"Ethnicity is Just an Estimate – Yes, Really!" - Genetic Genealogy Blogger Roberta Estes of DNA eXPlained

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"Ethnicity is Just an Estimate – Yes, Really!" - Genetic Genealogy Blogger Roberta Estes of DNA eXPlained

Post by Arcadiaville » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:14 pm

One of the big DNA companies, AncestryDNA.com, has recently published their latest update, prompting many consumers and genetic bloggers such as Roberta Estes of the
DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy - Discovering Your Ancestors – One Gene at a Time
blog to ponder their efficacy. In Ms. Estes latest blog post, "Making Sense of Ethnicity Updates," she cautions that ancestry ethnicity results from commercial DNA companies are at best only guess-timates:

https://dna-explained.com/2019/11/20/ma ... y-updates/

"meaning that ethnicity is a great feel-good sales tool (queue up the music), but does not have the ability to predict ethnicity accurately beyond the continental level (Europe, Africa, Asia), plus Native American and Jewish."

As one example, she claims that companies such as 23andme cannot reasonably separate European ethnicities such as French and German and hence lump them together. A quick scan of a European map shows that this comprises a rather large area on the continent. Therefore, I assumed the opposite, that these large European countries at the cross-roads of many border revisions in history would show significant sub-regional differences, not inter-regional similarities, e.g. N. France closer to British results, E. France and W. German closer results, etc.

On a bit of a downer for avid genetic genealogy testers, she ends on this note:
"Consumers crave country or region-level specificity, but the technology today can’t deliver that, and maybe never will."

Any thoughts or disagreements with this blogger? Does the genetic genealogy - ethnicity horizon look brighter or more accurate in your eyes, or are we doomed to hours of Gedmatch family trees & ever-changing origin myths?
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