AncestryDNA Ethnicity Now Includes East Frisia

AncestryDNA‘s ethnicity estimates now include East Frisia–more affectionately known as Ostfriesland.

I’m glad to see they’ve started to work on refining geographic areas within Europe, but I’m still viewing these estimates as pretty much entertainment because they are estimates based upon some actual data, some assumptions, and some guesswork.

The only time I put stock in them is when they are significantly different from what is expected. Examples of my loose definition of “significantly different” would be:

  • Someone who thinks they are Swedish and English showing that they are 25% Italian.
  • Someone who thinks they are entirely Italian and Greek showing that they are 15% Irish.

My own current ethnicity estimates at AncestryDNA are numerically inconsistent with my genealogical tree which is:

  • 50% Ostfriesian
  • 12.5% Irish
  • 12.5% German
  • 25% Likely English, Irish, Scot, and German

That said, they are not geographically inconsistent. People moved over centuries. The regions where I have significant concentrations according to
AncestryDNA (Sweden and Norway) but have so far found none in my background are not geographically inconsistent with having northwestern European ancestry or English ancestry. My low Irish percentage is likely because at least half of my Irish ancestors were Protestant and likely from Scotland.

So I may joke about my DNA results, but they are not that inconsistent from my tree. That’s what matters.

These estimates are just that: estimates.

Although that low Irish percentage bothers me and my mother (from whom I get all Ostfriesland ancestors), would likely be a little bit irritated.


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