Follow-up: is under Fire as new DNA Algorithm Drastically Changes the Ethnicity of Some Users

The following is a follow-up to my previous article at:

In the earlier article, I wrote:

“ is updating its databases and altering the results for some users. The new findings of ethnic origins has sent some users into a full-blown identity crisis. If you previously had your DNA tested by Ancestry and have already found your family’s ethnic origins, you might want to go back to the AncestryDNA web site and check again. The results may have changed.”

Some readers posted comments posted at the end of the article by newsletter readers questioned whether or not this was a new update to’s DNA databases. However, that question seems to be cleared up by the following information written by the Ancestry Team and published in the Ancestry Blog at on May 2, 2019:

“Understanding Your New Ethnicity Estimate

“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.”


Simon Parker-Galbreath May 4, 2019 at 12:45 am

I checked mine and it much better reflects my research. In my view a great improvement.


How do we find where to download the old info?


Dick, Ancestry’s update is not new. It was done last year, and the only new news here is that it will be deleting the earlier ethnicity results. The blog was announcing that people should save their old info if they want it. That it is a new update became a full-blown rumor.

Liked by 1 person

And I used MyHeritage as my DNA analysis several years ago who surmised I was +60% Scandinavian, none of which showed up in any of my eight generation studies. Then after questioning results they changed analysis to no Scandinavian and ethnicity %’s I could understand. No explanations but better results……maybe.


Barbara Tillery May 4, 2019 at 8:16 am

Ancestry completely dropped the German lines of my great grandfather, I do have the. paper trail back 2 more generations.


The update is much more accurate on my ancestry than the original. I’m very happy with it.


Michael Halligan May 4, 2019 at 12:23 pm

So we are all Neanderthals now are we , I always suspected the wife’s family was a bit too hairy.


I know science constantly changes and updates are provided. I have held back from Ancestry some info because in the beginning I questioned their ability. The results were close and as my ethenthicisity changed they were spot on!! I have no doubt what so ever that they are doing what is needed to provide us with truthfulness we paid for. Perhaps some customers don’t like the updated reports. But it is our ancestry…like it or not. Keep up the great work Ancestry!!! BTW…I also had my DNA tested from 2 other sites. They were no where near my family history that was handed down generation to generation to me. Like I say…Ancestry was spot on.
Mic drop


MORE people are being tested and depending on the location of the company it is obvious the results will change over time. A US company, i.e. Ancestry, will have had many more US citizens testing , quite a few who have been here for awhile. I have one grandparent born here and her parents were not. So my first tests were all in European companies, which would have a greater proportion of European testers.


FWIW, my “new” estimate simply enlarged the area! I was 86% European-Jewish (an area bounded by, say, roughly, Germany and Romania in the East and South, and Lithuania to the north; and 13% Southern European (Croatia, Italy, Greece), and now I’m the new-and-improved 100% European-Jewish, which now covers almost all of Europe: from Estonia, to Southern England, to Northern Spain, to Bulgaria (but not Greece). I suppose the only thing I’ve learned is that there seems to be no “unexpected paternal events” from outside the ethnic group.

So, in short, instead of 86% area A and 13% area B, I’m now 100% area (A+B+C) (I hope that makes sense).

OTOH, my wife was previously 6% Scandinavia, now she’s at 21% (much improved, our belief is that she is 25% Swedish); her Irish/Scotland/Wales went from 35% (too high) to 12% (too low, she should be around 25%), and Great Britain went from 9% to 64% (?!?) — it ought to be around 50%. On the other other hand, when one combines Great Britain and Irish/Scot/Wales she ought to be about 75%, and Ancestry (combined) gives her 76%.

For whatever it’s worth . . .


DNA Update is hogwash, my family and I results have changed so much, what happened to our heritage, that we inherited from our parents and grandparents, this shows no French, which my grandmother was, no Native America, my grandfather was, and Spanish heritage, I am done with Ancestors.


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