Ancestry Updated Ethnicity Estimates & DNA Communities

DNA
Roberts-Brown Ancestors
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ancestry has updated their Ethnicity estimates once again. Ancestry likes to look at your DNA from a world perspective, but I find the “DNA Communities” much more interesting. Besides showing you where ancestors may have settled in the United States, it shows possible ancestors from that place and “featured matches,” people who also are in that group and are DNA matches. In my case, I fit into five DNA Communities.

  • My DNA Communities

    Early Connecticut & New York Settlers

  • Southern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin Settlers
  • Central Appalachia Settlers
  • Delaware Valley, Chesapeake, and Midwest Settlers
  • Lower Michigan & Virginia Settlers.

Looking closer at one of the Communities, “Early Connecticut & New York Settlers – 1700-1975,” all four ancestors suggested are from my tree, and all have entries placing them in the location during the period suggested.

Sarah Blackhurst (1847-1928)

2nd Great-Grandmother – Born in England in 1847, immigrated to New York in 1850, located to Michigan in 1860, where she died.

Nelson Barnes (1816-1884)

2nd Great-Grandfather – Born in New York in 1816, moved to Indiana about 1845, where he died.

Chester Parsons (1799-1887)

4th Great-Grandfather – Born in Massachusetts, moved to New York for a short while, located to Michigan by 1826, where he died.

Madonna Montran (1893-1976)

Grandmother – Born in Michigan, lived in New York on and off during her vaudeville career from 1919 to 1930. She lived in Chicago, Michigan, and Minnesota after 1930; she died in Minnesota.

As I look at these “communities,” I wonder if Ancestry really looked at DNA matches or if they only looked at my tree and grouped various individuals into their community based solely upon my tree entries. Likewise, the “Featured Matches” included only people that have trees with the same people that I have in my tree that I do share at least some DNA with.

I guess the bottom line is that I am not impressed with the DNA Communities. That causes me to circle back to looking at Ancestry Ethnicity Estimates.

I did a Birthplace Chart/Spreadsheet about five years ago because it was “all the rage.” It had the potential to help me see what my ethnicity was. Of my 16 2nd great-grandparents, only one was an immigrant. Two were unknown, and the other 13 were all born in the United States. So, from it, I learned I was at least 6.25% from Great Britain.

I recently had a cousin who asked if I knew exactly what “Heinz 57 Variety” we were. I told him I hadn’t determined that because most of our ancestors have been in the United States for many generations. Looking at my skin tone, I figure I’m of northern European ancestry. But, after texting with my cousin, I thought it might be fun to add another generation to my Birthplace chart/spreadsheet from five years ago and see if anything new pops up after five years of further research.

No changes. I’m still 6.25% English.

My Illinois-born 2nd great-grandparents’ parents came from a mix of Tennessee, Illinois, and Kentucky. My Ohio 2nd great-grandparents’ parents came from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, and my Ohio 2nd great-grandparents’ parents came from a mix of New Hampshire, New York, and Michigan. There are still 18% of my ancestors that are unknown, but a whopping 2/3 of my 3rd great-grandparents were born in the United States. So, ethnically, I am definitely an American with a smidgen of English.

My “unknown” ethnicity places are known “brick walls.” My great-grandfather, John Montran, parentage is still unknown. I have a project to watch for all Montran’s I can find and learn more about their locations in hopes I can eventually connect John to immigrant ancestors. Likewise, My 2nd great-grandmother, Elisa Jane Fannin, parents have been elusive. I know she was born in Kentucky; I’ve looked at her several times looking for her parents. I need to do more research to try to find her parentage.

My Ethnicity map per Ancestry 2021

Ancestry indicates my ancestors are between 62 and 100% from England, Belgium, and the Channel Islands. Probably true; I have nothing in my pedigree research to disagree with that assessment. Still, it is always nice to receive confirmation.

 

FamilyTreeDNA – Mother’s Day Sales

In case you missed it, FamilyTreeDNA is offering Mother’s Day Sales on it’s Family Finder and mtDNA tests.

“Family Ancestry” is their Family Finder test that tests autosomal DNA and can be taken by anyone. “Maternal Ancestry” is a mitochondrial DNA test that can be taken by anyone but looks at potential maternal ancestors.

The sale runs until May 11th.


Save $20 on Family Finder

Save $20 on Maternal Ancestry DNA tests

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Ancestry – December Sale!

Ancestry® December Sale

AncestryHealth® is on sale for $99* (originally $149)
AncestryDNA® is on sale for $59.
Ancestry® Gift Subscriptions are also 20% off.

Sale ends at 11:59 pm EST on Tuesday, December 31st.

This is a great time to get the AncestryDNA® test kit you’ve been wanting.

 *Not available in NY, NJ or RI.


I have purchased several AncestryDNA® kits for family members and I pay for an annual subscription to Ancestry.Com World.  The use of these links will allow me to receive a small referral fee from Ancestry which I use to help pay manage this website. Please see my disclaimer page.

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DNA – Glennis’ Paternal Search – Part 16

It’s a new first cousin.

DNA image by Caroline Davis2010 via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

After years of researching, we are getting closer to determining my half-sister’s (Glennis) biological father. In AncestryDNA matches, Glennis had a new match with a woman, I’ll call “A,” with whom Glennis shares 1,045cM across 33 segments. Wow, other than me, this is now Glennis’ closest relation and “A” shares no DNA with me proving that the match is on her paternal line.

DNA Painter has a tool that provides possible relationships for various amounts of shared DNA. It indicates that is it a 100% probability that 1,045 cM of shared DNA is one of seven potential relationships, great-grandparent, Great-Aunt, Half-Aunt, 1st Cousin. Because “A” is only a few years older than Glennis, I tentatively believe “A” is a 1st cousin.

The good news is that I have already researched this potential family line and saw “A” on my tree. First cousins share grandparents, which suggests that Glennis’ grandparents are Joseph Franklin Stewart (1875-1940) and Stella Belinda Hemsworth (1883-____). In previous research, I had considered that two of Joseph and Stella’s grandchildren were very likely candidates. However, if that were the case then “A” would be a 1st cousin, once removed. First cousins once removed share between 141 and 851 cM of DNA, so “A” must be closer than that.

Joseph and Stella had five sons that I know about. One of them is “A’s” father and can’t be Glennis’ father – “A” would then be a half-sibling and doesn’t share enough DNA to have that relationship. That leaves four sons as potential candidates. (Note: there is a nine-year gap in ages between two of the boys lending itself to the possibility of other candidates.)

Picking any of the four boys as the father, I need to look and see if all of the other DNA matches fit an expected DNA amount. (If not, then the relationship between Glennis and “A” must be one of the other possible relationships.)

Shared DNA Consistent?

Individual Tree Relationship DNA Shared Range/Consistent?
“A” 1st Cousin 1,045 553-1,225 – Yes
“B” 1st Cousin Once Removed 416 141-851 – Yes
“RB” 1st Cousin Twice Removed 271 43-531 – Yes
“ML 2nd Cousin 201 46-515 – Yes
“KL” 1st Cousin Twice Removed? 195 43-531 – Yes
“SH” Unknown 178 N/A
“BR” 2nd Cousin 173 46-515 – Yes

So, if one of the uncles of “A” is Glennis’ biological father, then all of the known matches fit that relationship. The next step is to take a look at “A’s” uncles and determine if any or all of them are likely to have been in the right place at the right time to be Glennis’ biological father.


PS: If you are a descendant of Joseph Franklin Stewart (1875-1940) and Stella Belinda Hemsworth (1883-____), please consider testing with AncestryDNA® and help us determine who might be Glennis’ father.

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FamilyTreeDNA Sale

FamilyTreeDNA Sale

Sale Ends December 26th

Family Tree DNA is having sales on several of their products.

Save $30 on FamilyTreeDNA’s autosomal test, “Family Finder” is only $49.

Save up to $250 on FamilyTreeDNA’s Y-DNA Paternal Ancestry tests during their December Sale!

Save $60 on FamilyTreeDNA’s Maternal Ancestry Test – mtFull Sequence – to understand your maternal line better and connect with relatives during the Black Friday Sale @ FamilyTreeDNA!

This is a great time to get the FamilyTreeDNA test you have been wanting.


I have purchased the FamilyTreeDNA Y-37 test for myself and a brother-in-law. I have also purchased FamilyFinder tests for myself, my mother, and my half aunt. I think it is a great genealogical research tool to be tested. I have received no products from FamilyTreeDNA.

The use of these links will provide a small referral fee from FamilySearchDNA that I use to help pay for this website. For further information, disclaimer page. Thank you for your support of Don Taylor Genealogy.

I think I’ll get an mtDNA test for my wife – Don’t tell her though. It’s a Christmas present.