Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Don't Rush To Purchase A Scottish Kilt Wardrobe





Ancestry.com DNA "Ethnicity Estimates" Are Misleading; but, might be good for business. 

This post is meant to help new family genealogists with DNA result queries. No question Ancestry.com TV ads, etc. go far to compound “newbie” genealogist confusion with their ethnicity estimate percentage calculations. That guy who switched to wearing Scottish kilts based on his Scottish Ancestry single figure DNA estimates, or that overweight black woman who evidently starts wearing African head-ware base on her African DNA estimate really slay me – a great disservice here by Ancestry DNA management. Nothing is certain in an Ancestry ethnicity estimate! The single figure percentage presented in Ancestry's "Ethnicity Estimate" is developed from a probable calculated range... it is an uncertain and somewhat likely ESTIMATE!  

For example, my personal Ancestry DNA geographical area "Scandinavia" is estimated at 9%, developed from an Ancestry.com algorithm where my personal DNA actual range from Scandinavia is 0%-21%; whereas, my "Ireland" estimate at 26% is developed from a 15%-36% possible DNA range. All single figure estimates are developed from a range that can be viewed in your Ancestry DNA Ethnicity Estimate by clicking "View Your Genetic Estimate" button -- "Show 3 more Regions" -- then click the specific region to view the full range of possibility. Additionally, in this expanded view, one can easily see that "Great Britain" for example – actually expands possible DNA sources beyond Great Britain to include most of France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, and The Netherlands. All Ancestry DNA specific geographical areas can be expanded in this way to include far greater surrounding lands than suggested by their single area estimate.

Also, when working back in your ancestry a half-dozen generations or more, the "DNA match" presented by these DNA ethnicity tests confirm little about your actual ancestry. These numbers as related to individuals in your distant past are not "DNA verification" of family connection -- the match figures simply state there is a probability of a DNA connection, but perhaps that possible DNA match actually originates from sources unknown to the tested person.  Here again, Ancestry.com TV ads where a woman claims discovery of her 26% Native-American ancestry is highly suspect.  How can this be?  The most Christian answer is she was adopted and never knew her the identity of actual parents... this happens. Or... less Christian, it might be one of her grandfathers is actually an American Indian, where her paper grandfather did not plant her birth seeds.  The parish priest at a locate Catholic Church refuses involvement in family genealogy, this due to a few nasty past cases where hurtful information about a researcher's documented ancestry was found there in his historical church records.         

Note: The kilted Scottish guy image displayed at the top of this post is based on an edited Internet-based image captured by simple Google search and displayed here in accordance with "free use" copyright provisions for non-profit educational purposes only. 

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