Population Finder Update to be Released Soon

Population FinderOn April 11, 2014, Family Tree DNA released information saying that the Population Finder tool will be updated soon, sometime after April 30th.

I certainly welcome the news of the impending update, and the better news that we’ll be able to compare our ethnicity with our matches.

From Family Tree DNA:

Our new and vastly improved Population Finder is launching in just a few weeks! Soon, you’ll be able to dive into fresh insights about your ethnic origins. You’ll also be able to compare your ethnicity with your Family Finder matches! If you want to share your ethnic origins with your matches, you don’t need to take any action.  You’ll automatically be able to compare your ethnicity with your matches when the new Population Finder becomes available.  This is the recommended option. However, we do understand that sharing your ethnicity with your matches is your choice. Therefore, you may choose not to take part (opt-out). To opt-out, please follow the instructions below by April 30.*

  1. Click this link, https://my.familytreedna.com/privacy-sharing.aspx.
  2. If you are not logged in, do so.
  3. Select the Do not share my ethnic breakdown with my matches radio button.
  4. Click the Save button.

You may read more detailed instructions about this page in our Learning Center. You may also join our forums for discussion.

* You can change your privacy settings at any time. Thus, you may opt-out of or opt back into ethnic sharing at a later date if you change your mind.

15 thoughts on “Population Finder Update to be Released Soon

  1. I think few will opt out & this is to our benefits. In recent months I have had a very low response rate even amongst the 2nd-4th cousin range. I think one reason is that people set up other email accounts for genealogy and forget to check in.

    Also I now manage around 30 FTDNA accounts but have only received one note about opting out for the most recent kit.

  2. I cannot even contact my matches since I cannot activate the “Wizard” even though I have tried multiple times. I would like to see that addressed first.
    When I have tried to contact FTDNA about this, I get the message “enter an email” even though I have ENTERED AN EMAIL.
    I would have no problem with sharing my ethnic breakdown. At least that way my matches would be contacted somehow with my information.

  3. I hope the new ethnicity breakdown on Family Tree is more detailed than it is currently. It only lists two population areas listed for me.. That’s not really very informative for me or matches who may view it. My raw data from Family Tree is uploaded to GEDmatch and I receive a detailed breakdown there with Family Tree’s data. I also tested with Ancestry and uploaded that raw data to GEDmatch and the data matches exactly my DNA breakdown from Family Tree.

    I have opted out of sharing now until I see how Family Tree has the detail. Then I will opt back in.

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  5. Does this mean that Family Tree is going to start using the chromosome painting tool that  Dr. Macdonald has been sharing with people for free over the past few years?

    Paul Wilkerson, Jr.

  6. Great! It’s been “Beta” since 2006. I sure hope they use more up-to-date and rational sampling descriptors than Orcadian. This is probably the only section that 23andMe has done a better job than FTDNA, besides the medical results of course. April 30th? This year?

  7. In today’s world, I wonder exactly what is meant by “ethnicity”. Is it nationality, race, common language, religion, Tex-Mex diet, Harvard graduates, or all of the above? Anybody know the answer?

    • The U.S. Census asks, “What is this person’s ancestry or ethnic origin?”

      They further explain,

      “Ancestry refers to a person’s ethnic origin or descent, “roots,” or heritage, or the place of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. Some ethnic identities, such as “German” or “Jamaican,” can be traced to geographic areas outside the United States, while other ethnicities such as “Pennsylvania Dutch” or “Cajun” evolved in the United States.

      The intent of the ancestry question is not to measure the degree of attachment the respondent had to a particular ethnicity. For example, a response of “Irish” might reflect total involvement in an “Irish” community or only a memory of ancestors several generations removed from the individual. A person’s ancestry is not necessarily the same as his or her place of birth; i.e., not all people of German ancestry were born in Germany (in fact, most were not).”

      So it’s what you consider yourself to be. Those of us who DNA test and who have researched pedigrees are obviously able to answer the question better. Those of us who are adoptees, like myself, can only answer “American” if born here.

  8. I’m even more confused now with my Origin results than my FF results. With FF, my results were the dreaded 92% Orcadian and 8% Middle Eastern. As with many others on the “Dreaded” blog, I was anticipating a small amount of Native American ancestry and was certain that the 8% Middle Eastern ancestry was somehow a mistake for Native American. BUT NOW, with Origins, my ancestry is listed as 100% European. Roberta, can you please explain this difference?



  9. Hi Roberta – just saw your reply to this question – That I just added to the dreaded middle east page. Sorry for the duplicate reply. I wish more FTDNA testers that had the middle eastern/orcadian results would post their Origins results. That would help to see if there is a trend or something. 🙂

    • Family Tree needs a Native American population data base. I am “about” 3 % Native American from my 5th great grandfather. My Family Tree raw DNA data has been uploaded to GEDmatch and on EVERY Eurogene module my Native American is confirmed which goes with my paper trail. This is my actual raw data from FTDNA’s which GEDmatch is using and the exact same data FTDNA use for their new Origins model but FTDNA doesn’t have any Native American attributed to me. I am not the only one. None of my matches who I know also are Native do not show that population on their analysis. The only conclusion I can come to is that FTDNA does NOT have a Native data base so they just don’t show it. Also, I tested with Ancestry and uploaded my raw data from that site to GEDmatch. It also shows the Native American at almost 3 %.

      Also, FTDNA shows my African at 3 %. GEDmatch shows that at 2.85 %. So FTDNA can not use the excuse on the Native that they will only show a population analysis if it reaches 3 %. My Native and African each are 2.85 % so why show the African but refuse to show the Native??

      I’m very disappointed with FTDNA for not making a more concerted effort to discern the Native American percentage in their customers but very quick to show the African percentage. My confidence in their expertise is very low at this point.

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