Making Sense of My DNA Test Results

by , under, AncestryDNA, DNA, Education, Ethnic Research, FamilyTree DNA, MyHeritage, MyHeritageDNA, YouTube

I have tested with AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, and FamilyTreeDNA, so I have a lot of results to study and work with.

Today, I discovered two YouTube videos by Crista Cowen at In them she explains two key aspects of my DNA test results:

1.You Received Your Results. Now What? (Part One) | AncestryDNA

2.You Received Your Results. Now What? (Part Two) | AncestryDNA

Now these videos have been available for awhile — they were published in Sep and Oct of 2016. The information Crista provides is basic and but still current. And her explanations are very understandable.

For example, she gives some insight into why ethnicity results may not be quite what I (or you) expect. About 50% of my DNA is identified by AncestryDNA as coming from Finland/Northwest Russia. That’s what I expected. And the results are similar in my tests with  MyHeritageDNA and FamilyTreeDNA. But the reason that this ethnicity estimate is what I expected is that AncestryDNA was able to create a test panel of native Finns whose ancestors had lived in Finland for many generations. It is what is called deep ancestry. The same is true with MyHeritageDNA and FamilyTreeDNA.

Other parts of my ethnicity are more ambiguous because it has been difficult for Ancestry and the others to create test panels with the necessary deep ancestry. A good example of this is Germany. On my mother’s side, I have several lines going back to Germany. But there is no ethnicity identified as “German.” Again, this is because it is difficult for the AncestryDNA and the other testing companies to settle on valid test panels with deep ancestry in only what today is called Germany. I don’t like this outcome, but I have to accept it and work with it.

Crista also talks about differences that show up among siblings and cousins. This makes it easier for me to accept my own DNA results — and still explore and work with them with confidence.

Here are the links to Crista Cowen’s two helpful videos:

  1. —
  2. You Received Your Results. Now What? (Part Two) | AncestryDNA —



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