A while back, Libby kindly gifted me a DNA test. When the results came back, they were predictable and slightly disappointing (what do you mean there’s nothing unexpected and exotic in my heritage?!)…

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I’ve been obsessed with this show called Outlander. It’s basically a time traveling soap in which the heroine travels back to 1700s Scotland. I’ve never had much interest in the culture of that region, but this show has piqued it. A bit.

I seemed to vaguely recall Mom saying that we have some Scot in our history, so I went back into my profile to see the DNA make-up again, and it seems there’s been an update.

How? According to the website – We have better tools for telling regions apart, especially closely related regions like Ireland and Great Britain. We also have 16,000 reference samples now instead of 3,000, which helps screen out less-likely regions.

So now, here is my updated DNA results, and below that, more info from the website about how they got these results.

27% Ireland/Scotland/Whales?  Perhaps I need to add it to the list of places to visit?

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How have the results been improved? (this is from ancestry.com)
More Regions – With advancements in DNA science and more data, we’re able to divide the world into more regions. With more regions to work with, we can typically make a more nuanced estimate.

Larger Sample Sizes – We determine your ethnicity estimate by comparing your DNA to samples of DNA from people who have a long history in a region. As we get more samples, our picture of what DNA from a region or group “looks like” gets better. We’ve added more than 13,000 new samples to the original 3,000 in our reference database to give us our clearest picture yet for each region.

Improved Ways to Analyze Your Data – DNA is made up of strings of four different letters: A, C, G, and T. Our old algorithm looked at one letter at a time, and based on where that letter appeared in your DNA, it decided where that bit of DNA came from. Without getting too technical, our new algorithm reads longer stretches of your DNA at once, making it easier to identify regions of the world where you ancestor once roamed.


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