23andme discloses right off the bat that it cannot identify German or French ancestry 92% of the time.
Ancestry doesn't seem to be able to discern German ancestry too well either, but it doesn't tell its customers that.
Noted: Yet another reader of this blogger just wrote in and shared her experience. She is 100% German, born in Germany, from a small town, not a big city. Her ancestors are documented in the region she's from for the last 400 years. Several of them were well-known and documented.
Ancestry.com called her ancestry as about 50% Scandinavian, 25% Italian, and 25% generic European. What an epic fail.
How many "white bread" regular Americans, with German ancestry take one of these tests, and misleadingly, their German ancestry is literally wiped away?
We note Germans are America's LARGEST ethnic group, but their ancestry is also often hidden, because German surnames Americanize so well. For example, Kohl becomes Cole; Schmidt becomes Smith, etc.
As an experiment, with our reader's permission, we ran her raw data through Gedmatch. Both MDLP (the Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae Project) and Eurogenes were able to call her likeliest ancestry as German. Dodecad, which specializes in Mediterraneans, was able to call her as German in about half of its tests.
So the question remains:
1. If the amateurs can call German DNA with reasonable regularity, why the heck can't Ancestry.com?
2. If Ancestry.com is so bad at identifying America's biggest ethnic group, why doesn't it do the decent thing and tell people?