In answering this question: How can I be West Eurasian when I have no European ancestry? I looked up tags that might be appropriate to add and discovered there is not a tag for ancestral population calculations.

There is an tag, which states:

Questions about an ethnic group or ethnicity NOT related to DNA testing; but about the cultural traditions or culture itself. It is a category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural or national experience. Unlike most other social groups, ethnicity is primarily an inherited status.

So now we need a tag for ethnicity that is related to DNA testing.

I would suggest these names (in rough order): or

I would like to create a tag for this purpose. Do I have the okay to go ahead and do it? And, if so, what name shall we give it?

  • @PolyGeo why is this tagged status-completed when there's been little discussion of alternatives?
    – user104
    Jan 2 '19 at 9:42
  • @ColeValleyGirl It was an implemented feature request so status completed seems appropriate. However, now that there is a second answer I'll turn it into a discussion and remove that status.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Jan 2 '19 at 11:55
  • @PolyGeo Thanks -- it just seemed a bit premature to mark it status-completed (I originally assumed it was an old post that you'd tidied up and didn't look at it)
    – user104
    Jan 2 '19 at 11:57
  • @PolyGeo, also -- it isn't a feature request! There's no development involved.
    – user104
    Jan 2 '19 at 12:11
  • 1
    I will try to remember. I also am having a large discussion about tags at CommunityBuilding.SE (from a question I asked in their Meta) and I used feature-request and it stuck, so I assumed it was correct. I don't know if it's different cultures or if it's wrong there too and no one bothered to change it or tell me. Jan 2 '19 at 17:14
  • It's wrong there too -- it's monitored by the SE developers who don't care about tags but want to know about possible code changes.
    – user104
    Jan 2 '19 at 18:13

I would rather have seen the existing tag definiton amended rather than a new tag created, especially as it it already used in conjunction with DNA questions for just this purpose (of the 18 questions tagged with ethnicity, 50% are also tagged with a DNA tag). We should probably have edited the tag wiki some time ago.

I doubt we need the granularity that the two versions provide (and if we do, the existing combination of and would provide it.

By acting hastily when few people are around we have now made a re-tagging rod for our own backs (posters will reach for whichever tag they see first and not appreciate the fine and unnecessary distinction).

However, if it is decided to go ahead with the unnecessary new tag, somebody should sort out the mistagging elsewhere.


Edited to add:

Given that the community has previously agreed addressing all the 'What % ethnicity am I if my parents/grandparents were from ethnicity X' by using a canonical question (Determining ethnicity according to ancestry?) to close them as duplicates;

...and discussed having a canonical question that can be used to address the 'I've "done my DNA" and it says my ethnicity is X. Wah! How can it be X?' aka 'Understanding Ethnicity estimates from DNA testing' (which nobody has got around to creating yet)

... what we're currently left with is a (small) set of questions -- currently 5 -- about analysing ancestral data, or more complex ethnicity estimate questions (and yes this number will grow). We don't have as far as I can tell any "real" ethnicity questions that fir the existing tag definition.

So, some questions (to which I don't have answers yet):

Do we need the experts to cast an eye of all the 'Ethnicity estimate' questions to make sure that they don't require an expert answer (not just closing as duplicates)? In which case they will have to monitor anyway.

Can we work having and , cope with the confusion it will cause to non-expert users (they'll not read the tag wikis even if they all existed, and will choose a random single tag or all of them and either approach makes the tags useless for monitoring) and live with the ongoing retagging workload.

I'm still thinking this through.

  • I am happy to do the work of re-tagging. The problem is that Genealogy is a light-traffic SE and my rep is still very low here so all my edits need to be approved. So I am not sure it would save you all much work. But tell me if you want me to do it. At least I can do the work of digging up the questions, reading them, and figuring out how to retag. Jan 2 '19 at 17:16
  • @Cyn, let's decide whether we're sticking with the original tag first (in which case retagging isn't necessary). I'd love to hear why you decided that a new tag was the way to go rather than improve the existing tag.
    – user104
    Jan 2 '19 at 17:19
  • I'm very active in various genealogy groups around the internet and have done some stuff in person too. I've been also doing genetic genealogy for years. While there is of course some overlap, the general questions about ethnicity, working paper trail genealogy specific to ethnic groups, and so on is very different from questions about programs that analyze ancestral dna. "Which ocacle program should I use?" is not the same as "what was the intermarriage rate between these two groups in India in the 17th century?" Jan 2 '19 at 17:28
  • The real problem with using two tags to do the job of one, is you can't search that way. While of course you can search for posts that use both the words "ethnicity" and "dna", more than half are answers and the questions may or may not be about using ancestral dna tools. You also can't watch a double tag. The majority of the time dna is used, it's for cousin matching. You really have to weed out a lot of extraneous posts to get to what you want. Jan 2 '19 at 17:33
  • Do you or anyone (@polygeo) know the history behind the ethnicity tag? It very clearly says it does not cover DNA questions, which implies that something else does. My guess is it was edited a while ago when there weren't a lot of DNA questions and it was easy to lump them all under one tag. Jan 2 '19 at 18:04
  • 2
    @Cyn try this term in the search box: [dna] [ethnicity] is:question
    – user104
    Jan 2 '19 at 18:06
  • Nice! I did not know about that trick. And my guess is 99% of people searching don't either. Jan 2 '19 at 18:08
  • @Cyn looks as if the tag was created nearly 4 years ago and doesn't actually apply to any of the questions it's been used on! It's probably a case of it existed so it got slapped on where it looked vaguely relevant without checking the tag wiki. I wonder if we need it at all...
    – user104
    Jan 2 '19 at 18:11
  • @Cyn genealogy.meta.stackexchange.com/search?q= has other useful tips
    – user104
    Jan 2 '19 at 18:36

When I saw that same question I too first "reached" for the tag, but did not apply it for the same reasons as you.

I would agree with you coining either of your proposed tags and would prefer .

  • Thinking about it, ethnicity-dna is probably a better choice, so there isn't confusion with AncestryDNA. How many moderators need to weigh in before it's okay to go ahead and do it? Dec 31 '18 at 22:46
  • The Create Tags privilege comes in at 150 so you could do it straightaway. If other answers indicate that consensus is in another direction then unwanted tags are easily deleted/synonymized/merged/etc. In general, moderators have no more say in what our tags look like than ordinary users, but their powers can help with some non-standard tag implementations.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 31 '18 at 22:52
  • Done. Grumbling at system though that insisted I edit at least 6 characters in the text before saving the tag edit. I added a link for the DNA test people are probably not familiar with (I wasn't). Dec 31 '18 at 22:57

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