Sunday, October 27, 2013

AncestryDNA Updates Ethnicity Results ~ Jewish Results

Initial AncestryDNA ethnicity results were not particularly helpful or interesting for those with primarily Jewish ancestry. The results have been updated. I don't know if they are more helpful, but they certainly are more interesting. I look forward to seeing if matches with other Ancestry users are more fruitful now.

I first wrote about AncestryDNA-One Jewish Result over a year ago. At that time, the autosomal results for my husband indicated that his genetic ethnicity (going back many hundreds of years) was 82% European Jewish, 13% British Isles (which didn't make sense to us), and 5% Uncertain.

The updated results show an increased number of genetic regions and provide more information about the possible ranges of ethnicity. The updated summary page is below, showing an approximate amount of European Jewish ancestry of 92%.

My husband's updated genetic ethnicity (according to AncestryDNA)

Okay, this makes more sense - 92% European Jewish with some trace regions... let's look at these results more closely:

Specific ethnicity results for European Jewish from AncestryDNA

The links in this information box provide additional information about how AncestryDNA came up with the percentage and range for each ethnicity. The link after "Surprised by your ethnicity estimate?" includes a good explanation of the reasons for variations, which include: the genetic influence of neighboring regions, the estimate is on the edges of our predicted range, the random nature of genetic inheritance (with a nice graphic representation showing how genes can pass quite differently from parents to multiple children), and the fact that ethnicity estimation is still an open problem.

Trace Regions is an interesting addition to the AncestryDNA results. (I like this better than "Uncertain" as a result.)

In the table below, the approximate amount in the trace regions acknowledges that they are very tiny parts of my husband's DNA.

My husband's ethnicity including results for Trace Regions
With a tiny bit of Africa North and Iberian Peninsula in the results, I suppose this means there is a possibility of Sephardic Jewish in my husband's DNA.

Sometimes a map is more interesting to look at. Following is the map from AncestryDNA showing where all of his DNA results are from, including trace regions.

My husband's updated genetic ethnicity (according to AncestryDNA) including trace regions
The blue shaded area, that is also seen in the first map image above, represents European Jewish and each of the trace regions are outlined in the color from the above table.


  1. Yes is possible 1%italy/greek 2% iberian -1 north african was very common in spanish people also the west asia was posible from anicent time when the jews expelled from isreal back 2000 years

    1. Yes, as I have learned more about DNA, I see that this is a typical result. Thanks for the comment.