This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here.

Recent Ancestor Locations

In April 2018, we updated the Ancestry Composition report to include new regions — your recent ancestor locations — from around the world. These regions will provide you with information about your more recent ancestry, giving you insight into where your ancestors likely lived during the last 200 years.


Assigning Your Locations

Your recent ancestor locations were determined by comparing your DNA with over 130,000 individuals of known ancestry from regions across the globe. When we find an exact match between your DNA and the DNA of 5 more of the individuals from a particular region, you’ll see that region in your recent ancestor locations.


Match Strength

The strength of the match for each recent ancestor location is determined by how much of your DNA you share with people from that country, calibrated by how many people are in the reference population. For a given recent ancestor location, we indicate our confidence in the result, reported as "possible match," "likely match," or "highly likely match." If we are not able to detect recent ancestry from a location with confidence, we report this to you as "not detected."


Ancestry Detail Reports

The maps on your Ancestry Detail Reports are a visual representation of your recent ancestor locations down to the state and county level. A map is generated by aggregating the ancestral origins of individuals who share a minimum amount of DNA with you.


Common Questions

Why don’t I have any recent ancestor locations?

If you don’t share the minimum number of identical DNA segments with our reference individuals, then you will not see any additional regions added to your Ancestry Composition report. Keep in mind that Ancestry Composition can be considered a living analysis, so you may see recent ancestor locations added in the future as new matches are detected or as new regions are added.

A high percentage of my DNA is assigned to a particular reference population. Why don't I have high Match Strength with any of the countries listed?

To assign your recent ancestor locations, we look for identical pieces of DNA that you have in common with a large group of individuals with known ancestry from many regions worldwide.

If your DNA exactly matches 5 or more of the individuals from a particular region, then you will see that region listed as a recent ancestor location. If you do not match any of our recent ancestor locations for a given region, this means that your DNA did not exactly match at least 5 individuals from that region. If your Match Strength is weaker than expected, your DNA did exactly match 5 or more of the individuals from that particular region, but you did not share enough identical segments of DNA to make the match stronger.

I have a parent genotyped. Do you know which side of my family a recent ancestor location came from?

No, while we can determine that a match exists to one of our recent ancestor locations, we don't know which copy of a chromosome (or, which side of your family) that match occurs on. This is because your phased chromosomes are not used to find matches.

Will you add more recent ancestor locations over time?

Yes, we hope to add additional regions in the future. You can consider your Ancestry Composition a living analysis, so your report may change over time. If new matches are detected or new locations are added, these will be added to your report.


Was this article helpful?
11 out of 14 found this helpful

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Submit a request

Ask a question through Facebook or Twitter

Or call 1-800-239-5230
Monday through Friday, 3:00am to 8:00pm PST/PDT.
Saturday and Sunday, 8:00am to 4:00pm PST/PDT.