If you've been looking at your maternal or paternal ancestry results and wondering about those percentages and what they mean - you're not alone! This is a question we get quite regularly.
The analysis that has been conducted to provide your maternal and paternal ancestry is completely different from the way that your family ancestry results have been analysed.
Our maternal and paternal ancestry results are your haplogroup assignments - the location of your "branch" of the human family tree - from your mother or father's side respectively. You will share a common ancestor with everyone who shares your haplogroup.
Your maternal and paternal results are therefore interpreted in a very different way to the recent family ancestry.
The percentages in these results show you where in the world your haplogroup is found, and what percentage of that population shares this group with you; it does not show how much your own DNA identifies with certain worldwide populations.
Still confused? Don't worry - it's a lot to wrap your head around.
If you have a very common haplogroup - 'H' on the maternal line, for example - you may find that you share a common ancestor with large numbers of people across the world and the percentages will be high.
If it is a rarer haplogroup - 'X' on the maternal line, for example - you will find that the percentages are much smaller, as your ancestor did not have as many descendants.
So if your results say something like "England 10%, Spain 4%, Armenia 3%", this means that 10% of the people that have been tested in England, 4% of those tested in Spain, and 3 % in Armenia happen to share the same haplogroup with you. The other 90% in England will have a different haplogroup.
This means that it is unlikely that these percentages will add up to 100%.
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