Sunday, April 2, 2017

AncestryDNA Genetic Communities

I have already shared some information about AncestryDNA's newest feature: Genetic Communities at my other blog, From Maine to Kentucky.

Just for fun, I thought I would share my husband's Genetic Community. I'm sure you can guess what it is, based on the title and theme of this blog.

Yes, it's the Jews in Central Europe Genetic Community.

I added to the following screenshot the five known European communities that my husband's immigrant ancestors came from.

Blaine Bettinger's list of AncestryDNA Genetic Communities (as of March 28, 2017) is a great way to see all of the genetic communities. The list indicates that within the Jews of Central Europe there are three genetic communities:
Jews in Western Ukraine, Moldova & Eastern Romania - which is what is represented in the above image.
Jews in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Moravia - which may appear in the future due to where my husband's father's ancestors were living 200 years ago.
and Jews in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

Clicking on the 1900-1925 time period gives the following image, which includes icons representing the location of some family members who were born in Europe. These appear because my husband is linked to an family tree with this information.

Not surprising, AncestryDNA has a 95% confidence that he belongs in this genetic community. I can say yes to that, with 100% confidence.

Genetic Communities can be used to filter your matches at AncestryDNA. Where for me, I can filter my couple of thousand matches to only 277 with common ancestry to Settlers of New England & the Eastern Great Lake, my husband filters his many thousand matches down to 4,763 matches with this genetic community filter.

However, as noted in my previous post, Endogamy at Work, this doesn't mean that he will find common ancestors with these 4,763 other testers.

I hope everyone who has tested at AncestryDNA enjoys this new feature and that it encourages you to link your DNA results to a family tree.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I used a different testing site and was wondering whether to test with Ancestry after seeing this new feature. Mine would probably look like your husband's plus Central Europe for my paternal side and Poland for my mother's maternal side. So basically most of Europe! And I can only imagine how many "matches" I would have.

    1. It's hard to decide where to test when each DNA testing company offers different features.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. I've approached this new feature with some skepticism, as the description put out by Ancestry said that they used user trees to construct it... and I don't trust other people's Ancestry trees as far as I could throw them.

    1. I totally agree with your skepticism, especially with regards to the claim that Ancestry is using people's Ancestry trees. I still find that the feature is interesting to explore, as long as you understand the potential pitfalls.

      Thanks for the comment!