this new DNA update, I am no longer able to share ethnicity results for people that I admin their DNA test. The share button is missing on their Genetic Ancestry page. Anyone else having this problem?

    • Jessica Latinović

      John, There is not currently an option to share the Genetic Communities for the tests you administer, only the option to share your own Genetic Communities.

  28. Donna

    I was very eager to look into my two Genetic Communities, but it just won’t load. It’s the same for all the kits I Admin. Any advice, Ancestry?

    • Jessica Latinović

      Donna, We have heard a few reports from other users similar to this which was solved by them refreshing their browser. After trying this, let us know if it still isn’t loading for you and we’ll troubleshoot further.

  29. Sue L.

    Like a previous comment, we submitted our tests and tracked them as received on January 23rd. Still no results. What can we do to find out the status? I’m gone from being very excited about the whole process to being very disappointed!

  30. Rebecca

    Pam, do you respond to other testers who try to contact you and ask for information from your ‘private’ tree? I hope so, for if you do not, then how will you or another member benefit from your test?

  31. WPDjr

    I HATE the new website. Both my wife and I did our DNA testing as Christmas presents. I got my results back using the old website, and was able to get a 28 page Ethnicity Estimate report that not only showed my genetic details, but also got a “history lesson” regarding population migration in the areas of which I have genetic background, and how my ancestors may have come from those areas. My wife’s results came back, and 1) the map won’t load in Chrome, but will in Safari, and 2), there is no where to run the report to get a print out of our results; percentages, and the “history” of the genetic areas. I don’t have a need to “connect” with people; I have a pretty extensive family tree already recorded, and can do traces as needed. However, I have no desire to join a “community” and get sucked into discussion after discussion. I do this for fun…as a hobby, as time permits. Does anyone know if the “simplicity” of being able to print a report of mine and my wife’s DNA report/ethnicity estimate is going to become part of this new “roll-out?”

  32. Mary Hooke

    Extremely disappointing. Have actual birth certificates for relatives in France and Germany, yet no mention of them in my DNA. Also no pie chart, just vague reference to other? Waste of money!

    • Jessica Latinović

      Mary, We assign you to Genetic Communities™ based on your DNA matches with your stronger DNA relationships being assigned a Genetic Community. So, the more generations that separate you from the ancestors of one of our Genetic Communities, the less likely it is that you’ll connect.

      We hope that answers your concerns. If you have any further questions, we invite you to visit our FAQ’s here: https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/communities

  33. Pattie Kelley Fuller

    Purchased this product for my son as a Christmas gift. I understand that we should have expected the results in 6 to 8 weeks. We are in excess of 12 weeks and have absolutely no idea when to expect the results, nor any communication that it is taking significant longer.

  34. mdb kelly

    Now with your new graphics I have lost the ability to see maps of genetic area’s. I was planning on printing out for the 7 DNA kits gifts I purchased. I upgraded Safari, still didn’t work. Cannot afford newer computer. Your “improvement” really messed me up. Very unhappy with ancestry for changing this!!!!!!

  35. John

    @Jessica Latinović – Thanks for responding to my question, but could you elaborate a little more? You wrote… “There is not currently an option to share the Genetic Communities for the tests you administer.” My question is for ethnicity results, not Genetic Communities. We had the option before this new update of sharing ethnicity results for all the tests we administer, now you’re saying that option has been removed as well??? That doesn’t make sense. Why would ancestry all the sudden, make ethnicity results unavailable for these people? If this is indeed correct, there needs to be an explanation given to us.

  36. LSW

    I’m probably the only person with Asian ancestry in this comment section with a complaint – European-ancestry users, this is going to sound like not a big deal so please don’t mind me. Will the researchers at 23andme please revisit the labeling of the Korean/Japanese genetic makeup? For some reason, whenever a Korean takes this DNA test, they get huge chunks of Japanese in their makeup (some as high as 30%) when every single one of their ancestors have resided in the country for hundreds of years with no Japanese invader or pirate ever marrying into their family. There are even a few posts on the internet where a Korean person revealed their supposed and puzzling ‘Japanese’ ancestry because of the test they took from 23andme and wondering how the heck that happened. It is well documented in both country’s ancient records and supported by old cranial evidence from the time period that hundreds of thousands of people from Baekje (ancient Korean country) migrated to Japan and mixed with the original Jomon people. Actually, there were several of these migrations. Then again during Hirohito’s invasion via sea to Korea, they abducted thousands of Korean peasants and laborers and took them back to Japan. We do not know if there had ever been a migration of mass scale from Japan to Korea. Even Japanese Emperor Akihito admitted his royal line having some Korean ancestry.. I don’t want to assume this, but did they takes hundreds of samples from Japan first, marked that ‘purely’ Japanese, then took a paltry sum of 70-something samples from Korea and came up with the report that Koreans carry Japanese DNA? The two countries do share very similar DNA due to a common ancestor, and again, because of close proximity to each other and migrations from the mainland to the island – can 23andMe at least revisit the labeling of their similar DNA markers? The same way they labeled similar ‘British/Irish Isles’ DNA strands? Currently, they don’t distinguish between British Island and Irish DNA in the reports.. And now with ‘Genetic Communities’ available, we really, really have to take it with a grain of salt, or just not trust it. The Asian DNA pool needs a little more work I think to better match the quality and sample numbers in the European pool. Thanks!

  37. Edward Szynaka

    Drop O’Reilly. I have spent thousands of dollars with you. You are better than O’Reilly.

  38. Joyce barron

    I see that this update does not address some of my ongoing concerns with ancestry.com in general. It seems as though the designers have a narrow ethnic focus on how things are designed. Here are some things in my tree that are not addressed. My father’s family is one of the ancient families in northern Slovakia, with 2 predominant surnames that changed spelling due to the powers that be at different times. The phonetic matching is horrible and obviously based on names of English language origin. My mother is of Ashkenazi Jewish origin in Poland on her mother’s side. Individuals could be known by multiple names for different reasons. It would be helpful to be able to list these as separate entities that are linked. I am finding immigration records for both groups to be of very poor quality in linking. I know that both sides immigrated to certain areas where many related people are located but I dont see these groups in the picture here. On my husbands tree, he has a combination of mayflower, native American and Mexican heritage. I do not see the reflection of native Americans migrating west. His Green ancestors had close ties to the Wyandotte nation and some moved west with them. The Wyandotte were very helpful to the lds migration and i am disappointed that there is no better way of tracking tribes. Some of the cultures practiced polygamy at one time or another and the hints do not deal well with this. On the Mexican side of things the rules for surname assignment are completely different yet the search engines and form hints don’t recognize that. I don’t see any genetic communities in the Oklahoma and Texas regions. His maternal and paternal ancestors were early settlers and were prolific parents. Ive listed over a thousand ancestors limiting to a narrow criteria. I would love to see a more global focus before paying for the testing

  39. mlsdavis

    Like Lynn, I’ve been assigned two African American genetic communities, but none reflecting my European heritage (in my case, 30%). But what makes absolutely no sense to me is that there are Caucasian DNA matches in my African American communities. (I suspect they aren’t actually assigned to those communities, or there would have been comments here about that!) But why haven’t I been assigned to one or more of the communities where THOSE matches have been placed, since we obviously share genetic ancestry? Another oddity is that I have several DNA matches descended from my great grandmother who, along with her parents, was born in Virginia. I also have two matches descended from one of her sisters. The two descended from her sister share both of my genetic communities, but the group descended from my own great grandmother, and therefore more closely related to me, share only one of these communities– the one from the Deep South, but NOT the one that includes Virginia, where our common enslaved ancestors (and a few generations of one line of their Caucasian ancestors– for whom I have ample DNA matches) lived. How is that possible?

  40. Caroline

    My mom showed mexico, Baja and southern California in communities but I had none of these in my communities

  41. Linda Missler

    Not seeing Alaska on the map above, nor in the tweet map posted today. Did I miss it completely?

  42. Pat Secord

    I’m confused about my Irish percentage. Ethnicity came back 41% Irish, and I have a Genetic Community in the Cork area. I have several ancestors from Scotland (one from the Orkney Islands), and quite a few from England. I realize that years ago, that area was all considered the same, but I guess because it’s labeled “Irish” has me wondering.

  43. Kathy Williamson

    I agree with JoJo from March 28th. I just got off the phone with Ancestry.Com’s customer service. The only thing Ancestry sells for DNA is the Autosomal kits, that is it. In my opinion it is inferior to the Y-DNA & Mitochondrial DNA tests they use to sell. So I have DNA results done with Family Tree Co. that I wanted to add to the Ancestry database to broaden my connections. Nope Ancestry will no longer add other companies results to their database for a fee. This is a disservice to people like me and those who have their results already with Ancestry who promoted years ago to service their DNA database & increase a customer’s matches. It appears Ancestry is trying to limit servicing their database but happy to sell the autosomal kits. I have been an Ancestry member over 15 years & very disappointed in paths they are following with DNA and the family tree software. I hope someone there gets involved.

  44. In case you are concerned in own family records and need to fit your self with different circle of relatives bushes to find special ancestors and own family people, a take a look at of your mitochondrial can be a beneficial tool. It can be first-rate if you have a brother and he also can have the y finished. Y is going from father to son handiest. Mitochondrial goes from mom to both little children but simplest the daughters pass it on to their children.

  45. Jeannie

    Very disappointed with the new genetic communities interface. Before the interface change, I was able to print the entire ethnicity report and now that function has disappeared.
    When I called Ancestry support, they said they were working on a printer friendly version. They should have made sure that the new interface had a printer friendly version before switching over. If you spend that much money on the test, you should at least be able to print a nice looking ethnicity report. How long will it take Ancestry to create a printer friendly version?

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Jeannie: Unfortunately we don’t have a time frame for when this will work again and we are sorry for any frustration caused but there is a workaround to this issue. When you go to Genetic Ancestry, the URL should look like this: https://www.ancestry.com/…/xxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx…. To get to the old version of the Ethnicity Estimate page, please change “origins” in the URL to “ethnicity” and the print option will be in the top right corner of the page.

  46. Andrew Emilio Colangeli

    I like that you folks are trying some innovative approaches to genetic genealogy, I really do – the genetic communities, the DNA circles, they’re all the beginnings of good ideas. But I (and so many others; I’m sure you’ve noticed) can’t stress enough that you need to add a chromosome browser at the very least. The tools your DNA service offers at the moment are a combination of fluff and a tap on the well of your users’ contributions, which are, to put it lightly, of wildly differing levels of accuracy. With the right tools in place, people would be able to use their DNA’s full potential, which is to confirm their relationships and ancestors and aid tremendously in finding new leads and connections. Your approach right now completely throws that away in favor of this weird, backwards model of “this user you match put this in their tree, so there you go, that’s what’s up”.

    Not only are people’s trees so often wrong, but often your own algorithms seem off for some of these tools. There are two fellows in my DNA circles list who are treated practically as confirmed ancestors of mine because they are in my tree, when they are only in there because they are married to, respectively, my 3rd great-grandaunt Julia and her daughter. Despite Julia’s parents (my 4th great-grandparents) having their own circles, these are separate because those actual common ancestors are not in my matches’ trees, which is translating as false information that you are presenting to me as true, which is half of the problem. The other half of it is the lack of means you provide to let me look into it myself. There’s good news – solve that half, and you’ve taken care of the other as well. I may know what’s up there, with those misplaced circles, but what about the folks on the other side? What about maybe some different sets of ‘ancestors’ I’m being shown, where I don’t know what’s up? Or anyone else? Never mind that the number of members in each circle for the real ancestors is totally different, too (13 versus 8). The obvious thing to do would be to actually provide the means to display the information you use to determine those relationships (the matching segments’ start and end points on the chromosomes) and let people easily look into these things for themselves.

    There is no reason why your product can’t be the most powerful out there – the ability to see so many leads and easily contact users and / or at least see what they have researched so far would be amazing if only it were an add-on onto a basic functioning system for actually analyzing the results. What possible reason is there for not having this? It’s the single most requested item from your customers. Why you opt instead for misusing the power of your brand recognition and squandering the largest DNA matching database is beyond me. Something as cool as these new genetic communities, powered by such a large volume and wide-cast net, should be something that should have been building off of a strong foundation – different segments showing up as and mapping to the different communities and to our ancestors directly, and could be working towards having something that’s actually working towards something factually accurate. Instead, it’s a toy that leaves many wanting to rip their hair out when they see that’s all you’ve been working on.

    I’ve been using DNA to make so many amazing discoveries and meaningful connections over the past few years, everything from breaking down brick walls in my own lineage and others’, to helping adoptees, to stumbling onto long-kept secrets the past surely thought wouldn’t see the light of day. How many were made with your service?

    Not one.

    As it turns out, the fact that certain matches and potential leads tested with your company instead of a different one, like FamilyTreeDNA, often turns out to be one of the biggest obstacles I face on a regular basis. It pains me to do it, but I have to turn people away when from Ancestry when they ask me what DNA test is a good one to take. It makes zero sense that your business model and approach to all of this is one that has people clamoring to get people to leave your site for another, like GEDmatch, all the time or has them sit back and accept what you tell them their DNA tells them (which is actually only what others’ trees tell you). It’s a concrete science turned side show.

    Seriously, guys. What are you doing?

  47. MRobertson

    I realize these genetic communities are new, but pretty useless so far. Said I was part of Early Settlers of Eastern North Carolina, which I could have told you by simply walking over to the nearby cemeteries and a vital records search. What I am most interested in is where my ancestors come from before sailing (or in some cases, being shipped to) the American Colonies. I have a paper trail for my maternal line straight back to Scotland, but AncestryDNA logs my Mom as 45% Ireland and 45% Great Britain. Why can’t they have a Scottish group? (I feel like one of their commercials, where I’ve been celebrating a Scottish heritage Ancestry says we do not have, except we have family bibles, records for it, etc.) I wish they had more precise base samples for earlier populations to tease out the Irish/Scottish and Scottish/Great Britain, rather than just lumping us all together. My Mom’s DNA got 6 communities, whereas I only got 2. Hopefully will continue to improve. Btw, I agree with the comments above that most people’s trees are crap. Important to do your own research and refrain from just copying. (lots of 8 year old Moms out there! MyHeritage spits those out. Ancestry should do that too, to help people be more accurate.)

  48. Ani

    DNA Communities are great, but when is Ancestry going to see to the fact that users can not upload iPhone photos via the app with out receiving error messages and time outs. Basic technological innovations such as the ability to upload a single iPhone photo to one’s Tree via the app, should be addressed. I would have welcomed that with more passion than knowing where my DNA is deriving from. It would certainly benefit my research more profoundly if I could access clipping. The Public Member Shared Photo Collection is of more use to users looking for families they may match, than finding out where one’s DNA may be hailing from in a wide geographic area. User’s inability to upload iPhone photos to galleries hobbles that Ancestry data collection. It is far easier to snap a picture of a photo, newspaper clipping or document via a quick iPhone picture than it is to scan those forms of media.

  49. Jeannie

    Ancestry, thank you for your reply and for providing me with a “workaround” to the printing issue of the DNA reports. I’m so excited to be able to print my entire DNA report. Again, thank you!

  50. I took a look at all mine & my husband’s Circles and Beta information today and was shocked to see all the misinformation. Not in just one but in most of them. Ancestry really needs to educate people to understand that everything they see out there is not always correct – that documentation is not the fact that it was found in another person’s tree. I love the idea of Circles and Ancestry has the best DNA data base out there by far (or so I tell everyone) but I am shocked at all the incorrect information in the Beta files. It shows one of my ancestor had 20 children which they did not and almost all show to have other children outside of their marriage. I believe this is due to the fact it is grouping the information that people are entering – I notice that some people don’t know a parent, but enter a child, and some enter the same child twice making it look like there are more children or children outside a marriage. The people in charge of this program need to take a close look at the information being gathered that is driving this program. I just would like to see more accurate information in this program – something that has been verified as correct. I would love to see Ancestry put together a section about documentation and how to make sure your ancestors are really yours.

  51. Joyce Chandler

    My brother did this test and sent one to my father. I was deeply unimpressed. There is no breakdown of results, and the ‘results’ are incredibly vague. Europe West is a huge region, as is Scandinavia. If your ‘test’ wanted to surprise me by announcing that I am a white woman, whew! Am I surprised.

  52. Jessica,
    Congratulations on the launch of Genetic Communities which for me was spot on, pinpointing my Communities to Co. Galway.
    Is is possible to get some stats on the number of members with 95%+ Irish Ancestry and is there a representative Genetic community for every county in Ireland.
    Can we determine which Provinces / Counties have the most “native” versus inward migration Communities. I would suspect it would be Connacht, Munster, Ulster (Gaelic), Leinster, Ulster (Planter) in that order as suggested by other studies but would like to get confirmation from AncestryDNA given the large cohort. Can I contact some in the scientific team behind the white paper for more detailed analysis.

  53. jeff

    It would be of great help for Ancestry to allow users to pick 2 or more different people and then look at there shared DNA matches. This would not be hard to do, but would help narrowing searches.

  54. Richard

    Whichever UX expert(s) you hired should be fired. Having removed basic features like printing a full DNA Ethnicity Profile you have now rendered Ancestry useless and I would suspect you will loose quite a lot of business as a result! Or perhaps that was the intention in order to monetise people even more. Personally I will no longer recommend Ancestry to anyone. And yes I am a UX expert with a PhD in that area and work for companies like yours and know how you make decisions behind the scenes. It will cost you in the end…

  55. Mercedes

    I took the DNA test for only one reason- to try to find out what country my father’s family came from. I knew I was Eastern European and Irish from my mother and my father’s mother but even working with a third cousin on my father’s side could not find any records indicating where this side of the family came from. We did find a 2xgreat-grandmother whose paternal ancestors came over on the Mayflower and whose maternal ancestors were Dutch Quakers. Neither of those ethnic groups showed up in my DNA. My other major group was Scandinavian. Another family member on my father’s side had his DNA show up Scandinavian even though his father’s mother was German – no German in his DNA. Starting to think this stuff is all hookum

  56. Greg

    All a bit underwhelming. Despite me being 60% Brtish and 30% Irish I have not been assigned a community. The DNA testing did not tell me anything i didn’t know, apart from one match.

  57. Frank

    I know much of this is Beta, but I’m concerned about Ancestry’s presentation of inaccurate or erroneous info from two sources. First, in the Genetic Communities, obvious problems exist in both your algorithm and the description of the categories. You’ve identified me as having an enormous percentage of Scandinavian ancestry, when in fact I have only a tiny percentage from Scandinavia as you define it geographically. But if you expand that circle to encompass parts of Europe colonized by the Vikings and possibly the Anglo-Saxons, this would make sense. My people are from York, Belfast, East Anglia and Frisia, but mostly not from Scandinavia within the last 1,000 years.
    The Second and more serious problem is that your DNA Circles relies heavily on User-generated information about these supposed ancestors, even when some of it is absurdly false. David Taylor who died in 1788 cannot be the father of Cornelius Taylor who was born in the 1790s, regardless of how many researchers include such nonsense in their trees, that they’ve unwittingly copied from copies of a debunked by widely disseminated print publication from several years ago. Similarly, Mary Ann Henderson, whose family is from Europe, cannot have been born in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, in 1738 because there were only Native Americans living there then and for the following half century. I have a very different Mary at this position in my tree, but your DNA circles tells me that she’s my ancestor. Worse, you include a biography for this possibly fictitious person made up of material from multiple researchers. Please work on this. Also consider a button that would allow us to contact everyone in our circle simultaneously to alert them to documentation that contradicts info in many people’s trees. Erroneous family histories spread like wildfire on the Internet beginning in the 1990s and many of those old errors, while known by experienced researchers focusing on that family to be errors, continue to be spread by researchers new to those branches of their tree who are just happy to have any information. Consider additional tools to help researchers to coordinate efforts to refute or at least challenge questionable facts and work together toward clarification. Also, perhaps an alarm can go off when someone lists a parent who died too early for the child or is too young to have had children at that time? These things would help a lot. Block people from sharing information that’s obviously wrong.

  58. Justine Harvey

    As yet, I do not have a Genetic Community, despite my mother & sister having multiple – will Ancestry continue to update results as more Genetic Communities are created, or is this it?

  59. Ryan B

    I am a tad confused with the results I received. We know my traceable family to be from Norway and Portugal. I received both as my genetic communities, yet in my ethnic breakdown I am 0% Scandinavian and 0% Iberian? How am I neither of those things in the ethnic breakdown, yet they are my genetic communities, and we have family records from both nations?

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Ryan: Thanks for contacting us in relation to this. There are a few differences between your ethnicity estimate and the genetic communities and we have attached a link to an article here that we hope can be helpful in explaining this: https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/ka215000000U0DJAA0/genetic-communities. We create your genetic ethnicity estimate by comparing your DNA to the DNA of people in our reference panel. The AncestryDNA reference panel contains 3,000 DNA samples from people in 26 global regions which go back up to 10 generations. The test goes back 500-1000 years. We would also note that Ethnicity does not necessarily respect National boundaries so it is not possible in all cases to distinguish between certain countries (England, Scotland and Wales for example). If you click on the region in your DNA results it will also show you more information here.
      We attached a link to an article here that explains more: http://ancstry.me/1On7OIu. We also have a number of helpful articles available from the DNA results page. These can be accessed by clicking on the question mark icon located in the top right of either of your results pages. We hope you will find these helpful.

  60. Justen LaPlante

    When will you be getting information about communities in France and Spain? I notice there are big gaps in data concerning communities there. I felt like the Western European section didn’t go into enough detail for me.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Justen: We have attached a link to an article here with some more information about the genetic communities: https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/ka215000000U0DJAA0/genetic-communities. We expect our customers to get updates from AncestryDNA over time. As more people join AncestryDNA, new, and possibly more specific, communities will be identified. We anticipate that this will mean updates, more communities, and more information for you about the people you connect to.

  61. Patricia Richardson

    One of my genetic commmunities is the Delaware River Valley of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. However, the input from Ancestry is for the Chesapeake area, a Southern rather than a Middle Atlantic State region. I have been receiving more that 3/4 of my choices persons with no DNA match for me and 98% Southerners. I have no southern ancestry. Meanwhile, none of my Swedish, Finnish, German, Dutch and English ancestors from the Delaware River Valley show as matches. Even searching for particular names is not helpful. Also, the Derry/Ulster combination was incorrect. Derry is a county and Ulster one of the the three provinces. Also, same problem with matches. As Ancestry is presently of little or no use to me, I think I should consider putting my nine administrated DNAs on hold and pick up my membership at a later date when these problems are connected. Presently, I’m paying just to visit and search outside my genetic communities and receiving relatively few DNA matches. Even the matches which aren’t with my DNAs have no matching names. Patricia Richardson

  62. Patricia Richardson

    Someone with a firm grasp of geography needs to work out the geographic and historic input for the genetic communities. Philadelphia had nothing to do with the Chesapeake Bay area. Derry is in Ulster. This left out a large portion of Ireland, including my ancestral home in Donegal. Patricia Richardson

  63. Ani

    Like others, I wish Ancestry would go back to accepting raw scores from other companies as Gedmatch, and Family Tree DNA do. It would only strengthen it’s pool and help lead to more user discoveries. It would be great if one received two side by side maps. In my case, the Manchester Irish map is so obscured by circles that that I can barely make out the geographic locations they lay within. I had to pull up a map from another site and hold them side by side to figure out which towns the circles were in. Side by side maps, one with highlighting circles and one with actual geographic locations would be helpful. Can someone explain what the difference between the large and small circles imposed on the map connote? I assume they are the particular hot spots in that Genetic Community, where that DNA is found, but beneath them on my map there are only few smaller circles? Where else where on the map the small circles are compIetly connected. I have no idea what this means. I would think they should be superimposed above the *hottest spots,* yet on my map they aren’t. Additionally, like others I don’t think they should be based in any part on other Ancestry users trees, as frequently trees are off. They should only be based on the DNA samples you gather. Anything less is fortune teller science. I wish Ancestry would spend as much time as they spent on developing this feature cool as it is, fixing some of the design woes brought on by the launch of “New Ancestry” like reducing the borders around photos so users could put pictures directly side by side for photo comparison, rather than have several inches of boarder around the image, that obstruct that process. And give users the ability to turn off overlays above records so one could view census records w/o any over lays on top of them such as the page guides, indexes, sources, etc. Sometimes I just want to look at the page w/o any overlaying obstruction. Getting rid of all the extra clicking on things one now has to do would also be a plus. Why can’t one simply click on a photo and have it open the way it used to? Why does one have to then click on,”View Profile Image” or a record to get it to open? If your clicking on it, you want to open it, not have to then click on “View”. New Ancestry is filled with small graphic design annoyances such as these. Would also like to see them design something to allow one to have the ability to check off a permission box, so that one’s pictures were not down loaded by users one has not given permission to copy them. Users are locking their trees in droves due to this issue which hurts the community at large. It would be great if one could just block a specific user from seeing one’s tree. I think more people would reopen their trees if they could block whoever it is who’s behavior is specifically annoying them. Or provide a box that one could check to have the tree be private, but open to viewing by one’s DNA matches only. Additionally, it should not take weeks to months to have the privacy of one’s tree truly be protected. When you switch a tree to private, that should be an immediate action. I was horrified to Google someone from me tree, months after I made my private, only to see a link to my tree public on Ancestry Germany, with all my individuals public. I immediately contacted Ancestry and was told that sometimes “it can take as much as 6 months till the team gets around to making those changes and that they generally wait till there are enough user requested changes in those specific areas for them to get to taking those trees down.” That is not what I would expect from a company that supposedly highly values my personal privacy. It’s been a month since I made my complaint and my tree is still open for all of Europe to see. I made my tree private over 3-4 months ago after repeatedly asking another user not to copy my photos. The individual in question isn’t related to me, yet has my entire tree displayed and has downloaded all my photos. So after having enough of it, I finally closed my tree. So was stunned to see it taken down in the US but still seen as public on Ancestry Germany, with all my pictures and all the individual’s info in my tree visible for anyone Goggling or any members of Ancestry Germany able to view it. This is unconscionable. Despite several complains it’s still there. Exactly when will it be removed?It’s issues such as these that has me checking off zero each time I am polled to rate my user satisfaction when I write Ancestry suggestions. My satisfaction with the site used to be 10, I was fully satisfied and recommended it to everyone. Yet my ratings have been 0 since the launch of new Ancestry. I don’t know a single user who prefers the new site. Like others I believe the only people giving it a positive must be related to someone on the development team. I’m m not a software designer or graphic designer, so have no idea how difficult these tweaks to the new sit would b, but even an explanation as to why they are not possible to install would lower user ire.

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