Genetic Communities™ Beta: New Innovation from AncestryDNA

The following announcement was written by AncestryDNA:

Today, we are pleased to share the roll-out of a new beta experience for AncestryDNA we call, Genetic Communities™. 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

This new advancement is only possible through the millions of AncestryDNA members around the world who have chosen to participate in the Research Project as well as the massive collection of family trees, only available on Ancestry. The science behind this feature was recently published in one of the prominent scientific journals Nature Communications here).

At launch there will be over 300 Genetic Communities all around the world to go and explore, with many more on the horizon. We will compare you to all of them and list the ones you have a connection to based on your DNA. These Genetic Communities dot the globe and are often more specific than what’s possible to discover with an ethnicity estimate, providing a more recent connection to your past.

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 available for free in your results. It doesn’t matter if you tested 4 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.

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. Want to learn even more go to our help content here. Good luck and enjoy exploring!

9 Comments

I think people both underestimate the power of this utility, particularly its potential and underestimate its basic flaw. On the former….I could write a book. There are way too many positives to list. On the other hand, a certain amount of understanding is needed concerning the biggest flaw. Successive recombination can erase forever any evidence of any particular genetic community. For Example; if one’s 2nd great grandmother’s full Sicilian genetic community signature is reduced not by the *average* 50%, but by 80% in their son and that son’s remaining 20% Sicilian gets reduced again in his daughter by 50% *average* coming from his spouse that leaves only 10% Sicilian. If that 10% is reduced again, when she marries and has a son, by 80% in recombination from his spouse, that is perhaps too small of a section to type geographically. In fact, it could be erased entirely in just a few generations unless you do a full genome study costing much more money.

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Jeraldene Bloom Stephenson March 29, 2017 at 7:53 am

I tried the links on their site, such as for reading the consent details before accepting, and nothing worked. Just a blank screen showed up and never cleared, even after several minutes of waiting.

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    I just tried several links to the AncestryDNA web site and they all worked perfectly.

    For instance, try the AncestryDNA Privacy Statement at https://www.ancestry.com/dna/en/legal/us/privacyStatement

    It worked perfectly for me.

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    Jeraldene Bloom Stephenson March 29, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Interesting. I tried again, with encouragement that I’d have a better experience than yesterday, but even fewer “buttons” worked. This is what I got today: “Oops. It looks like some data isn’t loading. Some things may be missing on the page below. Try again in a few minutes.”

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    My default browser is Chrome and I use it on Ancestry.com all the time. But when I use it on the AncestryDNA pages, I get lots of blank page results and non-working links. But if I switch to the Firefox browser, suddenly, I can see results and I don’t get those blank pages. It is a nuisance.

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I was exploring this last night and I have to say, it’s pretty darn cool! Very interesting and it has given me some ideas for research I want to pursue with my St. Lawrence Valley French ancestors. What karstmd said is true too. My husband’s father belonged to one genetic community, but it did not show up in my husband’s communities at all.

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For a Beta roll-out it has lots of bells and whistles. I manage four DNA tests for various people and the results seem to be exactly what was expected. The flaws, as in any beta, will emerge over time. I challenge the notion of them naming one of the North American communities West Virginia. Seems to me Historic Virginia is more suitable. Most of the old families that lived there got their foothold long before West Virginia was created.

I think it’s important to bear in mind what data they have to work with: People’s trees, historic documents, and DNA. Not just DNA. Part of what goes into the ‘data’ is the groups of people who have taken the test on Ancestry. I’m going to pop ‘very likely’ in West Virginia because some of my ancestors ‘originate’ from that area of historic Virginia *and* there are a lot of other people with trees who have ancestors from that same area. I get an inordinate amount of ‘cousin matches’ from one set of ancestors from that region. Seems to me it’s because more people who also have ancestors from that region have taken the test. As beta tests go…this one falls into the ‘shiny new thing’ category rather than something genuinely helpful. Still, I’m glad the Ancestry team is continuing to work on refining the results. I look forward to the Christa Cowan explainer vid.

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Yeah – more Ancestry smoke and mirrors. My communities are New England colonial who migrated west – gee that sure tells me a lot. Just give us a Chromosome Browser so we can PROVE rather than guess at connections.

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