My Ancestor Communities on Ancestry

One of Ancestry’s features, when you do a DNA test, is Communities. These communities are part of your DNA Story or Ethnicity and are included in the price of your DNA kit. Let’s face it we all want to know where we have come from. Are we really Italian? French? Indigenous? It gives us a sense of identity.. of belonging.

With all the new information that I got through Ancestry’s Sideview™, I’ve been looking at other aspects of my ethnicity. I’ll be honest, I never had much interest; I was always more interested in my matches.

On a Facebook page that I follow, Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques, my friend Blaine Bettinger posted a list of his communities. I realized that what he was doing, I could also do. Because I have access to so much of my family’s DNA, I could combine the communities of those in my family that would only share the same ethnicity. So my brothers, my dad (my mom wasn’t tested at Ancestry), and my parent’s full siblings. So here’s what I came up with.

So the above is a consolidation of the communities of myself, my dad, my brothers, and three uncles.

You get communities because your DNA puts you in a geographic location and your tree and that of your matches provides evidence of your ancestors living in a place in a recent time period.

So in the case of my paternal genealogy, Ancestry shows my region as South East England, and then because of my tree and the tree of my matches, it can pinpoint Surrey & Sussex.

You initially see a map with dates along the right-hand side and an overview of the region and the specific places within the region that apply. In my case, I also get a StoryScout story which is another feature that you might find. I wrote about StoryScout in September 2020, and you can read that HERE.

A lot of thought and information is given to each of the periods. Such as;

The fishing industry was relatively prosperous and important to the local economy, with the long coastlines of Kent and Sussex offering many ports for fishing fleets to operate from.

This totally applies because my father’s maternal family came from a long line of Fishmongers (fish sales and fish stores), and my great uncle, Noah, had a fishing fleet.

As you scroll further down, you see all the ancestors that might apply to the period of time you are looking at.

As I get to 1850 – 1900, I read the paragraph, and it tells us how it was during this time period that trades were finding work in other locations in the British Empire, such as South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and closely after this time period was when this family line came to Canada.

In fact, in the early 1900s, two of the family lines, the Middlebrough from my maternal line and the Oliver of my paternal line, came to Canada.

I found this community information quite interesting, and it not only linked the ancestors but your DNA matches in with the data. If you haven’t checked out your DNA communities, then take the time and check it out. It gives you that additional social history of what your family might have been going through in that time period.

If you haven’t taken a DNA test at Ancestry then this is just one of the features you’ll find with your results. I’m always looking for more cousins.

Note US residents This weekend only: 50% off a 6-month Ancestry® membership. Ends 5/30. Get more information HERE.

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  • Carol says:

    I use ancestry as a starting place because I do not have a subscription either. Fortunately in Alberta Canada our library systems provide access to valid card holders. The Family History Library also offers access to many other genealogy search engines. should have a listing for your area.

    My dissatisfaction with Ancestry is when you upload files or link them to your tree and let your subscription go you can no long access the records you put there.

    • Thanks Carol. I use FamilySearch and other sites for my research. You’re right about accessing the Library as I live in Alberta as well. However, I started my subscription when I was working and couldn’t always get to the library when it was open.

  • Maggy Wilcox says:

    Does anyone else resent Years ago, I found so many transcription mistakes in Ancestry that I decided then not to spend my hard earned bucks on this site. Now, I find that people expect even an amateur genealogist like me to have an ancestry subscription. I pay for and use New England Historic Genealogical Society, but that’s enough. I also frequently use, and I learned that my local public library has connections, as well. It’s too bad, now, that Ancestry has bought other sites with all of the money that they charge for memberships.

    • There are certainly other ways to use Ancestry without having a subscription. You can take advantage of the free weekends and records. Use FamilySearch and of course, go to the library. When I was working I couldn’t always get to the library when I had time to research so I opted for a subscription.