New Ancestry Composition Tool at 23andme

There is a terrific new tool at 23andme for looking at your ancestry. Cece Moore describes it in great detail on her blog post here. I very much like the chromosome mapping part but the colors are incredibly boring if all your ancestors were european. Just shades of blue that were hard to distinguish one from another. So I changed the colors for Finnish, British, Ashkenazi, Eastern and non-specific Southern European

Here is my picture (I am half Norwegian and half German with half of the German being jewish, so a quarter Ashkenazi):

Compare to my 100% Southern Norwegian Dad:

And my brother who looks much like me:

So my brother and I are each 25% Ashkenazi by heritage but he got only 20.4% while I got 27.2%. But he got more “Eastern European” which must be from our Bavarian catholic ancestors while I only got a tiny bit on my X. He also got more of the Finnish from Dad (unknown Finnish ancestry but Dad does match a number of Finns and some of them did emigrate to Norway I am told). it is interesting to see the spots where my brother and I are fully identical on the autosomal image shown below that do not seem to match in the ancestry above, maybe that is just an illusion from how it is drawn.


11 thoughts on “New Ancestry Composition Tool at 23andme

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  1. Very cool! My family doesn’t have as much Ashkenazi admixture as yours does but we also vary quite a bit.

    I show as having 1.8% Ashkenazi while my sister has 2.3%.

    Going up a generation, my mom’s three siblings have 1.8%, 2.4%, and 1.9%. Their first cousin inherited way more segments than any of us did — she has 4.9% Ashkenazi.

    Ah, the magic of recombination!!

  2. Thanks Andrea! I love your blog and will add it to my blog roll

    For those who asked how to do the recolor:ing
    1) take a screenshot (alt print screen will do it) and open your adobe or other image processor but keep browser open too
    2) use paste (or new from clipboard if you have that feature) to get the image up
    3) use the thing that looks like a tic-tac-toe game to make a square on the part of the image you wish to keep
    4) image crop
    5) you may want to change the view to “actual pixels” to make it bigger now
    6) pick a color to use (left toolbar, click on bottom two squares over each other)
    7) use the mouseover to see the ones to be recolored back in the browser
    8) left tool bar, click on paint can pouring icon
    9) position paint can on each segment to color and click it, also do square in key
    10) if you click the wrong thing controlZ will undo it
    11) save your new pretty image!

  3. Hello Ms. Cooper,
    I love reading your blog.
    I recently tested through Ancestry DNA on the v2 chip. I have a question about the ethnicity estimate. I am mostly Colonial American, with a possible little bit (1/256) of Italian, as well as some recent German and Irish ancestry. Also, there is a recent brick wall (unknown g-g-grandfather, but his daughter tested (my g-grandma) and got 100% European, with a surprising 13% Eastern European) Here were my results on
    Europe 98%
    Europe West 51%
    Ireland 24%
    Scandinavia 7%
    Great Britain 5%
    Trace Regions 11%
    Europe East 6%
    Italy/Greece 4%
    Iberian Peninsula <1%
    West Asia 2%
    Trace Regions 2%
    Middle East 2%

    I was wondering which of these ethnicities are real, and which ones are just statistical noise, specifically the Southern European and Middle Eastern. Thank you!

    • Anything less than 3% can easily be statistical noise. The science of determining ethnicity from your DNA test is still in the beginning stages so not all that accurate.

      Also remember that these ethnicities can go back very far. Plus they are subject to who is already tested and categorized, so less accurate outside of Europe.

      My brother is tested at all 3 companies. As our ancestry is known to be 50% southern Norway, 25% Bavarian German, and 25% German Jewish it was interesting to see the differences in their predictions. The slides starting here show that

      hmmm, a blog post to be done in the future…

  4. How interesting! So, I guess the Iberian and Middle Eastern could just be noise. What was weird is that my results from Ancestry were almost identical to my results at DNA.Land. My DNA.Land results were:
    85% North/Central European (87%, including Europe West, Ireland, Scandinavia, and Great Britain at Ancestry)
    5.7% North Slavic (6% Europe East at Ancestry)
    2.8% Finnish (noise, or just more Northern European)
    5% Italian (4% Italy/Greece)
    1.4% Balkan (could be some Italy/Greece, some Europe East, or just noise)
    My Eurogenes K13 and K12b results were also pretty similar.
    I look forward to the possible blog post.
    Thank you for your help!

    • One last thing. Sorry for being such a nuisance. I know you are so busy, but I was wondering if my 6% Europe East could be noise, as it is a large percentage, but still is listed as a Trace Region. My great grandmother got 13% Eastern European on her results, as a Main Region, and on her side, there might be a possible connection to Eastern Europe, as we do not know who her father was. Also, my 3x great grandmother was from Pomerania, but they had German surnames. So, anyways, could this Eastern European be just noise or is it real? Thank you so much.

      • Jacob, 6% is not noise, especially since your g-grandma has a larger version. Eastern European can be Eastern German or any northern slavic state. Since you are getting this from more than one site, it is most likely real. Perhaps from that unknown gg-grandad.

  5. So sorry. I have one last question. Is the Middle Eastern for sure noise, and how can I confirm if it is either noise or real? Thank you so much for your site and your resources.

    • Jacob, autosomal DNA is not absolute. If that trace of Middle East appears in multiple calculators and/or testing companies it is likely real. However it may also be too far back to be useful to you

      • Ok, thank you so much again for all your help. I do have “West Asian” and “Red Sea” pop up a lot at GEDmatch. What calculator is best for Middle Eastern?

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