Ancestry DNA Introduces New Ancestor Discoveries for Genetic Genealogy Tests

By Diane Haddad

Ancestry DNA, the genetic genealogy arm of, has launched New Ancestor Discoveries, a still-in-beta feature that can use your DNA matches to show you who your ancestors were.

The feature builds on DNA Circles, announced late last year, which creates circles of genetically matching individuals who also have matching people in their Ancestry member trees.

What happens is this:

  • You take a DNA test with Ancestry DNA.
  • In six to eight weeks, you receive a notification that your results are available, and you go into your account to view them.
  • On your results page, you see the faces of ancestral people who aren’t in your Ancestry member tree (if you have one), but who are in the trees of other testers whom you match:

  • You click on an ancestral person, and see a window like this, with basic information about the person and the DNA Circle that links you to this person:

  • If you click the green “Learn About” link, and you also are an subscriber, you can see a Lifestory for the person, compiled from the person’s profiles in multiple public member trees on This page is accessible only through the DNA Circle or New Ancestor Discovery experience, and includes photos, records and life events about the person. It looks like this:

  • If you click the gray “See how you are related” link, you see an illustration of the circle, highlighting the individuals you match and how those matches are related to the ancestral person. The thicker the orange line, the stronger your genetic connection to a person. This is an updated presentation of DNA Circle information; you can use the tab to see a list view of circle members.

An update to DNA Circles is that they now include anyone in your tree, not just those in your direct ancestral lines. For example, if your third-great-granduncle is in your Ancestry member tree and you’re genetically related to members of his circle, you’ll be included in his circle even though you don’t descend from him.

Read more about New Ancestor Discoveries and watch a video demo on the blog.

You can read’s press release about New Ancestor Discoveries here.