A Sneak Peek at 23andMe’s New Ancestry Features

Over the next three days, a crack team from 23andMe will be at the annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, to inject even more fun into the event while also offering tips on using genetics in genealogical searches.

Most exciting for us is that the team is offering a sneak peek to a host of cool new ancestry features that we’ll be launching in a test format in the coming weeks. We’ll be signing up attendees at the conference to do beta testing of the new features as we make them ready for a broader release in the near future.

But you can get a look at what’s to come here.

The first thing that will change is how we surface the collection of ancestry tools we offer users. Now when you click on My Ancestry Page, you’ll get a dashboard summary giving you a quick overview of things like your overall maternal and paternal line ancestry, a summary of recent changes to your Relative Finder matches and sometimes hard-to-find ancestry gems.

To dig deeper into your ancestry, a few of our scientists have overhauled the Ancestry Painting V2 analysis, which we believe is the most accurate breakdown of your genetic ancestry now being offered anywhere. Previously we “painted” individuals ancestry by displaying their Asian, African and European ancestry. Our Ancestry Painting will soon draw from approximately 20 different world regions, creating much finer detail of your genetic ancestry and break down European ancestry and differentiate between Native American and Asian ancestry. Here’s an example of the results from our friend Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who is also the host of the recent 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots.

Another enhancement includes a turbo charged upgrade of how results are displayed in our popular Relative Finder tool. A new Relative Finder Geographic Map View offers you the chance to display your matches on a world map. This can be incredibly helpful for anyone on a genealogical hunt who must triangulate between multiple different sources of information about their ancestry. In this case we show how your relatives cluster on a world map, which in turn can help you target your search for relatives.

Finally, we’ve added another essential tool for those interested in ancestry with a new Family Tree.

The beauty of this the new tree is that it offers a easy to use and intuitive way to store a profusion of family history. For those who use other ancestry services, they can import their GEDCOM data into 23andMe’s new family tree tool.  You’ll be able to enter into the Family Tree relevant dates, life events, professions and other data.

We believe that these new features and enhancements will be both helpful and fun in your exploration into your own ancestry with 23andMe. Stay tuned for the release and if you’re in Burbank this weekend drop by our booth (#706 and #707).