Can Ancestry’s Ethnicity Breakdown get any Worse?

Sadly the answer is yes, for me. You may wish to look at this blog post first, that I did back in April 2022. First off let’s look at April’s version versus the new one.

Compare that with the newest one two month later

First off they have changed the colors so that may make it tough to follow. I have ascribed the maternal side as the green (Sweden Denmark) Teal (Norway). Now the purples are showing as German and Finnish. Okay on paper this is my paper ancestry:

55% British, Scottish, Irish

18% German, French, Swiss

19% Swedish

6% Norwegian

2% Other

I, as I have often explained have one 100% Scandinavian grandparent who is 3/4 Swedish and 1/4 Norwegian. And yet my Ancestry DNA “estimate” shows my total Scandinavian as 48% of my DNA. Which means I only got 2% of my DNA from my maternal grandmother which I know via matches and segment painting is false. So I am here to remind you again to take these estimates with a pound of salt.

Furthermore, My Maternal side is not where my German comes in, that’s heavily from my father’s side and I have the matches to prove it. In actuality the first iteration is closer to the truth than the second. And neither of them give me any confidence at all in these new “estimates” which are at best parlor game material. My guess is they are highly influence by most recent ancestry from an area. My Scandinavian ancestors immigrated to the US in 1850-1870’s. My English as far back as 1620. Most of my German ancestry is from the early 1700’s. It just isn’t possible for these wide swings in ancestry to be real. There is something seriously wrong with the algorithms. If we have had some swings and misses Ancestry struck out here. Below is my breakdown from 23andme which is much closer to reality.

23andme’s breakdown

Remember you mileage may vary. Often these estimates get better over time but for me Ancestry just gets worse and worse. I really couldn’t believe how bad this was….

Kelly Wheaton ©2022 All Rights Reserved.

3 Comments on “Can Ancestry’s Ethnicity Breakdown get any Worse?”

  1. Dear Kelly

    I wonder if Ancestry sees messages like this one….and I wonder how many others there are like it. I am English back to about 1760 so sticking to that! Can’t find ancestors before that.

    Still dreadfully painful.

    Hope things are maybe a bit better for you

    Talk to you later.



    Jean Wheaton

  2. As you noted, they are just estimates. Mine have also swung widely, but the current breakdown pretty much matches my paper trail.

    • I think each iteration is better for some and worse for others. The last two iterations having gotten me further and further away from the truth. Since I map segments and matches I “KNOW” that it is wrong. That I find frustrating.

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