If you've already done your Ancestry DNA test, you most likely see a section called a "Low Confidence Region" that is listed just below your major ethnicities.\u00a0 Many people automatically assume that because it says "Low Confidence" that is isn't accurate.\u00a0 The reality is that sometimes it isn't accurate, and sometimes it is.\u00a0 That's why they call it low confidence - it's because their software algorithm can't be sure. Basically, it means possibly have a small amount of DNA from that region.\u00a0 On Ancestry's help pages, it says that any region that has less than 4.5% will show up on the low confidence section, but I have found that this is not always the case.\u00a0 In fact, on my own DNA test results, I have the Iberian Peninsula as a Low Confidence region, but it shows that I have 6%. So how can you tell whether it is just "background noise", incorrect, or if you actually do have ethnicity from those regions showing as a lower percentage in your DNA?\u00a0 I'm so glad you asked, because I have some suggestions and ideas that might help you figure these mysteries out on your own. It's really important to explore these lower percentage regions because if you ignore them, you might miss some really important information about your family history. In addition, learning about those regions might help you build your family tree in ways that you would have otherwise overlooked. For the purpose of my explanations, we will look at the low confidence regions on my personal DNA test results: Iberian Peninsula 6%Italy\/Greece 3% (this is now shown as \u201cEurope South\u201c)European Jewish 1% Europe West 2% Pro tip:\u00a0 Check out my DNA Tools Page for the latest and most helpful articles, resources, and links to help you learn as much as possible about your DNA. Update:\u00a0 Ancestry DNA rolled out a major ethnicity estimate update and stopped using the \u201clow confidence regions\u201d terminology, and eliminated most user\u2019s trace regions.\u00a0 Everyone who has done a DNA test with Ancestry is eligible for this update for free.\u00a0 Read more about it in this post about the 2018 Ancestry Update. Do the low confidence regions match with what you already know about your family tree? The first thing that you should do when you see those results is compare them to what you already know about your family history. For example: I only showed 2% Europe West, but I know that my father\u2019s paternal grandmother was German, born in the U.S. to two German parents.\u00a0 Also, my mother\u2019s maternal grandmother was also born in the U.S. to two German parents.\u00a0 In a perfect DNA inheritance scenario, I should have inherited 12.5% from each great-grandmother, leaving me with a whopping 25% Europe West DNA. In the real world, however, DNA doesn\u2019t always get passed down in the exact percentages that we would expect it to.\u00a0 Each child inherits 50% of their DNA from each parent, and that means that there is 50% of each of your parents\u2019 DNA that you didn\u2019t inherit.\u00a0 Going back to my Europe West example, I am lucky that I can actually look at my parents DNA results (I\u2019ve had them tested), and can see how much Europe West they had. It turns out that my mother has absolutely no Europe West ethnicity whatsoever, despite what her family tree says.\u00a0 My father, on the other hand, has 43% Europe West.\u00a0 Obviously, I couldn\u2019t inherit any from my mother since she didn\u2019t have any to begin with.\u00a0 But if my father has 43%, why don\u2019t I show more than just 2%?\u00a0 It turns out that my father has DNA from many other places, such as Scandinavia, Iberian Peninsula, and Ireland.\u00a0 So when I got the 50% of DNA that I inherited, I just inherited a lot of that other stuff, and not so much of the Europe West DNA. I just took a quick peek at my mother\u2019s full brother, and it turns out that he only shows 1% Europe West in his family tree. This leads met to the next item for your consideration: Is there something (like a surprise or a secret) in your family tree that you don\u2019t know about? Is it possible that the reason that my mother doesn\u2019t show any Europe West DNA is because her maternal grandmother wasn\u2019t really German, or was only half German?\u00a0 I\u2019m sure you can use your imagination to figure out ways that this could have happened.\u00a0 And hey, in the DNA world, we\u2019ve seen crazier stories than that.\u00a0\u00a0 In my own personal family tree, I still don\u2019t know why my mother doesn\u2019t have any Europe West DNA.\u00a0 A mystery for another day. There are many, many reasons that family histories might try to hide situations that were disagreeable at the time.\u00a0 Maybe there was an unwed mother, and the family had her marry someone and take the husband\u2019s name, when biologically the child belonged to someone else.\u00a0 Sometimes, children were adopted because one or both of their parents died.\u00a0 It\u2019s also hard to imagine, but our ancestors were also human and fallible, and sometimes they had children with people who weren\u2019t their spouse. In the United States, people who consider themselves to be white are often surprised to find small amounts of Native American or African ethnicities in their DNA.\u00a0 For example, my mother has Southeastern Bantu in her low confidence region.\u00a0 This means that somewhere, a long time ago, I likely have an ancestor \u2013 or even more than one \u2013 from this region of Africa.\u00a0 We all know the history of our country, and it\u2019s likely that the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of this ancestor might have felt it advantageous to hide\/forget\/ignore this aspect of their history. One thing that I\u2019ve learned through this whole process is that my family history is just that.\u00a0 I can\u2019t judge my ancestors for these types of decisions, but I can try to understand them better.\u00a0 Though, it sure would be easier for me and my research if they would have passed this information down to me. This is a time consuming option, but it's one that you should definitely consider doing little by little.\u00a0 My daughter shows 2% European Jewish.\u00a0 If you can recall, I only show 1%.\u00a0 Considering the fact that it is statistically unlikely that she inherited my whole 1% of European Jewish, this means that she probably got it all from her father.\u00a0 He likely has much more than that.\u00a0 In addition, her paternal grandmother's maiden name is Abraham (translated into English from Spanish).\u00a0 Sure enough, she has distant cousin DNA matches that are 100% European Jewish and don't share me as a match.\u00a0 I don't know the how\/why yet, and maybe I never will, but you can definitely learn a lot about whether your low confidence region ethnicities are "real" or not by checking out your family\/cousin matches. Conclusion If you've stuck with me this far, thanks so much for stopping by and reading. If you have any questions or comments about anything that I've written, I really want to hear from you in the comments. Have a great day!