Now I get to learn about AncestryDNA

For Christmas, we asked Todd’s parents to do AncestryDNA kits for us. The results came back and I realize I have a lot to learn. I’ll talk about the 4 features of the results.

First, there’s the Ethnicity Estimate:

Todd’s Dad, Lanny – 97% European, with a trace of Native American, Asia Central, and West Asia/Caucasus. His European ethnicity breaks down to 45% Europe West, 32% Ireland, 5% Great Britain, 6% Italy/Greece, 4% Europe East, 4% Scandinavia, and trace Finland/Northwest Russia.

Todd’s Mom, Marilyn – 99% European with trace West Asia/Middle East. Her European ethnicity breaks down to 40% Great Britain, 20% Scandinavia, 16% Ireland, 10% Iberian Peninsula, 8% Europe West, 3% Italy/Greece, and 2% Europe East.

The next feature is the DNA matches with others in the AncestryDNA database. This information will be constantly updating as more people are tested. So far Lanny matches about 8,500 and Marilyn matches about 7,700. One of Lanny’s cousins contacted me, and after exchanging messages and talking on the phone, I extended a branch on Lanny’s tree back three generations, ending at the ancestor he shares with that cousin – Lanny’s 5x Great Grandfather.

The next feature is New Ancestor Discoveries. Lanny had 6, but one has already been added into his tree due to the cousin-related research I mentioned. Marilyn has 5 (all born in the 1700s). I will extend the branches of their trees to include those ancestors. Documentation that far back is so hard to come by, but with the DNA hits I know I’m tracking the correct people. As more people are tested, more ancestor’s will be discovered. I think DNA is the only hope I have to break through my Gray brick wall – Catherine Wadsworth.

The final feature is DNA Circles. Lanny fits into 7 and Marilyn fits into 8. A DNA Circle is a group of individuals who all have the same ancestor in their family trees and where each member shares DNA with at least one other individual in the circle. Like everything else, these connections will grow as more people are tested. One exciting thing I can see coming from DNA circles is the sharing of photographs.

My plan for the weekend is to watch the free Ancestry Academy classes regarding DNA, and read all the articles Ancestry has published about DNA. Maybe I’ll have time to check out some of those New Ancestor Discoveries too.

3 thoughts on “Now I get to learn about AncestryDNA

  1. I have been considering DNA testing for genealogical purposes. After much research, I am leaning toward the 23andMe test, although it sounds as if the test is beneficial too. Thanks for sharing your experience.


    • To get the most from Ancestry DNA you need a membership and public trees. Not a problem since I rely on so much. I don’t mind paying for the membership. But if it weren’t for that, other options are probably better. I have just gotten started with DNA, but my favorite part is confirming I’ve got the right people on the tree.


      • Thanks for this helpful insight, Suzanne. I do have a tree housed on; however, I don’t subscribe their site. Consequently, I do not have access to all of the “cool” features offers (including DNA results, it seems). I cannot initiate contact with other people researching common family; instead, I must wait for subscribers to make contact with me, if they so choose. Also, since I use the “free” version of, I do not have access to any other family trees, including public ones. :{


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