Posted by Ancestry Team on May 2, 2019 in AncestryDNA, Website

We’re always looking for new ways to help support our customers on their journeys of personal discovery. Often that means updating our products and services to take advantage of the most advanced science and technology.

Last fall, we introduced the capability to provide more precise ethnicity estimates to our customers using an algorithm that analyzes longer segments of genetic information. For some of our existing customers, this has meant that previous ethnicity estimates have evolved as a result of this new technology.

We recognize that an individual’s personal sense of identity is very important and that any journey of personal discovery may take turns that are surprising or unexpected. However, it is important to keep in mind that your DNA doesn’t change, but the science and technology behind understanding it constantly evolves and we endeavor to ensure that this cutting-edge science is reflected in our offerings.

All AncestryDNA® customers who have not already transitioned to their new, more precise ethnicity estimate will be transitioned starting May 30, 2019. If you received your AncestryDNA® results prior to September 2018 and wish to keep a record of your prior results, you may download them by July 20, 2019.

70 Comments

    • Dorothea Dunham Pearson

      My husband did not get a copy of his DNA RESULTS.please send it to dpearson145@gmail .com. Thank You

  1. Elaina

    When will people who test from other countries be included with Americans. Other DNA services include European customers as well.

  2. Lannie

    The ‘ethnicity update ‘ I received supposedly improved my ethnic origins over my original test results.
    Actually the new results showed LESS ethnicities than my original test results ! Will I have any DNA markers even left to use for this new update…or will I be invisible ?

    • Donald

      It likely is improved. Ethnicities is not an exact science yet, but you likely lost some of those ethnicities because the improved science likely shows you do not have genetics related to those ethnicities. Of course it could change again as it likely will with the science continually improving.

    • Debra Jones

      I began my research trying to gind my great grandparents. I so far have discover 3 deceased great uncles.
      All born in the 1800s including my grandfather.
      But so far no hint of the 4 brothers parents.
      I know they were all born in GA.
      But i can not seem to get any records to come up in my search before 1870
      The oldest pf the 4 was born in 1845. All the records are of them grown and married.
      I beleive they were separated early on. But can not find them as a child.
      Any suggestion on finding their parents my grat grandparents?
      Thanks

  3. Dale Reed

    You recently updated my DNA. The change was dramatic. I went from 49% Ireland and Scotland to 25%. Am I due for another update after May 1, 2019? I have now had 3 of my children and two grand-daughters DNA tested. Your match says they are my relations of course. They are on my tree that is no doubt used for generating matches. I have found some more distant cousins , some of which ae new to me. I look forward to increased accuracy. A good friend if mine found his bio parents recently via DNA. He wanted to find source of his son’s disability. This will prove to be a marvelous science if advances continue.

    • Neo

      Tree’s have nothing to do with generating matches, they help with making Shared Ancestor hints and Dna Circles but not matches. You can have a match list with no tree made at all, unfortunately a lot of my matches have no tree.

      • Helen Swambo

        This update is for the people who did not do the update previously. So basically after 30th may everyone will have switched to updated version.

  4. Ann

    I don’t need it as I have extensive tree that goes a long way back and is confirmed by DNA, BUT it would be helpful to many other people, so I certainly support sharing advances in technology.

  5. Robert

    I always enjoy updates, but as one of hundreds (or thousands) of Puerto Rican descendants, I found it disturbing that ALL of us now have Portuguese as the majority of DNA instead of Spanish (like it used to be). Historically, Spanish conquistadors mixed with African slaves and native American inhabitants in the Caribbean to form the people of today. This is what SHOULD be reflected in our DNA as well. Other DNA companies I’ve tested with also agree with history. I understand Spain and Portugal are neighbors, but it’s just can’t possibly be correct for EVERYONE from the island (or at least the hundred or so in our DNA Facebook groups).

  6. Jan Mason

    I still don’t understand how my results changed so dramatically. I went from 31 % Irish to less than 10%. Now I am almost all English.

    • Gina Medina

      I dont understand the whole thing. I think its a scam.i have documents of some of my families history and none of these places add up.on top of that i believe they go on Facebook and put people on your site.

    • It’s last year’s update. It may have been officially announced in September but I got my updated estimate in June (and wrote about it in my newsletter at the time).

  7. JB

    Your ancestry estimates for me are now so completely at odds with my estimates from 23andMe, Geno 2.0, Helix/Insitome, MyFamily, etc. that it really strains credibility. I recognize you have the largest dataset, but I know my grandparents’ and great grandparents’ ancestry for 3 of 4 grandparents, and know their origins down to the village level in Europe. 23andMe has estimates completely coherent with my family tree, whereas you do not. Perhaps you need to improve your QA/sample handling and benchmark your results with other leading SNP/exome analysis providers, as I have a hard time believing the results you gave me. Perhaps you mixed up my sample?

      • William

        Well maybe 23andme are wrong. Ancestry has More Samples and an updated algorithm. More data to make a more accurate estimate. Just because a person was born at a specific location doesn’t mean their Ancestors are from there.

  8. Linda Johnson-Rubick

    I think you should continue to keep the original and any additional changes.
    I have been disappointed with the new results…they do not match 23&me….and although you showed slight NA at first it doesn’t now.

    • Claudia

      Look at your ethnicity estimate and select updates. Then click on View Previous Estimates and you can download your previous results.

  9. Mary

    I was disappointed with the update. My ethnicity used to include three specific regions in Ireland. Now, my profile is just a generic “Scotland/Ireland” – much less informative.

  10. Judith Landers

    Your update last fall changed my results to be INACCURATE. The same for other members of my family. I factually know with records where my maternal grandparents were from and when they emigrated to the U.S. Their ancestry has all but disappeared with your update. This month I received results from 23 & Me which Are Accurate! Your original results before the update were close to 23&Me. I have zero trust in Ancestry now. I can only hope you will realize the error that was made in the last update.

  11. Dhopkinsny

    I much preferred the original estimates as they reflected my extensive tree (30 generations). Also the way they added Italy to the Greek estimate, really was not a good idea. You cannot lump them together just because the vicinity is southern europe. Hopefully it will eventually get sorted out. My personal opinion is the new percentages are highly inaccurate.

  12. The change of ancestry.com was extremely disappointing for me. No clear scientific framework. Not even mentioning the maps with migration ancestral routes, which have nothing to do with the individual data. All discussed in my book “Cultural Genomics…” (2018, Nova Science), which has won a gold medal in section “science” for 2019 (eLit Book Awards).

  13. Eileen

    My grandfather was 100% German lineage (Mennonite) but Ancestry says I have no German in my DNA. My great-great grandfather was also German (Palatine from Ireland). This latest breakdown is rubbish.

    • Sue

      A lock on a person’s tree means they have made it private. They are the only ones that can view their tree unless they give you specific rights to view it.

  14. Janet Johnson

    Well, the “updated” DNA profile has COMPLETELY eliminated the ethnic heritage of my great grandmother. An entire line of history wiped clean from my DNA-my maternal DNA. Granted she is my only non-scandinavain line of my family tree but her history is wiped completely clean from my DNA match. The prior format had the expected 12% of non scandinavian DNA a mix of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Swiss, German-now that has been replaced with 100% Norwegian (which I have no Norwegian background that I know of-but understandable), Finnish (expected), and Swedish with all other DNA history wiped clean. Why is it that ONLY ancestry.com has eliminated the English/Scotch/etc DNA from my past? MyHeritage, Findmypast, and FamilyTree DNA all retain my British and European roots. And contacting Ancestry.com customer service as listed above, will get you a company “line” that we are sorry your needs aren’t met but we are going to change your heritage anyway and you need to download your DNA before June 1… Was this change to the reported data something that benifited Ancestry.com in some way? Is my data being sold for purposes that benifit a specific gene pool configuration? Why would data have such dramatic swings? NO ONE at ancestry.com can answer these questions, all you get is the company line.

    • Alec van Helsdingen

      Northern European groups such as Scandinavian, British,Irish,French and German have so little genetic diversity and are hard to tell apart. This is the cause of major changes in the new update. But the most important thing is that both the new and old estimates have you as predominantly Northern European.

  15. Rachel Hotte

    I also got a shock when my french ancestry changed from 18% to 88%!!!!!
    And my english ancestry completely disappeared which I know for a fact is ridiculous since a good chunk of my family tree is from England. What happened Ancestry??

    • Alec van Helsdingen

      It’s hard to get accurate ethnicity estimates for France since DNA testing is illegal in France. Ancestry has tried to get around this by taking samples of French expatriates and French Canadians but they don’t seem to have gotten it quite right yet.

  16. Deb

    My original DNA results showed 30% Scandinavian. There is none at all now. Can I guess that the Scandinavian might have been connected to my entire line of Norman Scottish ancestry? The Vikings, after all, were responsible for much of the building and settlement of Great Britain, and my new estimate, if all parts are added together, is 97% Great Britain.

  17. Shelby

    Unfortunately I didn’t make a hard copy of my original results but they were a lot more detailed than the revised. I now have no trace regions, that I do recall having. I feel the Ancestry results are totally worthless now. 23andMe is a lot more detailed. Plus, the original Ancestry results did not show my Native American heritage (from East Asia/Japan) and 23andMe does (0.1%).

  18. JB

    Wow, amazed to see so many other posts confirming huge discrepancies between Ancestry results and 23andMe, with a clear pattern that many feel the recent update is now much LESS accurate! And no reply from Ancestry on this blog? We expect better, Ancestry. You are the leading SNP testing company with a focus on ancestry and the largest dataset, how can you possibly allow such glaring errors to go unaddressed? You now have many unhappy customers who no longer place much trust in your analytics…

  19. Frank Teale

    Very disappointing. How do I retrieve my previous results? Several people have asked but Ancestry has not responded. What’s up with that.

    • Claudia

      Frank, Look at your Ethnicity Estimate and click on updates. Then select View Previous Estimate. You should be able to download your old results there.

    • Donita Reams

      CORRECTION I see less Norwegian/Scandinavian and believe this New Ancestry DNA Result is Acceptable!

  20. Peter McNab

    Has anyone got a definition of “ethnicity”, or at least what Ancestry is trying to determine from our DNA?

  21. Monica B. Oliveras

    Wondering if there are additional resources which can help more profoundly the results.

    Alot of connections with my dna results but cant find who in our families is the link.

    I did genoharmonics wondering if anyone has done it as well and would it help.

  22. Martin Grabsch

    I don’t know what the old version would habe showed me, but what really concerns me is that uploading my raw DNA to Gedmatch.com shows several details which Ancestry does either not find out or (what would be even worse) might filter out.

    For example Gedmatch.com shows 15% italian and 10% Iberian. Very interesting traces that I miss here at Ancestry DNA…

    15 percent is well beyond any background noise.

    It would be really fair to offer the old matching results even for new customers…

  23. Kate V

    It’s been said many times here and also many times by people that have not submitted a comment. Something is wrong. Will it be fixed. So many data sources to use here but the doubt that has been cast now strong. From many comments, I may compare elsewhere.

  24. Sharon R

    I was totally surprised at the new update. Originally the estimate was 57% European West and 19% Great Britain. Now it is 70% Great Britain and 24% Germanic Europe. Both sides of my family are of German origin, I have the documentation for these people. No where have I found any major Great Britain ancestors. I am hoping that if there is a mistake they will correct it soon.

  25. Mark Ramsey M.D.

    I’m starting to have some grave concerns about the direction that Ancestry.com is headed. The company has poured advertising money into promoting ethnicity estimates, while at the same time whitewashing results. The basis on which estimates were changed is not scientific- it’s subjective. it isn’t based on DNA findings-it’s based on family trees, and where people say their ancestor was from. Surprise! Everybody’s from Great Britain, and Northern and Western Europe! It is institutionalized catering to racism, intended or not. I’ve stayed as a customer through some enormous changes for greed and profit maximization. But these pacifications of outraged bigots who have “one-drop” isn’t an increased cost, or losing some data. It’s feeding the xenophobia that poses a current threat to human society. I don’t think I can stay if it continues.

    • Alec van Helsdingen

      Ethnicity percentages are not based on your family tree or the family tree of your matches. Ethnicity percentages are calculated to comparing your DNA with around 16000 people who have deep and well documented ancestry in a particular location.

      The “Genetic Communities” or subregions/migrations use a combination of DNA and the family trees of your matches (not your own) to assign you to these groups.

      See the White Papers for more details:
      https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/AncestryDNA-White-Papers

  26. Jenn

    I ordered a kit, sent it in and the ONLY update I got was when I emailed ancestory to find out if it was even received. I was told it was and was being processed. Now I can’t even call customer service. Nothing on my “page” will allow me to check on the progress and doesn’t even say they have it. I’m beginning to feel as though I’ve been ripped off. I keep getting ads for getting family members a kit for a gift. Why would I purchase anything else from ancestory? I can’t even get access to what I’ve already purchased.

    • Alec van Helsdingen

      On the DNA page on your account, you need to “activate” your kit. They will not start working on your results until you do this.

      • Jenn

        I did activate my kit. Then when I never heard anything from ancestory, I thought maybe I forgot or something changed when I got a new phone. Trying to scan the kit again, it said “this kit has already been activated”. So no. I cannot activate an already activated knit and yet I still can’t CALL or email. I can find no way to get results I’m doubting you have. Even though I got an email on April 23 (after a lengthy wait and I initiated the inquiry) stating that the lab received my sample and it was being processed. So how does “Amber” know that if my kit was never activated?

        • Helen

          You don’t usually hear anything from them as the details are usually on your page. ie, received, processing and then eventually ready.

  27. Mike Daigle

    Hello. I do understand updating the DNA results. However, the new results only show back to 1700. I know this as I have been a loyal customer of ancestry.com since early 2000. The previous results of DNA heritage were exactly what I wanted, as I have already done from 1700 to the present. I have downloaded the previous results and I do understand that on May 30th the previous version will no longer be available. I only wish we had kept the early version and COMBINED it with the new results. I was finding all sorts of new things out with the previous version. Thank you for listening… Mike

  28. Steven C. Curry

    When multiple family trees post identical but incorrect information, Ancestry.com and ThruLines assume it to be true, including it under “Potential Father or Mother” and/or using the false claims to suggest even DNA relationships however so small the centimorgan score. I’ve contacted the owners of these family trees in error with proof only to find that they’re not active members anymore and can not access their information. So their family trees live on as inaccurate support for “Suggestions”. Case in point:
    Two Jasper N Curry’s has led to confusion and mistakes by family trees, Ancestry.com, and ThruLines.
    An (1842-1916) Jasper N. Curry was born in Missouri to William Curry (1804-1863) and Clemesy Siner (1803-1858.) He never married, had no children, and was buried in California.
    An (1832-1918) Jasper N Curry’s parents are UNKNOWN but his UNCLE William Curry (1804-1863) and AUNT Clemsey Siner (1803-1858) are erroneously acknowledged by at least 10 family trees to be his parents. Ethelinda Smith was his wife and they had 4 children. He worked almost his entire life in Iowa and is buried there.
    Now if you had a family tree that listed the (1842-1916) Jasper N Curry as a son of William and Clemsey Curry you’d be correct. However, if you listed the (1832-1918) Jasper N Curry you’d be in error. A simple check of their children’s birthdays would solve this situation. William and Clemsey Curry had a son, Harden Crawford Curry, born on June 17th, 1833 as etched on his tombstone. The (1832-1918) Jasper N. Curry was born on November 30th, 1832 as etched on his tombstone. Wow, I know pioneer women are tough but even they couldn’t pull this birth off.
    If you researched like I did your relative’s names, you would be steered towards William and Clemsey Curry with a blinking green “POTENTIAL RELATIVE”. And, it was very aggressively demanding my response be the one “suggested”. In ThruLines even my relationships were misdirected due to false information. You see, the (1832-1918) Jasper N Curry is my second great grandfather. I am a direct, paternal link to him. Well, I guess, I’d have to be since the other Jasper never had children.
    My Jasper’s parents are a mystery, that’s true. But the latest DNA results are encouraging me to stay the course and uncover the truth.
    The William listed above had several siblings whose descendants have matched DNA with me. You pick the DNA score you’d most likely pursue as my Jasper’s potential parent.
    1. Mary Curry 6 cM
    2. John Curry 10 cM
    3. Calvin 18 cM
    4. William Curry 26 cM 2 seg.
    5. Julia Ann Curry 39 cM 3 seg.
    6. Delilah Curry 31 cM 3 seg.

    According to my cM relationship chart a cM score over 30 has a “very high” confidence of having a shared 3rd grandparent. Of course, there are lots of variables involved here including the fact that my last name may not be Curry given the mystery parentage .
    ThruLines lists William Curry (1804-1863) as my 3rd great grandparent based on “family trees” and DNA score. I wish they would not allow family trees to influence their suggestions so much. It probably works for most but, in this instance, not so well for my genealogical studies. And, there appears to be no way to correct it.

  29. James Caley

    I had my pie chart saved into my favorites , but now when I try to access it, it says that it no longer exists. What happened?

  30. Davy

    I am very disturbed to see that there is no region including Gabon or Equatorial Guinea. Gabon capital Libreville (which means free town ) was created by slaves…Slavery was very active there even more active than in Cameroon or Congo because of his long coast. So I am very confused to see that there is a region called cameroon Congo but no Gabon or Equatorial Guinea, both countries are south west from Cameroon but interestingly Congo on the east side of cameroon with a tiny part on southern Gabon is represented. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Gabon has a very small population compared to its neighbors of the dame size and one of the main reasons is slavery…a lot of people were kidnapped.

  31. Lucy

    All of my ethnicities have been eradicated… Please help as it’s inaccurate. I’m now only Celtic and Mongolian, but I know I am baltic/eastern European. Mongolian shouldn’t be the only thing that represents Slavic, it’s very upsetting, I’m also basque and I’m being told I’m only English, Welsh, Irish and Mongolian. If you could see my image you’d understand why this makes very little sense, as well as the die hard facts of my family background. Is it to be updated properly by 30th of May or is this just it because I don’t accept this change as more accurate than my last test which had me as 11 percent slavic, and now I’m just four percent Mongolian, as if to say my grandmother was a celt from Eastern Poland who has only Mongolian DNA? It makes no sense why am I not coming up as Russian/Polish? It’s the only thing I knew for certain and I get called Russian all the time because I look nothing but Russian!

    • Cindy L Pollard

      I, too, lost my Russian heritage. I feel your pain. My grandfather immigrated to US from Russia as a child. Hopefully they fix this soon.

  32. Cindy L Pollard

    I lost my Russian heritage with the new update. My grandfather immigrated here with his entire family from Russia. They had to leave when the czar came into power. I have the family history. I know where they lived. I know where they died. I know I cannot be 93% UK. I am looking forward to the next update that fixes this.

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