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# Wednesday, 15 March 2017
AncestryDNA Genetic Communities First Look! My Mom's Munster Irish Connections
Posted by Diane

I've been hoping DNA testing would shine some light on my Irish origins. But since I'm just 1/16 Irish through a set of third-great-grandparents on my mom's side, her DNA test might be more useful than mine in this regard.

We haven't made any connections with cousins who know where we come from in Ireland, but we did learn Mom is a "likely" member of what AncestryDNA calls the Munster Irish genetic community. The company is beta testing a genetic communities experience for members who test results put them into these groups. Here's what Mom's beta looks like:

Genetic communities are genetically connected groups AncestryDNA has identified that show where your family probably lived over the past few hundred years. The Munster Irish were from the province of Munster in southwestern Ireland, where counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick are.

I already knew from records that our Irish ancestors came from Cork and Kerry, but this would be big news for someone who knew only that he was part Irish.

Clicking on the overview and timeline arrows at the left gives you some history of this genetic community during that time, and shows you migration paths for the group. My Irish ancestors were famine immigrants who arrived sometime before about 1850 (the date of their marriage record in Cincinnati).

You'll also see who in your tree was part of the migratory group

You can zoom in to see an area more closely.

You might be able to click on a "historical insight" below the overview to learn more about a topic related to that heritage group.

Clicking Connection on the community's home screen explains how you came to be a member of this community, shows you common last names in the community, and lets you view matches also in the community.

So if you haven't done much genealogy yet, being placed in a genetic community automatically gives you new information about your possible family history, and points you to a starting place for looking through your matches. Even as someone who's done some genealogy research, I liked seeing my family as part of an international migration and learning more about the historical context for their lives.

I'm not quite Irish enough to be in this community with Mom, but I am in the "Netherlanders and Northern Germans in the Midwest" community (she is too).

Have you been placed in any genetic communities? What do you think of the beta experience?

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave | Genetic Genealogy | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:42:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [10]
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:01:14 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Dear Diane

I was fascinated by reading your post about's new feature 'Genetic Communities.' Your discovery of your Munster Irish background is very interesting.

Is there any information on when this tool will be available for all Ancestry users?

Many thanks for your help

Donnie MacDonald
Western Isles
Donnie Macdonald
Thursday, 16 March 2017 18:23:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Remember that the genetics doesn't divide 50/50 from each parent. I estimated 1/16 Irish also, though I know I have a lot of inheritance from my Irish ancestors. Ancestry puts me at 41% Irish!
Thursday, 16 March 2017 18:57:26 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Like Donnie, I haven't been put in a Genetic Community and would like to know if that feature will be rolling out to all DNA test members anytime soon?
C Ceylan
Thursday, 16 March 2017 22:39:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Just echoing what others have said. Super excited to see this rolled out to all Ancestry members! Based on what you showed from your Mom, I'm excited to see what my grandparents show! I already have one grandmother who's 85% British! My Dad's parents have good size percentages of Irish, British, and Scandinavian. :)
Meredith Marr
Thursday, 16 March 2017 22:59:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
No, I have not been placed in a genetic community -- I am wondering if I too don't have enough for them to determine where to place me. From a lot of research I figure one side came from Tyrone county. On the other side (which is also a Ryan as in your tree) I am guessing that I come from Kilkenny / Dublin. Who knows where the rest of my Irish comes from!!!
Saturday, 18 March 2017 09:35:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)

I have taken Ancestry DNA ( autosomal ) and Family Tree DNA ( mitochondrial).

My question is , are you notified that your results place you in a
genetic community or does one have to search this out ?

Anne Baldwin
anne baldwin
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 12:02:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Hello, in answer to a few questions, I don't have information on when the beta period will be over with this feature. Even when it is, though, not everyone will be in a genetic community. You need to have enough DNA that matches one of the communities that Ancestry was able to identify during the genetic communities study linked in the post. As the science evolves and more samples become available, I imagine that more communities will be identified, and we'll learn more about already-identified communities.

A link to view this genetic community was on my mom's DNA home page, so I didn't have to search it out.
Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:35:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Well, I got mine through a notification from Ancestry, and did not learn much. Just about the same as the original info on the Ancestry DNA test. Most people I contacted never replied and some do not have their family tree on Ancestry. Same old, same old. Disappointing to say the least. I'm not impressed.
Marianne W.
Thursday, 30 March 2017 19:16:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I got a genetic community email yesterday. My dad is 100% Irish his mom is from Ireland, immigrated to the USA in 1930 and his dad is Irish-Canadian of Irish born parents. He immigrated to the USA in 1916. My Ancestry DNA put me at 48% Irish 2% Scandinavian (Vikings!). My mom is half Italian, her dad's parents are from the Tuscany region and from Sicily. She is also 25% English and 25% Scottish. The other 50% of my DNA came up a mish mash of Great Britian, Italian/Greek (11%), Ashkenzi Jew (5% and a huge shocker), Caucaus, Iberian Peninsula,5% West Asian even.
I was put in 2 genetic communites, Munster Irish like your mom and Southern English. They said they were 25% sure I belonged in those groups. My husband was also put in a group, his was for French Settlers of the St. Lawrence and they put him at a 95% likely rate of him being in that group. He is of deep Puritan New England roots and French Canadian roots. I was excited about it but it was nothing new to me and so far my most closely related cousin hits have been 3rd-4th cousins and not many have them have responded and the ones that did we couldn't tell where we matched. My husband has had much better luck with 6 1-2nd cousin matches and all responding and all were new family to him but already have plans to meet with each other and exchange notes.

Connecticut, USA
BarbaraJo O'Connor Caisse
Tuesday, 11 April 2017 08:12:41 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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