My DNA is more Irish than ever

and Nigerian

I’ve noted before my DNA results. Twice now, I’ve gotten messages that read: “The next time you look at your AncestryDNA® results, you’re going to see some significant changes that might surprise you.”

Here’s iteration #3:

ancestrydna3

Version #1, from March 2018, had me 14% from Ireland/Scotland/Wales. The second take, from September 2018, showed me 19% Irish/Scottish. “Your DNA hasn’t changed, of course, but the science behind determining your ethnicity is constantly evolving.

“In this update, we’ve more than doubled the size of our reference panel, including more people from different parts of the world, which has helped us to refine your ethnicity estimates. We’ve split some regions and adjusted the borders of others for better precision.”

Now, as you can see, I might be fully 1/3 Scotch/Irish, and most likely from Munster, Ireland. Conversely, England/Wales plummeted from 20% to 2%. Cameroon fell from 26% to 15%, but Nigeria jumped from 1% to 28%. Mali stayed about the same, 6% to 7%.

I find this all quite mysterious. If I dig under the numbers, my ethnicity estimate for Scotch/Irish is 33%, but it can range from 15—33%.

Cousins

These are, of course, imperfect tools. 23andME has me pegged as 25% English and Irish. Since Ancestry now has had me at 2% English, I feel entitled to drink green beer. That is, if I drank beer at all.

And while my relationships to my second and third cousins are getting clearer, my fourth cousins are generally not so easy. For one thing, there are scads of them. And for another, I haven’t yet been able to identify all my third-great-grandparents (yet), so I can’t figure out HOW I’m related to many of these people.

Specifically, I don’t know which of my ancestors came from County Cork. However, I can tell that there’s at least one cousin, initials MM, who is STILL in County Cork, Ireland, where Munster is located. I figure I ought to fly over and say howdy. Well, if one could still do such things.