Four Factors Influencing Your DNA Ethnicity Results

Diahan Southard
Apr 8, 2021
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1m 25s
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 06s
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5m 27s
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Reference Populations
15m 51s
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Fancy Math
7m 13s
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6m 14s
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10m 02s
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Announcements / prizes
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Questions / answers
3m 56s

About this webinar

Can I find out if I have Native American or African heritage by taking a DNA test? Why does my test say I have an ancestral origin that is not present in my pedigree chart? Why are places I know are in my family history missing from my chart? Why do I have different results than my siblings? How accurate are the results? Do small percentages matter? There are actually four factors that can help explain the results you see from our DNA testing companies, so come get some answers!

About the speaker

About the speaker

Diahan Southard knows firsthand what a difference it can make to know where you came from. What started off as an educational and career interest in genetic genealogy became deeply personal when she used DNA to discover her mom’s birth parents and
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    A great insight into the ethnicity at different sites and how it all works, so well presented

    A great presentation, thank you

    A great webinar! Diahann is awesome! Thank you.

    A lot of good info and clarification on what actually takes place on the DNA sites.

    Again, Diahan Southard has presented an outstanding webinar with great use of analogies to make somewhat difficult topics understandable. Bravo!

    Always a favorite

    always a wealth of information. She puts it in a way we can understand.Thank you

    Always enjoy Diahan’s webinars and learn (relearn!) lots from them. A great start to the next 26 hours. Thanks so much, appreciate the time everyone has put into this

    Always enjoy her way of informing!

    Always great information.

    Always learn something new with Diahan. Excellent analogiees.

    Always learn something when Dian gives a webinar!

    Always love Diahan’s presentations. Learn something new every time. Today was especially useful in understanding how our DNA results are presented

    Always love Diahan’s webinar’s, she explains things beautifully

    Always love these webinars

    Always one of the Best Presenters!

    Another excellent webinar. Always something new to learn.

    As Alan Partridge would say ……..Ah Ha !!

    As always, Diahan did a stellar job of presenting a sometimes confusing topic.

    As always, Diane does a good job translating complicated processes into understandable concepts. Good job

    As always, very informative!! Thank you so much!! 😀

    Awesome – new information for me and easy to understand and grasp the concept. Many thanks for enriching my searches.

    Awesome! Thanks!

    Brilliant speaker and presenter of the Powerpoint. definitely no death by PowerPoint from that presentation! She knows her stuff…..

    Brilliant, as always. She never fails to give me new things to think about and follow up on.

    Clarified things for me with ethnicity and percentages and how it is calculated. Thanks! Super positive speaker!

    Clear explanations, excellent charts. Thank you.

    Clear presentation. Was able to follow along.

    Complex material made easy to understand. Thank you for comparing the different companies. I have results from Ancestry and Living DNA that correspond both based on the same sample and results from FamilyTree from a sample I submitted many years ago. I was shocked to see how different the results were for FamilyTree. I think I have a much better idea why that would be the case now.

    confident informative presentation

    Diahan always explains DNA so it is understandable!

    Diahan always has a good way to help us understand the science

    Diahan always has such great analogies that make the confusing DNA topic easier to understand.

    Diahan always informative

    Diahan always presents useful information that makes you want to immediately go try what you’ve learned! Great way to start the marathon sessions!

    Diahan ALWAYS terrific.

    Diahan get so excited about DNA — gets me excited also!!

    Diahan has again taken a technical and complicate subject then simplified it to laymen terms.

    Diahan is always a pleasure to listen to and learn from!

    Diahan is always amazing!

    Diahan is always amazing! So relieved that she finally answered so many questions our family had about “how did they come up with that??” And her enthusiastic presentation style did truly kick off this webinar to the stratosphere! Thank you!

    Diahan is always excellent! today was no exception. Fascinating to learn how to use ethnicity results. I can now say I have much more confidence in my recently revised results! thank you!

    Diahan is always great and I look forward to her presentations.

    Diahan is always great! She covers interesting and useful information in a way that is understandable — not easy with DNA.

    Diahan is always great.

    Diahan is always great. I never understand all of it, but put together more each time. Love it!

    Diahan is always informative! Terrific speaker! More, More, More!!!!

    Diahan is always so interesting, energetic, and understandable. Keep her coming!

    Diahan is always super. She makes sense and is animated so that she keeps you awake.

    Diahan is always wonderful to listen to!

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    Diahan is fantastic about explaining DNA and always gives great, practical examples.

    Diahan is fantastic!

    Diahan is simply one of the best people to learn about DNA and your DNA test results.

    Diahan is the best presenter you have!

    Diahan is very enthusiastic and talks at an understandable level.

    Diahan is very vocally animated and relatable. She makes DNA more accessible and easier to understand than just looking at the charts and numbers seem. While I generally understood why my DNA ethnicity results vary across the different companies, her explanation really helped.

    Diahan knows her stuff! What a great explanation about how our ethnicity is determined!

    Diahan made things clear and understandable. And fun!

    Diahan Southard always brings her A Game!

    Diahan Southard is a wonderful speaker- she explains everything clearly and in common sense language.

    Diahan was fabulous as always! I love her analogies to make the science easier to understand. Great way to start the webinar marathon!

    Diahann is always a great speaker.

    Diahan’s always excellent.

    Diahan’s pp graphics are wonderful. She is a master at explaining a difficult subject in lay persons terms.

    Diahan’s presentation and analogies superb and positive as always.

    Diahnn took a complex topic and made this portion very understandable. Love her energy too.


    Diane covered a lot of ground in the limited time available. Great presentation

    Diane is always so clear and understood!!

    Diane made understanding DNA technology easy! Thanks!!!

    Diane’s presentations are the best – so clear, I always feel I’ve gained a lot more answers. Thank you

    Dianne is amazing! Thanks!

    Dianne is amazing. I always learn something!

    Dianne’s presentation was lively, enthusiastic and informational as usual.

    Dihan is an excellent speaker she simplifies the complex.

    easy to understand

    Easy to understand and fun!

    Easy to understand and interesting.

    Easy to understand. The comparisons of different providers out there very helpful. I have results from 3 of them and now can better weigh the quality and use of the results.

    Enthusiastic speaker with lots of basic info. Glad it’s recorded so I can go back and listen again. Thanks.

    Everything is clearly explained. Her graphics also help with this. I always learn something new.

    Everything she said was understandable and a great deal of information in a short time period. Thanks for a great presentation, Diane!



    Excellent – great info and presenter. I learned a lot.

    Excellent and easy to comprehend.

    Excellent and understandable. Thanks Diahan.

    excellent as always

    excellent as always

    excellent as usual

    Excellent as usual – and so much fun to listen to.

    Excellent content – the examples really helped me to understand some new concepts. Thank you!

    Excellent graphics! Great presenter! Useful info!

    Excellent information. Very clear and easy to understand. One of the best presenters I’ve heard/seen!

    Excellent interesting speaker. First time I have attended one of her presentations.

    excellent metaphors! great teacher!

    Excellent overview, thank you.

    Excellent overvue. Very informative speaker.

    Excellent presentation as always – materials and presenting skills

    excellent presentation, allowed me to have more understanding on dna

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    Excellent presentation, clear explanations!

    Excellent presentation. Well prepared, and enthusiastic presenter.

    Excellent presenter

    Excellent speaker!

    Excellent speaker! Kept things informative and interesting.

    excellent speaker, presentation was made interesting & easy to understand. Thanks

    Excellent webinar

    excellent well done and so informative



    Excellent! As she always is!


    Excellent!! Diahan explains everything so well. I have tested my autosomal at the beginning when it was offered. Now I get the ethnicity piece of it much better as it has evolved. Thank you!!

    Excellent, as she always is! This is definitely going to be reviewed later. Thank you.

    Excellent. Diahan’s topics are always fresh; she doesn’t repeat herself and all topics are relevant to current updates to companies.

    Excellent. Learned alot!!

    Excellent. Thank you!


    FANTASTIC speaker, easy to follow

    Fantastic! Diahan is so good at framing complex issues so they make sense!


    Fast paced but very clearly presented.

    Finally I can understand why the results came out the way they did. Thanks to Dihan!

    Full of valuable info to inform us about DNA testing and matches.

    Good comparison of the major testing companies.

    Good information!

    Good informations.

    Good overview of how DNA results are gathered/grouped. Lots of good energy on part of presenter. Unsure if one DNA company is better than another since data was not available from all for comparison.

    good understandable summary

    Good update to RootsTech presentation. Thanks Diahan




    Great easy to understand presentation! Wish there was a free outline.

    great explanation as usual.

    Great explanation of DNA results

    Great fun and good start for the marathon

    Great graphics to demonstrate each factor. Very easy to understand.

    Great info. Unfortunately I came in late.

    Great information and very well presented

    great information but will need to listen (recorded) again to absorb content1

    Great information! That was super fast! Rewatching is a must! Thank you for recording!

    Great job Diane!

    Great kick-off!

    Great lecture…she is always very straight forward and easy to understand

    great new information for me. thanks!

    Great overview. Need more in depth info to actually utilize these techniques.

    Great powerpoint slides. Lucid explanations.

    Great presentation

    Great presentation!

  4. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    Great presenter! Makes a difficult topic easier to understand.

    Great presenter. Not sure it has helped a newbie

    great speaker

    Great webinar!

    great webinar! I always learn something new when Diahan has a presentation, Thanks!

    Great webinar. Thank you Diahan.

    Great! Informative, and even kinda fun for ‘fancy math’!! lol!

    Hope 5 is best. Diahan never fails to educate others with her enthusiasm, knowledge, comparisons, graphics and reach all levels of understanding! A Fan!

    I always enjoy Diahan’s presentations!

    I always enjoy webinars with Diahan because her passion and knowledge of the subject totally lock me in ! Thanks!

    I always learn something new and that is most enjoyable. Thank you.

    I always learn something new from Diahan Southard. I plan on listening to this Webinar again as I want to know which DNA testing companies will offer me what I’m looking for. I’d like to know how GEDMatch does their matches since they have people who test with different companies. I’ll save that question for Diahan’s Webinar in September.

    I always love learning from Diahan. She has so much to teach.

    I am a geneticist (PhD Biology) and genealogist for 60 years. Your talk was very good and accurate.

    I appreciate how Diahan Southard always makes complicated explanations understandable.

    I have stopped looking at my ethnicity report but I was wrong. What an eye opener to look again. Thank you, great, great lesson!

    I learned a lot from her clear teaching and diagrams.

    I love Diahan.

    I love Diahan; she always gives a great presentation and makes difficult subjects easy and fun!

    I love the way Dianah Southard explains DNA ethnicity results to the unscientific minded. Her graphics and analogies are very helpful.

    I loved understanding better how to use family groups and why some ethnicity doesn’t show up in my cousin’s DNA. Thank you!

    I missed the first half so need to go back and see the whole thing. It was very interesting.

    I need 70 more years!!! So little time, so many nifty things to test, research, etc.!

    I need to find out more about DNA

    I never understood about the algorhythms before. She did a great job explaining that.

    I never want to miss a presentation by Diahan Southard!

    I really enjoyed the presentation but it was so quick I will need to watch it again. Lots of information to digest. Thank you.

    I really enjoyed the webinar. Diahne is the best teacher

    I will have to watch it again to be able to think about each of the 4 factors.


    Informative and interesting

    Interesting ways to explain concepts that can be jargon-laden.


    It was very eye opening.

    it was very informative

    It was very interesting and very pertinent to the question I just got from my mother-in-law who wants to know why her son doesn’t have any German when she is so much German. Thanks.

    It was very interesting! She was a good teacher!

    just getting into looking closely at our DNA results and this was a great beginning

    Learn a lot

    Learned a great deal.

    learned a lot that I’ve never heard before!

    Learned a lot!! Excellent presentation!

    Learned more specifics about certain aspects of the DNA evaluation process and some additional things to chack out! Great job!

    Learned several new things!

    Learning from an expert!

    Learnt so much from this webinar. A very clear and precise speaker.

    Looking forward to more.

    Lots of information and common sense

    Love Diahan. She makes DNA understandable.

    Love Diahan. Thank you.

  5. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    Love her examples. She always helps me gain a better understanding & shows me possible next steps to use the information.

    Love her pace, the analogies, handout ‘art’, and enthusiasm.. My background in math and science is minimal (thanks California experimental education) so I’m starting from the very basics. I’m also pleased that her sessions are recorded so I can re-listen. She gives so much information.

    Love listening to Diana. Always makes learning fun!

    Love the way Diane teaches. It makes a complicated topic easier to understand

    Loved it! I always learn so much from Diahan.

    Loved the presenter’s enthusiasm and analogies to help us better understand the science behind DNA matching.

    Makes it so easy to understand DNA

    My favorite presenter with always something new to take away!

    My understanding of how my DNA is determined has been beautiifully answered. Thanks

    need more

    Nice job or presenting – easy to understand. thanks

    Nice quick pacing. Informative.

    nice to know the factors considered in judging ethnicity

    Obvious expert in DNA methodology. Glad to hear AncestryDNA ranked so high and understanding my results which have changed over time presumably because of larger population groups or refined algorithms. Will need to review prsentation again to better understand nuances.

    One of my favorite speakers

    presenter was very enthusiastic and clear in visuals and explanations of a complex topic

    Pretty basic, but did provide some useful information.

    Prior to this webinar, I only knew Ancestry announcing that they were updating their ethnicity results. Now I must check the others.

    really good. wanted more about native american dna

    Really interesting. Learned lots. Thank you.

    Recall and Precision a bit confusing

    She always does a great job. Makes a complex issue understandable.

    She explains everything so clearly Thank you

    She has a command of the topic and presented the information in a logical sequence. She is obviously prepared in her presentation. Kudos.

    She is always excellent!

    She is always fantastic. Please have her more often.

    She is always so perky and so easy to understand. It is a pleasure, not a chore, to listen to her explain things.

    She is always so prepared and presents her material so clearly. Outstanding speaker.

    She was great! Easy to listen to and very interesting.

    She’s good!

    Simple, direct presentation from knowledgable presentor.

    So informative. I’ve learned so much. Thank you!

    So much help with the basis of the science of DNA brought to us in an entertaining and understandable way.

    So much new info for me. I will revisit this in the library.

    Still trying to understand all of this.

    Such a relatable speaker, it was easy to understand complicated concepts because she explains them so well and her analogies are great.

    Super teacher!!!

    Super Webinar

    Thank you for the information. Clear presentation. It would have been nice to expand on how each company reports their results and what they mean. There was a quick mention about how MyHeritage gives you a description of where your matches are from but that was it.
    Thank you!

    Thanks for making so many “”areas”” clearer. But I’m still baffled about some things.

    The comparisons of the various DNA companies was very interesting and informative.

    the enthusiasm of the presenter was infectious.

    The graphics are great!

    The information was very general and well presented. I’m looking forward, however, to going to the free link that Diahan gave to next-steps to flush the info out even more. I have to think about what I learned today. I’m pleased that she’ll be back in September to answer questions.

    This really helped explain ethnicity percentages.

    This was a great explanation of a complicated subject! I now understand what I’m looking at in my ethnicity results! Thank you!

    This was another great webinar! Thank you!

    This was excellent. I have DNA results from two companies that list the same places of origin but with wildly different percentages. This lecture was SO helpful in understanding how that could happen. Thanks!

    This was very interesting and easy to understand.

    This webinar gave me a start to some of my questions after being tested with two different companies. The Graphics were very helpful and I appreciated the simple way a topic was explained so that it was not so scary.

  6. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    This webinar helped me better understand my DNA results.

    Very appreciative you’re doing this. Have only attended one so far, but looking forward to more.

    Very clear and enthusiastic.

    Very clear and helpful

    Very clear for beginner DNA

    Very clear presentation- very enjoyable. It helps to know the strengths of the various DNA sites. Thank you!

    Very clearly explained – thank you!

    very good

    Very good but a lot of information to absorb in 45 minutes…

    very good!!!!

    very helpful

    very helpful and clearly presented.

    Very Helpful and easy to understand. Excellent Webinar!

    Very helpful coverage of the topic, making a complex topic more understandable. Thanks!

    Very helpful explanation about how ethnicity estimates are determined.

    VERY helpful explanation on unconscious bias between testing companies

    Very helpful in understanding the BIG picture of DNA and appreciated the information on how useful the Technology of DNA analysis into smaller groupings is to help find that missing ancestor.

    Very informative and filled with lots of things to consider. Confirmed some of what I’ve found and figured out, but also some things that really bring me back to reality!

    Very informative! Answered a lot of my questions about DNA ethnicity, why it’s different at different companies, and why their results may change over time. Thanks Diahan. And thanks to the organizers.

    Very informative! Diahan has an innate teaching skill. Thank you!

    Very informative! Thanks!

    Very informative! I’ve been mostly dismissive of my ethnicity.admixture estimates, but now I’ll pay more attention.

    Very informative, scientific explanation in a very easy to understand format.

    Very informative.

    very interesting

    Very interesting presentation of how and why ethnicity estimates vary between testing companies.

    Very interesting presentation. So informative & explained so well. Look forward to more by this presenter in Sept.. Thank you so much.

    Very Interesting! Thank you!

    Very interesting!!!

    VERY knowledgeable and informative presentation, also best for the kickoff of the 24 hours

    Very thorough and informative!

    Very thorough and with outstanding visuals and clarity from the pannelist.

    Very useful information.

    Very well done

    Very well presented! Good information!

    Very well presented, although I’m still a bit foggy on the details. Will keep at it. Thanks.

    very well understood

    We love Diahan!

    Well done for the limited time available.

    Well done!

    What a great way to start the 24 hour webinars

    Will definitely have to watch again!

    Wonderful lecturer!

    Wonderful presentation by Diahan, and Geoff too!!! Very clear info, explained with helpful analogies and illustrations. Looking forward to buying and reading the book! And can’t wait to download the syllabus. Thank you so much!!!

    Wonderful presentation! Diahan was well prepared!

    Wonderful to see a new perspective on DNA testing, presented in an understandable and interesting way. Thanks.


    Wonderful! I learn something each time I listen to Diahan!

    Wonderful, as usual!

    wow! where can I hire someone with this kind of knowledge? My husband can be traced back 9 generations on his surname, but YDNA gives his predominate matches as another surname.


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