AncestryDNA Ethnicity Comparison Between Parents and Child

First, I want to make it clear that I LOVE Ancestry.com (and no they aren’t sponsoring this post or any of my other posts.) I have learned and found so much information both through records and DNA research on their website. If you have any questions about the AncestryDNA test experience, whether you’re related to me or not, feel free to email me at downhomegenealogy@gmail.com. I highly recommend it!

With that being said, don’t put all of your faith into the ethnicity portion of the AncestryDNA test (or from any other site). It’s going to be close, but 100% accurate mostly due to migrations of people, testing pools, etc. I was surprised to see how different my test was from my parents’ tests. My mom tested first, then me, and I just received my dad’s results yesterday. As far as finding cousins, using DNA to build my family tree, etc. the test is very valuable. However, it’s probably hard to tell the difference between French, Swiss and English DNA for example. Those populations are similar and live close by each other.

Here are the DNA comparisons I pulled from Ancestry’s website using the share feature (and changing the names to dad, mom, and child [me] to make it easy to understand):

DNA M for blogDNA D for blogDNA P for blog

I thought it would also be nice to see a side-by-side comparison in a chart.

DAD CHILD MOM
Europe West 3% 45% 21%
Ireland/Scotland/Wales 15% 24% 32%
Great Britain 55% 18% 21%
Iberian Peninsula 10% 6% 4%
Scandinavia 5% 4% 17%
Europe East 4% <1% 2%
Caucasus  – 1% 2%
Europe South 3%  –  –
Asia South 2% 1% <1%
Finland/Northwest Russia 2%  –
Africa North <1%  –  –

What puzzles me is how AncestryDNA says I’m 45% Europe West, but my dad is only 3% and my mother only 21%! My dad has 55% Great Britain but I only have 18%? The other numbers seem very plausible to me, like Iberian Peninsula and Caucasus for example.

As for our genealogy paper trail, every ancestor I’ve traced so far has come from Ireland, Great Britain, or Europe West, so these estimates are still fairly “true”.

What are your thoughts? Did you and your parents test only to get surprising ethnicity comparisons?

7 thoughts on “AncestryDNA Ethnicity Comparison Between Parents and Child

  1. I have heard that there is little to no scientific basis to the ethnicity breakdowns, just statistical analysis of prior test takers. I wouldn’t pay much attention to it, as these results demonstrate!

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      1. I have tested and uploaded kits for my mother, brother, and several cousins on FTDNA, GEDmatch, MyHeritage, and also for me on 23andme and on Ancestry. Thousands of cousins, but not one for whom I have been able to find a common ancestor. That’s the world of DNA for Ashenazi Jews!

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      2. I just commented on your newest post. Yes, they all showed between 97% and 100% Ashkenazi Jewish (or European Jewish on Ancestry). No surprise to me!

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