Ancestry just did a major update to its ancestry composition estimates based on DNA tests. I was sad to see that my brother and I lost all our German. That seems strange and incorrect, as our grandmother was Bavarian. Now her ethnicity appears to be some combination of Swedish, English, Norwegian, and Eastern European. Germany was a crossroads between Eastern, Western, and Northern Europe so one expects to be very mixed, still I was sorry to see her German and Italian go away. On the other hand, I am pleased to now be 49% Norwegian since my father was the son of Norwegian immigrants in Brooklyn and I am also happy to be even more Jewish.
The ethnicity comparison with my first cousin who shares my German grandparents (one Jewish, the other Bavarian) seems to show the new view of my grandmother’s ethnicity
Today was the day that I finally got the email from Ancestry announcing the update to my ethnicity estimates. Vivs, an administrator of one of the many DNA FaceBook groups I follow, pointed out that this is an ideal time to send messages to DNA relatives you have not heard from as they may well log in and see your message because of that email. In fact, just now, I got a reply from a cousin I had messaged over a year ago!
Clicking on the button that says Learn more in Ancestry‘s email took me to a page that explained the update and included a nice map. Here is a quote from there with the essence of the changes:
“In our latest update we have been able to break larger regions—like England, Wales & Northwestern Europe; Ireland & Scotland; Italy; China; Japan; the Philippines; Cameroon, Congo & Southern Bantu Peoples; and Eastern Europe & Russia—into smaller, more precise ones.”
Of course, I had to go look at some of the people I have helped who have interesting ethnic mixes.