Recently, two DNA testing companies added or updated an additional insight into their ethnicity results shortly before RootsTech 2021. Ancestry updated their Genetic Communities while MyHeritage researched their Genetic Groups.
What are Genetic Communities and Groups?
AncestryDNA Communities and the new MyHeritage Genetic Groups compare your DNA raw DNA with genetic reference populations and other DNA test-takers and their trees to define where their customer's ancestors likely lived and when. In short, these tools help refine ethnicity estimates into smaller categories based on migration and other common community similarities.
The clues available through these tools can help focus your genealogy research in England, the Middle East, specific regions in the United States, or anywhere worldwide. Additionally, African American members may discover more links to their ancestral origins.
With narrower focuses, you can discover where in the United Kingdom your ancestors likely lived and where they may have migrated to.
Watch this video.
Where Can You Find Your Communities and Groups?
This enables you to see your overall ethnicity estimates and your genetic sub-regions in one location! You won't see either the estimates or the genetic groups until after your DNA results are processed. If you have tested before, visit the websites again and explore the updates.
Which is Better AncestryDNA Communities or MyHeritage Genetic Groups?
After exploring each genetic testing companies new ethnicity feature, I developed a few categories to determine who has the better tool for discovering our ethnicity.
These objective categories include:
The Number of Ethnic Divisions
Timeline - Who
Timeline - Where
Timeline - Why
Who Has More Ethnic Divisions?
With 5 million people in their database, MyHeritage broke their ethnic regions into 2,114 different Genetic Groups.
With 18 million tests in the AncestryDNA database, they 1,400 Genetic Groups.
Who Has the Best Timeline Feature?
Both Ancestry and MyHeritage offer a timeline to help members understand the history behind their ethnic groups. This information might enable you to reveal your family history and build a family tree by connecting with other people that you share DNA with.
Each one shows who might be related to you in these different regions and where they may have migrated from. The timelines also offer insights into why each migration community may have left one place and traveled to another. MyHeritage uses heatmaps and offers brief descriptions of why groups migrated. Ancestry uses migration paths and offers lengthier explanations about each group.
↪️ Confused about DNA and genealogy?
Grab your copy of this FREE DNA guide:
Only MyHeritage Offers The Ability to Change Confidence Levels
With the MyHeritage DNA Genetic Groups, you can view results from different confidence levels. That way, you can see results based on three levels of reasonable accuracy- high, medium, and low. On Ancestry, my results suggest that they report only high levels of confidence with their Genetic Communities.
Who Explains Their Ethnicity Tools Better?
In MyHeritage, if you go over to their knowledge base, they have a page all about their Genetic Groups.
This article details how MyHeritageDNA formed their groups, what makes them up, what you can use them for.
On Ancestry, if you click the question mark right at the top of the DNA Story page, you will access a useful website to learn about the Communities. Ancestry has conveniently broken out all the DNA topics of genetic groups into 17 different articles. Each article addresses a specific and narrow question.
Which is Better AncestryDNA Communities or MyHeritage Groups?
Watch the video for more insights into my final decision. For now, I have selected the winner. But, things can change in 2021 as each company works to tweak its platform and tools. MyHeritage rolled out this new feature in time for RootsTech 2021. Ancestry has had this feature for a few years. Let the competition continue because users benefit from improved tools.
Let me know who you think has a better feature to understand better the possible genetic groups you belong to.
↪️ Do you want to dive even deeper into genetic genealogy, writing family histories, and climbing your family tree? Join the
FHF Xtra Premium Membership and get a wealth of exclusive content.
More Genetic Genealogy Articles
A reference for all blog posts and videos mentioned in the YouTube episode.