New 23andMe Worldview Includes Native Americans

23andMe released a new version of their Ancestry Composition – and guess what – my Native Ancestry is shown for the first time.  Yahoo!  It was previously shown at 23andMe as Asian, and the chromosomal locations have changed somewhat as well.

23andMe has greatly improved their product offering, moving from a significantly outdated 3 step ethnicity approach, European, African and Asian, to a multi-tiered, regional platform.

Let’s take a look at what we have today.

Here’s me in my new worldview at 23andMe under the Ancestry Composition tab.  The regions where I have ancestry are brightly colored.

rje world 23andme

Looking at my ethnic breakdown, shown on the right on my page, but shown below here, you can see that I’m 99.4% European, 0.5% Native American and 0.1% unassigned.

rje world 23andme 2

The worldwide breakdown into regions is quite interesting as well.

rjeregion23andme

By highlighting any region item, above, it shows you the corresponding region on your worldview, below.  Pretty cool.

rjeregion23andme2

They’ve updated the Chromosome View as well.  Previously, my Chromosome View looked like this:

rjechromosome view old 23andme

Now, it looks like this, reflecting the new regional ethnicity information.

rjechromosome view 23andme new

Another setting that you can manipulate is found in the drop down box in the upper right corner. It has 3 options, standard estimate, conservative estimate and speculative.  In my case, this changes the results very little, the Native moving around a bit, but the regions within Europe do change.  Be sure to take a look at all of these.  The drop down box is easy to miss.

One thing I do really like about this new rollout is that the X chromosome is included.  You can see it at the bottom of the list.  This is new and has been promised for a long time.

One feature that I would very much like to see is the ability to determine which, if any, of my matches actually match me on the segments determined to be Native American.  I realize that not everyone at 23andMe is interested in genealogy, but if you could contact them and say, “Hey, we match on my Native segment – let’s see if we can find some common ancestry,” it might generate enough interest to garner a response.  I would like to find a way to use these results more effectively.  I think there is a lot of unrecognized potential just waiting to be harvested.

All in all, a significant step forward for 23andMe.  For me, not a lot of new information.  I discovered that I have some Native genes on chromosome 2 in addition to chromosome 1.  My African ancestry picked up elsewhere is missing here.  Fortunately, my Native American heritage is now classified as such, and not Asian.  However, on the speculative view, I still have a smidgen of Asian, likely from the Native American heritage.  I really like the 3 choices in how to display results, conservative, standard and speculative.

As soon as the National Geographic Geno 2.0 ethnicity information is available, I’ll be comparing all the results from the various companies against my known genealogical heritage and taking a look at all of those results combined.  Stay tuned….things are really getting interesting!

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About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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