My AncestryDNA Results Are In and I’m Surprised

I was surprised just a little with my DNA test results which came in over the weekend.

Using my third great-grandparents as a point of reference (simply because I’m not going to use my 10th great-grandparents to create the percentages for this post), my genealogical ancestry is approximately:

  • 50% Ostfriesen (my maternal side)–which qualifies as Europe West using terms.
  • 12.5% Irish (my great-grandfather Neill)
  • 12.5% German (my great-grandfather Trautvetter)–which qualifies as Europe West using  terms.
  • 25% not known precisely (my great-grandmothers Neill and Trautvetter who have significant ancestry from Great Britain (at least half) with probably a dash of German thrown into the mix).

Based upon my genealogical tree (and not taking into account migrations), I should have been (roughly):

  • at least 12.5% Irish
  • at least 62.5% Europe West
  • at least 12.5% Great Britian


The “thousands of years ago Ethnicity Estimate” doesn’t really help with my more recent research problems. As we will see in future posts, there were other reasons I had for taking the test.

The 12% Scandinavian surprised me as did the 4% Irish. My speculation is that there is some ancient Scandinavian lineage in my Ostfriesian lines and that my Irish ancestors (half of whom are from Northern Ireland) weren’t really Irish at all when pushed back several generations. I’ve got an idea why my Great Britain percentage is so high as well which we will explore in a future post. Ancient migrations are interesting, but don’t help me solve problems from 1850

I’ve got some more immediate interesting results from my test that we will discuss in a future post.



14 thoughts on “My AncestryDNA Results Are In and I’m Surprised

  1. Is there a DNA Test that just goes back a few hundred years instead of thousands???? My husband has Indian in him .We have Proof of an Indian Reservation in the family line and he Looks Somewhat Indian but no where did it have Any DNA???? Don’t Understand???

    • Know what you mean on the no Native American. My male cousin had his DNA done by We know for a fact our great grandmother was full blood Native American on our grandmother’s side. And a our great grandmother on our grandfather’s side was half Native American. But not a drop supposely showed up on his DNA. You can look at both of our grandparents and tell the have Native blood. Same with my mom, my sister, my male cousin and myself. Makes me question the accuracy of these types of test unless you go with super expensive ones.Melody

  2. Connie Leaman says:

    That’s what’s interesting about those tests. I expected to be more Irish too (I’m 12%), but I’m not surprised by the 70% Great Britain, and I truly expected more than the 5% Western European. Ah, well, I really haven’t done any research across the pond, like you have.

    • I only have the across the pond research because I have a large number of 19th century immigrants. Three-fourths of my families came to the US after 1845. That makes crossing the pond easier.

  3. This helped me…especially the Scandinavian hypothesis…I too have that thrown into my mix and it’s been driving me nuts trying to figure it out.

    • That’s my best guess as to the Scandinavian–my Ostfriesens in the very north of Germany. That could explain some of the other smaller percentages as well.

    • My Irish great-great-grandfather was born in the North and I’m suspecting that his earlier ancestry is not really Irish.

  4. Your calculations, MJN, while mathematically correct, help to point out the fact that while each of my 5 siblings and I received half of our DNA from each of our parents and they received half from each of theirs, we each received a different mix of chromosome segments (which of course helps account for differences among my siblings!). The corollary is that some segments get passed down through 2 generations and some don’t. Far fewer will survive 5 generations. For a concrete example, see or review the entire set of lessons at the

    • True. Siblings can have significantly different mixes of segments and even double first cousins (who share all four grandparents, but not parents) can have significantly different sets as well (on top of two generations of mutations). Otherwise siblings would look entirely the same. There’s a difference between the genealogical pedigree and the genetic pedigree given how much material one actually inherits from each parent.

      Theoretically I could have inherited none of great-grandfather’s “Irish” ancestry–which could explain why it’s at 4%. It’s unlikely that I have none of it, but it is possible.

      My maternal families are all from the same relatively small area where, according to records, they’ve lived for at least three hundred years. There must have been some earlier migration to explain why my Western Europe percentage (where they were from) is significantly less than that.

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